Author(s): Stephanie Owen Reeder
Age range 7 to 12 This is an exciting tale of the courage of 16-year-old Grace Bussell, an ordinary teenage girl who is thrust into an extraordinary situation when a steamship runs aground near her home on the south-west coast of Australia in 1876. Using eyewitness accounts and other historical documents of the time, the author brings this compelling true story alive. On the night that the Georgette leaves Fremantle, the ship starts taking on water. With the water rising, the situation becomes desperate and some of the passengers are herded onto a lifeboat, only to be thrown into the chilly water after the Georgette, struck by a huge wave, ploughs into the little boat. What follows is a story of acts of bravery, as frantic attempts to rescue the drowning are made. When the Bussells hear the news of a ship that has run aground on the coast near their home, Grace doesn't hesitate and leaps on her horse, riding for an hour to get to the sinking ship. There she and Sam, the family's stockman, gallop into the wild surf to save the remaining crew and passengers.