by Judith Silverthorne
A gripping historical novel about believing in oneself and standing true to one's convictions.
Winner, Gold medal in the Young Adult: Historical/Cultural category at the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
Winner, Historical Fiction category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Finalist, Foreword INDIES Book Awards, Young Adult
Finalist, Young Adult Literature Award, Publishing in Education Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards
Finalist, High Plains Book Award for Woman Writer
It's 1842. 14-year-old Jennie Lawrence has been found guilty of stealing, and finds herself aboard one of the few women-only convict ships destined for Australia.
Jennie had been desperate – and, as she gets to know the other women on the convict ship – she realizes she's not the only one. Many of the women she gets to know were trying to survive, and feed themselves and their families, before they were caught and sentenced to Australia.
It's clear from the moment the ship sets sail that the conditions aboard are abhorrent – women are sea sick and ill from the lack of good food and water, they are beaten if they disobey orders, and sleep brings no reprieve – as bed bugs, rats, and other parasites attack them in the night.
The only way for the women to survive the boat ride is if they band together. And so, with the help of her new "family" - Sarah, Bridget, and Alice - and other convicts, Jennie battles the jailers, the ship, and the sea. But will it be enough to set them free?
Praise for Convictions:
"Convictions is a novel about a history of women which is not often told. It is built around the sotry of young women prisoners and the discrimination they face aboard a ship that determines their fate. With strong character development and a compelling story, this historical fiction is a welcome addition to young adult literature." - Judges, Saskatchewan Book Award for Publishing in Education
"Taking place almost entirely aboard ship, Convictions rises to the challenge it sets itself: the brutal 1842 story of a girl's journey to a penal colony gains momentum at every turn and sees its protagonist take a leadership role against all odds." - Judges, Saskatchewan Book Award for Young Adult Literature