The Adventures of Nelly Nolan: The Nelly Gang by Stephen Axelsen, ISBN 9781921977916, Walker Books Australia
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.
Reviewed by Joseph, 9, WA
This book is a graphic novel — it’s a bit like a comic book with lots of picture frames but it tells one long story through the whole book.
Nelly’s gang are Nelly and her friends Miro, Jin, plus Nelly’s goat. Nelly lives in Christmastown in Victoria in 1860 with her Pa who is looking for gold. When he finds gold (lots of gold!) they decide to go back to Sydney to find Nelly’s Ma. But someone knows about their gold and bushrangers are everywhere — like Captain Sunbeam and also Captain Moonshine. (The title of the book made me think of Ned Kelly, but Ned Kelly is not in this book.) The Nelly Gang have to fight the bushrangers.
The pictures in The Nelly Gang have interesting things to look at in the backgrounds. In a normal book you would have lots of description in words but the comic-style pictures do that in a graphic novel. I like the message tree — the posters on it made me laugh. Nelly’s goat (Queen Victoria) also makes me laugh. That’s my favourite character. And I liked funny lines like ‘as rich as pigs in a parsnip patch’ which is what Pa says to Nelly when they are weighing his gold.
Boys and girls age 8+ would thoroughly enjoy this. You learn a bit of history like what clothes are like in 1860, what school was like (the kids used slates instead of books and pencils), what money they used, how people lived in the goldfields, how they weighed gold and what their transport was like (horses and carriages).
When I got to the end I wondered what will happen to Nelly next so I would like to read a sequel. I would rate this book 9.5 out of 10.
4 thoughts on “Book review: The Nelly Gang”
Great review of this wonderfully and joyfully written (and drawn) book! Stephen is such a talent – we’re lucky to have him in Australia!!
I bought The Nelly Gang at the launch for my daughter, Diane, an adult. This is a book for all ages. It’s a lot of fun and just iamgine how long it took to draw those amazing pictures. .
Why is the author writing his own review?! I mean, he’s going to think everything in his book is so cool. Well my opinion is: this book is the worst book EVER!!!!!
Thanks for leaving us a comment and your question. This review was actually written by Joseph, aged 9, who is one of our regular book reviewers. We wouldn’t post a review if the author wrote it himself! Because you’re right, we would EXPECT an author to think his or her book was fabulous! Everyone likes certain books more than others – we’d love to know why you didn’t enjoy this book. (What makes it the worst book ever?)
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Rebecca (Soup Blog’s editor)
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