Beaconsfield Primary School, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The White Ship

The White Ship by Jackie French, Harper Collins Australia, ISBN 9780207197987

The White Ship (cover)


 The White Ship is an interesting book written about one of the difficult times in France. It was published in 2002 by HarperCollins Publishing and written by Jackie French. Jackie also is the author of Hitler’s Daughter, which, like The White Ship, is historical fiction.

The White Ship tells the story of Michel, a young French boy who lives on an island of the coast of France. The story is set in the period of Queen Catherine who announced the execution of all Protestants in France. When Michel and his island are threatened, he and the rest of the children embark on the White Ship, to find a new country where they can be safe. The days are long and repetitive. When the Captain continually sails past the same island that no one except himself and Michel can see, Michel realizes there is something strange going on.

The White Ship was well written, though it started off dull. Jackie French describes well and brings Michel’s journey to life. By the middle of the story it urges readers to read on and solve the mysteries hidden in its pages. One could tell by reading the story that the writer had done good research and knew her topic. The start of the story was slightly gruesome, as it describes the executions, so I would recommend it for years eight and above. Overall the story was an intriguing one and I was impressed by Jackie French’s good writing, though the story takes a while to really grab the reader’s attention. I was disappointed with the aforesaid slow beginning; I believe that for a writer as talented as Jackie French she would have understood that grabbing readers’ attention is an important aspect of story writing.

I think that The White Ship is an interesting piece of work. Jackie French explained problems that occur in modern day Australia and old issues from the 16th century, France. I was pleased with her descriptive language and research. Overall the book was impressive though some parts were disappointing for an author such as Jackie French.

This is Mikaela’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. (You can read another review of this book earlier on the blog.)

If YOU would like to send us a book review of your chosen book, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Beaconsfield Primary School, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The White Ship

The White Ship by Jackie French, Harper Collins Australia, ISBN 9780207197987 The White Ship (cover)


The all time favourite writer is back again with another wonderful story. The White Ship, by Jackie French, focuses on a story about a religion, friendship, and fairness, but more than anything, freedom. This book reflects on how we should behave today. The book faces us with real life challenges that we should handle the right way. Once you start reading this book, it will become impossible to put the book down.

The story-line of this novel is the desperation of a search for a place to call home. Michel lives off the coast of France. Rachel lives on an island too, off the coast of Australia. Forced to flee, with the the threat of murder, Michel and the other children of the Island escape on the White Ship, in search for a place to call home. As they sail, Michel realises something. the gentle blue-green waves of the sea are not what they’re sailing on. The White Ship is sailing on time itself. Through countless dreams, Rachel and Michel uncover a special bond, friendship. Over time, the bond becomes stronger; so strong that it could convince the White Ship to come ashore, and live in Australia. After all, Australia is a free country, right?

As you can guess, Michel and the other children and crew of the White Ship are refugees. But they are not the only refugees seeking a home in Australia. In fact, a couple of thousand refugees come into Australia every year! With numbers like these, the Australian government sends the refugees to detention camps, where they are kept, until they’re dealt with. After a long and tough journey, like Michel’s, the refugees deserve a better greeting. This book makes us realise this in such a way, it feels like you’re in the situation.

Rachel is definitely not a city person. Although Rachel boards at Sydney, she isn’t sucked into the latest technology. She can’t wait to get home, to the island, full of nature. People shouldn’t be so addicted to technology these days, but be addicted to nature. Michel lives on an island, and cares for his family more than anything. People, today, should care a lot more about other things.

What makes this book so special is its unique features. Out of all the books I’ve ever read, there has never been a plot as creative and imaginative as in this novel. Jackie French uses her stunning ability to describe scenes and events throughout the story. It is amazing how the words of the story created pictures in your mind as you read this thrilling book. It really feels like you’re there. Another unique feature of this book is the way Jackie French wrote; she has written the story from different views. Sometimes the way the characters say things, it can be hard to understand what they mean, but after a while you will get the hang of things. If you don’t, the other qualities of this book will make up for it!

I would recommend The White Ship for ages 10+, or people who can deal with emotions and death. The genre would be drama, and maybe some murder, adventure and mystery, too. This novel is definitely an award winning book.

This is Millie’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!