Ben Hall, sometimes referred to as the 'gentleman bushranger', was the son of poor ex-convicts. His early adult life held promise though; he was hard-working and well respected. He had a family and a partnership in his own cattle station. Then a series of misfortunes befell Hall and his path crossed that of the notorious bushranger Frank Gardiner. Influenced by Gardiner and his gang, Ben Hall entered into a life of crime. During his three years as a bushranger, Hall and his gang committed hundreds of robberies, many of which were violent. For a time, however, Hall had the support of the public, who respected his daring and courage and admired him for outwitting the police. This book tells the story of Ben's life, his notorious exploits as a bushranger and the events that lead to his ultimate betrayal and death.
Author and librarian Jane Smith has a passion for Australian history and bushrangers in particular. With thirteen books on the subject published since 2014, and with titles receiving award nominations in the ABIA and CBCA awards and glowing reviews nationally it appears that Jane’s fascination with Australian history is shared by children, parents and teachers alike!
In 2015 Captain Thunderbolt from her much loved Australian Bushranger series was shortlisted in the 2015 ABIA Awards. Shoot-out from the Rock the first in her new series, Tommy Bell Bushranger Boy, followed suit as a 2017 CBCA Book of the Year notable. The books teach younger readers about the colourful lives of our bushranging legends and the times they lived in. Her meticulous research offers an insight that goes beyond the surface into the personalities of her ‘characters’ and debunks a few well-known myths and ‘facts’ along the way.
Jane’s clever and entertaining series has been written with not only a flare for fun and reader engagement but also with the Australian National Curriculum in mind. The seventh book in the Tommy Bell series was released in February 2019.