Rat Whiskers and Me


Publisher: Walker books Australia

ISBN: 9 781 9211 5039 5

A powerful atmospheric verse novel set in the Victorian goldfields in the 1800s.

Traumatised by a fire in which the narrator's family perishes, the narrator takes on a new identity on the goldfields. There, Sun Song, a Chinese market gardener is the only one to show any kindness. The narrator flees to the Chinese camp, taking the name Lin. But Ellery, a man with links to Lin's past, is determined to take over all rights on the goldfields, setting in place a dangerous sequence of events. To survive is a test of friendship and loyalty, and a catalyst the remembering of Lin's tragic past

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Teachers notes for Ratwhiskers and Me.

This was a novel I’ve been thinking about for years. I grew up not far from the old goldfields of White Hills in Bendigo. People overcame distance and circumstances and travelled to my corner of the world to seek fortune. What a vibrant time in history, yet all that remains are deep earth scars

in the form of mineshafts and mullock heaps. I wanted to recreate a part of that tumultuous time. And Ratwhiskers was my companion on this trek. I love history. Of course as a poet, I combine the best of both worlds- poetry and short story telling in this verse novel.