Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tom Appleby, Convict Boy” as Want to Read:
Tom Appleby, Convict Boy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tom Appleby, Convict Boy

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  379 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
At the tender age of eight, chimney sweep Tom Appleby is convicted of stealing and sentenced to deportation to Botany Bay. As one of the members of the First Fleet, he arrives in a country that seemingly has little to offer - or little that the English are used to, anyway.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 28th 2004 by HarperCollins - AU (first published 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tom Appleby, Convict Boy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tom Appleby, Convict Boy

Animalia by Graeme BaseA Rose for the ANZAC Boys by Jackie FrenchDiary of a Wombat by Jackie FrenchSeven Little Australians by Ethel TurnerTomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
Children Literature - Australian
106th out of 133 books — 8 voters
Australia's Great War by Alan TuckerMy Father's War by Sophie MassonMary Poppins by P.L. TraversThe Girl from Snowy River by Jackie FrenchThe Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs
Australian Fiction For Kids
68th out of 68 books — 4 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Miss Soszynski
Apr 12, 2010 Miss Soszynski rated it really liked it
Book Description

A story of transportation and life in a new world.

At the tender age of eight, chimney sweep Tom Appleby is convicted of stealing and sentenced to deportation to Botany Bay. As one of the members of the First Fleet, he arrives in a country that seemingly has little to offer - or little that the English are used to, anyway.

Luckily, not long after Tom′s arrival in the colony, the fair and kind Sergeant Stanley decides to take on Tom as a servant. Together Tom, Sergeant Stanley and
Mariana Campbell
I think that this book was todramatic and the fact that it just keept draging on was soo boring but then agen the book was sad as well because it kinda refects on storys i have herd that where real and that my family have been through so in the end the book was alrite but boring at some parts.
Tina&taryn, And
Apr 11, 2010 Tina&taryn, And rated it did not like it
we have learnt, some things from this book, that we haven't finished yet.
its sort of interesting, but so faar it seems kind of boring.
Apr 12, 2010 Hina rated it it was ok
this book is good becuz it shows dat u shouldnt give up and be strong and to noe how history. history is great becuz gives u a lot of gud knowledge dats the only reason y i give this book an OK. or else this is really boringg. and yea i like the character of tom becuz he neva gives up and he picks himself up when he is down dats and history only reasons y i like this book. :)
Apr 12, 2010 Lukeeyharlenn. rated it did not like it
it is good, i liked reading it, hahaha. i would read it again and again and again. i liked tom i hate people dying in books it terrible thanks for looking at this miss soszynski
Jordan Siaosi-Ara
Apr 12, 2010 Jordan Siaosi-Ara added it
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to Jordan by: Teachers
What i have learned about this book is that if you stole a loaf of bread back in the 1800's or 1900's you would either sentenced to death or jail for years and years. Tom was a boy and his father died when he was a kid. He died in the stocks for not believing in god.
Apr 12, 2010 Jack rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Jack by: noe one who knows me well
i didnt really like the book to much. i thinhk how they wrote it and how they spoke was sometimes hard to understand. and i thought that the book went over and over a bit and spoke to much about tom and master jack and his frineds, there was no suprise really like the book didnt build and supense or anything. i think if there was more characters and more interesting stuff in the book it would have been more un to read.
Jan 04, 2011 Kai rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tom Appleby Convict boy was a book I am basically indifferent to. I can't find any complaint with it, like with all Jackie French books. However, It was not gripping enough to keep me racing back to it...
good book, but not gripping.
Eleanor Silvae
Jul 21, 2011 Eleanor Silvae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favourite books when I was of age with Tom, i.e 8 or 9. I probablly wouldn't enjoy it nearly as much now but at that age, when I was in the intended age group it was a brilliant book! It probably helped that we were studying this period of Australian history at school. I haven't read it in years but I'll always remember it as an early favourite, that I obsessively read again and again and sparked a life long fascination with historical fiction. A great kid's book!
Oct 27, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing
I read it 5 times. I loved it. I really wanted another book afterwards though...Jackie is such an amazing writer.
5 stars(:
Red Rocky
Jan 14, 2012 Red Rocky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book for my 11 year old son to read during a school project on the First Fleet, convicts & early settlers in Sydney. I read it as well and really enjoyed it. Once again, an insight into the incredible hardship of these little kids being forced up chimneys and with such a disregard to their lives. Tom was one of the lucky ones and was sent from England to Sydney on the first fleet of convict ships. He was fortunate enough to end up working for an English soldier & his son wh ...more
Jun 24, 2016 Katy rated it really liked it
Brought this book at Port Arthur Tassie. It was a quick and interesting read and I enjoyed reading it. A good story based on Australian history.
Mar 18, 2013 Dina rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy the way the book is written. especially when tom thought he was going to be hung. But gets sent to Australia with the first fleet. the description Tom is feeling, it so climactic
Gracie La
Mar 22, 2013 Gracie La rated it it was amazing
I loved this book it is sad at times but you feel as though your really there watching everything happen.
Apr 14, 2014 Velma rated it really liked it
As an adult, I found this a riveting read. This book provided an insight into early Australian history, including transportation and early settlement.
Matt Leo
May 15, 2014 Matt Leo rated it it was amazing
Incredible story line.
Mar 29, 2014 Gothsparkleprincess rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book.. until the part where Tom arrives in Australia. I loved the chimney sweep scenes, maybe because I have a frickin' huge obsession with 1800s London. And Master Jack was just awesome. In a slightly magical villainous alcoholic kinda way.
Lainey Christensen
Jul 27, 2015 Lainey Christensen rated it it was ok
Although this book is creative, original and certainly interesting and intriguing, I enjoy faster paced books. I'm disappointed to say that I found this book slightly boring and very slow at times, so am rating this as only a 2.
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Nov 26, 2015 Katharine (Ventureadlaxre) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
Tom Appleby, Convict Boy by Jackie French is about an eight-year old thief of is part of the first fleet, and witnesses the very early Australia and what it was like. Lucky enough to be picked by a firm but kind higher-ranted officer who has a son of his own of almost the same age, Tom comes to learn of what future he can earn from himself, as well as the horrors and cruelties of life, especially the differences between right and wrong, as he’s surrounded by convicts and soldiers (who aren’t muc ...more
Serena Wong
Nov 24, 2015 Serena Wong rated it really liked it
I thought that this was a very interesting book, the author has a way of capturing the reader even though she writes very slowly. I really loved this book. The main character is Tom Appleby, he is a convict boy, an orphan. He has to learn to stand up for himself against other convicts and unfriendly people.
Mar 28, 2016 Lynda rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2016 Tegan rated it liked it
This is a subject area that I'm very interested in, and French goes into a great deal of detail about life in the 1700s in England and in Australia. For these historical details, I enjoyed the novel.
But the plot of this novel was lacking. There's a story, but it lacks conflict. Our main character, Tom Appleby, lacks agency, and the 'flash forwards' show us the happy ending early, giving us no suspense.
French's knowledge of this historical era is clearly extensive, but it seems she more wanted to
Sandra Shannon
Apr 24, 2016 Sandra Shannon rated it it was amazing
An historical junior fiction book. After a trip to Port Arthur, Tasmania, I have become very interested in the early days of the settlement of Australia. Thought I would start with this novel, which for many years was on the English curriculum at the school where I work. It is the story of Tom Appleby, who was orphaned at the age of 8. He was made to work as a chimney-sweep in deplorable conditions until he was caught stealing and so started his long journey to the otherside of the world. Tom's ...more
Apr 11, 2016 Jax rated it really liked it
Shelves: primary-teaching
This would definitely be a good novel to use for the integration of history and English. As some of the language can be difficult to understand, stage 3 students would benefit more from reading this.
Apr 23, 2016 Erin rated it really liked it
Really interesting book. Not super compelling, but it gave a detailed and accurate account of what it was like in the early days of Sydney Cove.
James Patmore
Apr 16, 2016 James Patmore rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 8-14.
Recommended to James by: The School I go to.
This was a really cool book!

It follows the story of a young boy, named Thomas Appleby, who through horrific events and a life cursed with poverty, slavery, malnutrition, poor health, death and starvation, Tom finally makes his way to the top.

This story was not only a real eye-opener for me, but it was very immersive in the sense that you could really get into it, making the book feel more historically accurate.

Over all a great book, one that I've enjoyed reading and I would recommend to any othe
May 10, 2016 Phrynne rated it really liked it
This is a junior historical fiction book and you must go and have a look at the reviews. I feel sorry for Jackie French because children are very tough reviewers!
I thought it was a very good story with lots of accurate historical information which would be a valuable tool in teaching our history to children. The central character is a young boy who is deported from England for stealing. He manages to make his way in Australia and we are aware throughout the book that he not only survives being a
Aug 05, 2016 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
My 10 year old son and I loved this book. It was incredibly informative regarding life in London in the 1700's and the first convict fleet to NSW. The life of an orphan in England was hard and tragic, which this novel portrayed in excellent detail and with empathy.

A good story too, with lots of talking points and interesting facts of the life of our ancestors. It also crossed paths with "Nanberry" also by Jackie French, taken from a different perspective.
Bella Goodsell
Oct 09, 2016 Bella Goodsell rated it it was ok
It was alright, I had to read it for school. Had some intresting stuff in it though.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
7EL1 - Group 5: Blog One 6 6 Apr 24, 2012 06:09PM  
Tuesday 18/05/10 period 4 16 23 May 17, 2010 07:38PM  
EHSC - TASK 1: A 28 36 Apr 12, 2010 07:29PM  
EHSC - TASK 1: B 15 23 Apr 12, 2010 07:23PM  
Is "courage" important in this book? 15 26 Apr 12, 2010 07:23PM  
EHSC - TASK 1: C 15 20 Apr 12, 2010 07:22PM  
Is Tom's life realistic? 18 26 Apr 12, 2010 07:09PM  
  • Wartime Princess
  • The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek
  • Amenable Women
  • The Year It All Ended
  • Pookie Aleera Is Not My Boyfriend
  • Ned Kelly
  • Lizzy Bennet's Diary: Inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  • Pagan's Scribe (Pagan Chronicles, #4)
  • Toad Heaven (Toad, #2)
  • Imagine
  • Chasing Odysseus (Hero Trilogy, #1)
  • Dreamwalker
  • Onion Tears
  • Monash: The Outsider Who Won a War
  • East (History Interrupted #2)
  • Makeda
  • Writing Jane Austen
  • Silver Brumby's Daughter
Jackie is an award-winning writer, wombat negotiator and the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2014-2015. She is regarded as one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors, and writes across all genres - from picture books, history, fantasy, ecology and sci-fi to her much loved historical fiction. In her capacity as Australian Children’s Laureate, ‘Share a Story’ will be the primary philosoph ...more
More about Jackie French...

Share This Book