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Sweet Adversity

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  21 reviews
There’s never a good time to be orphaned – or abandoned … especially when you're twelve years old, and it’s the Great Depression.
In 1928, Shakespearean actors, the McAllisters, are forced to leave their daughter Adversity at the Emu Swamp Children’s Home. They fully intend to return, but things don’t go according to plan.
Then, to make matters worse, Scrimshaw, a villainou
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 1st 2018 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  44 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Alison Stegert
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Move over Annie—Adversity is the new darling of hard knocks and orphanage breakouts! And her little bird Macbeth is a hoot. (😉)
Sweet Adversity is a rip-roaring, feel-good, grab-the-nearest-redhead-and-pinch-their-gorgeous-cheeks read. Sheryl Gwyther’s breathtaking story features a loveable hero, remarkable insights to Aussie history and a primer in Shakespeare to boot.
Sure, teachers are going to love this one. But not as much as the lucky kids who get to read it to the last delicious page. Bet
Sweet Adversity, set in Australia during the Great Depression of the 1930s, is an exciting middle-grade adventure, complete with a strong and brave young heroine, an awesome sidekick talking cockatiel, and thrilling baddies. It is sure to delight young readers who enjoy stories about history, acting, friendship and adventure.

Adversity McAllister knows she belongs on the stage. Acting alongside her parents and her Shakespeare-quoting cockatiel, Macbeth, is all she wants to do. But money and food
Cass Moriarty
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In Sweet Adversity (HarperCollins 2018) by Sheryl Gwyther - Children's Author, we meet 12-year-old Adversity McAllister, a plucky heroine with a melodious voice and a feisty personality. Abandoned at an orphanage during the Depression years after her parents were apparently drowned, Addie spends her days performing plays and songs for the other children (and the cows), accompanied by her clever talking cockatiel, Macbeth, demonstrating all the skills she was taught by her parents who were part o ...more
Strong historical adventure with a brave main character.
Amanda Witt
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great read, another teen fiction from the school library where I'm temporarily working that arrived in a delivery last week. This book is set in the Depression years of the late 1920's and features many references to Shakespeare, including a bird who sprouts his quotes.
Dimity Powell
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-lit
Sheryl Gwyther's ability to immerse young readers into worlds of yesteryear with such a clear strong presence of today is exemplary. Her narrative slides along as alluringly as a sweet mountain brook, mesmerizing readers with plenty of action and emotion. This is exactly the type of book my 12 year-old-self would have lapped up with unbridled zeal, especially as it acquaints children with the wondrous words of Shakespeare, some of which adult readers will connect with of course, but which provid ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was swept away by this wonderful story full of travesties, turmoil and eventual triumph. The protagonist, Adversity (‘Addie’) McAllister is a great role-model and is bound to inspire and encourage young readers to overcome life’s challenges. This book is also a great testament to the human spirit, celebrating friendship, family and community.
Karen Brooks
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Before I review this wonderful, heart-warming novel for Middle-School kids, Sweet Adversity, by Sheryl Gwyther, I need to declare that not only is Sheryl a very good friend of mine, but I have followed this novel’s progress from its inception a few years ago to its terrific conclusion and now reception. It has been such a labour of, not only love for Sheryl (though it is that), but passion as well. Determined to pay tribute to not just Shakespeare, but Australian history and the trials and tribu ...more
Emma Middleton
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Addie (Adversity) is feisty and gold-hearted, and together with her loyal cockatiel Macbeth they encounter the challenges of The Great Depression with courage, a healthy contempt for adult authority and the hope that someday Addie will follow in her parent's path of becoming a Shakespearean actor. The pacing, action, and descriptions are perfect, while the Macbeth's Shakespearean quotes fit seamlessly with the story and give it a truly unique flavour. Sweet Adversity is a brilliant read with a s
Allison Rushby
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a great MG historical read! I'd forgotten how much I enjoy reading about the Great Depression... it's such an interesting period with inherent conflict and I don't think there are enough MG books set during these years. Enjoyed following Adversity's adventures very much and adored Macbeth. Also really loved Mr Parris. I do love a baddie with depth!
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya-2018
Such a treat to read - for readers who love feisty heroines in historical settings with mystery and crooked adults - this novel has everything you could wish for.
Susan Barnes
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children
Addie McAllister is a feisty 12-year-old whose life goes from one disaster to another. Her parents are Shakespearean actors who find it difficult to find work during the Great Depression around the 1930’s in Australia. Addie’s adventures begin when she is left at the Emu Swamp Children’s home, along with her pet cockatiel called Macbeth, while her parents look for work. About six months after her arrival, Addie wins the Coal Country Eisteddfod’s first prize which unknowingly puts her in danger f ...more
Jill Smith
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Adversity McAllister is strong-willed and she wants to keep the other children at the orphanage happy. Matron Maddock made them all miserable. As the daughter of two wonderful actors who travel the land as ‘The Famous Shakespearean Theatrical Troupe’, she knows how to she put on a show. Her cockatiel Macbeth is part of her act. He recites Shakespearean quotes. Addie loves him and watches out in case Matron should get clerk Algernon Parris to lock him away. Putting on a show for the other childre ...more
Norah Colvin
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sweet Adversity by Sheryl Gwyther is one of my favourite reads of the year and I’m certain will be recognised as a children’s classic as the years go by.
Set during the Great Depression, the story follows the adventures of Adversity McAllister and her Shakespeare-quoting cockatiel. The story has every ingredient necessary to keep readers engaged: mystery, intrigue, danger, subterfuge, humour, friendship. As an adult reader, I was engrossed from beginning to end, not wanting to put the book down,
Lyn Hungerford
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The tale of Adversity McAllister and her place in the Emu Plains Home reminded me strongly of the classic story of Annie. Similar time period, similar smart strong female lead, similar corrupt people in power and of course both have a happy ending. There were a few details that made it decidedly Australian, including her cockatiel, Macbeth, adding a complicating factor.

This book gave an interesting snap shot of Depression life in Australia. Amongst the story of an ‘orphan’ with an amazing voice
I didn't exactly go into this book in the right frame of mind, but it didn't take long for the book to take me away on a great journey. Bringing 1930s Australia vividly to life for a young audience, this book is a fabulous adventure. It would make a brilliant read aloud or class novel - there's so much you could extend on in the classroom. Also brilliant for any students who want a slightly different read.
This is not the kind of book I would normally pick up, but I’m glad I did. It’s the brave story of Adversity, a young girl alone in the world except for her faithful bird, Macbeth. Adversity faces many trials with courage and compassion. Although I often found the plot predictable, I still enjoyed this uplifting story very much.
Dianne Wolfer
I loved the atmospheric setting of this story (Great Depression) and the links to Shakespeare are wonderful. Really enjoyed it :-)
Sophie BookWorm
Sweet Adversity was really good. I found the beginning a bit slow and boring but it definitely got better!! I loved the characters; Addie, Macbeth (the clever, brave and brilliant cockatiel), Jack Roo, Sam and Judy. They were easy to love and they were all so brave and kind. The ending was lovely and perfect 💕
All's well that ends well
eve petrohelos
rated it it was ok
Jul 27, 2019
Meagan Height
rated it really liked it
Nov 01, 2018
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Jul 09, 2019
Creative Bee
rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2019
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Jun 02, 2019
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Mar 14, 2020
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Apr 08, 2019
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Mar 16, 2019
Mrs Joanne Eather
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Mar 15, 2019
Sep 30, 2018 added it
Shelves: loveozya
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Sheryl Gwyther’s mango-gorging, tree-climbing, pirate ship-building, book-reading childhood in Queensland’s tropical far north inevitably led to the best job ever – writing stories for the most important readers of all … kids.
Her work includes adventure novel, Secrets of Eromanga, stories and plays; chapter books Charlie and the Red Hot Chilli Pepper, Princess Clown and Ali Berber & the Forty Grai

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