Their lives couldn't be more different, but Emmie can't help liking Bertha Schippan. She's funny and knowing and wild, and she distracts Emmie from the monotony of farm life in their tiny, isolated community. But, as Emmie soon discovers, Bertha has secrets. Terrible secrets.
A Girl Like Me is based on a mysterious crime, the 'Towitta Tragedy', that took place in 1902, capturing headlines all around Australia. Beautiful writing and a gripping story are paired with a perfectly evoked setting of turn-of-the-century rural life.
With its echos of gothic novels like Wuthering Heights, historical crime fiction like Alias Grace, and coming-of-age fiction, the genre-hopping young adult novel is Penny Mathews at her very best.
Moody, romantic and tense, the story of A Girl Like Me and its characters will stay with you long after you've finished the book- not least because some of the most incredible elements are absolutely true.
Penny Mathews is a writer and freelance editor based in Adelaide. Her books include Potato Baby and The Best Pet, which were both nominated as Notable Books by the Children's Book Council of Australia. her picture books include A Year on Our Farm, illustrated by Andrew McLean, which was the CBCA's Book of the Year (Early Childhood) and Honour Book in the Picture Book of the Year awards in 2003. Penny grew up on her family's farm in South Australia, about 30 kilometres from the even smaller settlement town of Towitta where A Girl Like Me is set. She first heard the story of Bertha Schippan as a child and it has captivated her imagination ever since.
A Girl Like Me
Author: Penny Mathews