Monday 4 April 2022


Interned by Pamela Rushby (Walker Books Australia) PB RRP $17.99 ISBN: 9781760653071

Reviewed by Kathleen Grace

Based on true events, Interned is a moving, and evocative historical fiction novel that highlights an often-forgotten moment in Australian history. This thoroughly researched novel, is based on the Berrima Internment Camp in New South Wales.

It’s 1914. Gretta lives a privileged life in Singapore, the daughter of a businessman; Tilly lives a modest life in Brisbane, the daughter of a baker. When war breaks out, Gretta and her family are sent by boat to Sydney and then taken by train to Bornabba from where her father is taken away:  Gretta and her mother and other Germans must live in a dirty, neglected hotel. Meanwhile, Tilly’s father, a naturalised Australian, is forced to register as an alien enemy. Someone breaks his bakery shop window and customers stop coming for German bread. Father is then taken to a camp for German prisoners at Enoggera, a suburb outside Brisbane. He is subsequently transferred to Bornabba. His family also travel there, and it's there that Tilly’s beloved violin is stolen.

Eventually, Gretta and Tilly find themselves taken from their homes, interned at a camp in rural New South Wales. Far away from everything they have ever known, the two girls are forced to face prejudice, overcome adversity and to make their own community.

Pamela Rushby is the author of over 200 books for children and young adults, as well as children's TV scripts, documentaries, short stories, and freelance journalism. Pam has been an advertising copywriter, pre-school teacher, and producer of educational television, audio, and multimedia. She has won several awards, including the NSW Premier's Ethel Turner Prize and five CBCA Notable books. Her website is . 

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