The True Adventures of John Nicol
Illustrated historical account | 88 pp | Years 2–4
Student and Teacher Resources
The True Adventures of John Nicol adds to our knowledge of Australia's history in the eighteenth century. John Nicol was a real sailor who arrived at Port Jackson, NSW, with the Second Fleet on the ship The Lady Julian. He also sailed around the world twice and fought with Admiral Nelson's fleet against the French at the Battle of the Nile on The Goliath. John Nicol experienced wreckers, whaling, privateering, press-gangs, storms and many strange sights.
The illustrations in this book are realistic, and maps are included.
Julian Bruére is a watercolourist and illustrator. He has illustrated over 75 children's books and he painted alpine backgrounds for the animated television series of The Silver Brumby. Maritime painting and maritime history are his ongoing passions. The True Adventures of John Nicol combines Bruere's areas of interest and expertise, and promises to lead on to further books and exhibitions of a marine nature.
Source: Black Dog Books (adapted with permission)
Before reading the book
- Look at the cover of The True Adventures of John Nicol. Who might the men on the ship be? Who might be on the ships they are watching? Why do you think this?
- What sort of adventures do you think John Nicol might have?
- What do the illustrations in this book mainly depict? Why are there so many illustrations? Is this a graphic novel?
- It says on the back cover, 'Twice I circled the globe'. Why do you think John Nicol sailed around the world twice?
- What age group do you think would enjoy this book? Why?
During and after reading the book
- Which parts of John Nicol's story seem like the adventures of a fictional character?
- Which parts of John Nicol's life could have been different? How?
- Which were the best and worst times of John Nicol's life?
- What kind of hardships did sailors face in the past?
- How were animals treated in these past times? How is their treatment different now?
- What else have you learned about early European colonisation of Australia?