Lost! A True Tale from the Bush is a fictionalised retelling of the true story of three children from the Duff family––Isaac, Jane and Frankie––who were lost in the bush in the Wimmera District of Victoria in the winter of 1864. Based on eye-witness accounts and newspaper articles from the time, as well as later versions of the story written over the years, Lost! tells the story from the perspective of both the lost children and those who were searching for them.
Lost is another story based on a real event in Australia's history. The story is historically accurate and reconstructs the children's journey. It makes us think about how an event like the one in this book might have impacted on how searches were conducted in the bush in the years that followed.
Read the Introduction.
Is this the first story ever written about this adventure?
It is interesting to think that the amazing adventure of these children became the inspiration of many authors, artists and film-makers.
As we read each chapter, there will be two versions of each day's events. One from the perspective of the children and the other from the perspective of the adults.
Read Chapters 1 and 2
After reading the first two chapters, spend a few minutes discussing the following questions:
- What was life like in this part of Australia in 1864?
- What kinds of responsibilities did children have? How are they different or the same to children living in 2016?
- Would you be allowed to go off into the bush for the day? Why or why not?
- Why did the children's mother keep busy while her husband was out looking for the children?
- What would the parents be thinking once it became dark and the search didn't find them?
- What search strategies do you think they will use to try and find the children? Remember it is 1864!