Review: Carly Mills: A New World

Carly Mills is about to head off to boarding school and is exploring Sydney with her new friend Dora when an exchange at a museum leads to the discovery of some shawls. And when she steps outside and puts it on… she finds herself in a whole new world…

What follows is an adventure in the past where Carly has to deal with new smells and life and clothes (corsets!) and rats – and it can be overwhelming at times. Luckily she befriends Mrs Chisholm, a lady dedicated to helping young apparent immigrants who arrive in the country by themselves.

This fast placed book is great for young readers. It is entertaining and super easy to follow and read – I found it really enjoyable.

I particularly liked Carly’s character – she was relatable and kind and likeable. I also liked how the narrative jumped straight into the story without stuffing around, so will grab readers attention quickly – and hold it there. The descriptions of the time and mood were spot on, without being too much for younger readers to understand.

I think the time changes work well, and liked how it flicked back and forth and allowed Carly (and myself) to understand what was going on. The little occasional illustrations really added to the story and showed just how different life used to be back then.

Carly Mills: A New World is an informative fast paced fun read that is super enjoyable and will make you (and the kidlets) appreciate your hot shower and trackie dacks. I really liked the addition of the historical notes at the end and think that Caroline Chisholm was someone who deserves to be remembered and have her stories repeated on how she helped change so many lives for the better.

To follow Carly Mills’ adventures and find out more about the next book in the series, check out the website here. Thanks to Romi at Books On Tour for including me in the book tour and supplying me with a copy of this fabulous book!


Title: Carly Mills: A New World

Author: Jane Smith (Illustrated by Pat Kan)

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Published: 2020

Ages: 6+

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