Little Exiles Cover

Little Exiles

It's just beautifully written and told with such emotional precision, with a character in Jon Heather who is completely beguiling and so worth fighting for. I really, really loved it.

Jim Loach, Director of Oranges & Sunshine

In 1949, England’s children’s homes overflow with boys and girls left destitute by war. For these children, the future is bleak: long childhoods left in institutions, poverty, and prison.¬†Yet, there is an answer. Across the world, Britain’s colonies are in desperate need of new white stock to shore up their populations – and, from Australia, a clarion call is sent out: bring us your children.

When his mother leaves him at a boys’ home, nine-year-old Jon Heather finds himself part of an enforced migration scheme orchestrated by charitable organisation, the Children’s Crusade. For the boys of the Children’s Crusade, life will be a strict regime of hard work and discipline, designed to make proud Australian men out of terrified English boys.

Meanwhile, Australia’s own government is marshalling its resources for childsnatching of a different order: the rescue of ‘half-caste’ aboriginal children from their parents, and their transformation into good, useful members of white civilisation.

So begins an odyssey that will last a lifetime, as Jon Heather and his group of unlikely friends battle to make their way back home.

UK and Australia: Harper Collins

Norway: Juritzen Forlag

Audio: WF Howes