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Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck

Written by Michelle Gillespie and illustrated by Sonia Martinez


Sixteen-year-old Grace Bussell was hailed a hero for her part in rescuing the passengers and crew of the Georgette from sure drowning. She was called Australia’s own Grace Darling. But the rescue would never have been possible without the guidance and leadership of Sam Isaacs, an Aboriginal stockman.

This beautifully illustrated book is an evocative retelling of the events surrounding the wreck of the Georgette off the south-west coast of Australia.

‘An interesting historical story, action-packed
language and atmospheric pictures make this
book a standout.’ Herald Sun

‘… an evocative picture-book retelling of this incredible event, which gives young readers a fresh look at an inspiring young woman … beautifully illustrated by Sonia Martinez.’ Junior Books+Publishing

‘The drama unfolds page by page with Michelle Gillespie’s evocative writing and Sonia Martinez’s dramatic illustration, it’s wonderful to see our Australian history being retold for children in such an exciting way. Four Stars.’_Good Reading Magazine_

‘Sam and Grace’s astonishing true story is told exceptionally well in this picture book. Written by Michelle Gillespie when she was only 19, the vivid text brings the story and characters to life, while Sonia Martinez’s dynamic illustrations really capture the drama of this historic rescue.’ Child Magazines

‘Gillespie, who was 19 when she wrote the story, has filled it with present-tense immediacy and tension …’ The Advertiser

‘The marvellous illustrations complement the story in such a way that you can almost feel yourself in the storm.’ The West Australian

‘The book is superbly designed with thick water-marked pages and fine drawings that bring the story to life.’ Koori Mail


Western Australian Young Readers Award (Shortlisted 2012)
Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Books (Notable Book 2012)
Western Australian Premiers Book Awards (Winner 2011)

ISBN 9781921696008 (Hardback)
Formats Picture Book (270 x 215mm) (Hardback)
Categories Award Winning
Children's Picture Books
Pages 32
Publication Year 2011
Edition 1st
Publisher Fremantle Press
  • Michelle gillespie

    Michelle Gillespie

    Inspired by historical accounts of the wreck of the Georgette, Michelle Gillespie wrote Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck when she was just nineteen. Michelle now lives in Canberra where she is a communications professional in the public service. Read more

  • Sonia martinez

    Sonia Martinez

    Sonia is a Western Australia based illustrator and graphic designer. She has studied ancient history, fine art and design, and graduated from Curtin University with a major in illustration. Her work incorporates many different styles and media, both digital and traditional, but always contains a sense of caprice. Read more