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by Judith Silverthorne


A gripping historical novel about believing in oneself and standing true to one's convictions.

Winner, Gold medal in the Young Adult: Historical/Cultural category at the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards

Winner, Historical Fiction category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Gold Moonbeam Award

Finalist, Foreword INDIES Book Awards, Young Adult

Finalist, Young Adult Literature Award, Publishing in Education Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards

Finalist, High Plains Book Award for Woman Writer

It's 1842. 14-year-old Jennie Lawrence has been found guilty of stealing, and finds herself aboard one of the few women-only convict ships destined for Australia.

Jennie had been desperate – and, as she gets to know the other women on the convict ship – she realizes she's not the only one. Many of the women she gets to know were trying to survive, and feed themselves and their families, before they were caught and sentenced to Australia.

It's clear from the moment the ship sets sail that the conditions aboard are abhorrent – women are sea sick and ill from the lack of good food and water, they are beaten if they disobey orders, and sleep brings no reprieve – as bed bugs, rats, and other parasites attack them in the night.

The only way for the women to survive the boat ride is if they band together. And so, with the help of her new "family" - Sarah, Bridget, and Alice - and other convicts, Jennie battles the jailers, the ship, and the sea. But will it be enough to set them free?

Praise for Convictions:

"Convictions is a novel about a history of women which is not often told. It is built around the sotry of young women prisoners and the discrimination they face aboard a ship that determines their fate. With strong character development and a compelling story, this historical fiction is a welcome addition to young adult literature." - Judges, Saskatchewan Book Award for Publishing in Education

"Taking place almost entirely aboard ship, Convictions rises to the challenge it sets itself: the  brutal 1842 story of a girl's journey to a penal colony gains momentum at every turn and sees its protagonist take a leadership role against all odds." - Judges, Saskatchewan Book Award for Young Adult Literature


5.5" x 8.5" 232 pages
$16.95 CDN; $16.95 USD
E-Book Price
Teen Novel Tradepaper 13+
Judith Silverthorne
Author Photo

About the Author

Judith Silverthorne is an award-winning author of children's novels and series, including the Dinosaur Adventure Series – Dinosaur Hideout (which also has a Japanese edition), Dinosaur Breakout, Dinosaur Stakeout, and Dinosaur Blackout – as well as The Secret of Sentinel Rock, The Secret of the Stone Circle, and The Secret of the Stone House. She is also the author of two non-fiction adult books and a picture book. She has contributed numerous articles and columns for newspapers and magazines, and has worked as an editor, evaluator, researcher, curator, book reviewer, television documentary producer and scriptwriter, and arts administrator. 

Judith has presented readings and writing workshops at libraries, schools, and other educational institutions, as well as at conferences. She currently resides in Regina, Saskatchewan.



Gold medal, Young Adult Fiction: Historical/Cultural category at the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards

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