The Pearl Shell Diver : A Story of adventure from the Torres Strait

The Pearl Shell Diver : A Story of adventure from the Torres Strait


Product Info



Childrens Books

Age Group



Allen & Unwin

Recommended For

Indigenous Kids


Historical Fiction


High Interest Low level

Engaging and authentic historical fiction about one boy from the Torres Strait trying to work his way up in the pearl-shell industry.

Sario lives with his family on a remote Torres Strait island, which he never wants to leave - but the winds of change are stirring.

The year is 1898 and the pearl-shell trade is at its height. When his father is coerced to join a white trader on his pearling lugger, thirteen-year-old Sario must go to work as a swimming diver to support the family. He can earn more as a pump diver, and is excited by the idea of walking on the sea floor, but the competition is fierce, and the only captain who will take him on runs the worst outfit in the fleet.

With the constant danger of shark attack and the storm of the century approaching, can Sario provide for his family and realise his dream?

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About the author:  

Kay began her writing career with feature articles for newspapers and lifestyle magazines before moving into writing educational material for children. Her work in schools with reluctant readers spanned twenty-six years and prompts her to write history simply. Her interest in history was fostered when commissioned to write Patch Parker, Son of a Convict , now a recommended resource by the History Teachers' Association of Australia.  Research into lesser-known history took her to Torres Strait and the tumultuous time of Federation. Other of her works feature animals and the environment, including the non-fiction book Introduced Species in Australia commended in the Whitley Awards by the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. Kay grew up in Sydney and moved with her husband and children to remote areas of Tasmania and Western Australia before settling in Far North Queensland, where two spectacular environments meet: the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.


  • 2017 - Longlisted CBCA Book of the Year, Younger Readers 2017 AU
  • 2016 - Winner Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year - Indigenous Children 2016