Tilda Moss refuses to believe her papa has abandoned her and left her, alone and orphaned, in Brushwood Convent and Orphanage for Girls, no matter what Sister Agatha says. A promise is a promise and Papa promised he would be back for her as soon as he returns from the war.
But Tilda is convinced the dreadful Sister Agatha is out to get her. Why is she so hateful all the time? She insists that Matilda declare to all at the convent that she is an orphan. She is not an orphan and she will never say it! Something is amiss and Tilda and her best friend Annie need to find out what before it is too late.
A story of friendship, hope and determination.

Novel for readers 10+
Walker Books Australia
ISBN: 9781760654634
September 2022 release

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“… A captivating historical fiction brimming with resilience, courage, and hope.” Emily at Teen Breathe Magazine

Well-known author Sue Whiting has written an absorbing historical novel for older middle grade readers …” Kathryn Beilby, ReadPlus

“… The wonderful complexity of Tilda by Sue Whiting gives her readers an intriguing story to untangle, piece by piece, with all the rising suspense of a crime novel …” Jennifer Mors, Reading Time Magazine

“… a perfect read for readers aged 10 plus, perfect for fans of L. M. Montgomery, and perfect for those that love to walk alongside protagonists who overcome adversity through strength and resilience…” Paul MacDonald, The Children’s Bookshop Paul’s Book Trail 2022 No. 138 

“… “Life in an orphanage is harsh and sometimes sad but for Tilda there has always been hope …” Joy Lawn, The Telegraph, Funday Book Worm

“Highly recommended …” Dr Helen Edwards Writes

“… This is a wonderful work of Australian historical fiction that is totally absorbing. We love and hope for Tilda and her friends who are stuck in this horrible setting. With themes of abuse of power, hardship, friendship and hope, set in a tough time in Australia’s history, it will suit those in upper primary and lower secondary.” ..” Rob, Lamont Books

“… a powerful story of courage and determination, a willingness to stand up to authority and be her own person …Who knows – this may be a young girl’s “Beattie Bow” and lead them down reading paths they didn’t know existed.” Barbara Braxton The Bottom Shelf

“… If I still worked in my library I would be very happy to recommend this to individual readers who enjoy books about orphans, orphanages and historical fiction …” Momo celebrating time to read

Samples from Better Reading Kids Preview Campaign  Read all 17 reviews here …

“Everyone should read this book because it shows how brave, independent, and strong girls are and that you can’t give up on what you know is the truth.” Elsa, aged 10, QLD, 5 Stars

“… It was so engaging, and a really well-written book. My favourite part is what happens to Matilda’s friends, Doris and Molly because it was really heart-warming and happy!” Ava, aged 10, VIC, 4.5 Stars

“… The book is so amazing, when it was time to go, I couldn’t take my eyes off it! … Tilda was amazingly good at making readers feel like they were part of the story …” Naomi, aged 9, QLD, 5 Stars

“I really loved how it was full of drama with lots of historical details and facts. The author kept me wanting to read what Tilda was up to …” Phoebe, aged 9, NSW, 5 Stars

Tilda is a great story full of friends, family, sad moments and the reality of life. If you love books that deal with the reality of life or books where not everything turns out for the main character then this might be what you are looking for…” Amelia, aged 9, QLD, 5 Stars



Longlisted for the 2023 ARA Historical Novel Prize, CYA Category.

NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge, Grades 5&6

Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge, Grades 5&6 / 7&8