Thirteen-year-old Barnaby Fletch is a bag-and-bones orphan in London in the late 1700s.
Barnaby lives on his wits and ill-gotten gains, on streets seething with the press of the throng and shadowed by sinister figure. Life is a precarious business.
When he hears of a paradise on the other side of the world-a place called Botany Bay-he decides to commit a crime and get himself transported to a new life, a better life.
To succeed, he must survive the trials of Newgate Prison, the stinking hull of a prison ship and the unknown terrors of a journey across the world.
And Botany Bay is far from the paradise Barnaby has imagined. When his past and present suddenly collide, he is soon fleeing for his life-once again.