POSH - a New Zealand novel
This series watches a small, terrified boy escape the ravages of squalid Victorian London. He stows away on a migrant sailing ship heading for the other side of the world. He escapes the predatory advances of a paedophile captain, and is adopted by an on-board family. The first book deals with terrible hardships experienced in the 1800's on these vermin packed ships heading for the colonies.