Fiction Preface The aim of English in Years 7 to 10 is to enable students to use, understand, appreciate, reflect on and enjoy the English language in a variety of texts and to shape meaning in ways that are imaginative, interpretive, critical and powerful. These lists provide teachers with a starting point from which to explore further appropriate literature for students in Years 7 to 10. Books on the lists represent a variety of styles, perspectives and themes. They range across a number of different types of narrative. There is a broad range of place and time settings on the list and the genres represented include fantasy, humour, adventure, historical and social realism. Social and ethical issues such as individual and community morality are raised.
Survival in extreme or unusual circumstances is seen from a variety of perspectives in these novels and short stories as well as the theme of growing up. A range of protagonists is represented. The fiction lists reflect contemporary texts but this is not to suggest that students will not continue to benefit from exposure to such classics as: Richard Adams Water ship Down Louisa May Alcott Little Women Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland Marcus Clarke For the Term of His Natural Life Charles Dickens Great Expectations Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows Daphne du Maurer Rebecca George Eliot Silas Marner Miles Franklin My Brilliant Career William Golding Lord of the Flies Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book George Johnston My Brother Jack Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird C S Lewis The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe George Orwell Animal Farm Henry Handel Richardson The Getting of Wisdom John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men J R R Tol kein The Hobbit Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray Many of these texts can be made relevant to contemporary concerns. For instance the aspects of racism raised in To Kill a Mockingbird are still as urgent as when the book was written.
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Modern classics such as Robert C O’Brien’s Z for Zachariah and Mrs Fris by and the Rats of Nimh, Michelle Magorian’s Goodnight Mr Tom, Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabit hia, Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins, Theodore Taylor’s The Cay, Colin Thiele’s Storm Boy and Ruth Park’s Playing Beanie Bow have found willing audiences in many classrooms. Some of these classics enable students to experience the literature of other countries and times, a requirement of the syllabus. Students also need to experience a widely defined Australian literature and other Australian texts, including those that give insight into Aboriginal experiences and multicultural experiences in Australia. They need to engage with texts drawn from cultural heritages, popular cultures and youth cultures. These lists reflect this aspect of the syllabus, in keeping with the other criteria for choice as outlined in the General Preface. Some of the books on these fiction lists have already become classics in their own right.
Short stories and picture books provide an enjoyable and valuable range of imaginative fiction well within the grasp of all students. Classic picture books such as Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and Outside Over There provide an opportunity for students to consider the effect of combining visual and printed texts to tell a story that might have a moral or allegorical level of significance. Many of the picture books listed here are aimed at an older audience and should have a special place in our secondary classrooms. The brevity of short stories makes them accessible to those who are still acquiring the skills of concentration required for extended works of fiction, while the subtlety and sophistication of some stories provide challenges of interpretation and response for more experienced readers. Such students may be encouraged to read the stories of some of the great writers in the genre including Anton Chekhov, Guy de Maupassant, W Somerset Maugham, O Henry, Edgar Allan Poe, Katherine Mansfield and Henry Lawson together with more modern writers such as Olga Masters, Tim Winton or Alice Munro.
... sovereignty. Outline for a Storybook 8 Describe any Competing Books Most children’s story books are fairytales with no reference to history. Children ... a great territory of the States. Since this is a story book, the character maybe fictitious. But it is also important that ... racial composition of the United States and other influences. The story book will be an aid to the basic textbook for the ...
Stage 5 students may also be led to the long short story or novella form, as practised by John Steinbeck, Elizabeth Jolley and A S By att, by considering some of the stories listed here. Students might use their study of short stories to consider how subject matter shapes the form of the story into romance, thriller, adventure, sci-fi, social realism, humour or fantasy. They could consider how their study of picture books expands their awareness of visual texts and they might explore how the short story and the picture book structure a variety of narratives and represent character. The range of styles and subject matter represented in this list should encourage active student response in reading, writing, speaking, representing or perhaps shaping a text for performance. Fiction Stage 4 Skellig David Almond Hodder Children’s Books – ISBN: 0340716002 Skellig is a delightful story that captures the reader’s attention from the intriguing opening line. The story centres on the character of Michael, a young boy who has just moved house.
Michael is coping with a baby sister who is ill and a ‘thing’ he discovers in the garage that has lost the will to live. Michael calls on his unusual neighbour Mina to help him to save Skellig and through this experience opens himself up to the magic and mystery of nature and of life. Skellig is a story of love and faith, simply told, that imparts a message of optimism to young readers. Skellig won the 1998 Carnegie Medal and the 1998 Whitbread Book Award for best children’s book. Tuck Everlasting Natalie Babbitt Bloomsbury Children’s Books – ISBN: 0747560919 This powerful and poignant novel asks profound questions about the meaning of life and the possibility of living forever. The Tuck family have found the fountain of youth in spring water and for them eternal life is a reality.
... about retirement because of this one program. It has influenced family life because the mother and father can retire early sometimes, which ... money from the working class. Yes, government programs do influence family life today and have been since the nineteen-fifties. One of ... are Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These programs have changed family life not only in a positive way, but also in a ...
Whether this gift is a blessing or a curse is explored in this novel. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles into the family and a stranger seems close to exploiting the secret the Tucks must take action to protect Winnie and the secret. This text can be read at different levels and provides excellent opportunities for classroom discussion and composing. The Cry of the Wolf Melvin Burgess Puffin Teenage Books – ISBN: 0140373187 The Cry of the Wolf, a cautionary tale about extinction and survival, is set in Britain where a hunter is determined to shoot the last wolves left alive in the wild.
Ben unwittingly assists the stranger before he realises the danger the hunter presents. Ben and his family then do all they can to save the wolves, Silver and Donna and their cubs. The final confrontation between Grey Cub, the sole survivor, and his parents’ killer, turns the hunter into the hunted. With its clear descriptions and compelling narrative this novel will have strong appeal in the classroom. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Eleanor Coerr Hodder Headline – ISBN: 0340266074 Set in Hiroshima in the 1950 s, this is the story of eleven-year-old Sadako who develops leukaemia as a result of radiation from the atomic bomb. The ‘thousand paper cranes’ of the title refers to a belief that a sick person will be made healthy again by the gods if she can make a thousand paper cranes.
The story tells of Sadako’s determination to put the story to the test. This simple tale of love and hope is a powerful text to use in the classroom. King of Shadows Susan Cooper Penguin – ISBN: 0141307994 This time-shift novel takes young Nat Field back to Shakespeare’s time. Nat is rehearsing A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the rebuilt Globe Theatre, when he is stricken with bubonic plague. He wakes to find himself in a play with Will Shakespeare – Cooper provides authentic detail from the Elizabethan Age as a backdrop to Nat’s growth as an actor and a person. This is an excellent novel to study in companionship with A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
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(See also The Dark is Rising sequence. ) Walk Two Moons Sharon Creech Macmillan – ISBN: 0330330004 This story uses the technique of embedded storytelling to explore the mysteries that surround the young heroine’s past. Sal’s life has been completely disrupted by an event in the past involving her mother. With her grandparents, she embarks on a journey across the USA to ‘discover’ the truth. The story of the car journey is at times humorous, at times poignant.
Implanted in it are a multitude of other stories about school, friends, other mothers, fathers and children. As the stories weave their way towards a conclusion and the mysteries are unravelled, we are carried with them to an overwhelming affirmation of the importance of the family. 1995 Newbery Medal Winner. (See also The Wanderer. ) Catherine, Called Birdy Karen Cushman Macmillian – ISBN: 0330397796 Set in the Middle Ages, this is a story of Birdy, the teenage daughter of a minor lord and lady in Lincolnshire. Birdy keeps a diary and as her father tries to marry her off to different suitors she records not only her reactions and evasions but also presents a clear portrait of life in the Middle Ages.
In this funny and engrossing novel, Catherine may sound like a medieval Adrian Mole but the Author’s Note provides background information that helps to position the reader in the historical reality. The First Book of Samuel Ursula Dubosarsky Penguin Books Australia (Viking) – ISBN: 0140369953 Twelve-year-old Samuel Cass finds himself in familiar Dubosarsky territory – an urban, professional-class family whose fabric is taut with tension as all members struggle to find their individuality in the complexity of relationships and cultural diversity. The past poignantly echoes in the actions of Samuel’s grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, to hold the family together. The author’s prose sparkles with absolute clarity.
Parvana Deborah Ellis Allen & Unwin – ISBN: 1865086940 Deborah Ellis’s tory of a twelve-year-old living in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime conveys, with disturbing immediacy, the plight of a people living in a society where basic freedoms are denied. After her brother’s death, her mother and sister as adult women are confined to the family home and her father is imprisoned by the authorities. It is up to Parvana to provide for the family. In doing so she meets others who are suffering as she is and learns strategies of survival in a world where women become prisoners in the home from adolescence onwards.
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Life Bytes Edited by Alwyn Evans Fremantle Arts Centre Press – ISBN: 1863683828 School students in Western Australian schools have written this collection of short stories, all winners of the Tim Winton Young Writers Award. While these stories are from upper and middle primary students in the Perth metropolitan area their focus is on real-life experiences. The brief biographies that follow the students through to their high schools will provide a useful transition text for Year 7 teachers and students. Ariel, Zed and the Secret of Life Anna Fienberg Allen & Unwin – ISBN: 1865082635 Ariel and Zed are misfits and wary of holidays together, but the mysterious island Ariel’s mother talks about sounds interesting even if she seems a little vague about it. This wonderfully funny novel of fantasy and adventure, with its badly behaving characters from well-known stories and fairy tales, is an excellent introduction to intertextuality.
Ariel, Zed and the Secret of Life was the winner of the Alan Marshall Award in the 1993 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. Hitler’s Daughter Jackie French HarperCollins – ISBN: 0207198012 Four country children waiting for the school bus in the rain occupy themselves with taking turns telling stories. It is Anna’s turn and the story she begins takes the children to Nazi Germany and the world of Hitler’s daughter, Heidi. Anna, usually a great storyteller, find this one difficult! It is clear that, for her, Heidi is more than a character in a make-believe story. As the children become more and more involved in Heidi’s story, they explore the moral and ethical issues it raises in their own conversations and with their parents. The book offers many opportunities for exploring methods of narration and the interconnectedness of fact and fiction.
... persons' will greatly decide what his or hers adult life. Their child hood memories will stick with them either in their mind ... could trigger something that would last a life time. Take for example if a child fails at something and the parent does ... we should try to life a good life and not let too many things trouble you as a child because we still have ...
Refuge Libby Gleeson Puffin – ISBN: 0140389857 Libby Gleeson highlights the plight of refugees, as Andrew becomes involved in his sister’s plan to shelter an illegal East Timorese immigrant in the family home. The author paints a convincing portrait of a strong family unit, able to withstand vigorous debate and disagreement on a range of personal and political issues. It is pleasing to see an adolescent male portrayed as sensitive to the feelings of family and friends. Humorous interludes and present-tense narrative alleviate the intensity of the theme. (See also Love Me Love Me Not, Eleanor Elizabeth, I Am Susannah. ) Two Weeks with the Queen Morris Gleitzman Pan Macmillian Australia – ISBN: 0330271830 Colin is sent to England by his parents when his little brother is dying of leukaemia.
He sets out to find the ‘best doctor in the world’ and is thrown out of both Buckingham Palace and a major London hospital. He helps a man whose friend is dying of AIDS in hospital and learns the importance of being with loved ones in a crisis. Then, for this reason, he returns home. Funny as well as sad, the book is accessible on a wide range of reading levels. (See also Bum face and The Other Facts of Life. ) Thunder fish Simon Higgins Random House Australia – ISBN: 009183953 X This action-packed sea rescue adventure is set in the future.
Kira is a rich, female protagonist whose aim is to save refugees attacked by pirates on the high seas. The book deals with a number of moral dilemmas, decisions relating to piracy, individual responsibility and the dubious power of the press, highlighted in sensationalized gossip columns and headlines. The thriller is compelling and easy reading with an interesting twist to complete the story. The characters are believable and the twenty-first century technology is fascinating. Pagan’s Vows Catherine Jinks Omnibus Books – ISBN: 1862912750 Medieval hero, Pagan Kidrouk, of Pagan, Pagan’s Crusade and Pagan In Exile, returns once again to triumph in Pagan’s Vows. Set in France in 1188, Pagan and his knight, Lord Roland Rou cy de Bram, enter the Abbey of Saint Martin to devote their lives to God.
The Abbey with its many corridors and dark rooms presents the perfect setting for intrigue and deceit. Roland’s character becomes more subdued and the monks become the target for Pagan’s laconic narration. Although set in medieval times, this is a mystery-thriller aimed to entertain teenage readers. (See also The Future Trap. ) Onion Tears Diana Kidd Collins/Angus & Robertson – ISBN: 0207170282 This is the story of young Nam-Huong who escaped from Vietnam but lost her grandfather on the long terrible voyage to Australia. She has many reasons to cry but finds it hard to release her pent-up grief as she struggles to understand a different culture.
This simple tale of refugees and the trauma they face is a valuable text for classroom discussion. The Giver Lois Lowry HarperCollins – ISBN: 0006748287 Imagine a world without conflict, poverty or inequality where conformity and happiness are a way of life. Jonas lives in this world but for him things are different. Twelve-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories and he gradually discovers the disturbing truth about his perfect world. He tries to expose those who have ordered it and escape as he learns about the cost of a perfect society. 1994 Newbery Medal winner.
(See also Number the Stars. ) Secrets in the Fire Henning Man kell Allen & Unwin – ISBN: 1865081817 Sofia and her sister stray from the village path in war-torn Mozambique and a landmine kills her sister and shatters Sofia’s legs. Secrets in the Fire is based on the true story of a young girl in Mozambique and how she struggles to recover from the devastation the war has left. This is a moving and sobering story that allows students to share the experiences of adolescents in desperate circumstances. The Keeper of the Isis Light Monica Hughes Aladdin Publishing Company – ISBN: 0689833903 This is a science fiction story that explores issues of prejudice and growing up. Olwen Pen dennis is the Keeper of the Isis Light and with her robot, Guardian, she has lived alone on the highlands of planet Isis since the death of her parents.
Isis is a harsh planet with only the valleys providing an atmosphere that is breathable. When a group of colonists arrives on Isis from Earth, Olwen is hopeful that she can make new friends but the modifications necessary for her survival repel those she would like to befriend. The Binna Binna Man Meme McDonald and Boor i Monty Pryor Allen & Unwin – ISBN: 1865080713 This novel introduces young people coming to terms with their identity and heritage. The story covers a trip to a relative’s funeral and the response of different generations to the grief of untimely death. The Binna Binna man of the title is a presence who encourages appropriate behaviour and respect for traditional ways. While true to the oral tradition of storytelling, the language is accessible.
Cairo Jim and the Lagoon of Tidal Magnificence Geoffrey Mc Skimming Hodder Children’s – ISBN: 0733602959 The kidnapping of the entire Turkish Women’s Olympic Championship Tent Erection Team by villainous Neptune F Bone kicks off this latest Cairo Jim adventure, with the usual smirks, masterful wordplay (and frequent use of parentheses).
This time, Jim, Jocelyn, Doris and Brenda investigate old archaeological secrets of Dr Schnitzer. Naturally, they are plunged into numerous cliffhanger chapter endings (perfect for serialization with a class).
For example, Jim is literally up to his neck in trouble when trapped by a giant jungle plant. This is an often hilarious and challenging novel, rich with Indonesian vocabulary that should have its readers reaching for dictionaries, atlases and history books. Changing Stories Bronwyn Mellor, Judith Hemming and Jane Leggett Chalk face Press – ISBN: 1875136010 This collection of folk stories and fairytales encourages students to reflect on stories and how they read them.
For example students can consider several versions of Little Red Riding Hood, and discuss the conventions of fairytales and the ways stories can change over time. The collection allows students to reflect on how gender can influence perspective. (See also Making Stories. ) The Colour of Sunshine David Metzenthen Puffin – ISBN: 0141310510 This is a depiction of grief and confusion in a family’s life seen through the eyes of nine-year-old Davey.
His sixteen-year-old sister has been killed in a road accident, and the loss has sunk his parents into a depression. Colour comes back into Davey’s life in the form of an irrepressible family that runs a pet shop in the neighbourhood. The difference between the families is almost too polarised yet the complexity of emotions, especially in the older characters, is intelligently drawn. The ways friends and family deal with grief are explored with depth and feeling. Hatchet Gary Paulsen Macmillian Children’s Books – ISBN: 0330310453 This is a survival story a reader will never forget. Brian Robeson is a thirteen-year-old city boy who is left alone in the Canadian wilderness after his plane crashes.
He faces the problems of finding food, shelter and clothing. With imagination and courage, he experiences despair and perseverance and it is the character development as well as the survival skills that grip the reader. (See also The Return, Hatchet in Winter, The Voyage of the Frog, and Hatchet: The Truth in the nonfiction section. ) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone J K Rowling Bloomsbury – ISBN: 0747532745 Harry Potter is no ordinary boy but comes of wizard stock and when he finds himself at Hogwart’s School for Wizards he begins to recover from the cruelty and ignorance of his upbringing by his uncle and aunt.
This best-selling fantasy of wizards and wonder makes for enchanting reading as Harry battles evil with good friends and humour. The novel calls on a wide variety of traditional children’s literary genres that students can explore. Winner of Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year Award for 1999. Haroun and the Sea of Stories Salman Rushdie Penguin – ISBN: 0140140352 Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a delightful tale about a storyteller who loses his ability to tell tales. His son struggles to recover his father’s special gift by doing battle against mysterious forces attempting to destroy the seas of inspiration from which all stories are derived.
Funny, allusive and fast-paced, this story will provide many opportunities for student responding and composing. Galax-Arena Gillian Rubinstein Puffin – ISBN: 0141310243 Three Australian children are kidnapped and propelled into a vicious game in the Galax-Arena, where rivalry and death mingle. Believing themselves to have been transported from earth to become the pets of an alien species, the children must struggle to understand themselves as well as their predicament. The special language developed by the kidnapped children can make for a fascinating classroom study.
(See also Space Demons, Sky maze and Shin kei. ) Holes Louis Sachar Bloomsbury – ISBN: 0747548471 In a Texas wasteland at Camp Green Lake, in a juvenile detention facility where there is no lake, boys are forced to dig countless holes to improve their character. Stanley Yel nats finds himself at Camp Green Lake, the innocent victim of mistaken identity. He discovers that the character building is a cover for the warden (who paints her fingernails with rattlesnake venom) and her search for something hidden in the desert. The novel moves between time with humour and craft. It has a wonderfully twisted ending and its deep understanding of friendship and compassion make it an outstanding classroom text.
Winner of the Newbery Award in 1999. The Bad Beginning Lemony Snicket HarperCollins – ISBN: 0064407667 Poor Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire! They have the misfortune to lose their parents and despite their intelligence, charm and resourcefulness they are exceptionally unlucky. This leads to many difficult and dangerous experiences, which inevitably amuse and entertain. This irreverent and twisted tale should prove popular in the classroom and there are several sequels.
Wringer Jerry Spinelli HarperCollins – ISBN: 0006754171 In Warmer, USA, a boy’s tenth birthday is the biggest event of his life but Palmer La Rue doesn’t want to turn ten and become a wringer because that will mean he will have to kill pigeons. Bullying, peer pressure and family relationships are central to this novel in which a young boy must learn how to stop being afraid and stand up for what he believes in. Wringer is a powerful and effective novel that confronts issues that all teenagers face. (See also Maniac Magee.
) Nips XI Ruth Starke Lothian Books – ISBN: 0734401132 If white boys can’t jump, can Asian boys play cricket? Vietnamese-born Lan is sick of multicultural food festivals at school and wants to do something different. He decides with his friend, Ihram, to form a school cricket team with a difference. This funny and entertaining novel explores multiculturalism and school with a sharp eye and, while set in a primary school, is still relevant for high school study. Lockie Leonard, Legend Tim Winton Macmillan – ISBN: 0330360027 This is an engaging story of second love as Lockie continues learning about relationships when his ex-girlfriend comes back into his life. Lockie is growing up and family responsibilities take over when his mother suffers a breakdown and is admitted to the local hospital. Winton’s skilful use of language and his creation of a contemporary vernacular are very appealing.
(See also Blue back, Lockie Leonard, Human Torpedo and Lockie Leonard, Scum buster. ) Picture Books Stage 4 The Mysteries of Harris Burdick Chris Van Allsburg Houghton Mifflin – ISBN: 0395353939 The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is a mystifying and wonderful collection of pictures, each with accompanying one-line text, that can inspire and enthuse students. This American classic won the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award for 1984. Van Allsburg has won the Caldecott Award three times. (See also The Wreck of the Zephyr and Jumanji. ) The Tunnel Anthony Browne Walker Books – ISBN: 0744552397 A sister forgets the quarrels she has had with her brother and attempts a rescue that demonstrates the power of her affection.
The picture book with its allusions to other folk tales would make a good introduction to the use of intertextuality; it is a fascinating exploration of a sibling relationship. (See also Voices in the Park, Piggy book. ) Way Home Libby Hathorn and Gregory Rogers Random House Australia (Mark Macleod Books) – ISBN: 0091829186 This is the story of Shane, a young street kid, his finding of a lost kitten and their journey home to Shane’s ‘house’. The illustrator portrays a city at night (Sydney), contrasting the busy streets ablaze with lights and the dark back alleys. Both are hazardous for Shane and the tiny kitten. Way Home is a poignant tale of two vulnerable young survivors for older readers.
Sadako Eleanor Coerr and Ed Young Margaret Hamilton Books – ISBN: 1876289481 This picture book rending of the famous Sadako story is illuminated by Ed Young’s delicate pastels. Students can benefit from a comparison of the visual text with the longer prose version annotated earlier in this list. (See Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. ) The Singing Hat Tohby Riddle Penguin Books (Viking) – ISBN: 014131320 X This picture book parable explores the possible impact of serendipitous events and celebrates difference and the courage to remain resolute in the face of widespread disapproval. Something unexpected and improbable happens to Colin Jenkins, and the world around him seems a different place because of it. The illustrations combine collage d photos and fabrics, revealing and witty speech bubbles, bold blocks of colour and featureless, white urban silhouette against which the plot is played out.
The Great Escape from City Zoo Tohby Riddle HarperCollins (Angus & Robertson) – ISBN: 0207196087 This brilliantly original concept is executed with imagination and craft in a monochrome suggestive of historic photographs. The sophisticated style and wit enchant both adults, who will appreciate the satire on city life, and children, who will enjoy the escaping animals’ inventiveness and deception of adults. The illustrations make subtle, clever reference to various icons of 20 th century visual art and film. The Book that Jack Wrote Jon Scie ska and Daniel Adel Puffin – ISBN: 0140553851 This delightful picture book illustrates the chaos that occurs when nursery rhymes go awry. As the reader / viewer moves through the book, the rat, a cat, the cow over the moon are all there but they are getting caught up in a different narrative.
The Book that Jack Wrote provides a good introduction to narrative structure and allusion. The Lost Thing Shaun Tan Lothian Books – ISBN: 0734403887 This innovative book presents a deceptively simple tale. The na ” ive, conversational yet reflective text with its familiar ‘lost pet’ plot elements is juxtaposed with a surreal, melancholic, industrial setting. It makes a haunting statement about what is significant and to be valued in crowded lives. While the plot will appeal to younger readers, older students and adults will enjoy the varied inter textual references and the richly layered allegorical illustrations. This totally integrated visual and literary experience repays repeated close viewing and supports multiple interpretations.
My Place Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins Collins Dove – ISBN: 0859245756 This journey through families is a powerful and evocative account of the way our country and our landscape have changed. Wheatley and Rawlins take us back in time with a big Moreton Bay fig tree as our lighthouse. The book begins and ends with Aboriginal people and celebrates the diversity and difference that make up Australia. Fiction Stage 5 Finding Grace Alyssa Brugman Allen & Unwin – ISBN: 1865084530 Eighteen-year-old Rachel tells this poignant, reflective story of her life caring for Grace, a victim of acquired brain injury.
Rachel is feisty with an irrepressible, astringent humour that takes no prisoners and yet is compassionately sensitive to Grace’s position. The meaning of the title is gradually revealed as Rachel explores Grace’s life before her accident and more importantly discovers the individual that is still there in Grace’s apparently unresponsive body. In so doing it is a journey of personal growth and self-knowledge for Rachel. Other characters are vividly drawn and there is a realistic approach to the outcome for people with acquired brain injury. This is an impressive first novel. Children’s Book Council of Australia, short-listed for Book of the Year: Older Readers, 2002.
The Blue Faraway Janine Burke Addison Wesley Longman – ISBN: 0582810116 Two Year 9 students, Casey Buchanan and Zep de Marco, are thrown together to do an English assignment on Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock. Both have problems at home and Zep has been devastated by the death of a close friend. On an excursion to Hanging Rock something happens to them which ties them to the rock and each other. With its exploration of friendship and gender and a well-wrought sense of mystery, the novel lends itself to a comparative study with the Peter Weir film, Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Green Monkey Dreams Isobelle Carmody Penguin Books (Viking) – ISBN: 0140380337 A powerful and haunting collection of short stories – not all of them new – which shows glimpses of life on the borderland of myth, this book is full of mystery. The characters are so vividly portrayed that they will keep returning to your thoughts. The cover has a stunning, subtle, soft fantasy feel about it. The writing is even and beautifully crafted. A thoughtful, provocative reading is required. (See also The Far seekers, The Gathering.
) Journey through Horror Edited by Richard Baines Oxford University Press – ISBN: 0195514874 This selection of horror and ghost stories provides a valuable introduction to genre and presents an opportunity to undertake aspects of the Stage 5 section of the syllabus and to prepare students for genre study in the Stage 6 English syllabus. The selection is suitably chilling, owing much to the influence of Edgar Allen Poe. Ray Bradbury, Truman Capote and Andrew Horowitz are among the authors represented. Students can consider a range of different perspectives and contexts for horror as the anthology contains some real life horror stories. The Journey through… series includes other genres such as crime and fantasy.
In this particular anthology, the human desire to be frightened is fulfilled. As the introduction warns us, ‘be afraid’. Merryll of the Stones Brian Caswell University of Queensland Press – ISBN: 070222250 X Brian Caswell’s first novel, Merryll of the Stones, is evocative of time and place. The shift in location from suburban Sydney to rural Wales, as well as movement backwards and forwards through time allow Caswell to convey his powerful sense of atmosphere and history.
Megan Ellison, the central character, learns that she has the power to initiate time shifts and it is through her experiences that the novel explores the importance of finding the balance. A novel that combines adventure, romance, science fiction and history, that is rich in linguistic complexity and builds to a dramatic climax. (See also A Cage of Butterflies. ) Wolf on the Fold Judith Clarke Silverfish (Allen & Unwin) – ISBN: 186508557 X In literature the wolf is used as a powerful symbol, and in this title the wolf represents real or imagined danger and how the characters, who are linked by family, deal with it. There are six stories that travel through time from Kenny in 1935 to James in 2002.
They describe the dangers faced by the family members ranging from violence, privilege, war trauma, racism and exile to the powerlessness of a fear of everything. This beautifully crafted book, celebrating ordinary life, is deceptively simple and gentle but it provides powerful, thought-provoking and rewarding reading. Wolf on the Fold won the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award for Older Readers in 2001. Rough with the Smooth: Stories of Australian Men Edited by B R Coffey Fremantle Arts Centre Press – ISBN: 1863683062 Well-known Australian writers and personalities, including A B Face, Bruce Beresford, Glyn Parry and Elizabeth Jolley, explore the complexities of masculinity in Australian culture in this collection of short stories and extracts.
The men in these tales include larrikin farming fathers, real estate salesmen and migrant workers. The strength of these stories of friendship, compassion, leadership, love and weaknesses, rely equally on the women and children in the men’s lives, making this collection a true snapshot of Australian social relationships. Teachers may find the book a useful stimulus for exploring issues of social and cultural awareness with students, and all interested teachers will gain personal insights into the complexities of Australian masculinity. The Divine Wind Garry Disher Hodder Headline – ISBN: 0733605265 Hart, son of a pearling master, falls in love with M itsy, daughter of a Japanese diver.
Their story is set in Broome and the outbreak of war is about to affect everyone in the town. There is much tension and, as racial intolerance builds, old friendships cannot always survive the strains. Disher’s economic literary style convincingly portrays the effects of the war on this remote multiracial town, and in particular on Hart and his world as a near-fatal accident abruptly changes his expectations. Eva Peter Dickinson Macmillan Children’s Books – ISBN: 0330483846 A thirteen-year-old girl called Eva is involved in a horrifying car accident. When Eva wakes up in hospital after an eight-month coma she discovers that she has been given a totally new kind of life. Her brain has been transferred unchanged into the body of a chimpanzee.
This novel delves into the ethics of such experiments, the wider issue of what it is to be human and the future of the human race. The conclusion to the powerful novel is a challenging one for students to explore. (See also AK. ) 48 Shades of Brown Nick Earls Penguin – ISBN: 0140287698 Love, lust and pesto! This is an extremely witty account of the transition from living at home to living in a shared household.
Dan learns, through a comedy of errors that pretending to be who you ” re not in the hope of impressing someone rarely works. Dialogue and interior monologue, combined with clever imagery, make this a thought-provoking but hilarious novel. 48 Shades of Brown won the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award: Older Readers in 2000. (See also the adaptation of this novel in the drama section.
) Borrowed Light Anna Fienberg Allen & Unwin – ISBN: 1864489316 Callisto wryly classifies herself as a moon, destined to palely reflect the light of others. The poignant sense of dread and alienation in the novel is subtly offset by Cal’s self-deprecating humour and the warm, loving relationship she has with her young brother. This is an outstanding work that examines the complex nature of responsibility, including to oneself, in a very positive manner. Feinberg’s lyrical language and sustained celestial analogies, reminiscent of the work of Margaret Mahy, contribute to the inspiring nature of the book. Borrowed Light was an Honour Book in the Children’s Book Council Awards in 2000. The Eyre Affair Jasper Fforde Hodder and Stoughton – ISBN: 034073356 X Imagine a Great Britain where time travel is routine, where the Crimean War still rages and where literature is taken so very seriously that thieves target great works of fiction instead of cash or jewels.
Acheron Hades, the third most wanted man in the world, steals the original manuscript of Jane Eyre and takes Jane from its pages, aiming by her death to make her disappear from every volume of the novel ever printed! But Thursday Next, renowned literary detective, is on his trail! Jasper Fforde’s alternative universe is full of jokes and humour, allusions and wordplay and is fast and furiously paced. It is a marvellous mockery of genre fiction, a literary feast for the reader and an engaging text with which to explore intertextuality. Making the Most of It Lisa Forrest Hodder Headline – ISBN: 0733607942 Lisa Forrest is a former Olympic swimmer and her first novel has autobiographical overtones. Fourteen-year-old Nina Halle t is an unknown schoolgirl who becomes a national sporting hero. But there is little to prepare her for her role as an international celebrity. Her success becomes a nightmare of difficulties and despair.
This realistic and ultimately optimistic novel provides opportunities for students to consider advantages and costs of fame and fortune. (See also Dj Max. ) The Dons Archimedes Fusil lo Puffin – ISBN: 014131334 X This engrossing story of an Italian migrant family explores the frustrations and anxieties of living with an elderly relative. Paul, fourteen and missing his father, finds his ageing Nonno increasingly embarrassing and exasperating. How can he concentrate on his homework, girls and fast cars when he constantly has to deal with this forgetful, annoying old man? The relationship between Paul and Nonno gradually grows stronger as Paul listens to his grandfather’s stories of his past and begins to appreciate both him and his Italian heritage. Moving scenes of family life combine with a wry, adolescent humour to make this a memorable story of one teenager’s steps along the path to maturity.
Deadly, Unna? Phillip Gwynne Puffin – ISBN: 0141300493 A powerful, thought-provoking novel about Blacky, a white teenage boy growing up in a small country town who befriends Dum by Red, an Aboriginal boy on his football team. Told in the very realistic, humorous and laconic voice of Blacky, this is a story about growing up and coming of age as well as an insightful and non-sentimental look at race relations. This book explores the issue of personal moral courage against a backdrop of family conflicts, warm friendships and a firmly established setting. Winner of the Children’s Book Council of Australia 1999 Book of the Year: Older Readers. The Blue Dress Libby Hathorn (editor) Hodder Headline – ISBN: 0733611516 This collection of short stories is unified by the blue dress on the cover. Authors were asked to compose a story around the painting placed on the postage stamp.
Stories range from the chilling horror of First Dance to the joys and disappointments of first love. Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf Sonya Hartnett Penguin Books (Viking) – ISBN: 067088507 X This novel ultimately is one of purpose, hope and overcoming adversity. The story is centred on a young man dealing with his life as a member of a troubled family. The language is evocative and, at times, poetic. Readers’ emotions are stirred by Hartnett’s compassionate depiction of people living on the edge.
By using the image of the supposedly extinct thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) Hartnett cleverly draws parallels with a dying community and characters in need of sanctuary. Taronga Victor Kelleher Penguin (Puffin) – ISBN: 0140326316 This is a post-nuclear war adventure story set in Sydney. Ben is a teenage survivor with a special power: a voice in his mind speaks in such a way that it can be heard by animals and this is referred to as the Calling. At Taronga Zoo Ben meets an Aboriginal girl, Ellie, a member of a gang run by the powerful leader, Molly. The rule of the jungle that preceded and produced the nuclear catastrophe has once again determined human behaviour.
It is the mission of Ben and Ellie to quell this violence, both inside and outside the group, and to build Taronga into an oasis that could herald a new beginning. The book poses many questions about the struggle between coercion and cooperation in the human psyche. (See also The Red Heart, The Ivory Trail. ) Came Back to Show You I Could Fly Robin Klein Penguin (Puffin) – ISBN: 0140342540 Robin Klein has written a warm and compassionate book about the power of friendship to comfort and heal, and to widen personal experience. Seymour and Angie are an unlikely pair of friends, but their accidental meeting leads to escape from loneliness and despair.
Seymour faces a summer holiday confined in the house of his mother’s friend in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, while Angie has exhausted the patience of her family with her drug addiction. A narrative feature of the novel is the inclusion of Angie’s notes and diary entries. Outside their respective families, Seymour and Angie develop their inner resources and eventually find confidence in themselves. Tehanu Ursula Le Guin Penguin (Puffin) – ISBN: 0140348026 Tehanu is Ursula Le Guin’s sequel to her popular ‘Wizard of Earthsea’ trilogy, often studied in Stage 4. Le Guin overturns many assumptions about good, evil and power in the fantasy genre. In this novel a female is sought to secure the future of Earthsea.
Tear and Ged are guardians of the girl Therru, a victim of extraordinary violence. Her vulnerability allows Le Guin to explore the question of how to confront evil – threats to security must be met at a personal and domestic level. Yet, at the end of the novel, Therru is identified as the new protector of Earthsea, the new link with the old powers. The Changeover Margaret Mahy Puffin – ISBN: 0140372954 This is a fantasy working at several levels. The story directly concerns the rescue of Laura Chant’s younger brother, Jacko, from a possessive spell cast on him by a knick-knack shop owner called Carmody Braque. Laura has to call on the help of Sorenson Carlisle, who is just a few years older than she is.
In the process she discovers the mysterious world of love. This is a thrilling story that will appeal to the mid-teens. The Changeover is a Carnegie Medal winner. Looking for Alibrandi Melina March etta Penguin – ISBN: 0140236139 Looking for Alibrandi has become a modern classic. It is the story of Josephine’s last year at school in which she discovers a great deal about her family, herself and life. This honest and insightful novel will provide many opportunities for classroom discussion and composing.
Looking for Alibrandi won the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award: Older Readers in 1993. The film of Looking for Alibrandi has gained critical acclaim. Tomorrow When the War Began John Marsden Macmillan – ISBN: 0330274864 This suspenseful adventure story is the first of a seven-novel series about the response of a group of adolescents to the invasion of their country. Ellie and her friends return from a camping trip in the bush to find their families taken prisoner and their country overrun. From evading their enemies they turn to attacking them and in the process undergo significant changes. The descriptions of place and incident are compelling.
This novel and its sequels provide an excellent opportunity for an author study. (See also Winter, So Much to Tell You. ) Touch Me James Moloney University of Queensland Press – ISBN: 0702231517 This is a groundbreaking novel, which explores issues of identity, friendship and the roles society assigns to gender. In his final year at school Xavier McLachlan discovers that relationships are of equal or greater importance than his coveted place in the school’s first XV rugby team. The game of rugby becomes something of a metaphor for life as his friendship with the unconventional and confronting Nuala develops. In the search for an identity uniquely theirs, both characters question the expectation of their peers and the society in which they belong.
Characterisation is skilful and the exploration of relationships is particularly thought-provoking. (See also A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove. ) Beast Donna Jo Napoli Simon & Schuster – ISBN: 0689835906 Donna Jo Napoli expands the tale of Beauty and the Beast in this glittering novel set in ancient Persia. Prince Orasmyn is cursed to lion shape until the love of a woman releases him. He travels across Asia to France in his lion shape until he finds refuge in an abandoned chateau where he plants a rose garden. The story then follows its traditional path embellished with references to rose horticulture, Persian literature and the beliefs of Islam.
The novel invites comparisons with the original tale and other retelling’s such as Robin McKinley’s Beauty. A glossary of Persian and Arabic words is provided. Sabriel Garth Nix HarperCollins (Moonstone) – ISBN: 1865080403 Sabriel is a very dark and at times quite disturbing fantasy. The heroine is a young girl who inherits magical powers from her necromancer father. Her father’s sudden disappearance thrusts her into a world of danger in which she learns to use her talents effectively through bitter and often painful experience.
A battle between good and evil rages throughout the book and is described with intensity quite unlike most children’s fantasies of this genre. Not for the faint-hearted, Sabriel is a complex and often violent book which rewards the reader with the creation of a vivid and challenging fantasy world. The Wind Singer William Nicholson Reed – ISBN: 1740517571 In the city of Aramanth people are divided according to their occupation. If they work hard they can move through the system. However the Hath family cherish ideas and dreams and their daughter Kestrel finds it difficult to fit the order and regulation and conformity of the city. Guided by an old map she sets out with her brother Bowman and their friend Mump o on an adventure that takes them through the city sewers into the desert beyond.
They know that if they can find the voice of the Wind Singer, an ancient and mysterious instrument that stands in the centre of Aramanth, they can save their people from a deadening lethargy. Tolerance and the importance of individuality are explored in the wonderful fantasy, the first book of a planned trilogy. (See also Slaves of the Mastery and Fire song. ) The Sterkarm Handshake Susan Price Scholastic Point – ISBN: 0439014085 Not just another time travel fantasy, The Sterkarm Handshake offers an insight into modern society and its values.
When a 21 st century scientific corporation invests in a time travel machine which makes the 16 th century available as a holiday destination, the attitudes of the time travellers (scientists, entrepreneurs, anthropologists) to the society of the past deliver a revealing commentary on the society of the present. Parallels are drawn between the exploitation of the past society for tourist dollars and the imperialist exploitation of indigenous peoples in countries such as USA. An unusual love story holds the plot together and adds depth to the author’s exploration of human motivation. The Sterkarm Handshake won the Guardian Award for Children’s Fiction in 1999. Northern Lights Philip Pullman Scholastic – ISBN: 0590660543 Northern Lights is the first book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Pullman has created a parallel universe in which science, theology, and magic are closely linked.
Lyra Bel acqua is an orphan growing up in a parallel Oxford where people have a personal daemon, the manifestation of their souls in animal form. When Lyra’s friend Roger disappears, she and her daemon, Pantalaimon, are determined to find him. Their quest leads them to the north of the country where horrible experiments are taking place on children. This complex and compelling fantasy with its links to the poetry of John Milton and its depiction of multiple worlds will reward close study. The Amber Spyglass, the third book in the trilogy, won the Guardian Award for Children’s Fiction in 2001. Falling Anne Provost (translated by John Nieuwenhuizen) Allen & Unwin – ISBN: 1864484446 For Lucas, a young man on holidays, the long, hot summer proves to hold menace and temptation.
After his grandfather’s death Lucas’ return to the old house places him next door to the enigmatic Caitlin and brings him into contact with some extreme nationalists. This deep and disturbing novel about racism and complex moral choices will prove very relevant to Australians. Falling was first published in Belgium; it has been translated into several languages and won five major literary awards. Blackout Michael Pryor Hodder Headline – ISBN: 0733611818 Civilisation as we know it ends with a blackout. Through the first person narration of two well-developed characters, Holly and Tony, Pryor has created an effective scenario of the ensuing chaos and social breakdown. The lunatic New Order rises rapidly to power, blaming the old regime for the failure.
Meanwhile, the scientists and supporters of the old regime are struggling to rebuild their world. The book climaxes with the inevitable clash between new and old. The Fifth Quest Debra Oswald Puffin – ISBN: 0143300016 Rose is a young girl who gains a role in a well-known television series, The Quest of Ash tari. Her role brings her close to the star of the series and creates problems with her best friend.
This entertaining novel explores rivalry and fame and would be a useful companion text to the study of film and television because of its insight into the techniques of production. The Baboon King Anton Quintana (translated by John Nieuwenhuizen) Allen & Unwin – ISBN: 1864483849 Morengaru, a young African hunter, is alone in the wilderness. He has been exiled by his father’s people, the Masai and by his mother’s people, the Kikuyu. Faced with surviving without the support of a community he finds himself living among the baboons. His attempts to cling to his humanity are honestly and realistically portrayed by Quintana. This confronting novel compels readers to consider what it means to be human.
Willow Tree And Olive Irin i Savvies Hodder Headline – ISBN: 0733613063 This is a moving story of Olive’s journey of self-discovery as she struggles with her Greek heritage and the shadow over her childhood. As the narrator’s voice shifts from first to third person, another picture of Olive emerges and we see her change from outgoing, fun-loving extrovert to a more introspective, serious persona. A wonderfully evoked visit to Greece eventually leads to Olive’s personal and cultural renewal as she sheds the trauma of the past and looks forward to the future. Poison under their lips Mark Svendsen Lothian Books – ISBN: 0734401833 In this harrowing, uncomfortable journey into some of the more shameful and shocking realities of colonial history, readers meet the eighteen-year-old Native Police cadet, Arthur Wilbraham. His story, revealed through a disjointed chronology of journal entries, transcripts, reports and quotes, is grim and unrelenting, a powerful mix of fact and fiction.
Attention to detail in creation of setting and both language and voice add to the veracity of this powerful, disconcerting read. Stone Cold Robert Swindells Puffin – ISBN: 0140362517 In this novel homeless adolescents are vanishing and no-one notices or cares about their disappearance. Luke has become a derelict in London and only survives because of the friendship of Ginger, another street kid. When Ginger disappears Gail provides Luke with hope but Shelter, a soldier out of work, who is killing the homeless kids, is targeting more victims. The role of the media and the plight of the homeless are both explored in this chilling novel. Stone Cold won the 1993 Carnegie Medal.
Montana 1948 Larry Watson Pan Macmillian – ISBN: 0330336797 In 1948 in Bent rock, Montana, a twelve-year-old boy must confront complex moral and family issues. David Hayden narrates this story forty years after the events that shook his town and his family. As a boy David sees his sheriff father arrest his own war hero brother for the rape of the Hayden’s housekeeper, Marie Little Soldier. This beautifully written tale explores family relationships with honesty and integrity. The House that was Eureka Nadia Wheatley Penguin – ISBN: 0141004126 Newtown is the setting for this story of the Depression and unemployment. It is a story of love, separation and reconciliation.
The experiences of the 1931 depression are relevant to the concerns of contemporary adolescents. The lives of Nobby Weston, Lizzie Cruise, Evie and Noel intersect across generations of resistance. Wheatley reveals the seam of violence often running beneath the surface of ordinary lives that becomes apparent when insecurity threatens. This novel makes history accessible and contemporary; it is also a mystery and the plot keeps the reader engaged until the last page. The historical detail and use of the vernacular will provide good teaching opportunities.
Water Colours Sarah Walker Hodder Headline – ISBN: 0733612792 This is a book about friendship and families, fitting in and finding out. Bea, orphaned since a baby, begins a journey of discovery concerning her mother’s death and the meaning of friendship. Narrated in the first person her emergence from ignorance to understanding is both sympathetic and humorous. The use of metaphors to describe the colour of water, diverse characters, and the wonderful evocation of a beachside in summer makes this a commendable book. My Cousin Claret te and Other Stories Budge Wilson University of Queensland Press – ISBN: 0702225037 This collection of short stories offers insight into those moments when children move into the adult world. The opening story, The Metaphor provides an excellent introduction to creative writing.
It concerns an English teacher’s lessons on imagery that expose a sterile mother-and-daughter relationship. The title story revolves around adolescent masks and rivalry. Budge Wilson’s stories reveal love and loss and often have a twist in the tale. Fighting Ruben Wolfe Markus Zusak Omnibus Books – ISBN: 1862914311 Faced with their father’s unemployment, the two brothers Cam and Ruben take up illicit boxing. This powerful thought-provoking exploration of family life is enlivened by black humour and examines important contemporary themes. The characters are attractive and their dilemmas make this compelling reading.
Zusak’s use of language ranges from authentic teenage vernacular through stream-of-consciousness passages to lyrical and poetic phrasing. Although this is a sequel to The Underdog, it can stand alone and is an accessible read for a range of teenagers. Picture Books Stage 5 Dream walker Isobelle Carmody, illustrated by Steven Woolman Lothian Books – ISBN: 0734403909 Text and illustration complement each other well, aptly and consistently reflecting the haunting dreamscape of the story-line in this picture book for older readers. The fine, dense text, while attractive and well suited to the genre and overall tone of the book, could be difficult for some students to read, and could challenge those who need additional literacy support.
The plot and its telling are typical of Carmody’s best multi-layered fantasies, strengthened by Woolman’s intricate, varied illustrations. Themes skilfully explored through strong characterisation include individuality, conformity, being a loner, difference, and bravery in the face of challenging odds. The Watertower Gary Crew, illustrated by Steven Woolman Martin International in assoc. with Era Publications – ISBN: 1863743200 Dark and mysterious; black endpapers effectively open to a disturbing scenario that will be different for each reader according to his / her unique imaginative response to the textual and pictorial ambiguities of this picture book. Two boys in a small rural town climb inside the old town reservoir for an illicit swim.
Simultaneously, the watertower is at the centre of some unseen, momentous happening to which the mesmerized townsfolk are eerily drawn. Text, illustration and book design unify to create a tantalizing reading experience. Memorial Gary Crew, illustrated by Shaun Tan Lothian Books – ISBN: 0850919835 The evocative illustrations and sensitive text explore a century of war involving four generations of one family. The book has stunning visual as well as tactile appeal, using photorealism to convey factual authenticity. The colour is muted, although varied, enabling the past and the present to merge effortlessly. Tan’s illustrations reflect Crew’s implied and literal meaning without embarking on a detailed description of war.
The Rabbits John Marsden, illustrated by Shaun Tan Lothian Books – ISBN: 0850918782 The boldly original text sets up an allegory and ends with the question ‘Who will save us from the rabbits?’ An historical metaphor for an invasion or domination in its many guises, the story is extended by the illustrations to allow wide reader interpretation. Imaginative visual images suggest references to Olsen in the delicate wading birds and Bosch or Heath Robertson in the hellish dark red machines. Even the blank white page before the endpaper suggests further questions in this brilliant integration of design and text. The Red Tree Shaun Tan Lothian – ISBN: 0734401728 This picture book celebrates the visual imagination. It is a young person’s emotional journey from forlornness to exhilaration. Each double page contains a single sentence, and an illustration that matches the words in utterly unpredictable and witty ways.
The drawings are so flamboyantly wonderful they enrich and excite the human spirit. This book confirms that it is imagination that makes sense of our journey through this world. Short-listed, Picture Book of the Year 2002. The Staircase Cat Colin Thompson, illustrated by Anna Pignataro Hodder Headline – ISBN: 0733610056 This is a haunting and thought-provoking picture book aimed at a slightly older audience.
Thompson’s gentle story of a cat left alone to fend for itself during the war years is beautifully supported by Anna Pignataro’s watercolour drawings which use colour to reflect mood and suggest emotion. Muted, colourless ghost figures are contrasted with the warm tones of family life before and after the war. This story is told with great depth yet elegant simplicity. Fox Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks Allen & Unwin – ISBN: 1864484659 Fox is an accomplished picture book concerning complex and familiar moral dilemmas rendered translucent through narrative and image. Fox sinuously and maliciously disturbs the supportive relationship between the one-eyed Dog and the burnt and maimed Magpie, threatening their very existence. Established literary and environmental connotations about foxes come together in this archetypal tale of ‘less than perfect’ characters.
This story of friendship, freedom and loyalty is a multilayered parable in which the hand-lettered text and visually stunning pictures are fully integrated. This is a rich book masterfully composed from spare, elegant language and a vibrant earthy palette built up and inscribed across each page. Poetry Preface The English Syllabus Years 7-10 requires students to read and closely study a wide range of types of poems. In Stage 5 students are required to read and closely study a variety of poems drawn from different anthologies and / or study one or two poets. An important purpose of this list is to reaffirm the creative power of poetry in the lives of young people. In addition to reading individual poems, students are encouraged to write their own, to make anthologies and collections of favourite poems, to read widely in poetry and to use it to illuminate and complement other textual experiences.
This list should help teachers, parents and students in these activities. The list consists primarily of anthologies. Some contain an unembellished collection of poems, or feature a complementary blend of poems, pictures and illustrations; others intermingle poems with questions, exercises and teaching suggestions. Ma.