Picture books and Graphic Novels

Author
Title

Description

Playground: Listening to Stories from Country and from Inside the Heart

A compilation of Indigenous stories that give fascinating insight into Aboriginal childhood, both traditional and contemporary. The book contains historical and contemporary photographs and artwork by Indigenous artists. Compiled by Nadia Wheatley
Links: Teacher reviews Teaching Notes
Bay, Laguna
We are family, we are deadly

Graphic novel
Egan, Ted
The drover's boy
7-12

Hill, Anthony
The burnt stick
7
An illustrated book rather than traditional picture book
Pascoe, Bruce
Fog a dox
7-9

Fiction

Author

Title

Year

Level

Annotation/Description

Themes

Christophersen, Jane Garlil
Kakadu Calling
7
Five short tales about Aboriginal children undertaking small or large quests signalling their independence but also pointing to the knowledge they draw on from their parents and other relatives. For example in the first story, ‘Finding My Way Home’, ten years old Burrki is homesick living with his grandparents in ‘the hilly country’ and uses skills and knowledge he has picked up from stories of his, and surrounding country, to find his way back to his parents on the coast—a four day journey. Illustrated with small pencil drawings in the text. (From The Source)

French, Jackie
Walking the boundaries
7-9
If city boy Martin can walk around his great grandfather's property then he can have it, sell it and be rich but Martin's walk crosses the boundaries of time and his outlook is changed. Adventure, Australian bush setting, ecology, change, fantasy-the same themes as "The Boy Who Had Wings" but a much more satisfactory narrative where I was willing to accept the impossible (except for Dracula) and willing to receive the message without feeling preached at. Aborigines are not depicted as blameless innocents which is a pleasant change (however I'm not sure of the science here-wasn't this continent drying out long before the Aborigines came here?). The author is passionate in her advocacy of responsible living, 'how to live with the land, how to take and not destroy...' and this exciting story will promote lots of thinking, argument and discussion about values, change and the role of humanity. Reminds of Joan Phipson's 1973 novel "The Way Home".
Aboriginal peoples. Australia - history. Change - environmental. Ecology. Quests. Time travel.
Gwynne, Phillip
Deadly Unna
8-10


Gwynne, Phillip
Nukkin Ya
8-10


Heiss, Anita
Who am I?
10-15
This is the story of Mary Talence, formerly Amy Charles. She is reflecting in a diary and trying to make sense of a puzzling world. She wneeds to understand why was she taken from her family to be placed in the Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home and now moving on to a family in St Ives, Sydney. Another question asked in Why also is white associated with good and black bad? Mary is a feisty, intelligent and loving girl facing a strange world.
This is a moving story, told through her ten year old eyes of a racist society where small changes are in the air. (From the Source)
Aboriginalpeoples-history, Australia-history1929-1945, Diary, Foster home care, Girls, Historical fiction, Racism, Self-perception.
Heiss, Anita
Yirra and her deadly dog,Demon
7-11

Aboriginal peoples, Aboriginal peoples-history, Animals-training, Botany Bay, NSW., Children, Community life, Dogs. Family, Problem solving, Responsibility.
Hill, Anthony
The burnt stick
7-8


Lowe, Pat
Desert dog
7-8
Short stories

Lowe, Pat
The girl with no name
7-8


Lowe, Pat
Feeling the heat
9-10


Lowe, Pat
Yinti
7
Short stories

McDonald, Meme
The Binna Binna man
7-8
Sequel to "My Girragundji". Packed into the old car heading north are four adults, two adolescents and one child. They are going to the funeral of Sister Girl. Implicit is the fact that she took her own life after a spell in prison. On the night of the funeral the older members of the community turn to drink leaving the younger ones to find solace in their own ways. Cousin Shandell is so affected by alcohol that she only survives the night with the support of one of the elders and of the Binna Binna Man, a source of both spiritual strength and terror. The text is supported by photographs and the changing size of type makes a format easily accessible to younger readers, but the subject matter will be best appreciated by adolescents. Note that despite the serious issues there is also much humour. (From The Source)
Aboriginal peoples.Alcohol. Grief. Prisons and prisoners. Suicide.
McDonald, Meme
Flytrap
7
Family relationships with a combination of lies, truth and stories. A complex theme but the authors have created a tale told in vivid, witty prose that shines with a truth of its own. Illustrated with line drawings and photographs, this very short novel could be read independently by mid-primary aged children to year 7. It also makes a good read-aloud. Teachers' notes are available on the Allen & Unwin website Flytrap.
(From The Source)
Honesty, Parent & child, Promises, Storytelling, Truth, Worry.
McDonald, Meme
My Girragundji
7
A rewarding read with more themes than can be included here. A young (unnamed) Aboriginal boy shares his fears and hurts in this entertaining and moving book. Bullied at school, half in love with a migaloo jalbu (white girl) and tired of the fighting at home, to the point where he says he 'wonders what's the point of living', the culture of the past becomes a support in present-day confusion where drink is causing his people to 'drown inside'. The boy believes a green frog, a girragundji, is sent to him by the old people to protect his spirit and he puts aside fears, grows in confidence and sees opportunities where before there was only despair. Illustrated with photographs throughout, sometimes as background to text creating varied visual interest. Teacher Briefing available from Allen & Unwin. For teachers’ notes Download the PDF.
(From The Source)
Aboriginal peoples. Aboriginal peoples - Dreaming. Animal - human relationships. Boys. Family violence. Fear. Friendship-interracial. Frogs and toads. Growing up.
McDonald, Meme
Njunjul, the sun
7-10
The boy from the award-winning My Girragundji and The Binna Binna Man is now sixteen, a young man heading off on a bus to stay with his uncle Garth, the 'legend' from the big smoke. He is pumped up, singing along to a James Brown song playing on his new sound machine, wearing a new cool shirt and ready to check out the 'chicky babes'. However, because he speaks to us, there is much more to see behind the outward show. Woven into the smart talk, sharp observations and humour is an ongoing thread of pain, and utter confusion in the face of either insults or love. In a few weeks living at Bondi he comes to understand that change can only happen within. As in the previous books it is the old ways that help and he finally claims his true name. Strong, clear, zestful writing with a message of hopefulness (but a book which shows just how complex the race relations are). Teachers' notes are available on the Allen & Unwin website //Njunjul the Sun.// (From The Source)
Aboriginal peoples. Adolescents. Bondi, NSW. Change. Growing up.





Norrington, Leonie
The Barrumbi Kids
7-9


Norrington, Leonie
The spirit of Barrumbi
7-9


Norrington, Leonie
Leaving Barrumbi
7-9


Moloney, James
Dougy
8-10


Moloney, James
Gracey
8-10


Moloney, James
Angela
8-10


Mudrooroo
Wild Cat Falling
11-12


Non-Fiction

Author

Title

Year Level

Annotation/Description

Themes
Freeman, Cathy
Born to Run
8-13

Aboriginal peoples. Ambition, Athletics, Competition, Famous persons, Olympic Games, Persistence, Running.
Garimara, Doris Pilkington
Home to mother
7
Biography

Garimara, Doris Pilkington
Follow the rabbit-proof fence
9-10
Biography

Morgan, Sally
Sally's story (part 1)
7-10
Biography. Sally recounts her childhood-the death of her father, the hard work of her mother and the love and care of her grandmother who mystifies Sally at times. Sally finds, to her surprise, that she is an Aborigine and this knowledge becomes important to her and prompts a search for her roots.
Part 1 of My Place by Sally Morgan, YA adaption. (From The Source)
Aboriginal peoples. Genealogy. Growingup. Secrets. Self-perception. WesternAustralia
Morgan, Sally
Arthur Corunna's story (part 2)
7-10
Biography. Sally decides that she will record the family history in a book-but first she has to find the history! Fortunately Arthur Corunna is more forthcoming about his past than Nan.
Part 2 of My Place by Sally Morgan, YA adaption (From The Source)
Aboriginal peoples. Aboriginal peoples-social life and customs. Genealogy. Persistence. Quests. Western Australia
Morgan, Sally
Mother and daughter (part 3)
7-10
Biography. The moving part of Sally's quest when she finally hears Nan's story, just before Nan dies.
Part 3 of My Place by Sally Morgan, YA adaption (From The Source)
Aboriginal peoples. Genealogy. Grandmothers. Joy and sorrow. Mothers. Quests. Western Australia.
Morgan, Sally
My Place

Biography

Papunya Schoo
Papunya school book of country and history



Tucker, Alan
Homelands and Frontiers
7-12

Aboriginal culture, Aboriginal peoples, Australia - history, colonisation, conflict, dispossession, Land rights, race relations, settlement, violence
Yalata and Oak Valley Communities
with Christobel Mattingly
Maralinga: The Anangu Story
7-10