of ceiling wax

reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between


Indigenous Australians

Sister Heart

behind the wind
at the back of the sea
is my country”

I finally read the wonderfully lyrical Sister Heart by Sally Morgan (Fremantle Press, 2015). More verse novel love and deserving of all the award love. But the judges are confused: shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers 2016 and longlisted for the (YA) Inky Award 2016. I’m not confused, just heart drowned

in my saltwater tears”

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writing while white

In Australia this week is NAIDOC Week, when we celebrate the rich culture of Indigenous Australians. The beautiful artwork of the poster is by Wiradjuri Aboriginal artist Lani Balzan.

2016 National NAIDOC Poster

Meanwhile J.K. Rowling continues to ignore discussion of her appropriation of Native American culture for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the latest installment “Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

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indigenous perspectives

Freedom Ride by Sue Lawson (Black Dog Books, 2015) made the Shortlist for CBCA Book of The Year for Older Readers. I enjoyed Freedom Ride but I had some issues with Sue Lawson’s narrative choices and wanted to discuss them separately to my review of the book.

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Freedom Ride

I don’t know why I’ve never read Sue Lawson. I remember her books from when I worked in libraries, and I never tried any because I thought historical fiction is boring.

“Do you really think…?” I searched for the right words. “Will it work? Blacks and whites together?”
“Can’t see why not, and I reckon it’s past time we tried.”

I was so wrong! My book group did Freedom Ride this week and Sue Lawson’s writing is a feast of delicacies. I know why it was long-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016.

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Magabala Books

I read Ambelin Kwaymullina’s guest blog post “What teachers and school librarians can do to support Indigenous books” and she mentions Indigenous publisher Magabala Books which publishes many children’s and YA books. I particularly like their picture books, because PICTURES…

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The Grumpy Lighthouse Keeper

The Grumpy Lighthouse Keeper by Terrizita Corpus and Maggie Prewett

The Grumpy Lighthouse Keeper by Terrizita Corpus and Maggie Prewett (2011) is a delightful read-a-loud story with sumptuous illustrations dancing across the pages to match the rollicking story.

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Wunambal Dreaming

Scaly-tailed Possum and Echidna

I found another book review I wrote four years ago! Sorry Magabala Books and the Goonack clan. In 2011 Scaly-Tailed Possum and Echidna by Cathy Goonack, with pictures by Marlene, Myron and Katrina Goonack was a Children’s Book Council of Australia Early Childhood Notable Book. I wrote this review then.
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