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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Choose Aussie YA - #LoveOzYA readalikes part TWO

Hello Darling Readers!

Wow! I received a great response to my 'Choose Aussie YA' post, so I've decided to do another one - and, actually, this might become a semi-regular thing.

For this Aussie-readalikes post, I'm riffing off the New York Times young adult bestseller list (for July 5, 2015). I don't really think that Australian readers/teachers/librarians are overly swayed by the NYT-bestseller list, but I needed a launching-off point and even though some of the books listed by the NYT aren't even sold in Australia (don't have territorial rights) thanks to Book Depository and Amazon and globalisation generally, I'm gonna say it's safe to assume that Aussie readers know about and are even reading those books that aren't stocked at their local library or bookshop.

I've only included one John Green book - because I provided readalikes for his Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars and An Abundance of Katherines in my original post

And - hey! - if you'd like to throw up a favourite US or UK title that you'd like an Aussie readalike to, feel free to reach out to me in the comments section here, or by twitter

So, let's dive in and see these great Aussie-YA reading companions to American books! 


Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella → 
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta and 
Chasing Charlie Duskin by Cath Crowley 

Finding Audrey is a teen romance with a twist, as the protagonist suffers from an anxiety disorder. So in choosing readalikes, I was trying to think of books that hang teen romance on bigger issues around mental health, intersected with coming-of-age narrative. 

Saving Francesca is kind of the ultimate book for Melina Marchetta's open and honest portrayal of a young girl coping with all the dramas of a new school and a potential crush, along with her crumbling home life as her mother falls deeper and deeper into depression. This book is funny, tender and claws at the hard stuff too - if I could, I would gift it to every teen reader because it's one of the most confronting and complex portrayals of depression that I've ever read. Also: Will Trombal is the nerd-crush of my dreams. 

Chasing Charlie Duskin by Cath Crowley is another book that I wouldn't say the romance is the most important aspect of the story, but it being there adds a lightness and tenderness to otherwise harrowing subject matters. It's narrated by two teenage girls - one who is still dealing with the fallout of her mother's sudden death, and the other who is trying to find a way to break out of her small town. I chose this one because, like Audrey, I see Charlie Duskin as a character who needs to overcome in order to be happy - there are no quick fixes to what she's dealing with, but rather small cataclysmic revelations about what she needs to do in her life. 

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han 
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley and 
Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams 

I loved Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before, so I'm really glad that I got to think up some readalikes for this fantastic teen romance! 

I think Crowley's Graffiti Moon fits as a readalike because, much like Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky in Han's novel, Lucy and Ed in Graffiti Moon have a rocky history - and both couplings start out antagonistic, but evolve into friendship and then something more. Graffiti Moon is an especially great romance because it's condensed into one night of adventure - there's graffiti artwork and lovelorn poetry, and Cath Crowley's gorgeous prose will illuminate your heart; 

I guess love's kind of like a marshmallow in a microwave on high. After it explodes it's still a marshmallow. But, you know, now it's a complicated marshmallow.

Beatle Meets Destiny I chose because it's another truly great teen romance, and there are wonderful vignettes in the novel featuring couples recounting their romantic history (which reminded me of Lara Jean's writing letters to all her past crushes). Williams is another one with heart-stopping, delectable prose; 

And she leant forward and kissed him. Right there, in the middle of the bar. Right there, in the middle of his lips.

 P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han 
Good Oil by Laura Buzo and 

P.S. I Still Love You is of course the second book in Han's duology, but you can take all four books I mention as a readalike to her series. 

Good Oil totally hits the mark for exploring a teen girl's first crush - and it's pitch-perfectly Aussie that her crush is on an older guy she works with at Woolworths. I loved Laura Buzo's debut, particularly because it's told from both young girl Amelia's perspective, and the guy she has a crush on - Chris. 

There's a big diversity aspect in Jenny Han's series, because Lara Jean is half-Korean and a bit of the book is dedicated to the casual racism she encounters, and how she's trying to fit herself into two different cultures. I like Sarah Ayoub's book as a readalike for this reason, as protagonist Sophie is reconciling her Lebanese heritage with her growing independence. There's also a great romance in here with a half-Lebanese boy. 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews → 
Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil 

I suspect it's only a matter of time before Jesse Andrews' 2012 debut makes its way onto Aussie bestseller lists again, as the book has just been adapted into a pretty kick-butt looking film

For this readalike, I was honing in on the pop-culture/fandom aspects of Andrews' book, with male-perspective and "token female" character (who actually works to subvert a lot of male posturing!). Enter - Melissa Keil's Life in Outer Space. This is a seriously funny and beautiful book about a geek guy whose life is infiltrated by a spitfire of a girl who decides she's going to be part of his world! 

Paper Towns by John Green → 
Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield, 
The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie by Jaclyn Moriarty and Notes from the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell

By now you've probably seen the Paper Towns movie trailer and vaguely know what the book is about. In choosing these readalikes I was trying to nail down the mystery/enigmatic girl fantasy/teen adventure aspects. 

Friday Brown I think is a good readalike for including a band of teenagers who go on a sort-of road-trip to get away from it all. Admittedly, in Wakefield's book they're a band of homeless and runaway teens. Green's characters are searching for paper towns, but Wakefield's are camping out in abandoned ones. I can't help but feel there's even a little bit of Arden in Margo Roth Spiegelman ... 

The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie is a chosen readalike for the mystery aspect - and because I think this is a good book for slightly younger readers who maybe haven't yet gotten to the point of reading John Green's YA books. 

Notes from the Teenage Underground I love because it's like all Howell's characters are cooler than Green's coolest Margo Roth Spiegelman (trust me on this!). Paper Towns is about teens breaking away from what is expected of them, and coming-of-age involves questioning the lives before them ... Howell asks similar questions, but with a more enigmatic cast. 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs → 
The Arrival by Shaun Tan 

Gah! I thought this was going to be so hard to find a readalike to Ransom Riggs' series that's pretty much in a genre of its own ... but okay, if you want mind-bending, thought-provoking books that defy classification, then you can't really go past the genius of Shaun Tan. 

If you've never picked up one of Tan's books before then I envy you - because you're about to go on a journey, and you'll never see the world the same way again. Have fun! 
He is an Australian treasure. 

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart → 
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and
Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty 

I loved We Were Liars (I love E. Lockhart in general, FYI!) and these two readalikes came very easily when I tried to think about books with ghosts and mysteries at their heart ...

On the Jellicoe Road is just gorgeous - it's a heartbreaking book told in forwards-backwards narrative that the reader gets to piece together along with protagonist Taylor Markham - in much the same way readers have to figure out Cadence ‘Cady’ Sinclair Eastman's tragic story with truth/fiction, memory and fantasy. But Marchetta has Lockhart beat when it comes to the romance stakes - few teen characters can compete against Jonah Griggs. 
FYI: this book is being adapted into a movie, so read it now to know what all the buzz is going to be about! 

Dreaming of Amelia is a likewise beautiful novel in which readers will have to sort out fact from fiction. And where Lockhart presents the prestigious and moneyed Sinclair family, Moriarty writes about the moneyed Ashbury school kids - great explorations into wealth and status in both books. 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie 
 Us Mob Walawurru by David Spillman & Lisa Wilyuka, 
Calypso Summer by Jared Thomas and 
Grace Beside Me by Sue McPherson

 Sherman Alexie is brilliant, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is genius. None of the readalikes I came up with have the illustrations similar to Alexie's book, but I wanted to instead focus on feelings of not fitting into one's culture and of course, wider themes of racism and diversity. 

Us Mob Walawurru is set in the 1960s, and takes place on a cattle station and ‘silver bullet' school - I can see parallels between these settings, and The Rez where Alexie's book is set. 

Calypso Summer is at once funny and heartfelt, looking at a young Nukunu man who takes on a Rastafarian identity, because he doesn't really know his own heritage. There's similar push-pull explorations of culture and identity in this book as in Sherman Alexie's, and Thomas's Calypso is an equally great character to follow as he tries to figure out what it means to be a man. 

I don't want to say that Grace Beside Me is the "girl version" of anything, but certainly Sue McPherson throws up questions of growing up a young woman without a mother, in her award-winning YA debut that's set during the year of Kevin Rudd's National Apology. 

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell → 
Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell, 
Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight by Nick Earls & Rebecca Sparrow, 
and Green Valentine by Lili Wilkinson 

I'm not the biggest fan of Eleanor and Park (*shock-horror!* I know, I know - I just prefer Fangirl and Attachments so much more) but I can appreciate that Rowell wrote a darn good "boy meets girl" spin of a story. For that reason, I've chosen on readalikes that concentrate on dynamic duos. 

Everything Beautiful is superb - Riley Rose is our protagonist, and like Eleanor she's a plus-sized girl. Her co-conspirator is a wheelchair-bound boy called Dylan, and together they're taking on a Jesus Camp. This novel broke my heart and put it back together again so many times, I can't recommend it enough - for telling a truly beautiful story of a unique friendship, and featuring two very different and fantastic protagonists in Riley and Dylan. 

Joel & Cat Set the Story Straight is laugh-out-loud awesome, and I love it for the antagonistic relationship that evolves over the course of this hilarious novel. The same way Eleanor and Park meet because they're kind of forced to share a bus-seat, Joel and Cat are forced to sit side-by-side in English class, which is how their rollercoaster ride gets started ... 

Ok, so Lili Wilkinson's Green Valentine isn't out until August but I'm so desperate for it (THAT COVER!), and I couldn't get it out of my head as an Eleanor and Park readalike. I like the opposites-attract chemistry and book promises; "Astrid Katy Smythe is beautiful, smart and popular. She's a straight-A student and a committed environmental activist. She's basically perfect. Hiro is the opposite of perfect. He's slouchy, rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn't see the point of school." 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard → 
Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta and 
The Sending by Isobelle Carmody

Confession (again!) I didn't like Red Queen - I got about 20 pages in and had to give up. It's just not my cup of tea. You know what is my cup of High Fantasy tea? - Melina Marchetta's Lumatere Chronicles series, and Isobelle Carmody's The Obernewtyn Chronicles

If you want incredible and incredibly complex female characters, adventure, violence and deeper-meanings to the fantasy then you can't go past these two incredible Aussie series. Marchetta's is a now completed trilogy (Quintana being the final book), but Carmody's is still going, with book number seven - called (get ready for this!) The Red Queen - due out later this year. 

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher → 
Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle, 
The Protected by Claire Zorn and 
Cracked Clare Strahan

So Jay Asher's 2007 book is still a NYT bestseller. Ooooookay. I didn't like it that much anyway - but in finding readalikes I was looking for books about kids dealing with the death of someone close to them, and raising mental health awareness. 

Trinity Doyle's Pieces of Sky is about protagonist Lucy, who is coming to grips with her brother's recent death. There's a small mystery in there because Lucy and her family are not sure if Cam's death was accident or suicide, and like the tapes left behind in Jay Asher's book, Lucy follows a trail of mysterious text messages to illuminate Cam's past ... 

Claire Zorn's The Protected is about Hannah accepting her sister's sudden and tragic death - but to do so Hannah, and readers, have to go back to see how complicated their sibling relationship was. There's a mystery in this book too that's a slow burn and speaks to wider issues around bullying. So powerful, highly recommend. 

And Cracked by Clare Strahan is a really stunning debut novel, examining a fifteen-year-old girl's increasing troubles with her school and home life, until she gets to a point where she's just "cracked into a pile of shards, beyond repair." 

With all three of these books there are explorations into grief, guilt and mental health - and I prefer all three of these Australian books to Jay Asher's, for giving more autonomy to the teen characters who are then able to take control of their lives in the wake of tragedy. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Choose Aussie YA - #LoveOzYA readalikes

Hello Darling Readers!

Back in May, The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) announced lists of the most borrowed books from libraries across the country for the first quarter of 2015. Libraries provided their top ten most borrowed books in four categories: adult non-fiction, adult fiction, young-adult and children's books. And in all but one of these categories, Australian writers faired well and accounted for half of the most popular books – except in the young adult fiction category, which was largely dominated by American authors. Here is the YA most-borrowed list;

1. Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (American/science fiction adventure)
2. Divergent series by Veronica Roth (American/science fiction adventure)
3. The Fault in our Stars by John Green (American/romance)
4. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (Australian/Holocaust)
5. Looking for Alaska by John Green (American/romance)
6. Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan (American/fantasy adventure)
7. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (American/science fiction)
8. Every Breath by Ellie Marney (Australian/thriller)
9. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (American/romance)
10. Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare (American/fantasy adventure)

That's a pretty great collection of books, no doubt. But it's pretty sad that Australian YA authors were outnumbered by their American-YA counterparts, and as a huge fan of Aussie YA, that poor showing of most-borrowed books is saddening. 

I've written more about what this list means, in an article for Kill Your DarlingsBut in the meantime I thought I'd pick apart the ALIA most-borrowed list in a different way, by throwing up some Australian readalikes and recommended reads (I was inspired by the fantastic EpicReads 'Like, Try Why' posts!). 

The only books I haven't provided readalikes for are the only two Australian authors to make the ALIA most-borrowed list: Markus Zusak's The Book Thief and Ellie Marney's Every Breath - big congrats to those two, and so happy to see young reader-borrowers loving these books!


Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins → 
The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn and 
Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

The Hunger Games is responsible for kicking-off the huge wave of Dystopias that have since flooded the YA scene, and in choosing these two Aussie readalikes I was thinking of both the Totalitarianism and Violence themes of Suzanne Collins' series. 

Claire Zorn's The Sky So Heavy is a very different dystopia, so I'd recommend it for anyone who is feeling a bit of fatigue around that genre but still want to explore its larger themes. As for violence, I'll just leave you with the beginning of Zorn's amazing book; "There are two things I know right now: one is that a guy is holding a gun to my head, the other is that I don't want to die." 

John Marsden's Tomorrow, When the War Began is a staple of Aussie YA, a book that every young person makes their way to eventually - whether via the bestselling book, the kick-butt 2010 movie or if they'll come to it by the in-development TV series. These books do not age, partly because of Marsden's genius of not putting a definitive name to the international invaders of Australia. And even though both Marsden and Zorn's books don't have the same sci-fi aspect that The Hunger Games does, I think their examination of violence - particularly when carried out by young people - makes them really fantastic and thought-provoking readalikes to Collins' series. 

Looking for Alaska by John Green → 
Six Impossible Things and Wildlife by Fiona Wood 

Oh, you don't think anyone can touch John Green's irreverent wit and devastating teen characters? Then, my friend, allow me to present to you Australia's answer to tender teen tales - Fiona Wood. 

If you liked Miles Halter's disillusioned crush on the beautiful Alaska Young in Looking for Alaska, then Dan Cereill's pining love for girl-next-door Estelle in Six Impossible Things is perfect for you. 

And if you're wondering where the sucker-punch comes into it, let me prepare you for Fiona Wood's sorta-sequel (because you can read these books as stand-alones) in Wildlife. This book also ticks the boarding-school box as a Looking for Alaska readalike. 

And dare I say, I think some aspects of Fiona Wood's books kick John Green's teen melodrama in the butt? For one thing - some of her male characters are just devastatingly lovely and complex, her girls are feisty feminists and where John Green swept family matters under the rug in Looking for Alaska, Fiona Wood explores complicated families brilliantly in both her books. 

The Maze Runner by James Dashner  → 
Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

This is a tricky one but I think Marianne de Pierres in her Night Creatures series touches on quite a few of the bigger Dystopian themes that Dashner does in Maze Runner. In de Pierres' series, her teen characters are trapped on an island called Ixion, and though there are no Grievers there are scary night creatures lurking in the dark with the children. 

Marianne de Pierres series is much more fantastical than Dashner's science-fiction, but I like them for a readalike because they're both essentially about random bands of kids coming together to overcome a common foe in harsh conditions. 

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green → 
The First Third by Will Kostakis

Again, I can practically hear your cynicism over the interwebs! I know John Green is incredible for conjuring "all the feels" and being immensely tumblr-quote worthy ... but I'm telling you, he's not the only great author exploring realistic teen fiction, thus I present Will Kostakis! 

An Abundance of Katherines is a really interesting romance that explores the complications of a young man's heart and heartbreak. I see The First Third as a readalike because Kostakis mixes heartwarming humour with gutwrenching, cringe-worthy romance in much the same way Green does, with both books exploring the slings and arrows, humiliations and humours of falling in love ... but if I'm honest, Will Kostakis made me laugh harder and louder - something that comes when the jokes are sometimes irreverently Aussie. 

This book also poked at my heart a lot more than Green's did - because as much as The First Third is about protagonist Billy falling hard for girls, there's a gorgeous friendship-relationship in there too with his best friend Sticks, so called because he has cerebral palsy. 

Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare → 
Mercy series by Rebecca Lim and 
The Rephaim by Paula Weston

Angels and demons, good VS evil - both Rebecca Lim and Paula Weston nail these subjects, and far better than Cassandra Clare in my opinion. I personally had problems with Cassandra Clare presenting a fairly Mary-Sue, specialiest snowflake kind of female protagonist in her Mortal Instruments series, so I think a real strength of Lim and Weston's angel series is their far more complex and imperfect heroines (who are therefore, more interesting!). 

There are mysteries tied into all three of these angel-themed series, so as readalikes they're no-brainers. But if I'm being honest, I'd rather read Mercy and The Rephaim any day (and re-read them!) whereas with Mortal Instruments I struggled not to throw the first book across the other side of the room. 

Divergent series by Veronica Roth → 
Twinmaker series by Sean Williams and 
The Tribe series by Ambelin Kwaymullina

As with choosing Hunger Games readalikes, I was thinking about the key genre of Dystopia with these Aussie selections. More specifically, I was thinking about the perfect-society conundrum presented in the Divergent series, and how quickly a Utopia can turn into a Dystopia (or how it's always been that way, and our protagonists are only just realising it ...) 

A key question of William's Twinmaker series is "If you discovered something was very wrong with this perfect world, what would you do?" And that's really what Tris is confronted with in Divergent too. Similarly Kwaymullina's series is a great environmental-Dystopian that has a band of outcasts able to see clearly where the world has gone wrong, and needing to come up against the establishment to try and right these wrongs. The Tribe is especially great as a truly Australian Dystopian, with Kwaymullina drawing on Indigenous mythology and devastating history to craft this futuristic Dystopian. 

 Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan → 
The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix and 
The Rephaim by Paula Weston

This one was tricky, mostly because I see the Percy Jackson series more as middle-grade, not strictly young adult. For that reason, I chose Garth Nix's The Keys to the Kingdom series, which will please readers young and old and really draws on fantasy and magic elements - not exactly as Riordan does with Greek Mythology in his series, but still with genuine aplomb. 

I chose Paula Weston's The Rephaim (again!) because I can't go past the readalike complications in both series, surrounding this idea of "the sins of the father" ... Paula Weston's may be all about angels where Riordan's is Greek myth, but both have a great band of secondary characters, fantastic fight scenes and daddy-issues galore.  

The Fault in our Stars by John Green → 
Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts

This one may seem obvious - they're both (*cringe*) "kids with cancer" books. But that oversimplifies these two genuinely beautiful and tender YA books that cut to the heart of mortality, love, and living for yourself for as long as you can. 

No, in choosing a readalike for John Green's TFiOS juggernaut, I was more thinking of Green's time spent studying to be a Christian Minister (which is where he first encountered hospital-bound kids) and Australian author A.J. Bett's day-job as a teacher in the oncology ward at Princess Margaret Hospital in Western Australia, which is how she got inspired to tell the tale of these extraordinary kids she encounters in her life. 

I think the beauty in both of these books is that the author's background makes for really interesting further discussion, and reveals the deeper side to these topics that have recently been dismissed as "sick-lit". 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What teachers and school librarians can do to support Indigenous books - guest post by Ambelin Kwaymullina

This is the second in a series of posts which answers questions I’m often asked about what people can do to support Indigenous books (and by Indigenous books I mean books written or co-written by Indigenous people, not the books written about us). I use the term ‘Indigenous’ to encompass both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Implementing my suggestions will mean more work, and I’m sorry for that because I know how hard many teachers and librarians are already working. But I also know that a lot of you understand why this matters. Because you’ve seen what happens to those who cannot find stories that speak to their reality. Some of you have seen, too, what a difference it can make to an Indigenous child or teenager to be handed a book written by someone just like them. And you are more aware than anyone of the degree to which reading promotes empathy, and the way in which the worlds of all children and teenagers are made richer and larger by reading of cultures different to their own.

So here’s some thoughts on what can be done:

1.     Assess what books you’ve got by Indigenous writers in your library. There’s an enormous range of books across all ages and genres – do you have them? If not, can you begin to build a collection? And as to where you can find them – the majority of books written by Aboriginal people are published by Indigenous publishers such as Magabala Books, IAD Press and Aboriginal Studies Presswith Magabala having the most children’s/YA publications of the three. So start with the Indigenous publishers, and move on to the terrific books published by other publishers from there.  

2.     Know the books yourself (and the best way to do this is to read them). Develop an understanding of the diversity of Indigenous literature which speaks in turn to the diversity of Indigenous experience, because your engagement with the books means you will be able to engage others.

3.     Does your school have a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)? If not, encourage it to develop one (and you can view examples of RAPs developed by other schools on the Reconciliation Australia website). If your school does have a RAP, then there are already objectives in place relating to relationships with Indigenous people, respect for Indigenous culture, and the creation of opportunity. Some of these objectives probably relate to books (for example many school RAPs include a goal of developing an Indigenous resources collection and/or the incorporation of Indigenous perspectives into curriculum). Is your school achieving these objectives? And how might books help you achieve other objectives in the RAP? Indigenous books are, by their nature, culturally respectful places where the creator is sharing their knowledge and experience on their own terms.

4.     Be aware of how you approach Indigenous books. It sometimes happens that Indigenous books – indeed books by all diverse writers – are pigeonholed as ‘issues’ books, or as books that are only relevant to people from that particular group. Ellen Oh (one of the founders of the US-based We Need Diverse Books campaign) has written about this in relation to diversity more generally, and challenged parents, caretakers and educators to “take a hard look at themselves for internalised biases that may affect the way they look at children’s books.” Are the narratives you’ve unconsciously absorbed about Indigenous people affecting how you view Indigenous books, and how you talk about them?

5.     Think about what you can do to draw attention to the books and incorporate them into student learning. There are some obvious opportunities for promoting Indigenous books in libraries and classrooms, for example during NAIDOC week or National Reconciliation Week. But what can be done outside of this to engage your students with the reality of a diverse world, including the stories of the First Peoples of Australia? And what resources are available to help you? For this, you could start with publisher websites. For example, both Magabala Books and Aboriginal Studies Press have education sections that contain teacher’s notes and links to other resources. Beyond that there is a massive range of online material available – here are just a few examples:
·      The AIATSIS website for information on Indigenous peoples, histories and culture
·      The Blackwords database, for information and resources about Indigenous writers
·      Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning for teacher resources and school-specific instructions on developing a RAP
·      The ABC Splash website, which contains videos, games and resources mapped to the Australian curriculum (look at the topic ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures’)

6.     Join the conversation – or perhaps start it – with your colleagues. One of the outcomes of the We Need Diverse Books campaign in the US has been discussions amongst librarians and teachers reflecting on their practice and exchanging ideas. If your school or library has an initiative that’s worked, why not share it? If you’ve used an Indigenous book in your classroom, tell your colleagues about it. Raise up your voices – and share the books.
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