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Teaching with Fantasy: Ambelin Kwaymullina, The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

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  • Suggested Focus for Lessons

  • Suggested Year Levels

  • This book would be especially suitable for students in Years 8 to 10. The novel is especially suitable if teachers are looking for a story with a strong, female protagonist, and/or a novel with connections to Australian Indigenous ways of understanding the world.

    While this series is sometimes treated as a book for young adolescents, there is plenty to engage older readers, including the romance element of the plot. In addition, teachers should be aware that the novel contains scenes involving psychological torture, as well as violence and death – although nothing any worse than might be found in the Harry Potter series. As usual, though, teachers should preview the books carefully before using them in class or making recommendations to individual students.

  • Aspects of Particular Interest in the Novel

  • This might be of special interest if you and your students are exploring:

    • speculative and dystopic fiction.
    • ways Indigenous worldviews can be used to shape a novel, including notions of leadership and heroism.
    • themes such as rebellion and dissent, memory, justice, belonging, diversity, survival and endurance, the environment.
  • Links to Australian Curriculum: English

    The activities associated with The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf  by Ambelin Kwaymullina may be especially relevant to the following content descriptions in the Literature Strand of the Australian Curriculum: English.

  • Year



    • Reflect on ideas and opinions about characters, settings and events in literary texts, identifying areas of agreement and difference with others and justifying a point of view (ACELT1620)
    • Discuss aspects of texts, for example their aesthetic and social value, using relevant and appropriate metalanguage (ACELT1803)
    • Recognise and analyse the ways that characterisation, events and settings are combined in narratives, and discuss the purposes and appeal of different approaches (ACELT1622)
    • Create literary texts that adapt stylistic features encountered in other texts, for example, narrative viewpoint, structure of stanzas, contrast and juxtaposition (ACELT1625)


    • Share, reflect on, clarify and evaluate opinions and arguments about aspects of literary texts (ACELT1627)
    • Recognise and explain differing viewpoints about the world, cultures, individual people and concerns represented in texts (ACELT1807)
    • Recognise, explain and analyse the ways literary texts draw on readers’ knowledge of other texts and enable new understanding and appreciation of aesthetic qualities (ACELT1629)
    • Create literary texts that draw upon text structures and language features of other texts for particular purposes and effects (ACELT1632)


    • Present an argument about a literary text based on initial impressions and subsequent analysis of the whole text (ACELT1771)
    • Explore and reflect on personal understanding of the world and significant human experience gained from interpreting various representations of life matters in texts (ACELT1635)
    • Analyse texts from familiar and unfamiliar contexts, and discuss and evaluate their content and the appeal of an individual author’s literary style (ACELT1636)
    • Analyse text structures and language features of literary texts, and make relevant comparisons with other texts (ACELT1772)
    • Create literary texts, including hybrid texts, that innovate on aspects of other texts, for example by using parody, allusion and appropriation (ACELT1773)


    • Analyse and explain how text structures, language features and visual features of texts and the context in which texts are experienced may influence audience response (ACELT1641)
    • Evaluate the social, moral and ethical positions represented in texts (ACELT1812)
    • Identify, explain and discuss how narrative viewpoint, structure, characterisation and devices including analogy and satire shape different interpretations and responses to a text (ACELT1642)

    • Create imaginative texts that make relevant thematic and intertextual connections with other texts (ACELT1644)

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