'My Place, the classic Australian picture book, is a "time machine" which takes the reader back into the past. It depicts the history of one particular piece of land in Sydney from 1788 to 1988 through the stories of the various children who have lived there. It aims to teach the reader about the history of Australia, about families, settlers, multiculturalism, and the traditional owners of the land. Each child's story covers a decade in time, showing their particular dress, customs and family life.
'The book also features maps that the successive generations of children have 'drawn' which demonstrate the things that have changed - as well as the things that have remained constant. My Place ultimately aims to show "that everyone is part of History" and that "every place has a story as old as the earth".' -- Provided by publisher (2008 ed.)
'In Town, James Roy turns his hand to the short story, using it to explore the lives of the young residents of an Australian town. This town doesn't have a name. But if it seems familiar, it's because we recognise the people who walk its streets.
'From the serendipity of an unexpected moment of connection, to the sadness of leaving home, and the pain of the desperate decisions we make, these stories take a personal and uncompromising look at life. Love and loss, grief, humour and passion. Hope and hopelessness. Thirteen linked short stories, spanning a year in the lives of thirteen young people, from a town near you.' (Publisher's blurb)
'Friendship is a slippery notion. We lose friends as we change and our friends don't, or as we form other alliances, or as we betray our friends or are ourselves betrayed ...
'Alice, Hartley, Mitsy and Jamie are kids growing up in Broome before the Second World War. Their lives, although very different, are bound by friendship. Hartley and Alice Penrose are the children of an uneducated pearling master and a cultivated, disgruntled mother. Mitsy Sennosuke is Japanese, the daughter of Zeke, a diver working for Hartley and Alice's father, and Sadako, who makes soy sauce in a tin shed factory. Jamie Kilian is the son of a local magistrate, recently moved north from the city. Together, they unconsciously cross the boundaries of class and race, as they swim, joke and watch films in the cinema in Sheba Lane.
'But these happy, untroubled times end when lives are lost in a terrible cyclone, Alice falls for a wealthy cattleman pilot, a young woman is assaulted, and Hartley and Jamie compete for the love of Mitsy. The Second World War brings further strain into their lives. The four friends are no longer children but old enough to fight for their country. As Japanese bombs begin to fall like silver rain on northern Australia, loyalties are divided and friendships take on an altogether different form …
'This thrilling and beautifully written new novel from Garry Disher evokes an era of Australia caught up in the events of war and its effects on people torn apart from all they know and hold dear in childhood.' (Source: Publisher's website)
This unit examines the relationships between Australia's changing culture and society, and the literature that society produces for its children. It deals mainly with the literature of the past 20 years, and explores the representations of such issues as: maturation; relationships of self to place; structures of power and authority in society; and the quest for reconciliation between the white settler society and the Aboriginal peoples of Australia. These issues are examined in fiction, picture books, and film.