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1 1 y separately published work icon Knockabout Boy : Tales and Songs of a Train Jumper in the 1930s Bill Ryland , Canberra : National Library of Australia , (Manuscript version)x402096 Z1625578 single work autobiography
1 y separately published work icon The Imagineer Chris Cheng , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2021 20875097 2021 single work children's fiction children's

'Penny loves inventing and when she discovers her grandfathers shed, full of very many old and wonderful things, she sets about creating her most wonderful invention ever.' (Publication summary)

1 y separately published work icon Australia's Wild Weird Wonderful Weather Stephanie Owen Reeder , Tania McCartney (illustrator), Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2020 21158096 2020 single work information book children's

'Did you know that, in 2009, a massive dust storm in Australia blew red dust and sand all the way to New Zealand, where it turned the glaciers pink? That, in 1899, Cyclone Mahina plucked dolphins out of the ocean in Far North Queensland and deposited them on cliff tops? That it snowed at Uluru in 1997?

'In Australia's Wild Weird Wonderful Weather, readers are introduced to the wide range of weather in Australia, with bite-size pieces of information presented alongside graphic illustrations to entice young readers. Older readers will enjoy the detailed explanations about everything weather, from what causes certain phenomena to reading weather maps, exploring the climate of the past and preparing for the climate of the future.

'With sections about Australia's extreme weather and the effects of climate change, Australia's Wild Weird Wonderful Weather gently introduces young readers to the challenges of a warming planet and encourages them to be mindful of impact their actions have on the environment.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 y separately published work icon Searching for Charlotte: The Fascinating Story of Australia's First Children's Author Belinda Murrell , Kate Forsyth , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2020 20791476 2020 single work biography

'For almost 140 years, the author of Australia’s first book for children was a mystery. Known only by the description ‘a Lady Long Resident in New South Wales’, she was the subject of much speculation. It was not until 1980, after a decade of sleuthing, that legendary bibliographer Marcie Muir gave her a name: Charlotte Waring Atkinson. And not only a name, but an extensive creative family history, connecting her to two of the nation’s celebrated contemporary children’s writers, Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell.

'To Forsyth and Murrell, Atkinson (also known as Barton) is great-great-great-great grandmother and the subject of the stories they grew up on—part of a thread of creative women that runs through the history of their family. Hers is one of the great lost stories of Australian history: a tale of love, grief, violence and triumph in the face of overwhelming odds.

'After spending half her life educating the children of the well-to-do in England, in 1826, at 30 years of age, Charlotte Waring accepted a job on the other side of the world. She was to teach the children of Maria Macarthur, daughter of former New South Wales governor Philip Gidley King. But on the voyage, love diverted her to a different future: marriage to the eligible James Atkinson meant she spent just seven short months with her charges. What followed were years of hardship in the New South Wales bush, including the death of Atkinson and her subsequent marriage to an abusive drunk, a brutal attack by bushrangers, penury and the threat of having her children taken away.

'In Searching for Charlotte, Forsyth and Murrell tell Charlotte’s story along with that of their own journey to discover her. In an intriguing account, the sisters join the reader in reacting to Charlotte’s actions: wondering what could have motivated certain choices; admiring the strength of spirit that pushed Charlotte through turmoil in the Australian colonies; and reviling attitudes that were common to the mid-1800s but are abhorrent in the twentieth century.

'The extraordinary, long-buried life story of Australia’s earliest published children’s author, Searching for Charlotte combines elements of biography, recreation of history and rediscovery of family history. It is a sometimes confronting but ultimately heartwarming journey into the story of a family with writing in its blood.' (Publisher's abstract)

1 y separately published work icon Great Expectations : Emigrant Governesses in Colonial Australia Patricia Clarke , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2020 18827966 2020 multi chapter work biography

'Teach your protégées to emigrate; send them where the men want wives, the mothers want governesses

'For educated middle-class women in nineteenth-century Britain, options were limited. Marry and bear children, accept the drudgery of keeping house for relatives or friends, or attempt to find a position in one of the very few industries that would employ women. This is the story of a group of intrepid ladies who found a different solution on the other side of the world.

'Wanted, a Governess competent to teach music, dancing, and the usual branches of education. Respectable references required.

'The Female Middle Class Emigration Society scheme helped governesses and would-be governesses emigrate to the colonies from 1861 to 1886. The women who participated were encouraged to write back to the society, and it is their letters—sometimes plaintive, sometimes upbeat—that form the heart of this book. Written by women who were often fluent in multiple foreign languages, skilled artists and musicians, able to teach the liberal arts, as well as algebra and geometry, the letters describe wildly different experiences and stories of culture clash abound.

'In my new home I shall make acquaintance with a new class of people—the nouveaux riches, but I may consider myself now colonized

'Some women gained employment with well-established families even before their ships had docked, formed close relationships with their employers or found husbands. Dublin-born Mary Bayly had a heavy workload teaching the six Hills children of Cooks River, New South Wales, English, French, German, Latin, music and singing, but her employers were ‘very kind’, she found the Australian scenery beautiful—‘As to the Harbour and the views over the sea, they can never to me lose their charming freshness and attractiveness’—and she eventually married an Australian-born teacher who would rise to the position of headmaster, thereby retaining her middle-class status.

'Be sensible, undergo a little domestic training and come out here to take your chance

'Some women battled extreme loneliness, wild colonial boys and girls, unsupportive employers, poverty and disillusionment. Rosa Phayne, daughter of an accountant, considered her fellow ship passengers ‘so very low and horrid a set’, described Melbourne as ‘beyond anything abominable in every respect’ and, despite finding a position on a sheep station in the Victorian Wimmera, wrote that her employer had ‘not one feeling like a lady, although one ostensibly’ and declared life in Australia for a governess one of ‘intense loneliness and unprotectedness, utter friendlessness’.

'I am very glad I came to Australia, but I cannot say I like it very much, it is such an out-of-the-world place and so monotonous

'Others were great observers of the Australian character. According to Gertrude Gooch, ‘All Australians ride like Arabs, love luxury and money. They live very much out of doors and eat great quantities of fruit’. The women ‘are certainly very indolent and untidy’, which explained their offspring: ‘Australian children are just like the vegetation here for neither appear to submit to much control. Pineapples, peaches and the finest fruit grow in open air without care and the children are equally wild and impetuous’.

'Great Expectations tells of the colonial experiences of a particular group of emigrant women, but it also tells a broader story, of emigration, education, class prejudice and the development of Australian society.' (Publication summary)

1 y separately published work icon Strangers on Country Dave Hartley , Kirsty Murray , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2020 18447776 2020 single work biography

'Imagine you find a stranger on your favourite beach. They are pale, starving, desperate for shelter and speak a language you can't understand. Despite your fears, you treat them with kindness. You feed them and comfort them. They become like family to you and learn how to live on country. 

''Strangers on Country' describes the experiences of six Europeans who were taken in by Indigenous communities of eastern Australia between the 1820s and 1870s. The shipwreck survivors and runaway convicts stayed alive only through their hosts' generosity.  

'Too often Australian history is told only from a European perspective. Imagining events from both Indigenous Australian and European perspectives, the authors have brought to life remarkable true stories that inspire connection and understanding.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 1 y separately published work icon Ellis Rowan : A Life in Pictures Christine Morton-Evans , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2020 18447700 2020 single work biography

'The extraordinary Ellis Rowan was no mere 'lady flower painter'. To great effect, she cast herself in the role of 'intrepid lady explorer', and became as well known for her lively accounts of flower-hunting exploits as for her paintings. 

'Over the course of 50 years, she journeyed to many wild and inhospitable places in Australia and beyond, searching for her beloved wildflowers and wildlife subjects, always impeccably dressed in long skirt, high-button boots and wide-brimmed hat. At the age of 70, she ventured alone into the jungles of New Guinea, the first Australian woman to do so. 

'Hers was a solitary, dedicated life, but one coloured by enthusiasm, energy and optimism. She felt different and so became different, flouting the conventions of her time. Her curiosity about people, places and nature, and her ability to make friends of strangers, allowed adventures to fall into her lap. 

'This is her story, told through the wonderful paintings that form part of her collection of 970 works held by the National Library of Australia.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 y separately published work icon Will the Wonderkid : Treasure Hunter of the Australian Outback Stephanie Owen Reeder , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2020 18447609 2020 single work biography children's

'Do you know how the Coober Pedy opal fields were discovered? In December 1914, when Australia was suffering from the worst drought in recorded history, Will Hutchison, his dad, two other explorers and six camels headed out into outback South Australia in search of gold. Will was only 15, and he'd never ridden a camel or been in a desert before. Not surprisingly, both gold and water proved difficult for the expeditioners to find. Finally, in a desperate search for drinking water, the men left Will alone at their remote campsite. While they were away, fed up with babysitting camels and fighting off flies, Will made the dangerous decision to head out into the desert by himself in search of water. Against the odds, this plucky teenager not only survived the experience but also made a truly remarkable discovery. This is the true story of Will Hutchison, treasure hunter extraordinaire.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 y separately published work icon The Night of the Hiding Moon Emma Allen , Sher Rill Ng (illustrator), Parkes : National Library of Australia , 2020 17537902 2020 single work picture book children's

'Alone is his room, Felix is frightened. A wild storm is raging outside, and the silver moon has disappeared. But, with the help of his trusty torch and some new friends, Felix finds the courage to frolic with shadows and discover incredible new worlds. A story of adventure, imagination and bravery inspired by Asian shadow puppetry. Includes information section about the history and art of Asian shadow puppetry, featuring images from the collections of the National Library of Australia.'  (Publication summary)

1 8 y separately published work icon Frank Hurley : A Photographer's Life Alasdair McGregor , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 Z1155504 2004 single work biography
1 y separately published work icon Gary Proctor Interviewed by Daniel Connell Daniel Connell (interviewer), Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 18381850 2019 single work interview
1 y separately published work icon David Carter interviewed by Daniel Connell Daniel Connell (interviewer), Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 18381732 2019 single work interview
1 y separately published work icon Tom Keneally Interviewed by Garry Sturgess Garry Sturgess (interviewer), Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 18381647 2019 single work interview
1 y separately published work icon Li Yao Interviewed by Garry Sturgess Garry Sturgess (interviewer), Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 18381112 2019 single work interview
1 y separately published work icon Fauna : Australia's Most Curious Creatures Tania McCartney , Tania McCartney (illustrator), Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 17278276 2019 single work picture book children's

'Did you know that platypus have retractable webbing on their hind feet to enable an easy transition from swimming to digging? That kangaroos can’t sweat and that the cassowary has no tongue?

'In Fauna - Australia’s Most Curious Creatures, readers are constantly introduced to facts that delight, amaze and induce sheer wonder at the clever design and adaptability of our much-loved native fauna.

'The information on each individual species is presented in small ‘bites’ to hold the interest of younger readers, while the information taken in total gives a comprehensive summary of each species, including breeding and feeding habits, physical characteristics, habitat and other unique and quirky features.

'Fauna also has a strong conservation message with an ‘extinction roll call’ and a rating for the vulnerability of endangered species.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 y separately published work icon Trouble in the Surf Stephanie Owen Reeder , Briony Stewart (illustrator), Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 17277194 2019 single work picture book children's

'It’s a hot summer’s day in Sydney Town, and nine-year-old cousins Charlie Smith and Rupert Swallow can’t wait to dive into the surf at Bondi Beach. But the beach can be a dangerous place. Out past the breakers, where the seagulls swoop and soar, lurks a strong rip that can drag unsuspecting swimmers out to sea. Travel back in time to January 1907, and join Charlie and Rupert on a true-life, heart-stopping seaside adventure.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 y separately published work icon Australian Backyard Earth Scientist Peter Macinnis , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 17204383 2019 single work non-fiction children's

'Find out where rain comes from and what geysers look like! Read about soil becoming too salty and why greenhouse gases are increasing. Did you know that fog is a cloud sitting on the ground and that ice can tell you about the environment of millions of years ago? And what is lightning anyway? Australian Backyard Earth Scientist is full of fantastic photos and fascinating information that help explain different aspects of earth science - a science that discovered how old the Earth is, what fossils tell us, how mountains were created, what causes earthquakes, what the difference between weather and climate is, and why glaciers are melting. 

'From the beginnings of the planet through to climate change, 'Australian Backyard Earth Scientist' includes interesting and fun facts and projects help develop an understanding and appreciation - like making your own fossils, collecting cloud types, and using tree rings to find out about past weather. Young readers can discover the influences that have fashioned our earth - and are still acting to change it.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 y separately published work icon All Aboard! : True Train Tales Pauline Deeves , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 17137297 2019 single work children's fiction children's '"I come from a railway family. My dad drives trains, my grandpa was an engine driver and so was his father ..." 

'Jack loves visiting Grandpa in his old train carriage. He loves helping him in the train museum. And he loves hearing his stories about trains and railways. From runaway engines to people-powered carriages, train-robbing bushrangers and lifesaving pointsmen, Grandpa always has a tale to pass the time. Best of all, every one of them is true. 

'Join Jack and his Grandpa as they journey through Australian railway history - and try to save the town's precious train museum. 

'Budding young train enthusiasts will love poring over the historic photos and facts and figures at the end of each chapter, and testing their knowledge in the 'Train Your Brain' quizzes. ' (Publication summary)
1 y separately published work icon Story Time Stars Story Time Stars : Favourite Characters from Australian Picture Books Stephanie Owen Reeder , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 16731728 2019 single work criticism

'What makes a children’s book character memorable? Is it their personality, the story they tell or the way they’re depicted by the illustrator? Is it that they make us laugh or cry? Or is it that we can identify with them? Often, even as adults, we can remember what our favourite children’s book characters said or conjure an image of them in our mind’s eye.

From Snugglepot and Cuddlepie to the green sheep and Pig the Pug, Australian children’s book characters have always delighted the young and young-at-heart. Get together with old friends and meet new ones in this lighthearted retrospective of much-loved characters from over a century of Australian illustrated books for children.

Many will be delighted to reencounter Albert, the cranky cut-and-come-again magic pudding, who has fought the puddin’ thieves in multiple editions, as well as across the stage in musical theatre, puppet shows, animated films and opera. Others will be thrilled to see lovable grass tree Grug, who was once described by The New York Times as the ‘Elmo of Down Under’, and who has bustled through over 30 picture books since he first appeared in Grug in 1979. \

With such classic characters included alongside newer stars, parents and grandparents can not only share their favourites, but can also get to know the newer characters who enchant their children and grandchildren. Today’s little ones love to go searching for Mem Fox and Judy Horacek’s green sheep, who won the CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year Award in 2005. They grump along with Nick Bland’s bear, who has been cranky, itchy, hungry and noisy, to name but a few of his dispositions. And they giggle at greedy Pig, the pug, who is awfully mean to his flatmate Trevor, but who always gets his comeuppance in the end.

All these characters and more showcase the breadth of Australian children’s books over the last century and give readers of all ages the chance to get to know their favourite characters a little better. '

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 2 y separately published work icon Australia's First Naturalists : Indigenous Peoples’ Contribution to Early Zoology Penny Olsen , Lynette Russell , Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2019 16643147 2019 multi chapter work criticism biography

'Would Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson have ever crossed the Blue Mountains without the help of the local Aboriginal people? The invaluable role of local guides in this event is rarely recognised. As silent partners, Aboriginal Australians gave Europeans their first views of iconic animals, such as the Koala and Superb Lyrebird, and helped to unravel the mystery of the egg-laying mammals: the Echidna and Platypus. Well into the twentieth century, Indigenous people were routinely engaged by collectors, illustrators and others with an interest in Australia's animals. Yet this participation, if admitted at all, was generally ƯƯbarely acknowledged. However, when documented, it was clearly significant. Penny Olsen and Lynette Russell have gathered together Aboriginal peoples' contributions to demonstrate the crucial role they played in early Australian zoology. The writings of the early European naturalists clearly describe the valuable knowledge of the Indigenous people of the habits of Australia's bizarre (to a European) fauna. Australia's First Naturalists is invaluable for those wanting to learn more about our original inhabitants' contribution to the collection, recognition and classification of Australia's unique fauna. It heightens our appreciation of the previously unrecognised complex knowledge of Indigenous societies.'  (Publication summary)