Since I declared my book challenge my life has taken a rather dramatic change having moved 700+km to return to full-time work. Nevertheless I am proud of my recent committment to achieving my goal – I think I set it for 6.
I have read almost 2 Meme McDonald and Boori Monty Prior Books in the past couple of weeks and loved them. Inspired by Judith Ridge’s article I dove into My Girrandji. I can see why it was Book of the Year: Younger Readers.
I love the narrative style and the presentation of the story with interspersed pictures and page illustrations. I love the use of authentic langauge, but here I do have one criticism. Words such as gammin or charging didn’t really need to be translated within the narrative. I know that having grown up around Aboriginal families and having taught in Aboriginal communities I probably have a better grasp of Aboriginal English than some, but this begs the question of who is the intended audience of this book. I can think of plenty of kids I have taught that I hope will read this book. It is the very authenticity of the language and the rawness of the hairyman that cannot be replicated by someone who has not experienced the childhood fear of the “bad hairyman”. Kids, adults, everyone reads books that they can relate to on some level, the more levels the better.
I would love some of my students to read this book and have their lives enriched by the knowledge that somewhere in the world of literature there are people who make a living telling stories using the same language they use with their families and talking about the same cultural experiences and beliefs as themselves. This book has universal appeal to anyone who has experienced fear, overcome terror and gown into self-confidence. It is about family, self belief and the knowledge that some things that others call superstition are really real.
My husband is now reading it and loving it too, and he’s much less of a bookworm than myself. In many ways I see similarities between Aboriginal culture and that of the West Indies, where the husband is from. Perhaps Allen and Unwin should consider sending a few copies over there.
I am currently reading Fly Trap and totally loving it. Perhaps I can relate better to this one as it has a female protagonist – gotta love the girls. I also got excited by the use of the story of how the echidna got his spines. This is a great Dreaming story that the AERT teacher read to my class on Friday, but sometimes I wonder what is the next step from here. What are the kids supposed to do with that story after they’re finished infants school? Thanks Boori and Meme for delivering the next step.
I can’t wait to finish reading Fly Trap.
After that I have Stop Watch Books 1, 2 and 3 by Sally Morgan, Ambelin, Blaze amd Ezekiel Kwaymullina lined up on my bedside table. Hurrah for #NYR2012