Book Recommendations from Australia

Hello! My wife and I are teachers at a school here in the USA. Each year, we choose a country to emphasize throughout the year in our classes and extra programs. This school year, we are studying South Africa. In order for us to learn more about South Africa, we read a lot of books about society/history (most notably race relations/Apartheid’s effects), and we also read some fiction books set in S.A.

This coming school year, we are studying Australia. I am reaching out to the Postcrossing community there to see if you have any book recs for us–fiction books that give us a good glimpse into the culture and/or non-fiction that teaches us about whatever it is we need to know! :slight_smile: I think colonization/Indigenous rights is a topic that has echoes here in the US, but I don’t know a good book to start with. Also, I’m sure that’s not the only cultural topic of interest, so feel free to offer whatever.

Clarification: The books are for my wife and me to read for our own benefit, not to be taught with the students, though what we learn may inspire us in our lessons.



You might like to consider some of John Marsdens books.


Also Storm Boy by Colin Thiele is another book you might like to consider


Sounds like a great idea. What age are the students? Just an approximate age, I have a few ideas but what I would recommend for younger kids may be different for senior high school kids.

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This, and I especially recommend The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan. Two icons of Australian culture.

It’s an allegorical picture book which uses rabbits as a metaphor for colonisation. It’s beautifully illustrated and written. You can explore it to whatever depth is suitable for the age group of your students.

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The books are for my wife and me, not for the kids, so anything is welcome. :slight_smile:

I found Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta to be a really informative introduction to indigenous ways of thinking about the world, so very very different from my native Western rationalist perspective.

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Some ideas:

My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
For the Term of his Natural Life by Marcus Clarke
Down Under - Travels from a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson - a funny outsiders perspective on modern life in Australia - by an American who lives in Britain