Review Blog

May 15 2018

Growing up Aboriginal in Australia edited by Anita Heiss

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Black Inc, 2018. ISBN 9781863959810
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended.
This is a collection of short stories that can easily be picked up and read whenever there is a spare moment - they are life stories drawn from around Australia, from different walks of life, but all with a heart-felt story to share about what it is like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia. There are stories from people you will probably recognise - Deborah Cheetham, Adam Goodes, Miranda Tapsell, as well as stories from 'ordinary' people not encountered before. Some titles may draw you in - 'This is Nat, she's Abo', 'White bread dreaming', 'Black bum', 'Nobody puts Baby Spice in a corner' - but each story selected brings its reward, a deeper understanding of personal experiences, often extreme hardships and suffering, but also of strong family connections, love and good humour. Somehow despite the hardships, the voices of these writers have a strength and resilience that draws respect and empathy. There are sad stories though, of people lost, but they are still remembered with love as special people not to be forgotten. All in all, it is a wonderful collection of inspiring stories of people who have survived adversity and kept their spirit.
I recommend this book for every school library.
Helen Eddy

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