Amazing Australian Women by Pamela Freeman and Sophie Beer
Lothian Children's Books, 2018. ISBN 9780734418456
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Themes: Women - Australia. The authors have chosen twelve Australian women from different backgrounds and time periods to feature in this brightly illustrated book. Some of them will be familiar to all Australians, for example Mary Reiby, convict and business woman who features on the $20 note, while others like Tarenore, an indigenous resistance fighter, may not be as well known. It is this mix of well-known and less well known women that make this book such a fascinating read.
It is a book that can be read from cover to cover, with the women arranged in chronological order, but it can also be perused by using the introduction and map of Australia at the beginning, and then skimming through the book either to find women from an Australian state or a woman whose work is unfamiliar to the reader. I knew some of the background of Mary Lee and Nellie Melba, but found more snippets of information that greatly added to my knowledge. I became engrossed in the story Tilly Aston, teacher writer and disability activist, while the scientist Ruby Payne-Scott and her work with radio telescopes will provide a great role model for girls who want to succeed in the science area. The information about each woman was succinct and interesting and the illustrations will appeal to the book's audience.
The back of the book has a section "More information", with links to websites including biographies and other details, e.g. Emily Kame Kngwarreye, has links to three websites displaying her art and a link to images of Emily from Trove.
The conclusion notes that it was hard to select just twelve women and that there are extraordinary women doing extraordinary things in every walk of life. And then challenges the reader to
What is my story going to be?
What will I do?
How will I change the world?"
This is a must have for every library and would be a perfect gift for any child interested in Australian history and achievements.