Australian April and the first Australians – Texts about Indigenous Australians
In the bookgenremonthly blog on Jasper Jones I referred to Dougy , Deadly Unna and Herbie as comparisons and as a result started thinking of the other indigenous themed texts I have read over the past few years that have given me the “aha” moment. There are two standouts – Boori Pryor’s Autobiography – Maybe Tomorrow and John Danalis’ Riding the Black Cockatoo. I am not going to write much about Maybe Tomorrow as one of my TL colleagues has blogged about it in the past week (see here) but I will say that not only is it an eye opening read, but that Boori is an excellent school speaker AND the quality of his message was reinforced to me when I found out he is currently Australian Children’s Laureate (together with Alison Lester). So, to the other “aha”text – Riding the Black Cockatoo. It is an account of the experience and journey of John Danalis as he tries to repatriate – Mary – an aboriginal skull that has been on his family’s mantel piece to its rightful place. It not only highlights and tries to counter the history of racism within Australian society but helps explain the connection that aborigines have to their land and the animals that live on it. Some will find it confronting but for me it showed how far relations have progressed. What else would I recommend? See the next blog.