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Australian, Historical

Old Times October – A Waltz for Matilda

Jackie French is one of the most prolific Australian YA/Children’s author’s writing historical fiction and some of her work has already been mentioned in Anzac/Australian April.  Recently, I was doing a research guide and curriculum writing on steps to Federation and I came across A Waltz for Matilda.  In this novel, we follow the story of Matilda from the 1890s (and the Shearers Strike) to 1915(WW1). In it we get a taste of life for in the bush in the 1890s, the plight of young women, racism in the colonies, the reasons for the development of the union movement, Federation, comments on the Boer War and of course Australia’s involvement in WW1.  It dragged a bit and potentially is a bit long for some students, but if I had the time it would be a good novel to study in both History and English because there is so much intertextuality.

Click to access A_Waltz_for_Matilda_TNs.pdf


About hgtl

I am a secondary English/History teacher (BA DipEd, MA (Education) and a Teacher Librarian (MEd). I LOVE to research and through this site aim to -Support the introduction of the Australian Curriculum (especially in History) through sourcing quality and varied internet based sources (research guides) - Support teachers through conducting education based literature reviews - Provide suggestions on useful Web 2.0 tools - Offer other services such as curriculum writing, library collection assessment, novel recommendations (see my blog


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