Twitter_profile_imageWelcome to Penguin Australia’s blog for teachers, librarians and educators – bringing you professional development opportunities, book reviews, resources, guest bloggers, book trailers and much more. Have a question about books? Ask us and we will answer on the blog.

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EVENT – Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Join Jamie Oliver in his Food Revolution when he brings it to the stages of the Opera House on March 29. It’s going to be a fun-filled show for the whole family with Jamie cooking on stage, entertaining and inspiring kids to cook from scratch.

Tickets are selling fast so don’t miss out!


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Creative Schools Competition Winner Announcement!


A very big thanks to all of you who took the time to share your ideal creative school with us on Twitter as part of our #CreativeSchoolsComp. We are delighted to announce our winners. Congratulations to DiKidman (@ddkitten), whartonag (@whartonag), giselle (@gissiebella), Nick Maniatis (nickmaniatis_ed), Craig HB (@hildebrandburke)

9780241188330Creative Schools: Revolutionizing Education from the Ground Up by ROBINSON KEN & ARONICA LOU

Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential voices in education, and his talk, ‘How Schools Kill Creativity’, is the most viewed in the history of TED. In this empowering, ground breaking book, he sets out his vision for how we can transform our industrial model of education to better meet the needs of the 21st century, not through political reform, but by changing the way we use it.

Creative Schools looks to people who are already revolutionizing education for examples of how creativity can flourish despite the framework of standardization: the teachers who are making better use of lesson time by redefining homework; the schools which have pioneered projects and partnerships to bring to life the practical aspects of learning, from building real cars to managing their own towns.

This is your chance to win one of 5 copies to give away. Entering is easy, follow the steps below.

  • Follow the official Penguin Teachers’ Academy Twitter account at and be following it at the time of judging;
  • Post a tweet telling us about your ideal creative school to win a copy of Creative Schools by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica and
  • Tag the response with hashtag #CreativeSchoolsComp.

Full Terms and Conditions


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March 2015 Professional Development Days Program Announcement

Our Professional Development Days for teachers, librarians and educational support staff are back by popular demand. Join us on March 26th and 27th 2015 at Library Docklands in Melbourne, to hear from an unprecedented line-up of illustrators and authors and take home free books and teaching resources!

Cost is $50.00 + GST ($55.00 per person, per day)

Download the full program –  PTA_PD_flyer_26_27_MARCH

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SAVE THE DATE!! Professional Development days March 2015

We are delighted to announce that our Professional Development Days for teachers, librarians, trainee teachers and educational support staff are back in 2015 for March 26th and 27th in Melbourne. We will launch our full program and RSVP form early next week, so be sure to watch this space.

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Author and editor Susannah McFarlane talks about the Stuff Happens series

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Off the Shelf Magazine – December 2014/January 2015

Off the Shelf is a FREE resource from Penguin Teachers’ Academy for teachers and librarians. Each edition contains articles, author interviews, teaching resources and new books from Penguin and Puffin. Available here on the blog as a PDF download ( Off_The_Shelf_Dec14-Jan-2015 ) or in the iTunes Store, in Newsstand. We are delighted to share the very latest edition with you all, just in time for school to go back. Enjoy!





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Books and Resources for Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is an important event for students and teachers and there are some fabulous resources available for use in the classroom and the library. We have collected our favourites to share with you.


Emily knows her big brother, Tom, wants to leave Hillside Farm and go overseas to the war, but Emily doesn’t want him to go.

‘Everyone else is going,’ said Tom  to Emily when their uncle was gone.  ‘That’s not a good reason,’ said Emily.

The Soldier’s Gift is a moving story of one family’s courage and endurance during the First World War, the terrible losses at Gallipoli and a time that changed Australia forever.

9780670077427Loyal Creatures by MORRIS GLEITZMAN

Like many of his mates from the bush, Frank Ballantyne is keen to join the grand adventure and do his bit. Specially as a chest full of medals might impress the currently unimpressed parents of his childhood sweetheart. So Frank ups his age and volunteers with his horse Daisy … and his dad.

In the deserts of Egypt and Palestine he experiences all the adventure he ever wanted, and a few things he wasn’t expecting. Heartbreak, love and the chance to make the most important choice of his life.

From Gallipoli to the famous charge at Beersheba, through to the end of the war and its unforgettable aftermath, Frank’s story grows out of some key moments in Australia’s history.

They were loyal creatures, the men and horses of the Australian Light Horse, but war doesn’t always pay heed to loyalty. This is the powerful story of a young man’s journey towards his own kind of bravery.

This simple and easy to use website allows your students to plant a virtual poppy online and share a message about thoughts, feelings or stories they might wish to tell for Remembrance Day. There is no sign up or email required and students may make a donation if they wish, however, this is optional. What’s really special about this site is that each poppy is a click-able image with a story shared. This could make a wonderful shared or independent activity for your class, with students reading the shared stories and discussing them or reflecting in writers notebooks or on class blog pages.

BBC Stories and History Sites

The BBC has developed some incredibly comprehensive sites for teaching WW1 and WW2 stories and history. There are sites suitable for Primary and Secondary students, these have video content, photographs, news clippings, audio recordings, activities and plenty of links to further research and reading.

The Story of Billy Young

Billy Young was a boy of 15 when he joined the AIF in 1941. He was an orphan – hungry, broke, with nowhere to sleep – and the army offered him a feed, a blanket and five shillings a day in his pocket.

The trouble was, the army sent him off to Malaya where he became a POW when Singapore fell to the Japanese. From Changi, ‘Billy the Kid’ went on to spend the rest of his teenage years in some of the most barbaric Japanese prisons: the notorious labour camp at Sandakan (from which he escaped), and solitary confinement in the horrific Outram Road prison.

Billy survived by a combination of luck, larrikin humour and native cunning, learned as a market boy growing up in Sydney during the Depression. He has lasted into old age by virtue of his extraordinary spirit.

In this powerful account of one of the youngest-ever prisoners of war, award-winning author Anthony Hill takes us into the hearts and minds of the POWs, who refused to ever wholly submit to their captors.

The Battle for Lone Pine  

Most Australian have heard of Lone Pine. Too few know why.

Over four days in August 1915, Australians and Turks were thrown into some of the fiercest fighting of the war, on a small plateau in Gallipoli known as Lone Pine. Thousands of lives were lost. Seven of Australia’s nine Gallipoli VCs were earned during brutal hand-to-hand combat in dark tunnels and in trenches just metres apart, bombarded by terrifying volleys of grenades.

The Battle for Lone Pine is the first book devoted to this cornerstone of the Anzac legend, drawing on unforgettable first-hand accounts scratched into diaries and letters home. The stories of the diggers, as well as the engineers, nurses, sappers, commanders and more, provide an invaluable record of the battle and serve as moving testimony to their courage in appalling conditions.

Today, pine trees are planted in remembrance around Australia. In Gallipoli, the Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial attracts large crowds to commemorate Anzac Day. David W. Cameron’s absorbing history reveals the fate of those who fought on the ground where they gather.

In Flanders’ Field

Early on Christmas morning the guns stop firing. A deathly silence creeps over the pitted and ruined landscape. A young soldier peers through a periscope over the top of the trench. Way out in no-man’s-land, he sees a small red shape moving on the barbed wire. A brightly coloured robin is trapped. One wing is flapping helplessly.

An eloquent counterpoint to the senselessness and inhumanity of war, In Flanders Fields tells the story of a young homesick World War I soldier, who risks his life to cross the no-man’s land and rescue a robin caught in the barbed wire that separates the opposing forces, dug into their trenches. This moving picture book is a plea for compassion.

Animal Heroes 

Here are twenty-one fascinating stories about the forgotten heroes of war: animals who have served beside Australian forces.

These are all animals that dazzle with their courage and loyalty – or sometimes just by being lovable. Whether it’s a rooster guarding his battalion during the First World War or a mine-detecting dolphin in Iraq, they make the difficult lives of soldiers so much more bearable.

Of course these are just a few of the many resources and books available, and THIS SITE is one not to be missed. Please feel free to share your favourite resources with us in the comments.


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