True stories in the secondary classroom

There are some compelling books on our adult publishing list that deal with plethora of issues and topics. We believe all are worthy of consideration for further study in secondary classrooms.

Here we share information to assist you in considering if the titles below are suitable for your needs as a teacher and the needs of your students.

We understand that each school and each classroom is different and advise that some of the issues explored within these titles may be of a sensitive nature for some students.

All titles listed below are recommended for Year 10 – Year 12.

9780670077465A Country Too Far Edited by ROSIE SCOTT and THOMAS KENEALLY

One of the central moral issues of our time is the question of asylum seekers, arguably the most controversial subject in Australia today.  In this landmark anthology, twenty-seven of Australia’s finest writers have focused their intelligence and creativity on the theme of the dispossessed, bringing a whole new perspective of depth and truthfulness to what has become a fraught, distorted war of words. This anthology confirms that the experience of seeking asylum – the journeys of escape from death, starvation, poverty or terror to an imagined paradise – is part of the Australian mindset and deeply embedded in our culture and personal histories.

A Country Too Far is a tour de force of stunning fiction, memoir, poetry and essays. Edited by award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally, and featuring contributors including Anna Funder, Christos Tsiolkas, Elliot Perlman, Gail Jones, Raimond Gaita, Les Murray, Rodney Hall and Geraldine Brooks, this rich anthology is by turns thoughtful, fierce, evocative, lyrical and moving, and always extraordinarily powerful.

A Country Too Far makes an indispensable contribution to the national debate.

A very special Education eBook edition of A Country Too Far will be on sale very soon. Watch this space for further information.

9780670076550The People Smuggler: The True Story of Ali Al Jenabi by  ROBIN DE CRESPIGNY

At once a non-fiction thriller and a moral maze, this is one man’s epic story of trying to find a safe place in the world.

When Ali Al Jenabi flees Saddam Hussein’s torture chambers, he is forced to leave his family behind in Iraq. What follows is an incredible international odyssey through the shadow world of fake passports, crowded camps and illegal border crossings, living every day with excruciating uncertainty about what the next will bring.

Through betrayal, triumph, misfortune – even romance and heartbreak – Ali is sustained by his fierce love of freedom and family. Continually pushed to the limits of his endurance, eventually he must confront what he has been forced to become.

With enormous power and insight, The People Smuggler tells a story of daily heroism, bringing to life the forces that drive so many people to put their lives in unscrupulous hands. It is an utterly gripping portrait of a man cut loose from the protections of civilisation, attempting to retain his dignity and humanity while taking whatever path he can out of an impossible position.

Robin de Crespigny is a Sydney film-maker, producer, director, writer and a former Directing Lecturer at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School. Robin travels all across Australia speaking at festivals and events, and is a fabulous guest speaker for schools. Students are riveted by her inspiring and impressive presentations.

9780670077045A Long Way Home by SAROO BRIERLEY

A true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds, as seen on 60 Minutes

When Saroo Brierley used Google Earth to find his long-lost home town half a world away, he made global headlines.

Saroo had become lost on a train in India at the age of five. Not knowing the name of his family or where he was from, he survived for weeks on the streets of Kolkata, before being taken into an orphanage and adopted by a couple in Australia.

Despite being happy in his new family, Saroo always wondered about his origins. He spent hours staring at the map of India on his bedroom wall. When he was a young man the advent of Google Earth led him to pore over satellite images of the country for landmarks he recognised. And one day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for.

Then he set off on a journey to find his mother.

A Long Way Home is a moving and inspirational true story that celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit – hope.

9780670077816From the Trenches: the best ANZAC writing of World War One by MARK DAPIN

Others have written the myth, but the Anzacs themselves wrote their stories.

Around the country, bronze soldiers in slouch hats stand silently at attention. It is the Anzacs’ remarkable writing that reveals the lives behind the national legend. From the Trenches is a collection of gripping, awe-inspiring and sometimes terrifying accounts of life at the front, recorded by those who lived through the fighting.

Drawn from diaries, memoirs and letters, as well as poetry, reportage and prose, this collection reminds us that the Anzac legend is rooted in real and tragic circumstances on a heartbreakingly human scale. Belying the common perception of the laconic digger, these compelling voices convey the range of wartime experience, from the desolation and horror to the unbridled excitement and camaraderie. Through it all runs the bleak toll on young lives.

Author and journalist Mark Dapin has selected writing from those on the front lines as well as behind the scenes, from officers and soldiers to nurses, engineers and reporters, to create a volume that will be regarded as the definitive record of the personal experiences that forged the emerging national identities of Australia and New Zealand.

9780670075775The Reef: A Passionate History by IAIN MCCALMAN

The Great Barrier Reef, argues Iain McCalman, has been created by human minds as well as coral polyps, by imaginations as well as natural processes.  In this landmark book he charts our shifting perceptions of it, from the terrifying labyrinth that almost sunk Cook’s Endeavour to a fragile global treasure.

The Reef describes twelve key encounters between people, places, ideas and biosystems.  In the nineteenth century the region was infamous for shipwrecks, and when Indigenous clans rescued survivors like Eliza Fraser, their actions were misrepresented in the popular press.  Later, the whole world caught the fiery debate between Darwinists and creationists over the origins of this colossal structure.  Artists and visionaries celebrated its beauty and fought its exploitation; marine scientists catalogued the threats to its existence.

The first social, cultural and environmental history of this World Heritage-listed site,The Reef is an effortlessly readable work by a born storyteller.

 

This entry was posted in Asia, Australian Curriculum, Death and Bereavement, Environment, Family, Historical, New Books, Relationships, Secondary, Themes. Bookmark the permalink.

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