Monday, May 21, 2012
LOVE A GOOD BOOK ?
Recently, at a meeting of my Book Club, we were discussing a poll by the ABC to rate the best Australian authors and the books they have written, most of which are well known here in Australia.
Books like :
A Fortunate Life
Power Without Glory
Picnic at Hanging Rock
My Brilliant Career
The Power of One
as well as a couple of children's classics like The Magic Pudding, Seven Little Australians and more recently The Book Thief for older children.
During this discussion it came to light that some of our members who were not born in Australia had never heard of the Australian children's classic Seven Little Australians ( I think my childhood copy had soggy pages from my tears ). At first I was surprised by this because these people are well read, and if they have never heard of this book then the book is probably not widely known overseas.
All this led me to wonder about children today and how much of their reading material is similar no matter where they live - in New Zealand, America and the UK particularly - or if children mainly read books written by authors from their own country.
So I'm going to list a few of the titles that I have found to be popular with the children that I have taught in the past which are written by Aussies to see if any of you know of or have read them.
Two Weeks with the Queen - Morris Gleitzman ( my personal favourite Aussie children's author )
Angie's Ankles - Gary Hurle
The Lake at the End of the World - Caroline MacDonald
Storm Boy - Colin Thiele
Wombat Stew -Joanne Coghlan
Hating Alison Ashley - Robin Klein
Space Demons - Gillian Rubinstein
Possum Magic - Mem Fox
Playing Beatie Bow - Ruth Park
Tomorrow When the War Began - John Marsden
From my experience, Australian children do read books by many authors who are not Australian and stories like Hatchet and the Harry Potter series are just some of them, but on reflection I think that, at the moment, Aussie authors may supply a large proportion of the reading material of children up to the age of 12.
Do you think British children read mainly books by Brittish authors and American children read mainly books by American authors and it is only the outstanding books that make it across the oceans?
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.