Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

Please leave a comment when you drop by so I can visit your blog and get to know you too

Monday, May 21, 2012


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.



  1. Interesting list of titles. I don't believe that I have heard or read any of them. I am now off to check my local library online catalog and see if I can find any of these titles.

  2. I don't recognize any of those titles. I have to admit I don't ever remember teaching any book by an Australian author. Hatchet was always a favourite of the boys and even the girls.

  3. I have been collecting a few books just so that any grandchildren I did have got to experience Australian Authors. So far I have Playing Beattie Bow; Possum Magic (plus a few other Mem Fox's); Blinky Bill; a few Pixie O'Harris (personal favourite due to a vague family connection); Ruth Park; and a few Xmas carol books
    Actually been wanting to re-read Seven Little Australians and don't forget May Gibbs (my fave) :-)

  4. Must admit I have never heard of any of those books. Perhaps children are more likely to read books by authors from their own countries as then they can more easily empathise with the characters and understand their lives and so on at least as little children and only later do they become aware of different cultures and ways of life. I sometimes find when reading books written by American authors for example that I don't really understand some things such as their terminology regarding stages of education and some things which would be common knowledge to an American I am not familiar with - and of course the same goes for other nationalities such as Irish or Australian and so on. It is good to read books from other countries of course and to note in what ways thee characters lives differ from our own but maybe for children just learning to enjoy books it is easier if they can feel they know and understand the characters and their lives. An interesting topic for discussion Helen!

  5. I feel slightly miffed that I have never read Seven Little Australians or The Magic Pudding.
    The only one off your list that I know BP has read is Possum Magic. She has seen the movie Hating Alison Ashley but not read the book. I feel bad now, however as much as I loved to read as a child and tried to instill a love of reading in her, she hated reading! She did like the Andy Griffiths books like Just Disgusting! Also Captain Underpants, yes, I know, very high brow, my daughter. At least she would read them!!!

  6. Miss P wasn't much of a reader either so I doubt she's read any of those children's books.

    I spent my entire childhood reading Enid Blyton but I got interested in Australian literature in my late teens and have read most of the books on your list since then.

  7. What an interesting question ... I have to say none of the titles are familiar to me, either ....

  8. I am Canadian and love love Mem Fox but have not read the rest of your list.

  9. I don't think American kids read at all .. they just watch TV. Out of my five kids I have two readers, but neither read much when they were young. I read them the Little House on the Prairie books and the Chronicles of Narnia among others. That being said, I think American kids probably read more books by American authors.

    I don't know if outstanding is the right word for the books that make it across the oceans ..

  10. My son is dyslexic and could not read until he was 12, and then not very well. But I read to him and rented books on tape. His favorites even at an early age were books by Michener, and the classics. He didn't even like the popular American kids' books when he was small. I like to read kids' books, though, and I'm going to look up the ones you mentioned by Australian authors. Everything here has a social agenda, I'll bet yours are a bit different.

  11. I've answered this, but on the wrong post! I haven't heard of any of these books. I read a bokk about two years ago which was by an Aussie. Who was he? Banneville maybe? I also like books by Peter Carey.