I think my friend Jane is probably right about the fact that these days children predominantly read about topics that they can relate to, in a setting that they know.
How things have changed from when I was young !
I grew up reading Enid Blyton from an early age.
Famous Five, Secret Seven, The Faraway Tree etc
Nothing there that related to life in Australia
and the way those children spoke was not at all familiar to an Aussie kid.
I moved on to Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, What Katy Did, Polyanna, Black Beauty and My Friend Flicka - all of them completely different to life here in Australia.
My beloved Seven Little Australians and the Billabong series - both set way back before World War I in a time and social structure that was far from familiar and when Aussies still thought of England as "HOME".
There just weren't many books for children written by Australian authors and in those days literature coming out of this young country was not very plentiful or valued very highly.
Throughout high school this trend continued - all the books I studied were predominantly from the
UK - Bronte, Austen, Shakespeare - The Thirty Nine Steps, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, Hamlet to name just a few.
Poetry was similar but along with Blake, Wordsworth, Lear, Byron, Shelley etc a few Aussies made the grade - Kath Walker who goes by her Aboriginal name - Oodgeroo Noonuccal - nowadays, the iconic Dorothea Mackellar whose I Love a Sunburnt Country is probably the best known Australian poem ( to Aussies anyway ) as well as Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson.
Is it any wonder that I longed to see the places in England that I had spent my younger years reading about.
But today things are different.
When I left school and started to study Teaching I was enthralled by the books produced by Australian authors for Aussie children. A lovely Teacher-Librarian colleague guided my reading of some wonderful Australian authors. Books full of fun and irreverent humour, with great storylines.
Australian children still read lots of books from other countries but we are finally valuing the wonderful children's literature that comes out of our country more and more.