Hello bookworms!! Happy Tuesday!! Today’s Top 5 Tuesday is top 5 books celebrating Indigenous heritage.
In Australia today there is a public holiday that is to celebrate ‘Australia Day’. The 26th of January is the day that Captain Cook and his fleet of ships from England landed in Australia back in 1788. It’s also the day, that for all intents and purposes, white man invaded Australia.
Australia has a pretty dark history of genocide and extremely poor treatment of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To begin with, the people who landed here labelled our First Nations people as animals – not even human, and took their land. The settlers killed them; brought diseases that didn’t exist here, and therefore our First Nations people had no immunity to; and took their children away from communities to raise in the ‘white way’.
We have wiped out so much of the Indigenous culture purely by taking away their way of life, and that saddens me. So, for me today is all about celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices, and for you, hopefully learning about other Indigenous cultures. I also won’t be commenting on any of the books, but rather letting the authors / publishers speak for themselves.
If you would like to learn more about the First Australians, I would recommend checking out Blak Business.
Top 5 books celebrating Indigenous heritage
Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia
What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia?
This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, showcases many diverse voices, experiences and stories in order to answer that question. Accounts from well-known authors and high-profile identities sit alongside those from newly discovered writers of all ages. All of the contributors speak from the heart sometimes calling for empathy, oftentimes challenging stereotypes, always demanding respect.
Bindi – Kirli Saunders
Meet 11-year-old Bindi. She’s not really into maths but LOVES art class and playing hockey. Her absolute FAVOURITE thing is adventuring outside with friends or her horse, Nell.
A new year starts like normal—school, family, hockey, dancing. But this year hasn’t gone to plan! There’s a big art assignment, a drought, a broken wrist AND the biggest bushfires her town has ever seen!
Bindi is a verse novel for mid-upper primary students. Written ‘for those who plant trees’, Bindi explores climate, bushfires, and healing. Written from the point of view of 11-year-old, Bindi and her friends on Gundungurra Country.
Too Much Lip – Melissa Lucashenko
Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things – her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she’s an inch away from the lockup, so she takes a Harley and heads south to Durrongo.
Kerry’s plan is to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people.
Old family wounds open as the Salters fight to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble – but then trouble is Kerry’s middle name.
Gritty and darkly hilarious, Too Much Lip offers redemption and forgiveness where none seems possible.
Becoming Kirrali Lewis – Jane Harrison
For Kirrali, life in 1985 was pretty chill. Sure, she was an Aboriginal girl adopted into a white family, but she was cool with that. She knew where she was headed – to a law degree – even if she didn’t know ‘who she was’. But when Kirrali moves to the city to start university, a whole lot of life-changing events spark an awakening that no one sees coming, least of all herself.
Story flashbacks to the 1960s, where her birth mother is desperately trying to escape conservative parents, give meaning to Kirrali’s own search for identity nearly twenty years later. And then she meets her father…
Terra Nullius – Claire G. Coleman
Jacky was running. There was no thought in his head, only an intense drive to run. There was no sense he was getting anywhere, no plan, no destination, no future. All he had was a sense of what was behind, what he was running from. Jacky was running.
The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to have a nation of peace, and to bring the savages into line. Families are torn apart, reeducation is enforced. This rich land will provide for all.
This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history.
Please don’t forget to link to one of my posts (not my home page), and I will link back to all of your posts as soon as I can!! (Because I know it’s Tuesday here, but it’s probably still Monday elsewhere…)
What are your top 5 books celebrating indigenous heritage?