Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beautiful books

I love that we are all avid readers in our family. My children seem to be at an in between stage with books and it can be hard to find decent books for them to read. They still love picture books and we read (and re-read) LOTS of those. But at 6 & 8 yrs old they are both getting into reading novels. My son loves reading The Famous Five (I'm sure my daughter will love these too as she gets more confident with her reading), Zac Power and anything to do with Star Wars. Girls books are a little harder to find - ones with a bit of substance anyhow. Recently for one of my uni courses (about literacy) I had to read a lot of books - 3 or 4 each week for the semester across a broad range adult - teen - child... So I spent a lot of time looking for books that I'd enjoy. I came across a gorgeous new range of books aimed at Australian "tween-aged" girls. The series is called Our Australian Girl and there are 4 sets of books in the series. Each set features a different Australian Girl - Grace, Letty, Poppy and Rose. There are 4 books about each of the girls and the stories are based on Australian history from the early 1800's - early 1900's.

So far only the first 2 books about each girl has been released. The third books are due out on 3rd July and the 4th books will be available in November I think. I've really enjoyed reading them - so have both of my children. It's great reading about familiar places - Parramatta, where I grew up, Echuca, where we have relatives. They aren't super girly and there is quite a bit of adventure in them so they appeal to young boys too - well they have to my 8yr old :) All of the characters are strong in their own way. I love that each girl's story is written by a different author, so each story has a different 'feel'. While the stories are fictional, they are based on true history so it's a great way for kids to start learning a little bit of Australian history. They are not all sunshine and smiles - you learn about the conditions on the ships when convicts and others came to Australia from England and also about the poor treatment of Aborigines. In saying that, it's told in a very age appropriate way - not dark and heavy, but still factual. There is a lot of uplifting stuff too - like how strong these girls are when facing really tough times. At the end of each book are some facts about what life was like in Australia at that time. There are also some teachers notes on the website for the first series of books. So far I've read the first two books about Grace and Poppy and I have just started the first one about Letty. I'm loving them. I can't wait for the rest to come out to find out where the stories end. Each of the books is about 100 pages long, so an easy read. If you have tween girls - get these books. I'm sure you won't be disappointed :) I could go on and on - I really love these books. Check out the website for information about each of the characters and excerpts from the books, competitions plus lots more. I've been inspired to make something based on these books. But more on that another time...

5 comments:

Just Us said...

These sound great! My daughter is learning to read and this would be wonderful a little later on for her. Where abouts can you buy these books from?

frills and spills said...

Hi there :) I picked these up from Big W. I actually haven't seen them at any bookstores, apart from online. But they were still cheaper at Big W - $10 each instead of the RRP of $14.95. I think the 3rd book of each in the series is due out today :) I can't wait!

Jasmine :)

Just Us said...

Thank you! I will make a trip this week and this will also make a great present for another little girl who is an avid reader :)

Ramblings by Renee said...

I bought the first 'Grace' book. I really like it, I'm going to read it with my kids so that we can talk through the early Australia conditions. I am looking forward to more book recommendations from you, beautiful!

Klaine said...

Seems like these books are only available in Australia since I cannot find them here in Europe. It is too bad, because I am sure I would love them.
Thanks for mentioning it anyway!