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Our Australian Girl Books
OUR AUSTRALIAN GIRL
Our Australian Girl is a new series of Australian books written for girls aged between 8 and 11 years. The series of books feature 8 fascinating, likeable girls - Grace, Letty, Poppy, Rose, Nellie, Alice, Ruby and Lina - each of whom lived in a different era during the 19th & 20th Centuries, and in a different part of Australia. These books explore the convict era and colonisation, the goldrush, Federation, life in Australia during The Great War (WW1), the Depression and life as the daughter of Italian migrants during the 1950s. The books depict an array of emotional experiences, with engaging descriptions of life as it once was and suspenseful plots about concepts including family, friendship, betrayal, loneliness, standing up for what's right and surviving in a dangerous world. But wait, there's more! More books are planned which will include many more aspects of Australian history, including more of our indigenous past and the various waves of migration.
Click here to see all the books and book sets in the Our Australian Girl series
Ruby and Lina are the latest Australian Girls and the first books in their 4-book series are now available. Click here for more information and to purchase Meet Ruby and Meet Lina, published January 2013
The second set of books was published in early May 2011 and are now available - click here to purchase A Friend for Grace, Letty and the Stranger's Lace, Poppy at Summerhill and Rose on Wheels
The third set of books was published in late June 2011 and are now available - click here to purchase Grace and Glory, Letty on the Land, Poppy and the Thief and Rose's Challenge
The fourth set of books was published in early October 2011 and are now available - click here to purchase A Home for Grace, Letty's Christmas, Poppy Comes Home and Rose in Bloom
The second books in the Nellie and Alice series were published in May 2012 and are now available - click here to purchase Nellie and the Secret Letter & Alice and the Apple Blossom Fair
A girl like me in a time gone by
The Grace books by Sofie Laguna
Grace's story begins in London in 1808. She is an orphan, and is poor, hungry and lonely. She is transported to New South Wales for stealing some apples from a grocer's barrow. Going to Australian means a whole new life and a second chance for Grace. On board the Indispensable, she meets a new friend, Hannah. These books will provide a dramatic and exciting insight into the trials of our convict ancestors.
About the author
Sofie Laguna (born Sydney, 1968) studied to be a lawyer and then trained to be an actor. She is now an author, actor and playwright. Sofie's books have been published in Australia, the US and the UK, and translated in Europe and Asia. They have been shortlisted in the Queensland Premier's Awards, and have won prizes in the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards. Some of her other books include My Yellow Blanky, Too Loud Lily, Surviving Aunt Marsha, Bad Buster and Big Ned's Bushwalk.
The Letty books by Alison Lloyd
Letty's story also starts in London, but in a different time, and different circumstances to Grace. Letty's older sister is emigrating to Australia as a free settler in 1841, and because of a mix-up at the docks, Letty ends up on the ship too! Will Letty make friends and find a new home? What will her life be like on the other side of the world?
By the 1840s, Britain was sending fewer convicts to Australia but they were paying people like Letty's sister Lavinia to come as free settlers. In four years, from 1838 - 1841, 40,000 men, women and children emigrated to NSW. Letty's adventures as a free settler in NSW is the imagined story of one of them.
About the author
Alison Lloyd learnt Chinese at school, then later went to live in China for two years - she was living there when army tanks rolled in to Tiananmen Square in Beijing to suppress the student movement in 1989. Alison loves history and writes historical fiction and non-fiction books for children. Her books include Year of the Tiger,Wicked Warriors and Evil Emperors the Letty books in the Australian Girl series. Alison lives in Melbourne with one husband, two kids, two grandparents and three chickens.
The Nellie books by Penny Matthews
Some quick facts about the character Nellie O’Neill
It's 1849 and Nellie O'Neill is arriving in South Australia on a ship bringing orphan girls from Irish workhouses. Nellie and her best friend, Mary, have left the famine in Ireland far behind, and are full of hopes and dreams for the future. Nellie longs to learn to read, to be part of a family once more, and never to be hungry again. But with no job and no one to turn to, how will Nellie make her wishes come true? Follow Nellie and her adventures in four books about an Irish girl with a big heart, in search of the freedom to be herself.
About the author
Penny Matthews is a freelance writer and editor based in Adelaide. She has written three junior novels, several chapter books for beginning readers, and picture books for all age groups. As well as being an author of note, Penny is a much-valued member of the Books for Children and Young Adults team at Penguin Australia. She co-ordinates and edits the highly regarded Puffin Aussie Bites and Nibbles program.
The Poppy books by Gabrielle Wang
Poppy is of mixed indigenous and Chinese heritage and lives at a mission near Echuca in Victoria. The year is 1864 and her brother Gus has run away to pan for gold during the great Victorian Gold Rush of the 1850s-60s. These books deal with the issues of indigenous children being taken from their parents placed in missions where they were trained in household chores and as farm hands before being adopted by white families, and life during the Gold Rush era.
About the author
Gabrielle Wang was born in Melbourne of Chinese heritage. She is is an author and illustrator. Her great grandfather came to Victoria during the Gold Rush. In her twenties she went in search of her roots, living in both China and Taiwan where she studied Chinese language and painting. Her stories are a blend of Chinese and Western culture with a touch of fantasy. Her award-winning books include The Garden of Empress Cassia, The Pearl of Tiger Bay, The Lion Drummer, A Ghost in My Suitcase and Little Paradise. Gabrielle lives in Melbourne with her partner, Steve, and their two children, Lei Lei and Ren.
The Rose books by Sherryl Clark
Rose lives in a big house in Melbourne with her family at the turn of the century. She is a tomboy and loves to play cricket, climb trees and have adventures, but her mother wants her to be more lady-like. Then Rose's Aunt Alice, a suffragette, moves in with them and everything changes.
In 1900, life was very restrictive for women. In most parts of Australia, women weren't allowed to vote, few got the chance to go to university and it was difficult for women to have careers of their own. Girls like Rose and women like Alice had to fight for the rights they felt entitled to. Rose's story shows how rebelliousness and courage brought about change, making it possible for Australian girls today to have so many choices.
About the author
Sherryl Clark teaches fiction and poetry writing Victoria University and Holmesglen TAFE. Her books include The Too-Tight Tutu, Sixth Grade Style Queen (Not!) and Motormouth. She has written over 30 children's books, and had two collections of poetry for adults published - Edge and Thicker Than Water.
The Alice books by Davina Bell
Some quick facts about the character Alice Alexander
Alice lives with her big family by the Swan River in Perth, while on the other side of the world, the Great War rages. Alice's deepest wish is to become a ballerina, and when she auditions for a famous dance teacher from London, it seems as if her dreams might come true. But then there's a terrible accident, and Alice must ask herself whether there are more important things than dancing. Meet Alice and follow her adventures in four stories about a gifted girl in a time of war
About the author
Children's and Young Adult book editor at Penguin, Davina Bell is the series editor of Our Australian Girl and author of the Alice series of Our Australian Girl books, set in WA and focusing on WWI and its impact on a family. Born in Perth, Davina completed a law degree before arriving in Melbourne five years ago to take up the Professional Writing and Editing course at RMIT University. Davina planned to write a mystery novel but when that went awry she took up Short Story Writing. To her astonishment, her first attempt was selected by Robert Drewe for inclusion in Best Australian Stories 2007.
About the series illustrator
Lucia Masciullo grew up in Livorno, Tuscany, among smells of saltiness and rosemary. She always loved painting and after graduating in Biology she decided to pursue her dream career as an artist. Lucia moved to Brisbane in 2006 and since then has been happily working as a fine art painter and freelance illustrator. Her beautiful illustrations are in all the Our Australian Girl books.
Coming in 2013
The Ruby books by Penny Matthews
Ruby is a city girl who has to move to the country because of the Depression in 1930
The Lina books by Sally Rippin
Lina is an Italian girl living in Melbourne during the 1956 Olympics
About the author
Sally Rippin is a published author and an illustrator of children's books. Sally's books include Becoming Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha, Gezani and the Tricky Baboon, The Shape and the Billie B Brown series.
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