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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 10 fascinating, likeable girls - Grace, Letty, Poppy, Rose, Nellie, Alice, Ruby, Lina, Daisy and Pearlie - 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, World War 3 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.

Daisy and Pearlie 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 Daisy and Meet Pearlie, published February 2014

Click here to see all the books and book sets in the Our Australian Girl series

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.

  1. Meet Grace
  2. A Friend for Grace
  3. Grace and Glory
  4. A Home for Grace

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 Grace Stories are now also available in one hardcover book, with a bonus chapter on what happened next for Grace - click here for more information

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.

  1. Meet Letty
  2. Letty and the Stranger's Lace
  3. Letty on the Land
  4. Letty's Christmas

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
She was born in 1837, so she would have lived after Grace and Letty but before Poppy and Rose • Her real name is Eleanor • She’s from a tiny village in Ireland called Ballycasheen • Her story is set in Adelaide • She once had a pony called Clancy • She longs to learn to read •

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.

  1. Meet Nellie
  2. Nellie and the Letter
  3. Nellie's Quest
  4. Nellie's Greatest Wish

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.

  1. Meet Poppy
  2. Poppy at Summerhill
  3. Poppy and the Thief
  4. Poppy Comes Home

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.

  1. Meet Rose
  2. Rose on Wheels
  3. Rose's Challenge
  4. Rose in Bloom

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
She was born in 1907, so she would have lived at a similar time to Rose, but been a bit younger • Her story is set in Peppermint Grove, a suburb of Perth, WA • She has a big family, including three sisters, two brothers, a cow, a goat, chickens and a dog • Her father is away at war • She dreams of being a famous ballerina when she grows up.

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

  1. Meet Alice
  2. Alice at the Apple Blossom Fair
  3. Alice of Peppermint Grove
  4. Peacetime for Alice

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.

 

The Ruby books by Penny Matthews

Ruby is a city girl who has to move to the country because of the Depression in 1930. It’s 1930 and Ruby lives a privileged life in a big home in Adelaide. But when her father’s business goes bankrupt, Ruby’s world changes dramatically and she and her mother are forced to go and stay with relations in the country. Ruby has to leave behind her beautiful house, her friends and even her dad, who is staying in Adelaide to look for work. At least she can take Baxter, her beloved fox terrier. But life in the country is hard! For Ruby it means a new school and a very different lifestyle. In the meantime, back in Adelaide Ruby’s dad has disappeared, and nobody knows where he is.

  1. Meet Ruby
  2. Ruby and the Country Cousins
  3. School Days for Ruby
  4. Ruby of Kettle Farm

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 Lina books by Sally Rippin

Lina is an Italian girl living in Melbourne during the 1956 Olympics. It’s 1956 and Lina lives in Carlton with her family. She dreams of being a writer, but her strict Italian parents have other ideas. Lina has been awarded a scholarship to a private girls school and she struggles to fit in with the other students there – to Lina it sometimes feels as if she comes from a different world! When Lina and some of the other students start a school newspaper, it leads to events Lina would never have imagined.

It’s an exciting time in Melbourne with the Olympic Games are being held in the city that year, the first time ever in the Southern Hemisphere! And television has arrived in Australia, with people crowding around department store windows to catch a glimpse of this marvellous new technology. Lina’s story, told in four dramatic instalments, explores the waves of post-war migration and how Melbourne was a changing place as a result.

  1. Meet Lina
  2. Lina's Many Lives
  3. Lina at the Games
  4. A Lesson for Lina

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 and Hey Jack! series.

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.

 

The first four books were published in January 2011 and are now available - click here to learn more about them, and to purchase Meet Grace, Meet Letty, Meet Poppy and Meet Rose

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

2 new story threads were published in January 2012 and are now available - click here to learn more about Nellie and Alice, and to purchase Meet Nellie & Meet Alice

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

The third books in the Nellie and Alice series were published in July 2012 and are now available - click here to purchase Nellie's Quest & Alice of Peppermint Grove

The fourth books in the Nellie and Alice series were published in August 2012 and are now available - click here to purchase Nellie's Greatest Wish & Peacetime for Alice

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 books in the Ruby and Lina series were published in May 2013 and are now available. Click here for more information and to purchase Ruby and the Country Cousins and Lina's Many Lives

The third books in the Ruby and Lina series were published in July 2013 and are now available - click here to purchase School Days for Ruby, Lina at the Games

The fourth books in the Ruby and Lina series were published in August 2013 and are now available - click here to purchase Ruby of Kettle Farm, A Lesson for Lina

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