Indigenous Literacy Day… TODAY

September 6, 2017

To celebrate Indigenous Literacy Day we want to share some amazing Aboriginal YA stories with you… get down to your local library or bookstore to have a read and appreciate Australian Aboriginal culture, history, resilience and voice. Aboriginal Australia… still strong, still proud.

First, some amazing books for YA from our publisher Magabala Books who publish only Aboriginal authors!

  1.  Calypso Summer by Jared Thomas- about the struggles of an Aboriginal teen as he tries to find his place in the world and with his people. Well worth a read! Read our review of it here.
  2.  Deadly D and Justice Jones series by Scott Prince and Dave Hartley- who wouldn’t love stories of our mob and sports! A funny, easy read that will have you wanting to read the next book!
  3. Ubby’s Underdogs by Brenton McKenna is a deadly graphic novel series you will love! Get them, read them, let us know what you think!
  4. Becoming Kirrali Lewis by Jane Harrison is set in 1960s Victoria and follows a Aboriginal teenager who has been adopted by a white family and her journey to find her culture and her heritage.
  5. And for something a little different a little bit of paranormal YA fiction… Rise of the Fallen by Teagan Chilcott sounds pretty wicked!  Another one for our too read list that I can’t wait to sink into. It has demons, angels and elementals all at war for power… a love triangle and battles in Australian bushland and cities and schools. How cool does this series sound?

*See Magabala’s full catalogue at and stay tuned for our new release in 2018!

Here are some other books by Aboriginal authors or with interesting Aboriginal characters to add to your reading list today!

  1. I’ve added books by Aboriginal woman, Melissa Lucashenko as she is from around our new area- Northern Rivers NSW. Although older, her books are on our reading list… and they might be on yours today too!! Steam Pigs is about a young Aboriginal teen, Sue who runs away to escape her “too-large, too-poor family in a too-small” north Queensland town for the city. Hard Yards sounds intense… and interesting… and intense- with topics including deaths in custody, adoption, juvi and poverty. Can’t wait to get my hands on them and will write a review when we do! Check out the books in your local library or purchase directly from the publisher.
  2. Nona and Me by Clare Atkins, although not Indigenous, gets a mention for her story with Aboriginal characters, themes and setting. Hakea volunteered on the SWIRL program with Clare while at both studying at Victoria University. Clare then went onto work remote as a teacher and then write this deadly story!
  3. Ooooohhh this is so on my reading list! By an Aboriginal author Ambelin Kwaymullina this series sounds deadly! The Reckoning destroyed civilisation and humanity has had to rise from the ashes. But there are now people with abilities – Flyers, Firestarters, Rumblers … and society is scared of them. The government calls them Illegals. Ashala Wolf protects a group of Illegals. They hide together in the Firstwood and she’ll do anything to keep them safe. When Ashala is captured, she realises she has been betrayed by someone she trusted.
  4. Although not Indigenous Jackie French’s amazing reputation and skill have landed Walking the Boundaries and Nanberry on our list.
  5. Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey… now the movie, how could this not be on our list?
  6. The Burnt Stick by Anthony Hill was on my high school reading list. John Jagamarra grew up at the Pearl Bay Mission for Aboriginal children in the far north-west. It was beautiful there, but it wasn’t home. This is a tale for everyone about the pain of separation, and the strength of the human spirit.
  7. Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne has sold over 180,000 copies for a reason… just saying! Footy, girls, overcoming racism… what more could you want?
  8. The Girl from the Great Sandy Desert by Jukuna Mona Chuguna sounds AMAZING! A collection of accessible stories that show the rich cultural lives of pre-contact Aboriginal Australians.
  9. To be honest this is partly on here because it shares the black cockatoo as part of the story… as well as sounding interesting! A story of how the skull of an Aboriginal man, found on the banks of the Murray River over 40 years ago, came to be returned to his Wamba Wamba descendants. It is a story of awakening, atonement, forgiveness and friendship.
  10. Love, like water by Mem McDonald looks like a good read. Tell me what you think?

If you live in the Northern Rivers, Carl will be giving a talk about life in the Kimberley, his education experience and about the process of writing our new book. Gold coin donations for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation are appreciated… we’d love to see you there!

We are so excited to be joining this list with our book, Black Cockatoo, to be published by Magabala Books in 2018!

What are you doing to celebrate, fundraise or raise awareness today? Aboriginal, what’s your unique story?

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