Top 10 Quotes from Calypso Summer

May 29, 2017

Calypso Summer by Jared Thomas is a deadly book written for you mob that talks about drugs, sport, sex and finding your culture again. Here are some of our favourite quotes from the book and why we love them!

  1. “And teachers, bus drivers, sport coaches, they’ve all looked at me like I am about to steal or break something at any second” pg 17 touches on inherit racism and white privilege.
  2. “‘It would take us ages to learn about that stuff, I don’t even know any Dreamtime stories bruz.'” pg 42 highlights why some Aboriginal teens view learning about culture.
  3. “‘They told your grandmother they were taking Audrey and Elsie to get fixed up. Thing is, they never meant to bring them back. They just kept them in that home there with all the other black kids so they couldn’t mix with their mob.” pg 77 talks about how tricky the ‘Aboriginal Protection’ authorities were and how they stole children during the Stolen Generation.
  4. ‘”Why the fuck are you selling this shit to our own mob?'” pg 84 raises the real issue of Aboriginal drug and sly grog- in an attempt to make some money to get ahead or support a habit its sometimes Aboriginal mob bringing each other down.
  5. “‘True. A lot of bad things happened to our mob. But if you don’t make things better for yourself, you’re letting the fellas that did all the bad stuff get at you. You’re letting yourself down and not giving the young mob much direction, ey?'” pg 91 points out Aboriginal health issues and how to make Aboriginal people healthy and strong again according to Calypso’s uncle Bruce.
  6. We love ALL of page 98 and 99 but here are a few snippets about traditional bush life and learning about your land. “‘The earth, the moon and the stars are round and time goes round in a circle. Our past, present and future are all connected to each other. What we did yesterday affects today, and what we do today affects tomorrow.'”, “‘You see that’s the amazing thing about our old mob. They didn’t need to cut things down or have electricity. They just learnt to live with the land in a way that made them comfortable.'”, “‘You see the Dreaming ain’t just a lot of stories, its a way of living, staying connected with country, giving and taking'”.
  7. “‘You just think you’re so fucking good these days, like some of those stupid kids at our school… everythings a breeze, the world’s a beautiful place just for you… you’re dreaming bruz.'” pg 132 shows how some mob get angry when a countryman is doing well- dragging them down instead of helping them up.
  8. On this page Calypso comes across some racist cowboys filling up their car at the petrol station. They egg him on but Calypso thinks his actions through “…my arse would have been dragged through the courts. I just looked up at the pale blue sky and tried to make my anger disappear.” This page is pretty powerful because it shows the racism that Aboriginal people face everyday which a lot of people wouldn’t think still exists. It also shows how easily Calypso could have been in the criminal justice system but he chose to ignore idiots and have a great weekend with his missus.
  9.  “‘… is one of our totems…which means we can’t kill ’em or eat’em or nothing…'” pg 141 explains the importance of totems.
  10. Page 176 and 177 talk about protecting country and how businesses from around the world have been making money off Aboriginal herbal knowledge without Aboriginal people’s consent or benefit. “‘… we have to look after the property…’, ‘… we don’t want sheep fucking it up…’, ‘… we need to get a chemist to pinpoint what is in the plants that make them work, what they call the active ingredient.’, ‘… it’s so we can patent what we’re making, so others can’t start making it too and cutting us out.

There are so many good quotes in the book… we couldn’t list them all. But read it for yourself! The book is available from most libraries but if not it’s usually free to request a book at your local library or school library! You can buy the book from or online book stores.

What were your favourite quotes from the book?


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