Focus 2012: highlights of Australian short fiction

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Emigration has also prompted a return to my literary roots and origins. Utterly Changed Singapore: Substation. Boey Kim Cheng. Realm of Paradise - full version. Asiatic, 12 2 , Realm of Paradise. Ghost by the billabong, The When seventeen year old Jed Kelly turns up at Drinkwater Station, claiming to be the great-granddaughter of Matilda Thompson's dying husband, she has no evidence and won't even reveal her real name.

Badly-wounded Vietnam War veteran, Nicholas, is haunted by ghosts and his changed life. As Jed settles in to life on the Station, she feels part of a real family for the first time. Her secrets remain hidden, for now. Set during the turbulence of the late s, a time of hippies, anti-war demonstrations and Australia's vital role in the unforgettable first moon walk.

Giant scrub python, The The giant scrub python is rarely seen by the locals so when Sam and Davey first encounter it, they are terrified but curious. When an illegal animal trader hears about the snake, he is anxious to catch it, even though it is a protected species. The man Flinty loves returned from war so changed and distant.

Her brother Andy 'gone with cattle', leaving Flinty in charge of their younger brother and sister and with the threat of eviction from the farm she loves. A brumby muster held under the watchful eye of the legendary Clancy of the Overflow offers hope. Girl with no name, The Matthew sets off alone to find Aboriginal rock paintings that he knows are hidden in Goanna Gorge.

We’ll Stand In That Place and Other Stories

When Matthew realises he is lost, the strange, wild country seems to mock him with its secrets until he meets the girl with no name. Girltopia Nothing good was going to happen to Clara Bloom ever again.

It was the end of the world! Her parents were separating and how was she going to cope? Little does Clara know that the crisis is much bigger than she thinks. For a person who hates getting into trouble and hates seeing others get into trouble Clara finds herself facing a whole lot of trouble! A mysterious illness has struck down every single man and boy in the city.

Clara's Dad is away on a camping trip and she must break all the rules in a desperate mission to rescue him. With her friends, Izzy and Arabella, and a little help from social media, Clara realises that girls are in charge and it is up to the girls to find a way for everything to go back to normal. Goanna jumps high Students try to win a high jump contest in a zone sports competition but, to do this, their goanna must jump higher than a competing kangaroo.

Illustrated by primary pupils.


Godwits, The A boy in China is waiting. The godwits will soon land on his favourite beach. But things are changing and there are plans to build houses on this very beach. Wei is determined this will not happen. A new leader has been chosen to lead the godwits from Australia to Wei's beach.

Will the birds make it and will the beach still be there. A book about one brave bird and one heroic boy. Gold Australia's gold rushes of the nineteenth century produced tremendous wealth and population growth for the struggling Australian colonies. People from all walks of life made the perilous journey to the goldfields, returning either fabulously wealthy or demoralised and broke. It was a time of huge political, social and cultural change. Includes diaries, journals, letters, official reports, newspaper articles of the time.

A challenging read. Usually read by students in Years 9,10 or above. Goldseekers, The It is the s on the Australian goldfields. People are caught up in the, often violent, grip of gold fever. Miju and her brother, kidnapped from their homeland, are working to earn their passage home. Racism and robbery make their quest more difficult. Grace Eleven year old Grace knows only one world of her mum, dad, twin brothers and the strict religious community they belong to.

Her relationship with God is central to her life but Grace is also stubborn, outspoken and independent. When her dad is thrown out of the church for asking questions, Grace is torn between staying in the church and keeping her family together. Grace and Glory It's and Grace has arrived at a bark hut on the edge of a river to start her life as a servant.

But, even though she tries hard, nothing Grace does for her new master ever seems right, especially if it involves Glory, his beloved horse. When the master goes away and leaves Grace in charge, she is tested when she has to save her mistress from danger. Grace on the court It was simple for Netball nerd Grace Parker and her best friends, Stella and Mia, at primary school, where back then her biggest problem was persuading her parents to buy her tickets to see Friday at Five, the world's hottest boy band.

Unfortunately, high school is a new story. Grace's greatest rival on the court, Amber Burns, just made the same netball team as her.

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Her twin brother, Gus, is devastated he didn't make it into the top team. Tyler, her older brother, is ignoring her. And if that wasn't enough for a year-old girl to handle, a popular dreamy boy is suddenly paying her a lot of attention Gracey It's school holidays and Gracey is coming home to Cunningham, a remote country town.

Everything looks different, even frightening. When her brother, Dougy, finds three aboriginal bones, a chain of events causes Gracey to reconnect with her Aboriginal heritage. Includes coarse language and adult themes. Granny Rags Shy and over-protected, Tim is the new kid in a small country town. He's slow to make friends and becomes involved with the school bully. Tim is pressured into visiting a mysterious, old woman, Granny Rags, a reclusive old lady, rumoured to be a witch.

Tim gradually finds out Granny Rags' story and one visit turns to several. Soon, Tim find himself involved in a mess of corruption, secrets and danger.

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Great Barrier Reef book: solar powered, The The Great Barrier Reef is so huge it can be seen from space and the whole thing runs on solar power. The wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the need to protect it are revealed through beautiful photographs, interesting information and a glossary of terms. This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, attempts to showcase as many diverse voices, experiences and stories as possible in order to answer that question.

Each account reveals, to some degree, the impacts of invasion and colonisation - on language, on country, on ways of life, and on how people are treated daily in the community, the education system, the workplace and friendship groups. Accounts from well-known authors and high-profile identities sit alongside newly discovered voices of all ages, with experiences spanning coastal and desert regions, cities and remote communities.

All of them speak to the heart - sometimes calling for empathy, oftentimes challenging stereotypes, always demanding respect. This groundbreaking anthology aims to enlighten, inspire and educate about the lives of Aboriginal people in Australia today. Gumnut babies: years Celebrate the publication of May Gibbs's first book, Gumnut babies, in H2O stories of water Australia is an island surrounded by ocean.

Children grow up near the sea, have holidays by the sea or spend time on rivers, canals and dams. This collection of stories highlights the influence of water on children's lives. With Christmas approaching, he decided to make a book for the children cooped up in nearby Changi Prison.