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- author Jackie French

Friday, 4 May 2018

Review: Bush and Beyond

Packed with rich settings and relatable characters, Bush and Beyond is a divine collection of junior fiction short stories by four Indigenous authors about country and family.

There are four stories in the book: two that connect to each other and two more written as separate pieces. Each shines a light on the connection of family, and in particular the connection between children and their grandparents.

In Bush Secrets and Yippee! Summer Holidays, Debbie and her brother Billie spend time with their visiting grandfather. 

He teaches them about the land and the importance of the water holes as they explore the bush and share their dreams and fears.

In Barclay, Sarah and her brothers learn about the Woordatj, who camps in the caves at Rocky Pool and catches naughty children. 

In Lucky Thamu, Eli visits his grandparents for the holidays and goes specking for gold with his Thamu (grandfather) and uncle.

This is a fantastic book for junior readers. The stories are interesting and fun to read, and the characters are real and relatable. With large text and black and white illustrations throughout the book, it’s an easy read for younger readers.

I loved the inclusion of Aboriginal languages throughout the stories and the accompanying English translations. What a wonderful way for kids to learn the meaning of Aboriginal words.

With themes of family, culture and the Australian outback, Bush and Beyond is a great pick for kids to explore together as a class. Teacher notes are also available on the Fremantle Press website, providing varied ideas for classroom activities. 

Bush and Beyond is a beautiful snapshot of life on the land — a celebration of Aboriginal cultures, traditions and languages from Western Australia. And it’s the third in a series of short story collections, so be sure to check out Eagle, Crow and Emu and Cyclones and Shadows as well. 

Title:  Bush and Beyond
Author: Tjalaminu Mia, Jessica Lister, Cheryl Kickett-Tucker and Jaylon Tucker
Publisher: Fremantle Press, $14.99
Publication Date: 30 April 2018
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925591132
For ages: 7+
Type: Junior Fiction

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