'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 20 March 2022

Review: Talking History

Talking History is about 16 memorable speeches from the last 150 years, and the people who made them.

It covers a range of social, political and human rights issues, and milestone moments in history, championed by people who have lived experience or were able to make the most of an opportunity to have their voices heard.

The speeches, which are both historical and modern, include Nelson Mandela's 'Statement from the Dock' in 1964, Emmeline Pankhurst's 'Freedom or Death' speech in 1913, and Malala Yousafzai's 2013 'Address to the United Nations Youth Assembly'.

There are also speeches about Aboriginal rights, world health, war, equal opportunity for people living with disabilities, and more.

The 16 speeches in Talking History were chosen by authors Joan Haig and Joan Lennon because they help us to see the world in ways we might not have done before, and to see how words can be used persuasively. These speeches can be doorways to learning about important subjects and historical events.

Talking History is presented in a magazine or comic-style format, with both prose text, and speech illustrations (some with speech bubbles), to help illuminate events. The artwork is stylised which has an effect of transporting you to the time and events depicted.

Context, both historical and topical, is provided through facts and figures, and significant dates and events from before and after the speech, to help understand its significance. There is also key biographical information about the person who made the speech.

The complete speeches are not included in this book. However, a key extract from each is highlighted. This is a good tool as it might encourage readers to explore further afield to find and read the entire speech of someone or something they are particularly interested in.

Talking History is a fantastic, accessible book which can be an inspiration, a prompt for exploration, or simply a reminder of where we've come from and where we want to be as a society.

Title: Talking History
Author: Joan Haig and Joan Lennon
Illustrator: Andre Ducci
Publisher: Templar Books , $ 29.99
Publication Date: February 2022
Format: Hardcvoer
ISBN: 9781787417328
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Non-fiction