Short Chapter Books:
Based in the depression years of the 1930s. A swagman comes into the life of a country family, a good glimpse of country life in that time era. Suitable for younger children.
Pastures of the Blue Crane – Hesba Brinsmead
A thought provoking book , a close look at the perceptions and prejudices of whites towards the South Sea Islanders. A book for later teenagers. A favourite of mine.
A young girl defies boundaries set by the local communities of whites and Islanders when she offers a young Islander the opportunity to join her in partnership of a fishing boat.The Billabong Books – Mary Grant Bruce
One of my favourites from childhood are the Billabong books. Set in rural Victoria early last century this series follows the life and adventures of a motherless girl Nora, her brother Jim and his best mate Wally. Presiding over this happy group is their indulgent yet wise father who is all things to Nora, father, mother and best friend. This series of books set in the Australian bush, recounts the adventures of the Linton family living on a station called “Billabong”. The saga stretches from 1910 to 1942, with the tumult of the period reflected in these incident-packed books.
The Little Bush Maid – Mary Grant Bruce
The first book opens with Nora at ten years of age, still at home with her brother away at boarding school. In subsequent books we follow Nora leaving her beloved father and ‘Billabong’ to go away to school, her many adventures as she grows up, the war years, her marriage and her own motherhood. This saga stretches from 1910 to 1942.
Norah at Billabong – Mary Grant Bruce
From London to Billabong – Mary Grant Bruce
Jim and Wally – Mary Grant Bruce
Billabong’s Daughter – Mary Grant Bruce
Billabong Adventurers – Mary Grant Bruce
Bill of Billabong – Mary Grant Bruce
Wings above Billabong – Mary Grant Bruce
Billabong Gold – Mary Grant Bruce
Son of Billabong – Mary Grant Bruce
Billabong Riders – Mary Grant Bruce
Circus Ring – Mary Grant Bruce
Possum – Mary Grant Bruce
Seahawk – Mary Grant Bruce
Jackie French is an amazingly prolific writer with a wide genre. Fiction and non-fiction for both children and adults, Jackie has written to date 132 books!!! An avid gardener she has written many books on gardening for both adults and children. She is also a passionate nature lover, particularly of wombats which also feature in her books. But my particular favourites are her history novels, mmm I wonder why that is??
*I would recommend parents to pre-read some of Jackie’s books as to age appropriateness and if they are the correct fit for your family.
Firestorm – Roger Vaughann Carr
An adventure story based on the actual events of Ash Wednesday in February 1983 when huge areas of Australia were devastated by the most destructive bush fires there had been for many years.
New Golden Mountain – Mavis Thorpe Clark
Seventeen-year-old Greg’s concern with preserving the wildlife of the hundred islands in Australia’s Bass Strait leads him to defy his father and set out on his own path toward the future.
A story of friendship and adventure when two runaway boys meet in the Australian outback and work together in an opal mining town.
The Brown Land is Green – Mavis Thorpe Clark
Nowhere to Hide – Mavis Thorpe Clark
The River Kings – Max Fatchen
Shawn runs away from home to join Captain Elijah on the Lazy Jane, an old river boat trading on the River Murray in Australia at the turn of the century. But he finds that life aboard is tough and the Captain has his enemies – particularly Red Morgan, the fearful red- bearded river pirate.
Eleanor Elizabeth – Libby Gleeson
An adventure in which past and present meet, and in which Eleanor finally learns to feel at home in the strange but beautiful Australian bush country.
Riverboat Bill teams on – Cliff Green
All in the Blue Unclouded Weather – Robin Klein
A collection of interlinked stories set in the late 1940s in an Australian country town, which focus on the four young Melling sisters. Each story links the girls and their friends together in a variety of domestic events and problems.
This is the sequel to “All in the Blue Unclouded Weather”, about the four Melling sisters growing up in Wilgawa in the 1940’s.
The Special Present – Christobel Mattingley
Poppy Faces the World – Pixie O’Harris
The Fortunes of Poppy Treloar – Pixie O’Harris
Valley in the North – Margaret Paice
he Lucky Fall – Margaret Paice
When Laura Rambotham arrives at an exclusive Melbourne girls school from her country home, she is ridiculed by the other pupils for her differences, her name, her unusual clothes and especially for her “unpardonable sin” – her exceptional musical ability.
Three Little Maids – Ethel Turner
The Conway family migrate to Australia from England, and find their creativity and refinement tested as they come to terms with boys, business, and a new world. Fate and tragedy forges a bond between the Conways and an Australian doctor and his sons.
Mother’s Little Girl – Ethel Turner
Judy and Punch – Ethel Turner
When Captain Woolcot finds it impossible to manage his high-spirited daughter Judy, she is sent away to boarding school. On the way she meets up with Punch, and her longing for home begins to grow.
The Little Larrikin – Ethel Turner
The Cub – Ethel Turner
Funny – Ethel Turner
Miss Bobbie – Ethel Turner
Blinky Bill, the mischievous little koala, is one of the best-known and best-loved characters in Australian children’s fiction. The scrapes and adventures in which naughty Blinky takes such enthusiastic pleasure (to the despair of his mother, Mrs Koala), and the bush creatures he meets along the way, are greatly entertaining.