Reading Across Cultures

This board comprises a list of books suitable for the Year 9 English wider reading unit - Reading Across Cultures.
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The Happiest Refugee by Ahn Do. Anh Do nearly didn't make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives on the sea as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. But nothing - not murderous pirates, nor the imminent threat of death by hunger, disease or dehydration as they drifted for days - could quench their desire to make a better life in a country where freedom existed.

The Happiest Refugee- The laugh-out-loud, reach-for-your-hanky story of one of Australia's best-loved comedians

Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman. A story of adventure, ball control and hope. Jamal and Bibi have a dream. To lead Australia to soccer glory in the next World Cup. But first they must face landmines, pirates, storms and assassins. Can Jamal and his family survive their incredible journey and get to Australia? Sometimes, to save the people you love, you have to go overboard.

Boy Overboard – Morris Gleitzman For the last 3 years I have been teaching Boy Overboard as our class novel in Year 6 and thought I would share some of my favourite teaching activities and re…

Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman. A story of adventure, ball control and hope. Jamal and Bibi have a dream. To lead Australia to soccer glory in the next World Cup. But first they must face landmines, pirates, storms and assassins. Can Jamal and his family survive their incredible journey and get to Australia? Sometimes, to save the people you love, you have to go overboard.

Boy Overboard – Morris Gleitzman For the last 3 years I have been teaching Boy Overboard as our class novel in Year 6 and thought I would share some of my favourite teaching activities and re…

Growing Up Asian in Australia by Alice Pung. Asian-Australians have often been written about by outsiders, as outsiders. In this collection, compiled by Pung, they tell their own stories with verve, courage and a large dose of humour. These are not predictable tales of food, festivals and traditional dress. There are stories of people leaving home, falling in love and finding one's feet.

Useful resources for VCE students exploring the context through the lens of Growing Up Asian In Australia edited by Alice Pung

Refuge by Jackie French. Refuge centres around a 14-year-old Afghan boy who spent much of his life in Pakistani refugee camps before making the voyage from Indonesia to Australia. As the boat crashes against the rocks of Christmas Island he loses consciousness and awakes to find himself in the life he has always dreamed of in Australia, but with no memory of how he got there: not unusual, says his doctor father.

REFUGE centres around a male Afghan who spent much of his life in Pakistan refugee camps before making the voyage from Indonesia to Australia. As the boat crashes against the rocks of Christmas Island he loses consciousness and awakes to find

Parvana's Promise by Deborah Ellis. This is the third book in the Parvana series. Parvana, now 15, is found in a bombed-out school and held as a suspect terrorist by American troops in Afghanistan.

Parvana's Promise by Deborah Ellis. This is the third book in the Parvana series. Parvana, now is found in a bombed-out school and held as a suspect terrorist by American troops in Afghanistan.

The Best Day of My Life by Deborah Ellis. This is an emotionally engrossing story about a young Indian girl, called Valli, who has to survive by herself on the streets of Kolkata (now known as Calcutta).

'The best day of my life was the day I found out I was all alone in the world.'Even though Valli spends her days picking coal and fightin.

Northern Pakistan.  Shahana,13, lives alone with her brother in the shadow of the Line of Control - border patrolled by Pakistani and Indian soldiers that divides Kashmir. Life is hard, but Shahana works on her beautiful embroidery. Then she finds a boy lying unconscious near the border. Zahid is from across the Line of Control, and Shahana takes a terrible risk by sheltering him. But how can she give Zahid up to the authorities when she knows he'll be imprisoned or worse?

Booktopia has Shahana, Through My Eyes by Rosanne Hawke. Buy a discounted Paperback of Shahana online from Australia's leading online bookstore.

AUSTRALIA. Mahtab’s Story by Libby Gleeson. Mahtab and her family are forced to leave their home in Herat and journey secretly through the rocky mountains to Pakistan and from there to faraway Australia. Months go by, months of waiting, months of dread. Will they ever be reunited with their father, will they ever find a home?

Mahtab's Story- The vivid and compelling story of a young girl fleeing Afghanistan with her family and their journey to Australia. Inspired by a true story.

NEPAL. Sold by Patricia McCormack. Lakshmi's family is desperately poor, but village life in the mountains of Nepal has its share of pleasures. When the monsoons wreck their crops yet again, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family. She arrives at 'Happiness House' full of hope, but soon learns the unthinkable truth - she has been sold into prostitution.

love this book, written in poetic form from the mind of an innocent child.

Walk in My Shoes by Alwyn Evans. After a perilous and terrifying escape from war-torn Afghanistan, Gulnessa and her family find themselves in Australia, a place they know nothing about. They are exhausted and traumatised, but so full of hope. At last, somewhere safe to call home.

After a perilous and terrifying journey from war-torn Afghanistan, Gulnessa and her family seek refuge in Australia.

Does My Head Look Big in This? - Randa Abdel-Fattah. Welcome to my world. I'm Amal Abdel-Hakim, a seventeen year-old Australian-Palestinian-Muslim still trying to come to grips with my various identity hyphens.  It's hard enough being cool as a teenager when being one issue behind the latest Cosmo is enough to disqualify you from the in-group. Try wearing a veil on your head and practising the bum's up position at lunchtime and you know you're in for a tough time at school.

Does My Head Look Big in This? I'm Amal Abdel-Hakim, a 16 yo Australian-Palestinian-Muslim still getting to grips with my various identity hyphens.

Muslim Australians.  Marrying Ameera by Rosanne Hawke. Amerra,16, is the daughter of an Australian mother and a Pakistani father. She doesn′t realize it, but her father has made plans to marry her off to a wealthy cousin in Pakistan. When her uncle takes her passport and return ticket away, and confiscates her mobile phone, Ameera is trapped. She will have to go through with the marriage.

Marrying Ameera by Rosanne Hawke, 2010 Forced marriage set in Azad Kashmir

Does My Head Look Big in This? - Randa Abdel-Fattah. Welcome to my world. I'm Amal Abdel-Hakim, a seventeen year-old Australian-Palestinian-Muslim still trying to come to grips with my various identity hyphens.  It's hard enough being cool as a teenager when being one issue behind the latest Cosmo is enough to disqualify you from the in-group. Try wearing a veil on your head and practising the bum's up position at lunchtime and you know you're in for a tough time at school.

Does My Head Look Big in This? I'm Amal Abdel-Hakim, a 16 yo Australian-Palestinian-Muslim still getting to grips with my various identity hyphens.

Her Father’s Daughter by Alice Pung. At twenty-something, Alice is eager for the milestones of adulthood: leaving home, choosing a career, finding friendship and love on her own terms. Her father fears for her safety to an extraordinary degree – but why? As she digs further into her father’s story, Alice embarks on a journey of painful discovery: of memories lost and found, of her own fears for the future, of history and how it echoes down the years.  Set in Melbourne, China & Cambodia.

Her Father's Daughter: Set in Melbourne, China and Cambodia, Her Father's Daughter captures a father-daughter relationship in a moving and astonishingly powerful way.

AFGHANISTAN. Jameela by Rukhsana. Jameela lives with her family in a war-torn village in Afghanistan. Life is hard, but when her mother dies, and her father remarries, Jameela has to face a greater horror. To survive she draws on the strong sense of self that her mother gave her.  Based on a real girl called Sameela, and a real orphanage, this unforgettable novel tells the story of a devout Muslim girl and what life is really like in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

Booktopia has Jameela by Rukhsana Khan. Buy a discounted Paperback of Jameela online from Australia's leading online bookstore.

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