If you’re wanting an engaging picture story book about Australia’s history – look no further; My Place has got you covered!
Starting in 1988 and working backwards, decade by decade until pre-1700s, My Place uses historically-based generalisations to document the inhabitants of one particular house/location. The various inhabitants are always children, who illustrate a specific period in Australia’s history. If you go backwards through My Place, you will see a country before white settlement, the arrival of convicts and free settlers, those in search of gold to those in search of a new home, following war, famine or oppression. Each double page is a new decade and includes a hand-drawn map of the surrounding area.
There are links between the characters, as one family makes way for another and the story is a wonderful record of the history of a nation.
Why I love it:
Who doesn’t love history?! Particularly when it’s relatable and is given a human face. My Place is history made accessible to younger readers. It’s charming and engaging and will have you pouring over the pages, looking for similarities and differences between the decades, the families and the lifestyles. Even simply studying the map on each page, will provide fantastic discussion about progress and growth and sustainability.
Themes to discuss with your child:
- Aboriginal history
- Language and culture
Questions to ask your child:
- What do you think this book might be about?
- Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
- Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
- When you hear the words ‘My place’ what does it make you think of?
- Why do you think the front cover of this book is made to look as though it’s two different pictures?
- What does the medal on the front cover, mean?
- What kind of houses are pictured on the cover? How are these houses different/similar to your own?
- Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
- What was happening page by page in the story?
- Name some of the people that had lived in the house, or on the land?
- What were some similarities or differences between the people who lived there?
- How did the map change throughout the book?
- If you were to write your own My Place book about where you live, what do you know that you could include?
- Who were the very first people to live on the land in the book?
- Let’s have a go at drawing our own map of our area. I wonder what will change over time.
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