My Place

by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins

A powerful cultural history of a fictional Australian neighborhood begins in 1988.... read more

A powerful cultural history of a fictional Australian neighborhood begins in 1988. This and subsequent double-page spreads are written, designed and illustrated according to a pattern: "My name's Laura, and this is my place ... Our house is the one with the flag on the window ... This is a map of my place. We've got a McDonalds right on the corner. In the ... yard, there's this big tree ... There's a canal ... Mum said it must have been a creek once. It's too dirty to swim in ..." The visual chronology moves backward ten years at a time through 21 decades of Australian immigrations (e.g., Asian, German, Irish, English prisoners); world events (e.g., Vietnam War, World Wars, U.S. gold rush); and economic changes (e.g., land ownerships and uses, Labor movement) affecting ordinary families. Differences and effects of cultures and classes are suggested. The tree and the water represent steady points of reference and subtle change in each decade. The people indigenous to Australia claim the dramatic final double page spread showing a rural sunset before contact with the British. This stunning intellectual and political reiteration of the Aboriginal flag mentioned and seen at the beginning of this outstanding, award-winning 10 1/4" x 9 3/4" book invites already-intrigued readers into repeated experiences with the narrations and detailed images. (Ages 6-12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1990

show less