Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Month: October 2016

Maralinga’s Long Shadow

Yvonne's Story

Yvonne’s Story – review or purchase this book from Amazon.co.uk here…

Maralinga’s Long Shadow is an incredible book, an amazing and daunting story. Written by Christobel Mattingley and published by Allen and Unwin, Australia.

In the vast outback of South Australia lived Yvonne, she was part of the Anangu people who had lived on that land for generation after generation.

They passed on this precious knowledge , sleeping under the stars through all cycles of the seasons.’

They knew this land and needed no maps, shops or anything other than that which the land would provide. And they were happy.

‘Then the walypala, (whitefellas) came, who did not know the land and they called it desert.

They brought sheep and other animals and started to build a railway.

They brought the need for other things that this land could not provide and they were greedy’.

In 1950, the United Aborigines Mission, had many women who now wore clothes and learnt the walypala’s ways. But one day they took one of their women away from the missions as she was to give birth to her new baby.

Yvonne was born, slightly paler skin than normal, but then her father was a walypala.

She went on to live through enormous change, tragedy and family sadness, with courage and, hope, giving strength to her people, leading them and giving grace.

In 1953, town atomic bombs were exploded at Emu Field, 320 kilometres from Maralinga. In 1956, when Yvonne was 6 years old, they exploded the first bomb of 15,000 tons, part of Operation Buffalo at Maralinga, followed by three further bombs.

And there was still more testing of atomic bombs.

But, strangely, life continued at the camps at Maralinga. The Anangu people were involved in working in the area, usually barefoot with no protective clothing for many years. The effect of this work directly on radio-active lands, and in the breathing of toxic air, meant that there were many deaths, many birth defects in babies and unbelievable suffering.

The book is a story of Yvonne, her life, her family and her ability to challenge and receive some support for her family and her peoples. It is a remarkable story and an insight into the life of an Australian indigenous people in the 1950’s.

The book is beautifully presented in a glossy finish. It is packed with wonderful photographs and artwork by Yvonne Edwards, of the families and the land of Maralinga.

It is a book to keep and treasure, and you can purchase on line too. We recommend for ages 10 and above, and it’s definitely a book for adults too.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout





SLA UK School Librarian of the Year Award 2016


Amy wins!

‘The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award is the School Library Association’s prestigious honour to recognize the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day, highlighting the best practice of those whose work is outstanding.

This year Amy McKay at Corby Business Academy (www.corbybusinessacademy.org) has been awarded the honour of the School Librarian of the Year 2016′.

We were delighted to attend the award ceremony at The Judges Court, St. Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London on the 3rd October, 2016.

Award winning author Kim Slater was on hand to present Amy with her prize. The range of library activities, reader support and wider engagement with the library and literacy sector that Amy has achieved in her career so far made her a very deserving winner in 2016.

You can read more about Amy’s work at the Corby Business Academy here.

Books go Walkabout chanted in unison ‘…well done and congratulations Amy!’

Nomination forms for School Librarian of the Year 2017 will be available from the SLA website, at http://www.sla.org.uk/nominations.php

Previous Winners of the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award
2015: Annie Brady – St Paul’s CBS Secondary School, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
2014: Liz Millett – Weatherfield Academy, Dunstable
2013: Hilary Cantwell – St Paul’s Community College, Waterford, Republic of Ireland
2013: John Iona – Oasis Academy, Enfield, Middlesex
2012: Adam Lancaster – Monk’s Walk School, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
2011: Carol Webb – Forest Hill School, London
2010: Duncan Wright – Stewart’s Melville College, Edinburgh
2010: Kevin Sheehan – Offerton School, Stockport
2009: Lucy Bakewell – Hill West Primary School, Sutton Coldfield
2008: Nikki Heath – Werneth School, Stockport
2007: Ingrid Hopson – George Abbot School, Guildford
2006: Anne-Marie Tarter – Ripon Grammar School, North Yorkshire
2005: Anne Robinson – Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College, Bedworth

slalogobuttonThe SLA School Librarian of the Year 2016 is sponsored by Macmillan Children’s Books
(www.panmacmillan.com) and Softlink (www.softlink.co.uk).



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