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A Goanna In The Sand

Reading Tracks - Book 5
One cold winter’s day, Mum, her children and their adventurous dog go looking for goannas in the red desert sand. They are stalked by a thorny devil, who teases the dog with humour through the book. Book 5 in the Reading Tracks series.
Margaret James, M.Ed (TESOL), is the winner of several accolades including NT Australian of the Year finalist, QUT Faculty of Education outstanding alumni, Courier Mail 50 Brightest and Best. She was shaped by her multilingual rural childhood in Southern Africa where Indigenous languages surrounded her. This significantly influenced her choice of tertiary studies - among these were linguistics, languages, education, Teaching English as an Additional Language, choral conducting and voice. This background was to prove invaluable when, after a fulfilling and varied career in several countries, she moved into Indigenous Education in Australia. The paucity of engaging, early-reading material for EALD learners and her relationship with Elders of several Australian Nations, led her to develop several linguistically and culturally appropriate books and resources in English and several Aboriginal languages. Her first series is the innovative and highly successful Honey Ant® Readers. While visiting schools and communities in order to deliver Professional Development for the Honey Ant® Readers, Margaret became increasingly aware of the similar need for engaging, early-reading material for older learners as well. She worked closely with Elders, students and illustrators to develop linguistically and culturally appropriate learn-to-read story books for older readers, and books which could be enjoyed by non-Indigenous readers equally, while teaching them about the cultures and food gathering practices of Australian First Peoples. This included trips to the desert and the coast with Elders and children who shared their knowledge about tracking, hunting and fishing for food. Reading Tracks® - stories about hunting, tracking and fishing - is the result! Jesse Tipiloura Young is a Tiwi man and father of three children. Born in Darwin, he spent his early childhood growing up in Gunbalanya – a remote Aboriginal community in West Arnhem Land. He was captured by art at an early age. His father, Ray – an artist and master silk-screen printer - worked at Injalak Arts where Jesse and his four siblings would often observe and play, under the watchful eye of their mother, Michelle. The family then made the move to Tenterfield, a small town in regional New South Wales where Jesse completed primary school.This upbringing brought vastly different experiences for Jesse. Not only was he adapting to the challenges of new environmental a nd social surroundings - but to educational ones as well. Jesse had art as an escape and persevered through school. His persistence paid off during his high school years when he returned to Darwin as a boarder at St John’s College in 2000. Once he’d graduated in 2004 Jesse went on to be a plumber for eight years, then his knack for using his hands later turned to drawing. Throughout this time he also mentored young apprentices. Much like his schooling journey, his career took a different direction and he began working in his old high school, assisting young Indigenous students with their education, all the while carrying his love for art with him. After the birth of his first daughter he became inspired to illustrate storybooks. His unique upbringing and his family continue to be ongoing sources of inspiration for Jesse. He was honoured to have been shortlisted for the Magabala Books’ Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award. This is his first book.
Unique. Progressive readers developed with Indigenous Elders and community. Fills a gap in the young adult and adult Indigenous 'learn-to-read' market. Instils pride and confidence in Indigenous readers. Methods of tracking and hunting are authentic, contibuted by Elders, embedded in a fictional, but realistic, story that Indigenous people can identify with. The story covers contemporary hunting and cultural practices, as well as history. The book raises awareness and understanding of Indigenous cultures for non Indigenous learners. For such a unique resource developed with many contributors, the book is good value. FOR: Indigenous students learning to read in schools or adult education organisations e.g. prisons. Engaging because it is about their lives. Also for non Indigenous students of all ages to learn about Indigenous hunting practices. And to broaden awareness, deepen understanding and change attitudes on Australia's first peoples. WHY: Fun, colourful, humorous illustrations engage even the most reluctant readers. Unique books for Middle school and older learners. Brochures, website, speak at conferences, promotional material to stakeholders, media - radio, video, TV, newspaper. Social media. Flyers.
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