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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Handy reference guide for ANZAC Day resources

This year, on ANZAC Day, we observe the anniversary of a military event that has had a profound effect on Australian culture; the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli. A timely reflection in “lest we forget”.

Mud and blood and tears is an annotated list of children’s books about war and conflict. It was compiled by Margaret Hamilton AM, Julie Long OAM and Rosemary Thomas to commemorate last year’s 100th anniversary of the commencement of World War I. The authors have collated and edited 176 book summaries to create a quick and easy-to-use reference guide. Many of the books have animal themes, to make a dark subject matter more palatable to students and enhance the connections they make to the material. There are books that will appeal to students from Kindergarten to Year 10: picture books, poetry, narratives and historical recounts. The book titles are listed by author, there are indices for titles and illustrators and each entry provides information on whether it is suited to older or younger readers, is non-fiction or a picture book.

I will be planning a history unit, for my upper primary class, on Gallipoli. To help me find engaging material, I will begin and end my search with this handy reference guide. The book is mainly aimed at educators (both at school and at home), librarians and collectors of children’s war literature. In the classroom, choosing the most relevant history materials assists students with their historical skills, knowledge and understanding, such as: the causes and effects of change, experiences of people in the past, comparing information from a range of resources and the effects of a key event on Australian society.

Why would this 48 page, soft-covered publication be a handy addition to your bookshelf? Well, if you’re an educator, then you will be impressed by the wide range of books that cater for all school grades and assist the delivery of History and Civics & Citizenship units with reading suggestions for projects or your class library. Librarians will find it useful to assist them to direct staff, students and historians to specific books and highlight gaps in their collections for future purchases for their library lists. Mud and blood and tears is also a great read for anyone who loves history. I read the ‘blurbs’ and found myself thinking: “I didn’t know that”. A copy of Mud and blood and tears can be purchased through the CBCA Tas website by completing this order form.
Happy reading. I’m off to buy The legend of the Light Horse; (noted on page 25) by Ian Jones. I can’t wait to see the maps and artwork!

Helen Rothwell

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