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BOOK REVIEW: Heroes, Rebels, and Innovators by Karen Wyld and Jaelyn Biumaiwai

| 25 August 2021 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Heroes, Rebels, and Innovators by Karen Wyld and Jaelyn Biumaiwai

Lothian Children’s Books
August 2021
Hardcover, $26.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Non-Fiction / Children’s Picture Books / Australian History 

95% Rocking


Be inspired and amazed by these incredible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander icons! With colourful artwork and evocative writing, this book tells stories every Australian should know.

Powerful and exciting: here are seven inspiring stories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from history. Each colourful spread in this illustrated book tells a compelling story.


David wanted more people to know about the world’s oldest knowledges. He put Ngarrindjeri stories on paper, becoming the first Aboriginal author. He wrote about Indigenous sciences, and gave talks in universities. David spoke about Ngarrindjeri and their dreams of equality and rights.

With roughly 2-3 pages of text devoted to each of the seven inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from history selected for this volume, this is a fairly quick read, but one which will likely give insight to even many an adult who hasn’t looked into Australian history as seen through the eyes of the traditional custodians of the land.

While the stories within aren’t too in-depth (which means it is welcoming to some of our younger readers), this book provides a good starting point for those wanting to look more into the true experiences of the people who lived in Australia before the white settlers came.

The one thing it would have been nice to see here is a glossary of terms at the back, explaining what some of the indigenous Australian words mean, and the pronunciation. This would ensure that both adults who haven’t come across them before, and the younger readers who are still trying to grasp some smaller and more familiar words, can read this book as it was intended by the author and the original tellers of these stories, without tripping over their own tongues.

But all in all this is a gorgeous, respectful, and very important book that will help continue to open up the conversations about Australia’s past.

Category: Book Reviews

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