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About the Author

Nadia Wheatley is a widely published author of picture books, fiction, history and biography for both adults and children. Seven of her books have been CBCA Honour books in her native Australia, and she has twice received the New South Wales Premier's Children's Book Prize. Her work includes Five Times Dizzy, Highway, The House that was Eureka, Lucy in the Light Year and Going Bush. She lives in Australia. Find Nadia online at www.nadiawheatley.com and on Twitter as @NadiaWheatley. Donna Rawlins is an illustrator, book designer and teacher. She has won many awards for her work and in 2003 was the recipient of the prestigious Lady Cutler Award, presented by the Children's Book Council of New South Wales, for her outstanding contribution to the children's book industry in Australia. Her books include The Kinder Hat, Tucking Mummy In, and Firefighters (9781921150296). She lives in the Lower Blue Mountains outside Sydney, Australia.

Reviews

A glimpse into life on the same piece of Australian land as it changes from rural to urban over a 200-year period. Moving in ten-year jumps from 1988 back to 1788, each double-page spread surveys the same plot from the viewpoints of children who live there. Each boldly states: ``This is my place,'' describes what life is like then, and includes an intricately drawn map, labeled to help readers spot the changes that have taken place in the area. The young people come from all sorts of families, wealthy as well as working class. Quite a bit of historical and cultural information is painlessly conveyed through this intriguing format; even environmental concerns are explored as the quality of the creek's water declines because of polluting waste from a tannery and woolen mill. In the last entry, readers meet young Barangaroo and his family, Aboriginal inhabitants of the land, and the book ends pensively and somewhat ironically with his grandmother's words, ``We've always belonged to this place . . .For ever and ever''--but readers know what the future holds. One comes away from the book with the feeling that Australia's people are an ethnically diverse, hard-working bunch who inhabit a country that developed in similar ways to the United States. Rawlins' lively, colorful crayon drawings surround the text supplying period details and evoking each child's sense of belonging in this not-so-unique place. Specialized and universal at the same time, this complements the Provensens' Shaker Lane (Viking, 1987) and Renata Von Tscharner and Ronald L. Fleming's New Providence: A Changing Cityscape (HBJ, 1987). A book that merits and rewards close scrutiny. --Ellen Fader, Westport Public Library, CT

This fascinating book is like a time capsule of the first 200 years of white settlement in Australia, demonstrating that the Australian community has been influenced by cultures from all around the globe. I found myself just as involved in the story as my children were. If you are looking for a way to introduce your primary school-aged children to Australia's modern history, this book is a wonderful way to begin. * Kids' Book Review *
For anyone with young children, especially if you want them to learn a bit about Australia, this is a cracking read. It really brings Australian history to life. -- Caroline * goodreads *
Brilliant children's book showing the same suburb visited each ten years, beginning from the present day and travelling backwards until pre colonial days. This book could be read forwards or backwards. It is jammed with history but doesn't feel like a history lesson. Each decade is accompanied by a detailed illustration showing the changes time has made. No wonder it won the Children's Book of the Year. -- Maggie * goodreads *

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