Friday, May 31, 2013

Australian History Resources

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As we wrapped up the beginning exploration of Australia I was on the hunt for some more lovely resources. Our library is actually quite full of them, but unfortunately they are at the wrong end of the island in a resource room where one cannot put holds on them or check them out. A little, or a lot, frustrating, but there is another angle to it as well.

Let's face it, there are a lot of wonderful resources out there for Australian History, & it'd be pretty easy to be bogged down with them. That's often the case for just about any topic out there too, & the key to success, at least for our family, is being sure that we limit what resources we use. In this case, if my library has books that I'm not able to access or check out, while it is frustrating, I'm learning to smile & tick them off my list.

My original goal for studying Aussie History was to spend a year going through it with our non-fiction spines & picking a few awesome historical fiction books to let us have a good taste & feel of time period. Here's the thing though, there's just too much for us to study it all in one year, & I'm okay with that now. We've spent 2 years on US history, & we'll spend 2 years on World history, so why not 2 years on Australian history?

I'm not putting a time limit on anything, it's just a goal. Finish Australian History in 2 years. We were moving pretty slowly & my original plans & ideas weren't coming together as well as I had hoped, but slowly as we continue to gather our resources & things come together I'm seeing it all take shape.

We're finally up to The First Fleet! This is pretty exciting because we kinda feel like we've hit land too, at least I do. I figure we'll be in this time frame for several weeks as I have a host of books I'm planning to read with the boys about this time period & I'm really excited about my choices!

It's been an adventure choosing our resources for Australian History simply because, as I said before, there are a vast amount. One has to choose if it's worth purchasing Out Of Print {oop} books or if it's better to go with a newer book that's still easily accessible.

I mentioned a few times that I'd share the lovely resources I found along the way so I thought I'd do a few posts to share the variety of books I've got flagged for use. As for First Fleet, here's my semi sketched out plans:

1. My Australian Story: Voyage To Botany Bay -- This is a story about a young French girl who has lost her memory & happens to be living life on the streets. She only has fleeting memories of her parents which often end with her Pappa telling her to run. Not knowing why she does, but hits her head upon something thus causing her not to remember things. Upon her attempt to avoid another street boy trying to steal her food she hides in a barrel & falls asleep. This barrel is loaded on a ship setting sail for Botany Bay.. And so begins Julienne's story. This book starts in July of 1785, which is perfect for us because The Goat Who Sailed The World left off in 1781.

2. My Story: Surviving Sydney Cove The Diary Of Elizabeth Harvey -- I haven't preread this one yet so I'll share some of the synopsis on the back of the book.  Lizzie Harvey is a convict transported to Sydney Cove. She's starving & overworked with no time to dream let alone write in her diary, but write she does! It's her only hope for reaching what she's lost. This book is set in 1790.

3. Our Australian Girl: Grace's Stories {4 books} -- Grace is living in London with her uncle who has her looking for things on the bottom of the Thames to sell. She's underfed, overworked, & lonely. One day she pinches an apple from the grocer's carts & her punishment is to be sent off as a convict. Grace's story spans over 4 books and takes place in 1808.

4. The Journal Of Watkin Stench -- Another one I haven't preread as I purchased this one from the UK. This is the story of the First Fleet told from the perspective of a rat. Yep, a rat. This book takes place in 1788. I found our copy via ebay.

They all flow, historically speaking, chronologically together. All though Watkin Stench should really be read a little earlier then I have listed it. However, because we have to wait for the books arrival from the UK it'll be at least another week before it arrives. I'm okay with that though because we're also adding in some Australian Classics, & while I don't know that Watkin Stench fits in that category we might read it like that anyway.

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