Australian Curriculum Recommended Books
This site is a place for teachers to share recommendations for children’s literature suitable for
- the Australian Curriculum English Literature strand
- teaching content in the History and Science strands (and others as they become available)
- supporting the three Australian curriculum priorities
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
- Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
To make a recommendation please provide
- the title, author, and publisher & ISBN if possible, and
- the year level/s for which it is suitable, and
- any suggestions you have for the book’s use.
(Of course, we all know that many books can be read at all year levels, but to be of use to busy teachers, especially primary teachers who have no librarian in the school, the list will aim to assign a book to a year level.)
Please try to provide this information in a form that means I can simply copy and paste it into the page easily.
NB: I don’t do didacticism. Authors’ values shine through their work, and I explore those values through discussion but I loathe books that have been written for the purpose of instilling morality or good behaviour.
NB#2 Please do not recommend any books that feature swearing. I don’t care how prevalent it is in our society, most schools are still trying to teach children not to do it at school, and normalising swearing in the books children read just makes that job harder.
If you click on the links you will be taken to the Fishpond online bookseller site where you can read a description of the book. Please note that if you then buy the book, I get a miniscule commission, which helps to defray the annual cost of running this site without adverts.
I foresee that this page will spawn sub-pages, but will start off here and see what happens…
English Literature Strand
Y1 & Y2
Values Education: Making Friends
Reggie, Queen of the Street (Picture Puffin) by Margaret Barbalet
Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey
Sunday Chutney by Aaron Blabey (I use this to explore how the other kids exclude her as well as her joyful determination to be herself).
Values Education: Courage and Determination
Shutting the Chooks in by Ann James
Clancy and Millie the Very Fine House by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood (This is also a book about friendship, but it’s a powerful book for exploring consumerism).
Y3 & Y4
Priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
Shake a Leg by Boori Monty Pryor and Jan Ormerod
Savannah Dreams by Lolla Stewart and Elaine Russell (a deceptively simple book which is rich in opportunities for discussing traditional and contemporary Aboriginal life)
Pigs and Honey by Jeanie Adams (I use this to show Aboriginal perspectives in a Y3&4 unit about farming and food production, see the unit under Goodies to Share, and also the flow chart under the Aboriginal Perspectives Menu).
Kip by Christina Booth (This is a good one to use for Thinking Skills. Students can do a Venn diagram showing city noises and farm noises. )
Y5 & Y6
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Michael Morpurgo (I use this to discuss the Knightly Virtues, and whether they are still relevant today. This is the only version I would recommend for this age group.)
Extreme Adventures: Killer Whale by Justin D’Ath (also useful for exploring courage, determination and initiative). The rest of the series also features environmental themes.
Update: July 13
Jo Sherrin from the NT has contributed a terrific list of recommended books which you can download from here: