The Girl from the Great Sandy Desert

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Magabala Books, 2015 - Aboriginal Australians - 98 pages
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The Girl from the Great Sandy Desert is the charming account of the life of Mana, a young Walmajarri girl, and her family, in the desert country of north-west Australia. Simultaneously delightful tales of children growing up and a social and cultural history of a way of life, Mona Chuguna┐s semi-autobiographical stories are set before European settlement impacted on the lives of the people of the Great Sandy Desert, and before they left their homelands. Beneath the hot blue sky, Mana is joined by her brothers, sisters and cousins, as well as her many mothers and her favourite dogs. With gentle humour, the stories depict the daily life of hunting and gathering, kinship obligations, the never-ending search for water, and the exploits of the young children. Alongside each story are cultural insights that enhance understanding of the text, making it especially valuable to educators looking for authentic material. Acclaimed Gooniyandi (Fitzroy River) artist Mervyn Street captures the subtle nuances of the stories and the Walmajarri way of life with beautiful black and white illustrations.

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About the author (2015)

Pat Lowe was born in England. At the age of eleven she went to boarding school, where she suffered from chilblains and dreamed of migrating to Australia. After working as a postwoman and then spending three years as a secondary school teacher in East Africa, Pat studied psychology. In 1972 she sailed into Fremantle on a Russian ship, and became an Australian citizen as soon as she was eligible. Pat worked as a psychologist in a children's home and later in Western Australian prisons. Desert Dog won the 1998 Western Australian Premier's Children's Book Award and was a Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book. Many of the characters in Feeling the Heat first appeared as younger characters in The Girl With No Name, published by Penguin in 1994. The Girl With No Name was shortlisted for the Multicultural Children's Literature Award and has been published in Italian.

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