My survey of Australian history awards has helped me discover some more history books that sound really interesting. Sharing some of my finds below. Happy reading ahead.
2017 NSW Premier’s History Awards
From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories by Mark McKenna
Japanese War Criminals: The Politics of Justice After the Second World War, Sandra Wilson, Robert Cribb, Beatrice Trefalt and Dean Aszkielowicz
Stories from the Sandstone: Quarantine Inscriptions from Australia’s Immigrant Past, Peter Hobbins, Ursula K. Frederick and Anne Clarke
Chief Minister’s Northern Territory History Book Award 2017
Alice Springs: From Singing Wire to Iconic Outback Town by Stuart Traynor
University of Southern Queensland History Book Award 2017
Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney by Paul Irish (Short-listed)
Tasmania Book Prize 2017
Into the Heart of Tasmania: A Search for Human Antiquity by Rebe Taylor (also winner of the University of Southern Queensland History Book Award 2017)
2017 ACT Book of the Year Award
Fighting Fit by Laura Dawes (Short-listed)
What do you think of this selection? What is on your reading list for the holidays and the New Year?
Books for young history enthusiasts reminded me of the children’s world history book — A Little History of the World by E.H.Gombrich. A few years back, my daughter got this as a present and it seems to be a continuing favourite.
Our memory is like that burning scrap of paper. We use it to light up the past. First of all our own, and then we ask old people to tell us what they remember. After that we look for letters written by people who are already dead. And in this way we light our way back.
— E.H Gombrich
Knowing my enthusiasm for history, a friend asked if I could recommend a history book for her young son. Rather embarrassingly I had no idea.
That’s why I was excited to come across the Young People’s History Prize awarded as part of the NSW Premier’s History Awards. This prize ($15,000) is for a published book or e-book, publicly screened or broadcasted film, television or radio program, DVD or website — fiction or non-fiction, which increases the understanding and appreciation of history by children and/or young adults.
Below are winners and shortlisted books for 2017 and earlier years. One of these might be an option for the Christmas stocking of a young history enthusiast.
WINNER: Maralinga’s Long Shadow by Christobel Mattingley
SHORTLIST: Desert Lake: The Story of Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre by Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli
SHORTLIST: Australia’s Great War: 1917 by Kelly Gardiner
WINNER: One Thousand Hills by James Roy and Noël Zihabamwe
SHORTLIST: Cyclone by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley
SHORTLIST: Freedom Ride by Sue Lawson
WINNER: My Gallipoli by Ruth Starke and Robert Hannaford
SHORTLIST: A-Z of Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land by Simon Barnard
SHORTLIST: Lennie the Legend: Solo to Sydney by Pony by Stephanie Owen Reeder
WINNER: Australians All by Nadia Wheatley, illustrated by Ken Searle
SHORTLIST: The Road to Gundagai by Jackie French
SHORTLIST: Yoko’s Diary Edited by Paul Ham, Translated by Debbie Edward
What book would you recommend for a young history enthusiast?
If a book is well written, I always find it too short.
― Jane Austen
Agree or disagree?
Young girls with books at Essendon Ball, 1916
A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.
― Italo Calvino
Agree or disagree?
Shelves of leather-bound history books, Public library, Museums and National Gallery (later the State Library of Victoria), 1910
In the continuing hunt to find the best history books for Christmas stockings and holiday reading I looked at The Goodreads Choice Awards announced on 5 December 2017. In the History and Biography section the winner, with 24,696 votes, was The Radium Girls by Kate Moore.
The other nominees were:
More than 10,000 votes
More than 3,000 votes
More than 1,500 votes
What an interesting list of books? Would you be happy to find one of these in your Christmas stocking or are you planning to read one of these in your holidays?
After love, book collecting is the most exhilarating sport of all.
— A S W Rosenbach
Agree or disagree?
Shelves of leather-bound books, Public library, Museums and National Gallery (later the State Library of Victoria), 1910