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Study guide on this book, written for senior secondary English students and VCE English students.
'Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize and Australian Book Industry Awards, Book of the Year. After a childhood of poverty and petty crime in the slums of London, William Thornhill is transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife Sal and children in tow, he arrives in a harsh land that feels at first like a death sentence. But among the convicts there is a whisper that freedom can be bought, an opportunity to start afresh. As Thornhill stakes his claim on a patch of ground by the Hawkesbury River, the battle lines between the old and new inhabitants are drawn. Inspired by research into her own family history, Kate Grenville vividly creates the reality of settler life, its longings, dangers and dilemmas. The Secret River is a groundbreaking story about identity, belonging and ownership. There is no doubt Grenville is one of our greatest writers. A book everyone should read. It is evocative, gracefully written, terrible and confronting. And it has resonance for ever'.
'searching for the Secret River is the extraordinary story of how Kate Grenville came to write her award-winning novel, The Secret River. It all began with her ancestor Solomon Wiseman transported to New South Wales for the term of his natural life who later became a wealthy man and built his colonial mansion on the Hawkesbury. Increasingly obsessed with his story, Grenville pursued him from Sydney to London and back, and then up the Hawkesbury itself. Slowly she began to realise she must write about him. Grenville tells us about how this novel was formed, the research she did, the false starts she made and the frustrations she experienced. Searching for the Secret River is a great book about the writing of a great novel. It is education in the art, and craft, of fiction, a lesson in the arduous devotion it can command. Yet it is much more than a quite unbelievably generous invitation into her writing room. It is a courageous public scrutiny of her motives. Weekend Australian'.
Set during the Great Depression, a story about the difference between want and greed written by the author of The Yearling is newly imagined by the Caldecott-winning duo of Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears.
An unusual collection of stories from the myths by the author of Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata and Myth=Mithya which will bring the gods right into the world of children! Filled with delightful illustrations each book in this new series will introduce thoughts and aspects from our ancient treasure trove of stories for today’s children. Why did River Saraswati disappear? Will the vanished river ever reappear? Can you make a river flow in your school? Mrs Sivakami; principal of Madame Mira High School; is astonished when she finds Goddess Saraswati wandering the corridors of her school. The goddess is in search of a missing river! To show her the ancient river and what happened to it; Saraswati puts Mrs. Sivakami on the back of Hansa; her goose; and off they go flying. The teacher sees some schools where students come and go as they please; and others where everyone has a parrot head! She then begins to understand why it is important to make the river flow again; and how she can bring the secret river to her very own school.
Kate Grenville's The Secret River was one of the most loved novels of 2006. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and awarded the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, the story of William Thornhill and his journey from London to the other side of the world has moved and exhilarated hundreds of thousands of readers. Searching for the Secret River tells the story of how Grenville came to write this wonderful book. It is in itself an amazing story, beginning with Grenville's great-great-great grandfather. Grenville starts to investigate her ancestor, hoping to understand his life. She pursues him from Sydney to London and back, and slowly she begins to realise she must write about him. Searching for the Secret River maps this creative journey into fiction, and illuminates the importance of family in all our lives
Convict William Thornhill, exiled from the stinking slums of early 19th century London, discovers that the penal colony offers something that he never dared to hope for before: a place of his own. A stretch of land on the Hawkesbury River is Thornhill's for the taking. As he and his family seek to establish themselves in this unfamiliar territory, they find that they are not the only ones to lay a claim to the land. The Hawkesbury is already home to a family of Dharug people, who are reluctant to leave on account of these intruders. As Thornhill's attachment to the place and the dream deepens, he is driven to make a terrible decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

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