Research proves reading is good for you. In this recent title, Rosemary Ross Johnston seeks to inspire and nurture – as opposed to merely instruct – creativity and enquiry by guiding readers through one of the most vital aspects of our culture – literature. A ‘mind book, not a handbook’, Australian Literature for Young People does more than just investigate a large variety of texts for young readers (though it does that too); it also examines, amongst other things, the teaching and learning of literature, the telling and reception of stories, the grand themes of literature, and the great variety of stories, including picture books, film and other multimodal texts. Beginning with the ‘magic’ of reading, and ending with the poetics, or ‘idea of language’, Rosemary also discusses Indigenous storytelling, the importance of deep literacy, genre writing (romance, fantasy, et cetera) as well as the basic tools of literature: narrative, plot, character and theme. The book is wide-ranging and scholarly but also reader-friendly. It reveals a broad knowledge of Australian literature, and is full of insights into individual texts and authors. For anyone wanting to impart to young people ideas about how and why one should read, Rosemary has done all the work for you in this one splendid book.
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Rosemary Ross Johnston is Professor of Education and Culture at UTS. She is the Founding Director of the International Research Centre for Youth Futures, which evolved out of the Australian Centre for Child and Youth: Culture and Wellbeing.