ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- One of the most marvellous things about children's publishing of the past few years, is the growing collection of books written by Indigenous writers for young readers, and this new book is a welcome and worthy addition to the oeuvre! Kunyi (born in 1950) and three of her siblings were taken from their Yankunytjatjara family and sent to the Oodnadatta Children's Home when she was four. This book is a testimony of her life at the Home, of the daily routines and special times, anecdotes of the nuns and other children, illustrated with Kunyi's boldly naïve and colourful paintings. A section of old photographs at the back of the book adds to the poignancy of her lifestory, which doesn't dwell on the wrongdoings of a system that tore her from her mother, but doesn't hide them away either… Instead it celebrates the vivacity of young children and their capacity to find friendship and joy in each other's company, despite the harshness of their surroundings. A lot of text, so it's suitable for primary aged readers. Lindy
Age range 9+ These are my stories from a dry remote place, where growing up was very different for what children know today.
Kunyi June Anne McInerney was just four years old when she and three of her siblings were taken from their family to the Oodnadatta Children's Home in South Australia in the 1960s.
Through an extraordinary collection of over 60 paintings, accompanied by stories, Kunyi presents a rare chronicle of what life was like for her and the other Children's Home kids who became her family.
Her paintings are a healing trove of memories that reveal the loneliness, fear and courage of the Stolen Generation children who were torn from family and loved ones. From bible lessons to sucking bone marrow and collecting bush fruits, the escapades, adventures and sorrows of the children are painted with warmth, humour and unflinching honesty.
Kunyi's story is one of healing and reconciliation. She is telling it so that the lives of the children at Oodnadatta Children's Home will not be forgotten. This is a collection of tender and honest stories that will educate children on our nation's history and remind adult readers of the real impact of the Stolen Generations.