Bindi by Kirli Saunders. Illustrated by Dub Leffler. Published by Magabala books.

I am Bindi, the one in the middle.

I am 11 years old.

Growing here, I am an empath of the land, lover of art, horses and hockey.

Each day a new adventure unfolds.

Written as a verse novel, Bindi by Kirli Saunders will ooze through you, bringing out a myriad of emotions as you listen to young Bindi tell her story of school, her love of art, drought and then bushfire.

Written primarily in English with Indigenous words from the Gundungurra dialect, Bindi will not only allow you to see the world through a young person, you will also see the world from an Indigenous perspective.

The Gundugurra words used throughout the book are referenced at the back of the book for readers to know what the word means and will soon enough recognise them as they are used often.

Dub Leffler’s illustrations are beautifully textured black and white sketches which are scattered throughout the novel, highlighting key ideas or objects which

Using this book as a novel study for Stage 3 and above students is a must. Issues such as living in country Australia and dealing with drought, Indigenous Australians and the traditions they have in modern day society as well as the respect for nature. The fact that this book is written in prose also opens up readers to a different kind of storytelling – more to the point but with more emotion and feeling. The verse somehow makes you see and feel what Bindi sees – it’s one of a kind and one which should be shared and looked towards as a mentor text for a different style of writing as well as the weaving of different issues we need to face and be aware of in Australia.

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