10 Favourite First Nations books for kids in 2021

So many amazing stories were published this year by First Nations storytellers. These ten beautiful books include: an introduction to the lie of ‘Terra Nullius’ conveyed in a simple, rhythmic picture book; a story about the importance of sharing; a First Nations perspective on Invasion Day; a guide to native flora and fauna in Kakadu; and biographical stories of remarkable First Nations leaders, scientists and innovators.

Somebody’s Land by Adam Goodes, Ellie Laing and David Hardy

For thousands and thousands of years, Aboriginal people lived in the land we call Australia. The land was where people built their homes, played in the sun, and sat together to tell stories. When the white people came they called the land ‘Terra Nullius’. They said it was nobody’s land. But it was somebody’s land.

Somebody’s Land is an invitation to connect with First Nations culture, to acknowledge the hurt of the past that continues into the present, and to join together as one community with a precious history as old as time.

Suitable as a read-aloud for ages 2 and up.

Sharing by Aunty Fay Muir, Sue Lawson and Leanne Mulgo Watson

When we share, there is plenty for all. This is a tender, thoughtful story with a gentle reminder of all the ways sharing makes us stronger.

Following on from Respect and Family, Sharing is book three in the award-winning Our Place series that introduces children to First Nations philosophies that are dear to Aunty Fay’s heart. Each book is a powerful educational tool with exquisite illustrations.

Suitable for ages 3 and up.

Day Break by Amy McQuire & Matt Chun

This is the story of a family making their way back to Country on January 26. We see the strength they draw from being together, and from sharing stories as they move through a shifting landscape.

The story refocuses the narratives around January 26 on First Nations survival and resistance, and in doing so honours the past while looking to the future. Confronting yet truthful, painful yet full of hope, Day Break is a crucial story that will open up a conversation on truth-telling for the next generation.

Suitable for ages 4 and up.

Walking in Gagudju Country by Diane Lucas, Ben Tyler and Emma Long

Walk with us through one of the Top End’s magnificent monsoon forests in Kakadu National Park, learning about plants, animals and Kundjeyhmi culture along the way.

The authors share their knowledge and love of the Top End in this enchanting and accessible book about one of Australia’s most ancient and beautiful ecosystems.

Suitable for ages 4 and up.

Born to Run by Cathy Freeman and Charmaine Ledden-Lewis

As a little girl, Cathy Freeman had only had one dream - to win a gold medal at the Olympics. At twenty-seven years old, that dream came true. At the Sydney 2000 Games, she crossed the finish line, won a gold medal for Australia and became a national hero. How did she go from being a little girl who loved to run to an inspiration to people around the world?

Accompanied by Charmaine Ledden-Lewis' beautiful illustrations, Cathy tells her story about where self belief, hard work and the power of a loving family can take you.

Suitable for children aged 4 and up.

Story Doctors by Boori Monty Prior and Rita Sinclair

Legendary storyteller Boori Monty Pryor invites us to travel with him from the first footsteps through 80,000+ years of strength, sickness, and immense possibility. From the very first stories, to dance, language, and connection with the land, Boori offers a powerful, beautiful, and deeply rich account of this land’s true history, drawing on a lifetime of wisdom, and on his generous instinct to teach and heal.

An exquisitely illustrated celebration of how storytelling unites us, how nature connects us, and the wonderful truth that the medicine needed for healing lies within us all.

Suitable for ages 5 and up.

Heroes, Rebels and Innovators by Karen Wyld and Jaelyn Biumaiwai

Be inspired and amazed by these incredible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander icons! With colourful artwork and evocative writing, this book tells stories every Australian should know.

Powerful and exciting: here are seven inspiring stories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from history. Each colourful spread in this illustrated book tells a compelling story.

Suitable for ages 7 and up.

The First Scientists by Corey Tutt and Blak Douglas

This book will nourish readers' love of science and develop their respect for First Nations knowledge.

Australia’s First peoples have the longest continuing culture on Earth and their innovation will inspire you as you leaf through the pages of this book, learning fascinating facts and discovering the answers to life’s questions. In consultation with First Nations communities, Corey tells us of many deadly feats - from bush medicine to bush trackers - that are today considered ‘science’, and introduces us to many amazing scientists, both past and present.

Suitable for ages 7 and up.

Common Wealth by Gregg Driese

A persuasive and powerful vision of unity from award-winning Kamilaroi and Euahlayi creator Gregg Dreise. Passionate, yet peaceful, Common Wealth is a compelling plea for a future of truth, togetherness and respect for our nation’s deep history. Inspired by slam poetry, this is a picture book for mature readers.

Suitable for ages 10 and up.

Tell Me Why for Young Adults by Archie Roach

In his inspirational, highly acclaimed memoir, Archie Roach tells the story of his life and his music. Only two when he was forcibly removed from his family, and brought up by a series of foster parents until his early teens, Archie’s world imploded when he received a letter that spoke of a life he had no memory of. It took him almost a lifetime to find out who he really was.

Adapted from Archie’s bestselling memoir, this edition for young adults is an unforgettable story of resilience, strength of spirit and hope.

Suitable for ages 12 and up.

Somebody's Land

Somebody’s Land

Adam Goodes, Ellie Laing, David Hardy

$24.99Buy now

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