Guardians (Wylah: The Koorie Warrior, Book 1) by Jordan Gould & Richard Pritchard
What started out as an exciting day for Wylah – her first day teaching her village’s little ones how to do cave paintings – ends dramatically when she’s caught in a cave-in with one of the children, Po. When Wylah emerges, she finds her village on fire and almost all her people taken by dragons. Her injured grandmother, herself a famous warrior, gives Wylah her boomerang and instructs her to gather the five Guardians to help save the village. The brave Wylah sets off on her quest with the help of Po and her myriad rescued animals including Turrit – a swamp cow, an animal also known as a diprotodon.
Written by Peek Whurrong man Jordan Gould and New Zealand Samoan man Richard Pritchard (who also did the illustrations) Guardians: Wylah the Koorie Warrior is a deliciously exciting fantasy novel balanced out with very real snapshots of life in Australia 40,000 years ago. Almost every page has footnotes explaining details about the culture or the language depicted, meaning this book will not just appeal to fantasy lovers, but also to children who love to read and recite facts – I know I’ve come out of it a very entertained and more educated reader and I am deeply excited for the rest of the series. I strongly recommend this illustrated novel for all kids, especially those ages eight and up.