Inheritance by Carole Wilkinson

Inheritance opens the door on shameful true events in Australian history. We’re introduced to this story through the fictional character Nic Mitchell Gervase, a present-day descendant of wealthy white squatters of the Western Districts of regional Victoria.

As a young teenager, Nic feels abandoned by her father when he goes to work on a cruise ship and hands her over to the guardianship of her maternal grandfather. Nic’s new living circumstances are lonely. Worse still, the homestead has no mobile reception, internet or working TV, and is too far from town to get there by walking.

But things really change for Nic when she learns the secret, handed-down by generations of Mitchell women before her, and their unique ability to leap through an ‘isching’, or crack-in-time, and step back into the past. There she discovers the shocking truth of her ancestors’ participation in a massacre of local Gulidjan people in 1839.

This is an honourable work that helps young readers confront the wrongs of Australia’s past with honesty, humility and an open heart.

Natalie Platten is the assistant manager and children’s book buyer at Readings Doncaster.