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Updated by Deborah Brown on Jun 07, 2018
Headline for Exploring Transitions: Year 12 HSC English related texts
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Exploring Transitions: Year 12 HSC English related texts

In this elective, students explore and analyse a variety of texts that portray the ways in which individuals experience transitions into new phases of life and social contexts. These transitions may be challenging, confronting, exciting or transformative and may result in growth, change and a range of consequences for the individual and others. Through exploring their prescribed text and other related texts of their own choosing, students consider how transitions can result in new knowledge and ideas, shifts in attitudes and beliefs, and a deepened understanding of the self and others. Students respond to and compose a range of texts that expand our understanding of the experience of venturing into new worlds.

Source: https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/22b7efaa-63d1-4d73-af0b-73e69d7d64ae/english-prescriptions-2015-20.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=

Tintinnabula (Margo Lanagan, illus by Rovina Cai, Little Hare) | Books+Publishing

Books+Publishing. Tintinnabula (Margo Lanagan, illus by Rovina Cai, Little Hare). Acclaimed for her short stories and novels, Margo Lanagan’s latest creation Tintinnabula is a picture book that explores light and shade. Through a poetic narrative, the story looks at the

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Teacup

Teacup

Once there was a boy who had to leave home and find another. In his bag he carried a book, a bottle and a blanket. In his teacup he held some earth from where he used to play. This is one boy's story of leaving his homeland, surviving a long journey by sea and finding a safe, new place to call home. PB YOU

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Ruben

Ruben

Ruben lives in a safe place in a city that takes everything and gives nothing back. He begins to feel that he is in danger and ventures to Block City where he meets Koji. She too has been hiding from the dangers of the industrial city and its excesses. Ruben and Koji realise that if they combine their knowledge of how the city works they can find a way to escape... together. PB WHA

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My two blankets

My two blankets

Cartwheel has arrived in a new country, and feels the loss of all she's ever known. She creates a safe place for herself under an 'old' blanket made out of memories and thoughts of home. As time goes on, Cartwheel begins to weave a 'new' blanket, one of friendship and a renewed sense of belonging. It is different from the old blanket, but it is eventually just as warm and familiar. PB KOB

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Out by Angela May George

Out by Angela May George

"I'm called an asylum seeker, but that's not my name." A little girl and her mother have fled their homeland, making the long and treacherous journey by boat to seek asylum. Timely, powerful and moving, Out celebrates the triumph of the human spirit in the darkest times, and the many paths people take to build a new life. PB GEO

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A certain light by Cynthia Banham

A certain light by Cynthia Banham

With great courage and empathy, Cynthia Banham asks the difficult questions about family, about survival, and fearlessly tells the stories that are never told. 'Life is not defined by the bad things that happen to us. It certainly isn't for me.' Written for her young son so that he would know what had happened to his mother, Cynthia Banham's inspiring family memoir uncovers a true picture of what survival means: 'This book tells a story that I tried to write many times before, but couldn't. For a long time, it was too painful to tell. It is also one I hadn't known how to tell. It had to be more than a story about surviving a plane crash, a random event without intrinsic meaning.' Unable until now to write her own story, Cynthia found that the lives of her Italian grandfather, Alfredo, and his intriguing older sister, Amelia, resonated with her own. Discovering their sacrifice, joy, fear and love, from Trieste to Germany and America, and finally to Australia, their stories mirror and illuminate Cynthia's own determination and courage in the face of overwhelming adversity. From a remarkable writer, and told with unflinching honesty and compassion, A Certain Light speaks to the heart of what really matters in life. SENIOR BAN

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A monster calls by Siobhan Dowd and Patrick Ness

A monster calls by Siobhan Dowd and Patrick Ness

Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill - an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.

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Unmasked by Turia Pitt

Unmasked by Turia Pitt

In 2011 Turia Pitt made headlines for having barely survived a terrible bushfire in the desert. Since that time, she has become one of the most inspirational women in Australia.

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Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

At twenty-six, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's rapid death from cancer, her family disbanded and her marriage crumbled. With nothing to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America - from the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and into Washington State - and to do it alone. She had no experience of long-distance hiking and the journey was nothing more than a line on a map. But it held a promise - a promise of piecing together a life that lay in ruins at her feet. SENIOR STR

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Tracks by Robyn Davidson

Tracks by Robyn Davidson

'I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there's no going back.' So begins Robyn Davidson's perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea with only four camels and a dog for company. Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous heroine driven by a love of Australia's landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation. TRUE DAV

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Journey to the stone country by Alex Miller

Journey to the stone country by Alex Miller

Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Beck retreats from Melbourne to her old family home in tropical North Queensland where she meets Bo Rennie, one of the Jangga tribe. Intrigued by Bo's claim that he holds the key to her future, Annabelle sets out with him on a path of recovery that leads back to her childhood and into the Jangga's ancient heartland, where their grandparents' lives begin to yield secrets that will challenge the possibility of their happiness together.

Miller's fiction has a mystifying power that is always far more than the sum of its parts . . . his footsteps - softly, deftly, steadily - take you places you may not have been, and their sound resonates for a long time.' Andrea Stretton, Sydney Morning Herald

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Astray (collected short stories) by Emma Donohue

Astray (collected short stories) by Emma Donohue

The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue's stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They are gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross other borders too: those of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.

With rich historical detail, the celebrated author of Room takes us from puritan Massachusetts to revolutionary New Jersey, antebellum Louisiana to the Toronto highway, lighting up four centuries of wanderings that have profound echoes in the present. Astray offers us a surprising and moving history for restless times. SHORT DON

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Journeys: Modern Australian short stories, edited by Barry Oakley

Journeys: Modern Australian short stories, edited by Barry Oakley

Every one of these enthralling narratives focuses upon a human journey through either the physical or psychological world. Barry Oakley has chosen these stories not on for their entertainment value, but for the insights they offer into all of our lives.

"This country was built on journeys. First the Aboriginal people, far back in time, came down from the north. Then came the whites, thousands of years later...Journeying, then, is in our blood.' SHORT JOU

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Something special, something rare: Outstanding short stories by Australian women

Something special, something rare: Outstanding short stories by Australian women

Something Special, Something Rare presents outstanding short fiction by Australia’s finest female writers. These are tales of love, secrets, doubt and torment, the everyday and the extraordinary.

A sleepy town is gripped by delusory grief after the movie being filmed there wraps and leaves. A lingering heartbreak is replayed on Facebook. An ordinary family walks a shaky line between hopelessness and redemption.

Brilliant, shocking and profound, these tales will leave you reeling in ways that only a great short story can. SHORT SOM

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The Penguin book of the beach, edited by Robert Drewe

The Penguin book of the beach, edited by Robert Drewe

The average Australian has conducted a lifelong love affair with the beach and the ocean shores, bays, dunes, lagoons and rivers of the coast. Until now, however, no one has attempted to match the ancient sensual and artistic preoccupation with the sea to the intuitive appreciation of the coast felt by modern beachgoers. In this illustrious international selection, Robert Drewe has drawn together twenty-five of the finest contemporary writers whose stories represent the most stimulating, startling, humorous and deeply moving writing about the beach. SHORT PEN

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The Penguin book of the ocean, edited by James Bradley

The Penguin book of the ocean, edited by James Bradley

Ever since the first travellers reached the coast of Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago, the ocean has been one of the wellsprings of the human imagination. Its restless immensity has given us new horizons to cross, new possibilities to explore, and inspired wonder, heartache and heroism.

In The Penguin Book of the Ocean bestselling author James Bradley presents a dazzling selection of writing exploring this grandest of obsessions, combining fact and fiction, classical and contemporary, to create a collection like no other.

From Rachel Carson's luminous account of our planet's birth to the story of the wreck that inspired Moby-Dick, from Ernest Shackleton's harrowing account of his escape from Antarctica by open boat to Tim Winton's award-winning dissection of the dark side of surfing, The Penguin Book of the Ocean is a hymn to the mystery, beauty and majesty of the ocean, and to the poets and explorers it has inspired.

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The Penguin book of the road, edited by Delia Falconer

The Penguin book of the road, edited by Delia Falconer

Australia is a nation of drivers. We spend more time behind the wheel than almost anyone else, on fast highways, lonely bush tracks, jammed city lanes and suburban streets. The road is the place where the great dramas of our lives unfold, the route to our greatest pleasures as well as our worst nightmares. It is sexy, dangerous and unnerving.

In this landmark collection, acclaimed novelist and essayist Delia Falconer brings together some of our very best writing on every aspect of the road. SHORT PEN

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The best women's travel writing, edited by Lavinia Spalding

The best women's travel writing, edited by Lavinia Spalding

Anyone whose passport has been stamped a few times knows the surest method of keeping the travel fire alive: by reading and telling stories from the road, passing them along like a torch in a relay race.

This title is the ninth in the The Best Women’s Travel Writing series, presenting stimulating, inspiring, and uplifting adventures from women who have traveled to the ends of the earth to discover new places, peoples, and facets of themselves. The common threads connecting these stories are a female perspective and fresh, compelling storytelling to make the reader laugh, weep, wish she were there, or be glad she wasn’t. The points of view and perspectives are global, and themes are as eclectic as in all of our books, including stories that encompass spiritual growth, hilarity and misadventure, high adventure, romance, solo journeys, stories of service to humanity, family travel, and encounters with exotic cuisine. SHORT BES

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Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

Ebo: Alone. His sister left months ago. Now his brother has disappeared too, and Ebo knows it can only be to make the hazardous journey to Europe.
Ebo's epic journey takes him across the Sahara desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life.

Guardian.com says: The language – just dialogue and Ebo’s thoughts – is minimal. The drama is in the moody, naturalistic drawings, which depict the desert in dusty pastels and the night voyage in inky blues. Rigano is a master of facial expression: Ebo’s traffickers are truly intimidating and his looks of despair – and hope – heartbreaking. The boat scenes brilliantly evoke the patient fear of tightly packed ranks of people, and the terrible power of the ocean as it envelops those who cannot swim.

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Becoming Kirrali Lewis by Jane Harrison

Becoming Kirrali Lewis by Jane Harrison

For Kirrali, life in 1985 was pretty chill. Sure, she was an Aboriginal girl adopted into a white family, but she was cool with that. She knew where she was headed - to a law degree - even if she didn't know 'who she was'. But when Kirrali moves to the city to start university, a whole lot of life-changing events spark an awakening that no one sees coming, least of all herself.

Story flashbacks to the 1960s, where her birth mother is desperately trying to escape conservative parents, give meaning to Kirrali's own search for identity nearly twenty years later. And then she meets her father...
FAMILY HAR

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Becoming Aurora by Elizabeth Kasmer

Becoming Aurora by Elizabeth Kasmer

Winner of the 2015 Queensland Literary Awards, Emerging Writer Category. Tonight we are wolves. Our pack moves as one, past empty shop fronts and faded billboards. Sixteen-year-old Rory is at a crossroads in her life. While her gang plans its next move in a racially motivated turf war, Rory is sentenced to spend her summer at an aged care facility. She’s proud of taking the rap for a crime her gang committed and reading to a feisty old boxing champion isn’t going to change that.But what happens when Rory’s path intersects with migrant boxer Essam’s and she becomes the victim, not the perpetrator? Can she find the courage to face her past and become the girl her dad called Aurora?
SENIOR KAS

When breath becomes air by Paul Kalanithi

Paul Kalanithi became a neurosurgeon because he felt compelled by neurosurgery and “its unforgiving call to perfection… it seemed to present the most challenging and direct confrontation with meaning, identity and death”. He was, in his own words, overwhelmed and intoxicated by neurosurgery – feelings which I certainly shared when I started my own neurosurgical training 35 years ago. He wrote his moving book When Breath Becomes Air as he approached the completion of his training as a neurosurgeon, but after he had developed metastatic lung cancer. He died at the age of 37, before he could ever practise as a fully qualified surgeon. The book, which he wrote as he was dying, is published posthumously. (Source: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/31/when-breath-becomes-air-paul-kalanithi-review)

Small things by Mel Tregonning

A stunning graphic novel from an extraordinarily talented illustrator. On the cusp of having everything slip from his grasp, a young boy has to find a way to rebuild his sense of self. A universal story, told simply and with breathtaking beauty, about dealing with sadness, anxiety, depression, heartache or loss, and finding your way in the world. PB TRE

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Things a map wont show you: stories from Australia and beyond

Things a map wont show you: stories from Australia and beyond

Sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic, always compelling, this collection featuring both established writers and emerging talent will broaden your horizons and excite your imagination. An unforgettable collection of short fiction, poetry and comic art from Australia and beyond . . .

A boy who tries to fly, a cricket game in a refugee centre, a government guide to kissing, the perils of hunting goannas, an arranged marriage, an awkward blind date, a girl who stands on her head, an imprisoned king and a cursed Maori stone . . .

Including: James Roy * Tanveer Ahmed * Michael Pryor * Ursula Dubosarsky * Sonya Hartnett * Doug MacLeod * Oliver Phommavanh * Brenton McKenna * Tara June Winch * Sudha Murty * Oodgeroo SHORT THI

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The sacred lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

The sacred lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

A dark and intense read, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is not for the faint of heart. As a young girl, Minnow is brought along with her family to live in a cult. As she grows older she starts questioning the ways of their leader and suffers extreme punishments for her curiosity, leading her to flee. Once she escapes, her community burns to the ground, their leader is found dead, and Minnow finds herself in prison. Minnow is an interesting main character who struggles with figuring out who she really is while telling readers her story of how she became in prison, what happened while she was growing up in the cult, and the death of their leader. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a well written but disturbing novel that brings something new to the genre. (Review source: http://itisabooklife.blogspot.com/2018/03/mini-reviews-sacred-lies-of-minnow-bly.html) SUSPENSE OAK