24 June 2011

Stolen Girl

by Trina Saffioti and illustrated by Norma MacDonald

Magabala Books. Australian, Picture. Paperback RRP $19.95

Guest Reviewer - Jo Burnell

This easy-read picture book lingers in the mind and heart long after the story is told. A young girl, taken from her Aboriginal mother, remembers. Everyone she loves is taken from her. In return, she receives a new name and hand-me-down clothes.

She gets into trouble if she speaks her native tongue and is not supposed to remember the world she was taken from. The sorrow and helplessness of Stolen Children is depicted with heart breaking simplicity.

When an older girl is chosen as a domestic servant to a white family, she is seen as one of the lucky ones. This strengthens the little girl’s determination to believe and remember her old life. She dreams of her mother, her people’s stories and her land. Will she succeed in escaping?

The story ends on a hopeful note, but I couldn’t help wondering about the tens of thousands of Stolen Children who never saw their families again.

While young children will enjoy the simplicity of language and beautiful illustrations, Stolen Girl is for people of all ages. It allows those with no idea about the Stolen Generations to be dipped in the harsh reality this Government Policy created.

Stolen Girl is a Timeless Treasure.

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