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Years 7-8

A Single Shard

Author:
Linda Sue Park
Text type:
Novel, historical
Setting:
Korea
Set in 12th century Korea, this is the story of a journey beginning in a celadon pottery village. Male protagonist. Newberry Medal winner.

A Step From Heaven

Author:
An Na
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
Korea, USA
Heroine character and universal migrant family experience. Teacher notes are available online.
Award for Young Adult Literature.

Asia Counts: Secondary

Author:
Jan Kiernan and Howard Reeves
Text type:
Resource
Setting:
Asia
An imaginative collection of activities. It will have students developing and applying a sense of numbers and measurement, a spatial sense, an ability to handle data and interpret changing situations, and a capacity to recognise and describe patterns and trends.

Angels of Kokoda

Author:
David Mulligan
Text type:
Novel, historical
Setting:
Papua New Guinea
Set in WW2 Papua New Guinea with adolescent protagonists. Easy to read dialogue, narrative, letters and maps.

Bend it like Beckham

Author:
Narinda Dharmi
Text type:
Resource
Setting:
India
From film: British–Indian female protagonist, the daughter of orthodox Sikhs, is a gifted soccer player; themes of equal opportunity, clash of cultural and generational values.

Bound

Author:
Donna Jo Napoli
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
China
Based on Chinese Cinderella tales set in the Chinese Ming Dynasty. Female protagonist.

Break of Day

Author:
Tony Palmer
Text type:
Novel, historical
Setting:
Papua New Guinea
Powerful, insightful novel about love, war and duty set in WWII Papua New Guinea. Explores notions of courage.

Broken Glass

Author:
Sally Grindley
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
India
A story of brothers Suresh and Sandeep surviving on their own in the streets of an Indian city.

China: Land of Dragons and Emperors

Author:
Adeline Yen Mah
Text type:
Resource text, nonfiction
Setting:
China
An insight into China's history, from the terracotta soldiers to Chairman Mao, from the Silk Road to the invention of gunpowder.

Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society

Author:
Adeline Yen Mah
Text type:
Novel, historical
Setting:
China
Set in Shanghai, China, during WWII, it is the story of a pilot rescue.

Chook Chook: Mei's Secret Pets

Author:
Wai Chim
Text type:
Fiction novel
Setting:
China
A heartfelt tale of love, loss and the power of kindness set against the backdrop of rural China.

Film Asia: New Perspectives on film for English

Author:
Juanita Kwok and Lucinda McKnight
Text type:
Resource
Setting:
Asia region
Provides stimulating background information and activities for fifteen films from Asia, including films listed here. Combines critical perspectives with teaching and learning ideas and supports teachers making links to Asia in creative and relevant ways in the English classroom. Films featured for these levels include:
  • Spirited Away (Japan)
  • Sumo Do, Sumo Don't (Japan)
  • The Cup (Bhutan)

Foreign Devil

Author:
Christine Harris
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
China
Set in 19th century China, the main character, Tyler, goes out on the Pearl River, Guangzhou, on a boat. Aurealis Awards for Speculative Fiction, Winner Best Horror Novel, 1999.

Grass Sandals

Author:
Dawnine Spivak, illustrated by Demi
Text type:
Picture book, biographical including Haiku poetry
Setting:
Japan
A simple retelling of the travels of 17th century Japanese poet, Basho, across his island homeland. The book includes examples of the haiku verses he composed.

Grave of the Roti Men

Author:
Geoff Havel
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
Indonesia, Australia
Set in Indonesia and northwest Australia, this is the story of an Australian boy who visits his divorced father in Indonesia. The novel includes information about the economic and traditional influences related to Indonesian ocean fishing.

Hana's Suitcase

Author:
Karen Levine
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
Japan, Europe
This novel is based on a true story about a suitcase with a European girls’ name on it, which arrives at a Holocaust Centre in Japan. The Japanese students unravel its story. Canadian Librarians Award: Best Book of the Year, 2002.

Kaimira: The Sky Village Book 1

Authors:
Monk Ashalnd and Nigel Ashalnd
Text type:
Novel, fantasy series
Setting:
China, USA
The main character is Mei and action takes place in the sky over China. The plot involves a Kaimira code and strange genes. Teacher notes are available on the publisher's website. The writer, Chris Rettstatt, has taught in China and is writing as Monk Ashland.

Kampung Boy

Author:
Lat
Text type:
Graphic novel, autobiographical
Setting:
Malaysia
This is a funny and endearing autobiographical book by Malaysia's favourite cartoonist, telling the story of his childhood in rural Malaysia. It is full of social, cultural and environmental observations.

Kensuke's Kingdom

Author:
Michael Morpurgo
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
South Pacific region
One of the protagonists is washed overboard in the South Pacific near Papua New Guinea from the family’s yacht. He survives on an island with a Japanese WWII survivor named Kensuke. The author was appointed Childrens' Laureate in the UK in 2003. Winner Childrens' Book Award, 2000, UK.

In Our Own Backyard

Author:
Department of Education, Science and Training
Text type:
Magazine style
Setting:
Asia region
A range of stories, texts and images exploring subjects such as the impact of global trade and manufacturing, how we and other nations respond to natural disasters, the creation of youth identity, shifts in cultural identity and our shared responsibility for the environment.

Land of the Morning Calm: Korean Culture then and now

Author:
John Stickler, illustrated by Soma Han
Text type:
Picture book, non-fiction
Setting:
South Korea
This book has Stickler's informative text about Korea, accompanied by Soma Han's beautiful illustrations. The writer lived in South Korea for 13 years. Information about the Korean alphabet is included.

Mao's Last Dancer

Author:
Li Cunxin
Text type:
Autobiography
Setting:
China
This is the Young Reader's Edition of Li Cunxin's memoir of his origins in rural China and journey to become an international ballet dancer.

Moonshadow: Eye of the Beast

Author:
Simon Higgins
Text type:
Novel, fantasy series
Setting:
Japan
This novel is set in Japan's Tokugawa Era, and a boy spy is the hero. The author has immersed much of his life in things Japanese and practices martial arts to black belt level.

Night Singing

Author:
Kierin Meehan
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
Australia, Japan
This novel is set in Brisbane and features Mrs Murakami reminiscing about Japan and the war era. Winner Patricia Wightson Prize in the 2004 NSW Premier's Literary Awards.

One Whole and Perfect Day

Author:
Judith Clarke
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
Australia, Asia-related theme
Includes Clara Lee, a character who provides one Asian perspective through her role as the girlfriend of the main character. A multi-award winning book.

Peak

Author:
Roland Smith
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
China, USA
The main character, Peak is the son of two mountain climbers. The story involves a Nepalese boy named Sun Jo who also has climbing ambitions. Much of the story is set on the Tibetan side of Mt Everest. Male readers review this novel very positively.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Author:
Eleanor Coerr
Text type:
Picture book
Setting:
Japan
This is the classic story of Sadako, who was aged two when Hiroshima was bombed. Ten years later she was diagnosed with leukaemia. She resolves to fold one thousand cranes to defeat the illness.

Spilled Water

Author:
Sally Grindley
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
China
This tells the story of a girl named 'Spilled Water', but she triumphs over this label.

Spirited Away

Author:
Hayao Miyazaki (director)
Text type:
Film, 2002 animated feature film
Setting:
Japan
This environmentally-themed fantasy animation has a chapter for teachers in Kwok and McNight's Film Asia. Rated PG (Australia).

Stitching Stories: The art of embroidery in Gujerat

Author:
Nina Sabnani
Text type:
Non-fiction photo/art story
Setting:
India
This is a beautiful book giving us an insight into a traditional art and the way it has been become narrative art and a new creative way to tell stories.

Stormy with a Chance of Fried Rice – Twelve Months in Jakarta

Author:
Pat Walsh
Text type:
A collection of personal anecdotes
Setting:
Indonesia
This book is set in Indonesia and contains 40 short pieces on people, places, events and experiences the author had whilst there. It contains humour and insights into local culture from the authors perspective. There is an additional classroom resource for teachers of Indonesian, which is available on Pat Walsh Publications

Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t

Author:
Masayuki Suo (director)
Text type:
Film, 1992 feature film
Setting:
Japan
This film is a comedy that examines modern Japanese youth attitudes to practising the traditional sport of sumo wrestling. Appeals to both male and female students. There is a chapter for teachers in Kwok and McNight's Film Asia. Rated PG (Australia).

Tev

Author:
Brendan Murray
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
Tonga, Australia
Tev is raised in Australia by his Australian mother and Tongan father, but goes to Tonga aged 14. The writer lives on Christmas Island.

The Cup

Author:
Khyentse Norbu (director)
Text type:
Film, 1999 feature film
Setting:
Tibet, India
This entertaining film is about soccer and Tibetan monks. There is a chapter for teachers in Kwok and McNight's Film Asia and more information at Buddhist film foundation  Rated G (Australia).

The Rage of Sheep

Author:
Michelle Cooper
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
Fijian-Indian-Australian context
This novel is set in 1984 Australia with references to 1980s music. Hester, of Fijian–Indian descent experiences life in Year 10 and its ups and downs. Explores themes of racism.

The Rainbow Troops

Author:
Andrea Hirata
Text type:
Fiction Novel Also available on DVD
Setting:
Indonesia
This beautifully written Indonesian rite of passage novel in the narrative voice emphasises themes of overcoming adversity and taking a stand for what you believe in.

The Running Man

Author:
Michael Gerard Bauer
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
Vietnamese-Australian context
This is a contemporary story of a boy artist with a portrait assignment. It involves a Vietnam veteran and a silkworm metaphor.

The Secret Life of Maeve Lee Kwong

Author:
Kirsty Murray
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland
This novel follows Maeve, who has Chinese grandparents, in a search to belong. Themes include the world of dance and music.

Three Cups of Tea

Author:
Greg Mortensen
Text type:
Autobiography
Setting:
Pakistan
This is about setting up schools in Pakistan. The writer was awarded the Star of Pakistan for his 15 years' work in Pakistan.

Throwaway Daughter

Author:
Ting-Xing Ye
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
China, Canada
This is the story of a Chinese baby girl named Winter Plum Blossom, adopted by Canadians. They ensure she learns Chinese, which helps her eventual identity quest.

Ties That Bind, Ties That Break

Author:
Lensey Namioka
Text type:
Novel
Setting:
China
Set in 1922 in China, third sister Ailin works out her place in society and observes 'big noses'.

Whale Rider

Author:
Niki Caro (director)
Text type:
Film, 2002 feature film
Setting:
New Zealand
This is a rite of passage film that explores Maori culture and the significance of whales. Beautiful scenery and soundtrack. Rated PG (Australia).

Year of the Tiger

Author:
Alison Lloyd
Text type:
Novel, historical
Setting:
China
This novel is set in ancient China and located near the Great Wall of China. It is history, action and adventure in a plot about archers.

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