By: Gregg Dreise
Genre: YDP - Poetry
Published by: Scholastic
Published: 1 May 2021
ISBN: 9781760975166


Sf Book Of The Month

All that I’m wishing, Is that you take a moment to listen... A slam poetry persuasive and powerful vision of unity from award-winning First Nations creator Gregg Dreise. Passionate, yet peaceful, Common Wealth is a compelling plea for a future of truth, togetherness and respect for our nation’s deep history.

• A picture book for mature readers.
• From multi award-winning author and artist, Gregg Dreise - a proud descendant of the Kamilaroi and Euahlayi people.
• Valuable resource for discussion about the importance of moving forward together as a nation, with truth and respect for our history and Traditional Custodians.
• Timely themes for National Sorry Day and NAIDOC Week.
• Themes: Indigenous history; Australian history; Australia Day; Australian anthem; unity; community. Contains some confronting images.

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“Common Wealth” takes the words from our anthem and turns them into a vision for the future. Through the use of slam poetry, award-winning First Nations creator Gregg Dreise’s book is a call for unity and togetherness at a time when division is prevalent. The importance of including the history of First Nations people as part of history education in schools is championed, and the ideas for changes to be made to the flag, anthem and the date of Australia Day, and the reasons for these changes, are put forward passionately and persuasively.

The book is a heartfelt argument for breaking down division, coming together, and uniting for the future of Australia, and provides a great platform for teens to talk and learn more about Australia’s past, whilst considering suggestions for the future. I recommend reading it 2-3 times, each time focusing on a different aspect of the book; first the poem, for the great wording; then the illustrations and accompanying notes which add to it; then finally pulling it all together.

A thought-provoking read, with brilliant illustrations. It does discuss some confronting topics, particularly through the illustrations, but is overwhelmingly a positive read with optimism for a better future together. This is a book that is overflowing with discussion points for students in all secondary levels, that would make a great starting point for class discussion with the many themes that can be explored.

Reviewed by Ben