Stolen Girl is a fictionalised account of the Stolen Generation. This picture book for younger readers tells the story of an Aboriginal girl taken from her family and sent to a children’s home. Through the combination of beautiful mixed media illustrations by artist Norma MacDonald and a sensitive yet uncomplicated text by Trina Saffroti, readers are given an insight into the life of a child who has been displaced into a world void of love, family and culture.
Click on the button to the left to learn more about the Stolen Generation from a Behind the News presentation from the time of the Apology to those affected by these Government policies.
Read Stolen Girl and then Discuss
The story begins very abruptly with the sound of bells waking up the children before they eat breakfast at the children’s home.
• Compare the first two double-page spreads, especially the way in which the illustrations depict the very different experiences of eating breakfast.
• Discuss how these two illustrations symbolise very simply the differences between being with family and being at the children’s home.
• The girl’s mother teaches her essential life skills. What are these skills?
• The illustration of the girl having breakfast with her mother shows the two of them extremely content. Note that this happiness has nothing to do with material possessions — it is a true happiness based on love. What makes you truly happy?
Look carefully at the page where the uniformed man takes the girl away.
The reader sees the life of the Aboriginal girl from two different perspectives. In the foreground of this illustration are things that may have seemed important to white people of the time such as the fact she is not wearing shoes. In the back- ground are things important to the girl — her country, her home.
Re-read the text on this page.
Discuss the significance of these words as she is taken away from her mother. Do you think that the government perhaps did try to ‘forget’ that she was there by taking her away?
Imagine you are this girl.What might be going through your mind at this point in the text?
There are many things which give us our identity. That make us who we are. Can you name some of them? (Our name, the clothes we wear, family .....)
Discuss the ways in which the girl’s identity has been taken away in the story.
What does the girl do to try and hold onto her Indigenous culture and to remember her mother?
Kids Encyclopaedia (A website with explanations about the topic and further links at the bottom of the website's page)