Young Dark Emu: A Truer History

Bruce Pascoe

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History
Magabala Books
1 June 2019

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History

Bruce Pascoe

Winner of the CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books 2020

Bruce Pascoe has collected a swathe of literary awards for Dark Emu and now he has brought together the research and compelling first person accounts in a book for younger readers.

Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe compellingly argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived - a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent.

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia’s history pre-European colonisation.  


Young Dark Emu: A Truer History is a children’s version of Bruce Pascoe’s incredibly popular Dark Emu – a book that explains that Australian Aboriginals at the time of British colonisation were not only hunter gatherers, but also people who made agricultural use of their land. They were people who settled and built villages – something the British denied in order to establish their own claim over the land.

This book is the perfect jumping board for families to talk about Australia’s historical treatment of our Indigenous peoples. It is full of diary entries of settlers from the time – many of which seem mind-blowingly ignorant. It’s full of ingenious ways Aboriginals worked and sustained the land for thousands and thousands of years. But more than anything, Young Dark Emu is an interesting book. After reading it, your kids will want to know more – about our land, its native fauna and flora, its people and how they fought off the Europeans. Young Dark Emu will give your child a thirst for our Indigenous cultures and I cannot think of a better reason to buy a book.

Dani Solomon is the assistant manager at Readings Kids.

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