Put six bricks into a backpack, and climb the steepest hill you can find. But don’t do it until it’s been raining for days, so you keep slipping. Now don’t make a sound because in the bushes around you, there might be enemy troops, armed with rifles and bayonets, poised to pounce at the slightest sign of activity. Then imagine this is no game, this is reality, this is war – this is Kokoda.
The 1942 Kokoda campaign lasted only four months, but has become a key part of Australia’s story. Lacking equipment and supplies, and unprepared for the harsh tropical conditions, the troops who fought along the track were outnumbered, battling disease, mud and rain, yet against the odds fought their way to victory.
The Heroes of the Kokoda Track, part of Black Dog Books’ Our Stories Series packs a lot into just 32 pages. In language which primary aged students will understand, author Nicolas Brasch explains the significance of the Kokoda campaign, its progress and the roles played by Australians and by Papuan locals. Historic photos support the text, and the design, with text boxes providing easily digestible slices of information, will appeal to even reluctant readers.
Excellent for classroom and school library collections, but also suitable for private reading.
The Heroes of the Kokoda Track, by Nicolas Brasch
Black Dog Books, 2011
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