Title: Australia Remembers: Len Waters
Author: Catherine Bauer
Genre: History, Non-fiction
Publisher: Big Sky Media
Published: 1st September 2021
His big imagination and even bigger dreams took him soaring beyond the reach of those who tried to confine him.
Australia Remembers 3: Len Waters, Boundless and Born to Fly is a treasure trove of engaging and interactive facts and stories about the inspirational Kamilaroi man, Len Waters. Look up and learn about his fascinating life during World War 2, beating the odds to become Australia’s first known Aboriginal fighter pilot. Thoroughly researched and richly presented by Catherine Bauer and a crew of supporting references, this non-fiction picture book is an outstanding resource for home and educational settings.
Australia Remembers: Len Waters, Boundless and Born to Fly
Len Waters may have been born behind the gates of an Aboriginal reserve, but his big imagination and even bigger dreams took him soaring well beyond the reach of those who tried to confine him. Kamilaroi man Len Waters dreamed of taking to the skies. It was an unlikely dream at the time, but during WWII he beat the odds to become Australia’s first known Aboriginal fighter pilot.
Australia Remembers 3: Len Waters – Boundless and Born to Fly takes readers on Len Waters’ soaring journey from making his home-made model aeroplanes at his kitchen table, to flying RAAF fighter jets in the southwest Pacific in World War II.
Today, decades later, Len’s determination and achievements are recognised and honoured across Australia.
Join us on an inspiring flight with Catherine Bauer and her remarkable treasure trove of facts, Australia Remembers 3: Len Waters, Boundless and Born to Fly, being honoured across the media skies. Please follow www.justkidslit.com/blog, the links listed below and Books On Tour PR & Marketing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see all the special media features.
When Len Waters was growing up, he loved the idea of flying. Born a Kamilaroi man, Len faced the threat of being taken away from his parents, amidst many other rules and restrictions that ruled the lives of Aboriginal people at the time. In this new addition to the Australia Remembers series that covers Australian history for younger readers and those studying history in primary school, but could also be used to supplement material in high school, as sometimes books like these explore people, places, events or things that might be left out of or glossed over in our history books – and can be used as a starting point for a research assignment, as Catherine gives an extensive bibliography at the end to extend reading and research for readers. They explore things that may not make it in for any reason, and this can help bolster and expand our understanding of history and culture.
Books like this can make history accessible and fascinating, and Cathrine also explores the Len’s family history and the general history surrounding his life to give readers context and an understanding of what Len went through, what he faced when he enlisted and what he went through when he returned from the war. Len’s story is just one of many stories and experiences that Indigenous soldiers went through during their military service and when they returned home – highlighting the stark differences and realities that someone’s identity played in how they were treated – and how society responded to this and has dealt with it. It’s interesting to see how in different areas of his life during and after the war, he was treated differently – when in battle, it didn’t matter who he was, just that he was there fighting with them, yet he was treated very differently when he returned home from the war. This section of history is not always taught or highlighted – and that’s why books like this are valuable for a broad audience, as it allows the stories to be told, backed up with research and are a way to expand our understanding of history and the lives that people led in the past.
This resource is great for all educational settings, home learning and libraries, and can be used in formal learning or to build on an interest outside of formal learning. What it offers is Len’s story, bits of history that are relevant, and an extensive bibliography that can help expand learning understanding and create a list of sources to explore when readers get to the end. History is a lot more complex and diverse than many texts are – no single book can include every last detail every person, and so forth, so that’s what is good about having so many diverse sources – each one can build on and add to the other, bringing in new perspectives, new stories and facts that might not have been known earlier or included in another, or that may have been hidden until recently, and these days, where we are finding out more about various events, having so many new and diverse stories and voices present – especially books like this written with the help of families or those who knew someone – can add a new dimension to history, and make it a vibrant and exciting subject to study.
And with history presented in many different forms these days, one can find a format and style that works for a range of age groups, from very young audiences up to adults, and introducing kids to history at a young age can really foster a love and appreciation for the subject, and giving them a range of historical eras, events and people to explore can help them find out what they are passionate about and what they want to learn more about, as well as giving them a well-rounded education about the history of the world across many thousands of years and many countries.