Sunday, May 10, 2015

Two stories from the OUR AUSTRALIAN GIRL series

Reviewed by Jess (aged 8 years) and Bella (aged 11 years)

Meet Marly – 1983 
By Alice Pung

     This is the first of four stories about Marly, a girl living in Australia in 1983.  Marly and her family came to Australia as refugees and now her cousins are coming from a refugee camp to live with them too. Marly is a very engaging main character because she is an interesting and lively girl. She made us laugh and enjoy this book very much.

     This book informed us about the lives and experiences of new Australians during the 1980s. It is interesting to see how Marly navigates between two worlds – her home life with her Vietnamese family, and her school life in the wider Australian community. It made us realise that girls today aren’t so different to little girls in the 1980s and that although our cultures might be different, all people are actually quite alike. It also made us realise that we should take pleasure in life and not worry about what other people think. This is a great book and we think all girls our age should read it.

Marly’s Business – 1983 
By Alice Pung

     This story is fantastic! It was interesting and captivating and it gave you a look into a typical girl’s life from the 1980s. It was heartwarming but at the same time adventurous and bewildering. We were hooked from the beginning and did not want to stop until we finished it!

     This is the second of four stories which is part of the Our Australian Girl series. It’s about Marly, a girl from a Vietnamese refugee family living in Australia in 1983. Marly wants, more than anything, to buy Donkey Kong cards and collect them like the other kids at school, but her Mum and Dad don’t see the value in them.  She sets about raising the money for them herself and makes some great new friends along the way and has exciting adventures on the bus. We think most kids can relate to wanting to collect things that your Mum and Dad don’t see as valuable, and also to their first experiences catching the bus on their own. We haven’t done it yet, but we hope our first bus trip is less nerve-wracking than Marly’s!

                                                                    We would definitely recommend this book to our friends!

The Kidz Review Krew really appreciate Penguin Group (Australia) sending us copies of these two amazing books which are part of the Our Australian Girl series.

For more information on the author go to

  About The Author
     Alice Pung is a writer, editor, teacher and lawyer based in Melbourne. Born a month after her Chinese parents fled from Cambodia to Australia as asylum seekers from Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge Regime, Alice has used her shared family's experiences to write stories that captivate all readers.

     She has won numerous awards including the 2007 Newcomer of the Year Award in the Australia Book Industry Awards for her first book Unpolished Gem. Her next book Her Father's Daughter won the Western Australia Premier's Book Award for Non Fiction, and it was also shortlisted for the Premier's Literary Awards in Victoria and New South Wales, and nominated also in the Queensland Literary Awards. Laurinda, Alice's first novel, was published in 2014 and was one of Readings' Top 100 bestselling books for the year. She is writing four books around the character Marly for Penguin's Our Australian Girl series.
     Alice's writing has appeared in many notable publications including the Monthly, the Age, Meanjin, Best Australian Stories and Best Australian Essays. Alice edited Growing Up Asian in Australia, a collection of personal accounts, essays, short stories and poetry which is currently a set text for the VCE English context on Identity and Belonging.

Alice lives with her husband at Janet Clarke Hall at the University of Melbourne, where she is currently the Artist in Residence. 

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