No Stars to Wish On
Allen & Unwin 2014 $19.99hb 167pp
ISBN 978 1 7433 1514 9
Themes: Forgotten Children/ Nuns/ Orphanages and institutions/ Riddles and jokes
Jack, who tells the story, lives in an orphanage run by nuns but he knows he doesn’t belong there because he has his own loving family, his room and his well-worn book of jokes. All he wants to do is to go home. This is a haunting story based on the experiences of children(indigenous, non indigenous and migrants) who were institutionalised during the 20th century. This happened for a number of reasons including poverty and family breakdown at a time when there was no help for families in crisis. Jack’s story which in places reads like a fable, is haunting because it must have happened to so many bewildered children. His spirit however, shines through the blackness and the terrible trickery making this a story not easy to forget.
Year 6 up/ Age 10 up
In 2009 an official Australian government apology by the then Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was made to people who had grown up in the institutional system, including former child migrants to Australia.