The Reading Tracks® series consists of 22 books for Indigenous learners (middle school or older). The books grew out of a desire to provide relevant and culturally affirming stories for older Indigenous literacy learners - books that would engage them.
At the same time, everyone involved in the production of these books hopes that all young Australians will learn a bit more from them about the First Australians’ ancient cultures and practices of food gathering - tracking and hunting in the central deserts and fishing on the coast.
The Elders involved in the development of these books, and the many students who wanted to share their stories, expressed their desire to have books about true stories, fishing, traditional bush tucker skills, and the old ways of tracking and hunting.
In order to achieve this, author Margaret James worked very closely with Elders and students, going on bush trips and yarning about tracking, hunting and fishing for many hours, to ensure that the stories were culturally accurate. Elders edited the books to confirm that they were appropriate for publication, and students gave their feedback after reading them.
The Reading Tracks® series consists of an initial 15 books, brilliantly illustrated, that start at the very beginning of a learner’s reading journey with a total of 9 words introduced into Book 1. The number of words gradually progresses to 154 in Book 15. These are for older learners who are behind in their print literacy.
Then 7 more advanced books round off the series – offering more able readers interesting, culturally relevant and informative stories. The advanced books are suitable for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers.
The books include:
- Stories relating to traditional Indigenous cultural food-gathering practices: fishing for barramundi; tracking and hunting for emus, perenties, kangaroos, echidnas and goannas; and digging for witchetty grubs and honey ants;
- A story about the first Alice Springs Camel Cup, amusingly told by Luritja/Arranda man and camel musterer, Vincent Forrester;
- A San hunting story set in Southern Africa, by popular request.
Join Reading Tracks® on a cultural journey through the beautiful landscapes of the Australian central deserts and the northern rivers, oceans and islands - and a bonus hunting trip into Southern Africa with the San people.
Reading Tracks® are teaching Indigenous Australian learners to read and write in familiar language, while learning oral Standard English.