Sunday 17 January, 2021
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Madeline Fussell Madeline Fussell was the person contacted by the family reflected in this book and thus this project has held special meaning for her. As a primary trained and early childhood educator, Madeline has 28 years teaching experience , the most recent as a lecturer in Social Sciences at the University of New England teaching pre-service primary teachers. Teaching about implementing the Australian history curriculum, Madeline identified a clear lack of suitable resources for early years and primary aged students. Madeline’s own childhood with a father who battled PTSD and her learning through her own two sons’, and their friends’, military careers has been a driving force to see development of further community understanding of veterans’ needs, and those of their families.

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Liam’s Story: So why do I wear Dad’s medals?

Author(s): Marg Baber, Madeline Fussell, Kim Porter (click on the author's name for more titles)

Liam’s Story is a true story and the people in the pictures are the real characters in the story. Liam’s Story deals with the feelings experienced by one young boy, whose father was killed on active duty in a recent conflict, as he goes about his day on ANZAC Day. As well as exploring empathy and resilience in young readers, it explains a difficult concept such as war and the effect it has on children and families.

Liam’s Story: So why do I wear Dad’s medals? is also about ANZAC Day, yet it can be used as a resource all-year round when discussing issues of war and loss with children. The authors have included references to both Australia and New Zealand throughout. With the ANZAC centenary this year, the book should prove especially popular yet it is not tied to the centenary and so can be used as a classroom resource for years to come.

The book is designed to be read on three levels. If reading to a very young child, you can simply read the text in the yellow banner across the top of the page. If reading to a slightly older child, that yellow banner text flows into the text beneath it in the blue section of the page. The addition of the fact boxes make it an ideal learning resource as well as these link in with the early primary history and social sciences curriculum.

Extension activities and teaching notes will be available on our website as a resource for educators and families. Liam’s Story is based on research conducted by the authors through the University of New England.

‘We live in a world where the consequences of war are all around us; where families and children who have been traumatised by violence live in our street and attend our schools. As educators, parents, friends, community members we can support children and families; we can show that we acknowledge their experiences, empathise with their struggle and believe in their ability to stay strong and build happy lives despite the trauma. In a perfect world, children would never have to face the loss of a parent. In our less than perfect world, we need resources such as this book to make us aware, and to help us think what we might do to help make this world we live in a little better.’
Margaret Sims, Professor of Early Childhood, University of New England

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RRP $24.95

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