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About the series

Through My Eyes – Australian Disaster Zones

I am so thrilled to announce a new series of the acclaimed Through My Eyes. Four novels will continue the Through My Eyes brand, delivering high-quality, engaging narratives centred on compelling contemporary issues and themes. This new realistic historical fiction series aims to pay tribute to the inspiring courage and fortitude of Australian children, their families and communities in the face of recurring and prolonged natural disasters.

It’s aim is to inform, challenge, inspire and motivate young readers, encouraging them to be bold and courageous as our nation seeks to become more disaster resilient and proactive in the face of climate change. The engaging texts based on real events, meticulously researched and sensitively presented, and the endearing strong protagonists will engender a new level of empathy and understanding in our young readers who unfortunately will face a very different Australia.

‘We are entering a new era in the security of Australia, not because of terrorism or the rise of China, or even the cybersecurity threat, but because of climate change. If the world warms beyond 2C, as seems increasingly likely, an era of disaster will be upon us, with profound implications for how we organise ourselves to protect Australian lives, property and economic interest and our way of life.’
Robert Glasser, ‘Preparing for the Era of Disasters’ Australian Strategic Policy Institute The Strategist, March 2019

Julie Hunt and Terry Whitebeach open the series with Tyenna, an amazing story of a young girl’s experience of the terrifying 2019 Tasmanian bushfires. A multiplicity of strong themes such as bushfires, resilience, climate change, courage and loyalty will be catalysts for learning and discussion for students in years 5-8.

Dianne Wolfer follows with Mia in August 2022. Mia is set in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Dianne takes us to a little-known area of Australia as we share Mia’s terror as she must confront and survive a cyclone all on her own. Mia’s passion for her animals and the fragile environment in which she lives motivate her to do all she can to save her community and her beloved animals.

Two more releases in 2023 – Titles to be confirmed.

—Series creator and editor Lyn White

Through My Eyes: Natural Disaster Zones

This series was the Winner of the Best Educational Picture or Chapter Book Category at the 2019 Educational Publishing Awards.

The new Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones is a powerful and moving series set in contemporary natural disaster zones. The inspirational stores of courage, resilience and hope give insight into environment, culture and identity through one child’s eyes.

The four texts explore the experiences of children living in contemporary natural disaster zones where their homes, loved ones and futures have been severely affected by powerful events that reshape their lives. The realistic historical fiction series aims to pay tribute to these children, who are often the most vulnerable in post-disaster periods.

Initially there will be a strong sense of place with the nature and magnitude of the particular climactic event vividly portrayed. Narrative focus will quickly shift to the personal impact of the disaster and the communities’ daily engagement with emergency response, recovery and rebuilding. The child and community’s post-disaster journey towards a sustainable identity, disaster preparedness and a hopeful future will be a key theme.

Young readers will experience, through one child’s eyes, the physical, emotional and social implications of the disaster and witness incidents of courage and selflessness and perhaps heroism. Each inspiring story will satisfy readers’ natural curiosity and wonder about the diversity of the world’s places, cultures and environments and guide their discovery and appreciation of the crucial interdependence of people and environment. The engaging texts based on real events, meticulously researched and sensitively presented, and the endearing strong protagonists will create informed empathy and promote global citizenship.

—Series creator and editor Lyn White

Through My Eyes

This series was shortlisted for the Educational Publishing Awards 2015 – Secondary Student Resource (Junior) – Commended.

Through My Eyes invites young readers to enter the fragile worlds of children living in contemporary war zones. Every day in an increasing number of countries, children are desperately trying to survive as their families and their whole way of life is destroyed by war. This new series is a tribute to such children and the themes of courage, determination, triumph and perseverance will inspire, challenge and engage young readers, creating greater cross cultural understanding and informed empathy.

Several stories set in the World Wars have been written for younger readers but very little has been published about more contemporary conflicts and those within Asian settings. War affects the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the boy or girl and these stories will appeal to all readers.

The idea for the series was principally inspired by the success of the Parvana series by Deborah Ellis and by my own extensive experience as a primary school teacher-librarian and English as a Second Language teacher. Having had the privilege of listening to the incredible experiences of children and war, I believe these life-changing situations are best told through stories that are character-driven but based on meticulous research and understanding of the issues each war-torn region raises. The continuing controversy surrounding Australia's role in providing asylum for displaced peoples from the world's war-zones, and the request by students for more books of this genre provided further context for the decision to create this series.

This is not a non-fiction series, but through the strong, character-driven story lines the readers will be aware of the specific time, place and military conflict. Individual stories on this theme have been written, but this will be the first time a series has been created that deals with a range of children's experiences in war-torn countries.

—Series creator and editor Lyn White

Read Lyn White's article 'Using Literature for rich learning in Geography: The Through My Eyes Series' in GTAV’s Interaction journal

Read an article in The Age about Zafir and the entire Through My Eyes Series

A portion of the proceeds (up to $5000) from sales of this series will be donated to UNICEF; and educational support materials for this series have been produced with their assistance.