Magazine article Practical Literacy

A Lesson for Lina

Magazine article Practical Literacy

A Lesson for Lina

Article excerpt

A Lesson for Lina

Sally Rippon (2013)

Puffin Books, Penguin Group, Australia

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

When visiting the Sydney Writers' Festival last year, I was privileged to hear Sally Rippon talk to students about ideas for stories coming from one of two places: experience and imagination. While A Lesson for Lina is clearly a work of fiction, Sally Rippon's own experiences of different cultures throughout her childhood are likely to have influenced the portrayal of Lina, a girl who is looking for her place in the newly multicultural Melbourne society of the 1950s. This is the fourth in the Our Australian Girl series that focuses on twelve year old Lina. At the end of the story, both author and illustrator, Lucia Masciullo, also of Italian background, provide a brief overview of their own experiences, and readers can learn how they came to be involved in the Australian Girl series.

I developed an immediate affinity for Lina: I too was chastised for daydreaming in maths classes in early high school! Like Lina, I developed a passion for reading and writing at an early age. However, because of her migrant background, Lina feels different from other girls at her school, especially when she discovers her so-called closest friends talking about her behind her back. She then gets to know another girl called Julia, also the daughter of migrant parents, but unlike Lina, she is unselfconscious about her family and any perceived differences. …

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