Read for Australia

This year Read for Australia will be held on Wednesday 31 July at 2 pm [AEST]. You can enjoy the book anytime during the Week as part of the celebrations!

Teachers and students in schools across the country are invited to participate in a mass simultaneous read of the Read for Australia selected book.

Spread the word about Read for Australia and help us get students everywhere involved!

The Book!

Image of book cover Herman and Rosie

The book selected for Read for Australia in 2013 is Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon. Set in New York, it is about friendship, music and following your dreams. This delightfully written and illustrated book will appeal to all ages and is the perfect springboard for discussion.

‘This is a tale about a big city. It’s a tale of hotdogs and music and the summertime subway breeze. It’s a tale of singing on rooftops and toffees that stick to your teeth. But most of all, it's the tale of Herman and Rosie.’ Penguin website

'Quirky, soulful and alive . . . a book to treasure, like a favourite song.' Markus Zusak

The Author

Image of author Gus Gordon

Gus Gordon is an illustrator and author. He grew up on a farm in northern NSW and, after leaving school, worked on cattle stations all over Australia before deciding to pursue a career in drawing.

Gus illustrated his first children's book in 1996 and has now illustrated and written over 70 books for children.

Gus's illustrations are known for their loose and energetic line work, mixed media and humour. His writing is always anthropomorphic—where animals take the place of humans in the narrative. He attributes this to his love of Wind in The Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

Gus's first picture book, Wendy, is about a motorcycle-riding stunt chicken and was selected as a Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book in the 2010 Book of the Year Awards.

Gus lives with his wife and three children on the Northern beaches of Sydney.

Discover more about Gus Gordon, his writing and his illustrating on his exciting website and facebook page.

Read reviews on Herman and Rosie and get a sneak peak at the book.

Watch the Auslan translation of Herman and Rosie. Use this fantastic translation simultaneous mass read during NLNW 2013.

Get Started Early

Before Read for Australia, get to know Herman and Rosie.

  • Go to the activities page and browse the ideas, written by a team of teachers from across Australia. The teaching notes are suitable for students from the early years to early secondary school. The teaching notes will be available in early June.

The Event

Decide how you will organise your students for Read for Australia. You might like to consider:

  • Planning now who will read – perhaps the principal, a student or an author. You might even have a mystery reader!
  • Assembling the entire school in the school hall. Use a data projector to display the AUSLAN translation so all students can follow the reading.
  • Arranging small groups of students all over the school to read together simultaneously. Invite parents and friends to join them.
  • Teaming up with the local high school or primary school to read together.
  • Leaving the school and setting up at a local venue (the shopping centre, town hall or park) and read aloud.

Involve the Community

We hope all schools will involve the wider community. You might like to consider:

  • Inviting a parent, local member of parliament, local celebrity or local businessperson to read the book aloud at your school.
  • Visiting the local preschool, community centre or nursing home to read Herman and Rosie.
  • Hosting Read for Australia or displaying your students’ work at the local library or bookstore.

Share the Fun and Showcase Your School!

We want to hear about what you did for Read for Australia! Share your involvement with us by sending a link to your school website, writing a report or taking photos. Also consider:

  • Inviting local media to cover Read for Australia.
  • Tweeting, blogging or creating a wiki page to commemorate and share the event.
  • Selecting ‘roving reporters’ from the student body to report on NLNW activities in the school newsletter, on the school website or in a special publication dedicated to literacy in your school.