A Mermaid and a Seahorse : adventure on the high seas (new title)

January 11, 2015 in Lower Secondary

This is a fantasy story for middle grade and Young Adult readers. The Seahorse relates his interactions with a Mermaid and she regales him with stories about a few famous, and not so famous, women. There’s some historical fiction and Australiana included as well as pirates, elves and leprechauns.

Come on an adventure into the life of a seahorse and a mermaid and learn how the Mermaid teaches the Seahorse as well as transporting him to a place like the Bermudas. There is also the Rainbow Serpent who is creating Australia and how the people there lead different lives from the Europeans. What will the Seahorse reincarnate as and will he ever meet the Mermaid again?

US$2.95 on Kindle – The Mermaid and the Seahorse  OR $5 prepaid PDF. Email Michael for EFT details.



Anthony Avina:

Delightfully original, this story is a detailed fantasy one, told only as an Australian can, from the conjectural angle of Dreamtime (or the concept of Dreaming, which the Aboriginal people believe to be a crucial source of knowledge on earth.

The storyteller is Nat (short for Nathan) and he’s not your run-of-the-mill pal. …He tells us about the Rainbow Serpent, a kind of mother nature, who entrusts him with her Dreamtime, thereby opening up a sea of awareness to him.

Nat also tells us about his adventures with a beautiful and flirtatious mermaid who often shies away from the human touch but relishes the attention of sailors who ogle her as their vessels approach (her) rock.

Same sex relationships and cross-dressing (are explored, as well as) charges of sedition against the Church.

…Author Mardel, with effortless narrative grace, spins a yarn that outdoes any I had heard on the evolution of life, mother nature, existentialism and beyond, from a YA viewpoint that’s quite intriguing to adults as well.

Review by Michael Volpion

This is a nice blend of fantasy with various beliefs (i.e. Christianity). It makes me think of parallel universes where such a world can exist, where a seahorse narrates the story. Also, there’s no proof that mermaids “don’t” exist with so much of the ocean yet to explore! 

As the author is Australian, you will certainly see a lot of the culture from that country…It is a very original unique book that you don’t see very often and I like these types of books which make me think of parallel scenarios …and blends a lot of history, culture, and fantasy into one. Nice job!

Review by MA:

Living in Australia for almost 3 decades has taught me many things. One of them is the concept of Dreaming  or Dreamtime. It originated amongst the Aboriginal people, who consider Dreaming to be an essential source of all knowledge on earth…how the universe came about, the indelible history of the land…death and the cyclical process.

Michael Mardel’s book…is an intriguing book mediated through Dreamtime. It is a book of revelation, the narration of which flows like a lucid waterfall of music and poetry…The Seahorse, being the creation (of the Rainbow Serpent), there is love, affliction, childbirth, all encompassed within the jurisdiction of Dreaming.

This book is highly spiritual, …not fantasy or a sci-fi but the most profound magical realism. A book which must be revered by readers in an attempt to understand the community and their culture.


Frack off: Trouble in the High Country and the Kimberley

January 11, 2015 in Adult LGBTi, Lower Secondary, Science

Frack off: trouble in the high country and the Kimberley


This is a story about fracking and it is also an LGBT story with some nuns thrown in. Together they are united in their opposition to fracking and the danger to the water table. In both blockades, friends band together and “Lock the gate”. The main character is teenager Willow who lives with her mother, Julie, in the high country of Victoria. They solve the case of the missing bulldozer and driver with the help of their dog, Rusty. He comes with them to Broome but not to the blockade. Suitable for teens.


Dedicated to the Yulleroo camp 70 km north of Broome, who are united in their opposition to a fracking consortium. In particular, Mick and Dan who have spent months at the camp, to save the Kimberley water table.

Available in paperback (A5) $15,  $20 – A4 plus postage, $5 PDF copy now avail, and Kindle at US$2.99.



Review #1

Enjoyed reading this book.

ByAnne N.on March 27, 2015           4 stars

Format: Kindle Edition

If you are the kind of person who enjoys just about any kind of story, this is a good book to read! It’s a very unique story filled with characters from different walks of life. Gives a good moral to readers too. A good book to make us realize that cooperation, unity and humanity is not about sexual orientation.

Review #2

Frack off by Andy Chamberlain – 4 stars

Something for everyone!

This is an astonishing short story in that it touches on such a range of subjects. Any one of them can generate passionate opinions, but taken together – phew! The writer manages to combine LGBT issues with the contentious subject of fracking. Throw in some of the characters striking gold in the back yard, some tales from the Nunnery, a bit of home schooling, and the mysterious disappearing bulldozer – and you get some way towards the many parts that make up the whole.

What’s so interesting is that the writer presents this eclectic mix with a kind of homely gentleness, the flavour of this story is indeed cosy and humorous as the book description says. All of the characters seem to maintain a cheerful determination as they work out their gender identity and sexuality, whilst making sure that there’s breakfast and dinner for everyone in the anti-fracking group, and Rusty the dog still gets his walk. Indeed, there’s a kind of practical directness about this story which seems to reflect the Australian psyche.

A busy, slightly chaotic, homely and rather lovely tale of every day green campaigners and LGBT folk from the Kimberley, working it out, Aussie style.

Review #3

This is a young adult book, so as an older male adult, I cannot necessarily relate the way a young person might be able to. The title indicates that the story may provide some incite into the controversial practice of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) for oil and natural gas.  However other than highlighting a few groups in Australia that formally protest the practice, there is no real insight into the practice discussing its benefits or its harm to the environment.  Fracking is almost incidental to the story.

There is more said about the normalcy of lesbian and transgender issues than fracking.  The book does an admirable job of portraying lesbians and transgender people as just everyday folk living, working and loving.

The storyline itself is rather light with no real beginning, or ending.  It is more like an “art film” that picks a random period someone’s life and does a good job of relaying events during that time.

… Much of the vernacular and setting would be appreciated by those living in or familiar with Australia so others with less understanding of the country may get confused by those specifics.

Brian Borgford

Review #4

Nov 05, 2015 Constance McKee rated it 4 of 5 stars

This is an interesting, apparently semi-autobiographical, novella. I particularly enjoyed it because it describes a great deal about life in Australia—fascinating to an American who has never had the pleasure of visiting the continent. The primary focus is on protests against fracking, but the story also touches on LGBT issues, Aboriginal issues, a missing bulldozer, gold digging, Girl Guides, homeschooling, nuns, and NaNoWriMo/self-publishing—all told through the perspective of a 14-year-old girl. It’s quite a ride! 


Review #5 – Larak

I believe that with a little change here and there this short story could be transformed into a powerful mouthpiece for ‘save the water’ campaign in OZ. Anyway, jokes apart, I like the story because it is humorous. The prose style is excellent. The formatting was just too plain for me but it doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, content is all that matters. The setting is quite simplistic, although it does change at times because the two lesbian women in the novel hop from one place to another.

One of the women is a writer and I could connect with her even more after the mention of the Nanowrimo contest, in which I take part now and then. I am a struggling writer too and the story helped me get my lost inspiration back. Overall if you want a nice, cozy and humorous country story then this is for you. Suggestion for the author: some extra page breaks in-between the chapters and a different formatting for the chapter headings would help; additionally, this has the potential to be converted into a full blown novel (frankly the story left me wanting for more).


Alternative beginning:

We had a ceremony with an aunt and her girlfriend when my periods started. We danced under a full moon around a big bonfire. It was awesome. I pretended I was Hiawatha and stomped and pranced to my heart’s content. If this was womanhood, it can’t be all bad. Little did I know that pain would strike two months later.

Pastor Landon





The Journal of Paul O’Leary: from the city to the outback

November 29, 2013 in Comprehension, Lower Secondary, Primary School, Work Books

The Journal of Paul O’Leary: from the city to the outback is about a 10 year old boy who leaves Melbourne for Broome, in Western Australia, 4,000 km away. Reading Age: 10-12

This story has a conversational narrative recorded by a boy who was less articulate with language and study than with sport and boys’ games – his favourite pastime. He is a typical boy who had a close relationship with his mum and dad and friends. Not forgetting Lassie, his dog. And his desire to do well in all he tackled. The journal maintained a steady pace with credibility and engaged me.

Sandra Finger Lee, editor.


This is a wonderful story about a boy named Paul, from Paul’s perspective. This would make it more enjoyable for children of this age to read. Being from the US I learnt some different words for things used in Australia. And the dreams Paul had were made quite vivid by the author.

Marion Lovato, reviewer.


…Impressions will change inevitably as he grows up…precious memorabilia from the future. Plus there’s an account of a most fascinating experience of the outback in Australia.

MA reviewer.


…A charming story tracing Paul’s journey. He has a great imagination, always wanting to explore. He finds friends and adventures everywhere and his father encourages him to keep a journal. Recommended if you want to relax with a detailed life of a 10 year old.

Robert Gillman, teacher, reviewer.


A story of the great outback of Australia and a growing up 10-year-old. A wonderful story about 10-year-old Paul, as he with his father finally joined his mother into the great outback of Broome.

The description of the outback of Australia is really great, since I have experienced a part of the great outback myself and learned to love it. Such wonderful colours, no other country has.

And Paul’s dreams? Well, you really have to get the book to find that out…

G. Sedlmayer reviewer



There are comprehension questions for each of the 20 chapters.


It is available now for $2.99 on Kindle

FREE at Kobo and Smashwords

and print on demand at CreateSpace for US$7.53 plus postage.

The A5 paperback is available for $20 plus $6 express post.

Also available as an eBook for $5 – 2017 special. Email Michael for the invoice.



5  My Last Days in Melbourne.

I was really tired by the time I arrived home and lay down before tea. Dad woke me about 6 pm with some of his spaghetti bolognaise. He let me work on his laptop afterwards but only for an hour. I used my notes and my workbook to do a timeline, and searched on the Internet for anything missing. I didn’t finish but there was always tomorrow.

There was also an email from an Andrew in the Scouts. This is a list of their activities:

Scouts in Broome is a unique outdoor and lifestyle focused adventure full of camping, campfires, hiking, orienteering, rope bridges, swimming, rafting, billy-cart racing, learning how to build really cool and amazing stuff (pizza ovens, floats, bows and arrows, snare traps, tee pees, and so on and so on …), also learning to stretch your imagination and learn and understand how ‘stuff works’ …. You get to make water rockets, plant your own veggie garden, learn about aboriginal culture and bush medicine, learn to handle snakes and reptiles (if your game), learn to survive in the bush with little or no food or gear …. Also engage your creative side by painting a sunset, making a sand castle, build your own 3d creation out of marshmallows and kebab sticks, sing songs and entertain with skits and plays and take part in our scouts got talent challenge.

 Yup just your normal raft up the Fitzroy with the croc’s and set up your tent in the reception of McDonalds …. or cruise around town in a double decker bus learning the history of our wonderful town. Taking part in the Anzac day parade in uniform, sitting down with the old war veterans and learning of their tales, hopping on board one of the navy ships for an under-deck privileged tour of the operating boat, or simply walking along Cable Beach and picking up rubbish from behind the sand dunes with the ranger.

Wow. It sounds really great and Dad was impressed as well. And  they meet on Tuesdays.


Dad has been busy packing up heaps of boxes and has lined them up outside under the verandah so they’ll stay dry. He has written on the outside of each box what’s inside and what is fragile. He hopes the removalists keep this in mind though he has wrapped up everything carefully. He’s used some doonas to wrap the crockery in. I think he’s done 50 so far which means we have an awful lot of stuff.

Dad has now packed his printers and the binder away so no more printing and binding of orders. He’s found a printer in Broome and has already put in an order as a school has ordered a book. He told them he won’t be up for another three weeks and they seemed okay with that.

We’re allowed six suitcases on the plane between us so I have to figure out what to take and what I want to wear before we leave. Most of my books I’ll leave behind or give to the op shop. That goes for my old clothes too, especially those I’ve outgrown.

I had a large garbage bag for the op shop. Each day I tried on some old clothes and if they didn’t fit, into the garbage bag they went. The same for my shoes. Dad said to take one good black leather pair, a  pair of sandals, and to wear my runners on the plane.  Being hot and wearing sandals all the time is my kind of heaven. I wonder if there are any snakes around and I’ve heard there are crocodiles in the mangroves so I’ll stay away from there.


Sustainability in the 21st century part 3 A-Z (year 7)

June 10, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Comprehension, Lower Secondary, Science, Sustainability, Work Books

Year 7 science: available 2014

Sustainability in the 21st century Part 3 A-Z gives students a look at various

ideas which they may start now or when they are older. An updated Story of Stuff is also included.

This manual prepares them for their future in an unsustainable world and gives them some tangible ways of redressing this.

  • Year 7 Science
  • Science and understanding – organisms and food chains
  • Earth and space sciences – non-renewables and water
  • Science as a human endeavour:
  • Nature and development of science – connecting ideas:
  • Use and influence of science – human activity and occupations

The ideas in this manual were garnered from the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne in 2013.

Students are sometimes asked to search and type in websites to obtain the answers to questions.  Answers are given at the back of this manual.

Again, this is a stand-alone book though Part 1 looks at broader issues like past civilisations and why they collapsed, peak oil and our footprint.

Part 2 is Growing your own where students research what they wish to grow. Permaculture is looked at, as well as no-dig gardens.

Part 3 also looks at gardening and our footprint.

Blackline Masters and 62 pages.

Price: $10 for the prepaid eBook. Email Michael for an invoice. Emailed as a pdf. attachment.

 An example – A

Australian Ethical Investment and Super Funds




There are three main elements of our approach:

1. When you think of ethical investing, you most-likely think of what gets excluded – what we call a

negative screen. This is an important part of the story if you don’t want your money funding things like tobacco, uranium or coal mining, exploitation of people or old growth forest logging.

2. Also important, is the positive side. With Australian Ethical, your money can help build a new low-carbon economy, fund medical breakthroughs, technology breakthroughs, efficient transport and more. E.g. Cochlear for hearing.

3. The third element of our ethical approach is engagement. We use our influence to engage with the management of companies over ethical issues, with the goal of improving their ethical behaviour.


13. What type of companies do they invest in? _____________________






Australians have over $3 Trillion invested in superannuation.

A significant proportion of this pool is invested in companies that are involved in coal mining, CSG, tobacco, old growth forest logging, exploitation of workers or other harmful activities.

We avoid investments that cause unnecessary harm to people, animals, society and the environment.

We seek out positive investments that support people, quality and sustainability.


14. How can you invest? ______________________________________




Music Walkabout (years 5-8)

April 3, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Comprehension, Lower Secondary, Primary School, Walkabout series, Work Books

Second edition Nov.2012, checked 2013

Years 5-8 Follows the guidelines for the K-12 National Standards Yrs 5-8, Achievement Standard (4)c. identify and define standard notation symbols for pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, articulation, and expression

Utilises the Internet for information and music.

Order via email to Michael . The eBook is $10 pre-paid by cheque or EFT and emailed as a pdf. attachment. Email for an invoice which will have EFT details.


An example: Lesson 2

1. word search.

2. Type this URL in your address window:


3. The shape of a musical note tells you its pitch (where is it is on the staff and how long it lasts. Read the first paragraph.   4. Copy the parts of a note here: 5. Scroll down to The Length of a Note.   6. Copy the most common note lengths here: 7. Read down to Exercise 1. 8. Do the exercises here and correct yourself. (Click on ‘Show Solution’). a. Ex.1 ———————————————————————- —————————————————————————– ————————————————————————–

9. – 10. deleted.

11.     Draw a staff/stave, place a treble clef at the beginning. Now add the following words to each note that you draw: (look back at your work on Length of a Note). breve=full note semibreve=half note crotchet=quarter note quaver=eighth note semiquaver=sixteenth note demisemiquaver=thirty-second note 12. – 13. deleted. 14. Search for The Simpsons characters 15. Choose any site that mentions characters. 16. Click on one of them. Make short notes on your favourites (choose 6): —————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————— —————————————————————————————————— —————————————————————————————————— —————————————————————————————————— ——————————————————————————————————

17.     Search The Simpsons music

18.     Click on Simpson Crazy! The Simpsons song lyrics and mp3 downloads. (http://www.simpsoncrazy.com/information/lists/songlyrics.shtml)

19.     Scroll down then click on the quavers for The Simpsons main title theme (extended) 20. Click on Listen

21. Note the colours and swirls, etc.

22. Listen again and see if you can work out the duration – the rhythm and metre of the beat: is it even, mixed up, is it quick or slow? ——————————————————————————————-

23. Listen to Krusty the clown and comment as above. ——————————————————————————————

24. Choose two (2) more and comment as above (# 22). ——————————————————————————————— ———————————————————————————————


26. Design a poster that shows what you learnt regarding the length of notes and their names (see # 11).


27. Check your answers for the Duration lesson.

28. Display your poster.


Sustainability in the 21st century pt 1 (year 7)

April 3, 2013 in Blackline Masters, Lower Secondary, Science, Sustainability

[Revised edition 2017] Marketed 2018 onwards.

Updates on Cancun and Cap and trade and Bottled water videos incorporated into book – 52 pages long.
$10 ebook. Ask Michael for an invoice which will have EFT details. $30 for an A4 copy plus about $8 express postage.
Half price for those who have ordered the 2011 version until the end of first term.
Science teachers:

  • Do you want a manual that covers the Australian curriculum on science?
  • Do you want your students in years 7 to study sustainability?
  • Do you want them to look at food, water, transport, peak oil, and Cap and Trade?
  • Do you want them to communicate their findings?

Sustainability in the 21st century part 1 could be your answer.

Suitable for year 7.

Australian curriculum: ACARA: Year 7 Science

Science and understanding:

#1 Sustainability (organisms)

#2 Sustainability (food chains)

Earth and space sciences:

#2 Sustainability (non-renewables)

#3 Sustainability (water)

Science as a human endeavour:

Nature and development of science:

#2 Sustainability (connecting ideas)

Use and influence of science:

#1 Sustainability (human activity)

#2 Sustainability (human activity)

#3 Sustainability (occupations)

The eBook is $10 pre-paid by cheque or EFT and emailed as a PDF attachment. Email “michaelmardel98@gmail.com”

An example: Lesson 9 yr 7-8 Global warming

word search,.



The inaugural meeting of the Asian Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate was held in Sydney in January 2006.

The APP had agreed to co-operate on the reduction of greenhouse gas



The main sources of greenhouse gases due to human activity are:
burning of fossil fuels and deforestation leading to higher carbon dioxide
Land use change (mainly deforestation in the tropics) account for up to one third of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
livestock enteric fermentation and manure management, paddy rice farming, land use and wetland changes, pipeline losses, and covered vented landfill emissions leading to higher methane atmospheric concentrations. Many of the newer style fully vented septic systems that enhance and target the
fermentation process also are sources of atmospheric methane.
use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in refrigeration systems, and use of CFCs and halons in fire suppression systems and manufacturing processes.
agricultural activities, including the use of fertilizers, that lead to higher nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations.

[ from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas#Anthropogenic_greenhouse_gases]

In your Sustainable journal, name three (3) human activities which raise the levels of carbon dioxide.


The quantity of CFCs (in tonnes) reduced from 14,000 in 1989 to 2,800 in 1995.

[Australian Academy of Science. (1997). Activity 4—earth’s sunscreen—the ozone layer. Retrieved 10 May 2006 from http://www.science.org.au/nova/004/004act04.html]


The Cancun summit

The outcome of the (Cancun) summit was an agreement, not a binding treaty, which aims to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels and calls on rich countries to reduce their greenhouse gas

emissions as pledged in the Copenhagen Accord, and for developing countries to plan to reduce their emissions. The agreement includes a “Green Climate” fund, proposed to be worth $100 billion a year by 2020, to assist poorer countries finance emission reductions and adaptation. There was no agreement on how to extend the Kyoto Protocol, or how the $100 billion a year for the Green Climate Fund will be raised, or whether developing countries should have binding emissions reductions or whether rich countries would have to reduce emissions first.

5. Do you think this agreement will limit global warming to less than 2 degrees




LOG ON to the Internet


6. i. search for ‘The story of cap and trade Annie Leonard’.

.ii. click on The story of Cap and Trade – story of stuff to learn about

emissions trading and what you could do under Take action

e.g. recycling. Take  notes.


7. iii. Go to: http://planetark.org/wen/58406

and read about the melting Himalayas.

iv. Which country is most at risk? ________________________

v. record the reference in your Sustainable journal .


.          What does this mean for us?

What can we do to minimise global warming?

Make notes in your Sustainable journal about what you are doing or could  be doing,    e.g. you may tell your parents what you’ve learned in this lesson.

You could ride your bike instead of being driven everywhere.

Sometimes we need to be driven if sport or friends live a long way away and there’s no public transport nearby.

9 Make a poster on Cap and Trade OR the Himalayas.

10. Add your own comments about reducing global warming.


11. i. check your word search and other Global Warming answers for

Lesson 9.

ii. display your poster.



Walkabout Dreaming (years 6 & 7)

April 3, 2013 in Aboriginal History, Blackline Masters, Lower Secondary, Primary School, Walkabout series, Work Books

Revised edition 2017. Marketed 2018 onwards.
years 6 & 7

Achievement standard:

By the end of Year 7, students suggest reasons for change and continuity over time. They describe the effects of change on societies, individuals and groups. They describe events and developments from the perspective of different people who lived at the time. Students explain the role of groups and the significance of particular individuals in society. They identify past events and developments that have been interpreted in different ways.

• Individualised learning
• Internet access not required for all lessons
• Fewer URLs, more work space
• For non-indigenous students to appreciate the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
• 20 Blackline Master lessons
• Answers, Bibliography, Picture Story list, and Excursions for most states
• Over 120 pages in total
• Change of URLS posted online, major changes emailed
Checked Sep 2017.

Covers the Australian curriculum on History: Year 6:

· List the contribution of individuals and groups, including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders…to the development of Australian society.

· Historical questions and research using a range of communication forms…

· Annotated time of Aboriginal rights in the 20th century (example at ACARA website).”
Order via email to Michael  on michaelmardel98@gmail.com

The eBook is $10 pre-paid by cheque or EFT and emailed as a pdf. attachment. Email for an invoice which will have EFT details.
$40 hardcopy plus express postage, around $16.

An example: Lesson 3


1.        List the special ceremonies that your family celebrates.

E.g. Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter,

Jewish people celebrate Passover, Muslims fast during


_________________________ ______________________

_________________________ ______________________

______________________  ____________________  ____



Each religion has evolved a way of dressing for their special ceremonies.

Each religion has their special place and book.

[This is an indigenous message stick from the local Wurundjeri People at

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne.]

A message stick is a form of communication traditionally used by Indigenous Australians. It is usually a solid piece of wood, around 20–30cm in length, etched with angular lines and dots.

Traditionally, message sticks were passed between different clans and language groups to establish information and transmit messages. They were often used to invite neighbouring groups to corroborees, set-fights and ball games.

[from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Message_stick]

Word search on ceremonial words.


The indigenous people of Australia had no common language.

Some say there were 250 languages for 500 different nations.

An Elder, Aunty Gracelyn (Smallwood, 2001) says there were 500 tribes and 700 different dialects. There were no books. The knowledge and beliefs were handed down through stories.

The stories were passed down by the Elders.

Word search on a corroboree.


4.        FIND some surviving indigenous words:

i.        Write them next to the words in the previous word search on the                previous page.

ii. IF you do NOT have Internet access, see if your library has this book or a similar one:

Reed, A.W. (2001). Aboriginal words of Australia. Sydney: Reed New Holland.

[You won’t find all the word search words in this reference so look for these words:]

Ankle _________ Nose __________

Arm ___________ Possum ____________

Ceremony ___________ Ochre red ______________

Sticks for clapping time _____________

Headband ___________ Reed_______________

Hunger __________ Necklace ____________

Messenger ___________White Women, two ____________

5. i Go to #14 on page 30  for your next task IF you CANNOT access the Internet.

ii. Go to #15 on page 30  for your next task IF you CANNOT

find the above reference at  #4.(ii).


LOG ON  to the Internet.

6. Use this site to find some words of the Kamilaroi People of

Upper North New South Wales



c. Note marked area: draw a rough outline of Australia in your Walkabout Dreaming journal and mark in the area of the  Kamilaroi country.

d. click on TO DICTIONARY.


find the words at #3.

7.        Translate some of the words from the word search puzzle at #3 on            page 20.

8.        Write out the Reference for your  language here:



[Hint: author or group responsible for URL. (year). Title or underlined. Retrieved <date you looked at it> from <the URL>.]

9. i. FIND a picture of an item listed above at #3.

[N.B. don’t forget the reference and write it in your Walkabout

Dreaming journal ]:

ii. Design a poster to display what you found –

write at least 20 words if you found that many.

[N.B. don’t forget to add the Reference at the bottom of your poster, plus your name as the author of this work.]



10.     Create three (3) sentences using at least three (3) words in each            sentence from your chosen LANGUAGE.

Write the English sentence first, then write the indigenous language







iii. ___________________________________________________


Check your answers to At Home: Ceremony and Clothing.

[clapsticks designed and made from mulga wood by women at Walalkira in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara lands, S.A. ]

* * *

End of Lesson 3


Australian Short Stories for Boys (& Girls) middle grade

April 3, 2013 in Comprehension, Lower Secondary, Primary School, Work Books

Book Cover 9 Final small

Order the e-book through Kindle at US$2.99 each.

FREE at Kobo and Smashwords.

Order paperback copy with this cover through Amazon at US$5.99 each plus postage.

  • Sail the high seas
  • Ride a horse
  • Tow a caravan
  • Travel overseas
  • Be a ball boy
  • Meet a mermaid
  • Go gold digging
  • Meet a refugee
  • Sell some rabbits
  • Lose your father

…Mr Mardel sure brings Australia’s rich culture and heritage alive with this collection of short stories. ..I feel an overwhelming feeling to visit the country. 

The language is lucid …with no over-the-top dramatic moments. My favourite story is “Flames and wells and sacred sites” because it was enlightening to read what a monastic life could be like. And there’s an unexpected ending. Another story that I liked was “The white shirt” which has humour and an example of a weird superstition about not washing the white shirt. 

The bibliography is extensive. A book for kids and adults.

Unknown reviewer.

This book takes you from the fanciful to the silly, to some very serious issues in today’s world. “A long way to freedom” is most liked. It is about a refugee family of Shi’ite Muslims from Afghanistan. After a long struggle they finally arrive in Australia (via Nauru) but are only given 3 years to prove they can live without government assistance. They are a good family and if they were to (return) to Afghanistan it would mean bad things for the family for reasons the mother mentions in the story. We are all people and we all deserve peace and freedom.

Anastasia reviewer.

…This is a collection of adventurous historical fiction stories. Each story has its own life and rhythm. …My favourite is “Dogalogue”…This story gives a voice to a spunky Jack Russell terrier named Trixie. She is writing to her owner from doggie heaven (explaining) why she did many of the things that normally puzzle (we) humans.

I liked “Game, set match” …The message is not to give up on your dreams. ..While his classmates ridiculed him, Raphael continued to practice to be a ball boy at the Monte Carlo Country Club.

Later venue is set at the Australian Open.

The story that touched my heart the most is “A long road to freedom”. (see previous review). Michael Mardel has done an excellent job on all ten stories. You really feel like you know each character personally by the time you are done reading. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have.

Unknown reviewer.


You may do all these things in this collection of Australian short stories for boys (& girls)

Email Michael for the pre-paid $5 eBook which will then be emailed to you as a pdf. attachment.  Email Michael for an invoice with EFT details.

OR order via email an A5 paperback copy for $15 and $6 express postage

Sample story: The Brumby.

John was short for his age but that didn’t stop him from trying out for the football team. Ever since he could walk he was kicking a football. His Dad encouraged him at first but then his mother died and everything changed.

He hurried home to prepare the home for the evening meal. It wasn’t much of a place, a bark hut that let in the draughts and nearly made the open fire go out. At least they had an oven on which to cook their meals.

Tonight there was rabbit to be baked plus a few vegies from their garden which he had peeled. Soon, both fires were going nicely so he got out his homework, sums and writing. It was all rather boring and he couldn’t see the point of it if he was going to be a woodchopper like his Dad.

But he couldn’t concentrate. Thoughts of his Dad and the school bully

cluttered his mind. He wished he had his mother back as she used to listen to him, offering a cuddle which swept away all the day’s bad things. He wanted to tell her how he hated having to rush home to prepare the evening meal. How he was bowled over numerous times at footy practice.

His Dad didn’t understand his need to be held, if only for a short hug. At least he had his horse to ride to and from school. He was sure this horse had a story to tell of life in the high country. His Dad had roped him one day whilst both were hiding in a thicket. It was the sun shining on the white flash on his forehead that gave him away. Then followed weeks of trying to break him in though he never took to the saddle. John was the only one who could ride him so the horse became his school transport and a certain amount of freedom.

One day a new boy came to his school who was an Aborigine. He was old enough to be in John’s class but he needed to do Bub’s or first year’s work

because he’d always lived in the high country and been walkabout so he’d had no schooling. His name was Leroy or something like it; it’s what Mr Jones called him. Fortunately they were all in the same room so he didn’t stand out too much, except he was black and he did Bub’s work. Apparently Leroy had been brought in by the police and was living with a white family in town who had plenty of room. He even had his own bedroom, not like John’s corner in his draughty hut.

Once the class got used to Leroy’s strangeness, Mr Jones had a brainwave and asked Leroy to tell them a story about where he had been before coming to school. It was like drawing nails because he didn’t like standing out the front of the classroom. The rest of the class was expecting a reprieve from their work. No chance. Mr Jones had the big kids write down Leroy’s story as part of dictation and the most accurate and neatest would get a prize. John was sure he wouldn’t get the prize as his work was always messy. At least they weren’t staring at Leroy the whole time. Here’s what John remembered of Leroy’s story, with a lot of help from Mr Jones.

‘ My name is horse.

I live in the high country, in the mountains where there are many of my kind. I can remember being a foal and travelling for many days amidst  the trees and bushes. I remember being hungry but had to wait until   it was dark before I could graze. I remember many things and some   things that others of my kind do not remember.

I am special because no man has ever ridden me. I am special be  cause I have a white mark on my forehead and the other horses show   me great respect.

I am many hands high and I love to gallop. I love the chill of the winter   snow and the heat of summer. I love to run and dodge the trees and   the holes in the ground. I love the smell of dew-laden grass and the   taste is exquisite.’

Here Mr Jones stopped Leroy and they all sighed with relief. What a lot of writing. This was going to take weeks for Leroy’s story to unfold and John had writer’s cramp.

John wondered if the story was true but he wasn’t going to be the one   to ask him; he’d leave that for Mr Jones.

The next day Leroy came up to John as he arrived on his horse and   patted it. He murmured ‘Brumby’ and John knew that his horse story was   true. Leroy offered to take John out to the cave where the horse and he first   met.  John told him next Saturday would be good so they arranged to meet at first light.




That night John told his Dad that he was getting up early on Saturday to go and look at a cave with Leroy. Jim wanted to know all about Leroy and was none too pleased to find out he was an Aborigine.

‘Nothing good comes from being with that lot’, Jim said. ‘Don’t believe everything he tells you and make sure he doesn’t pinch anything either. Where are you meeting?’

‘At school, first thing,’ John said.

‘OK, but remember what I told you and make sure you’re home before dark. I don’t want to be traipsing around the countryside looking for you. Got that?’

‘Yes, Dad,’ John said softly.

John had woken early and sneaked out of bed, taking a crust for breakfast. He didn’t want to talk to his father who would only remind him to be home before dark.

He walked the horse to the road before galloping off down the track. Soon he was near the school and sure enough, there was Leroy. The horse nuzzled him as he held out a carrot. John reached down and helped Leroy up behind him.

They walked the horse slowly so Leroy could remember his journey from the cave to the town. Soon they found the cave where Leroy had hidden from the government man and where the horse didn’t want to go. They then walked to other places where Leroy had stayed and he showed John which berries were safe to eat.

When the sun was at its zenith, Leroy caught a small mammal which they roasted over a warming fire. It was still the wet season so a fire was safe in the mountains.

While they ate, Leroy told how he was captured by the government man, how he was then taken into the village

‘I was untied and led into their house and into a room where a boy found some old clothes for me to try on. They weren’t as warm as my possum cloak but I was told not to wear it again until it had been cleaned.

‘And of course, I had to be cleaned as well. And they left me alone to do that, after miming washing with soap and drying with towels.’

‘At least you had running water and a warm place to do it in,’ John said. ‘I’ve got to fetch water and heat it so I only wash once a week.’

After making sure the fire was well and truly out and buried, they rode back to town. But near their first cave, the heavens opened and they sought refuge, even the horse.

John had matches so they made another fire and used some lighted sticks to check out the back of the cave. There were no drawings, only fire-blackened walls, with a few handprints.

The storm seemed to rage forever and John was worried about his Dad’s reaction to him returning after dark. It couldn’t be helped as they wouldn’t be able to find their way, not even Leroy or the horse.

When it was dark and the rain had ceased, they could hear voices and see lanterns in the distance. They yelled ‘coo-ee’ and soon their rescuers found them, though they were nearly home. Jim was amongst them and only scowled at his son. He didn’t say anything until they got home.

‘What’s the thing you like the most?’ Jim asked.

John bowed his head. ‘My horse.’

‘Then you will forfeit it for a fortnight’, he said.

John’s lip trembled but he forced himself not to cry.

‘Now dry yourself off and go to bed!’

‘But I’m hungry.’

‘Too bad. I’m off to the pub to thank your rescuers. And I’ll know if you pinch any food, not that there’s much here.’

Jim left and after hanging up his wet clothes in front of the fire, John climbed into bed. As he drifted off to sleep, warm and snug, he relived his day. He was glad to be home and dry and he felt sad that he couldn’t make it home by dark. He’d miss his horse and he tried not to cry about it. Best of all, he had a new friend who could show him lots of interesting things.


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