Books to read this NAIDOC Week

With NAIDOC Week being celebrated across the country, we’ve put together a list of some of the best new releases by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors.

Explore important and engaging stories for children and teens, as well as the latest releases across adult fiction, memoir, and non-fiction.

This year’s NAIDOC theme is ‘For Our Elders’ – celebrating and recognising the prominent role Elders have played in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as ‘cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and…loved ones.’ 

Explore further First Nations reading lists by Readings, Dymocks, Hachette, Penguin and be sure to pick up your copies at your local bookshop or library.


Children’s Books

Bidhi Galing by Anita Heiss, Samantha Campbell (illus.)

Powerful and moving, Bidhi Galing (Big Rain) celebrates the Wiradyuri heroes of the Great Flood of Gundagai in 1852, told through the eyes of a young girl who is rescued from the raging floodwaters by her father.

Backyard Footy by Carl Merrison, Samantha Campbell (illus.)

The first book in a joyful black&write!-winning picture book series that follows a cast of footy-crazy kids as they hop through the backyards of their neighbourhood in the Kimberley, collecting equipment and friends to play with as they go.


Teen/YA Books

This Book Thinks Ya Deadly!: A Celebration of Blak Excellence by Corey Tutt, Molly Hunt (illus.)

An inspirational, illustrated compendium that celebrates the diversity and success of First Nations People. It showcases the careers and Corey’s personal stories of First Nations People who have done great things in their respective fields, including Professor Marcia Langton, Miranda Tapsell, Tony Armstrong, Dr Anita Heiss, Danzal Baker (Baker Boy), Adam Goodes and Blak Douglas. 

We Didn’t Think It Through by Gary Lonesborough

From the author of the award-winning The Boy from the Mish, comes a compelling coming-of-age YA novel about sixteen-year-old Jamie Langton finding his future and navigating the challenges of racism, family and friendship in a small Australian town.


Adult Fiction

Praiseworthy by Alexis Wright

Set in the north of Australia, in a small town dominated by a haze cloud – which heralds both an ecological catastrophe and a gathering of the ancestors – the new novel from the award-winning author Alexis Wright pushes allegory and language to its limits, a cry of outrage against oppression and disadvantage, and a fable for the end of days.


Adult Non-Fiction

Personal Score: Sport, culture, identity by Ellen van Neerven

A ground-breaking examination of sport’s troubled relationship with race, gender and sexuality from an award-winning First Nations author. Van Neerven shines a light on sport on this continent from a queer First Nations perspective, revealing how some athletes have long challenged mainstream views and used their roles to effect change not only in their own realm, but in society more broadly.

First Knowledges Law by Marcia Langton, Aaron Corn

The latest instalment in the First Knowledges series shows how Indigenous law has enabled people to survive and thrive in Australia for more than 2000 generations, and challenges readers to consider how Indigenous law can inspire new ways forward for us all in the face of global crises.



the body country by Susie Anderson

A powerful collection of poetry from an award-winning poet and black&write! Fellowship winner, the body country is an evocative exploration of a world that too often marginalises and a meditation of wandering and wondering on Country, inviting the reader to understand the complexities and changing forms of self and love.

She Is the Earth by Ali Cobby Eckermann

The new verse novel from celebrated poet Ali Cobby Eckermann, charting a journey through grief and celebrates the healing power of Country. Through the collection, the reader follows Eckermann’s soft footfalls in the open (but far from empty) spaces between earth and sky; from sandstone to wetlands, from plains to mountain ranges.