Yippee! The book I was cheering for won its category at this year’s CBCA Book Week Awards.
Lennie the Legend tells the true story of a nine-year boy named Lennie Gwyther who makes a plan to ride his horse from Leongatha in Victoria to Sydney for the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932.
Lennie and his horse Ginger Mick make the 1000 km journey, through towns and bush to make it in time for the opening of the bridge.
For more information here is some background on the true story featured in the book.
Lennie the Legend is full of pictures, maps, and ephemera from the past. The layers of information that form this book make it a stunning artifact in itself. Something that can be read again and again. You can read just the story, or just the information pages or look at just the pictures. It is a multifaceted book that can be used for various purposes.
Each chapter begins with a double page layout that shows the progress of the bridge being built, a photo of Lennie, the dates covered by the chapter and the places Lennie visits.
Each chapter ends with a double page of factual information enabling the reader to understand what is going on more broadly in Australia at the time. The chapters also end with a double page showing a painting or map that is relevant to the chapter.
The story is extensive and will take quite a few sittings to finish reading
Some teacher’s notes can be found here.
Stephanie Owen Reeder is an Australian author. Her website is here.
Stephanie Owen Reeder has a number of other books. The two listed here are in the same style as Lennie the Legend. They are fictionalised true stories from Australian history accompanied by factual information, paintings, newspaper clippings and other tidbits.
Lost! A Tale From the Bush
Amazing Grace An Adventure at Sea
HASS Curriculum Links
Lennie the Legend is an excellent book for teaching aspects of the Humanities and Social Sciences curriculum. It is helpful for teaching a number of Knowledge and Understanding content descriptions. The text is also great for showing students a variety of historical sources which inform the historical inquiry process.
Year 1 History
Differences in family structures and roles today, and how these have changed or remained the same over time (ACHHK028)
Differences and similarities between students’ daily lives and life during their parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods, including family traditions, leisure time and communications. (ACHHK030)
Year 2 History
The impact of changing technology on people’s lives (at home and in the ways they worked, travelled, communicated, and played in the past) (ACHHK046)
Year 3 Geography
The representation of Australia as states and territories and as Countries/Places of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples; and major places in Australia, both natural and human(ACHASSK066)
One important example of change and one important example of continuity over time in the local community, region or state/territory (e.g. in relation to the areas of transport, work, education, natural and built environments, entertainment, daily life) (ACHHK061)
This book is a bonza addition to any teacher’s library!