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Sister Heart

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  480 ratings  ·  96 reviews
A young Aboriginal girl is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south. There, she slowly makes a new life for herself and, in the face of tragedy, finds strength in new friendships.

Poignantly told from the child’s perspective, Sister Heart affirms the power of family and kinship.
Hardcover, 1st, 251 pages
Published August 1st 2015 by FREMANTLE PRESS
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Shanay_03 you

1. buy the book
2. borrow it

Well there you have it. It really is amazing how when you think you accomplish something isn't it
Ella Daveson This book does have a point and it is really interesting, the first few pages are a bit boring, but if you keep going you will get to the good parts.

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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  480 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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April (Aprilius Maximus)
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm so angry and upset after reading this. I just don't understand how people could be so horrible. Who thinks that stealing children away from their families and crushing their culture is a good thing to do? As I continue to educate myself on Australia's history, I am becoming more and more upset. Why are people so horrible? We MUST continue to break the cycle. People are people and we are all the same species. Who decides that one skin colour is above all others? Why do these stigmas exist? Ab ...more

In hindsight, I wish I'd taken my time with this book. Because I read it in...probably an hour? And while the story was incredibly full of emotion, I don't think I had enough time to sufficiently appreciate the writing.

This is a middle grade novel written in verse that tells the story of a young Aboriginal girl who is taken from her family and her country by the government and placed in a children's home for Indigenous children to be taught English, given a basic education, and s
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Back when I was 15 (2008), the Australian Government apologised to Indigenous Australians, particularly regarding the Stolen Generation. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can watch or read a transcript:

They talked about it at school, what had happened and why it was important. But I didn't really get it. It wasn't RELEVANT, I thought, because this will never happen to me. Nobody I knew was affected by this.

Reading this book was heart-wrench
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, book-club-2018
A beautiful but heartbreaking story of the stolen generation told from the child's point of view... written in verse.

This format is new to me I now aim to look for more books written in verse. A style that is easy, lovely and enjoyable to read.
Clare Snow
I don't know why I never posted this review from August last year.

Sister Heart

I'm heart drowned:

in my saltwater tears"

Wonderfully lyrical and deserving of all the award love - shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers 2016 and longlisted for the (YA) Inky Award 2016.

Annie is bereft. Named Annie by the white fellas who took her (we never know her language name). Losing her name, her family, her country, her culture, the very words she speaks and thinks.

"There's to

Karys McEwen
I’m not usually a huge fan of verse novels, but Sister Heart is one of the best, loveliest, saddest and most affecting books I have read in a long time. Through the eyes of a young Aboriginal girl stolen away from her family and taken to an institution far from home, this is a story that will break your heart, as well as have you believe in the power of friendship, and the strength we may find in the face of true tragedy. This Stolen Generation verse is arresting and full of breathtakingly beaut ...more
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young adults
Recommended to DonutKnow by: Inky Awards
Shelves: poetry
I would give this book a 3.5 if I could.

It rendered me quite emotional as I was reading it and I appreciated the enjambment technique that was used because it added a multilayered meaning that added to the emotional effect on the audience.

I was deeply touched by this book. The character of Janey will forever be remembered and cherished. I strive to be more positive, loyal and kind like her.

Actually - split second decision - because of Janey I'm rating this a 4/5. I loved her character and I thi
Jessica G
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Such an important novel that should be taught in more Australian history classes. Sister Heart is truly a beautiful, if quite sad, story that covers the Stolen Generation.
It's really quite sad to hear how unforgiving the government was, in the way they wanted to assimilate Aboriginals into Western culture, till they were completely bred out. It's frustrating to say that something so horrible happened in our past, but it's still incredibly important and relevant for young minds to know and unders
This book is about the Stolen Generation, told from the child's perspective. It's told in verse and while I don't read a lot of that format, it works really well. Sister Heart is not an easy read, but it's an important one. Recommend to everyone. ...more
Rachael  Fryman
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read Harder Task 7

All the feels! :(
”Government don’t like our family
Don’t like Annie’s family
or Nancy’s
That’s why they took us
to make us forget our families
to make us forget our country
to make us what they want

I won’t be what they want
‘specially not on the inside

Grandpa told me
our people been in our country

This is your home place, my girl
Your heart place
You remember that”

‘Sister Heart’ is a powerful and deeply haunting middle grade novel that explores the horrifying experiences of the children of the Stolen Generation.
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love this book such a gorgeous book to read.
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
To start off this review this book is a really short book having only 256 pages. I loved the story line in this book and it showed how people were treated back then in the stolen generation and how hard it was to lose your family. The reason I love love this book so much is because it tells us a message to never give up even when it’s hard.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sister Heart by Sally Morgan
I think it was an inspired choice to use a verse novel as the vehicle for this insight into the lived experience of the stolen generations.
Delivered in the first person, we feel every heart-breaking moment as ‘Annie’ is stolen from her mother on a remote outback station, and transported into a world where she is to be assimilated and subjugated.
“I am taken to a government place
to a government man
in a government chair.
Hard eyes staring…”
The reader is ever
Sister Heart is a tale of the Stolen Generation. It is the story of a young Aboriginal girl who was taken away from her family and put in an institution many miles away from her home. This story is such a heartbreaking, but important, read. It looks at the impact of a part of the history of white Australia’s horrendous treatment of Indigenous Australians, and one that happened not that long ago.

The writing in Sister Heart is beautiful. The story is told in verse which fitted quite well. The des
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sally Morgan needs no introduction to Australian audiences since her acclaimed autobiography My Place was released in 1987. Since then she has been an outspoken advocate for recognition of the Stolen Generations and for Indigenous art and culture through her many books for children and adults. There is just so much to love about this book. Sister Heart tells the story, in verse format, of a child who is brutally wrenched from her family and sent to live in a government home. The anguish and home ...more
Cherlynn (cherreading)
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
There wasn't a synopsis or description on the book cover so I went into it not knowing what it was going to be about. I'd picked it up at the library because the cover was pretty, it seemed interesting, and was quick and easy read due to the verse-by-verse (like poetry) format that it's told in.


Told from the POV of a young girl (whose age is never revealed), Sister Heart is about the displacement of aboriginals, racism, and how a child's life and only world she's ever k
Deceptively simple, so very powerful.
The voice of Sally Morgan's main character (whose name we never know) will inspire you and break your heart.

It can be difficult to deeply engage a young audience with matters they may see as 'not our generation's problem/fault'. I think the real strength of this book is the way the author has used verse to enable the story and the characters to speak so directly to her readers; there is nothing to distract or dilute. Instead it lays bare the moral imperativ
Australian history is amazingly devastating, and the stolen generation is perhaps the darkest, most unforgivable thing we have ever done (and don't get me wrong - we have done ALOT of bad stuff).
Stories like this are important to make sure that these atrocities are not forgotten, and more importantly, not repeated. I can definitely recommend this to anyone, please don't let the 3 stars fool you, it was a great read.
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very simple story delivered in a powerful manner. The story is written from the perspective of an Aboriginal child of the stolen generation. Despite it's simplicity, the character development is strong, and it gives a personal insight into the terrible things that occurred during that time. This should be essential reading for young people in Australia today. ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was a five star if not for the story line. Everything else was so beautifully written and you could almost hear the voices of the characters. It also gave me a new perspective on "The Stolen Generation" than from what I was studying. Even though I didn't find the story line amazing, I recommend it to everyone as you learn a lot from it, and makes you think. ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Rough hands
hurry me
down a sandy track
empty of Mum
empty of anything
except a swam of flies
buzzing a dead bird"

Sally Morgan's 'Sister Heart' is unlike anything I've read before in its style. It's a raw first-person poetic account of a young girl, given the name Annie, who is taken from her family. The intergenerational trauma caused by the Australian Government in its creation of the Stolen Generation carries unprecedented pain and is something I have learned more about little by little of l
Sean Harding
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Potent and evocative tale from Indigenous author Sally Morgan about an young indigenous girl and the whole stolen generations tragedy of days past. Well told, and deliberately emotive, but this is another good reminder and story of the dark stain that lies within the heart of our past. (The stain that lies in our hearts in the present with asylum seekers being held in concentration camps will one day no doubt be addressed in another book like this)
Linda Gratsounas
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was in my mail box when I got home from work this afternoon, and I had read it by 8.30pm, fitting in a hospital visit and some traffic chaos due to to a mass black-out along the way. It's that powerful a read, and just as important.

It's been kind of a day here in Australia. Some of our indigenous people are meeting right now to discuss their view on a constitutional reform that may or may not acknowledge their pre-existence, and the vital role their culture and history has played, and
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is was emtional to read. Couldn't help but cry at parts in the book. Having an Australian aboriginal history in my family it does hit home. Knowing what people back then did was horrible, most of the culture has been lost and to see what they had to go through was horrible. Even though it is written like a poem, it still is a very emtional book. ...more
Kylie Purdie
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads, cbc-2016
This is such an important book in the Australian children's literature landscape for so many reasons. Written in prose, it provides an opening to discuss issues surrounding identity, indigenous rights and the Stolen Generation. Morgan brings to life a character that children could identify and sympathise with. Annie's fear and uncertainty in her strange new "home", her confusion at being removed from her family and her struggle to find her place amongst the other children is beautifully expresse ...more
Megan G
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
a remarkable story. heartbreaking and tear-jerking. the words flow in a incredible story of loss, fear, friendship, family, love and hope.

it's is so sad that this has happened. that this story is one of many. of stolen children and cruel people. this story a small look on the life as one of these children.

i have tears drying and sticky to my face as i type this. red puffy eyes as i remember what i have just read.

heartbreaking words, full of power. a story of never letting go of hope and sorro
Stef (Noveltea Corner)
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017, loveozya
Sister Heart is the heartbreaking story of a young Aboriginal girl taken from her family told in verse. Far from home, she begins to build her new life, finding herself and unexpected friendships along the way.

This story broke my heart, because it is a reflection of the real life stories of generations of Indigenous children. It’s a poignantly told story that is perfectly suited to middle-grade readers all the way through to adults, as it highlights not only history, but also compassion, kindnes
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, poetry
Bittersweet story from the POV of an Aboriginal girl stolen from her home and sent to an institution/school to be assimilated. It's a sad story, though the elements of friendship and found family are wonderful. CW for child abuse. It's not super graphic, but the teacher beats the kids bruised and bloody with a ruler and a strap on a couple of occasions. ...more
Kate Atkinson
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautiful, brief story from an Indigenous child's perspective dealing with Stolen Generations, separation from family, dealing with harsh conditions and scary adults, friendships forged in hardship, and even a wonderful taste of Australian flora and fauna... the novel is written in verse, so the focus was lyrical and simple rather than a complex plot. ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Sally Morgan is recognised as one of Australia's best known Aboriginal artists and writers. She is one of a number of successful urban Aboriginal artists.

Sally was born in Perth in 1951, the eldest of five children. As a child she found school difficult because of questions

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