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Socks, Sandbags and Leeches

Author: Deeves,Pauline

Item Code: 8412376

Product Type: Book

Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9780642278845



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Rather than telling the story of war experiences from a soldier’s point of view, this book describes life for the people on the homefront and their attitudes towards Australia's involvement in the war.

While her father is away during WWII, 11-year-old Ivy writes to him, telling him all the family news. In the 20 letters, written between 1914 and 1918, Ivy covers a range of topics, such as increasing prices and rents, cramped living conditions, entertainment and sport during wartime, the battle of Broken Hill, attacks on German shops and churches, people’s paranoia, school during wartime, houses of the poor compared to the rich, sock knitting, being patriotic, wounded soldiers, conscription and coo-ee marches.

Each letter is accompanied by a highly-illustrated spread, giving further information about the topics Ivy mentions.

Pauline Deeves. 56-pp hardcover. Primary.

Genre: Non Fiction / Reference

Subject: History, People & Places

Reading Level: Lower Primary, Middle Primary

School Year: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4

Ages: 6 to 9

Page Count: 56

Pauline Deeves

Where were you born? Where do you live now?

I was born in Sydney and moved to Canberra about 20 years ago.

Where did you go to school

I went to school in Sydney at St Columba’s North Leichhardt for primary and Rosebank College at Five Dock for my high school years.

Did you have a nickname?
The family calls me Polly.

What were you like in school?

I was a nerd and I loved reading. I played tennis as a school representative.

What is the naughtiest thing you did?
One day we locked our teacher out of the classroom. We all thought it was very funny until we realised that eventually we would have to let her in again. Then it was not funny at all!

What was your favourite book growing up?
I loved the Anne of Green Gables series and I still own the ones I was given for my birthdays and Christmas presents by my Aunty.

Who is your favourite children’s author?
I keep changing my mind about this. At the moment I love the story Lennie the Legend by Stephanie Owen-Reeder.

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
Chocolate, blue and any movie that scares me so much I have to eat chocolate.

Who inspired you to write?
My parents. My Dad because he loved words and was always helping us to do word puzzles and crosswords. My Mum always had a stack of books beside her favourite chair.

How did you get started?
I thought up a story before I could read or write and my Dad wrote it out for me in the form of a book. I sold it to him and bought 2 musk sticks with my profits.

How old were you?
I was 4.

Why did you want to be a writer?
I love the idea of playing with words and stories and inventing people and making them do what I want. It is a relief when I finish a book but then another idea comes along and I know I have to get it out of my brain.

How do you think up ideas?
Ideas are everywhere. The idea for Losers? came from a soccer team of little kids who used to play in a park near my house. The idea for Midnight Burial came from a scary story I heard at Lanyon, an old home just outside of Canberra.

Do you have a special place where you write?
I have a very messy study which has a big Atlantic Cedar tree outside. I live three storeys up and feel like I am in a tree house. I also love to write at the National Library of Australia when I am researching.

What is the best thing about being a writer?
Having a blank sheet of paper and being able to create and share something

Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as a writer?
It is always interesting talking to groups of pre schoolers. You never know what they will do next. One day a little kid asked me if I was leaving soon because I was boring and he wanted to play with the trucks.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I love visiting schools to talk to students and teachers and I do some voluntary work. I enjoy time with my grandchildren. I play bridge which is a very annoying card game. I’ve been playing it for 30 years.

What would you have chosen to be if you were not a writer?
I was a teacher for a long time.

Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?

As I said above, I used to live in a suburb called Leichhardt which was named after an explorer who went exploring and has never been heard of again. I guess I would ask him, ‘Where are you? What happened?’

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
I teach a workshop for kids called ‘I know I am a writer.’ Sometimes teachers are surprised at the kids who volunteer. That’s because no one can see inside writers’ heads and it is hard to receive encouragement. Being a writer is a gift like being a good swimmer or a mathematician.  If you know you are a writer keep writing. Read books and think about what you have read. Enter competitions suggested by your teacher. It isn’t easy but it is fun. Losers? which is a very skinny book took more than a year to write.

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