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y separately published work icon Blueback single work   children's fiction   children's  
Issue Details: First known date: 1997... 1997 Blueback
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Abel Jackson loves to dive. He's a natural in the water. He can't remember a time when he couldn't use a mask and snorkel to glide down into the clear deep. Life is tough out at Longboat Bay. Every day the boy helps his mother earn their living from the sea and the land. It's hard work but Abel has the bush and the sky and the bay to himself. Until the day he meets Blueback, the fish that changes his life. An ecological novel on a boy who protects a fish from property developers and rapacious fishermen. The boy befriends the fish, a blue grouper while diving for abalone, his family's trade. Blueback is about people learning from nature.' (Source: Trove)




Blueback Peta Murray , 1999 single work drama

'This moving Western Australian story captures the mystery of the sea and majesty of the old fish Abel calls “Blueback”. It is Abel’s journey from inquisitive boy to a man prepared to stand up for what he loves and believes in.

'Blueback is full of underwater imagery and exquisite puppetry, an extraordinary celebration of the West Australian coastline from one of WA’s most beloved authors.'

source: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.

form y separately published work icon Blueback Robert Connolly , ( dir. Robert Connolly ) Western Australia : Arenamedia Pty Ltd Minderoo Pictures , 2022 23358274 2022 single work film/TV

Reading Australia

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable ForAC: Year 7 (NSW Stage 4)

DurationFour to six weeks

Curriculum Summary

Find a summary table for Australian Curriculum: English content descriptions and NSW Syllabus outcomes for this unit.


connection to place, connection to the natural world, family, greed, resilience, the environment

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Information and communication technology, Intercultural understanding, Literacy, Personal and social

Cross-curriculum Priorities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Sustainability

Teaching Resources

Teaching Resources

This work has teaching resources.

Teaching resources via publisher's website.


  • Included in the 1998 White Raven's Catalogue compiled by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. Special mention.

Affiliation Notes

  • This work is affiliated with the AustLit subset Asian-Australian Children's Literature and Publishing because it has a Japanese translation.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Pan , 1997 .
      image of person or book cover 8572328680138660233.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 151p.
      Reprinted: 1997 , 1998 , 1999 , 2000
      ISBN: 0330360388 (pbk.)
    • South Melbourne, South Melbourne - Port Melbourne area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Macmillan , 1997 .
      image of person or book cover 6832500928209177307.jpg via Wikipedia
      Extent: 151p.
      Description: illus.
      • With subtitle: A Fable for All Ages
      ISBN: 0732909120
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      United States of America (USA),
      Scribner ,
      1997 .
      image of person or book cover 5135016684596874894.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 95p.
      • With subtitle: A Contemporary Fable
      ISBN: 0684845652 (alk. paper)
    • London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Picador ,
      1998 .
      image of person or book cover 338960907174282487.jpeg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 151p.
      Description: illus.
      ISBN: 0330369792
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Bolinda , 1998 .
      image of person or book cover 1341750636533158571.jpg
      Extent: 147p.
      ISBN: 1864422378
    • Chippendale, Inner Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,: Picador , 1999 .
      image of person or book cover 6963398351784450875.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 151p.
      ISBN: 0330361627
    • Camberwell, Camberwell - Kew area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Puffin , 2009 .
      image of person or book cover 6009483022012875544.jpg
      Extent: 150 p.p.
      Edition info: New ed.
      Description: illus.
      ISBN: 9780143304333, 014330433X
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin Books , 2014 .
      image of person or book cover 2086233284177761133.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 162 p.p.
      • Published July 2014
      ISBN: 9781743484241 (ebook), 9780670078004 (hbk)
Language: Italian
    • Rome,
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Fazi ,
      1998 .
      image of person or book cover 4144382834045476082.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 122p.
      Description: illus.
      Reprinted: 2003
      ISBN: 8881120844

Other Formats

  • Braille.
  • Sound recording.
  • Large print.

Works about this Work

Hollywood Stars to Lead Tim Winton Film Adaptation of Blueback Toby Hussey , 2021 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , February 2021;

'Filming is underway in Western Australia's Bremer Bay for a movie adaptation of a popular Australian novel, with directors today revealing three Hollywood stars are set to star on the south coast.' (Introduction)

WA's Movie-making Boom Continues with Film Adaptation of Tim Winton's Blueback Kit Mochan , 2020 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , January 2020;

'A film adaption of Tim Winton's award-winning 1998 young adult novel Blueback is the latest in a string of movie productions in Western Australia, with filming slated to begin on the state's south coast by mid year.' (Introduction)

y separately published work icon Teaching Classic Australian Children's Fiction Anthony Shaw , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2016- 15827758 2016 website prose

This Exhibition is a collection of extensive teaching resources for classic Australian children's texts. The resources are aimed at upper primary school and lower high school teachers. The collection forms part of Anthony Shaw's Learning with Literature program.

Australia : An Inescapable Cultural Paradigm? Cross- and Transcultural Elements in Tim Winton’s Fiction Tomasz Gadzina , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of the European Association for Studies on Australia , vol. 7 no. 2 2016; (p. 30-40)
'The article considers Tim Winton’s fiction in terms of its cross- and transcultural character. Despite the fact that local Australian settings permeate the writer’s narratives, Winton creates an imaginary space that is both local and transnational in terms of its quality of the domestic culture, which Winton extends beyond its original field of practice. Winton achieves the transcultural quality of his fiction through transgressions and boundary breaking that are possible due to his frequent reworking of the traditional Australian themes and concepts of the unknown, supernatural, mystical, numinous and sacred, exploitation of leitmotifs of journey, transit and in-betweenness, use of cross-cultural symbols as well as various utopian and dystopian topoi such as Arcadia and Heimat.' (Publication abstract)
On Focuses on the Oceans' Ecology Reveled in Tim Winton's Main Literature Works Hong-Bo Du , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Xihua University , no. 6 2014; (p. 53-55)
'Descriptions and focuses on ocean is a necessary part of the development of Australian literature, on which the world famous Australian writer Tim Winton is considered as one of the representatives. This thesis is mainly to introduce Tim Winton and his representative works which focus on the ocean; the author lists the most influential works of Tim Winton in order to present the common as well as the ecological concept of environmental protection reflected in his works.' (Publication abstract)
[Review] Blueback Kevin Steinberger , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , vol. 42 no. 1 1998; (p. 23-24)

— Review of Blueback Tim Winton , 1997 single work children's fiction
[Review] Blueback Helen Purdie , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , March vol. 13 no. 1 1998; (p. 36)

— Review of Blueback Tim Winton , 1997 single work children's fiction
In Short : Fiction Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 14-15 February 2009; (p. 30)

— Review of Blueback Tim Winton , 1997 single work children's fiction ; Wrong Way, Go Back Alli Kincaid , 2009 single work novel ; The Family Tree Ilsa Evans , 2009 single work novel
Kids' Lit Rosemary Neill , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 28 February - 1 March 2009; (p. 10)

— Review of Blueback Tim Winton , 1997 single work children's fiction ; The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen Deborah Abela , 2009 single work children's fiction
Reading and Viewing : Sustainability Texts Deborah McPherson , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: English in Australia , vol. 46 no. 2 2011; (p. 93-94)

— Review of Blueback Tim Winton , 1997 single work children's fiction
A Look at... Tim Winton's Places and People 1998 single work interview
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , July vol. 13 no. 3 1998; (p. 20-21)
y separately published work icon Mind the Country : Tim Winton's Fiction Salhia Ben-Messahel , Crawley : University of Western Australia , 2006 Z1286107 2006 single work criticism
Fear, Voice, and the Environment in Sonya Hartnett's Forest and The Midnight Zoo Lesley Hawkes , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Papers : Explorations Into Children's Literature , vol. 21 no. 1 2011; (p. 67-76)
'Subtle is not a word that is normally associated with Sonya Hartnett's style. Rather, she is known for her stark, bold approach. However, when it comes to the Australian environment, Hartnett is indeed subtle in her approach. Hartnett has set in play a new, almost posthumanist style of writing about the nonhuman. The Australian landscape and environment has always figured prominently in Australian literature for both adults and children but Hartnett has taken this writing in a totally different direction. This article looks at two of Hartnett's novels, Forest and The Midnight Zoo, and examines how Hartnett offers new and exciting avenues of thought regarding the place of humans in that environment.' (Author's abstract)
Winton Revealed Murray Waldren , 1997 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 25-26 October 1997; (p. rev 26)

— Appears in: Dining Out with Mr Lunch 1999; (p. 96-101)
Water Bill Ashcroft , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Tim Winton : Critical Essays 2014; (p. 16-48)

'In Dirt Music, remembering the time before a car crash took the lives of his brother Darkie, Darkie's wife Sal, and their two children, Bird and Bullet, Luther Fox recalls Bird's question : 'Lu, how come water lets you through it?' Bird is the one who saw God, and 'if anyone saw God it would likely be her. Bird's the nearest thing to an angelic being.' Bird's question suggests the function of water in Winton's novels. Water is everywhere in his writing, as people sail on it, dive into it, live on the edge of it. Clearly the sea and the river are vital aspects of the writer's own experience. But water is more than an omnipresent feature of his writing and his life, the oceanscape of his stories. It is something that 'lets you through'. It lets you through because it is the passage to a different state of being, sometimes in dream, sometimes in physical extremity, but always offers itself as the medium of transformation. When it lets you through - whether to escape to a different life, as a rite of passage to adulthood, to see the world in a new way or to discover the holiness of the earth or the wonder of the world, whether it is the baptismal water of redemption to an opening to a world of silence - and it is all these things- you become different.' (Author's introduction 16)

Last amended 27 Apr 2020 12:43:18