Not sure what to get for someone this Christmas? Pick a title from our favourite, must-read books written by First Nations authors, and make someone’s holiday reading one to remember.

It’s that time of the year again – the last-minute Christmas present panic sets in, and you don’t know where to even start. At Storyfest we might be biased, but we wholeheartedly believe that the best gifts are books. And in 2022, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to great titles to choose from.

So instead of picking the first Colleen Hoover that you come across, consider gifting a book written by an Indigenous Australian author this year.

We already know how important it is to read diversely, so it’s amazing to witness that the past couple of years have been seeing a much-welcome increase in the diverse spectrum of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing being published. From fiction, essay collections, and poetry to powerful children’s literature, you are guaranteed to find the perfect title for anyone.

Let’s delve into our favourite books by First Nations authors to put under the tree in 2022!

Books by Indigenous authors published in 2022

Adult’s literature

Growing Up Wiradjuri – Edited by Anita Heiss

Growing up Wiradjuri is a collection of personal stories by Wiradjuri Elders – Uncles and Aunties who came of age in the 1950s and 1960s. In a strong collective voice, they share the difficulties of growing up under heart-breaking conditions. These stories also explore the deeper implications of experiencing racism in school, the trials of poverty and family separation – and the ways in which these things are ingrained in their formative years.

Sixty-Seven Days – Yvonne Weldon

Sixty-Seven Days asks the question: is love strong enough to withstand anything? This new fiction is an intense and mesmerising story of first love and longing, suffused with Wiradjuri Dreaming, family and culture, about a future dreamt and a future taken, by an important new voice in Australian fiction.

Wandering with Intent – Kim Mahood

This is a rich and enjoyable collection of essays by award-winning artist and writer Kim Mahood – inviting the reader to accompany her on the road and into the remote places of Australia. Filled with compelling evocation of desert landscapes and tender, wry observations of cross-cultural relationships, Wandering with Intent explores the people, places, and ways of living that are familiar to Mahood but still strange to most non-Indigenous Australians.

The Wonder of Little Things – Vince Copley & Lea McInerney

In this plain-speaking account of hardship, courage and optimism, First Nations Elder Vince Copley shares his extraordinary story of finding kindness amid prejudice, and joy in living life to the full. Vince's love of life will make you smile, his heartache will make you cry, and his determination to enjoy life in the face of adversity will inspire you to find the wonder in little things every day.

Children’s literature

Somebody's Land: Welcome To Our Country – Adam Goodes & Ellie Laing

Somebody’s Land is a Karijia Award winning, accessible picture book for young children that introduces First Nations history and the term 'terra nullius' to a general audience. It’s an invitation to connect with First Nations culture, to acknowledge the hurt of the past, and to join together as one community with a precious shared history as old as time.

Koori Princess – Anita Heiss

Teish is a sassy, soon-to-be 8-year-old and the apple of her dad’s eye. She believes more than anything, that she is a Disney princess. Her older siblings, Karan and Kim, like to remind her that she isn’t. Teish is determined to believe that she can be whoever she wants to be. Koori Princess is an insightful and humorous story of a young girl’s determination to be who she wants to be.

Bush Mob Counting – Helen Milroy

Bush Mob Counting is the next title in ‘Tales from the Bush Mob’, a series of books about a group of friends – Koala, Echidna, Kookaburra, and more – who work together to solve problems. Like the ones before it, Bush Mob Counting shares a rich landscape of colours, characters and places – it is a fun and colourful way for young children to learn how to count to 10 while being exposed to a wonderfully diverse set of Australian characters.

Thank you rain! – Sally Morgan

A universal story about the simple act of celebrating rain. Thank you rain! is a joyful read, full of the plants and animals that we share this world with. Sally Morgan’s beautiful words and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr’s sensitive, beautiful artwork combine to give this distinctive children’s picture book global appeal.

Please consider purchasing the above books through our affiliate link – that way, you are not only supporting First Nations authors, but also the crucial development of children’s literacy programmes.

Buy the books here!