Sorry Day by Coral Vass & Dub Leffler

Inside the CBCA Shortlist

Sorry Day (National Library of Australia) skilfully tells brief, powerful stories from Australia’s past and recent past about lost and stolen children. The earlier story is told in italics.

In the recent past, Maggie and her mother are present in Canberra in 2008 when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd makes the first public apology to the Australian Aboriginal people. This is now remembered annually as National Sorry Day.

For a short time in this narrative strand, Maggie gets lost but her reunion with her mother happens quickly.

In the past, white men steal Aboriginal children. They are taken away, usually not to be seen again by their families.

This story is disturbing, terrifying and poignant, but ultimately hopeful.

Further information about the Stolen Generations in non-fiction form and photographs of National Sorry Day are given at the end of the book.

Coral Vass’ website is Here children can listen to Aboriginal actor Trevor Jamieson introduce and read Sorry Day for Story Box Library.

Using the book with students:

Bringing Them Home Oral History Project At the end of Sorry Day there is a link to the Bringing Them Home Project, held by the National Library of Australia

National Sorry Day Watch some of the recording of National Sorry Day

Illustrations by Dub Leffler Compare and contrast the illustrations, particularly the colour palette, by Dub Leffler in Sorry Day of the past and recent past. Also compare thesewith the black and white illustrations in the novella shortlisted in the CBCA Younger Readers category, Black Cockatoo. Where and how are the colours of the Australian Aboriginal flag used in Sorry Day?

Naidoc 2019

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