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I Was Only Nineteen

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About the Story

Townsville lined the footpath as we marched down to the quay.  This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean.  And there's me in my slouch hat, with my SLR and greens.  God help me, I was only nineteen…

John Schumann's unforgettable lyrics about the Vietnam War are etched in our memories. Now, they've been warmly brought to life by one of Australia's best-loved illustrators, Craig Smith.  John Schumann reads his powerful book in front of Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance ready to touch a new generation of younger readers.

(Warning – Themes explored in this book may not be suitable for younger children, please refer to suggested Age Level)


*captions available. 
*included in the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge 7-9 list.
*included in the VIC Premier's Reading Challenge 3-4 list.
*included in the SA Premier's Reading Challenge 6-9 list.



Story Details



    John Schumann


    Craig Smith


    John Schumann


    Allen & Unwin
    Australia, 2014


ANZAC, Australian Theme, Celebration / Event, Courage, Emotions, Grief/Loss, Historical, NSW PRC, SA PRC, VIC PRC

Suitable for

Middle Primary (8-10yrs), Upper Primary (10-12yrs)



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