Reading Tracks Logo

Culturally appropriate fishing, tracking and hunting stories come to life in the exciting new Reading Tracks®.

The learn-to-read series of 22 books were designed originally for Indigenous learners, Middle School age and older, but are being used successfully in early childhood as well.

Developed collaboratively by Indigenous Elders, students, community members, 12 illustrators and author Margaret James.

Introduction to Reading Tracks®

The series consists of an initial 15 colourful books, brilliantly illustrated, that start at the very beginning of a learner’s reading journey.  Book 1 introduces the reader to 9 words, which gradually progresses to 154 words by Book 15.

Then 7 more advanced books round off the series – offering more able readers interesting, culturally relevant and informative stories. Each story has been developed with sound pedagogy and in collaboration with Elders.

The books include:

  • Stories relating to traditional Indigenous cultural food-gathering practices: fishing for barramundi; tracking and hunting for emus, perenties, kangaroos, echidnas and goannas; and digging for witchetty grubs and honey ants
  • A story about the first Alice Springs Camel Cup, amusingly told by Luritja/Arranda man and camel musterer, Vincent Forrester
  • A San hunting story set in Southern Africa, by popular request

Join Reading Tracks® on a cultural journey through the beautiful landscapes of the Australian central deserts and the northern rivers, oceans and islands, with a bonus hunting trip into Southern Africa with the San people.

More about Reading Tracks®

Reading Tracks® books grew out of a desire to provide relevant and culturally affirming stories for older Indigenous literacy learners - books that would engage and excite them.

At the same time, the creators of the series hope that all young Australians will learn  from the First Australians’ ancient cultures and practices of food gathering - from tracking and hunting in the central deserts to fishing on the coast.

The Elders involved in the development of these books, and the many students who wanted to share their stories, expressed their desire to have books about true stories, fishing, traditional bush tucker skills, and the old ways of tracking and hunting.

In order to achieve this, Margaret James worked very closely with Elders and students, going on bush trips and yarning about tracking, hunting and fishing for many hours, to ensure that the stories were culturally accurate. Elders edited the books to confirm that they were appropriate for publication, and students gave their feedback after reading them.

Reading Tracks 15 Book Set Sale!

Complete Set of Reading Tracks® Books 1 to 15 plus Activity Books, supporting the learning

Original price was: $240.00.Current price is: $230.00. inc. GST

Reading Tracks® progressive learn-to-read book titles

  1. 3 men hunt
  2. The men get the bull
  3. A snake in the tree
  4. Get the echidna
  5. A goanna in the sand
  6. Honey in the honey ants
  7. The kids get a big goanna
  8. I hunt a big kangaroo
  9. Digging for witchetty grubs
  10. Cooking kangaroo
  11. Big mob echidnas
  12. Hunting for a big Perentie
  13. Tracking camels
  14. Catch a barra
  15. Father Emu runs from the hunter

Activity Book 1 to 5; Activity Book 6 to 10; Activity Book 11 to 15.

(Books 1 to 15 are not sold individually. If you require individual replacement copies, please email us on

Reading Tracks® Set (7 More Advanced Readers) Sale!

Reading Tracks® Set of 7 advanced books with matching Activity Books

Original price was: $192.00.Current price is: $170.00. inc. GST

Gain insight into ancient cultural knowledge and skills, passed down the generations for millennia. Designed to engage learners of Middle School age and older.

There are summaries of the 7 books below

Book 2: The First Camel Cup

The First Camel Cup

$24.95 inc. GST

A true story as told by one of the camel trackers himself, the gifted story teller, Vincent Forrester. This book is a tale of buckin’ camels, roarin’ land rovers and judo-punchin’ musterers in the outback of Australia in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

By: Margaret James, Vincent Forrester, Jayo Stenz (Illustrator)

Size: A4 Landscape    ISBN: 9781925855180    Number of pages: 24

Enjoy listening to Sarah Snook reading our The First Camel Cup book!

Book 3: Tracking and Hunting Inarlenge (Echidna)

Tracking and Hunting Inarlenge (Echidna)

$24.95 inc. GST

A mum and her family go tracking echidnas amongst anthills and spinifex grass. With the help of an old tobacco tin and the sun’s reflection, Mum is able see into the echidna’s dark hideaway.
The reader is taken through the traditional methods of catching and preparing the meat in detail – accompanied by colourful, humorous illustrations.

By: Margaret James, Wendy Paterson (Illustrator)

Size: A4 Landscape    ISBN: 9781925855166    Number of pages: 20

Tracking and Hunting Eland

Tracking and Hunting Eland

$24.95 inc. GST

Four San men, in Southern Africa, track and hunt an Eland bull, large enough to feed all their families.
Gain insight into their ancient knowledge and skills, passed down the generations for millennia.

BY: Margaret James, Geoff Higgs

Size: A4 Landscape    ISBN: 9781925002959    Number of pages: 28

Book 5: Tracking and Hunting Ruumiya (Goanna)

Tracking and Hunting Ruumiya (Goanna)

$24.95 inc. GST

A family go hunting for a goanna on a wintery desert day, helped by their very exuberant dog and his thorny devil friend. Enjoy learning how to catch a goanna, detailed in humorous, colourful illustrations with everyday English, while traveling through the beautiful landscapes of the Western and Central Australian Deserts.

Listen to Senior Elder, MK Turner OAM, talking to author Margaret James about hunting for goannas. MK Turner is an invaluable mentor to Reading Tracks.  Watch the details of eating the goanna fat!

By: Margaret James, Jesse Young (Illustrator)

Size: A4 Landscape    ISBN: 9781925855173    Number of pages: 24

Barramundi Fishing Story Arlaminga

$24.95 inc. GST

A group of 4 young cousin-brothers go on a barramundi fishing adventure early one morning, to be tested by a croc, a hungry eagle, the weather and – in some cases – a lack of fishing skills!

By: Margaret James. Illustrators: Anne McMaster, Jayden Alimankinni, Ruby Brooks, Crystal Butler, Martine Puruntatameri, Maletta Warrior Rioli, Demaga Warrior.

Size: A4 Landscape    ISBN: 9781925855159     Number of pages: 32

Listen here to the Tiwi words from the Arlaminga book read by Marion Fernando Ullungura, a senior student at Tiwi College.

Arlaminga =        Barramundi

Yirrikipayi =        Crocodile

Wunijaka =         North West Wind

Pakitiringa =       Rain

Pumurali =          Lightening

Pumwanyinga = Thunder

Jamutakari =       The Wet Season

Book 6: Hunting Kangaroo

Hunting Aherre (Kangaroo)

$19.95 inc. GST

Two cousins and their uncle go tracking and hunting for kangaroo early one hot morning. Big cousin nervously shoots his first-ever kangaroo. Full of pride, they take it back to their camp, where their very proud great-grandparents teach the cousins how to prepare and cook it. The reader is taken through the traditional methods of catching and preparing the meat in detail – accompanied by colourful, humorous illustrations.

By: Margaret James, Wendy Paterson (Illustrator)

Size: A5 portrait    ISBN: 9781925855197    Number of pages: 32

Book 7: Hunting Ilia (Emu)

Hunting Ilia (Emu)

$19.95 inc. GST

Father Emu protectively sits on his eggs, and after they hatch he teaches the chicks how to find food, while being on the lookout for predators. One day a skilled hunter follows Father Emu’s tracks and no amount of speed or caution can protect him…

By: Margaret James, Marjorie WilliamsCoralie Williams. Illustrated by: Marjorie Williams

Size: A5 landscape    ISBN: 9781925855203    Number of pages: 28

Reading Tracks® Author, Illustrators, Storytellers and Activity Book contributors

Quotes about Reading Tracks® from Elders & Teachers

The books are really good. The Elders really like the books. We really want the books and we are proud of them. It’s really good about tracking and hunting.

Marjorie Nyunga Williams, Western Arrernte Elder

I really admire all these books.

We need books like this now because we only see books for children. This is for adult people to see and learn quicker.

I think these books are really good. I really want family to read and learn from these books which is really special to us.

Margaret Kemarre K Turner OAM, Senior Arrernte Elder

Culture is starting to fade away with kids growing up only in town.  These books work

to connect them back to country. Makes it more powerful, you’ve got both ways in these


Benedict Kngwarraye Stevens. Senior Central Arrernte Elder, Traditional Owner of Alice Springs.

On behalf of my clan group, Tiwi, I welcome this book.

It’ll be right for our students and families to read and learn from this arlaminga book.

It’s good for our young people to hear it and to learn from it, because they go out fishing with family and cousins for bush holiday.

I’ll welcome kids in other parts of Australia to read this book that our Tiwi kids illustrated.

Benita Tipiloura: Tiwi Elder

Awana...Hello and welcome. My Name is Jennifer Ullungura Clancy. I am a Traditional Owner of the  Mantiyumpi  land Owning Group where the Tiwi College is built.

I am excited to help launch this book for the Tiwi students and the wider Australian public to learn some stories about Tiwi life from the eyes of our Tiwi kids.

I fully support the publication of this book, as part of the Reading Tracks collection, and congratulate the students of Tiwi College on their wonderful illustrations.

Jennifer Ullungura Clancy Tiwi Traditional Owner and Senior Elder

At last, an exciting, unique collection of books that makes learning to read a reality for the older student. Each book uses instantly relatable, authentic themes coupled with beautiful illustrations which encourage rich conversation and meaningful discussion. The older student is effortlessly enticed to want to learn to read. Thank you for closing the gap.’

Not Indig: Elizabeth Bishop, Senior Teacher, Yirara College, NT

Margaret Kemarre Turner and Margaret James
Margaret Kemarre Turner and Margaret James
Daisy Ward and Marg
Daisy Ward and Margaret James

Newspaper Articles

Reading Tracks – New books for older Indigenous learners- hits the news!

Jun 16, 2020
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The Senior (WA): Literacy on Track article

The Senior: Literacy on Track

Mar 26, 2019

Please click here to view The Senior publication containing the Literacy on Track article.

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Katherine Times New Series to Close Reading Gap

The Katherine Times covers Reading Tracks

Nov 14, 2018

Roxanne Fitzgerald from the Katherine Times reported recently on Reading Tracks. Full article here: New Series to Close The Reading Gap Roxanne Fitzgerald October 29 2018 A new series of 22 books aimed at older, Indigenous students are helping to ‘close the gap’ when it comes to encouraging teenagers who are behind their peers in…

Read More

Our Grateful Thanks

All the wonderful, knowledgeable young men and women who shared their fantastic tracking, hunting and fishing experiences

with us, especially:







































The staff and students from the schools who shared with us their opinions on topics for the Reading Tracks® books
in the early stages, shared their tracking, hunting and fishing experiences to assist us with content, and
gave us important feedback on the books in the later stages of their production. Their support and encouragement
were invaluable. They include:

Yirara College, Alice Springs, NT

Tiwi College, Melville Island, Tiwi Islands, NT

Ngaanyatjarra Lands School, WA

Marrara Christian College, Darwin, NT

St Philip’s College, Alice Springs, NT

Kormilda College (Haileybury Rendall) Darwin, NT

Alice Outcomes, Alice Springs, NT

St John’s Catholic College, Darwin, NT

Our many cultural advisors for sharing the wealth of their cultural knowledge and experience with us,
and for their enormous, and on-going support and encouragement, especially:

Margaret Kemarre Turner OAM

Benedict Kngwarraye Stevens

Marjorie Nyunga Williams

Jennifer Inkamala

Jennifer Ullungura Clancy

Lizzie Marrkilyi Ellis

Mervyn Japanangka Rubuntja

Amelia Kngwarreye Turner

Benita Tipiloura

Coralie Nampitjimpa Williams

Daisy Tjupamtarri Ward

Rhonda Inkamala

Trudy Inkamala

Vincent Forrester