'The Right Thing to Read': A History of Australian Girl-Readers, 1910-1960 explores the reading habits, identity, and construction of femininity of Australian girls aged between ten and fourteen from 1910 to 1960. It investigates changing notions of Australian girlhood across the period, and explores the ways that parents, teachers, educators, journalists and politicians attempted to mitigate concerns about girls' development through the promotion of 'healthy' literature. The book also addresses the influence of British publishers to Australian girl-readers and the growing importance of Australian publishers throughout the period. It considers the rise of Australian literary nationalism in the global context, and the increasing prominence of Australian literature in the period after the Second World War. It also shows how access to reading material improved for girls over the first half of the last century.
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