Aussie Kid Heroes

Aussie Kid Heroes, in Guinness Book of Records style, tells the remarkable true stories of some of Australia’s youngest heroes in science, the arts, sports, and life.

Click Here To Download The Preview

This book, in Guinness Book of Records style, tells the remarkable true stories of some of Australia’s youngest heroes.

At different times and in different ways, these brave, clever, adventurous, creative, athletic, caring or enterprising young Australians have done something amazing.

The stories are accompanied by quirky cartoon illustrations that will amuse children.

The book includes a range of incredible stories from the 18th Century to the present day.


16-year-old Grace Bussell and young Aboriginal stockman Sam Isaacs saved 40 out of 48 people in 1876 after the Georgette was shipwrecked off the Western Australia coast…

At the age of 14, Melinda Tubolec won a trip to the United States to spend five days in an astronaut-training program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). During the program Melinda won awards for her innovative space station designs and simulated space shuttle missions…

On his first try to scale Mount Everest (the world’s highest mountain), Christopher Harris became the youngest person to climb above 7,000 metres. Christopher started mountaineering with his dad Richard at just eight years of age. Since then, Christopher has won the Australian Geographic’s Young Adventurer of the Year award…

Justin Kroh has been blind since he was five years old. However, he entered and won the 1993 UNICEF Art Award when he was 11. Justin’s collage, titled How the Crocodile Got to Like Fish, was judged the best overall entry from a total of 4,890 entries from 254 schools.


[Read more on GoogleBooks]

eNews 39: Di Bates about Aussie Kid Heroes

Check out Marjory Gardner’s website.

Dianne Bates

Wollongong author, Di Bates has written over 90 books for the trade and educational markets. Her most recent children’s books are The Hold-Up Heroes (Museum of Australia), Big Bad Bruce (Koala Books) and Crossing the Line (Ford Street Publishing). Some of Di’s books have won national and state awards, and have sold overseas in translation. She has also been awarded grants and fellowships from the Literature Board of the Australia Council. Di has worked as an editor for children’s magazines and for a provincial newspaper. She currently works as a freelance writer and compiler of Buzz Words. She is married to award-winning children’s author, Bill Condon.

Marjory Gardner

Marjory Gardner is a freelance children’s book illustrator whose work has appeared in a wide range of trade and educational books and magazines published in Australia and internationally.


Wednesday, 11.30 pm. My dad’s driving Anna and me home from our school performance of High School Musical when we hear ‘eeeeooowwww… eeeeooowwww’.

‘Fire!’ Dad pulls over.

A red and silver truck swerves and races past us like a bad-tempered rhino.

Anna starts up and cries, ‘It’s heading into our street.’

My heart gives a giant hiccup.

What if Anna’s house is on fire?

Dad waits for the fire truck to disappear around the corner before following it into Grandview Avenue. Another fire truck and a police car are already outside Number 3.

‘Not us.’ Anna’s sigh of relief fills the car. ‘But it’s right next door.’

No doubt about it. Flames shooting out of the cypress hedge bordering next-door’s garden light up the sky like a giant beacon.

We spring out to join the watching crowd.

Four firemen holding thick grey hoses are pouring water onto the hedge. But it’s already too late. As the fire dies down, we see that where once a wall of carefully trimmed cypress trees fenced off next-door’s mansion, all that’s left are smoking stumps and the acrid smell of burnt sap and charred wood.

Anna’s neighbours, some in dressing gowns and slippers as if they’ve just crawled out of bed, are trying to avoid the puddles made by the firemen’s hoses.

Anna says softly, ‘There’s Robert and Diana Nelson.’

‘Course… it’s their hedge,’ I murmur. Somehow being in at the death of such a splendid old hedge, it seems only respectful to whisper. ‘Anna, where’s Jack? Shouldn’t he be here too?’

She shakes her head. ‘He’s got a new motorbike and he’s hardly ever home.’

‘Lucky him.’ I try not to show my envy. ‘When did he get it?’

Too late. Anna is rushing over to talk to her dad. She comes back to report, ‘That blaze was real dangerous. Mum says if the pumpers hadn’t turned up in time, the flames could’ve spread to both our houses.’

M is getting impatient. I take him out of my pocket and pop him onto my shoulder. We hang around watching three firemen pack up. Under the street light the fourth is deep in conversation with two policemen. One cop is seriously huge. Beneath his leather jacket his biceps bulge, and his long nose and beady eyes remind me of a pelican. The other is small and sleek, more like a greyhound.

My gaze swings across the soggy footpath to the Nelsons, who own the house behind the burnt hedge. Diana Nelson is in a shiny gold robe and matching high-heel mules. I always think of her as a glamorous stick-insect. Robert Nelson is still in a business suit as if he’s just got home from work. His face is redder than usual. Bad-tempered bulls don’t like their property being fired.

I ask, ‘Who called the fire station?’

‘Don’t know. But maybe my dad?’ Anna points to red-haired, foxy-bearded Alex Simpson who is busy consoling sexy-stick-insect Diana.

‘Do the Nelsons know who started it?’

‘Not!’ But Anna’s eyes glitter like they do when something interests her. I know what it is. Anna’s keen on solving crimes. Nothing could stoke her more than finding out who started this fire. But as she always expects me to help in her investigations, before she can even suggest it I cry, ‘No way!’

Her green gaze turns on me. ‘No way what, Zach?’

‘No way am I hunting a firebug.’ I keep my voice firm.

‘Setting fire to stuff… that’s really serious. Shouldn’t we find out who did it so we can stop them lighting more?’

Thankfully, my dad decides that we’ve had enough for one night and beckons me to his car. As I can never think of good excuses to get out of things when it comes to Anna, I’m so relieved. ‘See you tomorrow,’ I call and make my escape.

Anna’s been crazy about detective work ever since Year 5 when she reckoned this kid Darryn was pinching materials from the Art and Design Block and she wanted me to follow him. When I said no, she called me ‘wimp’, ‘wuss’, ‘sook’, and other stuff I won’t repeat. In the end I gave in. It turned out she was right, and since then there’s been no stopping her.

Don’t get me wrong. We’ve been best mates ever since kindergarten. It’s just that hunting for hedge-burners isn’t my top priority. Right now I’ve got too much else to worry about.

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A

Ebook, PB


ePub, PB, pdf

Customer Reviews

1-5 of 2 reviews

  • IP (Interactive Publications Pty Ltd)

    Heroes inspire others in many different ways—through their bravery, creativity, resourcefulness or skill. However, as Dianne Bates shows in her new book Aussie Kid Heroes, you don’t have to be Superman or even an adult to be a hero.

    Aussie Kid Heroes, Bates’ 101st book, delves into the achievements of Australian children throughout history. There is something for everyone. The book is divided into 12 sections of interest, canvassing different areas of excellence. These include Brave Kids, Artists, Caring Kids, Clever Kids and Ambassadors.

    And there’s no doubt about it, these kids are amazing. Two examples of the hundreds in the book are 13-year-old Arthur Shepherd who, responsible for raising his nine siblings, supported them, and eventually half of his town, by mining for gold in an abandoned shaft; or Allison McGuirk who began the ‘Just Say No’ drug campaign.

    Reluctant readers should find the layout of Aussie Kid Heroes attractive. Bates writes in a clear and uncomplicated manner. The short, easy to read snippets are punctuated by Marjory Gardner’s humorous black-and-white illustrations. A bibliography at the end of the book provides a reference for further reading.

    Aussie Kid Heroes celebrates children. It highlights that children can make a difference in the world whether it be by utilising their gifts or acting in a time of crisis. Children of all ages (and adults) will be fascinated by the stories told within Aussie Kid Heroes. Some may be inspired to harness their abilities and follow their dreams.

    – Vicki Stanton, Buzz Words

    July 12, 2023
  • IP (Interactive Publications Pty Ltd)

    Dianne Bates has compiled a well-researched and excellent mix of entries for her excellent Aussie Kid Heroes. As the name suggests, the book is all about true, amazing and astonishing feats of heroism, courage, strength, abilities and other admirable traits, of children. They come under twelve different headings with a rich bibliography for anyone interested in further reading or research.

    It opens with an heroic story from Brave Kids, about sixteen-year-old Grace Bussell and Aboriginal stockman Sam Isaacs who in 1876, saved 40 people that were shipwrecked on the West Australian coast.

    Inventors and Designers includes, along with lots of other true tales, the story of a 14 year-old flag designer who was joint winner in a competition in 1901, in which over 30,000 people entered. An 11 year-old invented a Pool Alarm System, and a 12 year-old devised an electronically operated watering system to protect trees from frost bite. To make cooking easier for disabled people, a nine-year-old created a three-geared, Super Turbo Mixer – an automatic pot stirrer that stirs cooking pots of liquid.

    Included are the modern success stories of Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Kate Richie and Claudia Karvan. There is the tale of a one-handed pianist, sport stories, and tales of enterprising kids that made great wealth from ideas they’d thought up. There is the moving and inspirational story of disabled champion athlete, Anne Curie, born without legs and a deformed right hand, who till four years-old was a State ward in a children’s home.

    Then there are Caring Kids, a series of moving entries about heroic children who became the caregivers either to large families, and/or sick or disabled parents or siblings.

    This is a rich, informative collection of modern and older stories that will interest, inspire and move readers deeply about children, known and unknown, who left their mark in some extraordinary and individual way on the world. Full of interesting facts, not a word is wasted within the 118 pages. This is a priceless addition to any bookshelf.

    – Anastasia Gonis, The Reading Stack

    July 12, 2023

Write a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *