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Where? by Jordan Collins & illustrated by Phil Lesnie - Teacher book review & teaching notes.

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

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Today, I would like to acknowledge the Yuggera people as the Traditional Owners of the beautiful land I am standing on today. From the mountains to the river, I open my heart and my eyes as I walk this land, listening, learning and caring for Country. I want to extend this respect to Elders; past, present and emerging and to all First Nations peoples reading this post today. We are all remembered here.


Written by Jordan Collins

Illustrated by Phil Lesnie

Published by Allen & Unwin


Suitable for:

Children aged 8 to 12 years old (year 2 - year 6)


English, history and the arts.

Themes / related topics:

Racism, belonging, inclusivity, diversity, identity.



Review & notes

When I first saw Where?, I knew immediately that this was a children's book I wanted to share with you all, and one that you would be wanted to add to your programs.

As a primary school teacher, I love simplicity! And this question is simple, straight forward, right? I don't think so, not in our world and certainly not in our student's worlds! And that is why Where? is such a valuable resource for us to have in classrooms and embedded into our lessons.

'I am African - American - Greek - Australian' says Jordan, and as a 14 year old girl, Jordan penned Where? as a way for her to 'connect with people who ask these questions and to give hope to other kids like me who have grown up their whole lives feeling othered'.

Where? is a deeply personal slam poem, for middle and upper primary students that shares the complexities, pain and some of the many forms of racism in everyday life, with this one very common everyday question, that hits right to the heart and implies so much more.

"Where are you from? they say.

What they mean is,

'Why is your skin that colour?'

'Why does your hair look like that?' "

I admire the way, Where? gives teachers a unique opportunity to explore and reflect on language, alongside the impacts and harshness that can come with questioning and its place in our communities, conversations and the 'connection' we are looking for through these methods.

Where? dives deep into the heart of; racism, perspectives, diversity and inclusivity, through conversations and a unitedness to come together to create a place of belonging for all of us. Where? does this, through the implied importance of; listening, learning, acknowledging and respecting the presence of those around us, for who they are, and for what and how each of us choose to share.

The simplicity and yet unquestionable depth of Where? makes it a perfect children's book to be shared with year 2 - year 6 students (8 - 12 year olds), with the stunning illustrations by Phil Lesnie, supporting language development and creating such a strong emotional connection to the text, felt through every word read.

Where? is a much needed children's book for all classrooms and is perfect for any teacher looking to diversify their bookshelf and tackle the topic of racism.

More children's books about; identity, belonging, respect, diversity, inclusivity and self confidence:

Free Quick reference book label

Free Miss Gibbs Where? Quick reference book label
Download PDF • 690KB


Your part in our community

I feel so honoured to be able to share all of these incredible resources with you but I also believe it is important for us all to share with each other, to help us grow as teachers and support each other in our individual journeys too. If you found this post helpful, then reach out and share it with a teacher friend or you can share something in the comments to help another member of our incredible teaching community.

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Thank you so much for spending this time with me and for using your time to listen, learn, unlearn and share, together we will make the greatest difference.

And as always, happy embedding!

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