Jackie French AM is an Australian author, historian, ecologist and honourary wombat (part time); 2014–15 Australian Children' Laureate; and 2015 Senior Australian of the Year.
Jackie was born in Sydney grew up on the outskirts of Brisbane, and is still not dead. She has lived for more than 40 years at the top of the gorge in the Araluen Valley, where her ancestors lived too. Only one school she attended burned down. This was not her fault.
Some of Jackie’s books have sold millions of copies and won over 60 awards in Australia and internationally. Others were eaten by the wombats.
Instead of hobbies she has: written over 200 books; built a house and power system; planted thousands of trees; eaten lunches with friends; read to her grandkids; tried to find her glasses; eaten dark chocolates, whatever fruit is in season and the odd feral species (some are very odd). She coined the term ‘moral ominvore’ to describe her diet. There is a dispensation for dark chocolate.
Jackie has studied over 400 wombats and been the (almost) obedient slave to a dozen of them. She is an enthusiastic cook married to an enthusiastic eater. If you visit do not bring cake. It is the duty of a guest to eat. Lots. Then eat some more. If you are worried about calories hike up the mountain and look for endangered species. But you will find more on a bush mooch than a bush walk. Watch out for the eight species of snake. Don’t worry. They’ll also be watching out for you.
Jackie writes for adults, young adults, and even younger humans, on history, ecology, and her award-winning historical fiction for all ages, but... write just one picture book about a wombat and no one lets you forget it. Ever. Please do not mention Diary of a Wombat or the word ‘prolific’. Or the story of how her first book was accepted because a wombat had left its droppings on her typewriter as, after 25 years of repeating it, she is bored.
Jackie is also dyslexic and patron of literacy programmes across Australia with a wide and deep – if accidental – experience in learning differences and methods and their outcomes for students, as well as a passionate advocate for equal-opportunity education. She still can't spell.
The Rights of the Child Reader
1. Every child has the right to learn to read, with the methods they need to do so
2. Every child has the right to access the books they need; for pleasure, learning, empathy and to grow their brains
3. Every child has the right to read books in their mother language, about their own culture
4. Every child has the right to say, ‘This book is boring. May I have another?’
5. Every child has the right to be given books that are free of racism and hatred
6. Every child has the right to access the extraordinary heritage of the written knowledge of humanity
Every adult has the right to know the children of this planet are being given the tools of literacy and the power of books to change the world and ensure our future.
Drawing on her own family history, this is a story from Jackie French about education in Colonial Australia - and how women once had to fight for their right to it.
Sharks circle the stranded ship as Hannah and her family head to a new home in the newly formed nation of Australia. Hannah's father has a new post as the schoolmaster in a larger school in northern NSW, where the school's wealthy patron, a sugar planter called Mr Harris, will give the family a life of comfort and the best society.
But secrets lurk in this subtropical paradise.,,
You can buy a copy here.
As the King of England wavers between duty and love, Sophie knows that she must choose duty.
The year is 1936 and the new King Edward VIII wishes to marry American divorcee, and suspected German agent, Wallis Simpson. Top-secret documents that the king must read and sign are being neglected for weeks, and some are even turning up in Berlin.
And as Germany grows its military might with many thousands of new fighter planes every year, Britain and its empire are under increasing threat.
In the fourth title in the Miss Lily series, Jackie French explores one of the most controversial events in history that saw the unthinkable happen when a king chose love over duty.
You can buy a copy here.
Butter O'Bryan has been told there are ghosts on Howlers Beach, but are there?
Butter O'Bryan lives in a Very Small Castle with his father and three aunts - Aunt Elephant, Aunt Cake and Aunt Peculiar.
And even though Butter is only twelve years old, and the grandson of one of Australia's most successful Jam Kings, he is very aware of the hardship many people are experiencing.
Butter has been told there are ghosts at the nearby isolated Howlers Beach, but are there? And how can the children Butter plays cricket with on the beach simply vanish? Who are these children and why do they refuse his help?
Butter is certain they're hiding a secret and he's determined to uncover it.
You can order a copy here.
Get in touch
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