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Columnist, scriptwriter and award-winning children's author Morris Gleitzman was born in England in 1953 and migrated to Australia with his parents when he was sixteen years old. After completing a course in professional writing at the Canberra College of Advanced Education (now the University of Canberra), Gleitzman began his writing career in television. Among his television credits are the Norman Gunston Show, and two series for children, Winners and More Winners.
This successful 'taste' of writing for children (including an AWGIE Award for Best Original Children's Script in 1985 for The Other Facts of Life) led Gleitzman to publish his first novel - an adaptation of the script - in 1985.
Gleitzman's background in scriptwriting can be seen by the use of strong dialogue and action in his novels as a means of illustrating the characters' interior world. The use of humour as an engaging vehicle for serious themes is another hallmark of his work. These characteristics are embodied in all of his work for children, including his award-winning Two Weeks with the Queen (Family Award, 1990), Misery Guts (Honour Book, Children's Book Council of Australia, 1992) and Blabbermouth (Honour Book, CBCA, 1993; CROW Award, 1993; BILBY Award, 1993). Gleitzman's protagonists are contemporary, young, and all have to find some way of dealing with problems in their lives. These problems, which Gleitzman handles with both sensitivity and irreverent humour, range from the illness of a brother with cancer (Two Weeks with the Queen), to parents' depression (Misery Guts). Gleitzman has won numerous awards for his work, and his novels have been consistent winners in children's choice literary awards.
A number of Gleitzman's works have been successfully adapted to the stage: Two Weeks with the Queen (Mary Morris, 1992), Blabbermouth (Mary Morris, 1993), and Boy Overboard (Patricia Cornelius, 2005). In 1998, three of his works (Misery Guts, Worry Warts, and Puppy Fat) were adapted for the thirteen-episode television series Misery Guts.
For a number of years Gleitzman also wrote a column for the Sydney Morning Herald, later published as Gleitzman on Saturday. As well as his own novels, Gleitzman has collaborated with fellow children's author Paul Jennings on recent work, including the Wicked! series. Their Deadly! series was adapted for the screen by SLR Productions and the Nine Network in 2006.
Gleitzman was announced as the 2018-2019 Australian Children's Laureate.
(i) CA lists a novel for young people 'Poms' (1990); this has not been traced and it is doubtful that it was ever published, at least under that title (ii) OXAC incorrectly lists Gleitzman's given name as 'Maurice'.
Voted number 26 in the Booktopia Top 50 Favourite Australian Authors for 2018
Morris Gleitzman was chosen for the Australia Post 2019 Australian Legends of Children's Literature stamp issue .
yMaybeMelbourne:Viking,2017115725472017single work children's fiction historical fiction
'1946. Europe is in ruins. Millions of people dream of finding happiness somewhere else.
'Fourteen year old Felix is one of them. When he’s offered a journey to Australia, he seizes the opportunity. So does someone very dear to him, even though she wasn’t actually invited.
'They have high hopes for Australia, and their dramatic arrival there makes them want to stay. But before Felix and Anya can embrace the love and friendship of their new land, they must confront the murderous urge for revenge still alive in the old.
'Felix knows he hasn’t faced anything like this before.
'He may not survive, but he’s hoping he will. Maybe.'
ySnot ChocolateMelbourne:Penguin,201695935512016selected work short story children's
'A collection of short stories in the popular style of Morris's Give Peas a Chance and Pizza Cake - except, of course, even funnier! In the title story, a kid struggles to save the career and reputation of a parent afflicted with chronic unconscious nose-picking.' (Publication summary)