Duncan Ball Duncan Ball i(A26356 works by)
Also writes as: John St Claire
Born: Established: 1941 Boston, Massachusetts,
United States of America (USA),
Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1974
Heritage: American
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Duncan Ball spent his childhood in Boston, Massachusetts and Alaska in the USA and then in Spain where his father was posted with the US Army. Returning to Boston, Ball completed high school and briefly studied civil engineering before moving to France to study at the Sorbonne. In Paris he mixed in social circles with writers Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, and photographer Man Ray. After ten months Ball returned to the USA, gained a degree in mathematics from Boston University and took up a position with Johnson & Johnson as an industrial chemist.

Following his move to Australia Ball found work as an editor with the New South Wales Education Department's School Magazine. It was here that he began to write for children. In addition to the indexed works, Ball has also written school readers for children.

Source: 'The Face : Duncan Ball : Children's Book Author, Reformed Party Boy', by Jodie Minus, The Weekend Australian, 13-14 August 2005.

Most Referenced Works


  • For information about this author's works for children not included in AustLit, see Australian Children's Books by Marcie Muir and Kerry White (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1992-2003).

On the Web

Personal Awards

2004 joint winner KOALA Awards Legend with Paul Jennings (q.v.).

Awards for Works

Selby's Shemozzle 2005 single work children's fiction children's

'Duncan Ball's Selby books have repeatedly been winners of 'children's choice' book awards. Selby - the only talking dog in Australia, and perhaps the world - returns with more stories to entertain and amuse in the thirteenth book of the series. Between being coated in chocolate and almost eaten by those horrible brats Willy and Billy, falling in love with the world's first talking cat, pretending to be a seeing-eye dog and maybe - just maybe - changing the recipe of Dry-Mouth Dog Biscuits, Selby is in a right shemozzle. But the biggest shemozzle of all is when he becomes invisible... This hilarious collection of stories in the bestselling Selby series is guaranteed to leave you gasping with laughter. Ages 7-12' (Publisher's blurb)

2006 winner YABBA Fiction for Younger Readers
Emily Eyefinger and the Balloon Bandits Eyespy Emily Eyefinger , 2003 single work children's fiction children's adventure

'Seventh in the enormously popular Emily Eyefinger series. A charity is raising money to help save the rainforest by selling rides in a hot air balloon. Emily and her friends donate money to the charity and so they, too, get a chance to ride in the balloon. Sitting in the bottom of the basket is a metal box that holds the day's takings. As Emily is climbing out of the basket at the end of her flight, three masked people jump in and make off with the balloon and the cash. Emily is still hanging on to the ladder and is carried away with them. Somehow Emily must survive the flight and catch the robbers. But how? Ages 7+' (Publisher's blurb)

2003 shortlisted Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction Children's Division Short Fiction
Last amended 8 Dec 2016 13:07:13
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