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Jackie French Jackie French i(A7058 works by) (a.k.a. Jacqueline French; Jacqueline Anne French)
Born: Established: 1953 Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
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BiographyHistory

Jackie French was born in Sydney and grew up in Brisbane, completing her education at the University of Queensland. In her early twenties she moved to a property in the Araluen Valley on the edge of the Deua wilderness, New South Wales, and later developed a career as a writer.

French's books for children and young adults have been well-received, winning many awards, including several from the Children's Book Council of Australia. Her works regularly appear on the Kids Own Australian Literature Awards (KOALA) and Young Australian Best Book Awards (YABBA) shortlists which are nominated by readers. She has spoken numerous times to groups of children and adults, and has frequently run writing workshops. Her writing and workshops often combine her concern for social issues with her love of nature.

French has published many gardening books and has been a columnist for Women's Weekly, Earth Garden, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Sunday Canberra Times. She appeared regularly on the television show Burke's Backyard. Her garden forms a significant part of her professional website, on which she describes herself as an author and ecologist.

French has been the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Children's Ambassador, and patron of several of organisations including Cool Club (an ACT library program to encourage children to read), At Home with Books (a program to encourage reading with foster children) and Wildcare (a project that looks after injured wildlife). She has also been a director of The Wombat Foundation.

French was the 2011 National Literacy Ambassador for National Literacy and Numeracy Week. In late 2013, she was selected as the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2014-2015. In 2015, she was Senior Australian of the Year. She has been the ACT Children’s Week Ambassador, 2011 Federal Literacy Ambassador, patron of Books for Kids, YESS, joint patron of Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People with Susanne Gervais and Morris Gleitzman, and a director of The Wombat Foundation.

Most Referenced Works

Notes

  • Voted number 18 in the Booktopia Top 50 Favourite Australian Authors for 2018

Personal Awards

2016 winner Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) The Pixie O'Harris Award
2016 recipient Order of Australia Member of the Order of Australia (AM) For significant service to literature as an author of children's books, and as an advocate for improved youth literacy.
2015 winner ALIA Awards Redmond Barry Award

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Fire Wombat Sydney : HarperCollins Australia , 2020 20732875 2020 single work picture book children's

'As the bushfire swallowed up the world they knew, a wombat shared her burrow with other animals.

'As the flames of a bushfire approach, one small wombat shelters with other animals in her burrow. But that is just the beginning of their journey to safety.

'Based on events witnessed by Australian Children's Laureate Jackie French during the 2020 fires, and co-created with award-winning illustrator Danny Snell, this is a story of courage, compassion and survival, which saw people across Australia come together to save our wildlife from devastation.' (Publication summary)

2021 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book Picture Books
2021 longlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Children's Picture Book of the Year
y separately published work icon The Schoolmaster's Daughter Sydney : HarperCollins Australia , 2020 18586978 2020 single work children's fiction children's historical fiction

'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.

'January 1901

'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. From the moment Hannah's mother rebels against her husband's refusal to let Jamie, the Pacific Islander boy who rescues them from their shipwreck, into his school, the facade crumbles. Mr Harris's fortune is built on slavery and the whip. And the new Federal government's first law demands that all Pacific islanders - even those born in Australia - be deported. If Mr Harris learns of the secret school that Hannah's mother is running, it will mean ruin, violence, and possibly even death.

'Hannah and Jamie must fight for Jamie's right to stay in the land he loves, and for their rights to education and equality.

'Can the friendship and love of two young people win against such prejudice and power?' (Publication summary)

2021 longlisted Book Links Award for Historical Fiction
y separately published work icon The Ghost of Howlers Beach Sydney South : HarperCollins Australia , 2020 17540632 2020 single work children's fiction children's historical fiction

'Butter O'Bryan has been told there are ghosts on Howlers Beach, but are there?

'Howlers Beach, 1932

'Butter O'Bryan lives in a Very Small Castle with his father and his three aunts - Aunt Elephant, Aunt Cake and Aunt Peculiar. These aren't their real names, of course, just as Butter's father isn't really called 'Pongo'.

'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.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2021 shortlisted Davitt Award Best Children's Novel
Last amended 13 Feb 2020 10:55:36
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