AustLit logo
David Metzenthen David Metzenthen i(A7658 works by)
Born: Established: 1958 Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Male
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


After completing his schooling in Melbourne, Metzenthen travelled to New Zealand where he worked in a range of jobs including gardener, grave-digger and hotel porter. On his return to Australia, Metzenthen worked as a copywriter for Radio 3DB, for Grundy Television and for Myer. He then decided to pursue writing full-time. Metzenthen's books found a ready market among primary school aged and adolescent readers. His stories combine an easy-to-read writing style with an ability to use his life experiences.

Most Referenced Works


  • Metzenthen has also written readers for the Supa Dooper series.

Awards for Works

Dreaming the Enemy 2016 single work novel young adult war literature

'Two young Vietnam War veterans who fought on opposing sides return home, struggling to recover from their experience. A moving story of trauma, resilience and the challenging road to recovery.

'I am still moving despite the fact that this dreamed-up bastard Khan walks with me - no, he doesn't walk with me, he rises up to fire, has my life in his hands, my head in his sights, and that is the image of all images that I have somehow to lose.

'Johnny Shoebridge has just returned from fighting in the jungles of Vietnam. He no longer carries a weapon - only photos of the dead and a dread of the living.

'Pursued by a Viet Cong ghost-fighter called Khan, Johnny makes one last stand - knowing that if he cannot lay this spectre to rest, he will remain a prisoner of war for ever.

'Drawing on courage, loyalty and love, Johnny tries to find a way back from the nightmare of war to a sense of hope for the future.

'A deeply moving exploration of trauma and recovery.' (Publication summary)

2016 winner Queensland Literary Awards Young Adult Book Award
One Minute's Silence 2014 single work picture book children's

'In one minute of silence you can imagine sprinting up the beach in Gallipoli in 1915 with the fierce fighting Diggers, but can you imagine standing beside the brave battling Turks as they defended their homeland from the cliffs above...

'In the silence that follows a war long gone, you can see what the soldiers saw, you can feel what the soldiers felt. And if you try, you might be able to imagine the enemy, and see that he is not so different from you...

'In One Minute's Silence, you are the story, and the story is yours - to imagine, remember and honour the brothers in arms on both sides of the conflict, heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives.

'A moving and powerful reflection on the meaning of Remembrance Day.' (Publication summary)

2016 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Children's Books
2016 shortlisted Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Award for Children's Literature
2015 shortlisted 'The Nib': CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature Anzac Centenary Prize for Literature
2015 winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Children's Fiction
2015 shortlisted Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Crichton Award
2015 honour book Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Picture Book of the Year
2015 shortlisted West Australian Young Readers' Book Award Picture Books
Tigerfish 2014 single work novel

'Better in here, they think. Safe and sound. No shocks and no surprises. Twenty-one degrees Celsius all year round.

But outside Sky Point Mall, no one is safe.

Ryan Lanyon lives in a tough suburb. His brother's a bouncer. His best mate owns weapons. Ariel works in a surf shop and has never seen the sea. And the year that lies ahead is a minefield for them all.' Source: Penguin Books Australia

2014 shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards Young Adult Book Award
Last amended 27 Mar 2017 11:25:24
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: