AustLit logo
Belinda Murrell Belinda Murrell i(A96750 works by)
Gender: Female
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.

BiographyHistory

Children's author.

Murrell began publishing in 2006 with the Sun Sword series: high fantasy adventure for children. In 2009, she began a loose series of what would become perhaps her best-known genre: time slip, in which contemporary heroines are drawn into the past through the intervention of an object, such as The Locket of Dreams or The Lost Sapphire. Murrell continues to write time-slip fiction: The Lost Sapphire, the most recent instalment, was a Children's Book Council of Australia notable book in 2017 and earlier works in this genre have won Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards, and been shortlisted for the Davitt Award, the KOALA Award, and the YABBA Award. Murrell discussed her time-slip novels in a column called 'Ghosts, Timeslip and Talismans' in 2011.

Murrell's other long-running series includes the thirteen-volume Lulu Bell series: the positive depictions of caring for animals in the series saw the sixth instalment, Lulu Bell and the Sea Turtle, shortlisted for the Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature.

In 2017, Murrell began a new series, Pippa's Island.

Belinda Murrell is the sister of Kate Forsyth. They are direct descendants of Charlotte Barton.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Searching for Charlotte: The Fascinating Story of Australia's First Children's Author Canberra : National Library of Australia , 2020 20791476 2020 single work biography

'For almost 140 years, the author of Australia’s first book for children was a mystery. Known only by the description ‘a Lady Long Resident in New South Wales’, she was the subject of much speculation. It was not until 1980, after a decade of sleuthing, that legendary bibliographer Marcie Muir gave her a name: Charlotte Waring Atkinson. And not only a name, but an extensive creative family history, connecting her to two of the nation’s celebrated contemporary children’s writers, Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell.

'To Forsyth and Murrell, Atkinson (also known as Barton) is great-great-great-great grandmother and the subject of the stories they grew up on—part of a thread of creative women that runs through the history of their family. Hers is one of the great lost stories of Australian history: a tale of love, grief, violence and triumph in the face of overwhelming odds.

'After spending half her life educating the children of the well-to-do in England, in 1826, at 30 years of age, Charlotte Waring accepted a job on the other side of the world. She was to teach the children of Maria Macarthur, daughter of former New South Wales governor Philip Gidley King. But on the voyage, love diverted her to a different future: marriage to the eligible James Atkinson meant she spent just seven short months with her charges. What followed were years of hardship in the New South Wales bush, including the death of Atkinson and her subsequent marriage to an abusive drunk, a brutal attack by bushrangers, penury and the threat of having her children taken away.

'In Searching for Charlotte, Forsyth and Murrell tell Charlotte’s story along with that of their own journey to discover her. In an intriguing account, the sisters join the reader in reacting to Charlotte’s actions: wondering what could have motivated certain choices; admiring the strength of spirit that pushed Charlotte through turmoil in the Australian colonies; and reviling attitudes that were common to the mid-1800s but are abhorrent in the twentieth century.

'The extraordinary, long-buried life story of Australia’s earliest published children’s author, Searching for Charlotte combines elements of biography, recreation of history and rediscovery of family history. It is a sometimes confronting but ultimately heartwarming journey into the story of a family with writing in its blood.' (Publisher's abstract)

2021 longlisted Indie Awards Nonfiction
y separately published work icon Camp Castaway Sydney : Random House Australia , 2018 13834040 2018 single work children's fiction children's

'The students in class 5M are heading off to school camp. Pippa has never been away on camp before, at least not to a deserted tropical island! The Sassy Sisters look forward to five blissful days together exploring Shipwreck Island’s beaches and lagoon. But when the teams get regrouped, Pippa has to learn to cooperate with Olivia and the other girls.

'Mrs Marshall promised challenges and adventure, but she forgot to mention the pranks. After one too many of the boys’ tricks, the girls decide to take their revenge.

'Will class 5M survive Camp Castaway?' (Publication summary)

2019 shortlisted West Australian Young Readers' Book Award Younger Readers
y separately published work icon The Beach Shack Cafe Melbourne : Penguin Random House Australia , 2017 11453700 2017 single work children's fiction children's

'Pippa has just arrived at a new school, in a new town, and even living on a gorgeous island isn’t cheering her up. Her arrival causes ripples at Kira Island Primary School – but Pippa soon starts to make friends with eco-warrior Meg, boho-chick Charlie, and fashionista and cupcake baker Cici.

'Pippa’s mum plans to buy a rustic old boatshed and start a bookshop cafe, and Pippa worries they’ll lose all their money in this madcap venture – until her new friends come to the rescue to help get the grand opening back on track.

'Will Kira Island ever feel like home?' (Publication summary)

2018 shortlisted The Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature Fiction
Last amended 19 Nov 2020 11:28:17
Other mentions of "" in AustLit:
    X