AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 8076729132426258111.jpg
Canberra times, 4 July 1964, p.11
Eleanor Spence Eleanor Spence i(A17501 works by) (birth name: Eleanor Rachel Kelly) (a.k.a. Eleanor Rachel Therese Spence)
Born: Established: 21 Oct 1928 Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 30 Sep 2008 Erina, Erina - Forresters Beach area, Gosford, Central Coast, New South Wales,
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

Eleanor Spence was born in Sydney and spent her childhood years at Erina on the New South Wales central coast. After finishing secondary school at Gosford High she won a scholarship enabling her to attend Sydney University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1949. During the 1950s Spence worked as a teacher and children's librarian in Australia and in the United Kingdom. Through this experience she became interested in writing for children and saw her first novel, Patterson's Track, published in 1958.

Spence wrote many books for children, exploring a range of issues, including Australian history, bigotry, religion, alienation and materialism. Her books won a range of awards, including the Book of the Year Award of the Children's Book Council of Australia in 1964 with The Green Laurel and again in 1977 with The October Child.

Spence is widely admired for portraying children outside the mainstream and she has been personally involved in the education of handicapped children. Spence worked at schools for autistic children and, in 1978, travelled overseas in as a Churchill Fellow studying residential facilities for autistic adolescents.

Spence also wrote two books for the children's social history series, 'Early Australians', A Schoolmaster (1969) and A Cedar-Cutter (1971), as well as Ansett Starship Crew Manual (1985). Her autobiography, Another October Child, was published in 1988. In 1998 she received an Emeritus Fellowship from the Australia Council and in 2006 became a Member of the Order of Australia.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2006 Order of Australia Member of the Order of Australia (AM) For service to children's literature as an author and to the community through support for people with Autism.
1998 Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Writers' Emeritus Award

Awards for Works

The Family Book of Mary Claire 1990 single work novel young adult Traces the history of a family through the eyes of one family member from four sequential generations.
1991 honour book Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year: Older Readers
Deezle Boy 1987 single work novel young adult

'Grant loves trains and the morning he sees the inter-city XPT is just the start of what turns out to be the extraordinary day on which he is kidnapped by an unfamiliar woman and her daughter.' -- Libraries Australia record.

1988 inaugural winner Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature
1988 honour book Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year: Older Readers
Miranda Going Home 1985 single work children's fiction children's "When thirteen-year-old Miranda's parents die she is sent to love with her strict Jewish grandparents in Palestine at the time of the Roman occupation. Separated from her grandparents during the Roman attack on Sapphoris, Miranda and the baby she rescued find shelter with Jeshua and his family in Nazareth. There she learns kinship with the Jewish faith and to cope with the racial and religious prejudices of the era." (Source: Trove)
1986 shortlisted Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year Award
Last amended 15 Feb 2017 09:05:27
Other mentions of "" in AustLit:
    X