Wendy Orr Wendy Orr i(A18347 works by) (a.k.a. Wendy Ann Orr)
Also writes as: Sally George
Born: Established: 1953
Gender: Female
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Wendy Orr was born in Canada and, because of her father's career in the Canadian Air Force, grew up in France, Canada and the United States. After high school, she studied occupational therapy in London. While on holiday she met and later married a holidaying Australian farmer. Orr emigrated to Australia after completing her studies.

While her husband worked on his dairy farm, Orr worked as an occupational therapist and began writing children's stories. Her first picture-book, Amanda's Dinosaur, was published in 1988. She has since written more than two dozen books for children, young adults and adults. After a serious car accident in 1991, Orr began writing full-time and consolidated her reputation with several awards and commendations during the 1990s. Her books have been translated into several languages, most notably the prize-winning young adult novel Peeling the Onion (1996) which has been translated into three European languages.

Most Referenced Works


  • Orr has also written readers in the Supa doopers series.

Awards for Works

Dragonfly Song 2016 single work children's fiction children's

'Abandoned by the priestess of the island at birth, Aissa is an outcast, surviving by her wits - until she joins the acrobatic bull dancers who are sent away to compete on the island of the Bull King. A gripping and powerful adventure by acclaimed author Wendy Orr.

'There are two ways of looking at Aissa's story. She's the miracle girl who escaped the raiders. Or she's the cursed child who called the Bull King's ship to the island.

'The firstborn daughter of a priestess is cast out as a baby, and after raiders kill her adopted family, she is abandoned at the gates of the Great Hall, anonymous and mute. Called No-Name, the cursed child, she is raised a slave, and not until she is twelve does she learn her name is Aissa: the dragonfly.

'Now every year the Bull King takes a tribute from the island: two thirteen-year-old children to brave the bloody bull dances in his royal court. None have ever returned - but for Aissa it is the only escape.

'Aissa is resilient, resourceful, and fast - but to survive the bull ring, she will have to learn the mystery of her true nature.

'A riveting, mythic Bronze Age adventure from award-winning author Wendy Orr.' (Publication summary)

2018 shortlisted Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Award for Children's Literature
2017 joint winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Children's Fiction
2017 shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards Children's Book Award
2017 Honour book Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year: Younger Readers
2017 Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Notable Book
2017 shortlisted West Australian Young Readers' Book Award Younger Readers
Rescue on Nim's Island 2014 single work children's fiction children's

'Nim lives on an island with her father, Jack, a marine iguana called Fred, a sea lion called Selkie, and their friend Alex Rover, the adventure writer. Nim's island is the most beautiful place in the world, and she wouldn't swap live anywhere else.

'When Jack invites a group of scientists to visit, they bring their children as well. But two of the scientists have plans other than studying algae... By the time Nim discovers what they really want, and what they will do to get it, the children are in grave danger. And so is the island! Nim must choose between saving a natural treasure and saving someone's life.' (Publication summary)

2015 winner The Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature Puggle Award - Fiction
2015 winner The Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children's Literature Fiction
Rainbow Street Pets 2012 single work children's fiction children's

What would you do if you lost a pet? Where would you go if you found one? At the Rainbow Street Shelter a cockatoo will greet you and a little round dog will make you welcome. Meet Bear the border collie, Buster the marmalade cat, and Bessy the goat, as well as rabbits and guinea pigs and mice. There's even a pony called Pebbles, and the children who become the animals' friends. But where does a lion cub fit in?

Contents: 'Lost Dog Bear'; 'Nelly and the Dream Guinea Pig'; 'Mona and the Lion Cub'; 'Buster the Hero Cat'; 'Stolen! A Pony Called Pebbles'; 'Bella the Bored Beagle'.

2013 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Upper Primary
Last amended 5 Feb 2008 14:26:12
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