An English and Cross-curriculum Literacy Co-ordinator at an Adelaide High School, Mike Dumbleton has also worked as a Literacy Curriculum Officer for the South Australian Education Department. In this role he devised and wrote a student/teacher web site called 'Online Literacy' which provides literacy support for students in the middle years of schooling.
Mike began devising educational texts for teachers in 1988 shortly before he started writing picture books. He attributes his interest in writing in part to his grandfather, a local village poet in Oxfordshire, England, who regularly recited his poems to the family (with or without requests). Mike was awarded a Literature Grant by the South Australian Department for the Arts and Cultural heritage in 1993, and in 1994 was selected for a Writers' Performance and Presentation Course in Sydney, funded by the Literature Board of the Australia Council and organised by the National Book Council. He was also awarded an Arts SA Literature Grant in 2001 to support the completion of his first teenage novel, Watch Out For Jamie Joel.
'A picture book series about the extraordinary men and women who have shaped Australia's history, including the great Antarctic explorer, Sir Douglas Mawson. Douglas Mawson led the first Australian expedition to the Antarctic. Meet Douglas Mawson tells the story of how Mawson survived the dangers and challenges of the frozen continent. From Ned Kelly to Saint Mary MacKillop; Captain Cook to the ANZACS and Douglas Mawson, the Meet ...series of picture books tells the exciting stories of the men and women who have shaped Australia's history.' (Publisher's blurb)
'A courageous novel - honest, compassionate and wry - about what really goes on in a tough high school. Told alternately from the point of view of the most troublesome student (a difficult but astute girl) and the deputy principal (a sympathetic but overworked man), this story explores dangerous boundaries and reveals uncomfortable truths about parents, students and teachers.;
'Watch out for Jamie Joel. She s got a real temper and a mouth like a sewer when she gets going. Jamie imagined the new deputy reading her file, with a photo the size of a Wanted poster and words like disruptive , unco-operative , inappropriate underneath it all that teacher stuff that never said what really happened.
'I reminded Jamie that student behaviour management was my job, and that part of the issue was now her identity crisis in the corridor. From the way she looked at me, I had the distinct feeling that it wasn t possible to be a deputy principal and a human being at the same time.
'Against the background of a busy high school, student and teacher are thrown together in ways that test them both.
'With sympathy, humour and a sharp eye for the truth, Mike Dumbleton writes about the complicated push-and-pull between teenagers, parents and schools.' (Publication summary)