Jackie French is the Australian National Children’s Laureate for 2014 and 2015. She is also an historian, ecologist, dyslexic, and a passionate worker for literacy, the right of all children to be able to read, and the power of books. Jackie’s writing career spans 25 years, 148 wombats, over 140 books, 36 languages, 3,721 bush rats, and over 60 awards in Australia and overseas.
Jackie is one of the few writers to win both literary and children’s choice awards. Hitler’s Daughter spent a decade on most of Australia’s kid’s choice award shortlists; among other awards it won the 2000 CBC Book of the Year for Younger Readers, the UK Wow! Award, a Semi Grand Prix Award in Japan and has been listed as a ‘blue ribbon’ book in the USA. Monkey Baa’s production of Jackie French’s Hitler’s Daughter the play won both the Helpmann and Drover’s Awards and toured the USA in 2013. Pete the Sheep the musical opened in March 2014. Diary of a Wombat, created with Bruce Whatley, is also one of Australia’s best-loved picture books. It has been on bestseller lists across the world, with a still increasing number of awards and translations.
Jackie’s vast body of work contains both fictional and non-fictional accounts of the last 60,000 years of Australian history, with books like Nanberry: black brother white; The Girl from Snowy River, Tom Appleby: Convict Boy; The Night They Stormed Eureka; A Day to Remember created with Mark Wilson; and Flood, created with Bruce Whatley. Her non-fiction also includes an eight volume history of Australia for young people (The Dinkum Historyseries).