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French named ACLA Children’s Laureate for 2014-2015

Children’s author Jackie French has been named the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2014-2015.

Author, actor and director Rhys Muldoon presented French with the laureate’s Magpie Award at a ceremony at the National Library of Australia in Canberra on 27 November. French will start in the position in January 2014, taking over from the inaugural laureates Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor.

The theme for French’s term as laureate will be ‘Share a Story’. In a statement from the Australian Children’s Literature Alliance (ACLA), French said: ‘There are a million ways to share a story. To read to a child on your lap; to have a child read to you while you cook dinner; to read to the dog when it has to go to the vet to calm it (or you!) down; to join a storytelling session at your library. You can also tell your grandchildren what life was like when you were young over the phone or Skype or read to thousands of people via video conferencing. Stories tell us who we are. They teach us empathy so we understand who others are. They give us the power to imagine and create the future.’

French is the author of more than 140 children’s books, including Pennies for Hitler, Diary of a Wombat, Nanberry: Black Brother White, Hitler’s Daughter and The Night They Stormed Eureka (all HarperCollins).

‘Jackie French is one of Australia’s most amazing authors and we are thrilled to see her contribution to Australian storytelling recognised,’ said HarperCollins Australia CEO James Kellow in a statement. ‘We are enormously proud to be her publisher and look forward to introducing many more Australian children to Jackie’s wonderful and engaging range of books during her tenure.’

The Australian Children’s Laureate initiative was developed by the ACLA to promote reading and creativity in the lives of young Australians. The program is funded by organisations including the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Publishers Association and the Copyright Agency. For more information about ACLA and the Children’s Laureate program, click here.



Category: Local news