A Bookish Adventure

I started this blog to document an extended trip to the US and UK in 2012, introducing children to my Alice-Miranda series. It's hard to believe that it's just on four years since we launched the first Alice-Miranda title - and now there are nine books out in Australia with another five still to come. When I first came up with the idea of this precocious seven and a quarter year old, I had no clue that she would take me on such an amazing journey, not only in Australia but also across the world. I visited 37 schools while we were away in 2012 and gave over 80 talks - it was fantastic. In 2013 I've been on lots of new adventures in the UK - visiting schools from London to Southampton, Lancashire, Scotland, Newcastle and back to London again. After that I headed off to meet readers in Singapore. In Australia I've been to Melbourne, Perth, Albany, Alice Springs and Brisbane. There's a new series too - about a gorgeous little girl called Clementine Rose. She and Alice-Miranda don't know each other yet, but they will soon.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Get Reading 2012

Yesterday the Get Reading Program was launched for 2012.  I am thrilled that the first book in my new series, Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor is featured on the list of '50 Books You Can't Put Down'.  It's a real honour to have been selected and I hope this will see Clemmie get into the hands of lots of readers - the book is officially in Australian stores as of next Saturday 1 September.  There are 49 other fabulous books on the list - and I'm pinching myself to be among such amazing company.  I've included some information about the program from the Get Reading website as well as the text from Clemmie's page.  You can click through to read the entire catalogue as well.

Get Reading!, formerly known as Books Alive, is Australia’s largest annual celebration of books and reading, which encourages all Australians to pick up a book, put up their feet and get reading!
50 Books You Can’t Put Down Get Reading! is primarily a month-long, nationwide campaign focused on inspiring more Australians to discover or rediscover the pleasure of reading. Central to this campaign is the FREE 50 Books You Can’t Put Down Guide which includes 50 of the year’s top reads. During the month of September hundreds of thousands of the FREE guide are distributed nationally via bookstores, libraries, events, and festivals located around the country.
Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor

Jacqueline Harvey
Clementine Rose lives in Penberthy Floss in a large,
ramshackle house with her mother, Lady Clarissa, butler
Digby Pertwhistle and a very sweet little teacup pig called
Lavender. When her scary Aunt Violet arrives unexpectedly,
the household is thrown into disarray. What is it that Aunt
Violet really wants and what is she carrying in her mysterious
black bag? If you loved Enid Blyton when you were growing
up, your little girl will love Clementine Rose.
Recommended for children age 5+

Saturday, August 18, 2012


After much soul searching and endless discussions with Ian, a few weeks ago I decided that I would resign from my full time job as Director of Development at Abbotsleigh School for Girls in Sydney.  I know that there are many things I will miss - mostly the people and the stimulation of doing such a broad range of tasks, but the time is now to try my hand at writing and speaking full time.  I'm excited about the future and a little nervous too - it's impossible to know how things will go.  I do know though, that while I was on tour, I realised that I missed working with children in the classroom.  I think I was born to be a teacher and a writer and I need to work in a way that caters for both.  I am not leaving until the end of October so the school can find the right person to replace me, but come 1 November I'm looking forward to being able to say 'yes' to opportunities that come my way.  I'll also be looking for speaking and teaching opportunities so if you'd like to talk to me about that, please email!

This past week we had our Literary Festival at Abbotsleigh with so many talented Australian authors and illustrators.  Sally Murphy, Hazel Edwards, Kate Forsyth, Gabrielle Wang, Morris Gleitzman, John Marsden, Colin Thompson, Anthony Eaton, Aleesah Darlison, Tobhy Riddle, Ursula Dubosarsky, Sarah Davis, Aaron Blabey, Geoffrey McSkimming, John Larkin, Chris Morphew and Barry Heard to name a few - sorry if I've left anyone off! 

Well Done, Those MenIt's fantastic to have so many like minded people in the one place and my only regret was that I didn't have a lot of time to sit and chat, being part of the organising committee and conducting sessions, while also keeping up my other job.  I did have the pleasure of collecting Barry Heard and Anthony Eaton from the airport on Wednesday evening.  Anthony was flying in an hour after Barry, so Barry and I sat and had a cuppa while we waited for the flight.  Barry Heard is without doubt an extraordinary man.  I must confess that I didn't know much about him until then - a Vietnam veteran who had written a couple of books was about all I had learned.  That was underselling him something shocking.  He's a survivor, a dad, a husband, a mate and an incredible story teller who has a quiet passion for history.  I wanted Anthony's flight to be late so I could keep talking to Barry (sorry Anthony) - and I was upset that I couldn't see him speak on Thursday as I had my own sessions to do.  I will be buying every one of his books and reading them in a quiet place, with plenty of tissues on hand.  He made such an impact on our girls at school that several of them told me afterwards that he was 'amazing'; 'I just wanted to give him a hug'; 'he was incredible' and so on.  I can believe that's exactly how they felt.  I am so pleased that I had the opportunity to meet him - and I do hope that our paths will again cross in the future.