New Australian Laureate announced
The theme for Morris Gleitzman’s two-year term will be Stories Make Us – Stories Create Our Future.
'Young people need stories more than ever,' Morris says. 'Stories to delight, stories to beguile, stories to inspire, stories to move deeply. And through these experiences, stories that equip young readers to embrace an often dark and uncertain world with optimism, resolve and creativity.'
For more than 30 years, Morris Gleitzman has written celebrated books for young people – sometimes serious, sometimes funny and sometimes confronting. His titles include Two Weeks With the Queen, Boy Overboard, Toad Rage and the acclaimed ‘Felix’ series beginning with Once. His books are published in more than 20 countries. In Australia they are published by Penguin Random House.
Ron Gorman, Chair ACLA says 'We were delighted when Morris accepted the role of Children's Laureate for 2018–19. His impressive body of work is well known by Australians, young and old, who will no doubt celebrate his Laureateship. Increasingly, the research is showing us that reading changes lives – Morris will be a persuasive voice in bringing Australians to value reading and children's literature.'
Founded in 2012, the Laureateship is bestowed every two years on an outstanding writer or illustrator of children's books. Its role is to promote the importance and transformational power of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians. Morris Gleitzman succeeds Leigh Hobbs (2016-2017), and previous Laureates Alison Lester, Boori Monty Pryor, and Jackie French.
Says Morris 'As Laureate, I’ll champion stories and everything stories can offer. I aim to be a kind of ambassador for young readers, and for the community of people who write for them. An emissary from the place where young imaginations draw strength from stories and grow and engage and become our best hope for the future.'
The 2018–2019 Australian Children’s Laureate is a project of the Australian Children’s Literature Alliance. The project is supported by Australia Council for the Arts and the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.
News release from the Australian Children's Laureate website