WRITER FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS
"Dubosarsky occupies a unique place in Australian literature. Her works cannot be 'classified' - but neither could Jane Gardam's 'A Long Way from Verona', EB White's 'Charlotte's Web", Antoine de Saint-Exupery's 'The Little Prince'... Their appeal is universal; they are timeless and ageless. All great children's classics have these qualities. And her books, let' s make no mistake about this, are classics. " Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright
"One of the best of the best." Kate de Goldi Library for Young Europeans (Bibliothek fur Junge Europaer )
Ignore Ursula Dubosarsky and you miss one of the most original writers of our time. Mike Shuttleworth Centre for Youth Literature.
"The most graceful, most original writer for young people in Australia - probably the world." Sonya Hartnett
Hurray! the David Jones Christmas Windows are up! and this year they are based on a specially commissioned story by Ursula, illustrated by Sue de Gennaro. The windows are at the Elizabeth Street store in Sydney, but the books and reindeer toys are available online and in David Jones stores all over Australia.
On the same site is an essay by Professor Clare Bradford: "Cold War Bricolage: Ursula Dubosarsky's The Red Shoe"
The Reading Australia program has the purpose of making significant Australian literary works more readily available for teaching in schools and universities - works they thought students and others should encounter to give a view of Australia's rich cultural identity: works that would tell Australia's history and also how we are currently developing as a nation.
Ursula is delighted and honoured to learn she has been nominated for the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for Children's Literature sponsored by the government of Sweden. She was also nominated in 2013 and 2014.
Ursula recently was a guest of the International Literature Festival Berlin, featuring discussions and readings of "The Golden Day" and "The Red Shoe", as well a writing workshop and a drama workshop at the Theater an der Parkaue - Junges Staatstheater Berlin. One particular highlight was the German translation reading of "The Golden Day" by legendary German actress Hanna Schygulla. Click on photo at right for more images of the festival.
Ursula was also asked to contribute an essay for discussion by children aged 9-11 for the Cultures of Trust project - click here to read the essay in full.
Two new publications from Walker Books UK
"Violet Vanishes" has been shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier's Awards!
And here are the latest puzzling adventures of guinea pig detectives Coco Carlomagno and his redoubtable cousin Alberta. The series was recently shortlisted for the Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards. Click here and here for some delightful Coco and Alberta puzzling activity sheets. And here for teachers' reviews and great classroom ideas for the books. Also available as electronic books.
"The Word Spy" and "The Return of the Word Spy" are now available in India
IN THE AMAZING NATIONAL SIMULTANEOUS STORYTIME ON 21 MAY AT EXACTLY 11AM EASTERN STANDARD TIME, 460,000 AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN TOGETHER READ TOO MANY ELEPHANTS IN THIS HOUSE!
AND an utterly delightful rollicking stage version of the book was performed the same week at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney!
Do you love puzzles? mystery stories? and... guinea pigs?
Then this series, The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno and Alberta, illustrated by Terry Denton, is for you. Join the world's greatest guinea pig detectives, Coco and Alberta, as they track down mysteries in the big city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the latest instalment they must find out why is the dismal daffodil in the Japanese Garden in Buenos Aires drooping? Find out find out more here !
Click here and here for some delightful Coco and Alberta puzzling activity sheets. And here for teachers' reviews and great classroom ideas for the books. Also available as electronic books.
"The Red Shoe" has been selected for the Copyright Agency's Reading Australia program, with the purpose of making significant Australian literary works more readily available for teaching in schools and universities. Books were selected by the Australian Society of Authors - works they thought students and others should encounter to give a view of Australia's rich cultural identity: works that would tell Australia's history and also how we are currently developing as a nation. These works are supplemented with online teaching resources and essays about the enduring relevance of the works.
For Kate de Goldi's essay on "The Red Shoe" for the Library for Young Europeans click here.
Below is a new series of simple satisfying story books for new readers. Click here for more information and teachers' guide.
"The Golden Day" has been selected for the IBBY International Board on Books for Young People Honour Book List. It is also listed on Publishers' Weekly's Best Children's Books of 2013 and Booklist Editor's Choice Books for Youth 2013 and is one of the Wall Street Journal's Top Ten Children's Books of 2013. See also thegoldenday.info
The Golden Day is published in Germany by Ueberreuter and was awarded a Lynx prize.
A rare jewel. Restrained, poetic literature for adolescents and adults…a small masterpiece.
A cryptic work. A beautiful book.
"THE GOLDEN DAY" REVIEWS
"Dubosarsky’s spare prose explores the space between innocence and adulthood. Shaped by the girls’ growing awareness of the world, her scenes are uneasy dreamscapes. Questions about responsibility, violence, sex, fear and death bloom beneath their placid surface. Unanswerable, they linger past the end of this slender but powerful volume."
Booklist *Starred review
"In a stunning feat of perspective, Dubosarsky inhabits all 11 girls at once, snaking through a thousand small joys and triumphs and fears and petty grudges as they absorb life’s bleakest truths as well their own complicity in them... a masterful look at children’s numb surprise to the most unsavory of adult developments. "
"Dubosarsky subtly shows the impact of the tragedy through fragments of conversations, observations, and memories, while expertly sketching a cast of vulnerable, inquisitive children and ridiculous authority figures. Laced with humor amid a steady feeling of dread, the atmospheric narrative chillingly evokes lurking forces capable of tarnishing even the most golden and innocent of days ..."
"Few sentences, when spoken by an adult to a child, possess the sinister ambiguity of: “It will be our little secret.” It is the language of the liar, the creep and the pedophile—a confiding technique that exploits a child’s loyalty to keep quiet something that should probably be spoken aloud. In Ursula Dubosarsky’s chilling, elegant, atmospheric novel “The Golden Day” (Candlewick, 149 pages, $15.99), it is what a fourth-grade teacher in an Australian girls’ school says to her class of obedient pupils. Its effect, especially the “thin, strong bond of shame” it creates, will last through the girls’ childhoods and change the contours of their lives.
The time is 1967, and the teacher is Miss Renshaw, a springy-haired freethinker who begins taking her uniformed charges out of school and into Sydney’s botanical gardens to release their inner spirits... Ms. Dubosarsky deftly conveys the confusion of childhood, the strangeness of things half-glimpsed and only partly understood. With quiet brilliance she evokes the distinct personalities of the classmates who, in a haunting final section, we see again in 1975 as they are finishing their final exams. “The Golden Day” is the sort of book that churns something up deep inside the reader; it will be as hard for an adult to forget as the young people ages 12 and older for whom it is intended."
"The girls’ communal silence in the face of increasingly desperate adults is bewitching. Dubosarsky...makes the simplest observations both poetic and terrifying. If you’re wanting for quality literature in your life, read this now."
"When the headmistress, the priest, the school psychologist and even the police come to question the girls, they silence themselves; eleven petals of a flower close in tight around the bud. They will not rat out each other or their beloved teacher. With haunting, sparse language and a timeless style, Dubosarsky expertly explores this pivotal moment in these girls' lives. She does this by inhabiting all girls' points of view at once. I can't adequately explain the breathtaking tension, urgency and emotional resonance this technique creates. It is unique, highly inventive and it deeply works. ... Perhaps Dubosarsky has arrived at a point of view that is the essence of childhood. I recommend The Golden Day to readers ages 12 and up, and urge adults to read it too."
"Delicate, atmospheric and provocative, this bijou tale stirs young adult readers to remember vividly the beguilement in which teachers can hold their little charges, and to consider with mature vision the complex meaning of adult actions that are only half-understood by child observers. With secrecy, elegant language, crime, a short page count, and a touch of the supernatural, here's a teen book club selection that everyone is likely to finish. "
Dubosarsky is one of those rare writers whose work feels both true and invented, always, the uncanny seamlessly interwoven with the fabric of life. It’s impossible reading this book not to think of the quote from Jean Rhys’s Good Morning, Midnight: ‘‘But they never last, the golden days. And it can be sad, the sun in the afternoon, can’t it? Yes, it can be sad, the afternoon sun, sad and frightening.’’ The Golden Day is a highly recommended portrait of life interrupted, in all its sad and frightening – but beautiful – reality.
"This acclaimed Australian author takes her chapter titles from paintings and drawings of schoolgirls by Charles Blackman, and her tale beautifully evokes the loneliness of childhood, the claustrophobic confines of a girls school and the dark turbulence of the world outside."