WRITER FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS
"The most graceful, most original writer for young people in Australia - probably the world." Sonya Hartnett
"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.
Ursula has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for 2014. This is the world's largest children's literature award and is administered by the Swedish Arts Council in honour of Astrid Lindgren. For more information click here.
Ursula was recently inducted into Speech Pathology Australia's Hall of Fame for her contribution to children's literature. Click here to see an interview on the day of the awards with ABC television news.
The Golden Day is included in Publishers' Weekly's Best Children's Books of 2013 and selected for the 2014 IBBY International Board on Books for Young People Honour Book List.
"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."
Publishers Weekly *Starred review
"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 ..."
"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. "
A rare jewel. Restrained, poetic literature for adolescents and adults…a small masterpiece.
A cryptic work. A beautiful book.
"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. "
"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."
For more on "The Golden Day" see thegoldenday.info
Then this new series, The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno and Alberta, is for you. Join the world's greatest guinea pig detectives as they track down mysteries and solve puzzles in the big city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Illustrated by the inimitable Terry Denton. Also available as electronic books.
OUT IN SEPTEMBER A new series of simple satisfying story books for new readers. Click here for more information and teachers' guide.
Ursula's picture book TOO MANY ELEPHANTS IN THIS HOUSE, illustrated by ANDREW JOYNER, has been made an Honour Book in the Children's Book Council of Australia awards.