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Susanne Gervay
Prep- Year 10
New South Wales

Awarded the Lifetime Social Justice Literature Award by the International Literacy Association, Order of Australia, nominee for Australia for Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Susanne Gervay is recognized for her writing on social justice.  Her award winning stories are published in literary journals and anthologies including the cross Sub-Continent- Australian anthology ‘Fear Factor, Terror Incognito’ on terrorism alongside the works of Sir Salman Rushdie and Thomas Keneally.  She represented Australia  in ‘Peace Story’ an IBBY, UNICEF anthology where 22 authors, 22 illustrators from 22 countries wrote for peace.

She writes from picture books to young adult novels. Butterflies is recognised as Outstanding Youth Literature on Disability. Her award winning I Am Jack children’s books which have become rite-of-passage on school bullying adapted into an acclaimed play by Monkey Baa Theatre has toured theaters across Australia and USA. Her books are endorsed by The Cancer Council, Room to Read, bringing literacy to the children of the developing world, Children’s Hospital Westmead Sydney, Books in Homes reaching indigenous and disadvantaged schools, Life Education, many anti bullying and literacy organizations. An acclaimed national and international speaker, Susanne Gervay is head of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators SCBWI Australia East and New Zealand, Ambassador for many literacy, reading and equity campaigns.

Books by Susanne Gervay

Ships in the Field

Best Suited 6+ Years
Australia is an immigrant nation with many stories. Award-winning author Susanne Gervay and award-winning illustrator Anna Pignataro are part of that immigrant and refugee story. Susanne’s parents were post-war Hungarian refugees who migrated to Australia. Anna’s parents were postwar Italian refugees who migrated to Australia. In a unique collaboration, Susanne and Anna have created a moving and significant picture book, Ships in the Field. It crosses boundaries in a universal recognition that children are part of the journey of war, migration, loss and healing. Through warmth, humour, pathos and story within story, it breaks the silence, engaging children, families and community.

Who’s the Gang on Our Street?

Best Suits 7-12 Years
Who’s the gang on our street?
Who has funky-punky spikey hair?
Who bops and bounces, dances to a beat and taps their toes?
Who loves snacks and tricks and sharing the fun?
Peek inside to discover the tricks, friendship and adventure of one of Australia’s favourite neighbourhood gangs!

Elephants Have Wings

Best suited 5 – 8 years
On the wings of a mystical white elephant two children embark on an extraordinary journey to discover pathways to peace and the humanity in all of us.


Shadows of Olive Trees

Best Suited 12-16 Years
Before the #MeToo movement, there is the second rise of feminism. Tessa and her friends are looking for love, their voice, changing and wanting to be all they can be. Breaking traditional roles, there are challenged from parents, the church, community. But there’s college and new freedom, except they can be dangerous. A story of women’s empowerment set against a background of the emerging women’s movement, this a story that has significant relevance today. Set in the mid-70s, this is the story of Tessa and her bonds with Athena and Jenny.

Edge of Limits

Best Suited 14+ Years
When Sam, 17, treks into the wilderness on the school survival camp, he misses his girlfriend Laura with her belly-button ring. The gruelling physical challenges are hard, sometimes hilarious, sometimes cruel as he treks deeper into unknown territory forced to confront the underbelly of real mateship, sexual consent and the dangers of guys like Watts. Ultimately, the camp winds to the final place of initiation, to the edge of limits, where Sam must choose what he stands for. This is a journey from the city culture of beach parties, girlfriends, sex and consent, to the vast wilds of trekking, abseiling, rock climbing, white-water rafting, sweaty days and freezing nights.

Heroes of the Secret Underground

Best Suited 10+ Years
A timely and powerful time-slip story inspired by the author’s family in Budapest during the Holocaust Louie lives with her brothers, Bert and Teddy, in a hotel run by their grandparents. It is one of Sydney’s grand old buildings, rich in history … and in secrets. When a rose-gold locket, once thought lost, is uncovered, it sends Louie and her brothers spinning back in time. Back to a world at war: Budapest in the winter of 1944, where their grandparents are hiding secrets of their own.

The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses

Best suited 6-8 Years
When Sam gets new glasses, everyone says he looks like a handsome superhero, but Sam just wants to be himself. Follow his antics as he faces monsters, sails the high seas, and rediscovers his sense of humour and adventure in this inspirational tale about overcoming your fears of other people’s perceptions and never shying away from being yourself.

Daisy Sunshine

Best Suited 7-10 years
Daisy and her mum have just moved into the Grand Private Hotel belonging to Mr and Mrs Papadopolous. It’s all new and strange, but Nina, Old Dot, the Colonel and especially Rainbow Rose are there to help them make a new life for themselves. But what’s so special about the year 1975?

I am Jack

Best Suited 9+ Years
Jack likes going to school. He enjoys learning new things. George Hamel calls Jack ‘Bum Head’. All the kids at school call Jack ‘Bum Head’. Jack’s in Big trouble … school is getting dangerous. Nobody seems to want to listen. Until one day …

Always Jack

Best Suited 9+ Years
Jack’s life is pretty good – he has brilliant friends, everyone loves his funny jokes and he’s a great inventor. But things are getting complicated. Nanna’s older and wobblier, and why does Jack’s face now go red when he sees his best friend Anna? And to top it off Mum and Rob’s wedding seems to be taking over the world.

Something really scary has also happened to his mum and it’s going to take all of Jack’s courage to deal with it.

Being Jack

Best Suited 9+ Years
Jack is in Year 6 now and still loves his photography, surfing, and crazy family. Things are going well for him, particularly at school where he isn’t bullied any more. But he notices that his best friend Christopher is being taunted and is starting to miss school and hiding out and avoiding everyone. And when a football match turns ugly and Jack and Christopher witness some unfair dirty play, they know that, again, the bullying has to stop.

Super Jack

Best Suited 9+ Years
Instead of having to contend with bullies, Jack must contend with his family in this sequel to the bestselling I AM JACK.

It’s the school holidays and Mum announces to Jack and his annoying younger sister Samantha, that they are all going on a family holiday to the Gold Coast. And family means Nanna, sort-of-stepdad Rob and his son Leo, as well as Jack’s friend Anna.

Families are made up in all sorts of ways nowadays, and it takes this holiday for Jack and Leo to work out their differences and for Jack to realise just how lucky he is to have such a great family.


Best Suited 12+ Years
Coping with severe burns, the hospital and doctors is not easy when all you want to do is be a teenage girl. Katherine was severely burnt in an accident when she was two years old. Now 17, she lives with her mother and 22 year-old sister. their father left the family when they were very young. Katherine still needs regular skin grafts. this is a moving and well-written tale of emotional and physical damage and Katherine’s need to overcome her fears. It is a positive story of individual strength and family love. Whether a person is physically damaged or ‘perfectly normal’ life still has to be lived and the story of Katherine and her friends relates to all teenagers.

The Cave

Best Suited 14+ Years
For Sam and his schoolfriends the compulsory school camp is a time of great testing and endurance. Not only do the boys have to struggle with tough mountain climbs and canoeing trips, but there is the final descent into the cave – the ultimate test of all. And all of these physical challenges are accompanied by hot days, freezing cold nights, inadequate and badly cooked food, no washing facilities and plenty of flies. It’s no wonder this experience is a living hell for most of the boys, especially since there is a lot of bullying and nastiness to contend with as well. For Sam this particular camp becomes a personal journey of growth as he grieves for his beloved dead grandfather and searches for his own masculine identity.

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