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Wendy Orr
Grade 3-6

Mornington Peninsula only.

Wendy Orr grew up in France, Canada and the USA, going to eleven schools between pre-school and Year 12. Although she first learned to read and write in French, it was learning to read in her home language of English that made her decide to be a writer. She started immediately: the story that became a first draft of Nim’s Island was written when she was eight. 

On finishing school, however, Wendy studied occupational therapy in England, married an Australian farmer and moved to Australia. They had a son and daughter and now live on five acres of bush in Red Hill – close to the sea but surrounded by trees.

Wendy’s first book, Amanda’s Dinosaur, was published in 1988. Since then, she has written over 40 books for children, teenagers and adults, been published in 29 languages, and garnered a string of awards and accolades, within Australia and internationally, including the CBCA Book of the Year, the Prime Minister’s Award and Adelaide Festival Award for Children’s Literature. Her books include Nim’s Island, the first Australian children’s book to become a Hollywood feature film, the much-loved YA novel Peeling the Onion, and the highly awarded hybrid-verse novel Dragonfly Song. Books + Publishing called her latest book, Honey and the Valley of Horses, a ‘magical story that reads like a classic in all the best ways.’

Wendy believes that every child deserves to find their own spark of creativity to tell the stories they need to tell.

Books by Wendy Orr

Honey and the Valley of Horses

Best Suited 8-11 Years
In the mountains there was a valley, and in the valley were the horses.

When Honey was four and her brother Rumi was a tiny baby, her family loaded up their converted ice-cream-van-camper and drove away from all they knew, as an illness swept the sad wide world. High in the mountains, they crossed a bridge to follow a mysterious herd of enchanted horses into a sheltered valley. The bridge and the track disappeared behind them – and now they are trapped in paradise.

In the valley of horses, Honey’s family becomes self-sufficient, fishing, growing vegetables and using solar power. But no messages from the outside world are ever received. When her father falls desperately ill, Honey is sure there must still be people in the big wide world who can help. She is determined to draw on her resourcefulness, self-belief and courage, but will this be enough to find a way out of the valley?

A rich and enchanting adventure full of wonder, resilience and hope.

Nim’s Island

Best Suited 7-10 Years
Nim lives on an island in the middle of the wide blue sea with her father, Jack, a marine iguana called Fred, a sea lion called Selkie, a turtle called Chica and a satellite dish for her email. No one else in the world lives quite like Nim, and she wouldn’t swap places with anyone.

But when Jack disappears in his sailing boat, and disaster threatens her home, Nim must be braver than she’s ever been before. And she needs help from her friends, old and new.

Come aboard Nim’s next adventure, Nim at Sea – a dangerous rescue mission to save Selkie and bring back her friend Alex Rover.

Rescue on Nim’s Island

Best Suited 7-10 Years
Nim lives on an island with her father, Jack, a marine iguana called Fred, a sea lion called Selkie, and their friend Alex Rover, the adventure writer. Nim’s island is the most beautiful place in the world, and she wouldn’t swap live anywhere else.

When Jack invites a group of scientists to visit, they bring their children as well. But two of the scientists have plans other than studying algae. By the time Nim discovers what they really want, and what they will do to get it, the children are in grave danger. And so is the island! Nim must choose between saving a natural treasure and saving someone’s life.

Nim at Sea

Best Suited 7-10 Years
Nim lives on an island in the middle of the wide blue sea with her father Jack, a marine iguana called Fred, a sea lion called Selkie, and their new friend Alex Rover. Nim is as free as a bird, and she wouldn’t swap places with anyone.

But when Alex flies away in the seaplane, without saying goodbye, and Selkie is captured by villains from a cruise ship, Nim must risk everything to bring them back. Her dangerous rescue mission takes her far across the ocean, to New York City. It’s a good thing she has Fred and two new friends by her side.

Dragonfly Song

Best Suited 10-14 Years
Abandoned by the priestess of the island at birth, Aissa is an outcast, surviving by her wits – until she joins the acrobatic bull dancers who are sent away to compete on the island of the Bull King.

Swallow’s Dance

Best Suited 10-14 Years
I wonder if the first day of Learning is always like this – do the girls on the hill always feel the ground tremble under their feet?

Leira is about to start her initiation as a priestess when her world is turned upside down. A violent earthquake leaves her home – and her family – in pieces. And the goddess hasn’t finished with the island yet.

With her family, Leira flees across the sea to Crete, expecting sanctuary. But a volcanic eruption throws the entire world into darkness. After the resulting tsunami, society descends into chaos; the status and privilege of being noble-born reduced to nothing. With her injured mother and elderly nurse, Leira has only the strength and resourcefulness within herself to find safety.

Cuckoo’s Flight

Best Suited 9-13 Years
If she had stayed to load the kiln as she should have, she’d never have seen the ship.
Mama said the ship still would have been there, so everything had to happen the way it did. But that’s not true. Clio saw it, and the world changed.

When a raiders’ ship appears off the coast, the goddess demands an unthinkable price to save the town – and Clio’s grandmother creates a sacred statue to save Clio’s life.

But Clio is torn between the demands of guarding the statue and caring for her beloved horses. Disabled in an accident, she must try to put aside her own grief at no longer being able to ride – and in the process, save a friend’s life and stop a war.

Across the Dark Sea

Best Suited 7-9 Years
They didn’t look like pirates: they looked like ordinary fishermen, but with eyes as quick and glittering as their knives … Trung’s adventure begins in the dead of night. He and his father escape the soldiers with guns. But what awaits them across the dark sea? Across the Dark Sea features a fishing boat used to flee Vietnam after the war. It is based on an actual boat, the Hong Hai, which is now part of the National Museum’s collection.

Ark in the Park

Best Suited 7-10 Years
Sophie lived in a tall, tall building overlooking a large green park. In the middle of the park was the biggest, strangest most wonderful pet shop in the world. It was built like a ship, with tall glass sails stretching to the sky and it was called the Noah’s Ark. Every evening Sophie made three secret wishes as she gazed at the ark in the park. Over at the Noah’s Ark, Mr. and Mrs. Noah, who owned the pet shop, also made a secret wish – the same one every time. On a very special birthday, a magical meeting shows Sophie, and Mr. and Mrs. Noah, that secret wishes have a way of coming true.

Leaving it to You

Best Suited 10+ Years
Linda sighed. It was even worse than she?imagined. She ?rather visit the dentist than visit some old person she didn?even know! Her teacher dreamed up this great idea of visiting old people in the community and she was stuck with cranky old Mrs Pugh. However Linda soon becomes fascinated by this independent Welsh woman with rheumatiod athritis, a quick temper and a musty house full of cats and antiques. But when Mrs Pugh has to go back to hospital, mysterious things start happening – her antiques start to disappear. Is someone stealing them? Do they want to get rid of Mrs Pugh? How can Linda find out?

The Tin Can Puppy

Dylan wanted a puppy more than anything in the world. Any kind of puppy. He didn’t care if it had long legs or short, if it was black or white or brown or spotted. He just wanted a dog. He would look after it, and play with it, and take it for walks and teach it tricks? And name it toby. But Dylan? parent say that he is to young to be responsible for a pet. So when he finds a puppy hiding in a tin can at the tip, Dylan takes the puppy home and hides it…

Paradise Gold

Bets Suited 9+ Years
In Paradise Palace the Grennan family won a brand-new home on Paradise Coast. Now read the sequel. Paradise Palace is on the Paradise Coast ?un, surf, and beginning of a whole new story for Roland! Young Roland found that starting anew was not all he hoped for, but now he has found new friends. Even the bullies don’t faze Roland any more. But one day Laurie and Gabrielle, Roland’s mum and dad, tell Izzy, talia and Roland that they may have to sell their new home – they can’t pay all the bills and they still have to eat! Roland decides to enter a competition to make a video showing why Paradise is the Best Place in the World. Roland gets his video in just on time and, although it doesn’t win the prize of a pot of gold, there is a wonderful surprise in store for all the family…

Paradise Palace

Best Suited 9+ Years
Roland’s family is always entering competitions, they won a miracle gadget once, except they couldn’t put it together, and there was the soak-it hose that could water the garden – if they only had one! And winning that last competition was so embarrassing that Roland would just rather never go to school again can’t help being interested in the new competition though. First Prize is a two-story house on the Paradise Coast could even have his own basketball ring. But Roland finds that Paradise isn’t always as good as it looks in the brochures and life is what you make it.

Peeling the Onion

Best Suited 14-18 Years
Jenny rushes in; stops and turns pale at the sight of my scaffolded neck. This isn’t what she expected to see – and for a moment Jenny, sunny, effervescent, ever-optimistic Jenny, stares at me and can’t speak.

‘They made a mistake – I broke my neck after all.’

Jenny begins to cry. And I think that maybe this is what best friends are for, not to be brave for you, but to tell you this is real, and it stinks.

Anna is used to being athletic, popular, ‘normal’. Now she feels the layers of her familiar self being peeled away; nothing is normal or easy. Can she pick up the pieces of her life? What part will Hayden and Luke play? And who, now, is Anna Duncan?

Raven’s Mountain

Best Suited 8-12 Years
Raven is first to reach the mountain top. Her sister and step-dad are still climbing the trail below. She is alone on top of the world. So she dances – a crazy, jumping, spinning dance. because if you can climb a mountain you can do anything! But then there is a rumble and the earth shakes. Rocks are falling, and so is Raven, in a terrible tumble down the side of the mountain. When she comes to, no one answers her calls. The rockfall is covering the trail where she last saw Lily and Scott. Wendy Orr tells the dramatic story of a girl who goes beyond her limits to save her family – and on the way, discovers a mysterious bond with a family of bears and a raven.

Spook’s Shack

Best Suited 8-12 Years
Deep in the bush, where the trees grow tall, Finn discovers an old deserted shack. Inside is shivery cold, with green fungus on the walls. When a dog growls and a gravelly voice snarls, Finn’s hair stands up like bristles on a brush. An old man and his dog are glowing in the darkness.

Jack Henry lived in the shack 100 years ago and was friends with all the wild creatures. When Finn is with the old ghost, he can feel what the birds are singing and what the animals are feeling. But now they are all in danger – someone is going to bulldoze the land and wreck their homes. How can one boy, a ghost and his dog save the bush?

Rainbow Street Pets

Best Suited 6-10 Years
What would you do if you lost a pet? Where would you go if you found one? At the Rainbow Street Shelter a cockatoo will greet you and a little round dog will make you welcome. All the animals there need children to be their friends. Meet Bear the border collie, Buster the marmalade cat, and Bessy the goat, as well as rabbits and guinea pigs and mice. There’s even a pony called Pebbles, but where does a lion cub fit in?

The House at Evelyn’s Pond

Best Suited 18+ Years
When Ruth, with a love of flying that leads her to become an Auxiliary Pilot during WWII in England, meets Canadian navigator, Bill, on a fog-bound country airstrip, they know it’s something special. And it is, until Bill’s death some fifty years later. Recently widowed, Ruth returns to England for the first time since she left to live in Canada. It’s her last journey as she dies unexpectedly in her cousin’s home in London.

Ruth’s daughter, Jane, flies from Australia where she now lives with her dairy farmer husband Ian, to take her mother’s ashes to the family home at Evelyn’s Pond in Canada. On her own for the first time since her marriage, it’s a time for reflections and memories, not all of them comfortable. She loves Ian but, with the best of intentions, he unwittingly controls her life, never allowing her the space to find out who she truly is. Surrounded by mementoes of the past, Jane faces a different kind of journey-two days and nights of self discovery and decision.

But Jane also has their daughter, Megan, in her thoughts. Megan is hiking on the west coast of Canada and falling in love as assuredly as she approaches life. But she doesn’t yet know she’s lost her beloved grandmother.

Abandoned! A Lion Called Kiki

Best Suited 7-10 Years
Mona’s uncle Matthew works in a circus, and he always gives pretty great birthday presents. But when Mona turns eight, he gives her something better than juggling balls or stilts—a baby lion cub! His note says that the cub’s mother couldn’t care for it properly, and he knows Mona and her grandparents can help.

Mona names the lion Kiki, and at first Kiki is like any other kitten. As she grows bigger and bigger, though, Mona realizes that Kiki needs a home which will allow her to be the wild animal she was born to be.

Fans of the Rainbow Street Shelter books will love reading about how the shelter started and how its owner, Mona, has always loved animals—starting with an adorable baby lion.

Discovered! A Beagle Called Bella

Best Suited 7-10 Years
From the moment she’s born, the adorable beagle puppy named Bella has a lot of energy. She runs, she chases, she somersaults, she chews, and she sniffs . . . and sniffs and sniffs and sniffs. Her new owners love her, but they soon realize that Bella is bored while they’re out of the house all day, and that their small apartment might not be the best home for an energetic puppy.

Luckily, Mona at the Rainbow Street Shelter can help! She keeps an eye out for the perfect place for Bella, and soon she finds her not just a home but a job—the best job in the world for a dog who loves to sniff.

Wanted! A Guinea Pig Called Henry

Best Suited 7-10 Years
Sam wants a pet for her birthday, but her mom and dad have already said that their apartment is too small for a cat or a dog. A trip to Rainbow Street Shelter to look at the smaller animals can’t hurt, though!

At the shelter, Sam finds the perfect pet for her, a fluffy black guinea pig named Henry. But she can’t help noticing how happy her little brother is when he’s reading to Nelly, the Rainbow Street dog. Why can’t he read like that when he’s in school? Nelly looks happy, too. Sam starts to wonder . . . can a dog go to kindergarten?

Lost! A Dog called Bear

Best Suited 7-10 Years
Logan is moving from the farm to the city. He’ll miss all the things he’s leaving behind, but at least he has Bear. He loves Bear more than anything else in the world—because Bear is his dog.

Hannah lives in the city. What she wants, more than anything else in the world, is a dog of her own.

At the Rainbow Street Shelter, Logan and Hannah find a talking parrot, an old black Labrador, a three-legged goat, a puppy that looks like a peanut—and a surprise that just might be the best thing in the world.

Missing! A Cat Called Buster

Best Suited 7-10 Years
Buster isn’t fluffy or pretty like other cats—he’s a crazy orange cat with attitude. And Mr. Larsen is the exact right person for him. Every morning Buster and Mr. Larsen sit on their porch in the sun, and every morning Josh sees them when he walks to school.

When Mr. Larsen goes to the hospital and Buster goes missing, Josh and his family look for that crazy cat everywhere. But if Buster turns up, Rainbow Street Animal Shelter will have to help him find another home.

That’s when Josh and his family realize that—sometimes—life can choose a pet for you.

Stolen! A Pony Called Pebbles

Best Suited 7-10 Years
Amy lives and breathes horses, but all her horses are in books or in her head. So when she goes on a picnic with her friend Hannah’s family, Hannah thinks Amy is imagining things when she says she heard a horse neigh nearby. But then Hannah hears a neigh, too! What’s a horse doing in the park?

With a little help from Mona at the Rainbow Street Shelter, Amy makes sure the horse is safe and sound. She almost hopes the owner never turns up, so that she could keep visiting the pony. . . .

Too Much Stuff!

Becky plans to put on a puppet show in her living room to entertain her cousin Wesley. It’s a version of Beauty and the Beast, with music! Hoping for a bigger audience she advertises her show on the telegraphe pole outside. Mum isn’t very pleased when strangers turn up. And at the end of the performance Becky’s surprise twist terrifies her litle brother Ed, who starts to cry. But at the end of the day Becky gets spooked and Ed gets the last laugh.

Mokie and Bik

Best Suited 6-8 Years
The breath-taking adventures of Mokie and Bik – eccentric twins who live on a houseboat. A highly illustrated storybook for reading aloud, and for readers 6-8.

Mokie & Bik live on a boat with Laddie the dog, Slow the sleepy tortle, and Ruby who sings all day. Dad is on his ship-at-sea,  Mum is busy arting, so, underfoot or overboard, the twins have twie as much fun as anyone else.
Come aboard!

Mokie and Bik go to Sea

Best Suited 6-8 Years
Mokie and Bik live on a boat called Bullfrog. Now that their father has come home from the illy-ally-o, the twins are ready to take Bullfrog out to sea. First, though, they need to shipshape!


Best Suited 3-7 Years
The story of a little girl who goes to work with her mother when she has a cold and can’t go to day care

Amanda’s Dinosaur

Best Suited 4-8 Years
Although Amanda lives on a farm with cows, pigs, chickens, and dogs, all she really wants is a dinosaur. One day she finds a giant egg . . . tap, tap, tap, out pops a baby dinosaur. Now the farm has another huge mouth to feed.


Best Suited 4-8 Years
Matthew looked at the Arabella. She had tall slim masts and sails set to catch the wind, a polished wooden deck that shone like glass and a painted lady carved on her bow. She perched on Grandpa’s windowsill as if she was ready to fly — a small, perfect ship.

Bad Martha

When Bad Martha was born, she was so angry and cried so loud and for so long, that she became so ugly that all the mothers took their babies home from the hospital. Then all the nurses went home too. Bad Martha is a witch, and to her dismay, she is stuck with ordinary parents.


Best Suited 8-10 Years
EMMA: Freedom. That’s what bikes said to me. A rush of adrenaline, excitement,but most of all freedom.Escape. I wanted to ride.

ROSS: I wasn’t really living until I was on my RM. The wind in my face, my own weight moving the bike as if we were one. The bike was the only place I could just be me.

DAN: Wanting a motorbike had always been a drea. But now it had gone from a dream to a wish and a wish I was determined to make come true.

KATE: The KX125 and I moved forward – together. There was a wonderful, satisfying roar bellying up from the machine. It was fantastic.

LUKE: Riding a dirt bike is better than anything else on Earth. No two rides are ever the same – there’ll always be a challenge!

There used to be bush all around  Naringalong, but now there’s a housing estate and hardly anywhere to ride.  For the kids near the new estate it is a summer of dirtbikes and discovery. Discovering that if you work at something hard enough – anything can happen. For Emma, Ross, Dan, Kate and Luke it is also the beginning of a new understanding: of friendship, family and … freedom.

Grandfather Martin

Grandfather Martin liked routine, but now he is retired. What can he do to keep busy?

Jessica Joan

Jessica Joan lived all alone. Her life was tidy, her garden was neat, her house was the quietest house on the street. But Jessica Joan goes shopping and things are never the same again.


Best Suited 9-13 Years
Andrew thinks it might be fun to have a tiny orange-colored alien, complete with its own spaceship, for a pet– especially one that can teach him “mind-over-matter” tricks. But Zidrian isn’t cruising around the galaxies for hum; she’s an explorer for the Intergalactic Minerals Exploitation Company, and she has her own plans for Andrew, and for plant Earth.

Out of the Valley of Horses

Best Suited 8-12 Years
The valley of horses has been a safe haven for Honey and her family for seven peaceful years, but this seemingly perfect valley has also become their prison. Trapped by a mysterious magic, and fearing for her father’s life, Honey is determined to find a way out of the valley of horses.

The valley of horses is the only true place Honey remembers since her family stumbled upon it in their converted ice cream truck while escaping from the rest of the world, and the illnesses that was spreading there. Honey’s parents, her brother Rumi, and her NanNan become self-sufficient, living off the land and sharing the valley with mystical horses who seem to have a wisdom of their own. But there is a magic in the valley that prevents Honey and her family from ever leaving. When Honey suspects her father has become ill, Honey knows she must find a way to escape the valley to find help from a world she only knows about through stories.

Poppy’s Path

Poppy doesn’t fit into the pretty painted village where she lives. ‘There’s a whole world waiting to be explored, and if I can cross the river, and climb the mountain, I’ll find the path that’s right for me.’

Sally’s Painting Room

Sally was a painter. All day long pictures danced in her head, waiting to be poured onto paper. So Sally creates a place of her own just for painting.

The Bully Biscuit Gang

Everyone is scared of the mean, tough Bully Biscuit Gang, until one day ….

The Great Yackandandah Billy Cart Race

Best Suited 8-12 Years
Jackson and Jade are happy to let their little sister Ruby do all the work for them – but when they take the billy cart she built and go off to the billy cart race without her, Ruby refuses to give up!

The Laziest Boy in the World

When Xiaolong–perhaps the laziest boy in all of China–devises a way to capture the thief who breaks into his family’s home, all the people in his village change their minds about the “lazy” boy.

The Princess and her Panther

Best Suited 4-7 Years
What do you get when you take one brave, big sister, one not-so-brave little sister, a spooky night-time backyard, and heaps of imagination? The most magnificent camp-out ever!

The world of imagination sparkles to life through vibrant illustrations, and the rhythmic text makes for a joyful read-aloud.

Yasou Nikki

Nikoletta loved the island. With its sparkling blue seas, the rugged beauty of the village and her loving family and friends, everything she ever needed was on the island – it was her home. Even the tourists with their chit-chit-chatter made Nikki giggle

Then Nikoletta became the tourist.She and her family moved to Australia and nothing was familiar anymore… especially not the school. Even her name has been changed. Now her talking sounds like chit-chit-chatter and she’s afraid everyone will make fun of her. Will she ever feel at home in this strange place?

Meeting Jacqueline may change everything for Nikki.

Alroy’s Very Nearly Clean Bedroom

Best Suited 4-12 Years
Alroy, a very imaginative boy, needs to clean his room. But when he tries, he finds himself in the middle of adventure after adventure.

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