In term 2 our initial focus will be on reading books by the authors we will see at the Reading Matters Conference on Thusrday, May 26th at Storey Hall:

Markus Zusak plus performance
Jane Burke
Cassandra Clare plus performance
Denis Wright
Excursion brochure created for Book Clubbers:

external image portrait_markus_zusak.jpg Markus Zusak (Aust writer)
Markus was born in Sydney, the son of an Austrian house painter father and a German mother. As he was growing up, he heard stories about Nazi Germany, the bombing of Munich and Jews being marched through the small German town in which his mother lived. These stories inspired him to write The book thief. His latest book is The bridge of clay (source:

Books include: external image 41BD2HYD9GL._SL500_AA300_.jpg The Underdog,external image 10095774.jpg Fighting Ruben Wolfe and external image 48f0699985c9ff2072d8ecbe8c4b838d.jpg When Dogs Cry (all of which feature the Wolfe boys and gained accolades in Australia and abroad).
He is also probably best known for external image 9781741977486-T-FC.jpg The Book Thief and external image 9780330363884.jpg The Messenger (sometimes called "I Am the Messenger").

Awards: For "The Messenger" - 2003 CBC (Older Readers); 2003 NSW Premier's Literary Award; Michael L Printz Honor Book
Websites, interviews and reviews:
Interview with Teen Reads
Interesting review and biographical details in this article in
Some Reading Room reviews: When dogs cry, The Messenger

What we learned about Markus at Reading Matters:
v That he is a very good author – his books were interesting
v That putting little things that mean something to you in a story makes it more realistic and interesting
v That he is yum!! He didn’t like his brother. He takes a small story and makes the story awesome
v That he thinks he does not have a great imagination just a lot of problems
v That he has a great sense of humour and 3 simple rules for writing
v That Markus’ family came from Germany. His father was a painter who drove a combi van.
v That he is young, incredibly talented and he is funny,
v That he should have been a comedian and not an author
v He is a younger sibling, he has an older brother and a revenge story about him
v He was bullied by his brother and painted himself into a luggage chute cornerv That I should be nice to my little brother and eggs are fun
v That Markus likes vengeance

external image Burke,%20J.C..jpg Jane Burke (Aust writer)
Jane started writing in 1999. She has published a number of acclaimed books for teenagers and young adults, including The story of Tom Brennan which won the 2006 CBC Book of the Year for older readers. Jane lives on Sydney's northern beaches and is married with two children (source:

Books include:
Faking Sweet external image 9781741661934.jpg The Red Cardigan external image 9780759320291-crop-325x325.jpg Nine Letters Long external image 9781741660968.jpg Starfish Sisters external image 9781741661552.jpg Ocean Pearl external image 9781741661613.jpg

The Story of Tom Brennan external image 9781741660920.jpg Pig Boy external image 1741663121.jpg?1303088908

Awards: For "The Story of Tom Brennan" 2006 CBC Book of the Year (Older readers)
Websites, interviews and reviews:
Publisher's website:
Author's website:
Some Reading Room reviews: **Faking Sweet**, **Starfish Sisters**

What we learned about Jane at Reading Matters:
v She is a busybody and this is why she writes. She plans extensively and writes chronologically
v Jane wasn’t a big reader or writer at school but she was a big eavesdropper and a busybody
v Authors go and do a LOT to write their book and this research can be gruesome
v She is incredibly dedicated to her work: when she was writing “Pig Boy” she wanted to know what it would feel like to be taking the guts out of a pig so she went pig shooting
v She likes gutting pigs and she actually gutted a pig which is gross
v She is a busybody (and has “big ears”) and her son has similar antennae
v We have a lot of things in common

external image portrait_cassandra_clare.jpg Cassandra Clare (US writer)
Cassandra made her fiction debut with The mortal instruments series, which has been on many bestseller lists. Cassandra lives in an old Victorian house in western Massachusetts with her fiancé, their cats and lots and lots of books (source:

The Mortal Instruments series: City of Bones external image city-of-bones.jpg, City of Ashes external image city-of-ashes.jpg, City of Glass external image city-of-glass.jpg City of Fallen Angels external image city-of-fallen-angels.jpg

The Infernal Devices series: Clockwork Angel external image Book1.png

Websites, interviews and reviews:
Author's Website:
Author's blog:
Some Reading Room reviews: **The City of Bones**

What we learned about Cassandra at Reading Matters
v She has some very strange and weird hobbies which she believes are useful when writing because they are woven into her stories
v Realistic characters make fantasy more believable
v She drove around with her friend locked in the boot of the car because her friend was researching a book
v She comes up with ideas for her books with her friends
v She always liked writing and has always written
v That different is good
v That she went to London to picture the scenes in one of her books and she likes urban exploration
v Her very first story was a romance which she now sees was pretty bad (the boyfriends all died)

Denis Wright (NZ writer)
Denis has taught English in a number of North Island secondary schools and now teaches at Wellington High School. He decided to write his own novel for teenagers after students in his classes complained that there didn’t seem to be any contemporary New Zealand novels written with teenage boys in mind. He is currently working on a second novel for teenagers.

external image violence_101.jpg Violence 101

A Reading Room review of **Violence 101**

What we learned about Denis at Reading Matters:
v He speaks the Maori language really well and likes the language
v He is an English teacher in NZ and started teaching in Perth (in 1977)
v He believes that you can get character and personalities from real people
v His main character in “Violence 101” is based on 3 boys he used to know
v He thinks the Australian cover of his book is cooler than the NZ one
v He likes watching people and listening to people
v Teachers can hear students even when they are writing on the board