Histories for children
Publisher and editor Clare Hallifax and author Sophie Masson discuss their experiences of writing and publishing histories for children. They consider the importance of research and historical accuracy, how to allow for poetic licence, and what makes a ‘good’ history for children.
Sophie Masson AM was born in Indonesia of French parents and brought up in France and Australia. She is the author of over 70 books for children, young adults and adults. Among these are several historical novels for children, including The Hunt for Ned Kelly, which won a NSW Premier’s Literary Award, and Jack of Spades, shortlisted for the Davitt Awards. Others include The Phar Lap Mystery; My Father’s War; 1914; and War and Resistance. Her latest historical novel for children is Sydney under Attack (2022).
Clare Hallifax is the publisher of Walker Books Australia. She was previously publisher at Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia, and has worked in the publishing industry for over 30 years. Her career has spanned both children’s and adult publishing and all genres, literary and mass market. She has edited and published historical fiction (including the renowned My Australian Story series) and stand-alone historical novels for middle-grade and YA readers, and as a non-fiction editor, she specialised in Australian history, politics and biographies.
Chair: Professor Paul Ashton is an adjunct at the University of Technology Sydney – where he co-established the Australian Centre for Public History in 1999 – at Macquarie University and at the University of Canberra. Co-founder and editor of the journal Public History Review, he has authored, co-authored and edited over thirty-five books. Paul is currently writing a series of creative non-fiction children’s history books for late primary and early high school pupils.
Doors open 17.30pm.
Image: ‘Children’s Book Week’, State Library of NSW.