Laureate 2018-2019 Morris Gleitzman
I knew there’d be a certain amount of reading and bucket loads of writing along the Laureate trail, but my secret hope was that there’d also be lots of conversations. And there were. Many with young people, many more, just as importantly, with grown-ups. Big people are often too busy to read, and some have other people to do their writing for them. So sitting down for a chat, (or yelling as you chase after their car) is the go. I lent a clean hanky to more than one misty-eyed big person as they relived the emotional impact a small spider called Charlotte had on them and a pig. If just one of these damp conversations helps prevent the scrapping of just one school library, my laureate work and my expensive running shoes will not have been in vain.
"We talked a lot about stories."
Morris Gleitzman is a bestselling Australian children’s author whose books explore serious and sometimes confronting subjects in funny and unexpected ways.
Morris’ Laureate Focus: Stories Make Us
Morris spoke to more than 55,000 young people when he was Laureate and encouraged them to read stories so they could be ready to face the world with great hope and optimism.
"Young people need stories more than ever. Stories to delight, stories to beguile, stories to inspire, stories to move deeply."
His stories are often about serious topics but somehow he always manages to make them funny, and make you think about the world in a different way after reading them.
“I aim to be not just a Laureate, but also an ambassador. An emissary from the place where young imaginations draw strength from stories and grow and engage and become our best hope for the future.”
Morris’s books have been published in 20 countries and include Two Weeks With The Queen, Grace, Doubting Thomas, Bumface, Give Peas A Chance, Extra Time, Loyal Creatures, Snot Chocolate and the series Once, Then, Now, After, Soon and Maybe. Morris was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Medal in 2019.