Born June 19, 1921, in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia; daughter of Charles Radcliff (a solicitor) and Alice (Dyer) Furlonger; married, 1943 (divorced, 1953); children: Jennifer Mary Wrightson Ireland, Peter Radcliff. Education: Attended St. Catherine's College, 1932, and State Correspondence School, 1933-34.
Home—Lohic, P.O. Box 91, Maclean, New South Wales 2463, Australia.
Writer. Bonalbo District Hospital, New South Wales, Australia, secretary and administrator, 1946-60; Sydney District Nursing Association, New South Wales, 1960-64; Department of Education, New South Wales, assistant editor of School Magazine, 1964-70, editor, 1970-75; writer. May Arbuthnot Lecture, 1985.
Book of the Year Award, Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA), 1956, for The Crooked Snake; Notable Books of the Year Award, American Library Association, 1963, for The Feather Star; CBCA Book of the Year Award runner-up, and Children's Spring Book Festival Award, Book World, both 1968, and Hans Christian Andersen Honors List award, International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), 1970, all for A Racecourse for Andy; CBCA Book of the Year Honour List award, 1974, IBBY Honor List for Text award, 1976, and Voice of Youth Advocate's selection among Best Science-Fiction and Fantasy Titles for Young Adults, 1988, all for The Nargun and the Stars; Officer, Order of the British Empire, 1978; CBCA Book of the Year award, and London Guardian Award commendation, both 1978, and IBBY Books for Young People Honor List award, and Hans Christian Andersen Honors List award, both 1979, all for The Ice Is Coming; New South Wales Premier's Award for Ethnic Writing, and selection among Child Study Association of America Children's Books of the Year, both 1979, both for The Dark Bright Water; CBCA Book of the Year Award high commendation, 1982, for Behind the Wind; Carnegie Medal commendation, 1983, and CBCA Book of the Year Award, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for Fiction, and London Observer Teenage Fiction Prize, all 1984, all for A Little Fear; Hans Christian Andersen Medal nomination, 1984; Dromkeen Medal, Dromkeen Children's Literature Foundation, 1984, for "significant contribution to the appreciation and development of children's literature in Australia"; Golden Cat Award, Sjoestrands Forlag, 1986; Lady Cutler Award, 1986; Hans Christian Andersen Medal, 1986; New South Wales Premier's Special Occasional Award, 1988. Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Books named in the author's honor by New South Wales Premier's Literary Award.
The Crooked Snake, illustrations by Margaret Horder, Angus & Robertson (London, England), 1955.
The Bunyip Hole, illustrations by Margaret Horder, Angus & Robertson (London, England), 1957.
The Rocks of Honey, illustrations by Margaret Horder, Angus & Robertson (London, England), 1960.
The Feather Star, illustrations by Noela Young, Hutchinson (London, England), 1962, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1963.
Down to Earth, illustrations by Margaret Horder, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1965.
I Own the Racecourse!, illustrations by Margaret Horder, Hutchinson (London, England), 1968, published as A Racecourse for Andy, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1968.
An Older Kind of Magic, illustrations by Noela Young, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1972.
(Editor) Beneath the Sun: An Australian Collection for Children, Collins (London, England), 1972.
The Nargun and the Stars (fantasy), Hutchinson (London, England), 1973, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1974.
(Editor) Emu Stew: An Illustrated Collection of Stories and Poems for Children, Kestrel (New York, NY), 1976.
The Ice Is Coming (first book in "Song of Wirrun" trilogy), Atheneum (New York, NY), 1977.
The Dark Bright Water (second book in "Song of Wirrun" trilogy), Hutchinson (London, England), 1978, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1979.
Night Outside, illustrations by Jean Cooper-Brown, Rigby, 1979, illustrations by Beth Peck, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1985.
Behind the Wind (third book in "Song of Wirrun" trilogy), Hutchinson (London, England), 1981, published as Journey behind the Wind, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1981.
A Little Fear (fantasy), Atheneum (New York, NY), 1983.
Moon-Dark, illustrated by Noela Young, McElderry Books (New York, NY), 1988.
Balyet, McElderry Books (New York, NY), 1989.
The Sugar-Gum Tree, illustrated by David Cox, Viking (New York, NY), 1991.
Rattler's Place, illustrated by David Cox, Penguin (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Peter Wrightson) The Wrightson List, Random House/Mark Macleod Books (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1998.
The Water Dragons, illustrated by David Cox, Penguin (New York, NY), 1999.
Wisp of Smoke, illustrated by David Cox, Penguin (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2004.
Wrightson's books have been translated into nine languages, including German, Spanish, and Norwegian. Her papers are collected at the Lu Rees Archives, Canberra College of Advanced Education Library, Australia, and the Kerlan Collection, University of Minnesota.
The Nargun and the Stars was adapted as a television series by Australian Broadcast Corporation, 1977. I Own the Racecourse was filmed by Barron Films, 1985.
Four-time winner of the Australian Children's Book of the Year Award and recipient of the 1986 Hans Christian Andersen Medal, Patricia Wrightson is one of Australia's best-known writers for children and young adults. She has earned critical acclaim and has gained an international following for her books, most of which are fantasies that draw upon ancient Australian myths. According to Zena Sutherland and May Hill Arbuthnot in their Children and Books, "Wrightson has been a channel through which children of her own and other countries have learned the beauty and dignity of the legendary creatures of Aborigine mythology." The author's works of fantasy, which draw on the folklore of Australia's indigenous people, have helped, as a contributor for the St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers put it, to "change . . . the literature of . . . [her] country." Wrightson's benchmark 1972 novel, The Nargun and the Stars, marked the beginning of her reality-based Australian fantasies. With other books, including her "Song of Wirrun" trilogy—The Ice is Coming, The Dark Bright Water, and Behind the Wind—Wrightson has continued to use folklore and ancient myth to create a new type of national literature for Australia. Several of her most recent novels for young readers, including The Water Dragons and Rattler's Place, are part of the "Aussie Bites" series and feature distinctly Australian characters, settings, and predicaments.
Life Down Under
Wrightson was born in 1921 in Lismore, a small country town in New South Wales. She lived on a farm with her parents and older sisters until the age of four, and her memories of those early years are vivid and pleasant. Later she also had three younger brothers. With the exception of one year spent in a suburb of Sydney, she and her family remained in the coastal river country throughout her childhood. Culturally isolated, Wrightson became an avid reader and believes that her love of books originated in her father's nightly readings from the works of nineteenth-century British writer Charles Dickens. Wrightson would later credit her father for educating her in literature, philosophy, and wonder in the natural world, and her mother for teaching her about the social sciences. As she indicated in her essay "Becoming an Australian" for the Something about the Author Autobiography Series: "Our school was a good one, the central school for a large district and one of the biggest in the State; but it had no library. That's how things were in those days. . . . You had your own books, and lent them to friends and borrowed theirs. We were lucky; we had, between us, a lot of books, and my father bought lots that were 'family' books, mainly for adults but good for children to prowl in." However, as Wrightson added, "Without knowing it, I began to feel dissatisfied about something, unsure about something; it was many years before I knew what, or why. Now it seems obvious. . . . If you looked at all those books we had as children, and all the others that my friends had when they were children, you have to notice something strange: they were all fine books that I am glad to have known—but none of them were written by an Australian, or about Australia." From an early age, it was assumed that Wrightson would herself became an author.
When she finished primary school, Wrightson spent one year in a boarding school before returning home to begin high school by a correspondence school for children who lived in isolated areas. She graduated when World War II began in 1939, and then went to Sydney with a friend to work in a munitions factory. By the time the war was over, she was married; however, when the marriage failed, she returned with her two children to live with her parents in the country. It was at that time that she began to think about writing books for her own children, and setting her stories in the Australia they knew. As she indicated in her autobiographical essay: "Before I had even finished typing each story, my father was reading to Jenny and Peter the part that was typed so far; and while he read I would sit quietly, watching the children's faces. . . . By watching their faces I knew what they really thought. I could see where something bothered them, and sort it out later."
Finds Early Success
Wrightson sent her first manuscript to a publisher and continued to work on other books; when The Crooked Snake was finally published, the Children's Book Council of Australia honored it with their Book of the Year Award. Together with its successors, including The Bunyip Hole, The Crooked Snake recalls the author's own childhood in New South Wales, the country her grandfather had helped pioneer.
"It was a surprising time," she related in her autobiographical essay, "I had thought of my books as little, local things that hardly anyone would notice; I had never thought how far a book might travel. It was surprising to discover, by winning the award, a whole community of people who were deeply interested in books for children, who noticed every new one, and with whom you could talk seriously and deeply about them."
After completing her first two books, Wrightson proceeded to produce titles that incorporate the theme of being connected to nature and the land. The Rocks of Honey is a realistic novel dealing with reconciliation between European settlers and Aborigines in Australia. With The Feather Star she relates the story of a fifteen-year-old girl who comes to a realization about the passing of time and of her own mortality. Lindy Martin, the protagonist of the novel, is coming to a turning point in her young life, understanding that her pleasant childhood has come to an end. Now she is confronted by a choice: whether to live her life according to the hell-and-brimstone rules of an old religious crank she encounters, or to build a life based on human relationships and a joy in nature. According to the St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers essayist, Wrightson uses the symbol of the regenerating feather starfish of the title to represent the "continuity of life on earth and its relationship to the life of a self-sufficient universe."
Wrightson was relatively unknown outside Australia until the publication of I Own the Racecourse! According to John Rowe Townsend in A Sounding of Storytellers: New and Revised Essays on ContemporaryWriters for Children, when the book made its way to both Great Britain and the United States, where it was published as A Racecourse for Andy, Wrightson "was suddenly recognized far beyond her own shores as a leading children's writer." The book centers on Andy, a mildly retarded boy who is convinced that he has "bought" the local racecourse from a derelict for three dollars. His conviction results in a conflict between the adults in his life, who encourage Andy's fantasy because they don't want to disappoint him, and his young friends, who realize the potential harm of deluding him. As Townsend wrote: "One wonders what way out there can be that will not deal a fearful psychological blow to Andy. But the author finds one; and it is the perfect and satisfying answer."
Critics praised Wrightson's portrayal of Andy as realistic and sensitive; she "allows us to understand him and feel his frustration," wrote Christine McDonnell in Horn Book. "Wrightson marks Andy's difference from the other boys with subtle indications of his behaviour, his facial expressions, his mode of speech," noted Margery Fisher in her Who's Who in Children's Books: A Treasury of the Familiar Characters of Childhood. Calling A Racecourse for Andy "a refreshing, optimistic book," McDonnell added: "It is about the best in people, their basic goodness. It is about friendship and the responsibility friends have for each other. . . . But most of all, it is about Andy, who sees life through the glass in the window, who trusts and smiles, who means well even in his most calamitous undertakings, who shares his laughter and his happiness. Andy is special, but his limitations can be seen as assets. Andy is innocent, and Patricia Wrightson shows us that innocence is a gift."
Australian Folklore Becomes Theme
It would have been easy for Wrightson to duplicate the success of her first internationally recognized book by writing a second one similar to it; because she felt she needed to learn her craft, she vowed to try to attempt something new each time. "I felt very much a beginner who needed to learn. . . ," she saidina Top of the News article. "It might be a simple story, easy for other writers, but it should be new and difficult for me." Wanting to try fantasy, Wrightson was specific in the type of magic she was trying to write about. In her autobiographical essay, she explained, "I wanted real magic in my story, of the kind that people once believed: the dangerous kind that makes your fingers prickle." And, as she indicated in an essay in Townsend's A Sounding of Storytellers, "Each book at least from the second on was a move towards . . . fantasy. Not the escape from life that some people see as fantasy, nor the symbolism of life that is some fantasy, but that strangeness and fullness of life that spills out of the bucket of reality—the human experience of fantasy."
According to Wrightson, she had a difficult time achieving in words the kind of fantasy she imagined. Fearful that Australia had no magic or fairies of its own, she stumbled upon a story about elfish spirits that was part of the folklore of Aboriginal Australians: "They seemed to fit very naturally into Australian rock and forest," she recalled in her autobiographical essay. "At last I began to see. Of course there would be Australian fairies, because all people have fairies. Fairies explain the odd happenings that you don't understand, and the things that you very nearly see.... Magic belongs to simple people, and is shaped by the things that simple people know: the places where they live and the lives they lead."
After much reading, Wrightson collected a small number of "native Australian spirits and sprites and monsters," but still she had trouble. "The difficulty was such a problem that in the end it became a strength," she continued in her autobiographical essay. "No matter how much anthropology I read in my search for more spirits, I could not become Aboriginal. There was only one think I shared with the Aboriginal people, and that was the land itself. Since I couldn't imagine myself forward into the people, I must imagine myself backward into the land—and, in some mysterious way, this worked. I could get the feel of these native spirits as long as I kept on seeing them as part of the land."
Wrightson's efforts proved successful with other people as well; and, as she concluded: "I was finding that fantasy was what I most wanted to write. More than that: in my struggle to see the folklore truly, in terms of the land out of which it grew, I myself seemed to have become truly Australian at last. I had gained a wider and truer vision of the strange old land; I was surely at home in it." Wrightson explained in a Horn Book interview: "It really was an accident that threw me into the folklore of Aboriginal Australia. I was just a writer with a need to explore, one who liked the kind of fantasy that draws on authentic experience in order to compel belief; and it seemed a worthwhile challenge to try to produce a fantasy of that kind."
Her first attempt at using traditional Aboriginal folklore to create a contemporary fantasy resulted in An Older Kind of Magic. Wrightson's readers responded warmly to some of the novel's spirit characters, especially the Nargun, an ancient mass of stone. "The Nargun, a being evoked from a boulder, never humanized, allowed limited movement but the merest semblance of limb and eye, must be accounted one of the most remarkable myth-beings ever created," stated Fisher. Wrightson recalled in Horn Book that after The Nargun and the Stars was published, she received many letters and calls from people who "all said the same thing: the Nargun identified something for them, gave them the country as they had known and felt it in an unspoken way."
The Nargun and the Stars, Wrightson's breakthrough fantasy novel, tells the story of a boy and his aunt and uncle who try to protect their land from the Nargun. Simon Brent, who lives on a lonely and remote sheep station, is still bitter over the death of his parents. Slowly, Simon begins to learn the value of the land in his life and experiences a form of rebirth as he learns to understand the mythical Nargun that inhabits his rural region. The novel was well received by critics. A Times Literary Supplement contributor, for example, commented that "the Nargun itself, described with passion, is a poetic creation, genuinely frightening and pitiful." C. S. Hannabuss, in Children's Book Review, indicated that "the landscape . . . is a reflection and extension of the imagination," while Townsend suggested that "there is something more truly spine-chilling here than anywhere else" in Wrightson's body of work. Though menacing, the Nargun is essentially amoral; thus the horror in The Nargun and the Stars "has its own origin not so much in the acts of an intrinsically evil being, but in a creature's natural response to threats to its own existence," observed Hugh and Maureen Crago in Signal. Ethel L. Heins commented in a Horn Book review that the book's "essentially simple plot is worked into the rich fabric of a story that begins serenely, arches up to a great crescendo of suspense, and then falls away at the end to 'a whisper in the dark.'"
More Tales of Aboriginal Wonder
In The Ice Is Coming, the first novel in the "Song of Wirrun" fantasy trilogy, Wrightson describes a journey from the interior of Australia down the eastern seaboard to the southwest coast of Victoria. Calling the book "a magnificent heroic novel," a contributor to the Junior Bookshelf detailed the plot of The Ice Is Coming: "It is the story of how the Ninya, manlike spirits of ice, broke out of their caves in the heart of Australia and set out to create a new ice age, and how their enterprise was challenged by a young Aborigine, Wirrun, and a Mimi, a frail spirit of the rocks." Referring to the novel as a "tale of Australian beings," Margery Fisher explained in a Growing Point review that "the relation of the various beings to the land, the central element in the complex folk-beliefs of the aboriginals, is consistently felt through the book, not superimposed but an integral part of its argument and its setting." Rebecca Lukens, writing in the World of Children's Books, regarded Wrightson's novel as stylistically pleasing, as well. "Her keen appreciation of the land, of its sounds, its wild animals and birds, its insects and its climate is apparent in the imagery rich with connotative meaning." According to Jane Langton in the New York Times Book Review, "Wrightson gives a sentence a gentle shove and it seems to roll over the Australian landscape, echoing down the page in patterns of sound, transforming print into vistas of haunted cliffs." Believing that the novelist "handles her extra-human characters with the utmost ease and confidence," Fisher concluded: "More diffused in narrative and less concentrated than The Nargun andthe Stars, [The Ice is Coming] . . . is an inevitable sequel to it, taking us more deeply into a unique, serious, considered interpretation of nature."
Wirrun's tale is continued in The Dark Bright Water and Behind the Wind, both of which further develop "the theme of self-realization," according to the critic for the St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers. In The Dark Bright Water Wirrun begins to accept his role of hero and learns to deal with his own darker side as he continues his quest for the oldest Nargun. Along the way, he suffers the loss of his best friend and of his wife, and he is transformed into a mythic hero who is no longer human. "Wrightson's books make Australia and its mythological creatures vividly real," wrote K. V. Johansen in a Resource Links review of the "Song of Wirrun" trilogy. Johansen further noted that Wrightson "writes convincingly and with respect from the perspective of her aboriginal characters."
More supernatural spirits abound in A Little Fear, the story of elderly Agnes Tucker, who escapes the convalescent home where she has been lodged to travel to the imagined bucolic peace and charm of her dead brother's farm. However, Mrs. Tucker does not count on the troublesome spirit, Njimbin, who has managed to defeat all sorts of settlers in the past and likely knows how to deal with this new one as well. Mrs. Tucker suffers at the hands of the spirit, thinking its pranks are the results of her senile dementia; in the end she must accept the limitations her advanced age has thrust upon her.
Moon-Dark is about a dog who lives with an old fisherman in a remote area by the sea. When the population grows and disturbs local wildlife habitats, the animals intercede by invoking the aboriginal deity Keeting and tricking the humans. "Wrightson's prose has real fairytale qualities, and when the animals act to restore ecological balance, they do so through magic," wrote Donald McCaig in the Washington Post Book World. Noting the originality of Wrightson's tale, McCaig added, "Their magic owes more to Australian Aboriginal beliefs than Hans Christian Andersen." Praising Wrightson for introducing rudimentary ecology to children through the novel's story, Leonard H. Orr suggested, however, in the New York Times Book Review that this goal sometimes "seems to impede the flow of an otherwise accomplished tale," adding that "such objections may be the quibbles of a grownup, for young readers have an appetite for this sort of animal tale." For Ruth S. Vose, writing in School Library Journal, however, "such unlikely elements as an Australian Aboriginal folk hero and spreading urban development form a seamless whole" in Moon-Dark. Writing in Horn Book, Wrightson noted that she "borrowed from Australian folklore the figure of Keeting: the moon" for Moon Dark. "This is his name in the place of my story; he has other names in other parts, sometimes a form of Uncle or Grandfather. But always, true to Australian tradition, he is a man of those first, heroic men who made or became everything in the world. Keeting became the moon in order to conquer death, and hundreds of stories must have grown out of this very old root."
In the novel Balyet Wrightson tells a story adapted from an Aboriginal legend first chronicled in 1880. The native Australian Mrs. Willet is on her way to the bush to renew her spirit by coming into contact once again with her people's sacred places. On the way, she discovers that she has a stowaway in her car in the person of fourteen-year-old Jo, her next-door neighbor. Mrs. Willet acts against her instincts by allowing the rather wild young girl to accompany her, and Jo continually proves that she does not deserve the woman's trust. At the camp in the bush, Jo goes on a motorcycle ride, leaving the young child she is babysitting by itself; the child almost dies as a result, a victim of the dangerous spirit Balyet. When Jo subsequently feels pity for the fate of this spirit, who is condemned to wander forever for breaking an ancient taboo, her own life comes into jeopardy by Balyet. Only the intercession of Mrs. Willet and her tribal elders can save Jo. Ellen Fader, writing in School Library Journal, praised Wrightson's "fluid use of language and her ability to create an other-worldly, haunting landscape" in this novel that "permits a glimpse into an alternate reality."
If you enjoy the works of Patricia Wrightson
If you enjoy the works of Patricia Wrightson, you might want to check out the following books:
Garry Disher, The Divine Wind, 2003.
Witi Ihimaera, The Whale Rider, 2003.
Tracy Lynn, Snow, 2001.
The Phoenix Tree: An Anthology of Myth Fantasy, 1980.
Wrightson once told Authors and Artists for Young Adults: "I do think I've been lucky to work in Australia, for there we had no paths to follow. Most other countries had well-established paths. . . . We have all seen the field extending as the new paths opened it up, so that now the work of thirty years ago needs to be seen in the context of its time. But Australian writers, with so small a body of work behind them, could feel that the country's literature was immediately in their hands. Every story that anyone could conceive was his own new concept, not shaped or directed or limited by other people's thinking, to be worked out in his own way and for almost the first time." She noted in her "Hans Christian Andersen Award Acceptance Speech," reprinted in Bookbird, that even her failures have been lucky: "It can't be common [anymore] . . . for a writer to discover a hole in his nation's literature through the accident of falling into it; and then to find the missing piece through sheer need, and to have it welcomed so warmly."
Writing in Horn Book, Wrightson further commented on the power and importance of the legends and myths she incorporates in her works: "The stories have come down to us: stories of tyranny and greed defeated by heroes; of wanderers helped by ants and birds, or led by animals; wishful, hungry stories of the bowl that never empties and the cloth that is always laid and the generous coming of the rice; stories of islands emerging from the sea, and of powers let loose that must be caught and recaged. . . . The life of story is in our many hands, and without authority it will die. That must never happen, for story is rooted in the need of every one of us: children and adults, readers and writers, Indonesians and Americans and Chinese and New Zealanders, the whole of the family."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Author's Choice 2, Crowell (New York, NY), 1974.
Children's Literature in Education 15, APS Publications, 1974.
Children's Literature Review, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 4, 1982, Volume 14, 1988.
Fisher, Margery, Who's Who in Children's Books: A Treasury of Familiar Characters of Childhood, Holt (New York, NY), 1975.
Kirkpatrick, D. L., Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1978, 2nd edition, 1983.
St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers, 2nd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Saxby, H. M., A History of Australian Children's Literature, Volume 2, Wentworth Books (Sydney, Australia), 1971.
Something about the Author Autobiography Series, Volume 4, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1987.
Sutherland, Zena, and May Hill Arbuthnot, Children and Books, 7th edition, Scott, Foresman (Reading, MA), 1986.
Townsend, John Rowe, A Sounding of Storytellers: New and Revised Essays on Contemporary Writers for Children, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1971.
Townsend, John Rowe, A Sense of Story, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1971.
Townsend, John Rowe, Written for Children: An Outline of English-Language Children's Literature, 2nd revised edition, Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1983.
Ward, Martha E., and Dorothy A. Marquardt, Authors of Books for Young People, Scarecrow (Lanham, MD), 1971.
Best Sellers, December, 1983.
Bookbird, number 2, 1970; April, 1984; February, 1986; March-April, 1986; June 15, 1986.
Books and Bookmen, July, 1968.
Book World, May 5, 1968.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February, 1978; July-August, 1979; November, 1983; October, 1985; May, 1988.
Children's Book Review, December, 1973, C. S. Hannabuss, review of Nargun and the Stars.
Children's Book World, July-August, 1987.
Children's Literature in Education, September, 1974; spring, 1978.
Courier-Mail (New South Wales, Australia), June 13, 1998, Patricia Wrightson, "The Terror of Folklore," p. 7.
Growing Point, October, 1977; December, 1977; September, 1979.
Horn Book, June, 1963; June, 1965; October, 1972; August, 1974; February, 1978; April, 1979; April, 1980, Christine McDonnell, review of A Racecourse for Andy, pp. 196-199; December, 1980; August, 1981, Mary M. Burns, review of Journey behind the Wind, p. 439; August, 1982; February, 1984; January-February, 1985, "The Fellowship of Man and Beast," pp. 38-41; January-February, 1986, Mary M. Burns, review of Night Outside, pp. 64-65; September-October, 1986, Susan Cooper, review of The Nargun and the Stars, pp. 572-574; March-April, 1988; March-April, 1991, Patricia Wrightson, "Deeper Than You Think," pp. 162-170.
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Newsletter, May, 1970.
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New York Times Book Review, January 28, 1978, Jane Langton, review of The Ice Is Coming; November 13, 1983, Natalie Babbitt, review of A Little Fear, p. 40; January 29, 1989, Leonard H. Orr, review of Moon Dark, p. 39.
Publishers Weekly, August 30, 1985, review of Night Outside, p. 423; October 31, 1986; October 30, 1987; March 21, 1989; April 20, 1992, review of The Sugar-Gum Tree, p. 57.
Resource Links, April, 2003, K. V. Johansen, "The Seventies: Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, Penelope Lively, and Patricia Wrightson," pp. 32-34.
School Librarian, March, 1969; December 1973.
School Library Journal, May, 1984, p. 14; December, 1985, review of Night Outside, p. 96; September, 1987, Jeanette Larson, "An Australian Celebration," pp. 131-133; April, 1988, Ruth S. Vose, review of Moon Dark, p. 106; April, 1989, Ellen Fader, review of Balyet, pp. 120-121; July, 1992, Anna DeWind, review of The Sugar-Gum Tree, p. 66.
Signal, January, 1976.
Starship, winter-spring, 1982-83.
Times Literary Supplement, November 23, 1973, review of Nargun and the Stars; March 25, 1977.
Top of the News, spring, 1985, Patricia Wrightson, "Stone into Pools."
Voice of Youth Advocate, April, 1988.
Washington Post Book World, November 5, 1972; May 8, 1988, Donald McCaig, review of Moon Dark; May 14, 1989, Sharon Bell Mathis, review of Balyet, p. X18.
World of Children's Books, fall, 1978.
Young Readers' Review, September, 1968.
Penguin Books Australia Web site,http://www.penguin.com.au/ (May 24, 2004).*