Heather Rose Reads

During this long period of isolation I am keenly aware of what it will take to be a parent to young children. For many years, I’ve been going into schools and reading the Tuesday McGillycuddy series to primary school children. I also dress up as one of the main characters – Serendipity Smith.

So, to make a small contribution at this time, I’m going to read a chapter of Finding Serendipity at 4pm Australian Eastern Standard time on Facebook beginning Monday April 6th.

If readers want more, I’ll keep going. (In Australia there’s a long winter ahead.)

The series has been published in Australia, the USA and Germany. It has twice been shortlisted for Best Children’s Fantasy Novel in the Aurealis Awards. The books are fantasy but they’re also about creativity and family, love and courage. We also wrote them to encourage and support young writers.

If you have younger readers aged 8 – 12, I’d love them to join me. I’ll also suggest some creative exercises they can do beyond the reading to keep them entertained a little longer.

There may even be dressing up.

If you’re in a different time zone, I’ll be posting the readings to YouTube here. Subscribe if you enjoy.



Somerset Celebration of Literature 2016

Every year, in the hinterland of the Gold Coast, a most remarkable celebration of children’s literature takes place – the  Somerset Celebration of Literature –  at the Somerset College. Angelica Banks was lucky enough to be one of the thirty authors for 2016. It’s hard to express the scale of this festival. There are literally thousands of children streaming in from across Queensland to listen to authors and engage in sessions about books and words and writing.

One group of primary school students travelled 12 hours from Rockhampton by train for one day at the festival. Another had travelled 6 hours by bus.

From the extraordinary students who provide individual valets for each writer to ensure we can navigate the large campus and find our marquees, to the book shop team, the catering team, the green room team, the people who set up and put away everything it takes to create this festival, right through to the brilliant drivers who chauffeur us to various destinations, the school staff, and the teachers who make everything possible – bringing their students to experience and explore the love of literature – this is a festival that is full of heart.

Here we are about to start a workshop session wearing our Angelica Banks summer garb – having traded our long blue velvet coats etc for hats – given the 30 degree heat and 90% humidity.

Angelica Banks at Somerset Celebration of Literature 2016
Angelica Banks at Somerset Celebration of Literature 2016


Hello USA!

US FINDING SERENDIPITY PICfinding serendipity book covers

Today is a great day! Our children’s book Finding Serendipity was published in the USA! This is the first in a series for primary school readers that I’ve co-authored with the wonderful Danielle Wood (www.daniellewood.com.au). Finding Serendipity launched in Australia in 2013, Germany 2014 and now the USA in 2015. The first sequel will be launched in Australia in May 2015. And we’re currently completing the third book! So over the next three years, readers across the world will have the fun of discovering Tuesday McGillycuddy, her dog Baxterr and her fearless friend Vivienne Small. There have been reviews flooding in – so here’s a few from our readers:

“Cleverly blurring the line between writers and the worlds they create, Finding Serendipity is both an entertaining adventure and a charming portrayal of the wonderful connection people feel to the stories they read and write. Through Tuesday, we are reminded just how ‘real’ the characters we love can become to us and how much they can influence and teach us. Tuesday McGillycuddy is a wonderful heroine – brave, clever, quirky and full of energy – and I’m looking forward to seeing what the author Angelica Banks (actually two authors from Tasmania, Heather Rose and Danielle Wood) has in store for Tuesday in the future.” Kids Book Review

“Finding Serendipity was a joy to read. I know my 12-year-old daughter will love it and it is the perfect story for advanced younger readers looking for a more involved story with content that they can still enjoy and appreciate. The story is an entertaining adventure combined with clever wordplay and appealing characters.” My Book Corner

“With cinematic imagery and keen wit, the authors construct an inventive novel that raises intriguing questions about the relationship between authors and their characters, and reaches “The End” all too soon.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“A middle-grade fantasy about the magic in writing stories . . . An original, wholehearted affirmation of the written word and the imagination.” Kirkus Reviews

“A classic tale that will be loved by many.” Lamont Books

“A fantastic adventure story brimming with imagination, a love of books, and a big dash of magic. . . . Finding Serendipity has pirates and adventures, sailing ships and oodles of magic, and a silver thread that creates words and stories. . . . You’ll never read a book in quite the same way again!” My Book Corner

“I loved this book because it was adventurous, exciting, descriptive, and a mysterious story.” Lilian, age 9

“This is an exceptional book for grades 3 – 6. It’s not simply full of wonderful (and hilarious) characters and a wildly imaginative plot – it is also a story about the nature of storytelling and is sure to inspire many young writers. It’s reminiscent of the real classics – The Hobbit, Peter Pan, Carbonel, the FarAway Tree. And this is the first in a series …so we wait with much anticipation for whatever happens to Tuesday, Baxterr and Vivienne next.” Goodreads

“This enchanting story (which may remind readers of the fully imagined worlds created by Edith Nesbit) celebrates the imagination and the connection writers feel with their stories. Spunky characters; spot-on pacing, providing perfectly timed plot revelations; and fully imagined worlds make this a charming winner for curling up with a good book or classroom read-alouds. Even those struggling a bit with reading will be tempted to up their game with this one.” Macmillan School & Library, STARRED REVIEW