About the Author

Jacqueline Harvey knew she wanted to be an author at a young age. She couldn’t say exactly when, but winning a minor writing competition as a teenager inspired her to think that maybe, sometime in the future, she might be able to write books.

It wasn’t until November 2012, that Jacqueline took the giant step away from a 20-year career in schools as a teacher, Deputy Head of Junior School and most recently, Director of Development, to become a full time writer. She is now one of Australia’s most popular authors, having sold over two million copies of her Alice-Miranda, Clementine Rose, Kensy and Max and Willa and Woof series around the world.

Jacqueline Harvey’s bestselling Alice-Miranda series began as an idea for a picture book but it soon became apparent that this perpetually positive seven-and-a-quarter-year-old had a lot more to say. The series has been sold to the United States, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Hungary, Germany, Portugal and Russia and has been shortlisted for numerous children’s book awards in Australia including both industry and children’s choice. Alice-Miranda at School won the YABBA for Younger Readers in 2012 and Jacqueline has had an Alice-Miranda title on the REAL awards shortlist (YABBA, KOALA and KROC children’s choice awards) every from 2012-2017 and again in 2019, 2021 and 2022. She has recorded the first five titles and number 19, Alice-Miranda in the Outback and number 20, Alice-Miranda in Egypt as audiobooks and the first animated feature film, Alice-Miranda: Friends Forever in partnership with SLR Productions, ZDF Enterprises, STAN and the Nine Network (Australia) was released in November 2019 with a second, Alice-Miranda: A Royal Christmas Ball released in late 2021. 2020 saw the release of a special hardback 10 year anniversary edition of the first book, Alice-Miranda at School.

The Clementine Rose series for younger readers has followed closely in the footsteps of Alice-Miranda’s success and has been sold to the United Kingdom, Brazil and Sri Lanka and is now also available in the US. Clementine Rose and the Seaside Escape was shortlisted for an Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) in 2015 in the Younger Readers Category – the same year Alice-Miranda in Japan was also shortlisted in the Older Readers Category. Jacqueline’s first and only picture book, The Sound of the Sea was an Honour Book in the 2006 Children’s Book Council Awards.

The first book in Jacqueline’s latest series, Kensy and Max: Breaking News was released in March 2018 to great excitement and has been a constant on the bestseller charts. The second, Kensy and Max: Disappearing Act followed in September 2018 and the third, Kensy and Max: Undercover  in March 2019. Since then she has released Kensy and Max: Out of Sight in September 2019 and Kensy and Max: Freefall in March 2020. Kensy and Max: Full Speed came out in October 2020, followed by Kensy and Max: Take Down in March 2021 and Kensy and Max: High Voltage in September 2021.  May 2022 saw the release of Kensy and Max: Chasing Danger with the 10th and final book in the series, Kensy and Max: Time’s Up released in May 2023. The first seven books in the Kensy and Max series have been sold to the United States. Jacqueline has recorded all of the books in the series as audio titles. Kensy and Max: Breaking News was shortlisted for the Singapore Red Dot Book Awards 2021 and was on the West Australian Young Readers Book Awards 2020 and the Yabba, KOALA and KROC awards (Victorian, NSW and NT children’s choice awards) for 2020 and again in 2021 and now in 2023.

In 2022 she released her first picture book in many years called That Cat. Illustrated by one of her former students, Kate Isobel Scott, the pair is currently working on their second book, The Daring Tale of Gloria and the Great which will be released in September 2023.

Her newest series is called Willa and Woof. The first book, Willa and Woof: Mimi is Missing was released in July 2022 with the second, Willa and Woof: Birthday Business out in October 2022. Willa and Woof : Grandparents For Hire was released in January 2023 followed by Willa and Woof: Wedding Rescue in April 2023 and Willa and Woof: Let the Games Begin in July 2023. There are many more to come!

Jacqueline was selected as an ambassador for the Australia Reads program in 2020. She wrote a special short Kensy and Max book especially for the campaign Kensy and Max: Spy Games.

Jacqueline relishes any opportunity to get back into school and work with the children who inspire her writing. She is a highly experienced presenter, having delivered hundreds of talks and workshops at schools and festivals around the world.

She was thrilled to present the 2018 Colin Simpson Memorial Lecture for the Australian Society of Authors on the topic ‘Gender, Gatekeeper and Good Fun: The Current State of Play in Children’s Literature’.

Jacqueline is an ambassador for Dymocks Children’s Charities and Room to Read and is passionate about improving literacy outcomes for all children. In 2022 she became the Patron of Somerset Storyfest – something she considers a huge honour! She divides her time between Queenstown New Zealand and Sydney Australia where she lives with her husband Ian and Balthazar, also known as Bally Puss who used to be their Visitor Cat but became a permanent fixture a while ago. Jacqueline is currently working on more Alice-Miranda, and Willa and Woof books as well as some exciting new projects including four picture books and a standalone novel. In her spare time, Jacqueline likes to travel (she’s always up for an adventure), play golf in exotic locations, go fishing, walking, skiing and ride her bike.

Questions and Answers with Jacqueline Harvey

Where do you live?
I divide my time between Queenstown New Zealand and Sydney, Australia.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

From the age of nine I wanted to be a primary school teacher. There were times when I changed my mind of course, as kids tend to do. For a while I thought being a brain surgeon was a great idea, until I realised that the thought of cutting someone open with a scalpel made me queasy, then I wanted to read the television news and be a journalist, and there was always the dream of being a writer (I just didn’t have any clue how to make that happen). So I always came back to the idea of teaching. I loved working with children and despite some of my own high school teachers discouraging me from that career path (that’s really sad I know), ultimately school was where I wanted to be. Once I started working as a teacher, I wrote a lot more and began to develop my dramatic skills. I think some days I’m a frustrated actress too!

What made you want to be a writer?

I was always a daydreamer and loved to tell stories. When I became a teacher I often wrote stories and poems and plays for the children in my classes and my desire to write books grew from there.

What are your favourite Books?

Heidi by Johanna Spyri, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, Matilda by Roald Dahl, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Forgotten Garden and The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I also love Ian McEwan’s books and Tim Winton’s too.

What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Don’t talk about it, do it! In my twenties I spent a lot of time saying that I wanted to be a published writer. I didn’t really do anything about it though until I met the man who would become my husband and he said to me, ‘well you don’t want to die wondering’ and that was true. So I worked really hard with the goal of being published. It didn’t happen overnight and there have been lots of ups and downs along the way – but the fact that I now find my books in libraries and bookshops, being read by children in countries all over the world is a dream come true.

What do you love about writing for kids?

Children are so honest. I’ve had the most incredible privilege of being able to read my material to children for many years. I think in my early teaching days, some of the students would tell me what they thought I wanted to hear, but after a while – and much training about the benefits of honest feedback, they started to tell me what they really thought.

Where have you travelled to?

USA, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Bali, Japan, Fiji, Dubai, Qatar, New Zealand and Australia.

What five words best sum you up?

Determined, empathic, hardworking, positive and talkative.


Article in the Sydney Morning Herald and syndicated papers

Roald Dahl’s Matilda may have her very own stage show but Australian author Jacqueline Harvey’s Alice-Miranda character has snaffled her first animated international television series

A modern-day Anne of Green Gables going by the multi-barrelled name of Alice–Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones is set to become the heroine of a new animated children’s television series.

Read more here

Article in the Mountain Scene Voice of Queenstown

Aussie author’s Q’town chapter

Jacqueline Harvey and her hubby, Ian, shifted from Sydney to their new home here in 2019 and, apart from 15 months locked across the ditch due to Covid, have since made Queenstown their main address.

Read more here

Interview with Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review USA

What inspired you to create such a determined and winning character?

Over my years as a teacher I have worked at some quite privileged schools with little girls who perhaps aren’t quite on the same economic stratosphere as Alice-Miranda but are very fortunate indeed.  I think she’s the best characteristics of lots of children I’ve known.

Read more here

Ten Terrifying Questions on the Booktopia Blog Australia

Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To write entertaining and high quality books that children around the world genuinely enjoy reading.

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Article on Children’s Books Daily website "The Book Gender Debate"


This week I was so fortunate to host Jacqueline Harvey at school and, as on previous visits, she captivated students and staff alike with her enthusiasm, wit and wisdom.

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NZ Herald A Life in Travel: Children’s Author Jacqueline Harvey

A Life in Travel: Children’s author Jacqueline Harvey

Japan when I was 24, as a teacher accompanying a primary school cultural exchange. I fell in love with the country (and have been back numerous times, including for the Rugby World Cup last year).

Read more here

Mediaweek Stan and Nine releasing Alice-Miranda Christmas Movie from SLR Productions

Stan and Nine releasing Alice-Miranda Christmas movie from SLR Productions

Following on from the success of the first telemovie Alice-Miranda Friends Forever which premiered in 2019, Nine Entertainment has commissioned a second animated adventure.

Read more here

Jacqueline Supports

Jacqueline is a passionate educator who shares her love of reading and writing with children and adults alike. A prodigious talker, she has always enjoyed telling stories and imagining the ‘what if’s’ of life. She is passionate about closing the gap between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous achievement in terms of educational disadvantage and has over the years worked closely with several organisations including Yalari, The Indigenous Literacy Foundation and several schools in Central Western NSW. In October 2013 she became an ambassador for Room To Read. In December 2014 Jacqueline was named as a Dymocks Children’s Charities Ambassador. In 2022, Jacqueline was named Patron of Somerset Storyfest for a three year term.