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Children's Author & Teacher

The Kindness Project

A heartwarming story about four kids who overcome their differences

and take on the world.

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The Kindness Project is a middle grade verse novel about about four kids who are given a class project to make the world a better place. Trouble is, they don't like each other…until they discover they have much more in common than they thought, including some pretty big worries. They band together when one of them needs their help and create the most magnificent kindness project of all.

'A beautiful story of friendship, change and kindness.' Stirling Brayley, age 12

"An absolute gem of a book!" Maryam Master, author of No Words

'This inspiring book shows that kindness is the most important superpower of all.' Pip Harry, author of August and Jones.

Deb's

Instagram

5 Writers 5 minutes podcast
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The Uber Talented Critique group - Deborah Abela, Tristan Bancks, Lian Tanner, Zanni Louise and Sarah Armstrong - get together once a month to workshop their writing and record a 5 minute masterclass about how they do it. Listen here or watch on youtube.

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The Book of

Wondrous Possibilities 

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2024 Sakura Medal Japan

2023 CBCA BOOK OF THE YEAR NOTABLE

2023 and 2024 SHORTLISTED REAL AWARDS

2023 THE SPEECH PATHOLOGY BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARDS

2023 SHORTLIST DAVITT AWARDS

A story about books, bookshops and libraries and how they save us when we feel lost.

Arlo Goodman lives with his Uncle Avery in a run-down flat above their bookshop. He has no friends, except for his pet mouse, Herbert. But when a girl called Lisette bursts into the shop and begs him to hide her from a murderer, Arlo’s life changes forever.

He’s swept up into an adventure involving a magical book, a race to save Lisette’s home and a story in The Book of Wondrous Possibilities, where Arlo himself is the hero…but will Arlo be able to find his courage in time to save the day?

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‘…a delightfully quirky, sweeping adventure with smart young characters, unexpected plot twists...a great read for 8-12 year olds.’

Paul Macdonald, The Children’s Bookshop

 

‘A fast-paced, funny and surprising book with original characters, dastardly plots and wondrous possibilities.’ Tristan Bancks author of Two Wolves

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‘As soon as I started reading, I instantly fell in love with this book.’ 

Hannah Mae Gruppetta age 12

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TEACHER NOTES

Bear in Space

CBCA Notable 2021!

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Bear was different.

 

When he dreams of going into space, the other bears laugh. In space he feels at home, but also alone, until something extraordinary happens.

 

A story about being different and finding friends who love you just the way you are.

'...a beautiful new book,' Mary Martin Bookshop

'I just love it!...we're going to see this one shortlisted.' Megan Daley, Children's Books Daily. 

'BEAUTIFUL illustrations and a LOVELY story about imagination and friendship.' KidsBooksWeLove

Build a Rocket!

Download your rocket activity sheet & Colouring Pages

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your kid's next read podcast
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It's always lovely talking about books and here I get to talk with internationally published and awarded author A.L. Tait on Your Kids Next Read Podcast. You can listen in here.

'Words & Nerds' Podcast

 

Deb enjoyed chatting with Adrian Beck, podcaster and author extraordinaire, about verse novels and why kindness is a superpower. Listen here.

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Interview with Zanni Louise
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Deb had the absolute pleasure of chatting with superstar author and critique buddy Zanni Louise about The Kindness Project. You can listen in here.

with this book we can podcast
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Deb had lots of fun chatting with incredible Teacher Librarians, Kerry Gittins and Lynette Barker, all about The Kindness Project, mental health in kids books and why verse novels are so much fun! Click here to listen in. 

so you want to be a writer
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In this podcast, Deb has a lovely time talking with Valerie Khoo, director of the Australian Writers' Centre about being an author, writing middle grade books and why she LOVES her nanna. You can listen here.

One More Page Podcast

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Deb spoke to the wonderful Kate from One More Page at the Kids and YA festival at Writing NSW  about writing, stories and the wondrous possibilities of books.

CBCA Lunchtime Storytime

Deb is a trained teacher and has been speaking in schools and festivals here and around the world for 20 years! She LOVES getting kids excited about books, reading and writing their own stories.

Deb has been visiting schools and leading talks and workshops from her attic, Studio 6, where she also writes.

Find out how to book Deb here.

The kids AND the staff have absolutely loved working with you too! Excitement levels have been very high! I can't believe we've never done this virtually before!!

Cynthia Maiden, Principal, St Joseph’s Hopetoun.

Without exception every teacher and child who was part of your ZOOM visit to our school was excited and impressed by your energetic, well-prepared and fun talk. Thank you so much!!!!!!

Bronwen Loveday, Cherrybrook PS

Thank you so very much for your BRILLIANT presentation. Your enthusiasm, passion and pure joy about writing and all things book related, was so infectious we had all the students and staff just buzzing!

Christine Bottrell Kincoppal Rose Bay

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Deb had lots of fun dressing up in her shark onesie and talking all about books on the CBCA Lunchtime Storytime. Have a peek here.

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Story Scoop

Watch authors and illustrators tell the story behind their stories on the CBCA NSW Branch website.

Podcast for
Young Writers
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Westwords have a podcast where they talk to writers about writing! And Deb got to join in! She talks to James Roy about Hunting and Gathering ideas.

Have a listen here.

Final Storm

SHORTLISTED FOR THE YABBA, KROC AND KOALA AWARDS 2021

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Deb wrote Grimsdon because she was angry that governments weren't dealing with climate change.

 

Kids loved it and harassed her to write New City and after even more kid harassment, she wrote the third and last book, Final Storm. 

It has wild weather, hoverboards, robots, rescue eagles and a teenager, called Aleksander Larsen, who is smart, kind, good-looking and likes Isabella Charm. Xavier can't stand him.

Read more about the Grimsdon trilogy here

'The characters, the adventures, the emotion, the plot twists and turns - WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE!'

Jo Noble, Librarian, St Agatha's Catholic School, Clayfield

'AWESOME. EXCITING. UNPUTDOWNABLE!'
Mrs Kerry Gittins, Head Librarian, Renaissance International School

 

'Your book had me on the edge of my seat in every chapter.'

James, age 12, Sydney Grammar School

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Deb chats about Books
on the 21CL Podcast

Teacher and podcaster, Michael Boll, chats with Deb about books and writing and sharing the excitement of writing with kids.

Have a listen here.

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Wolfie An Unlikely Hero
Deb chats with author extraordinaire, Adrian Beck
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Adrian Beck is an incredible author. He and Deb chatted about all things writing and making trouble.

Have a look here.

The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee

'The irrepressible Wimple family returns. Merriment and edification mark this story of bravery, friendship, and logophilia.'

Kirkus Reviews, USA.

Humorous and poignant, this title will inspire readers with its kind, courageous heroine. School Library Journal, USA

5/5 This has to be one of the best children's books that I have read this past year! Goodreads

Read aloud to a middle primary class, they will enjoy the quirky characters, solving the mystery and Abela's celebration of the English language. Rhyllis Bignell. ReadPlus

This is a story that’s less about a spelling bee, and more about friendship, and standing up for one another, and most importantly standing up – and believing in —  yourself. Verushka Byrow Reading Time

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Room to Read

700 million people in the world can't read, most are girls and women. Educating a child in the world's poorest countries costs $1 a day. Can you help us raise money to send kids to school?

Find out more here.

Spelling Bee In Malta & US

​Deb is so excited that the Wimple family are in the USA and Malta!

Find out more here.

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The Children's Book Council

​The CBCA NSW Branch is a vibrant group of passionate people who love connecting young people with books. Find out more here.

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