Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Ciara Biography - Wrote Out Goals to Elizabeth David (1913–1992) Biography

Gary Crew (1947-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

australia book south victoria

Born 1947, in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Education: Attended Queensland Institute of Technology; University of Queensland, Diploma (civil engineering drafting), 1970, B.A., 1979, M.A., 1984.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Lothian Books, 11 Munro St., Port Melbourne, Victoria 3207, Australia.

Career

Writer for children and young adults, 1985—. McDonald, Wagner, and Priddle, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, senior draftsman and drafting consultant, 1962-72; Everton Park State High School, Brisbane, English teacher, 1974-78; Mitchelton State High School, Brisbane, English teacher, 1978-81; Aspley High School, Brisbane, subject master in English, 1982; Albany Creek High School, Brisbane, subject master in English and head of English Department, 1983-88; Queensland University of Technology, creative writing lecturer, 1989—; Thomas Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), editor, 1990—. Lecturer, University of the Sunshine Coast.

Member

Australian Society of Authors, Queensland Writers Centre (chair).

Honors Awards

Book of the Year Award for Older Readers, Children's Book Council of Australia (CCBA), 1991, for Strange Objects, and 1994, for Angel's Gate; Alan Marshall Prize for Children's Literature, and New South Wales Premier's Award, both 1991, both for Strange Objects; shortlist, Edgar Allan Poe Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1992, for Strange Objects, and 1995, for Angel's Gate; Lucy's Bay shortlisted for CCBA picture book of the year, 1993; National Children's Book of the Year citation, 1994, for Angel's Gate ; Book of the Year Award for Picture Books, CCBA, 1994, for First Light, and 1995, for The Watertower; Bilby Children's Choice Award, 1995, for The Watertower; Ned Kelly Award for Crime Writing, 1996, for The Well; The Blue Feather shortlisted for West Australian Premier's Award, 1997; CCBC Notable Book designation, 1997, for Tagged; CCBA Picture Book of the Year shortlist, 2000, for Memorial.

Writings

FICTION

The Inner Circle, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1985.

The House of Tomorrow, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1988.

Strange Objects, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1990, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.

No Such Country: A Book of Antipodean Hours, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1991, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1994.

Angel's Gate, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1993, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.

Inventing Anthony West, University of Queensland Press, 1994.

(With Michael O'Hara) The Blue Feather, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1997.

Mama's Babies, 1998.

The Force of Evil, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1998.

Gothic Hospital, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

The Diviner's Son, Pan (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2002.

(With Declan Lee) Automaton, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

The Plague of Quentaris, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

Me and My Dog, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

The Lace Maker's Daughter, Pan (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2005.

The Mystery of the Eilean Mor (mystery), illustrated by Jeremy Geddes, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

Sam Silverthorne: Quest, Hodder (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2005.

PICTURE BOOKS

Tracks, illustrated by Gregory Rogers, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1992, and Gareth Stevens (New York, NY), 1996.

Lucy's Bay, illustrated by Gregory Rogers, Jam Roll Press, 1993.

The Figures of Julian Ashcroft, illustrated by Hans DeHaas, Jam Roll Press, 1993.

First Light, illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1993, Gareth Stevens (New York, NY), 1996.

Gulliver in the South Seas, illustrated by John Burge, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1994.

The Watertower, illustrated by Steven Woolman, ERA Publishers (Adelaide, South Australia, Australia), 1994, Crocodile Books (New York, NY), 1998.

The Lost Diamonds of Killicrankie, illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1995.

Caleb, illustrated by Steven Woolman, ERA Publishers (Adelaide, South Australia, Australia), 1996.

Bright Star, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), Kane Miller, 1997.

Tagged, illustrated by Steven Woolman, ERA Publishers (Adelaide, South Australia, Australia), 1997.

The Viewer, illustrated by Shaun Tan, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1997.

Troy Thompson's Excellent Poetry Book, illustrated by Craig Smith, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1998.

Memorial, illustrated by Shaun Tan, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

(With Annmarie Scott) In My Father's Room, Hodder (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2000.

Beneath the Surface, Hodder (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2004.

The Lantern, illustrated by Bruce Whatley, Hodder (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2005.

The Mystery of Eileen Mor, illustrated by Jeremy Geddes, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

"AFTER DARK" SERIES; FICTION

The Windmill, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1998.

The Fort, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1998.

The Barn, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1999.

The Bent-back Bridge, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1999.

The Well, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1999.

NONFICTION

(With Mark Wilson) The Castaways of the Charles Eaton, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2002.

(With Robert Ingpen) In the Wake of the Mary Celeste, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

Young Murphy: A Boy's Adventures (picture book biography), illustrated by Mark Wilson, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

Pig on the Titanic: A True Story, illustrated by Bruce Whatley, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

"EXTINCT" SERIES; NONFICTION; WITH MARK WILSON

I Saw Nothing: The Extinction of the Thylacine, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

I Said Nothing: The Extinction of the Paradise Parrot, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2003.

I Did Nothing: The Extinction of the Gastric-Brooding Frog, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

OTHER

Contributor of short stories to anthologies, including Hair Raising, edited by Penny Matthews, Omnibus, 1992; The Blue Dress, edited by Libby Hathorn, Heinemann, 1992; The Lottery, edited by Lucy Sussex, Omnibus, 1994; Family, edited by Agnes Nieuwenhuizen, Reed, 1994; Crossing, edited by Agnes Nieuwenhuizen and Tessa Duder, Reed, 1995; Nightmares in Paradise, edited by R. Sheahan, Queensland University Press, 1995; and Celebrate, edited by M. Hillel and A. Hanzl, Viking, 1996. Compiling editor, Dark House, Reed, 1995, and Crew's 13, ABC Books, 1997. Contributor to books, including At Least They're Reading! Proceedings of the First National Conference of the Children's Book Council of Australia, Thorpe, 1992; The Second Authors and Illustrators Scrapbook, Omnibus Books, 1992; and The Phone Book, Random House, 1995. Contributor to periodicals, including Age, Australian Author, Imago, Magpies, Reading Time, Viewpoint, and World Literature Written in English.

Adaptations

The story "Sleeping over at Lola's" was adapted as a radio play by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Sidelights

The novels of Australian writer Gary Crew have received critical acclaim for achieving two qualities that are difficult to combine; they have been declared intricate and enriching examples of literary writing, and they are also accessible to young readers. "His novels epitomize young adult literature in Australia to date," wrote Maurice Saxby in The Proof of the Pudding. "They successfully combine popular appeal with intellectual, emotional, psychological and spiritual substance." Crew's books often explore the history of Australia, but he finds that it is his own personal history that often drives his fiction. "Perhaps more than other mortals, it is the writer of children's fiction who suffers most from the desire to return to the past," he wrote in an essay in Magpies. "I know I cannot entirely abandon my own past. Once I would have longed to; I would have given anything to at least redress, at best forget, the forces that shaped me—but, as I grow older, and more confident in my art, I am not so certain.… A writer who cannot remember must produce lean fare. And surely, a children's writer who cannot remember is no writer at all."

Crew's past begins in Brisbane, Australia, where he was born in 1947. In his Magpies essay, Crew recalled that he "spent most of my childhood with the local kids racing around the neighbourhood," but there was also a sadder aspect to the author's early years. Crew began to suffer from poor health as a youngster, describing himself in a speech published in Australian Author as "a sickly, puny child." As a result, his rambunctious adventures soon gave way to calmer pursuits. "My mother says that I was a very quiet child, and my earliest memories suggest that she is right," Crew once told Something about the Author ( SATA ). "I was always happiest by myself, reading, drawing, or making models. I never did like crowds or noise." Crew's illness also forced him to spend a lot of time in hospitals or confined to the house, but this experience later benefited his writing in at least two ways. It first allowed him much time to read. In Magpies, Crew recalled that he and his sister read "anything," and this interest in books continued into adulthood, providing him with a solid literary background.

A second benefit of Crew's illness was that it brought him in closer contact with an influential setting that would later be featured in one of his books. "A significant period of my childhood had been spent at my great-grandmother's house in Ipswich, to the west of Brisbane," Crew related in Australian Author. "My great-grandmother was bedridden in this house; my widowed grandmother cared for her. Because I was always sick, there seemed to be some logic in packing me off to join them." Recalling the location in The Second Authors and Illustrators Scrapbook, Crew wrote that "this house was wonderful, with verandas all around, and a great big mango tree growing right up against it. We could climb over the rail and drop onto the branches of the mango. This house gave me the main idea for my second novel, The House of Tomorrow." In that novel, Crew writes of Danny, a teenage boy who has difficulty coping with the increased pressures in his life. Searching for a means to order and understand the world around him, Danny finds solace in the house that is modeled on the home in Ipswich. As the author explained it in Australian Author: "In The House of Tomorrow my great-grandmother's house reestablished a sense of place and belonging in a young boy's life."

Crew's stays in Ipswich had other benefits, as well. "My first public attempts at writing were letters sent from my great-grandmother's house to my parents," he wrote in The Second Authors and Illustrators Scrapbook, and writing and drawing later became important elements in his life. "Until I went to high school, I never seemed to be especially good at anything," Crew once admitted in SATA, "but at fifteen years old, I realized that I could write and draw—but that was about all I could do well!"

Despite his desire to continue his studies, Crew's drawing abilities and his family's economic status soon led him in another direction. "My parents had very little money, so I left school at sixteen to become a cadet draftsman, working for a firm of engineers. I hated this, and at twenty-one I returned to college to matriculate by studying at night; then I went to university. All this time I was earning a living as a draftsman, but had decided to be a teacher of English because I loved books so much." Crew soon proved his abilities as a student, and he valued the opportunity to continue his delayed education. "I don't think anyone was ever more comfortable at uni[versity] than I was," he told Scan interviewer Niki Kallenberger, "It was most wonderful! I would have done all the assignments on the sheets! It was a feeling of being totally at home and I was a changed person."

It was not until after he became a high school English teacher that Crew began writing fiction, and then only at the urging of his wife. "Christine cut out a piece from the paper advertising a short story contest which I entered virtually as a joke," he told Kallenberger. The story placed in the contest and later won a best short story of the year contest. Crew then turned to novels for young adults and drew inspiration from the students in his English classes. "I guess my first novels came out of my experience as a high school teacher," he once told SATA. "I saw so many teenagers who were confused and unhappy—about themselves and the world around them." His first book, The Inner Circle, focuses on the relationship between a black teenager named Joe, and a white teen named Tony, who form a bond despite their racial differences. Saxby, analyzing the novel in The Proof of the Pudding, found that The Inner Circle is "above all, a well-told story incorporating many of the concerns of today's teenagers. The theme of personal and racial reintegration and harmony is inherent in the plot and reinforced through symbolism." The book has enjoyed great popularity in Australia, and English and Canadian editions have also been published. Crew has been pleased by the book's success but believes the work contains several flaws. "I'm not a fool in regard to approaching the book critically myself and I know the book's got phenomenal weaknesses," he told Kallenberger. "But I also see it as being a remarkable publishing oddity because it's so accessible to kids and its use in the classroom continues to astound me."

Crew's enjoyment of academic study—and research in particular—has influenced his fiction-writing process. He is not an author who sits at a desk and waits for inspiration to visit him; instead, Crew actively seeks out information about a subject and collects the materials in a journal. As he told Kallenberger, a typical journal contains "clippings, drawings, scrappy notes I write to myself. I just keep it all in a carton and throw in anything, even books, that's broadly relevant.… It all goes in there and if it's a rainy day I'll look at it." Crew has also conducted computer searches to gain information on subjects, and he often employs his artistic skills in preparation for writing a book. "I think that drawing people and places before I write about them prevents me from having writer's block, and allows me to write smoothly without interruptions," he related in The Second Authors and Illustrators Scrapbook. "These jottings are quick and rough but they mean a great deal to me when I come to write the episode they represent; they serve as mental reminders."

Crew's explorations of Australian history began with his third novel, the award winning Strange Objects. The novel's hero, Stephen Messenger, is a sixteen year old who discovers a leather-bound journal and other mysterious objects in a cave. The relics are believed to have belonged to two survivors from the Batavia, a ship that wrecked off the coast of Australia in 1629. These relics provide Messenger with a direct link to his country's earliest European inhabitants, and they provide Crew with a means of addressing the relationship between the Europeans and the aboriginal peoples who were the original inhabitants of the Australian continent. As is the case in several of Crew's books, Strange Objects forces readers to consider some unpleasant aspects of the European conquest of the island and is often critical of the colonists who settled in Australia. Commenting on Strange Objects in Reading Time, Crew wrote that the book is "intended to challenge the reader to examine what has happened in our past, to reassess what forces shaped this nation—and the effect the white invasion has had on the original inhabitants of this country."

Crew finds that, like many other things, his interest in the past stems from his childhood. In his speech accepting the Book of the Year Award from the Children's Book Council of Australia for Strange Objects, Crew explained the influence of his early years. "The origins of Strange Objects are founded deep in my memory," he stated in the speech, later published in Reading Time. "During the never-ending sunshine of my childhood in the 50's, my parents would regularly take me and my sister Annita to the Queensland Museum.… Here we were able to stare goggle-eyed and open-mouthed at mummies stolen-away from the Torres Strait Islands, bamboo headhunters' knives complete with notches from every head taken and other so-called 'cannibal' artifacts.… When I had been made wiser by my studies, I began to understand the colonist's fear of the Indigene [or aborigines] as The Other, and to appreciate fully the fantastical and ever-changing phenomenon we call 'history.'"

Crew has further explored the legacy of Australia's past in his novel No Such Country, which takes place in the fictional setting of New Canaan and concerns the fate of the White Father, a priest who enjoys great power in the village. Joan Zahnleiter, writing about the book in Magpies, noted that "the Father uses his knowledge of a particularly evil event in the past of New Canaan to blackmail superstitious fisherfolk into accepting him as the Messiah who controls their lives with his great book." Zahnleiter also found that "the book has deeply religious concepts embedded in it so that a working knowledge of the Bible enriches the reading of it. However it is a story which works well for the reader without that knowledge."

As the editor of Lothian Books' "After Dark" series as well as the author of some of the titles in the series, Crew is no stranger to terrifying tales of gothic horror. Sometimes these stories come from history, such as Mama's Babies. Using actual nineteenth-century cases of women who would take on additional children for cash, only to later "dispose" of these children when they could, Crew tells the story of Sarah, the oldest adoptive child of Mama Pratchett. It seems as though each time a child has a mysterious accident, is hospitalized, or disappears, a new baby is brought into the family. When Sarah is forced to feed one of the younger children "medicine" that seems to make the child worse, she begins to develop suspicions about Mama Pratchett's behavior—but not soon enough to save the child. It is only with the help of her friend Will that Sarah is able to gain the courage to bring her suspicions to the authorities.

"Although the author wisely prepares readers for the horrific events well in advance, this gripping story isn't for the fainthearted," warned Kay Weisman in Booklist, adding in her review of Mama's Babies that horror lovers will be unable to put the book down. Sarah Applegate, writing for Kliatt, noted, "The story is disjointed and disconcerting but also morbidly fascinating to read." Kathryn A. Childs, in Book Report, found that the novel "will intrigue young adult readers who enjoy historical fiction as well as a good mystery."

Crews has also penned more traditional gothic horror stories, including Gothic Hospital. Narrated by the disturbed Johnny Doolan, a patient at a hospital situated in a dark castle on a mountain run by a mad doctor. Unlike most of the other children, who have lost their parents, Johnny's father is still alive, and Johnny has dreams that his father is being tortured somewhere inside the hospital. According to David Carroll, who reviewed the book for Tabula-Rasa Online, Gothic Hospital is "a mature, challenging, and ultimately fascinating work, and very much recommended."

In addition to his novels, Crew has published story books for young children such as Tracks and Lucy's Bay, both including illustrations by Gregory Rogers. In Tracks, a young boy ventures into the strange, nighttime world of the jungle, making many unusual and beautiful discoveries. Lucy's Bay concerns a boy, Sam, whose sister drowns while he is taking care of her. Several years later, Sam returns to the scene of the tragedy in an attempt to come to terms with his feelings of sadness and guilt. A Reading Time review found Lucy's Bay to be "a beautiful piece of descriptive writing which places in perspective Sam's grief for his sister against the ceaseless rhythm of nature."

Crew is a consummate explorer who keeps a journal of ideas and "artifacts" to remind him of experiences and thoughts. He has drawn upon personal experiences, as well as fantasies born from reality to write children's stories. Some ideas, such as the fishing trip in First Light, come from his own life. Others, including the story presented in The Watertower, may have begun by remembering a childhood prank, and grew as the imagination took hold. The plot begins in a small town where two boys sneak a swim in an old watertower on a hot summer day. When one boy's pants blow away, the other leaves to get another pair. When he returns, his friend has a crazed, vacant stare and a strange new marking on his hand. Crew teamed up with illustrator Steve Woolman to enhance the mystery visually, making it "a genuinely eerie picture book, which is constructed as a kind of puzzle," according to a Kirkus Reviews critic. School Library Journal reviewer Patricia Lothrop-Green called The Watertower a "Twilight Zonetype picture book for older children … in which text and illustrations work inseparably to create a strange but compelling whole."

Crew also builds themes around ideas from criminology, science, and history as in The Lost Diamonds of Killiecrankie. Sometimes contemporary themes are woven into historically based fiction. Bright Star takes place in rural Australia in 1871. A school girl becomes frustrated because she does not have the same freedom as boys to choose what she studies. She dreams of learning astronomy rather than needlepoint, the curriculum usually offered to girls. An encounter with astronomer John Tebbutt, who lived in New South Wales and discovered "the Great Comet of 1861," along with her mother's support, helps her realize that she must choose her own destiny. Even though Booklist reviewer Carolyn Phelan found the girl's "longing for freedom romanticized," she added that "the differences between the treatment of girls and boys in the 1800s are clearly set out, and picture books dealing with the history of astronomy are few."

Troy Thompson's Excellent Poetry Book features the poetry of fictional student Troy Thompson, a sixth grader competing in a poetry contest for his teacher, Ms. Kranke. Thompson's poetry covers silly topics, including gym locker rooms and talk show hosts, as well as serious issues, including the death of his father. The forms of poetry included in the book range from haiku to ballads to limericks, and the layout is designed to look like a student's notebook, as all of the poems are either handwritten, or typed and appear to be pasted into the notebook. "The title is complete with silliness and serious topics," noted Shawn Brommer, reviewing the title for School Library Journal.

Crew has worked with artist Shaun Tan to produce two surreal tales, one about a dystopian future and the other about the nature of memory. In The Viewer Tristan discovers Set in a small Australian town, The Watertower focuses on a malevolent presence that invades the local citizenry and threatens the friendship of Steve and Bubba. (Illustration by Steven Woolman.) a strange box that contains a mask-like device which reveals visions of the past, including evil acts committed by humankind. Tristan watches scenes of war, torture, and slavery on his first day with the viewer, and when he returns to look through it on the second day, he finds that the pictures have changed into depictions of horrible possibilities for the future. On the third day when his mother goes to wake him for school, Tristan has disappeared, and the mysterious box is locked on his desk. Donna Ratterree called The Viewer an "eerie and disturbing story, while a critic for Publishers Weekly noted, "The audience can almost feel the power that the mask exudes in this unsettling walk through history."

Tan and Crew's second collaboration, Memorial, tells the story of a young boy who wants to save a living memorial, an overgrown tree that was planted the day that his great-grandfather came home from World War I. Though the boy loses his battle to stop the tree from being cut down, his great-grandfather teaches him that the important part to carry with him is the memory, and that by fighting against the city council, his acts—and the tree he was unable to save—will also be remembered. "Crew's words are simple and powerful and will resonate with both young and older readers," appraised Joanne de Groot in Resource Links, while Ellen Fader, writing for School Library Journal, considered the book "undeniably a powerful package."

The story of the U.S.S. Titanic provided the plot for Crew's 2005 picture book Pig on the Titanic: A True Story. Edith Rosenbaum, a passenger on the Titanic's ill-fated voyage, had a wonderful mechanical pig that played music. When Rosenbaum tried to give up her seat on a life boat, a member of the ship's crew mistook the pig she clutched in her arms for a baby, and forced the woman onto the boat. Told from the perspective of the marvelous machine, Maxine the musical pig, the book expresses her delight at being able to keep up the spirits of the children sharing the life boat with Rosenbaum. "Crew deftly captures the drama of that night," proclaimed Grace Oliff in her School Library Journal review. A critic for Kirkus Reviews commented that the book "lends the historical catastrophe immediacy … while downplaying its horrific aspects." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted, "families and classrooms familiar with the Titanic's story will be thrilled to find a book that tells the tale from a childlike perspective."

Crew believes that his personal experiences continue to play a large role in his books. "As a writer, I am not done with looking inward," he explained in Australian Author. "There is much for me still to find in my house of fiction; in those fantastical inner rooms of childhood from which, I imagine, some choose never to emerge." In each book he writes, he has definite aims regarding his young audience. "My main objective in writing is to open the minds of my readers," Crew once explained to SATA, "to say 'the world can be a wonderful place—its possibilities are open to you and your imagination.'"

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

At Least They're Reading! Proceedings of the First National Conference of The Children's Book Council of Australia, 1992, Thorpe, 1992.

McKenna, Bernard, and Sharyn Peare, Strange Journeys: The Works of Gary Crew, Hodder, 1998.

Saxby, Maurice, The Proof of the Pudding, Ashton, 1993.

The Second Authors and Illustrators Scrapbook, Omnibus Books (London, England), 1992.

PERIODICALS

Australian Author, autumn, 1992, Gary Crew, "The Architecture of Memory," pp. 24-27.

Booklist, June 1, 1993, p. 1812; May 1, 1994, p. 1594; October 1, 1995, p. 303; August, 2002, Kay Weisman, review of Mama's Babies, p. 1948.

Book Report, November-December, 2002, Kathryn A. Childs, review of Mama's Babies, p. 45.

Horn Book, September-October, 1994, p. 596; March-April, 1996, p. 205; May, 1998, p. 330.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 1994, p. 842; August 15, 1995, p. 1186; January 1, 1998, review of The Watertower, p. 55; April 1, 2002, review of Mama's Babies, p. 489; March 1, 2005, review of Pig on the Titanic: A True Story, p. 285.

Kliatt, September, 2002, Sarah Applegate, review of Mama's Babies, p. 16.

Magpies, May, 1991, p. 22; July, 1991, p. 37; September, 1991, Joan Zahnleiter, "Know the Author: Gary Crew," pp. 17-19; March, 1992, p. 34; July, 1992, Gary Crew, "New Directions in Fiction," pp. 5-8; March, 1996, p. 12; October 15, 1997, Carolyn Phelan, review of Bright Star, p. 412; November, 1997, p. 21; May, 1998, p. 37; May, 2005, review of The Plague of Quentaris, p. 36.

Papers: Explorations in Children's Literature, August, 1990, pp. 51-58; April, 1992, pp. 18-26.

Reading Time, Volume 35, number 3, 1991, Gary Crew, essay on Strange Objects, pp. 11-12; Volume 35, number 4, 1991, Gary Crew, "Awards: The Children's Book Council of Australia Awards 1991 Acceptance Speeches," pp. 4-5; May, 1992, review of Lucy's Bay, p. 20.

Resource Links, October, 2004, Joanne de Groot, review of Memorial, p. 3.

Scan, November, 1990, Niki Kallenberger, interview with Crew, pp. 9-11.

School Librarian, spring, 2005, Joan Hamilton Jones, review of I Did Nothing: The Extinction of the Gastric-Brooding Frog, p. 44.

School Library Journal, May, 1993, p. 124; July, 1994, p. 116; October, 1995, p. 152; February, 1998, p. 79; March, 1998, Patricia Lothrop-Green, review of The Watertower, p. 168; June, 2002, Mary R. Hofmann, review of Mama's Babies, p. 136; January, 2004, Shawn Brommer, review of Troy Thompson's Excellent Poetry Book, p. 128; March, 2004, Donna Ratterree, review of The Viewer, p. 204; December, 2004, Ellen Fader, review of Memorial, p. 144; May, 2005, Grace Oliff, review of Pig on the Titanic, p. 80.

Voice of Youth Advocates, August 1993, p. 162; April, 1994, p. 19; April, 1996, p. 25.

ONLINE

Tabula-Rasa Online, http://www.tabula-rasa.info/(July 31,2005), David Carroll, review of Gothic Hospital.

Spencer R. Crew Biography - Studied Black American History, Joined the NMAH, Promoted to NMAH Director [next] [back] Helen Cresswell (1934–2005) Biography

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

make a third book ofthe water tower and and the missing lighthouse

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

Hi,

We are 3JD, a year 3 class in Barking, Essex, England. We have just read your book, The Viewer and have really enjoyed it.

We would love you to write a sequel as we really want to know what has happened to Tristan. Are you planning to do this one day?

Kind regards

3JD

Vote down Vote up

almost 5 years ago

Please please pppllleeeaaassseee make a third book of the water tower.Just to help my class understand a bit more.

THANKYOU

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

hi i totally love your books its totally owesome :)

Vote down Vote up

over 1 year ago

good job mate deeeeeez nuuuts ha gottem!!!!!!!!

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

like your right hibye iam only doing this for homework

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

iluvu

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

qp

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

qwertyqwertyqwertyqwertyqwerty is awsum

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

can you please give more info but in less words thanks

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

i love gary crew i love him i awesome at drwing like ya

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

hi

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

hi i just feel like riting random things coz i am so bored i am actually on weeworld right now but if my teacher finds out i will be dead coz i am suposed 2 researching gary crew 4 meh project P.S if dere r any spelling mistakes I DONT CARE!!!!!!!! [: I LIKE SMILEY FACES i am only 11 ok and im pretty dumb and the person who says her name is bridgid her real name is abbey shes awesome man i wrote every comment here except 2

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

well howdy everybody hi i like books ya :)

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

hi i love your books well actually i have only read 2 but i really loved the seeker the best well i think that is wot it is called anyway this book store is pretty kool i have no gary crew books i only just got 1 from da library i am a reading freak!!!!!! i love jk rowling the best go harry potter

P.S anybody who cs this comment plz make an account on a thing called weeworld and add adrilson1

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

Hello.
I would like to comment about this store.
Well, first of all, im the biggest fan of Nancy Drew and i would love all the books from her. And this store is luckily not far but i would have loved if we could order it online and pay by cash, just for safety and so its more easier that way.
Thankyou

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

hi bye hi bye hi i am so bored grrrr im gonna go on weeworld now

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

hi duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

hi i

ploease rite more!

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm`1234567890-=[]\;',./~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:"<>?

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

hi

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

Could you please put some picturs up

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

Could you please put some picturs up

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

Writer for children and young adults, 1985—. McDonald, Wagner, and Priddle, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, senior draftsman and drafting consultant, 1962-72; Everton Park State High School, Brisbane, English teacher, 1974-78; Mitchelton State High School, Brisbane, English teacher, 1978-81; Aspley High School, Brisbane, subject master in English, 1982; Albany Creek High School, Brisbane, subject master in English and head of English Department, 1983-88; Queensland University of Technology, creative writing lecturer, 1989—; Thomas Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), editor, 1990—. Lecturer, University of the Sunshine Coast.

Member

Australian Society of Authors, Queensland Writers Centre (chair).

Honors Awards

Book of the Year Award for Older Readers, Children's Book Council of Australia (CCBA), 1991, for Strange Objects, and 1994, for Angel's Gate; Alan Marshall Prize for Children's Literature, and New South Wales Premier's Award, both 1991, both for Strange Objects; shortlist, Edgar Allan Poe Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1992, for Strange Objects, and 1995, for Angel's Gate; Lucy's Bay shortlisted for CCBA picture book of the year, 1993; National Children's Book of the Year citation, 1994, for Angel's Gate ; Book of the Year Award for Picture Books, CCBA, 1994, for First Light, and 1995, for The Watertower; Bilby Children's Choice Award, 1995, for The Watertower; Ned Kelly Award for Crime Writing, 1996, for The Well; The Blue Feather shortlisted for West Australian Premier's Award, 1997; CCBC Notable Book designation, 1997, for Tagged; CCBA Picture Book of the Year shortlist, 2000, for Memorial.

Writings

FICTION

The Inner Circle, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1985.

The House of Tomorrow, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1988.

Strange Objects, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1990, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.

No Such Country: A Book of Antipodean Hours, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1991, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1994.

Angel's Gate, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1993, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.

Inventing Anthony West, University of Queensland Press, 1994.

(With Michael O'Hara) The Blue Feather, Heinemann Octopus (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1997.

Mama's Babies, 1998.

The Force of Evil, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1998.

Gothic Hospital, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

The Diviner's Son, Pan (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2002.

(With Declan Lee) Automaton, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2004.

The Plague of Quentaris, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

Me and My Dog, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

The Lace Maker's Daughter, Pan (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2005.

The Mystery of the Eilean Mor (mystery), illustrated by Jeremy Geddes, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

Sam Silverthorne: Quest, Hodder (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2005.

PICTURE BOOKS

Tracks, illustrated by Gregory Rogers, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1992, and Gareth Stevens (New York, NY), 1996.

Lucy's Bay, illustrated by Gregory Rogers, Jam Roll Press, 1993.

The Figures of Julian Ashcroft, illustrated by Hans DeHaas, Jam Roll Press, 1993.

First Light, illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1993, Gareth Stevens (New York, NY), 1996.

Gulliver in the South Seas, illustrated by John Burge, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1994.

The Watertower, illustrated by Steven Woolman, ERA Publishers (Adelaide, South Australia, Australia), 1994, Crocodile Books (New York, NY), 1998.

The Lost Diamonds of Killicrankie, illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1995.

Caleb, illustrated by Steven Woolman, ERA Publishers (Adelaide, South Australia, Australia), 1996.

Bright Star, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas, Lothian (South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), Kane Miller, 1997.

Tagged, illustrated by Steven Woolman, ERA Publishers (Adelaide, South Australia, Australia), 1997.

"AFTER DARK" SERIES; FICTION

NONFICTION

OTHER

Contributor of short stories to anthologies, including Hair Raising, edited by Penny Matthews, Omnibus, 1992; The Blue Dress, edited by Libby Hathorn, Heinemann, 1992; The Lottery, edited by Lucy Sussex, Omnibus, 1994; Family, edited by Agnes Nieuwenhuizen, Reed, 1994; Crossing, edited by Agnes Nieuwenhuizen and Tessa Duder, Reed, 1995; Nightmares in Paradise, edited by R. Sheahan, Queensland University Press, 1995; and Celebrate, edited by M. Hillel and A. Hanzl, Viking, 1996. Compiling editor, Dark House, Reed, 1995, and Crew's 13, ABC Books, 1997. Contributor to books, including At Least They're Reading! Proceedings of the First National Conference of the Children's Book Council of Australia, Thorpe, 1992; The Second Authors and Illustrators Scrapbook, Omnibus Books, 1992; and The Phone Book, Random House, 1995. Contributor to periodicals, including Age, Australian Author, Imago, Magpies, Reading Time, Viewpoint, and World Literature Written in English.

Adaptations

The story "Sleeping over at Lola's" was adapted as a radio play by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Sidelights

The novels of Australian writer Gary Crew have received critical acclaim for achieving two qualities that are difficult to combine; they have been declared intricate and enriching examples of literary writing, and they are also accessible to young readers. "His novels epitomize young adult literature in Australia to date," wrote Maurice Saxby in The Proof of the Pudding. "They successfully combine popular appeal with intellectual, emotional, psychological and spiritual substance." Crew's books often explore the history of Australia, but he finds that it is his own personal history that often drives his fiction. "Perhaps more than other mortals, it is the writer of children's fiction who suffers most from the desire to return to the past," he wrote in an essay in Magpies. "I know I cannot entirely abandon my own past. Once I would have longed to; I would have given anything to at least redress, at best forget, the forces that shaped me—but, as I grow older, and more confident in my art, I am not so certain.… A writer who cannot remember must produce lean fare. And surely, a children's writer who cannot remember is no writer at all."

Crew's past begins in Brisbane, Australia, where he was born in 1947. In his Magpies essay, Crew recalled that he "spent most of my childhood with the local kids racing around the neighbourhood," but there was also a sadder aspect to the author's early years. Crew began to suffer from poor health as a youngster, describing himself in a speech published in Australian Author as "a sickly, puny child." As a result, his rambunctious adventures soon gave way to calmer pursuits. "My mother says that I was a very quiet child, and my earliest memories suggest that she is right," Crew once told Something about the Author ( SATA ). "I was always happiest by myself, reading, drawing, or making models. I never did like crowds or noise." Crew's illness also forced him to spend a lot of time in hospitals or confined to the house, but this experience later benefited his writing in at least two ways. It first allowed him much time to read. In Magpies, Crew recalled that he and his sister read "anything," and this interest in books continued into adulthood, providing him with a solid literary background.

A second benefit of Crew's illness was that it brought him in closer contact with an influential setting that would later be featured in one of his books. "A significant period of my childhood had been spent at my great-grandmother's house in Ipswich, to the west of Brisbane," Crew related in Australian Author. "My great-grandmother was bedridden in this house; my widowed grandmother cared for her. Because I was always sick, there seemed to be some logic in packing me off to join them." Recalling the location in The Second Authors and Illustrators Scrapbook, Crew wrote that "this house was wonderful, with verandas all around, and a great big mango tree growing right up against it. We could climb over the rail and drop onto the branches of the mango. This house gave me the main idea for my second novel, The House of Tomorrow." In that novel, Crew writes of Danny, a teenage boy who has difficulty coping with the increased pressures in his life. Searching for a means to order and understand the world around him, Danny finds solace in the house that is modeled on the home in Ipswich. As the author explained it in Australian Author: "In The House of Tomorrow my great-grandmother's house reestablished a sense of place and belonging in a young boy's life."

Crew's stays in Ipswich had other benefits, as well. "My first public attempts at writing were letters sent from my great-grandmother's house to my parents," he wrote in The Second Authors and Illustrators Scrapbook, and writing and drawing later became important elements in his life. "Until I went to high school, I never seemed to be especially good at anything," Crew once admitted in SATA, "but at fifteen years old, I realized that I could write and draw—but that was about all I could do well!"

Despite his desire to continue his studies, Crew's drawing abilities and his family's economic status soon led him in another direction. "My parents had very little money, so I left school at sixteen to become a cadet draftsman, working for a firm of engineers. I hated this, and at twenty-one I returned to college to matriculate by studying at night; then I went to university. All this time I was earning a living as a draftsman, but had decided to be a teacher of English because I loved books so much." Crew soon proved his abilities as a student, and he valued the opportunity to continue his delayed education. "I don't think anyone was ever more comfortable at uni[versity] than I was," he told Scan interviewer Niki Kallenberger, "It was most wonderful! I would have done all the assignments on the sheets! It was a feeling of being totally at home and I was a changed person."

It was not until after he became a high school English teacher that Crew began writing fiction, and then only at the urging of his wife. "Christine cut out a piece from the paper advertising a short story contest which I entered virtually as a joke," he told Kallenberger. The story placed in the contest and later won a best short story of the year contest. Crew then turned to novels for young adults and drew inspiration from the students in his English classes. "I guess my first novels came out of my experience as a high school teacher," he once told SATA. "I saw so many teenagers who were confused and unhappy—about themselves and the world around them." His first book, The Inner Circle, focuses on the relationship between a black teenager named Joe, and a white teen named Tony, who form a bond despite their racial differences. Saxby, analyzing the novel in The Proof of the Pudding, found that The Inner Circle is "above all, a well-told story incorporating many of the concerns of today's teenagers. The theme of personal and racial reintegration and harmony is inherent in the plot and reinforced through symbolism." The book has enjoyed great popularity in Australia, and English and Canadian editions have also been published. Crew has been pleased by the book's success but believes the work contains several flaws. "I'm not a fool in regard to approaching the book critically myself and I know the book's got phenomenal weaknesses," he told Kallenberger. "But I also see it as being a remarkable publishing oddity because it's so accessible to kids and its use in the classroom continues to astound me."

Crew's enjoyment of academic study—and research in particular—has influenced his fiction-writing process. He is not an author who sits at a desk and waits for inspiration to visit him; instead, Crew actively seeks out information about a subject and collects the materials in a journal. As he told Kallenberger, a typical journal contains "clippings, drawings, scrappy notes I write to myself. I just keep it all in a carton and throw in anything, even books, that's broadly relevant.… It all goes in there and if it's a rainy day I'll look at it." Crew has also conducted computer searches to gain information on subjects, and he often employs his artistic skills in preparation for writing a book. "I think that drawing people and places before I write about them prevents me from having writer's block, and allows me to write smoothly without interruptions," he related in The Second Authors and Illustrators Scrapbook. "These jottings are quick and rough but they mean a great deal to me when I come to write the episode they represent; they serve as mental reminders."

Crew's explorations of Australian history began with his third novel, the award winning Strange Objects. The novel's hero, Stephen Messenger, is a sixteen year old who discovers a leather-bound journal and other mysterious objects in a cave. The relics are believed to have belonged to two survivors from the Batavia, a ship that wrecked off the coast of Australia in 1629. These relics provide Messenger with a direct link to his country's earliest European inhabitants, and they provide Crew with a means of addressing the relationship between the Europeans and the aboriginal peoples who were the original inhabitants of the Australian continent. As is the case in several of Crew's books, Strange Objects forces readers to consider some unpleasant aspects of the European conquest of the island and is often critical of the colonists who settled in Australia. Commenting on Strange Objects in Reading Time, Crew wrote that the book is "intended to challenge the reader to examine what has happened in our past, to reassess what forces shaped this nation—and the effect the white invasion has had on the original inhabitants of this country."

Crew finds that, like many other things, his interest in the past stems from his childhood. In his speech accepting the Book of the Year Award from the Children's Book Council of Australia for Strange Objects, Crew explained the influence of his early years. "The origins of Strange Objects are founded deep in my memory," he stated in the speech, later published in Reading Time. "During the never-ending sunshine of my childhood in the 50's, my parents would regularly take me and my sister Annita to the Queensland Museum.… Here we were able to stare goggle-eyed and open-mouthed at mummies stolen-away from the Torres Strait Islands, bamboo headhunters' knives complete with notches from every head taken and other so-called 'cannibal' artifacts.… When I had been made wiser by my studies, I began to understand the colonist's fear of the Indigene [or aborigines] as The Other, and to appreciate fully the fantastical and ever-changing phenomenon we call 'history.'"

Crew has further explored the legacy of Australia's past in his novel No Such Country, which takes place in the fictional setting of New Canaan and concerns the fate of the White Father, a priest who enjoys great power in the village. Joan Zahnleiter, writing about the book in Magpies, noted that "the Father uses his knowledge of a particularly evil event in the past of New Canaan to blackmail superstitious fisherfolk into accepting him as the Messiah who controls their lives with his great book." Zahnleiter also found that "the book has deeply religious concepts embedded in it so that a working knowledge of the Bible enriches the reading of it. However it is a story which works well for the reader without that knowledge."

As the editor of Lothian Books' "After Dark" series as well as the author of some of the titles in the series, Crew is no stranger to terrifying tales of gothic horror. Sometimes these stories come from history, such as Mama's Babies. Using actual nineteenth-century cases of women who would take on additional children for cash, only to later "dispose" of these children when they could, Crew tells the story of Sarah, the oldest adoptive child of Mama Pratchett. It seems as though each time a child has a mysterious accident, is hospitalized, or disappears, a new baby is brought into the family. When Sarah is forced to feed one of the younger children "medicine" that seems to make the child worse, she begins to develop suspicions about Mama Pratchett's behavior—but not soon enough to save the child. It is only with the help of her friend Will that Sarah is able to gain the courage to bring her suspicions to the authorities.

"Although the author wisely prepares readers for the horrific events well in advance, this gripping story isn't for the fainthearted," warned Kay Weisman in Booklist, adding in her review of Mama's Babies that horror lovers will be unable to put the book down. Sarah Applegate, writing for Kliatt, noted, "The story is disjointed and disconcerting but also morbidly fascinating to read." Kathryn A. Childs, in Book Report, found that the novel "will intrigue young adult readers who enjoy historical fiction as well as a good mystery."

Crews has also penned more traditional gothic horror stories, including Gothic Hospital. Narrated by the disturbed Johnny Doolan, a patient at a hospital situated in a dark castle on a mountain run by a mad doctor. Unlike most of the other children, who have lost their parents, Johnny's father is still alive, and Johnny has dreams that his father is being tortured somewhere inside the hospital. According to David Carroll, who reviewed the book for Tabula-Rasa Online, Gothic Hospital is "a mature, challenging, and ultimately fascinating work, and very much recommended."

In addition to his novels, Crew has published story books for young children such as Tracks and Lucy's Bay, both including illustrations by Gregory Rogers. In Tracks, a young boy ventures into the strange, nighttime world of the jungle, making many unusual and beautiful discoveries. Lucy's Bay concerns a boy, Sam, whose sister drowns while he is taking care of her. Several years later, Sam returns to the scene of the tragedy in an attempt to come to terms with his feelings of sadness and guilt. A Reading Time review found Lucy's Bay to be "a beautiful piece of descriptive writing which places in perspective Sam's grief for his sister against the ceaseless rhythm of nature."

Crew is a consummate explorer who keeps a journal of ideas and "artifacts" to remind him of experiences and thoughts. He has drawn upon personal experiences, as well as fantasies born from reality to write children's stories. Some ideas, such as the fishing trip in First Light, come from his own life. Others, including the story presented in The Watertower, may have begun by remembering a childhood prank, and grew as the imagination took hold. The plot begins in a small town where two boys sneak a swim in an old watertower on a hot summer day. When one boy's pants blow away, the other leaves to get another pair. When he returns, his friend has a crazed, vacant stare and a strange new marking on his hand. Crew teamed up with illustrator Steve Woolman to enhance the mystery visually, making it "a genuinely eerie picture book, which is constructed as a kind of puzzle," according to a Kirkus Reviews critic. School Library Journal reviewer Patricia Lothrop-Green called The Watertower a "Twilight Zonetype picture book for older children … in which text and illustrations work inseparably to create a strange but compelling whole."

Crew also builds themes around ideas from criminology, science, and history as in The Lost Diamonds of Killiecrankie. Sometimes contemporary themes are woven into historically based fiction. Bright Star takes place in rural Australia in 1871. A school girl becomes frustrated because she does not have the same freedom as boys to choose what she studies. She dreams of learning astronomy rather than needlepoint, the curriculum usually offered to girls. An encounter with astronomer John Tebbutt, who lived in New South Wales and discovered "the Great Comet of 1861," along with her mother's support, helps her realize that she must choose her own destiny. Even though Booklist reviewer Carolyn Phelan found the girl's "longing for freedom romanticized," she added that "the differences between the treatment of girls and boys in the 1800s are clearly set out, and picture books dealing with the history of astronomy are few."

Troy Thompson's Excellent Poetry Book features the poetry of fictional student Troy Thompson, a sixth grader competing in a poetry contest for his teacher, Ms. Kranke. Thompson's poetry covers silly topics, including gym locker rooms and talk show hosts, as well as serious issues, including the death of his father. The forms of poetry included in the book range from haiku to ballads to limericks, and the layout is designed to look like a student's notebook, as all of the poems are either handwritten, or typed and appear to be pasted into the notebook. "The title is complete with silliness and serious topics," noted Shawn Brommer, reviewing the title for School Library Journal.

Crew has worked with artist Shaun Tan to produce two surreal tales, one about a dystopian future and the other about the nature of memory. In The Viewer Tristan discovers Set in a small Australian town, The Watertower focuses on a malevolent presence that invades the local citizenry and threatens the friendship of Steve and Bubba. (Illustration by Steven Woolman.) a strange box that contains a mask-like device which reveals visions of the past, including evil acts committed by humankind. Tristan watches scenes of war, torture, and slavery on his first day with the viewer, and when he returns to look through it on the second day, he finds that the pictures have changed into depictions of horrible possibilities for the future. On the third day when his mother goes to wake him for school, Tristan has disappeared, and the mysterious box is locked on his desk. Donna Ratterree called The Viewer an "eerie and disturbing story, while a critic for Publishers Weekly noted, "The audience can almost feel the power that the mask exudes in this unsettling walk through history."

Tan and Crew's second collaboration, Memorial, tells the story of a young boy who wants to save a living memorial, an overgrown tree that was planted the day that his great-grandfather came home from World War I. Though the boy loses his battle to stop the tree from being cut down, his great-grandfather teaches him that the important part to carry with him is the memory, and that by fighting against the city council, his acts—and the tree he was unable to save—will also be remembered. "Crew's words are simple and powerful and will resonate with both young and older readers," appraised Joanne de Groot in Resource Links, while Ellen Fader, writing for School Library Journal, considered the book "undeniably a powerful package."

The story of the U.S.S. Titanic provided the plot for Crew's 2005 picture book Pig on the Titanic: A True Story. Edith Rosenbaum, a passenger on the Titanic's ill-fated voyage, had a wonderful mechanical pig that played music. When Rosenbaum tried to give up her seat on a life boat, a member of the ship's crew mistook the pig she clutched in her arms for a baby, and forced the woman onto the boat. Told from the perspective of the marvelous machine, Maxine the musical pig, the book expresses her delight at being able to keep up the spirits of the children sharing the life boat with Rosenbaum. "Crew deftly captures the drama of that night," proclaimed Grace Oliff in her School Library Journal review. A critic for Kirkus Reviews commented that the book "lends the historical catastrophe immediacy … while downplaying its horrific aspects." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted, "families and classrooms familiar with the Titanic's story will be thrilled to find a book that tells the tale from a childlike perspective."

Crew believes that his personal experiences continue to play a large role in his books. "As a writer, I am not done with looking inward," he explained in Australian Author. "There is much for me still to find in my house of fiction; in those fantastical inner rooms of childhood from which, I imagine, some choose never to emerge." In each book he writes, he has definite aims regarding his young audience. "My main objective in writing is to open the minds of my readers," Crew once explained to SATA, "to say 'the world can be a wonderful place—its possibilities are open to you and your imagination.'"









Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

Olivia loves kayla and she's wearing piggy tails and Olivia is wearing a plat and they heart Nash Grier

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

Tahnee kye bray den Lily's ZaZa grace are in love with GC IN DA HOOD SWAGGIY SWAG

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

Wee world is so #shwag it is my fave game it is good I pee in wee world #:) I have 20 friends and my boyfriends is cool he name is jelly jet

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

dear mr.crew,
im so attracted and interested in your books that i actually NEED you to write a triology of the watertower a.k.a beneath the surface.
though you most likely not see this im doing a project on you and its quite hard to not be so intregued, so please get back to me on DEEZ NUTZ.

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

Deep nuts HAH GOT EM

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

I like Gary crew he is v kool lol ily Gary cre I like sonic hahahahahahahahahahaha

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

U r awesome

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

What is the water towers information and why is it really freaky?