at The Wheeler Centre

John Marsden: The Art of Growing Up

The demands placed on young people are ever-growing. What does it mean to educate children and teenagers in the era of social media and climate change, when they’re acutely aware of the pressure to succeed – whether via NAPLAN results, university entrance scores, extracurricular activities, or fulfilling jobs?

John Marsden has long been part of the lives of young Australians. He is the author of over 40 books, including the perennially popular Tomorrow series. But he is also an experienced educator, and the founder and principal of the Candlebark and Alice Miller schools. 

His latest book, The Art of Growing Up, is a manifesto about how best to work with and for young people – in schools and as parents – outlining how adults can equip the next generation with the skills and passion to grow up well and be happy. 

Joined in conversation by 15-year-old student Sumeya Yussuf, and hosted by school librarian Karys McEwen, Marsden will discuss the lives of young people in the 21st century, what it means to let kids be kids, and how effective education can offer them room to thrive.

Readings will be our bookseller for this event.


Portrait of Karys McEwen

Karys McEwen

Karys McEwen is a school librarian in Melbourne. She is an avid reader of young adult fiction, and is particularly passionate about the role of libraries and literature in the wellbeing of young people. Karys is the President of the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Victorian Branch and the 2019 columnist for Books+Publishing Junior.

Portrait of John Marsden

John Marsden

John Marsden has written more than 40 books, mostly for teenagers and children, including Tomorrow When the War Began, So Much to Tell You, and Letters from the Inside. He has sold over five million books worldwide, and has won every major award in Australia for young people's fiction. South of Darkness, written for adults, won the Christina Stead Award for Best Novel of 2015. John's passionate interest in education led him to start two schools, Candlebark, on a vast forested estate near Romsey Victoria, and Alice Miller, at Macedon, a Year 7-12 school with a particular emphasis on the creative arts. The two schools enrol 380 students in 2019.

Portrait of Sumeya Yussuf

Sumeya Yussuf

Sumeya Yussuf is a high school student working on the perils of VCE. She works with a youth action council in Hume in her downtime. She loves to read fantasy novels. 


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