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George Ivanoff is the author over 80 books for young people, including many education titles. He is best known for his You Choose books — a series of interactive books where the reader gets to make key decisions about how the story progresses. He is also author of the Gamers trilogy — teen novels set inside a computer game world. His books appear on both the Victorian and NSW Premiers’ Reading Challenge booklists. He enjoys speaking to all age levels, from primary school students through to adults.
I’ve worked in a comic book store, as an actor, as a projects officer and as a web development consultant. I even spent a few years handing out pamphlets for a jewellery store in the city, dressed in a tacky suit with plastic signs hanging from my front and back. I’m much happier as an author.
Fitting in (or not fitting in) is a recurring theme. A lot of my main characters are misfits because I was very much a misfit at school. I draw on that a lot.
My first book getting published way back in 1999. Having a short story in an official Doctor Who book. Winning a YABBA Award for You Choose: The Treasure of Dead Man’s Cove. Having my You Choose series reach its 10th book.
Most of my stuff has been published in Australia, but I’ve also had books in the UK, the US, and New Zealand. Recently I wrote some school readers for publication in Singapore.
Possibly. I have been known to occasionally moonlight as an actor. I once played a delivery man on Neighbours… I had three lines. And yes, I did get several cream pies slammed into my face on ABC3’s Studio 3 program.
Have I mentioned that I’m a Doctor Who fan? I usually carry around a sonic screwdriver toy. Yes, I’m a nerdy geek!
George took a brief break from fleeing his alien foes to thank those who voted for him in the 2016 Kids Own Australian Literature Awards. Watch his acceptance below:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank George very much for his writing workshops at Moreland City Libraries. They were a great success and I think everyone, including the teachers, loved it. George was really great getting the children involved right from the word go where they had to “just write anything!” for 2 minutes. He really was fantastic at engaging the audience and that age group can be tricky at times. He got the students thinking about characters, situations and what special powers they could have using mind maps, and took lots of imaginative suggestions from them! They were thoroughly enjoyable and engaging!
George was an enthusiastic speaker, who’s level of excitement inspired the children. They hung on his words when he read parts of some of his books, & he left them hanging, wanting to pick up the books to keep reading! Our George Ivanoff books are already racing off the shelf, with lots of kids abuzz about them! George was great as the childrens’ responses have shown!
George’s workshops at Endeavour Hills Library were great! We had 18 in our 9-12 year old workshop and 10 in the 13-18 year old group. Feedback was excellent and there was interest in further workshops. In the younger group parents and children were very involved and impressed. There was even interest in adult workshops which excites me! So all in all very positive.
George ran a great workshop with each of our 5/6 classes. Prior to the visit George spoke to our 5/6 leader about what we wanted, and George presented his workshop with our brief in mind. The students found George engaging and benefitted from his ideas on writing.
George had a fabulous impact on the students at every level of of the school, as well as the staff!
He had everyone captivated during his address to the whole school – nothing better than to see the students laughing raucously and fully transfixed as he read some of the hilarious episodes from his books. Even better when you overhear students say spontaneously ‘I can’t wait to read that book’, or when so many hands go up to ask him questions.
He also hit the mark with his workshops and again had just the right balance of information, interaction, and fun.
Would love to have George visit again, but in the meantime there’s a queue of students keen to borrow and read his books- the perfect fit for our students.
Our week of workshops with George were fantastic and very well received by the children and teachers.
George really became ‘part of the school’ whilst he was here. He willingly chatted to everyone and took an interest in all that was going on.
George was warm, friendly and accommodating. The children loved his workshops and they were pitched at the correct level (as he had to swap from grade level to grade level)
Teachers found the workshops were excellent for them as well. All commented on how George reads aloud and were in awe of his talents . The time he spent and the passion he shared were inspiring for children and teachers.
It was great to have George here and we greatly valued the week we got to share with him.
I would have no hesitation in recommending George to any other school, or to have him visit us again.
I just wanted to say a very big thank you from myself, the teachers and the students for your presentation last week. The teachers were very impressed and today I sat down with the students and asked them for their thoughts and I have to say I was blown away by their comments. They thoroughly enjoyed your talk and mentioned how some of the comments you made were very personal and they respected and appreciated that BUT all of them commented about how the strategies for writing that you shared were extremely helpful.