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Deborah Abela

Author, Online - Virtual Visits

After completing a teaching degree, Deb went to Africa where she was caught in a desert sandstorm, harassed by monkeys and thrown in jail…twice! She produced and wrote a national kids’ TV show before leaving to write 28 internationally published and awarded books for children, including the Max Remy Superspy and her cranky climate change trilogy, Grimsdon, New City and Final Storm. Teresa A New Australian was inspired by her dad, who, with a million other refugees, made the journey to Australia after surviving WW2. The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee Mystery, were inspired by her grade 4 teacher, Ms Gray. Her picture books are Wolfie, An Unlikely Hero and the 2021 CBCA Notable, Bear in Space. She is a proud ambassador for Room to Read and Books in Homes. Deb’s won awards for her books, including a USA IBBY Outstanding International Book Award and the 2013 Maurice Saxby Award for services to Children’s Literature, but mostly hopes to be as brave as her characters.

Deb’s presentations are informative, interactive and fun. As a trained teacher, Deb loves leading author talks and writing workshops for the reluctant writer to the gifted and talented. She also presents at staff development days, sharing ideas on activities to get kids excited about writing. Deb’s won awards for her books and has been published internationally but mostly hopes to be as brave as her characters.

Deborah Abela’s third and final book in her cranky climate series will be released in August. Deb’s frustration with governments not doing enough to address climate change, led to her bestselling novel, Grimsdon. After being harassed by kids to know more, she wrote New City and with even more harassment, she agreed to write, Final Storm. There’s a new bad guy and an old bad guy, the return of the sea monster, hoverboards, robots and a terrifying decision Griffin must face if he is to save his best friend, Isabella Charm. To see a trailer for the new Grimsdon book Final Storm click below.

Click below to see a video for Deb’s very popular online school visits.

For teachers’ notes on Deborah’s books click here.

Deb’s latest awards include:

  • 2021 CBCA Notable, Bear in Space
  • 2021 Best Book in Translation, Malta, Bear in Space
  • 2021 REAL Awards (Kid’s Choice Victoria, NT, NSW, ACT) Final Storm shortlisted (3rd book Grimsdon Trilogy)
  • 2020 REAL Awards (Kid’s Choice Victoria, NT, NSW, ACT) New City shortlisted (2nd book Grimsdon Trilogy)
  • 2020 Best Book in Translation, Malta, The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
  • 2019 Shortlisted REAL Awards (Kid’s Choice Victoria, NT, NSW, ACT) The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
  • 2018 REAL Awards (Kid’s Choice Victoria, NT, NSW, ACT) Grimsdon
  • 2017 REAL Awards (Kid’s Choice Victoria, NT, NSW, ACT) Grimsdon
  • 2017 Teresa: A New AustralianShortlisted for WAYBRA Awards WA
  • 2017 Teresa: A New AustralianBest Book in Translation, Malta
  • 2017 KOALA Legend award
  • 2017 The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee– Australian Family Therapists Awards

To check out Deborah’s latest awards

See videos of Deb’s other books

Below is the video for Deb’s picture book, Bear in Space, a story about being different and finding friends who love you just the way you are.



AMAZING! It was an unqualified success – Deb is just fabulous and a lovely lovely lady. She was fabulous with all the kids and as she moved down the grades, Deb altered her talk to suit the age level – kids are still very enthused about her work. I’ve sent emails to Deb from each of our K-2 classes and she has replied to them which they think is just great. Also we were doing a late Book Week and held a book parade on the day of Deb’s visit with her as our special guest and even Deb dressed up for it. I would happily recommend Deb to any school who is looking for an author to visit.

—S. Morris, Nulkaba Public School, November 2011

Deborah Abela was a delight when she visited Grand Avenue as our guest author in June. She spent the day with our Year 6 students, 200 of them, and captivated the children with her stories of her early working life, and how she eventually came to be a writer. Deb showcased Grimsdon, using her book trailer and selections from the novel, and she talked about her inspiration for writing this novel, and her motivation. And though we have 12 copies of this book in our Library, some months later there is still a long queue of children waiting for their chance to get their hands on it. They’ve also been keen to read The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen, after hearing of Deb’s own experience with a ghost! Deb was a wonderful speaker, who was a true professional when faced with the complete failure of the school network within moments of her arrival…… Plan B and then Plan C saved the day. Tasha speaks for all our Year 6 students when she says, “she was interesting and fun and we’d love her to come again.”

—H. Mackintosh, Grand Avenue State School, July 2011

Deborah’s recent visit to Assisi Catholic College is still being talked about. Her presentations to students had something for everyone – staff, students and aspiring young writers. Deborah’s presentation is fun, entertaining, and educational and should not to be missed. Deborah’s real life adventures intrigued the students and inspired them to read her novels. Her presentation showed energy and creativity, with the use of a combination of multimedia devices that engaged the students.

—M. Twomey, iCentre Coordinator, Assisi Catholic College, July 2011

Deb engaged the students well, demonstrated a strong knowledge base and inspired the children to write. She was larger than life, energetic and very entertaining. Deb’s stories generated laughter and her encouraging manner enabled students to take risks in their responses and writing. I could highly recommend her to primary schools. Staff and students loved her talk and she kept them engaged for the full hour session. She is a warm,friendly person and her visit was memorable.

—H. Tytler, Hastings Literacy Festival, June 2011

Deb Abela’s visit to our school was one of the best library incursions we have had. Her personality was bubbly and animated and she won the kids over with her enthusiasm for writing. The children were mesmerised with her and thoroughly enjoyed meeting her.
All the staff commented on how well Deb spoke and how animated she was. No-one lost interest as she kept the audience engaged as she strolled through the audience. The teachers were very impressed with her.

—I. Robertson, Tapping Primary School, June 2011

Thank you so much for last Friday morning, it was fabulous and the children were so inspired, they were still on a ‘high’ on Monday morning at assembly! It was a wonderful experience for each and every child who attended (98% of the school)

—L. Bury, Victorian State Director Australian Literacy Educators' Association, Assistant Principal Coolaroo South Primary, June 2011

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