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BUYING THE BOOK

There is now a paperback with the new cover (as it appears here) available on Amazon, but I would advise waiting until the end of the months before buying one as I haven’t yet seen a copy and want to check that it’s all good to go.

There is a Kindle version on Amazon which I have checked and you can buy it now.

I am presently working with IngramSpark and hope to have the book available for distribution from them by the beginning of 2019.

The story

For the eleven years since the death of her parents, fifteen-year old Harriet Henderson and her grandfather Max have made their home into something of a haven. But Harriet is no longer a little girl. There are changes, inevitable changes, changes that her grandfather finds himself resisting.
Harriet – thoughtful and free-spirited – is restless. School, up until now, has been dull. But there’s a new English teacher, Molly McInness, and Ms McInness’s English classroom immediately resonates with Harriet. And for Molly herself, there's nothing more satisfying than having a student like Harriet Henderson. This promises to be a special relationship for both of them.
But not everyone shares their excitement.
Zeph, the boy who in the dark of night paints on vacant walls, is untouched; nothing penetrates the barriers he has erected around his solitary self.  Tran, son of an influential politician, is confused and incensed.
There are murmurings in the staffroom, too, and the school’s Principal, glib Eliott Sullivan, sees potential threats to the smooth operation of his systems.
Tensions build at home and at school. And then, in a single impulsive moment, Harriet makes a decision that changes everything.
 

 

READERS’ PRAISE FOR
THE WORLDS OF HARRIET HENDERSON

I can’t imagine having anything to read that would be more life-affirming or more in tune with the values that inform our work as educators.
— Dr John Yandell, UCL Institute of Education, London, author & journal editor)
A novel that will appeal to English teachers because of the sophistication of the shifts in point of view and the beauty of the prose. A wonderful book.
— Emeritus Professor Brenton Doecke, Deakin University
A story about a teacher, two students and a grandfather looking for the places where the openness can live, at least a little while, in an adult world of closures. A must for English teachers as they consider their commitments in these difficult teaching times.
— Dr Kim McCollum-Clark, Assoc Professor of English/English Education, Millersville University
This is a marvellous book which I found hard to put down. The book is full of twists and turns as the young characters pursue the creative paths that give them life. A must read!
— Dr. Mary Macken-Horarik, Senior Research Fellow, Australian Catholic University
It’s a story that has all sorts of stories inside it. It’s a book in which worlds overlap, collide and intersect, and where truth is complex. Yet the book is full of hope. A great read.
— Dr Margaret Byrne, author, film maker & principal of UGM Consulting
Right from the beginning there was something about each of the characters I wanted to know more about, moods I wanted to dive deeper into. I was immediately engaged by Max and I love that he is the character that opens the story. I felt the ache when he stands at his granddaughter’s room, remembering how he used to make her bed for her, the bitter-sweetness of her outgrowing that ritual. And as a teacher I related so much to Molly from the very beginning, the anxiety dreams before a new class, the excitement alongside the apprehension, the circular thoughts and inconsequential tangents as she winds down after a hard day in the classroom.

The further I got into the novel, the more intrigued I became. Where was it going? I was continually surprised, thrown off scent. And I got shivers reading that very first paragraph of part C, realising what it was Steve Shann was doing. I loved it. This is a subtle and beautiful book that doesn’t shout at people, so much as lead them by the hand and let go of them in the middle of a labyrinth.

I wholeheartedly recommend ‘The Worlds of Harriet Henderson’. Every time you expect it to zig, it zags. It reminded me what I love about teaching and English and stories. Especially stories.
— - CeCe Edwards, English teacher & author
A beautifully written and sensitive novel that should be shared with every teacher, student, parent and principal you know.
— Rebecca Palethorpe (ACT teacher)
It’s a warm, whimsical and cleverly constructed tale about inclusion and the power of story telling. It is fun to read, unfolding itself like an Escher drawing, and carries a touching message about the capacity for all children to learn, not just the so-called ‘good’ kids.
— Emily Yarra
I have just finished ‘Harriet’ and enjoyed it very much. It’s obvious how much the written word means to the author, and what potential words have to change lives. It is frustrating to think that teaching ‘system’ can stymie progress in both teachers and students although as this novel suggests it is not so much the system itself but the individuals who implement it in its narrowest vision. I enjoyed the characters and their relationships and thought they were very well drawn and sympathetic, particularly Harriet, Zeph and Molly.
— - Michael Bourchier
This is a wonderful piece of work, a sophisticated novel beautifully penned. Much of it is set in an English teacher’s classroom, and although I am a science teacher and teaching science is different to teaching English, yet I found this a great book to read. In fact it made me wonder what it would be like to be an English teacher encouraging students to talk about their dreams, fears, imagination and possibilities. This sophisticated novel is a reminder to us teachers about how influential our beliefs and attitudes are in shaping pupils lives, especially those students lost in their quest to discover themselves. I recommend this novel wholeheartedly.
— Anila Komal
I finished the book at 2am - read in two straight settings with a meal and meeting in-between!! I haven’t done that for years. The story was complex and mostly subtle. I was moved by Molly’s passion for her subject and students, and by her struggle to be with people and systems who seemed to have lost (or not yet discovered) the soul of their vocation, as well as her struggle to be with herself. I’d definitely offer this as a text for reflection if I were working with teachers and educational administrators (as well as encouraging them into practitioner-learning circle, of course!!)
— - Dr Neil Millar, Center for Courage & Renewal, Canberra