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John Parker

CITY OF BIRTH

Christchurch

COUNTRY OF BIRTH

New Zealand

CURRENT CITY

Auckland

CURRENT COUNTRY

New Zealand

New Zealand writer John Parker uttered his first wail in Christchurch, in the beautiful South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand — but he now lives in Auckland's North Shore in the North Island in the top half of the country. His house sits alongside the 13th fairway of a golf-course, hence little white round things sometimes come through his windows, even when they're shut. It's but a few hours' drive to Hokianga Harbour, where in 1837 his wide-eyed English-born forbears trundled their hopes and possessions from the SS Coromandel onto New Zealand soil.

One of the most versatile writers in the New Zealand, he took up full-time writing in 1990. Before that, after majoring in English and History from the University of Auckland, garnering music diplomas in composition, performance piano, and performance singing, he was at various times a piano teacher, schoolteacher, polytechnic tutor, professional opera and recital singer in Europe and New Zealand, concert and book reviewer, and a lecturer in English at the former Auckland College of Education. Other gainful occupations have included delivery-van driver, mailman, clothing-factory worker, poultry-farm labourer, TV actor, voice-over artist, and house painter.

John Parker has written almost 130 books for children for a number of publishers in Australasia and overseas. They range from picture-books to novels for teenagers to a 4-volume 130,000-word family history of the land of his birth: Frontier of Dreams, The Story of New Zealand. His work has appeared in 20 anthologies.

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
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