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March 2014
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Margaret Mahy - Click to see all titles by this author.

Passionate - Following the innermost desires of your heart, in order to affect life.

Margaret Mahy’s birthday is on March 21st.

Margaret Mahy was born in Whakatane, a country town in New Zealand. She had four younger siblings and became inspired to become a writer while listening to her father read to them and tell adventurous stories.

After graduating from Canterbury University, she worked as a librarian in many different libraries in New Zealand and England. While working as a librarian, she wrote poems and stories. She used incidents from her own life because she thought they seemed to fit with fictional lives very well. As a part of the Writers in Schools program, she was well-known for wearing a multi-colored wig and a possum outfit or penguin suit, during her visits to schools. She spent much time entertaining children at public readings, fostering a love of reading among children. “I have an almost fanatical belief in the importance of reading aloud, so many of my stories are written with this intention.”

Her magical writing concentrated on relationships and growing up, and is abounding in poetic imagery. “Margaret Mahy is outstanding in the richness of her ideas and in her great story-telling ability. She has a fresh and vivid imagination, which speaks directly to the imagination of the child, and an ability to use language to increase the force of her imagery to great effect.” – Twentieth Century Children’s Writers

Margaret won numerous distinguished awards, including the Carnegie Medal twice, for her books, and honors for her contributions to New Zealand and children’s literature. She wrote more than 100 picture books, 40 novels, and 20 collections of short stories. Many have been translated into 15 different languages and some adapted for television.

Margaret died in Christchurch, New Zealand on July 23, 2012. She had a close relationship with her two daughters and several grandchildren, and was beloved by many, many friends.

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