Samantha Wheeler studied Agriculture, worked with dairy farmers, and taught science, before writing her first children’s book, inspired by koalas, in 2011. Her books, which include Smooch & Rose, Wombat Warriors, Mister Cassowary, and Turtle Trackers have been shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards, the Readings Book Prize, The Wilderness Society Environmental Award and the Royal Zoological Society, Whitley Commendation. Her most recent story, Everything I’ve Never Said, was inspired by her youngest daughter, who has Rett Syndrome and can’t talk. Samantha hopes her books will inspire everyone to speak up and make a difference.
Younger audiences (Grade3-5): My books and other animals: Samantha has always loved animals and the outdoors, but never dreamt of becoming a writer. But when she realised the problems facing our wildlife, she knew she had to do something. Discover how Samantha went about researching and writing her younger reader novels including Smooch & Rose, Mister Cassowary, Wombat Warriors and Turtle Trackers and how she uses every day experiences to help her writing.
Older students: grade 6 and above:
Everyone has a voice: Imagine being trapped inside a body that won’t walk, can’t talk and refuses to do anything you want it to do? Samantha’s book “Everything I’ve Never Said” was inspired by her youngest daughter, born with a rare genetic disorder called Rett Syndrome. She can’t communicate even the simplest things like I’m cold, I’m hungry or I love you Mum. Hear how Samantha went about capturing her voice to create a fictional story about empathy, understanding and triumph.