The Book That Made Me

A Collection of 32 Personal Stories

Age 14+

Children's & Young Adult: General Non-Fiction Anthologies

A collection of 32 personal stories.

The Book That Made Me is a celebration of the books that influenced some of the most acclaimed authors from Australia and the world. Edited by Judith Ridge, it features non-fiction stories from 32 inspiring and award-winning authors including Markus Zusak, Jaclyn Moriarty, Shaun Tan, Mal Peet, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Simon French, Alison Croggon, Fiona Wood, Bernard Beckett, Ursula Dubosarsky, Rachael Craw, Sue Lawson, Benjamin Law, Cath Crowley, Kate Constable, James Roy, Will Kostakis, Randa Abdel-Fattah and many more. Royalties from the sale of the book will go to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF).


Judith Ridge is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts on literature for children and young adults. In a career spanning more than 20 years, she has worked as a teacher, writer, critic and editor. Judith has taught children’s literature at several universities and has been invited on numerous occasions to speak at conferences, festivals and seminars in Australia, Ireland, the UK and the USA. She has been a judge on the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, is a Churchill Fellow and has an MA in children’s literature. Judith is currently writing her PhD on Australian children's and young adult fantasy fiction. She lives in a dusty old house in South Windsor, NSW, with two mad cats and too many books.


The book might appeal most to adult readers who remember the children’s and YA classics of the seventies, eighties and nineties. It might also speak to aspiring teen writers.


Stories themselves may be timeless but for many, and as told in The Book that Made Me, books remain a living artefact.

The Australian

I recommend this book to readers of all ages. It is inspirational and informative, and book lovers will devour every page.


I recommend this book to every bookseller, and book-lovers everywhere. It would make a particularly brilliant gift for a teenage reader.

Booksellers NZ

I’ve never read such a Tasman-centric collection of work. Not only were these New Zealand and Australia voices, they were referencing New Zealand and Australia works in amongst the Lewis, Tolkien and Dahl (and so many others). I liked that. It made me aware of how few of these authors I knew well, but I like that it expanded my realm of consideration and thought. I was impressed to find such a diverse inclusion of writers too, including aboriginal voices.

Striking Keys

The Book that Made Me will delight book lovers because, as Anne Shirley would say, the contributors will feel like your kindred spirits. Each author loves storytelling and appreciates a well told story. The essays are humorous and heartfelt, and you’re bound to find mention of your favourite childhood books, as well as discovering books you’re yet to read.

The Bookish Manicurist

Some of these pieces are amusing, some serious, some lyrical, some more prosaic but all are truly engaging.

Read Plus

This book has gone down as my favourite non-fiction novel of 2016 and I love just how personal all these author’s stories were but even more so, how different they were from each other.

Once Upon a Bookish Time

…the potential power of a book to connect with a child and hold them ever more to the wonderful world of books and reading.

Magpies Magazine

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