It is with much regret that Fremantle Press acknowledges the death of Errol Broome who was 85 years old when she passed away on 14 September 2022.
Errol grew up in Perth, studying Arts at the University of Western Australia and working as a journalist at the West Australian. Even before her first book with Fremantle Press, Nightwatch, was released in 1995, Errol had established a strong writing
career with seven books released between 1978 and 1995. Errol went on to publish another 18 titles, including Fremantle Press books Fly With Me, What a Goat!, Tough Luck, Away with the Birds, My Grandad Knew Phar Lap and The Judas Donkey. Errol had five
titles optioned for the North American market and her books were translated into several different languages. She was also the recipient of many honours including a Western Australian Premier’s Book Award, USA Children’s Book of the Year Award and
Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award.
Errol was well-known as a gracious writer, always ready to support her West Australian colleagues, even long after she had moved to Melbourne, where she told us it was considered ‘parochial’ to do so. Her emails to the Press typically noted how
pleased she was to see writers such as Dianne Wolfer and others winning awards and publishing wonderful books.
We were honoured to have Errol’s books on our list and to have been associated with such a talented and long-standing member of the children’s book community.
Errol is survived by her sons Nicholas, Jonathon and Benjamin and we send them and the Broome (Moss) family our best wishes.
"When Anke launches her green balloon with an envelope of seeds attached—and Freddie sends her a letter telling her he found it—the city girl and country boy form an unlikely friendship that changes their lives and transforms the bare hills of
Freddie’s farm forever..."
In her books for young readers, Australian author Errol Broome tackles difficult themes with humor and grace. Often, her characters must deal with situations that resonate with many young people, such as the loss of a parent, a classroom trauma, or a
dilemma that tests one's morals. Some of Broome's works are aimed at children in the early elementary grades, but most appeal to readers above the age of nine. Many are set in Western Australia, where Broome, the mother of three and a onetime journalist,
spent her early life.
Broome once told Something about the Author (SATA): "People ask me if I was called after Errol Flynn. No. But my name, spelled as it is, helped to turn me into a writer. When I was born Errol Carew Moss, the doctor said, 'With a name like that, she
should write a book.' I grew up hearing my mother tell this story—and I (nearly) always did as I was told.
Broome enjoyed writing as a child and won her first writing award at age nine. "I majored in English at the University of West Australia," she related, "and joined the West Australian as a cadet journalist. Journalism took away some of my imagination. On
a newspaper, you get into trouble if you make things up! But it taught me to write clearly and never to use a long word when a short one would do..."
Wrinkles, illustrated by Terry Dyer, Collins, 1978.
The Smallest Koala, illustrated by Gwen Mason, Buttercup, 1987.
Dear Mr. Sprouts, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.
Garry Keeble's Kitchen: How One Boy Left Home and Survived with 28 Recipes That Anyone Can Cook and Everyone Will Eat, illustrated by Maya, Random House (Australia), 1992.
Tangles, illustrated by Ann James, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, Australia), 1993, Knopf (New York, NY), 1994.
Rockhopper, illustrated by Ann James, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, Australia), 1995.
Nightwatch, illustrated by Helen Brooshooft, Fremantle Arts Centre Press (South Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia), 1995.
Splashback: A Great Greasy Journey, illustrated by Gregory Rogers, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, Australia), 1996.
Fly with Me, illustrated by Jane Walker, Fremantle Arts Centre Press (South Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia), 1996.
What a Goat!, illustrated by Sharon Thompson, Fremantle Arts Centre Press (South Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia), 1997.
Quicksilver, illustrated by Anna Pignataro, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, Australia), 1997.
Tough Luck, illustrated by Sharon Thompson, Fremantle Arts Centre Press (South Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia), 1998, published as Drusilla the Lucky Duck, Annick Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.
Magnus Maybe, illustrated by Ann James, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, Australia), 1998, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.
Away with the Birds, Fremantle Arts Center Press (South Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia), 2000.
Missing Mem, illustrated by Ann James, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, Australia), 2000, Aladdin (New York, NY), 2002.
Cry of the Karri, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, Australia), 2001.
Some Dog, Thomson, 2001.
Ms. Yellow Teeth, Thomson, 2003.
The Judas Donkey, illustrated by Sharon Thompson, Fremantle Arts Centre Press (Freemantle, Western Australia, Australia), 2003.
Gracie and the Emperor, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, Australia), 2003.
My Grandad Knew Phar Lap, illustrations Brian Harrison- Lever, Fremantle Press 2006.
Song of the Dove, illustrations Sonia Kretschmar, Walker Books Australia 2011.
"Also author of Bird Boy and Town and Country Ducks, both 1986, and A Year of Pink Pieces and Have a Go!, both 1988."