COVER reveal for my next picture book … SHEARER

This is the true story about the greatest shearer in the world … whose incredible shearing record remains unbeaten after more than a century!

In 1892, a shearing competition was to be held at Alice Downs Station in Queensland. There was a gold medal and a cash prize. Jack was determined to win it. 

Jackie Howe’s hands were the size of tennis racquets, his were legs like tree trunks and his wrists were made of steel. Despite his size, he was light on his feet and was an excellent dancer. But what Jack was really good at, was shearing sheep. At a local show, Jack won 100 yard sprint on grass in 11 seconds in socks. He also win Irish Jig dancing competitions including the sailor hornpipe.

With a hand blade, Jackie Howe sheared 321 sheep in 7 hours and 40 mins. 

But there was another side to Jack Howe. He fought for the 8 hour day. He represented working class men, navigating his way through the Shearers Strike and was a key person behind the scenes in the early formation of Australian Labor Party.

This is a rollicking Australian story, about the charismatic, Jack Howe – the greatest shearer in the world who set the world record for shearing sheep by hand. He also invented the “singlet”!

Huge thanks to Michael Tomkins whose illustrations are delightful and a big thank you to Sarah Davis for the design of the book and the front cover. 

SHEARER is due out with Walker Books Australia on September 1st and available for pre-order at Booktopia here

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be posting some incredible old photos which inspired this story. 


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Neridah McMullin

Photo By: Prue Sheed

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