Mary K. Pershall

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Mary K (Katherine) Pershall (born 14 March 1951) is an Australian children's author published by Penguin Books. She writes novels for the tween market, (children of late primary school age), and is most notable for her Two Weeks in Grade Six trilogy, which also includes the titles A Term in Year Seven and Escape from Year Eight.

Mary K Pershall is also responsible for the Ruby Clair series, which depicts a 12-year-old girl's struggle to juggle a normal life with the ghosts she can see. The series includes the titles Ruby Clair: The Trouble with Ghosts, Ruby Clair: Ghost with a Message and Ruby Clair: A Ghost at School.[1][2]

Most recently, Mary K Pershall has co-authored a novel with daughter Anna Katherine Pershall for the Penguin children's series Aussie Chomps, titled The Dog Stole my Brain. The funny story follows the adventures of 11-year-old Jake and his dog, Barney, after they accidentally swap brains. This will be Mary's third publication for the Aussie Chomps series.[3][4]

Background information[edit]

Mary K. Pershall was born and grew up in Iowa, in the mid-west of the United States. She lived there until 1974, when at 23 she emigrated to Australia as part of an airlift of teachers. From 1977 to 1987, she worked as an editor on children's magazines Comet, Pursuit and Challenge, before writing her first novel, You Take the High Road, published in 1988.[5] She had her first daughter, Katie, in 1985, married John Horneshaw in 1986, and went on to have a second daughter, Anna, in 1988.

Her best known book is You Take the High Road, a novel for children set in contemporary Australia. It is listed in WorldCat as being held in 490 libraries.[6] It has been translated into Dutch as Beelden van Nickie.[7]


  • Aussie Chomps: The Dog Stole my Brain
  • Ruby Clair: A Ghost at School
  • Ruby Clair: Ghost with a Message
  • Ruby Clair: The Trouble with Ghosts
  • Escape from Year Eight
  • A Term in Year Seven
  • Two Weeks in Grade Six
  • Aussie Chomps: Making Jamie Normal
  • Aussie Bites: Too Much to Ask For
  • Asking for Trouble
  • Stormy
  • A Long Way Home
  • Hello Barney!
  • You Take the High Road
  • Gorgeous Girl - Pershall's first non-fiction work.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Penguin Australia
  2. ^ National Library of Australia
  3. ^ Aussie Chomps: The Dog Stole my Brain
  4. ^ Penguin: Aussie Chomps
  5. ^ Open Library Australia
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ WorldCat
  8. ^ Valentish, Jenny (17 August 2018). "My daughter, the murderer: a mother's desperate journey through the mental health crisis". the Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2018.

External links[edit]