About Alison Lloyd

Alison Lloyd is an Australian children's writer. She writes fiction and non-fiction. Her books have been shortlisted for several awards, and in 2019 her Upside-down History of Downunder won the NSW Premier's History Prize. So far, all of her books have been about the past. 

NEWS! Alison is now writing for adults as well. Have a look at alisonlloydauthor.com.

Alison grew up in Canberra. She was also lucky to live in Europe and Asia when she was a kid. She studied in China for two years - she was in that country when army tanks rolled onto the city streets, to put down the student movement in 1989.

Before she wrote books, Alison worked for the Australian Government, in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. But she has sworn, under the Official Secrets Act, not to tell everything that went on then...

Alison now lives in Melbourne with her family and hundreds of books.


  • reading (of course)
  • the bush, the beach, mountains
  • walking and cycling
  • church
  • making things
  • cake


  • books and movies with a weak plot
  • live snakes (they taste alright cooked)
  • pig's liver (which tastes awful)

Australia has many dinosaurs that are unique to our land - they aren't found anywhere else. These pictures aren't found anywhere else either! I took them on a special excursion inside Museum Victoria. 

The terrifying talons you see here belong to Australovenator wintonensis. It was not a loving beast, despite its name. The Latin name actually means: australo=southern; venator=hunter; wintonensis=from Winton in Queensland. That makes sense, looking at those claws. 

Australovenator was an ornithopod, which means it had feet like a bird. But it was 2 metres high and 5 metres long - bigger and more vicious than any emu you've ever seen. You can see an artist's sketch of how the whole animal might have looked here

Leaellynasaura scratched around in the forests of southern Victoria. She or he was a teensy, chicken-sized dinosaur. Leaellynasaura was also an ornithopod. They lived in the Cretaceous era, about 110 million years ago (give or take a rather large few million years.) At that time Australia was a long way downunder, within the Antarctic circle. 

The picture on the left is the first piece of leaellynasaura discovered by scientists. From this jawbone leaellynasaura was identified and named in 1989. The tiny teeth are like black sesame seeds, with little ridges on them, for biting pine needles and ferns. This fossil is kept very safe inside Museum Victoria. It's not on public display, but I am allowed to share it with you here! The photo was taken with permission of the Museum. 

You can find out more leaellynasaura on this museum website.  

This footprint was found in the Otways area of Victoria, not too far from the leaellynasaura fossil. It's about the same age too. But it's a bit big for a leaellynasaura. (Unless the leaellynasaura we have is a baby, which is possible.) The foot is about the size of an adult human hand. 

History Bytes podcast

Munch on sound-bites of history! Listen to bits of Alison Lloyd's books and more.


Email Me

I really like to hear what readers think about my books. You are welcome to email me using the form on this page.

If you are interested in having me talk at your school, please contact Nexus Arts.

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Why do I write?

All of us love stories. I love telling stories. Stories have meanings and I think we all want those too.

I once read that our lives are like an embroidery, or inside out clothes. We only get to see the back side, with all the knots and joins and messy sewing. But God sees the whole picture - the good side.

I like that. When I tell a story, I think I am showing part of the whole picture - the meaning of life.

The meaning that I hope readers will see in Year of the Tiger is this: every person is precious and important, whether they are Chinese or Australian, rich or poor.

Wicked Warriors and Evil Emperors is about power: people want it; they like it; but how should they use it? The First Emperor is ancient history, but Dragons, Devils and Rebels is not. There are still governments in the world today who use brutal methods to control their countries.

Letty is a girl who tries very hard to please other people. She often feels she isn't pretty enough, or old enough, or capable enough, to be loved the way she wants. Fortunately, she is wrong about that...

The Bushranger's Boys is about crime and punishment - who's right, who's wrong, and whether fairness is everything. 

Read them for yourself and tell me what you think

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