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About the authors

John Heffernan

JOHN HEFFERNAN, author of Naveed and Hotaka

John Heffernan’s first book, Spud, and its sequels, Chips and Pup, introduced readers to a family of cattle dogs who live and work in the countryside of Australia, giving a picture of life on the land through a dog’s eyes. Since then John has written numerous books for older readers and younger readers, on a range of subjects, in a range of styles and genres, and even under more than one name! Many of his books have won or been shortlisted for awards. John Heffernan lives with his wife, two dogs and a wild cat in northern New South Wales. He first trained as a teacher and this experience has been invaluable in his writing and in his relationship with his young readers.

John says:

Naveed represents a confluence of two paths in my life as a writer. Some time ago I wrote a picture book called My Dog about the 1990s war in Bosnia. The story is told by young Alija, who searches for his family across a war-ravaged landscape with a small blotchy dog as companion. In researching the book I developed an abiding interest in war as part of the human condition, especially its impact on children.
‘Years ago I also spent time travelling through Afghanistan. The journey left an indelible impression on me, and since then I’ve followed the nation’s demise over more than three decades of war. Now, as the West prepares to leave, it is tempting to see only a bleak future for this beautiful country and its proud people. And yet in the many personal stories I read as research for this book I found real seeds of hope.
Naveed is my story of one boy’s fight for the future of his country.’