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Ali Lewis was born in rural North Yorkshire in 1976, the second of three children. Being cast as Rose Herriot in the final series of All Creatures Great and Small opened the door to a new world. After graduating from university, she went into a career in journalism, then in 2002 she left to travel the world. It was in Australia, working on an outback cattle station, that she found the inspiration for her first novel, Everybody Jam. Since her return, Ali worked as a features writer and now has moved on to work in public relations.
Ali talks about where she wrote Everybody Jam in this video:
Shortlisted for the 2012 Branford Boase Award for outstanding Debut novel and 2012 Carnegie Medal. The Carnegie judges said: A hugely engaging and enjoyable novel that conveys a terrific sense of place in its vivid descriptions of the brutality and terrible beauty of Australian outback life. The voice of the central character Danny is always convincing, and his relationship with his camel surprisingly moving. In fact so real are all the characters that they leave the reader wanting to know more. The Branford Boase judges said: A fabulous piece of writing. The voice was completely right and the writing doesn't falter. A Lovereading4Kids 'Debut of the Year 2011'. 11+. A stunning coming-of-age story with a gripping Australian outback setting and a strong and interesting plot. Danny’s life is in turmoil: his older brother has recently died in a freak accident; his sister is pregnant and won’t say who the father is. Danny observes the profound changes in his family and finds refuge in training a camel and introducing the newly arrived girl from England into the ways of the outback. Passionate about the farm and particularly the cattle mustering, Danny captures the danger and excitement of the farm while also observing his family with affection and some confusion. A debut novel to look out for. Shortlisted for the North East Teenage Book Award and for the Coventry Inspiration Awards in the Simply The Book (age 14+) category. Longlisted for the Southern Schools Book Award.
Danny Dawson lives in the middle of the Australian outback. His older brother Jonny was killed in an accident last year but no-one ever talks about it. And now it's time for the annual muster. The biggest event of the year on the cattle station, and a time to sort the men from the boys. But this year things will be different: because Jonny's gone and Danny's determined to prove he can fill his brother's shoes; because their fourteen-year-old sister is pregnant; because it's getting hotter and hotter and the rains won't come; because cracks are beginning to show . . . When Danny's mum admits she can't cope, the family hires a housegirl to help out - a wide-eyed English backpacker. She doesn't have a clue what she's let herself in for. And neither do they.