Joy Lawn

Joy Lawn is a freelance writer and reviewer for The Weekend Australian (where she writes the YA literature column) and Magpies magazine. Her work also appears in Books+Publishing, SMH, and The Age.

Joy judges several literary awards, and blogs about literary fiction, young adult and children's literature. She teaches at USQ (external).

She is fascinated by ideas and images and how authors and illustrators express these with truth and originality.

Joy Lawn reviews a number of children's fiction titles

May 2013, no. 351 29 April 2013
Animals and friends are a perennial subject in children’s literature, and the junior novels and series books reviewed here highlight those interests. Most of these titles, however, are also notable because they are told with humour, even whilst exposing the anxieties of children. Fog a Dox (Magabala Books, $19.95 pb, 111 pp, 9781921248559) is a new novel for primary-aged children by esteem ... (read more)

Joy Lawn reviews recent picture books

December 2012–January 2013, no. 347 27 November 2012
Tohby Riddle’s Unforgotten (Allen & Unwin, $35 hb, 123 pp, 9781742379722) will be appreciated by aficionados of Shaun Tan’s sophisticated illustrated works and Riddle’s impressive books. This atmospheric book is allegorical and metaphorical, and the structure is cyclic. It begins and ends in the heavens; and gradually reveals the role and impact of angels.   ... (read more)

Joy Lawn reviews 'Dead Heat' by Bronwyn Parry

May 2012, no. 341 23 April 2012
Joy Lawn reviews 'Dead Heat' by Bronwyn Parry
Proudly popular fiction, Dead Heat is a romantic thriller set in a north-western New South Wales National Park. Organised crime in fiction generally operates in a large city or on the coastline, but author Bronwyn Parry sets her plot in the bush. The inclusion of bushland and animals creates unique plot obstacles and possibilities for both the criminals and the authorities, and it is affirming to ... (read more)

Joy Lawn reviews 'Lightning Jack', 'A Bear and a Tree', 'Lazy Daisy, Busy Lizzie', 'The Perfect Present', 'The Red Poppy', 'A Bus Called Heaven', 'Look, A BOOK!'

March 2012, no. 339 22 February 2012
Australian picture books are among the best in the world. Some of our most notable authors and illustrators include Bob Graham, Libby Gleeson, Freya Blackwood, Stephen Michael King, and Glenda Millard. The latest books by these creators are valuable additions to Australian children’s literature. ... (read more)

Joy Lawn reviews 'Jam Dreaming' by Jan Gross

September 2011, no. 334 23 August 2011
Joy Lawn reviews 'Jam Dreaming' by Jan Gross
The premise of Jam Dreaming is worthwhile; three cultures and generations meet over food. Eileen is an Aboriginal girl who lives in a squat. She is grieving for her mother, who died of alcoholism. Trying to find warmth beside a restaurant at night, she stumbles into the life of Mama Jocsdi, who cooks traditional European food. Mama’s sister, Nellie, with whom she escaped the Nazis, remains an el ... (read more)