Reading Matters 2013 – Highlights #6

What’s yours is mine – Alison Croggon, Andrew McGahan and Gabrielle Williams explore creation through adaptation

Hopefully you can forgive me for two things with this session – I forgot to take photos and was so interested in hearing what Gabrielle Williams had to say that I didn’t take notes about Alison and Andrew. For a more detailed account of this session you should definitely check out Danielle Binks’ report on her blog,

I loved Gabrielle’s book, The Reluctant Hallelujah, so I was really interested to find out more about how the story came to be.  The starting point for the story was the Deltora Quest series and her son arguing for a 14-year-old going on a quest.  She thought it would be interesting to write a book that’s about a ‘real life’ quest.  What better time to send a group of teenagers on a quest than just before exams, when the stress levels are high.  Gabrielle then had to think why they would be going on a quest; money’s boring, nuclear war has been done.  She wanted it to be something really massive and important, so she chose the body of Christ (although it could have been any iconic religious figure).  She thought that a lot of the story had to be ‘how come the body of Christ was in their house?’  Gabrielle is Catholic, so she felt confident ‘treading on a few toes, but not breaking them.’

Gabrielle deliberately kept the Jesus element quite minimal, it was more about the kids’ relationship to him.  There’s no magic in the story, apart from the fact that Jesus is perfectly preserved.  Gabrielle says ‘It is more a story about faith and the importance of doing something that is bigger than yourself. Sometimes you can go on an adventure that’s not about you, but something much bigger.’

If you haven’t read The Reluctant Hallelujah, grab a copy straight away.  You won’t be disappointed!


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