Greg Pyers grew up in the small Victorian town of Daylesford. As a boy, he read the books of Gerald Durrell, and many years later, worked at Durrell’s famous Jersey Zoo. Greg went on to write 160 natural history books and three novels for children. The Narrative of Deserter Burman is his first novel for adults.
Greg’s first children’s novel, Doublecross, was published by ABC books in August 2005. His second novel, Jack Brown and the Labyrinth of the Bats, was published in early 2006. It was included in the Curriculum Collection of the Library Services of the Queensland Department of Education in Australia, with this review: ’Initial full-blown action effectively launches the reader into this easy-to-read adventure/mystery that sustains perilous exploits throughout. The first book in the Jack Brown series, it is a cross between The Famous Five and Jumanjii, providing a plethora of appeal for the upper primary/lower secondary audience. The dynamic thirteen-year-old duo of ’animal clairvoyant’ Jack Brown and his cousin Molly, a martial arts expert, will enthral the reader.
Animal poaching, hidden gold coin smuggling and other criminal activities abound in an involved plot that unwinds quickly. Contrasting geographical settings of the African jungle and English countryside add interest and variety….’ The West Australian on 25 July 2006 described the audiobook of Jack Brown and the Labyrinth of the Bats as ’riveting’. The second book in this series, Jack Brown and the Trail of the Python, was released in October 2006.
Greg Pyers was short listed in the 2005 Children’s Book Council Awards in the non-fiction category. He won a 2004 Whitley Award from the Royal Zoological Society of NSW for Life in a Rock Pool, Gum Tree, Creek and Desert Dune. He was also Highly Commended in the Primary Category of The Australian Awards For Excellence In Educational Publishing 2004 for Life Cycles of Australian Animals: Saltwater Crocodile, published by Binara Publishing for Heinemann Library. In The Wilderness Society’s 2002 Environment Award For Children’s Literature, he won a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding (and ongoing) contribution to children’s environmental literature. The citation read, “Greg Pyers’ attractive, interesting and informative books include series on the endangered animals of Australia; the ecosystems of Australia; and Australia’s introduced plants and animals (most published by Heinemann Library). If you are looking for clear, well-balanced ecological reference books, Greg Pyers is an excellent start.” In 2005 Greg won another Wilderness Society Award, this time for non-fiction.
Greg has written 162 non-fiction books for children of all ages, hundreds of interpretative signs for Melbourne Zoo and Melbourne Museum, many articles for Melbourne’s The Age newspaper and dozens of programs for students and teachers from primary to tertiary level. Greg’s non fiction books have been published by Heinemann, Rigby, Horwitz Martin, Random House, Raintree, National Geographic, Barrie, Binara and Sundance.
Greg has hosted and produced many hours of live satellite television broadcasts to schools, narrated and starred in several videos for children, and delivered many adult education programs, about birdwatching, wildlife gardening and native flora. He has also addressed conferences, both in Australia and overseas, on conservation education. Greg became a full-time writer in 1998, following eight years as an educator in zoos, including Gerald Durrell’s famous Jersey Zoo, and several years as a post-primary schoolteacher.