"Melina Marchetta was born into a family of Australian immigrants, like the character Josie in Looking for Alibrandi—the story of Marchetta’s grandmother immigrating to Australia from Italy in the 1930s loosely inspired novel. Unsure of her academic abilities, Marchetta left school at age 15, but later earned a teaching degree. She taught at a Catholic boys’ school in Sydney for 10 years. Looking for Alibrandi was her first novel; published in 1992, it became an instant hit and sold out its first print run in only two months. It earned a number of prestigious awards, both in Australia and worldwide. Marchetta continued to teach until 2006, after the publication of her third young adult novel, On the Jellicoe Road. In addition to writing full-time, Marchetta often gives interviews and lectures about her books and her writing process, and she also wrote the screenplay for the award-winning 2000 film adaptation of Looking for Alibrandi. Marchetta lives in Sydney, Australia."