John Heffernan lives in the New England Tablelands of New South Wales. He has written more than fifty books for young readers, over a wide range of genres and age groups. His books have won numerous awards. A journey through Afghanistan led to an ongoing interest in that country, and inspired the writing of Naveed. John writes with integrity and honesty, and his experience as a teacher has been invaluable in his writing and in his relationship with his readers.
Author's Comment: Naveed represents a confluence of two paths in my life as a writer. Some time ago I wrote a picture book called My Dog about the 1990s war in Bosnia. The story is told by young Alija, who searches for his family across a war-ravaged landscape with a small blotchy dog as companion. In researching the book I developed an abiding interest in war as part of the human condition, especially its impact on children. Years ago I also spent time travelling through Afghanistan. The journey left an indelible impression on me, and since then I’ve followed the nation’s demise over more than three decades of war. Now, as the West prepares to leave, it is tempting to see only a bleak future for this beautiful country and its proud people. And yet in the many personal stories I read as research for this book I found real seeds of hope.