The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull

The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull Preview this book with Google Preview Buy Online Listen to Audio Download Teachers' Notes (PDF Format)
Published April 2004

Part quirky journal, part detective fiction, this wild and witty novel is a laugh-out-loud comedy about two unlikely friends who are drawn into a dramatic series of events through their mutual mistrust of their new English teacher.


I don't know you at all. I wouldn't recognise you from a hole in the ground.

If I was telling this story to some friends, then they would already know Kiffo and they would know me and they would know the school and everything.

I'd just be able to get straight into what happened when a new English teacher, the Pitbull, slobbered and snarled her way into our class.

But you don't know anything.

No offence.

An inspiring debut novel: simultaneously funny and wise. A +' Tony Wilson, Triple R Breakfasters


Special mention 2005: White Ravens Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature (Germany).

Shortlisted 2005: Children's Book Council Awards in the Older Readers category.

The Author Says

This was my very first book, so it holds a special place in my heart. Well, I say it’s my first book, but actually I wrote another before this.

It was called Nativity, a rambling sci-fi/fantasy novel aimed at 10-14 year olds. It was this novel that first brought me to the attention of Allen & Unwin, my publishers. They didn’t think the manuscript was good enough for publication, but liked the way I wrote. So they asked me to send them anything else I was writing.

As it happened, I was finishing a second book, that I called Kiffo and the Pitbull, which developed a minor character in Nativity. That character was Jaryd Kiffing, who eventually became the hero of The Whole Business With Kiffo and the Pitbull.

There was something very special about seeing my first published work. And it continues to be popular, here and abroad. In fact, Kiffo has been published in England, America, Canada, France, Germany, Poland and China. It has been shortlisted for awards both here and abroad and is taught in many schools around Australia.

It was great fun to write. But then again, all my books have been great fun to write!

Barry Jonsberg