Joanna Orwin is a writer for children and adults. Her fiction and non-fiction books share a focus on New Zealand's natural environment, Maori history and mythology, and European history. She won the Children's Book of the Year Award for The Guardian of the Land (1985). Orwin has a background in plant ecology. Her other books for children are Ihaka and the Summer Wandering (1983), Ihaka and the Prophecy (1984); The Guardian of the Land (1985); Watcher in the Forest (1987); Tar Dragon (1997) and Owl (2001). In 2009 she was the winner of the University of Otago College of Education Children's Writing Fellowship.