Daren King - School of Meanies - Hachette Children's Group

School of Meanies

By Daren King
Illustrated by David Roberts

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  • £P.O.R.

'Ghost School is stupid and rubbish, and, um, I'm not going to Ghost School ever again!'

Bumping is Humphrey Bump's best thing - even better than cakes and lollipops! But the nasty headmaster at ghost school doesn't agree. He expels Humphrey for - you've got it! - bumping.

So the other ghosties - Agatha, Tabitha and Wither - find Humphrey a place at still-alive school. They are also on hand to help him make friends. Wither invisibly writes a spooky poem on the board, Agatha sends children whirling into the clouds, and they all whisp out of Humphrey's satchel during lessons.

The still-alive children are so mean they only run away. But they are nothing compared to the still-alive headmaster who is the biggest bully ever. Can Humphrey gather all the ghosties together to fight the bully, save the school and make lots of new friends?

Biographical Notes

Daren King's first adult novel BOXY AN STAR was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and his first children's book MOUSE NOSES ON TOAST won the Nestle Children's Book of the Year Award. He was born in Essex in 1972 and now lives in Dublin.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857384096
  • Publication date: 29 Sep 2011
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Quercus Children's Books
'School of Meanies, mulled with King's customary spicy wit, sees schoolboy ghost Humphrey Bump entering a school of 'still-alives' - and battling against a truly demonic headmaster ... full of wibbly wobbly sketchers that will make younger children crow with pleasure' Literary Review. — Literary Review
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Adrian Mitchell

Adrian Mitchell was born in London and studied at Oxford University where he passed most of his time learning to write poems. After leaving University, Adrian spent several years as a journalist and his great claim to fame is that he was the first reporter on a national paper to interview the Beatles.Adrian became a full-time writer of plays, stories and poems and was regarded as one of the country's finest poets and playwrights. He was also a regular performer for adults and children and gave over a thousand poetry readings throughout Britain, Europe, USA, Africa and Asia.Adrian's plays included The White Deer, The Wild Animal Song Contest, Mowgli's Jungle, The Snow Queen and The Pied Piper for children, and for adults, Tyger (The National Theatre) and Man Friday. Adrian's version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company for whom he also adapted Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass for the stage. He also wrote three Beatrix Potter plays which were staged with great success by The Unicorn Theatre for Children - Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Peter Rabbit and His Friends. Adrian passed away in December 2008 and is survived by his wife, who runs the bookshop Ripping Yarns, in Highgate. www.adrianmitchell.co.uk

Alan Gibbons

Alan Gibbons is a full-time writer and a visiting speaker and lecturer at schools, colleges and literary events nationwide, including the major book festivals: Edinburgh, Northern Children's Book Festival, Swansea, Cheltenham, Sheffield and Salford. Alan is a key supporter of a high-profile, nationwide campaign to champion libraries and librarianship and to reevaluate government commitment to educational spending. He lives in Liverpool with his wife and four children. Alan is an honorary CILIP member.Visit Alan's website at www.alangibbons.com, read his blog at alangibbons.net, follow him on Twitter @mygibbo, Facebook www.facebook.com/alan.gibbons.35 and Flickr www.flickr.com/people/71279646@N08.

Andy Blackford

After leaving Oxford with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics, Andy disappointed nearly everyone by joining a rock band.The band disappointed the record buying public and he moved to Amsterdam where he was employed to realise the questionable ambitions of visiting American musicians.He returned to London to become a music publisher and then a professional skateboarder.His friend the editor Susan Hill encouraged him to write and there followed a number of books on implausibly disparate subjects. He won the Independent/Scholastic Children's Story of the Year competition with Spare Bear, which involved drinking champagne with Andrew Marr (the awards ceremony, not the story). Since then he has written over twenty titles, mainly for younger children and including the Little Joe trilogy.He is also the author of books on scuba diving and ultra-marathon running, as well as a (not very) grown-up novel, Accrual World.However, his most likely qualification for immortality so far is the advertising jingle, Um Bongo, Um Bongo, they drink it in the Congo.Andy invented the NatWest Piggies, has run across the Sahara Desert, ridden horses through the Atlas Mountains and these days tries to suppress an unhealthy interest in fast motorcycles.He is a mitra with the Triratna Buddhist Community, teaching meditation to prisoners in a high-security prison. He lives in the country with his wife, an English teacher, and their daughter.

Andy Riley

Andy Riley is a highly successful cartoonist and comedy scriptwriter. TV writing credits include HBO's Veep, Gangsta Granny, Robbie the Reindeer, Little Britain and Black Books. Film credits include The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and Gnomeo and Juliet. His bestselling books include The Bunny Suicides series.

Annabelle Lynch

Annabelle Lynch is a freelance writer who lives in London. She specialises in young non-fiction, with a particular interest in natural history and geography.

Anne Rooney

I write short books for short children and longer books for longer people. I've been writing fiction and non-fiction for young people, and non-fiction since the last millennium - luckily, the end of the last millennium and I'm not even nearly 1000 years old. I particularly enjoy reading and writing stories with a bit of a twist and, for older readers, an element of horror. I definitely have a Gothic streak. Writers I really admire include Minnie Gray, Oliver Jeffers, Shaun Tan, Edward Gorey, Tove Jansson, Marcus Sedgwick, Siobhan Dowd and Melvin Burgess. I love being a writer because (a) it gives me the chance to be enthusiastic about things and share my enthusiasm with other people (b) I get paid for telling lies and (c) I don't have to do as I'm told, unlike people with a real job. I like to listen to music when I'm writing, and usually pick a few pieces of music that go with each book and listen to them again and again - most of them are opera.Although I spend most of my time writing, I also spend some helping other people with their own writing - mostly young people, who are doing a degree at university. This is great fun as I get to read lots of stories by writers who are just starting. I live in Cambridge, which is a very ancient city in the east of England with lots of ornate and pointy buildings. It's very flat in Cambridge, so it's easy to go everywhere by bicycle, but it's also rather wet. If I could live anywhere at all, it would probably be in Venice, which is also flat, ancient and full of pointy buildings. It's even wetter than Cambridge, and people go everywhere by boat.

Chris d'Lacey

Chris d'Lacey is the author of the The Last Dragon Chronicles and the Dragons of Wayward Crescent series. He likes dragons. He was born in Malta, but now lives in Devon with his wife, Jay, and about three hundred teddy bears. He likes teddy bears, too. After graduating from York University with a Biology degree, he went to Leicester University where he worked for twenty-eight years as a research scientist, mainly looking down microscopes. He now writes full time.In his spare moments, he likes to watch TV and walk by the sea - though not necessarily at the same time. His passion is writing and recording songs. His ultimate ambition is to write a song that will feature on the soundtrack of a movie of the dragon books, always assuming a movie is made.Presently, he is working on two new projects, both of which feature dragons to some extent.

David Melling

David Melling has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Smarties Book Award and the Independent Booksellers Award. His Hugless Douglas books have sold over 1.4 million copies worldwide, and the loveable brown bear has starred in a World Book Day book as well as his own theatre show. Before becoming an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator, David worked as an animation artist for films including the much-loved Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. One of his most popular picture books The Tale of Jack Frost was animated and shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day.

David Orme

David Orme has written over 300 books, including children's fiction and non-fiction, graphic novels, poetry, and books for teachers. Many of his recent titles have been aimed at reluctant and struggling readers, with a low level text but with content suitable for older children. This had led to some surprising, if not unlikely titles, such as How to Be a Pop Star. Children only need one glance at David to suspect that he knows nothing at all about the subject - and they are right! His fiction has been translated into a number of languages.David's most recent book for teachers, Unlocking the Poet in Every Child, is his distillation of a lifetime working with children, first as a teacher then as a writing workshop leader in schools. His latest novel, The Bodysnatcher's Apprentice, is for adults and older teens.

L J Smith

L J Smith is the author of more than twenty books for young adults, including the bestselling Night World and Vampire Diaries series (now a hit-series on ITV2). She lives in Northern California, in a rambling house in a small town.Lisa knew that she wanted to be a writer since she was about six, when a teacher praised a poem she'd written. She wrote her first book in high school, finishing it in her first year of college. Then she became a special education teacher before she was able to become a writer full-time.

Laura North

Laura North is a children's book author who lives and works in London. Her first children's book was a retelling of 'Theseus and the Minotaur', one of her favourite myths. She has since written a series of fairy tales with a twist, including 'Cinderella: The Terrible Truth', 'The Princess and the Frozen Peas' and 'Hansel and Gretel and the Green Witch', with pictures by some extremely talented illustrators.

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Laurence and Catherine Anholt live and work in a house and studios on top of a hill above the sea in Devon. They started making picture books in 1984 when their first daughter was born. Since then they have made more than 200 classic picture books, which are published all over the world in more than 30 languages. Their titles range from their Orchard picture book series which include Babies Love Books and Billy and the Big New School; to Laurence's self-illustrated Anholt's Artists series, an introduction to great artists for young children, which include Camille and the Sunflowers. Laurence also collaborates with his friend, the illustrator, Arthur Robins on the bestselling Seriously Silly Stories, which include the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award winner Snow White and the Seven Aliens.The Anholts' books have won many awards and are frequently featured on television and radio. Babies, Babies, Babies is listed in The Sunday Times 100 Modern Classics. Laurence was included in the Independent on Sunday's Top 10 Children's Authors in the UK and was described as 'one of the most versatile authors writing for children today'. Laurence was brought up mainly in Holland where he developed a lasting passion for art. He then went on to study Fine Art for eight years, finishing with a Master's Degree from the Royal Academy of Art in London.The Anholts have been closely involved with a number of literacy schemes such as the UK Government funded Bookstart scheme, which encourages parents to share books with babies from the earliest possible age. Their work has taken them inside Buckingham Palace and Downing Street on many occasions. Recent projects include a full-scale stage musical in Korea. Laurence and Catherine have three grown up children: Claire works for the UN in New York, Tom Anholt is a painter living in Berlin and Maddy is an actor based in London. Laurence's favourite things include, 'my lovely family, travelling to wild places and anything to do with art'. The best way to relax? 'A long soak in a warm book.'

Lil Chase

Lil Chase has a first class degree in Creative Writing and works as an editor in London. Having been a pub cook and even suffered a brief stint in Disneyland Paris, she settled on a career in her first love - telling stories. BOYS FOR BEGINNERS started its life as a novel, written in pencil, complete with drawings, when Lil was just 11. Lil lives with Stella - a fox crossed with a rat, who masquerades as a dog. Visit her online at www.lilchase.com.

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Linda Chapman is the million-copy selling author of such series as My Secret Unicorn, Stardust, Skating School, Not Quite a Mermaid and Loving Spirit. She has also written for the Animal Ark series, Rainbow Magic and many more Working Partners' series. Linda lives in Leicestershire with her husband, two daughters and their three dogs. Her website is http://www.lindachapmanauthor.co.uk/

Lynne Benton

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Lynne Rickards

Lynne Rickards was born in Canada and now lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She grew up writing and illustrating her own stories and actually went to art school at 18 to study illustration. However, she decided she was much happier writing the stories and loves to see artwork in her books, knowing it's so much better than anything she could ever have done.Keep up with her at: http://lynnerickardsauthor.wordpress.com/