Related to: 'Laura Powell'

Quercus Children's Books

Meat Market

Juno Dawson
Authors:
Juno Dawson
Hodder Children's Books

The Colour of Happy

Laura Baker, Angie Rozelaar
Contributors:
Laura Baker, Angie Rozelaar
Wayland

What is Gender? How Does It Define Us? And Other Big Questions for Kids

Juno Dawson
Authors:
Juno Dawson

A highly topical look at the concept of gender, encouraging children to think for themselves about the issues involved.What's the difference between sex and gender? What does it mean to be defined by your gender? Are there only two genders? This informative book helps kids to explore these questions and many more. It explains how your gender can have an impact on your life, what it means to choose your own gender identity and the importance of gender equality. Topics covered include gender stereotypes, why there are different toys for boys and girls, being intersex and transgender, cross-dressing and gender around the world. You will also hear from a range of people who share their personal gender philosophies. Poet Anthony Anaxagorou discusses his masculinity, author Holly Bourne writes about the importance of feminism, Krishna Istha explains what it means to be genderqueer and Juno shares her experiences of being transgender. Other contributors and celebrities featured include Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Jack Monroe, Caitlyn Jenner, RuPaul, Laura Dockrill, Conchita Wurst, Andrew McMillan and Emma Watson. Aimed at young people aged 10 and upwards.Part of the groundbreaking and important 'And Other Big Questions' series, which offers balanced and considered views on the big issues we face in the world we live in today.Juno Dawson - formerly known as James - grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of DOCTOR WHO. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing bands before writing for a Brighton newspaper. Until recently, Juno worked as a teacher, specialising in PSHE. She is most proud of her work surrounding anti-bullying and family diversity. In 2014 she became a School Role Model for the charity STONEWALL. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.Visit Juno's website at www.junodawson.comOther titles in the series include:What is Humanism? How do you live without a god?What is Feminism? Why do we need it?Who are Refugees and Migrants? What makes people leave their homes?What is Consent? Why is it important?

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Prisoner of the Black Hawk

A. L. Tait
Authors:
A. L. Tait

In the second thrilling instalment of the Mapmaker Chronicles by Australian author A.L. Tait, Quinn is taken prisoner by a ruthless enemy.Tomas laughed. 'You think that's terrifying? Wait till you meet the pescarn . . . they will eat the flesh off your bones in minutes.'In the second book in this thrilling series, Mapmaker Quinn is far from home in an exotic land filled with dangerous creatures and ruthless enemies. When he is betrayed by someone close to him and comes face-to-face with blood-thirsty pirates, he has to decide once and for all who is a friend and who is a foe . . . Is this the end of the race for Quinn - or just the beginning of another incredible adventure in The Mapmaker Chronicles?'Great white beasts and would-be pirates will capture the attention of young readers ... recommended for fans of adventure books from Emily Rodda and Andrew McGahan.' BOOKS+PUBLISHING 'The story unfolds in such a gripping way that I found this second book in the series almost impossible to put down and read 95% at one sitting. This series is a great read by an Australian author . . . Book Three will be eagerly awaited.' Buzzwords'The story is filled with a wonderful sense of old-fashioned adventure with sword fights, narrow escapes, daring plans, betrayed trust and the exciting discovery of new people, ideas, animals and places. The work of Australian author A L Tait, The Mapmaker Chronicles is a fantastic series for readers who love stories filled with adventure and suspense.' Kids' Book Review'THE PRISONER OF THE BLACK HAWK is an exciting book filled with sword fights, strange creatures and pirates. If you're a buccaneer who thirsts for adventure, this thrilling book is for you. Buy this book, batten down the hatches, weigh anchor and let the author take you on a swashbuckling adventure!" William, 9, and James, 8, for WEST AUSTRALIANthemapmakerchronicles.com

Wayland

Ancient Greeks

Jillian Powell
Authors:
Jillian Powell

Each book in this delightful, child-friendly series focuses on a different period in history, from Ancient Egypt right up to World War 2. Children will love learning about each era, and then following the simple instructions to make useful or interesting objects from that time. Age-appropriate and accessible, the books are jam-packed with great ideas and perfect for use at home or in the classroom. In Craft Box: Ancient Greeks, you can learn how to make theatre masks, a a fish dish, a Medusa headdress, an Olympic torch, a perfume bottle, a golden wreath, a fibula, a Hoplite's shield, a Greek arm guard, a gable decoration, a discus and pan pipes!Fun facts on every spread give background information about Ancient Greece and its people, from food and everyday life to the Olympics and religion. A Further Information spread suggests age-appropriate websites and books, so children can go away and learn more about the ancient Greeks.A glossary explains any tricky words, and will help to further increase children's knowledge and understanding of the era.

Franklin Watts

Dick Whittington

Margaret Nash, Martin Remphry
Contributors:
Margaret Nash, Martin Remphry

"Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London!"A beautifully illustrated retelling of this favourite traditional story. Join Dick Whittington on his journey from poor villager to Lord Mayor.Must Know Stories includes favourite tales, celebrating the diversity of our literary heritage. Level 1 stories are told in under 500 words, for children to read independently.

Hodder Children's Books

The Damned

David Gatward
Authors:
David Gatward

Tombs. Hundreds of them. All lying in concentric rings in the greasy, cold darkness of the cavern. At their very centre, hanging from a burnt and blackened tree. a huge, cracked bell. And under that, The Gate, built from the bones of a thousand murdered souls. Lazarus knew ringing the bell would be very bad. He also knew he had no choice - he needed the kind of help only Hell could give him... The Dead don't just want to return, they want Earth for themselves. And it's Lazarus Stone, Keeper of the Dead, who has to stop them. Trouble is, the Dead are the exact opposite of rotting, stumbling corpses. And they desire one thing only: to live again. To do that, all they need is a good supply of fresh, warm bodies... Lazarus now knows his mum murdered him, betrayed his dad, and is about to open a portal between worlds that will bring about the end of life as we know it. Trouble is, his best mate has disappeared (again), he still hasn't rescued his dad (but he will), and the only help he has is that of an undead priest (who carries a blunderbuss) and a female angel (who drives a 4x4 and has an alcohol problem). This isn't just about saving the world, this is personal...

Franklin Watts

Leapfrog World Tales: Chief Five Heads

Margaret Nash, Anni Axworthy
Contributors:
Margaret Nash, Anni Axworthy

Exciting stories from around the world told in fewer than 180 words, suitable for children who are starting to read independently. The series introduces readers to stories from other cultures and encourages them to find where the story comes from on a map.This tales comes from Southern Africa. The chief in the next village wants a wife. Two sisters would like to marry him, but this chief is not quite what they expect! The tale has echoes of Cinderella, where the kindness of the younger sister shines through.Puzzles at the back of the book encourage children to reread and retell the story in their own words, and helps build vocabulary by matching words to characters.

Orchard Books

The Master of Misrule

Laura Powell
Authors:
Laura Powell

The Arcanum: a world like our own, but twisted beyond reality. Here, a deadly Game is played out, with prizes for some - and danger for all. When Cat, Blaine, Flora and Toby defeated the Game's Masters, they thought they had won. They thought wrong. Now, the Game is broken, and soon the four unlikely friends realise: it's not just their own lives at risk - but the future of the whole world...The thrilling sequel to the critically acclaimed THE GAME OF TRIUMPHS.

Franklin Watts

Toby and The Great Fire Of London

Margaret Nash, Jane Cope
Contributors:
Margaret Nash, Jane Cope

Toby has forgotten a delivery for Mr Pepys, but as he sets out across London he sees the sky is full of flames! Hopscotch Histories are brand new stories in historical settings, told in under 400 words, perfect for children who are building up their reading confidence. Carefully controlled text interacts with stunning artwork to help develop visual literacy.

Hodder Children's Books

Summer Special: Diamond Charm

Jenny Oldfield
Authors:
Jenny Oldfield

This is a recipe for trouble for ranch owner, Sandy Scott. But her daughter Kirstie is undaunted by her mother's warnings. She's at her happiest riding the trails through the tall forests and deep canyons of the Meltwater Range...It's midsummer and a busy time at the ranch. So why does Sandy Scott let Taryn West stay for free? Kirstie soon learns that Taryn's life has recently fallen apart - her mom is missing presumed dead and her dad is the chief suspect. When novice rider Taryn disappears on her favourite horse, Diamond Charm, Kirstie sets off to track her down - before they find themselves battling to save the life of another member of this torn and tragic family ...

Hodder Children's Books

Skylark

Jenny Oldfield
Authors:
Jenny Oldfield

A recipe for trouble for ranch owner, Sandy Scott. But her daughter, Kirstie is undaunted by her mother's warnings. She's at her happiest riding the trails through the tall forests and deep canyons of the Meltwater Range... Kirstie is pleased that Skylark and her foal Hummingbird become the favourite subject of artist Leon Powell during his visit to Half-Moon Ranch. But tragedy strikes when a freak snowstorm traps the bay mare and her foal freezes to death. An outraged Powell sets about exposing the Scotts for their "cruelty". But Matt Scott isn't convinced that Hummingbird's death was quite so clear-cut. Meanwhile, poor Skylark pines for her dead foal...

Laura Baker

Laura grew up in Canada with a passion for stories. She followed this passion to attain an Honours BA in English and then moved abroad to Wales for an MA in Creative Writing and an adventure - and she never left! She now lives in a lovely coastal town in South Wales with her husband, son and big basset hound and has been writing and editing award-winning books for adults and children for the last ten years. She loves finding special stories to tell in the everyday, relatable world of a child (or dog).

Wikipedia

Saviour Pirotta

Saviour Pirotta (born 1958, Naxxar, Malta) is a children's book author based in England.[1] The second of five brothers, he grew up speaking both English and Maltese. He attended Naxxar Primary School and later won a scholarship to St Aloysius' College (Malta), one of the most prestigious schools on the island. He developed a love of literature early on in life when he discovered the works of Maltese folklorist Manuel Magri, the legends of Father Peter Delia, the works of C.S. Lewis and a children's adventure story by local author Guze Galea called Ragel Bil-Ghaqal (A Serious Man). His first short novel, The Pirates of Pudding Beach, paid tribute to it. The author's parents, both extremely devout Catholics, discouraged his interest in the arts and censored most television programmes. The family did watch Italian television series, however, and the RAI adaptations of Emilio Salgari's novels about the Asian pirate Sandokan made a big impression on the young Pirotta, as did frequent reruns of neorealist classics, in particular Vittorio De Sica's Shoeshine and Miracle in Milan. Pirotta also cites as visual influences the works of legendary film animator Ray Harryhausen and Alexander Korda, who produced the 1940 fantasy film The Thief of Baghdad, starring the South Asian actor Sabu. Rare visits to the cinema to watch Biblical epics like Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments were also to prove of lasting influence, which later led to an interest in the sword and sandal genre of movies and historical novels, especially the works of Rosemary Sutcliff. Having finished his secondary education at St. Aloysius, Pirotta enrolled in a hotel management course, but left during the second year, mainly due to bullying from fellow students, although during an interview with a local newspaper two years later he claimed that 'in a world where people are still dying of hunger and fighting for basic human rights, I don't want to waste my life deciding which wine goes with which fish.' He had a variety of jobs while attending a two year evening course at the Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Arts, Malta's national drama school. While in his second year, he wrote a children's radio play which he sold to a local station for £5. After graduating, he directed various plays at the Manoel Theatre and helped set up Malta's first youth theatre company, for which he adapted and produced several works. By now he had decided that his future lay in writing and in October 1981, he moved to the UK. His first job was directing three short plays for Moonshine Community Arts Workshop in London, an off-shoot of Brian Way's pioneering Theatre Centre. He also wrote a children's play based on a Maltese folk tale which toured various venues around London, including the Oval House and Jacksons Lane Community Centre.[2] This brought him to the attention of the Commonwealth Institute, where he worked as a workshop leader and storyteller till 1989 alongside other artists from the Commonwealth including the Guyanese poet John Agard. The children's play was subsequently published by Samuel French and Pirotta has since concentrated on writing. His first efforts were picture books but he soon moved into non-fiction, specialising in pirates and religious festivals. His Pirates and Treasure, published in the UK, the US, Russia and Sweden in 1995 is widely considered to be the first children's book about sea-robbers with a multi-cultural viewpoint. For a while he also wrote science books for the very young using the pen name Sam Godwin. A Seed In Need - a first look at life cycle of a flower - won him the 1998 English Association Award for best non-fiction picture book. After the success of his next two books, Turtle Bay and The Orchard Book of First Greek Myths, Pirotta decided to write solely under his own name. Turtle Bay, published by Frances Lincoln in the UK and Farrar, Strauss, Giroux in the United States was selected by members of a book review panel appointed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and assembled in cooperation with The Children's Book Council (CBC) as a Notable Science Trade Book of 1998. He has since concentrated on retelling folktales, producing The Sleeping Princess with illustrator Emma Chichester Clarke in 2002; The Orchard Book Of First Greek Myths with Jan Lewis in 2003 (both books for Orchard Books, an imprint of Hachette Livre); Aesop's Fables [2006];Around the World in 80 Tales [2007], both illustrated by Richard Johnson and published by Kingfisher in the UK and the US. In 2008 he performed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival for the first time where his show was sold out. He writes in English and his books are produced mainly for the English-speaking market but they have been successfully published by major companies in various countries, including the United States, Italy, France, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Rumania, Belgium, Sweden, Brazil, Thailand, Greece, Estonia, Poland, Russia and Korea. The author is now a British citizen and lives in Saltaire, Yorkshire. He is very much committed to empowering children to write and still performs workshops and story-making sessions in schools around the UK. He is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the SCBWI and the Scattered Authors' Society. In November 2010, Firebird was awarded an Aesop Accolade by the American Folklore Society. It shared the honour with Eric A. Kimmel's Joha Makes a Wish: A Middle Eastern Tale and Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham. ANTHOLOGIES Storyworld [illustrated by Fiona Small], Blackie & Sons, 1988 [re-issued as Tales From Around the World in 1994] Joy To The World - Christmas Stories from Around the Globe[illustrated by Sheila Moxley], Frances Lincoln/Harpercollins, 1998 The Sleeping Princess and other Fairy Tales from Grimm [illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark], Orchard Books 2002 [titled The MacElderry Book of Grimm's Fairy Tales in the US] The Orchard Book Of First Greek Myths [illustrated by Jan Lewis], Orchard Books, 2003 Once Upon A World[illustrated by Alan Marks], Watts/Sea to Sea Publications, 2004 Aesop's Fables [illustrated by Richard Johnson], Kingfisher 2005 Around The World in 80 Tales [illustrated by Richard Johnson], Kingfisher 2007 Children's Stories from the Bible (illustrated by Ian Andrew and Anne Yvonne Gilbert), Templar 2008 The Giant Book of Giants, Egmont Books, October 2011 PICTURE BOOKS Solomon's Secret [illustrated by Helen Cooper], Methuen/Dial 1989 Little Bird [illustrated by Steve Butler], Frances Lincoln/Tambourine 1992 Turtle Bay [illustrated by Nilesh Mistry], Frances Lincoln/Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998 [reissed as Turtle Watch, 2008] Patrick Paints A Picture [Illustrated by Linz West], Frances Lincoln 2008 Firebird [illustrated by Catherine Hyde], Templar Sept 2010 FORTHCOMING BOOKS The Orchard Book of Ballet Stories for the Very Young, Orchard Books, 2013 Grimm's Fairy Tales, a six-books series from Orchard Books, January 2012 October to March 2012

Juno Dawson

Juno Dawson grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of DOCTOR WHO. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing bands before writing for a Brighton newspaper. Until recently, Juno worked as a teacher, specialising in PSHE. She is most proud of her work surrounding anti-bullying and family diversity. In 2014 she became a School Role Model for the charity STONEWALL. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.Visit Juno's website at www.junodawson.com

Chapter 1

Guardian Angel

1. SHORTBREAD 12 March 2012 Twelve kids had started basic training back in December, but four quitters, two cracked bones, a badly sprained ankle, a chest infection and an asthma attack meant only three were left as the sun came up on the course’s hundredth and final day. Instructors Kazakov and Speaks had spent the night in the cabin of a dilapidated trawler, playing cards and sipping whisky while their captain navigated choppy waters off Scotland’s west coast. Daybreak had a rugged beauty: golden sky, islands shrouded in mist and the little boat struggling against the sea. But the three trainees appreciated none of this because they’d spent the night out on deck, pelted by sea spray in temperatures close to freezing. The closest thing the trio had to shelter was a mound of fishing gear. They’d dug in under buoys and rope and huddled together, hooking their limbs around slimy netting so that big waves didn’t pitch them across the deck. Ten-year-old Leon Sharma had the warm spot in the middle, propped against his twin Daniel with his face nestling the broad back of twelve-year-old Fu Ning. Leon had one eye open and there was enough light for him to see the angry red mosquito bites on Ning’s neck, and her pale blue training shirt stained with grass, blood and rust-coloured Australian dirt. Before basic training Leon wouldn’t have been able to sleep on a wooden deck with freezing Atlantic water sloshing about, but the instructors kept trainees in a near-permanent state of exhaustion and his body had conditioned itself to take whatever sleep was on offer. But pain had woken him up before the others. He’d lost his footing and crashed into a bush on a speed march the previous day. A thorn had driven beneath his thumbnail, splicing it down the middle and leaving a throbbing, bloody mess at the tip of his right thumb. It was the newest and most painful of two dozen cuts, scabs and blisters on Leon’s body, but an even greater torment came from a growling stomach. The fall meant he’d missed his target time for the march and Instructor Speaks had thrown his dinner on the fire as punishment. Tantalisingly, Leon had food within reach. Trainees weren’t supposed to carry food, but Leon knew Ning had a secret stash of biscuits in her pack. He’d seen her swipe them from the hostess’s trolley on their plane back from Australia a few days earlier. Ning had hooked the straps of her backpack around her ankles to stop it getting washed away. As a mini-wave swept the deck and sploshed through the mound of ropes, Leon reached towards the zip on Ning’s pack. It was a risky move: Ning was two years older and a champion boxer who could easily batter Leon if he pissed her off. Despite the throb of the trawler’s propeller shaft and the sounds of wind and water, the click of each zip tooth felt like a gun going off. Once he had an opening big enough for his hand, Leon felt blindly inside Ning’s pack. He burrowed past underwear, which had been hand-washed but packed before fully dry. Grains of sand stuck to his arm as he went deeper, feeling the smooth handle of Ning’s hunting knife, then at the very bottom pairs of shortcake biscuits in plastic wrapping. As Leon pulled up shortbread, his palm touched a larger packet. It was rectangular, with the biscuits sitting in a plastic tray and a spongy feel when he pushed down. It had to be Jaffa Cakes. Saliva flushed Leon’s mouth as he anticipated the tang of orange and chocolate melting against his tongue. As a small wave washed over the deck, he pulled out the little package and ripped it open with his teeth. Leon hadn’t eaten in eighteen hours and stifled a satisfied groan as he crammed a spongy biscuit into his mouth whole. Soooo good! He practically inhaled the second, but as the third Jaffa Cake neared Leon’s mouth a hand touched his shoulder, making him jump. ‘You just gonna scoff them all yourself?’ Leon’s twin, Daniel, asked quietly. Leon turned to face his brother and spoke in a whisper. ‘You got dinner last night. I’m starving.’ ‘I’ll tell Ning,’ Daniel threatened, as he aimed his pointing finger at her back. ‘She’ll crack you like an egg.’ Leon knew his brother wouldn’t really grass, but this knowledge also reminded him of his bond with his twin. He pulled the biscuit apart and gave Daniel the bigger half. As Daniel made a quiet-but-appreciative mmm, the sliding door at the rear of the trawler’s cabin opened with a crash. ‘Wipe your top lip,’ Leon said anxiously, as he chewed fast and flicked chocolate flakes off his shirt. ‘If he sees us eating we’re dead.’ As Leon zipped Ning’s pack and swallowed the evidence of his crime, Instructor Speaks stepped on to the lilting deck. Everything about Speaks said hard man, from the wraparound sunglasses and shaved black head, to the mirror-shined size-fourteen combat boots on his feet. ‘Sleep well, maggots?’ Speaks boomed, cracking a smile as he woke Ning with a dig in the ribs. ‘On your feet. Line up at the double.’ Sleepy eyes blurred as Ning disentangled herself from the fishing gear, and both shoulders burned where her pack had rubbed them raw on the previous afternoon’s speed march. When Speaks closed up, Ning expected a shove for being slow, but his arm delved past her into the rope mound and swooped on the wrapper from a pack of Jaffa Cakes. Speaks held it up for inspection, jaw agape in mock horror. Ning realised one of the twins must have swiped it from her pack and glanced back to scowl at them. ‘Well, well!’ Speaks said, as the three trainees attempted to stand in line on the swaying deck. ‘A serious breach of the rules. Mr Kazakov, come look at this.’ Kazakov was in his mid-fifties, but the grey-haired Ukrainian instructor looked as fit as he’d been thirty years earlier when he’d fought for Russian Special Forces in Afghanistan. He was already on his way outside when Speaks called and he came on deck holding a mesh sack filled with fluorescent life vests. ‘Who ate these Jaffa Cakes?’ Speaks shouted. ‘Fess up now and I won’t be too hard on you.’ Ning was anxious: if the instructors started an investigation and searched her pack they’d find the other biscuits she’d nabbed on the plane. ‘It’s just litter, sir,’ Leon said. ‘It probably blew on deck while the boat was docked.’ But it was a poor lie and Speaks instantly noticed chocolate stains where Leon’s front teeth met his gums. The giant instructor squished Leon’s cheeks between thumb and forefinger and yanked him out of line. ‘If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s liars,’ Speaks roared, as he gave Leon a shake, then grabbed his bad thumb and squeezed hard. ‘Still snivelling over that pathetic little graze?’ Leon winced with pain as the scab over his broken thumbnail split and blood trickled down his hand. ‘How dare you lie to me!’ Speaks hissed. ‘Just because it’s the last day of training, don’t think I’ll take it easy on your bony arse. Get your kit bag over here. Let’s see what other contraband you’ve got.’ Leon had teary eyes and drips of blood pelting the deck as he walked back to the rope mound and grabbed his pack. While the instructors concentrated on Leon, Ning yawned and took in her surroundings. The trawler was idling into a natural harbour, with near-vertical cliffs rising out of the mist a couple of hundred metres away. Kazakov pointed towards land and began a lecture as Speaks ripped open Leon’s pack and threw all his stuff out over the sodden deck. ‘It’s now just before seven a.m. and basic training ends at midnight,’ Kazakov began. ‘Somewhere on that island you’ll find three grey CHERUB T-shirts. If you find a T-shirt and put it on, you can congratulate yourselves on passing basic training. Give us a call on your radio and we’ll come and pick you up. But if anyone’s not wearing a shirt by midnight, I’ll see you back on campus in three weeks’ time and you’ll start training again from day one. Questions?’ Daniel raised his hand. ‘Sir, are our T-shirts all together, or hidden separately?’ Kazakov considered the question as he reached into the sack and handed Ning a life vest. ‘Figure it out,’ he said eventually. Once her life vest was zipped up, Ning went down on one knee and began pulling a waterproof rubber cover over her backpack. While she did this Leon began gathering up his gear, which was washing around the deck. But as he bent forward to take his water bottle Instructor Speaks grabbed a handful of his shorts and lifted him into the air with one muscular arm. ‘Jaffa Cake-eating mummy’s boy,’ Speaks yelled, as Leon dangled centimetres from his face. ‘I want you out of my sight, so you can make do without your kit.’ With that, Speaks took two huge strides to the stern of the trawler and lobbed Leon over the side. ‘Happy swimming,’ Speaks shouted, as he threw a life vest after the trainee. ‘You might need this as well!’ Kazakov glared at the other two trainees as Leon made a big splash. ‘Off you go then,’ he ordered. ‘That water’s not getting any warmer.’

Guardian Angel Chapter 1

Sneak Peek!

Read the first chapter of the brand new CHERUB adventure...

Brian Keaney

Brian was born in London. His parents were Irish and he grew up listening to his mother's tales of the life she had left behind in Ireland. That was how he learned to love stories. He was sent to a very strict school where boys were beaten if they stepped out of line. He hated the place but he enjoyed English lessons because they gave him a chance to write down the stories that filled his head. He went to Liverpool University where he studied English and fell in love with a girl called Rosie. After leaving university he married Rosie and they had two children. By day he worked as a teacher, in the evenings he read stories to his children, and in the night he carried on writing his stories. When he had enough stories to make a book he sent them off to a publisher who offered to publish them. He immediately gave up his job to concentrate on writing. That was one of the silliest things he has ever done since he was totally broke for a very long time afterwards. But it was also one of the smartest things he has ever done because somehow he succeeded in making a career for himself as a writer. His favourite pastime is reading (though his favourite book changes all the time). His favourite city is Rome and he adores Italian food. His favourite journey is any one that finishes at home and his favourite sound is his grandson's voice on the telephoneBrian has won the Havering Best of the Best Award, a Lancashire Fabulous Book Award and he has been shortlisted for a the NASEN Book Award, the South Lanarkshire Children's Book Award, the North East Book Award and the Bedfordshire Children's Book Award. His novels have been translated into twelve languages.

Margaret Nash

Margaret Nash grew up in the industrial West Riding of Yorkshire, and, as a child, was always fascinated by a sense of place, whether in the mill or on the moors. She has worked as a children's librarian in London and the home counties, has two grown-up sons, and now lives in rural Bedfordshire with a lazy lovable cat.

Sarah Nayler

Sarah was born in Scotland and grew up in Norfolk. After attending Great Yarmouth College of Art and Design, Sarah moved to London with her boyfriend and her pet goldfish. Some years later, she found herself married to the boyfriend, still in possession of one of the original goldfish and the new owner of a cat and an accident-prone dog! And to complete the family there is Arthur, Sarah's young son. Sarah thinks her dyslexia spurred her on to become an illustrator. Believing herself to be no good at writing she compensated by concentrating on her drawing.Sarah's lively illustrations accompany award-winning Pat Moon's, Do Not Read Any Further, a Jacqueline Wilson style story of Finch and her friends and their school website, 'What's Your Problem?'. Set up to help kids share their problems, they get emails ranging from how to deal with the embarrassment of snorting pink milkshake all over the boy you fancy, to how to deal with bullying.Sarah now lives in Walthamstow with her husband and son and a variety of humorously named pets (Captain Scarlet, the goldfish!). Despite her fear of flying, Sarah has recently discovered a liking for travelling. This comes in handy when adding to her collection of snowstorms! When her feet are firmly on the ground back home she likes nothing better than taking the accident-prone dog for a long walk or just looking after her son and the rest of her pets.