Related to: 'The Shoemaker's Boy'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Chris Higgins

Chris Higgins is an ex English and Drama teacher turned award-winning writer. She has written the My Funny Family series for younger readers, but is probably best known for her teen novels, which have gained her two nominations for Queen of Teen. Here she talks to Graham Marks about how she became a writer, tells us some of her writing secrets and talks about her latest novel, The Day I Met Suzie.

Hodder Children's Books

Midnight is a Place

Joan Aiken
Authors:
Joan Aiken

Lucas is lonely. Orphaned and sent to live with his formidable guardian in a vast mansion, he longs for a friend. Then Anna-Marie arrives. She's spoilt and wilful - and practically half his age. Lucas feels more alone than ever. But one night something terrible happens. Lucas and Anna-Marie face a terrifying and treacherous ordeal, alone in the hostile city streets. Together, they must fight to survive ...The 40th anniversary edition of a compelling tale of villainy and suspense - from the best-selling author of THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE.

Álvaro Scrivano

Alvaro Scrivano was born in La Plata, Argentina where he grew up. He has been working in Education for more than 20 years and currently works at an inner city primary school in London as a Learning Mentor and ICT Manager. He coordinates two Code Clubs where children learn and develop coding skills with the help of volunteer Computer Scientists. He has created a myriad of projects for his students in different programming languages such as ScratchJr, Scratch, Python and Hopscotch.

Clive Gifford

Clive Gifford is the author of more than 150 children's books including Eye Benders, winner of the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize, Royal Society-nominated Out of This World and Cool Technology which won the School Library Association Information Book Award. His book, The Colours of History, won the Blue Peter Book Awards' Best Book With Facts. He has travelled through 70 countries, run a computer games company and taken part in all manner of sports from parachuting and gliding to Ultimate Frisbee. Clive's official website can be found at www.clivegifford.co.uk

Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton's books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into other languages more often than any other children's author.She wrote over 700 books and about 2,000 short stories, including favourites such as The Famous Five,The Secret Seven, The Magic Faraway Tree, Malory Towers and Noddy. Born in London in 1897, Enid lived much of her life in Buckinghamshire and adored dogs, gardening and the countryside. She died in 1968 but remains one of the world's best-loved storytellers.

Jeanne Willis

Jeanne Willis is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author, whose titles include I Hate School, I Want to Be a Cowgirl and Don't Let Go. Jeanne lives in London.

Jill Atkins

Escaped teacher, now writing for children with 46 books published so far, ranging from early reading material to teenage novels. I've written 4 books for Franklin Watts, 4 for Wayland and one for Hodder.I'm married with two grown up children and five grandchildren, no pets, though I used to have three beautiful cats, guinea pigs and rabbits. When I was a child, we kept chickens and I loved them, too.I always have my nose in a book. I read both adult's and children's books. My favourite children's books include The Railway Children by E Nesbit, Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, River on the Say by Philippa Pearce. My adult reading varies from Charles Dickens to many modern authors. I enjoy listening to music, classical, jazz and some pop.

Jon Richards

Jon Richards is an award-winning author of non-fiction books for children. He specialises in visual literacy, infographics and data visualisation.

Kay Barnham

Kay Barnham was born in Barrow-in-Furness, grew up in Carlisle, went to college in Brighton, and lived in Hove for a while, before sailing for Kinsale, Co Cork, popping back to Hove and then moving to the New Forest with her husband and daughter. And never at any point has she lived more than ten miles from the sea. She began working in children's publishing in 1992. She was an editor first of all, working on illustrated non-fiction and learning fun facts like how long it would take to walk to the moon - nine years - and how to spell palaeontology. Next, she commissioned fiction titles, editing picture books, storybooks and novels. And then she got the chance to write her own books, which she thinks is quite the best job ever. Except possibly being a chocolatier. She writes non-fiction as Kay Barnham. Her specialist subjects include ice-skating, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, lightning, fairies, Roald Dahl, Sir Isaac Newton, Christmas, dolphins, Florence Nightingale and very bad cracker jokes. And chocolate. She also writes fiction as Kay Woodward, including the Skate School series for Usborne and the novels Jane Airhead and Wuthering Hearts for Andersen Press. Altogether, she's written about a hundred books. Her favourite colour is navy blue. Her favourite chocolate is 85% cocoa solids.

Lauren Child

Lauren Child MBE is a multi-award-winning author and current Children's Laureate, whose books are known and loved the world over. She is the creator of many much-loved characters, including Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort. Since her first book was published in 1999, Lauren has sold over six million books in 19 languages worldwide. Her many awards include the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, the Nestle Gold Book Award for That Pesky Rat and the Nestle Bronze Book Award for Beware of the Storybook Wolves. Lauren loves designing and making things and finds it exciting to see her drawings turned into objects. Other favourite things include the cinema, TV matinees, small Italian cars, handbags, cardigans, travelling and being picked up from the airport.

Lisa Regan

Lisa Regan studied English and Linguistics at the University of Nottingham and gained a postgraduate diploma in Publishing at West Herts College. She has written over 400 published titles, including picture books, puzzle books, children's reference and curriculum-linked workbooks. She lives in Colchester, UK, with her sons, and a husband with an encyclopaedic knowledge of football.Her work ranges from magazine-style books on fashion and sleepovers, to highly illustrated STEM titles that fit into schools and libraries lists. Her favourite topics are wildlife and geography, but she also has huge fun writing rhyming tales.

Liz Gogerly

Liz Gogerly is a writer and editor of children's information books and a former teacher. She has worked on a wide variety of books and has a specialist knowledge of history and biographies.

Louise Spilsbury

Louise Spilsbury is a prolific children's book author. She has written titles on almost every subject, from science and geography through to world affairs, social issues, art, history, and literacy. Louise is married to the author Richard Spilsbury and has two children. She lives and works in Devon.

Michael Bright

Michael Bright has worked as an executive producer with the BBC's world-renowned Natural History Unit, based in Bristol, and with its Science Unit in London. He is author of over a hundred books on wildlife, science, travel, and conservation, including many for children. His bestseller Africa: Eye to Eye with the Unknown accompanied the popular television series presented by Sir David Attenborough. He is the recipient of many international radio and television awards, including the prestigious Prix Italia. He is a graduate of the University of London and a corporate biologist and member of the Royal Society of Biology.

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen held the post of Children's Laureate from 2007-2009. He is one of the best-known figures in the children's book world, renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. As an author and by selecting other writers' works for anthologies he has been involved with over 140 books.

Mick Gowar

Mick has written or edited more than 100 books for children and young people. He visits schools, libraries, colleges and festivals throughout the UK and abroad to give readings, performances and lead workshops.

Mike Gordon

Mike Gordon is an ever-popular and award-winning cartoonist. He has produced over 500 cards for Hallmark and over 300 picture books for various publishers. His talent has been rewarded with numerous awards inlcuding Berol cartoonist of the year (1988) and runner up for the Trento Fra realto e Follia (1990). He was also nominated for the Silver Quill Award (Germany, 1991) and for the Book and Magazine Illustrator of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society (1995).

Moira Butterfield

I have been writing for many years in a number of different genres, from books for babies up to books for 11 year-olds plus. I like to try new things and tackle new subjects, so I don't limit myself to one type of book. One month I might be writing about history, and the next month I might be creating an imaginary story. Examples of my work have been selected for national Key Stage study in the UK, and in the USA I was commended by the Library of Congress for my work in non-fiction, which they felt encouraged reluctant readers. I work with visuals always in mind, and love the challenge of getting across information or an exciting story with good graphics to back it up. Lately I have been blogging about the craft of writing, and I've also appeared at National Book Festivals, which I think of as the most challenging thing of all to do! I get a lot of emails from children around the world, inspired by one of my books they have read, and that gives me great pleasure.

Nadiya Hussain

Never again will she say she can't. Nadiya can and she will. Nadiya Hussain's delicious bakes and desserts, captivating smile and sparkling personality made her a hugely popular winner of 2015's Great British Bake Off. Her first children's book, Nadiya's Bake Me a Story, hit the bestseller charts in 2016, and was shortlisted for a British Book Award. The follow-up, Bake Me a Festive Story, is out now. She has also published cookbooks for adults and novels, and has three television series to her name, The Chronicles of Nadiya, Nadiya's British Food Adventure and The Big Family Cooking Showdown. Having suffered with panic disorder herself for as long as she can remember, Nadiya wrote her first picture book, My Monster and Me, to help give children and parents the tools they need to talk about worries and anxiety.Nadiya's family is originally from Bangladesh, where desserts aren't a feature of mealtimes. But, encouraged by a school home economics teacher, Nadiya honed her skills as a baker over ten years and produces fabulous bakes and desserts every day. She also loves to write, having won a National Poetry competition as a child.Nadiya lives with her husband, Abdal and is mum to three gorgeous children.

Neal Layton

Neal is an award-winning illustrator and author of children's books. He has worked on more than 80 titles to date, working with authors such Cressida Cowell and Michael Rosen, and won several prizes including a Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize for 'That Rabbit belongs to Emily Brown'. His books have also been shortlisted for the Red House Book Awards, the Blue Peter Book Awards, the Booktrust Early Years Award, Funfzig Jahre Deutcher Jugendliteraturpreis and New York Public Library's annual list of best Children's Books.He also writes his own books, 'The Invincible Tony Spears' and the bestselling 'Mammoth Academy' Series. His books are currently in print in more than 16 languages worldwide. He lives in Portsmouth with his wife and two daughters.

Oivind Hovland

Øivind Hovland is a multi award-winning illustrator whose accolades include: 3×3, Amercian Illustrators, The Serco Award, Best Norwegian Newspaper Illustrator, IMAGES and the Nationwide Mercury Prize Art Exhibition.