Related to: 'Bats!'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Emmy Laybourne

Emmy Laybourne is, in her own words, ‘a writer, teacher and a recovering character actress’ who lives in upstate New York with her husband ‘and two surprisingly well-mannered children’. Here she talks to Graham Marks, on Skype, about how she became a writer, the highs and lows of starting out on a writing career, and her novel, Monument 14.

Wayland

The Colour Thief

Andrew Fusek Peters, Polly Peters, Karin Littlewood
Contributors:
Andrew Fusek Peters, Polly Peters, Karin Littlewood

The Colour Thief is a simple, heart-warming tale which helps to open up the conversations around depression and to support young children whose families have been affected. We follow a young boy who loves spending time with his dad, doing fun things together. When his father becomes sad and distant, he doesn't understand and believes he has done something to make his dad so, despite being told otherwise. Time passes and his father begins to get happier again and they have fun together like before. Narrated from the child's perspective and illustrated with beautiful pictures by the award-winning artist Karin Littlewood, this is the perfect book to read with children aged 7-9 years old who are trying to understand the cause and effects of depression, and reassure them that depression passes and their parents are not lost to them.'It's crucial kids learn about depression; that it's nothing to feel ashamed about and they are not alone - one fourth of the world knows what it feels like. It's going to be them that break the stigma, not us.' Ruby Wax'This book brings freshness and vibrancy into a world often portrayed as dark and hidden, and it can help take away the feelings of helplessness and fear that can make families feel so alone.' Marjorie Wallace CBE, Hon FRC Psych, Founder of SANE.'Vividly depict[s] a young boy's reaction to his father's depression... it's worth sharing this clever and heartfelt book with the kids in your life.' - Elise Moon (6) and Nick Moon (42), Kent - Single Step Magazine

Wayland

Poison!

Andrew Fusek Peters
Authors:
Andrew Fusek Peters

A short thriller that's high on suspense! This is a perfect page turner if you want to finish a story in one sitting, especially for reluctant and struggling readers. Cool, edgy computer hackers, Kiran and Ros are teens on a mission to fight crime and injustice with the help of a shape-shifting data beast they've created.In Poison!, Kiran and Roz set out to prove that a chemical company is polluting the river near their school and the poisoning the fish that live in it. With the help of the data beast they attempt to bring the murky activities into the light - and the beast goes on a dangerous mission to save the threatened fish.Reading level for this book:-ATOS: 2.6Lexile ® Measure: 360LBook Band: 11 Lime

Wayland

Monster Savings

Andrew Fusek Peters
Authors:
Andrew Fusek Peters

A short thriller that's high on suspense! This is a perfect page turner if you want to finish a story in one sitting, especially for reluctant and struggling readers. Cool, edgy computer hackers, Kiran and Roz are teens who set out to fight crime and injustice with the help of a shape-shifting data beast they've created.In Monster Savings, Kiran and Roz take on the might of shopping phenomenon everythingonearth.com, a company that sells anything to anyone, but evades tax and avoids giving its workers fair pay and conditions. It's the data beast's most perilous mission yet - will it survive?Reading level for this book:-ATOS: 2.6Lexile ® Measure: 360LBook Band: 11 Lime

Wayland

Bullies and the Beast

Andrew Fusek Peters
Authors:
Andrew Fusek Peters

A short thriller that's high on suspense! This is a perfect page turner if you want to finish a story in one sitting, especially for reluctant and struggling readers. Cool, edgy computer hackers, Kiran and Roz are teens who set out to fight crime and injustice with the help of a shape-shifting data beast they've created.In Bully and the Beast, Kiran and Roz first encounter the data beast as it emerges from their computer. Initially terrified of it, they become friends with the beast and see it become more than a match for the bullies that are terrorising their school.Reading level for this book:-ATOS: 2.7Lexile ® Measure: 360LBook Band: White

Franklin Watts

Breathe and You Die!

Andrew Fusek Peters
Authors:
Andrew Fusek Peters
Wayland

Wolf Boy

Andrew Fusek Peters
Authors:
Andrew Fusek Peters

A short mystery that's high on suspense! This is a perfect page turner if you want to finish a thriller in one sitting, especially for reluctant and struggling readers. Cool, edgy crime detective duo, Jas and Sam are teens who solve spine-chilling cases - using equal measures of humour and heroism along the way! In this humorous mystery, 'Wolf Boy', Jas and Sam are called to solve the case of an escaped dog. The moon is full and suddenly, a mass of fur and teeth looms out of the shadows towards them. That's no dog - there's a werewolf on the loose!Reading level for this book:-ATOS: 2.4Lexile ® Measure: 340LBook Band: 10 White

Wayland

High Stakes

Andrew Fusek Peters
Authors:
Andrew Fusek Peters

A short mystery that's high on suspense!This is a perfect page turner if you want to finish a thriller in one sitting, especially for reluctant and struggling readers.Cool, edgy crime detective duo, Jas and Sam are teens who solve spine-chilling cases - using equal measures of humour and heroism along the way!'High Stakes' is a humorous mystery about first love and vampires, and there's a lot at stake! Vladya Blud-chik is the new girl at Jas and Sam's school. With her red lips and killer smile, she's soon the most popular girl in the class, but Vladya is bad news - as Jas and Sam soon find out!Reading level for this book:-ATOS: 2.4Lexile ® Measure: 320LBook Band: 10 White

Wayland

The Crawling Hand

Andrew Fusek Peters
Authors:
Andrew Fusek Peters
Wayland

Sliced in Two

Andrew Fusek Peters
Authors:
Andrew Fusek Peters

A short mystery that's high on suspense! This is a perfect page turner if you want to finish a thriller in one sitting, especially for reluctant and struggling readers. Cool, edgy crime detective duo, Jas and Sam are teens who solve spine-chilling cases - using equal measures of humour and heroism along the way! In this mystery, 'Sliced in Two', there's a ghost on the loose in the local woodyard and it looks like it's not just a ghost - it's a ghost that has been sliced in two by a wood saw! Sam keeps her cool but Jas is all of a dither as they try to solve the case.Reading level for this book:-ATOS: 2.5Lexile ® Measure: 340LBook Band: 11 Lime

Abie Longstaff

Abie Longstaff is the eldest of six children and grew up in Australia, Hong Kong and France. She knows all about squabbling and bossing younger sisters around so she began her career as a barrister. She started writing when her children were born. Her books include The Fairytale Hairdresser series and The Magic Potions Shop books. She has a life-long love of fairy tales and mythology and her work is greatly influenced by these themes. Abie got the idea for the Trapdoor Mysteries from her parents' house in France. The house is big and old, with lots of rooms and outbuildings. In one of the bedrooms, there is a secret entrance hidden in a fireplace. It leads to a room that was used by the French Resistance during the war. It was the perfect idea for a book! Abie lives with her family by the seaside in Hove.

Akala

BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer, poet and historian Akala is a label owner and social entrepreneur who fuses unique rap/rock/electro-punk sound with fierce storytelling. Jay-Z, M.I.A. and Christina Aguilera are just a few of the musicians Akala's toured with, his own stellar live show headlined eight UK tours and he regularly appears at festivals such as Glastonbury and Wireless.More recently known for his compelling lectures and journalism, Akala has written for the The Guardian, Huffington Post UK and The Independent, and also taken part in British Council arts education and music projects all over the world.In 2009, with Sir Ian McKellen's support, Akala launched the 'The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company', a music theatre production company which sparked worldwide media interest. Previous clients and collaborators include the BBC, Premier League, Mastercard, The Barbican and Ed Sheeran.Akala has also featured on numerous TV programmes across Channel 4, ITV2, MTV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his projects as well as speaking on wide ranging subjects from music and poetry to youth engagement and British/African-Caribbean culture.

Aleksei Bitskoff

Born in Estonia, Aleksei loved to draw as a child and doodled all over his school books. Although he originally intended to become a teacher, his extensive travels brought him back to art. Aleksei studied illustration in London at LCC and Camberwell, where he received his masters degree. Influences on his quirky, humorous illustrations include Tove Jansson and Russian animators. He lives in London with his wife and son.

Anna Claybourne

Anna Claybourne has written over 150 children's books on all kinds of subjects, from sharks, black holes and splitting the atom to how to draw, Shakespeare's life, and Greek myths and legends. She knows a lot about conservation in the rain forests of Costa Rica as she once volunteered there for three months. She likes space, sewing and music, plays the trombone and loves going camping.

Beatriz Castro

Beatriz Castro was born in La Rioja, Spain in 1985. When she was a little girl, she was always drawing and writing stories. She studied illustration at the school of arts in her home town, Logroño. After graduating, she embarked on a career as a professional illustrator and has since been published by many international publishing houses. She especially enjoys creating funny characters. Beatriz likes animals, classic stories and fairy tales and listens to rock and punk music.

Claire Powell

Claire is an illustrator, writer and designer who lives and works in London. She has spent several years as a design director in the world of channel rebranding working for clients such as Nickelodeon, BBC Three, CBBC and BBC One. Claire has a tendency towards humour and bright, bold use of colour and she loves creating strong typographical layouts to help tell a story.

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. How to Train Your Dragon has sold over 8 million books worldwide in 38 languages. It is also an award-winning DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix and CBBC. The first book in Cressida's new series, The Wizards of Once (also signed by DreamWorks), is a number one bestseller. Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency, a Trustee of World Book Day and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize,the 2017 Ruth Rendell Award for Championing Literacy, the Hay Festival Medal for Fiction, and Philosophy Now magazine's 2015 Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity. She grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland and she now lives in Hammersmith with her husband, three children and a dog called Pigeon.

David Almond

David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, Counting Stars, The Savage, Island, A Song for Ella Grey, The Colour of the Sun and many other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos, songs and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include the Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, the Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcières (France) and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world's most prestigious prize for children's authors. David speaks at festivals and conferences around the world. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He is widely regarded as one of the most exciting, inspirational and innovative children's authors writing today. He has one amazing daughter. He lives in Bath and in Newcastle, the city in which he was born.www.davidalmond.com

Emily Bolam

Born in Amersham Buckinghamshire into a family of artists and other creative types, Emily has always flourished in art classes and decided she would like to be an artist when she was 5. She attended Brighton school of Art 1987-1990 and continues to live in the town working from a converted warehouse studio close to the beach. Despite spending all day drawing both, Emily has no children or animals. When not thinking of the next book she likes to watch the world perambulate along Brighton seafront whilst eating icecream. Emily has been widely published by Orchard, Macmillian, Orion and DK.Emily Bolam trained at Brighton Art College and is a very successful illustrator of children's books, among them Francesca Simon's MIAOW MIAOW, BOW WOW and MOO BAA BAA QUACK, and Georgie Adams's THE THREE LITTLE WITCHES. She lives and works in Brighton.Her website can be found at http://www.emilybolam.com/

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 600 books and hundreds of 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.

Francesca Simon

Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California and started writing stories at the age of eight. She wrote her first Horrid Henry book in 1994. Horrid Henry has gone on to conquer the globe; his adventures are published in 27 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Francesca has won the Children's Book of the Year Award and been a judge for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. In 2009, in one of the proudest moments of her career, Francesca was awarded a Gold Blue Peter badge.Francesca is also a passionate ambassador for children's literacy and is a trustee of the World Book Day charity. She lives in North London with her family.Visit Francesca's website at www.francescasimon.com and keep up-to-date with Horrid Henry at www.horridhenry.co.uk. You can also follow her on Twitter @simon_francesca