Related to: 'A Room Full of Chocolate'

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

Will You Catch Me?

Jane Elson
Authors:
Jane Elson

From the author of A Room Full of Chocolate comes a heartwarming story about identity and courage, and a tremendous young girl who cares for her alcoholic mother. For fans of Jacqueline Wilson and Sarah Lean.Nell Hobs lives with a tortoise called Bob Marley, guinea pigs Asbo and Chaos, goldfish Beyoncé and Destiny, gerbils Fizz and Tyrone, Aunty Lou the Hamster ... and her mum, who drinks too much. Nell does everything she can to be a good daughter so that her mum will stop. But when things get really hard, Nell stands on her head. Everything looks better upside down, don't you know?Nell wishes she knew who her dad was. When new teacher Mr Samuels makes history come alive and tells the class the story of Nell Gwynn, the Orange Girl who became one of the first actresses on the London stage, Nell is captivated and is determined to dress up as an Orange Girl for the Costume Parade. She hatches a plan with her best friend Michael: a way to make her dad step forward and claim her. Will she succeed?A charming middle grade story with a strong, positive message that celebrates community and friendship.

Hodder Children's Books

Swimming to the Moon

Jane Elson
Authors:
Jane Elson

'Just call me Bee. Please, please call me that. If you call me Beatrix Daffodil Tulip Chrysanthemum Rose Edwards I shan't answer you. I am not being rude or unfriendly, or insolent as Mrs Dixon my teacher calls me. I just don't like my name. Well, would you?' Bee stumbles through life in her stripy socks with her head in the clouds, doing her very best to keep out of the way of her bickering parents and avoid the bendy tap dancing freak Crystal Kelly - who makes her life a misery. But when Crystal double-dares her to volunteer for a sponsored swim in honour of her great grandmother Beatrix's memory, Bee can't back down. Even though she is terrified of water and cannot swim! Then new boy Moon-Star gallops to Bee's rescue on his horse and takes her to meet Old Alice, who lives in a beautiful painted wagon. As Bee enters this new world, her life is changed for ever. Finally she has an ally. Down by the promise tree the new friends make a pact - Moon Star will teach Bee to swim if Bee will teach him to read. They spit on their hands and shake on their vow and a beautiful friendship begins.

Hodder Children's Books

How to Fly with Broken Wings

Jane Elson
Authors:
Jane Elson

'If Finn Maison shouts jump you jump or you are dead.'Twelve-year-old Willem has Aspergers Syndrome and two main aims in life: to fly and to make at least two friends of his own age. But all the other boys from the Beckham Estate do is make him jump off things. First his desk - and now the wall. As his toes teeter on the edge, Sasha Bradley gives him a tiny little wink. Might she become his friend?Bullied by Finn and his gang the Beckham Estate Boyz, Willem has no choice but to jump. As he flies through the air he flaps his arms, wishing he could fly and escape into the clouds. Instead he comes crashing down and breaks his ankle.Sasha, angry with herself for not stopping Finn and his Boyz, is determined to put things right. And soon, while the gangs riot on their estate, Willem and Sasha form an unlikely friendship. Because they share a secret. Sasha longs to fly too.And when Magic Man Archie arrives with stories of war-flying spitfires, he will change the lives of the kids on the Beckham Estate for ever. And perhaps find a way for Willem and Sasha to fly ...Touching on themes such as friendship and bullying, this is a charming tale about overcoming obstacles and finding friendship in unlikely places.'heart-rending, heartbreaking and heartening' The Best New Children's Books Guardian Supplement

Ed Simkins

Ed Simkins is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer of children's books. His work focuses on data visualisation such as infographics and innovative data maps.

Églantine Ceulemans

Églantine Ceulemans was born in Belgium where she spent her childhood devouring comics before moving to France to study illustration. As well as drawing, she loves riding her blue bicycle, cooking (which she is not very good at) and cleaning windows (which she is very good at). Églantine lives in Lyon, France.

Elly Griffiths

Elly was born in London to Italian/English parents, and has lived near Brighton since she was five. She worked in a library, then for The Bookseller magazine and finally at HarperCollins, before becoming a full-time writer. She is best known for her Ruth Galloway series of crime novels, and has won a Crime Writers' Association Dagger for her work. Elly works in a writing shed in her garden, usually accompanied by her cat, Gus.

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

Georgia Amson-Bradshaw

Georgia Amson-Bradshaw is a children's writer and editor who lives in Brighton, East Sussex. She has worked on a number of high-profile and award-winning science books for kids, including the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize winner Eye Benders, and the London Science Museum activity book This Book Thinks You're a Scientist. She remembers the eye-opening and inspiring effect her favourite books had on her as a child, and so takes her responsibility to pass that interest and excitement on very seriously!

Giles Andreae

Giles Andreae is the author of many top-selling, award-winning picture books. These include Rumble in the Jungle, Commotion in the Ocean and I Love My Mummy. However, it is for the international bestseller Giraffes Can't Dance that he is best known. Giles is also the creator of Purple Ronnie, Britain's favourite stickman, and of the artist/philosopher, Edward Monkton. These two ranges of greetings cards, books and merchandise have made Giles the country's top-selling living poet. Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children's clothes designer, and their four young children by the river in Oxfordshire.

Guy Parker-Rees

Guy Parker-Rees exuberant and energetic illustrations have made him a household name and one of today's bestselling children's illustrators. Notable successes include Giraffes Can't Dance - written by Giles Andreae, a worldwide besteller, and Richard & Judy children's book choice, Spookyrumpus, winner of the Sheffield, Dundee and Portsmouth book awards, and the highly acclaimed All Afloat on Noah's Boat. Guy lives in Brighton with his wife and three sons.

Izzi Howell

Izzi Howell is the author and editor of over fifty children's books. She lives in East Sussex and enjoys learning languages, cooking and travelling around Europe.

Jacqui Bailey

Jacqui Bailey has spent a lot of her adult life working with children's books. She has been an editor and publisher of everything from picture books to encyclopedias, but mostly enjoys finding out amazing bits of information and then writing about them. She particularly likes writing about science, as the information so often turns out to be far stranger than fiction.

Jess Butterworth

Jess spent her childhood between the UK and India, and grew up hearing stories about the Himalayas from her grandmother. She's lived in India and even met with the Dalai Lama. She studied creative writing at Bath Spa and now lives between Louisiana and the UK.

Jim Field

Jim Field is a lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second Led Zeppelin fan. He is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Booktrust Roald Dahl Funny Prize and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway award. He has since illustrated a string of bestselling, multi-award-winning children's books, including Oi Frog! and The Lion Inside, as well as young fiction series Rabbit and Bear. Jim is the 5th bestselling illustrator in the UK.

Jo Weaver

Jo Weaver had a career as a support worker in the non-profit sector before retraining as an illustrator. She completed an MA degree in Children's Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art in 2014, where she discovered a love of working in charcoal. Shortly afterwards she was shortlisted for the Association of Illustrator's newcomer's Awards. Jo lives with her young family in north London, and when she's not drawing she can be found escaping the city to walk and explore in the wild outdoors.

Jon Richards

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

Katherine Woodfine

Katherine Woodfine is the author of the bestselling Sinclair's Mysteries and Taylor & Rose Secret Agents series. Her debut novel The Clockwork Sparrow was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal. She has worked for BookTrust on projects including the Children's Laureate and was also part of the founding team being YALC, the UK's first Young Adult Literature Convention. She now combines writing with reviewing children's books, organising book events and presenting Down the Rabbit Hole, a monthly radio show and podcast about children's literature.

Katie Woolley

Katie Woolley is a creative and versatile editor and writer who has worked on children's books for all age levels, from board books, novelty books and picture books to non-fiction, licensed publishing and educational books and apps. With more than 10 years' publishing experience working for companies such as Ladybird Books and Hachette Children's Books, she has written, commissioned, edited and project-managed a wide variety of titles for some of the biggest children's publishers.

Katy Birchall

Katy Birchall is the author of the IT Girl and Secrets of a Teenage Heiress series. Katy also works as a freelance journalist and has written a non-fiction book How to be a Princess: Real-Life Fairy Tales for Modern Heroines. When she isn't busy writing, she is usually running across a park chasing her rescue dog, Bono, as he chases his arch nemesis: squirrels.

Kes Gray

Kes Gray is a bestselling, multi award-winning author of more than 70 books for children. He eats Ideaflakes for breakfast, spreads silliness on his toast and lives in a place called Different. Kes was the second bestselling picture book author in 2018.Oi Frog!, Oi Dog!, Oi Cat! and Oi Duck-billed Platypus! are a top ten bestselling series. Oi Dog! won the Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award and was shortlisted for the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award and the British Book Award, amongst others. It also won the Teach Primary New Children's Fiction Award, MadeForMums Award, Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award and Portsmouth Picture Book Award. Oi Cat! was the Independent Booksellers Children's Book of the Season and Oi Goat! was the number one bestselling World Book Day book in 2018. Oi Frog! received a Silver Award at the Nielsen Bookscan Awards 2019, and Oi Duck-billed Platypus! is shortlisted for the Children's Book of the Year at the British Book Awards 2019.