Related to: 'The Star Outside my Window'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Guy Parker-Rees

Guy Parker-Rees is the award-winning author of whole shelf of bestselling picture books, including the international hit Giraffes Can’t Dance. He writes his own stories, as well as working with other authors, such as Giles Andreae and Tony Mitton. Here he talks to Graham Marks about his world of colour, line and characters, and his latest Tom & Millie books.

Orion Children's Books

The Boy At the Back of the Class

Onjali Q. Rauf
Authors:
Onjali Q. Rauf

WINNER OF THE BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD 2019 WINNER OF THE WATERSTONES CHILDREN'S BOOK PRIZE 2019SHORTLISTED FOR THE JHALAK PRIZE 2019Told with heart and humour, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense.There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it.He's nine years old (just like me), but he's very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn't like sweets - not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!But then I learned the truth: Ahmet really isn't very strange at all. He's a refugee who's run away from a War. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to help.That's where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we've come up with a plan. . .With beautiful illustrations by Pippa Curnick

Albert Uderzo

Albert Uderzo was born in 1927 in a small village in Marne, France. He met Rene Goscinny in 1951 and on 29 October 1959 their most famous creation, Asterix, made his first appearance on page 20 of Pilote. Asterix the Gaul, their first album, was published in 1961 and there have now been 34 Asterix albums.

Alex Ayliffe

Alex Ayliffe is a bestselling, award-winning writer and artist. Her distinctive papercut illustrations are bright and bold with lots of child appeal. Alex has illustrated many books for children, including the bestselling Dig Dig Digging and Boo Barney, winner of the Sainsbury's Baby Book Award. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire.

Anna Maxwell Martin

Anna trained at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and she was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance in `His Dark Materials`. She has also starred as Esther Summerson in the latest tv adaptation of BLEAK HOUSE, for which she won the 2006 Best Actress Bafta.

Bernard Ashley

Bernard John Ashley is a British author of books for children and young adults. He has won 'The Other' award and has been a commended runner up for the Carnegie medal three times.

Derek Jacobi

Sir Derek Jacobi is one of the UK's most distinguished contemporary actors. He made his name with commanding performances on stage and screen, most memorably in the BBC TV series I, Claudius. He was nominated for a 'Best Actor' Tony Award for his portrayal of Alan Turing in the play Breaking the Code, and then for a BAFTA when that was adapted for television. Other notable TV work includes the series Cadfael. His film work ranges from The Day of the Jackal to Gladiator and Gosford Park. He has read numerous audiobooks including, for Orion, The Book of Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick. He was knighted in 1994.

Dominic Barker

Sarah grew up in Derbyshire, mainly under a snow drift. She spent much of her childhood scampering in the nearby fields with a few goats. Then she decided to be sensible and studied Illustration at Falmouth College of Arts, graduating in 2001. She has illustrated for many different projects including an ad campaign for Kew Gardens entitled 'Plantastic Play'. She has also undertaken commission from The Guardian and The Independent newspapers. Sarah now specialises in funny, inky illustration and words for children's fiction and picture books. Sarah likes to paint on very big canvas. She loves funny detail, colour, music, dreams and big open spaces.Sarah now works from a studio on a hill in Forest Hill, London.

Fiona Dunbar

Fiona Dunbar was born in Hertfordshire. She grew up trailing around jazz clubs with her jazz musician stepfather and left school when she was sixteen to go to Art College. Fiona was a regular at the Camden Palace, her and a friend would spend all Thursday night making their clothes for the Friday night's clubbing. When Fiona realised she wouldn't be a famous artist, she began a commercial art career in TV and advertising. After a stint doing illustration for Punch, which she really enjoyed, Fiona began illustrating for picture books by other authors. It was at this time that she met her lovely American lawyer husband Pano. After living in New York for a number of years, where her two children were born, Fiona settled back in North London and began to write for children instead of drawing for them!Fiona now lives in North London and is an active fundraiser for her children's primary school. She loves helping out with the Christmas pantomime and puts her eighties dressmaking skills to good use by making costumes! When she's not writing, painting or gardening, Fiona loves nothing better than to cook. Her creations might not be as magical as Lulu's but they bring just as much pleasure in the end!

Hannah Shaw

Hannah Shaw is a hugely talented illustrator of the award-winning The Great Hamster Massacre. She has also written and illustrated several successful picture books, including Evil Weasel and Errol. She was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2009 with Crocodiles are the Best Animals of All.Max and Molly's Guide to Trouble: How To Catch A Criminal has also been selected for the Read by Yourself category of Richard and Judy's Children's Book Club 2011.

J.L. Smith

J L Smith lives in Buckinghamshire with her family, and a West Highland terrier called Angus. She was born and brought up in Glasgow, and loved to write from a very young age.A friend once told her: 'You're funny, you should write funny'. So, that's exactly what she did and, inspired by her two sons idea of how to 'do posh', Cecil Trumpington-Potts was born - along with his panty wanty woos!She has appeared twice on Dave Gorman's radio comedy show Genius, and thinks humour is under-rated.

James Black

James Black loves blood and gore and ships and pirates equally. He lives in London, and only sometimes eats intestines for lunch.

Jane Ray

Jane Ray's exquisite artwork has gained acclaim both in the UK and internationally, and she regularly shows her work at galleries and exhibitions. Jane won the Smarties Prize with The Story of Creation; The Story of Christmas was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award; and A Balloon for Grandad was shortlisted for the Mother Goose Award. Jane's books for Orchard include the contemporary fairy tale The Apple-Pip Princess, the heartwarming The Dolls' House Fairy and the fabulously festive The Twelve Days of Christmas. She is also the illustrator of Heartsong, written by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Jane lives in London.

Jerry Spinelli

Jerry Spinelli started out wanting to be a cowboy. Luckily for young readers, he later decided to become a writer, even though he's still not sure he can call himself one (he does other things too, like picking berries and skipping stones).

Julia Jarman

Julia Jarman has won the Stockport Schools' Book Award twice for her brilliant picture book texts! After studying English and Drama at Manchester University, she became a teacher. Julia has been writing for over fifteen years and in that time has written ten novels and over seventy shorter books. Initially, she was encouraged to write by her three children who asked for 'real characters like us', with the girls asking for 'lots of scary bits.' Recently, she has become a grandmother, inspiring her to write her fabulous picture book texts. She has also been influenced by her three cats! Julia keeps in touch with readers through her numerous visits to schools and libraries where she enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for facts and fiction. For more information on Julia Jarman visit her happy zappy website www.juliajarman.com Julia lives in an English village near Bedford.

Julian Rhind-Tutt

Julian Rhind-Tutt is best known for his role as Dr Mac in the BAFTA award winning comedy GREEN WING. Recent work includes Dan in Landscape with Weapon at the National Theatre, the Road Trip Barclaycard advertising campaign and TV dramas including OLIVER TWIST and MERLIN. He recently appeared in the short Amnesty film EVERYBODY, romantic comedy MEANT TO BE and Luc Besson's LUCY alongside Scarlett Johansson.

Linda Chapman

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/

Lucy Daniels

Lucy Daniels is the creator of the bestselling Animal Ark series, which has sold more than 2 1/2 million copies in the UK alone. Animal Ark is being relaunched for a new generation of animal lovers, with exciting brand-new adventures!

M.G. Harris

M.G. Harris was born in Mexico City but moved to Manchester very early in her childhood. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a scientist and ran an Internet business. She lives in Oxford with her husband and two daughters. Follow her on Twitter @RealMGHarris and visit her website at http://www.mgharris.net/

Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick used to work in children's publishing and before that he was a bookseller. He now happily writes full-time. His books have been shortlisted for many awards, including The GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD, the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the EDGAR ALLAN POE AWARD. Marcus lives in Cambridge and has a teenage daughter, Alice.Find his website at www.marcussedgwick.com and follow him on Twitter @marcussedgwick

Margaret Mayo

Margaret Mayo is an acclaimed storyteller and author who has been creating stories for children for over 35 years. She has written more than 50 books, including the bestselling Dig Dig Digging, Choo Choo Clickety-Clack! and Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp! A former teacher, Margaret uses her wide-ranging experience with children in her writing. She lives in Brighton.