Category Archives: middle grade

World Book Day is going to be LITERALLY brilliant!

Last February, I had the kind of email a writer dreams of; the kind that comes from their lovely editor and begins with ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ in shouty capitals. It was telling me that Rikin and I had been chosen to be … Continue reading

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Sense and Sensibility (with bells on)

Firstly, a confession: until I came to be offered the opportunity to rewrite Sense and Sensibility, the closest I had come to Jane Austen was TV reruns of Mr Darcy emerging wet from a lake, and a reluctant trudge around … Continue reading

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Welcome to 4b: The Worst Class in the World

Schools might be closed for most of us, but for one long-suffering teacher, Mr Nidgett, the classroom is packed with shenanigans. That’s because he’s in charge of 4b, who are LITERALLY The Worst Class in the World, at least according … Continue reading

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‘Hull, Nadin!’

Let us set aside for a moment that the University of Hull’s barrel of ‘notable alumni’ was small to start with, and is now very much scraped, and appreciate that I have wanted to do this for more years than … Continue reading

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All cheer for Alan

Every so often, a commission gets you thinking. And thinking. And thinking some more. But learning binary? Caesar shifts? How to operate an Enigma machine? This biography of Alan Turing was one of my biggest challenges and delights to write … Continue reading

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My BAFTA-Winning Boy

This is how it started. A small boy I’d glimpsed on a street in Peckham, his sleeping bag on his back like a nylon snail. From that came pages of notes about a boy called Tom, who eventually turned into … Continue reading

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We are BAFTA-nominated… and breathe

A couple of days ago, I found out that the CBBC adaptation of Joe All Alone was shortlisted for the Royal Television Society Awards for Best Children’s Drama. A couple of minutes ago, I found out it’s now nominated for … Continue reading

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(Pigeon) seeds of a story

It began with a name, as it so often does for me: The Audacious Birdy Jones. But who she was, what she looked like, what her story was were blurry and inchoate, still lost somewhere in the soup of story … Continue reading

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Birdy Jones is all alone

Of all the questions I get asked on school visits, there are several perennials: How old are you, Miss? How much do you earn, Miss? Do you know JK Rowling / Jacqueline Wilson / David Walliams / any other much … Continue reading

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BAFTA, baby!

On Friday, someone asked me how different my life was a decade ago. And other than the Menace being smaller and markedly more menacing, and my home being two roads away, I said it barely was. ten years ago I … Continue reading

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