Mega thrilled that one of my graphic novels will be included in the HarperCollins and Literacy Trust’s Little Big Book Club.
The club is about fostering a love of reading in children from low socio-economic backgrounds by giving them access to books. Something very close to my heart.
Five students from each school choose four books from a catalogue of 25 titles selected and donated by HarperCollins.
I’m delighted that my Shinoy and the Chaos Crew adventure, Mission: Submarine Scare, will be part of the project.
Hoping this brings lots of fun and chaos to those young readers.
Artwork by the awesome #AmitTayal
Find out more details from The Bookseller website here.
Delighted to have been asked to say a few words about reading stories out loud to children for Little Wandle’s Everybody Read! Campaign.
Reading out loud is not something that comes naturally to me, but after reading to my daughter and then to whole school audiences as a visiting author, I found that I really love it. I hope my short video, which you can see here, will help encourage other parents and teaching staff to find a love of reading to their children.
Thank you, Little Wandle Letters and Sounds for the opportunity.
Over on Twitter I am giving away two signed copies of The Great Chocoplot with a bar of chocolate.
You will need to Follow me and retweet the tweet here for a chance to be one of the two winners.
But the Giveaway ends at 9pm on 7th April (UK only – sorry!) so be quick!!
The Great Chocoplot was first released on World Book Day 2016.
Exactly six years later, on World Book Day 2022 it was back in a Number 1 Best Seller slot!!!
I’m thrilled and amazed that it continues to sell (and sell better than ever!).
Eternally grateful to everyone who has ever bought a copy or borrowed it from a library. I very much appreciate all the schools who use it as part of topic work or as their class novel.
Thank you, thank you. It’s a dream I still haven’t woken up from yet!
Please buy your books from your local bookshop whenever you can 👊
And yes, it is a best seller in a slightly unusual category – but I’m still counting it!! 😆
The Great Chocoplot is a ‘Teachers’ Pick’ on Amazon!
What a wonderful start to a new year as the schools go back.
Huge thanks to all the teaching staff who have nominated and recommended Chocoplot for this honour. I am already in touch with a number of classes who are starting Chocoplot this term, which is hugely exciting.
Good luck to all staff and pupils for what I’m sure will be a difficult term. I hope my silly story brings some light relief and some sneaky chocolate.
PS Please consider getting your copy of The Great Chocoplot from your local bookshop or library if you can.
Thrilled to get my hands on the latest edition of Bookmark‘s The Story Corner.
Such an honour to have written the introduction (with my dog, Milo) to this fabulous magazine which is specially created to encourage those who don’t normally engage in books to find a love of reading. These copies are packed with stories and activities and are heading out into schools across the UK. I’m sure they will be snapped up by pupils keen to get started in this new year.
Bookmark do so much to inspire our young readers and you can download a FREE copy from the link here.
Front cover and page layouts by the fantastic Sarah Harrison.
The fantastic Books for Topics website has included ‘The Great Chocoplot’ as part of their 50 Recommended Reads for Year 4. What a huge honour! Check out their website here, where you can download a handy poster and checklist for your classroom.
Thanks you, Alison (at Books for Topics) for choosing Chocoplot!
My week took a strange twist when I received a message from a BBC producer asking me if I wanted to appear as a surprise guest on Colin Murray’s BBC 5 Live radio show while he was interviewing Steve Cram. He was chatting to the Olympian, World Champion and multiple World Record Breaker in advance of the start of the Olympic athletics programme about his life as a runner.
You would have thought maybe Seb Coe, Steve Ovett or Daley Thompson would have made a more appropriate guest to sing the praises of one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes. But no, I was asked.
You may ask why? Well, it’s probably not what you think.
But if you click on the link here you’ll find out. I’m on at the start of the programme, but the rest is well worth a listen too.
It was a great giggle and an honour!!
Incredibly honoured to be Middlesbrough Libraries‘ Author of the Month.I’ve had the pleasure of doing many events in libraries and schools in the Middlesbrough area and always received a warm welcome (in spite of the fact I come from Newcastle!!) and my audiences have always been a lot of fun.There is such a wonderful culture of reading for pleasure in this area. I am hoping that as libraries continue to reopen and expand their services and activities once restrictions allow, that everyone in Middlesbrough will rediscover what fantastic libraries and librarians they have there.
Please check out here to see me talking about my books and banging on about why libraries are so great.
Thank you to everyone at Middlesbrough Libraries.
Excited to have my graphic novels released in the UK. They will be heading out across the world very soon.
Illustrated by the amazing Amit Tayal. These have been so much fun to write. I hope our readers enjoy them just as much as we do!
When I was a kid, I used to create my own comics, which were stitched together with my mam’s leftover wool. As printers and photocopies were not a familiar sight in the 70s, I only ever produced one copy of each comic. Therefore, I had to knock on doors of my hometown of Wallsend (a then shipbuilding town on the banks of the coaly Tyne) and hope that any friendly folk would want to ‘loan’ my copy for 5 pence per day. Sometimes, after a week, I’d get enough money to splash out on a can of Top Deck, a packet of Tudor crisps and sometimes even a Texan Bar from the offy at the end of the street.
Today I received a ‘Big Box of Chaos’ (as my publisher called it) with multiple copies of my new set of 12 graphic novels (as the cool kids call them). Luckily, they have not been illustrated by me, but by the AMAZING Amit Tayal. It has been such a team effort, especially with my editor, the fabulous Zoë Clarke, dealing with my stories constantly drifting randomly from the synopsis which had gone through rigorous approval meetings with the High Council at HarperCollins!
These are now going to go ALL OVER THE WORLD for, admittedly, a little more that 5 pence a pop, but you do get to keep them.
The best part is that I don’t even have to knock on any doors!
There are 12 brand new non-fiction books available based upon my ‘Shinoy and the Chaos Crew’ series and using characters and ideas from the books.
They have been written by a group of brilliant authors (far cleverer than me!) to investigate the curious and unusual topics that have cropped up in Shinoy’s adventures. They would make a fantastic addition to any primary classroom and I’m sure will trigger lively discussions and fire imaginations.
Congratulations to the amazing team at Collins Big Cat.
Please check out more details here.
I am totally mega excited to announce that there will be twelve ‘Shinoy and the Chaos Crew’ graphic novels being released in June (2021).
It has been great fun writing these stories with my ever-so-creative editor, Zoë Clarke, and our amazing illustrator, Amit Tayal. We have tried to cram in even more action and thrills than we thought possible.
I can’t wait for more Chaos to be released into the world!!
You can take a sneaky look and maybe pre-order them here.
Shinoy and the Chaos Crew are spreading action, adventure and the best kind of chaos throughout the world.
Recently released in the UK, the series has already arrived in places like India and Australia. It will soon hit the coast of Canada (27th February) and then onto the United States of America (1st April – no joke!).
It’s so exciting seeing these crazy characters being welcomed wherever they go. And they have no plans on stopping just yet!
The nasty S.N.A.I.R. from my ‘Shinoy and the Chaos Crew’ books has reminded me that this website needs updating with all of his evil deeds – and the not-so-evil doings of the Chaos Crew. So I will be adding lots of new and groovy stuff to this website in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned …
Thrilled to reveal details of a brand new writing competition for young writers (aged between 5 and 11) all around the world.
Using the ‘Shinoy and the Chaos Crew’ books as a background, can you create your own Shinoy story or come up with a new member of the Chaos Crew?
Winners will have the opportunity to have their stories read out by me and their creations brought to life by our fantastic illustrator, Amit Tayal. More details here. Good luck!!
I’m honoured to be a part the National Literacy Trust‘s ‘Connecting Stories‘ campaign. This is a new programme to champion the joy of writing and reading for enjoyment with schools and communities in some of the most deprived areas of the country.
It was the livestream launch today for the communities that I will be involved in and it was a lot of fun connecting with homeschoolers from the Blackpool area. We had some great questions which allowed me to gibber away and hopefully explain why this is something so important to me.
There is plenty more happening – including a writing competition – so watch this space!
I am delighted that my new book series –
‘Shinoy and the Chaos Crew’
has been released.
There are 24 books in the series – seven of them written by the fabulous Zoë Clarke – and artwork by Amit Tayal, who has done a staggering job bringing all our craziness into life.
They have been written with young reluctant readers especially in mind, but hopefully will be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. I’ve tried to pack them with as much action, adventure and silliness that I can. They’ve been so much fun to write. More details and options to buy them are here.
Obviously … schools, teaching staff and their pupils have lots of more important things going on right now. I wish everyone strength in these coming weeks as schools only take in the children of critical workers, and carry out their lessons online. This is far from perfect, but the time will soon be here when teaching and learning can get back to normal. These books can wait until then.
Stay safe and keep using those fantastic imaginations!
Absolutely delighted to be able to share news of ‘Shinoy and the Chaos Crew‘.
When Shinoy downloads the Chaos Crew app on his phone, a glitch in the system gives him the power to summon his TV heroes into his world. With the team on board, Shinoy can figure out what dastardly plans S.N.A.I.R. has come up with, and save the day. This is a series of 24 books banded for guided and independent reading, there are reading notes in the back, comprehensive teaching and assessment support and ebooks available.
Seven of these titles were written by the fabulous Zoë Clarke, who has been my editor, mentor and conscience throughout the development of this series. I could not be more honoured to have the uber-talented Amit Tayal adding his magical artwork throughout this whole series. He has produced so much amazing stuff.
This has been a genuine team effort. My hugest of thanks go to everyone at Collins Big Cat and Harper Collins, especially Holly Woolnough, for all being such champions of (controlled) chaos!
This series will be released on 4th January 2021.
There will be a dedicated ‘Shinoy and the Chaos Crew’ page on the Collins website, but until then there is an individual link here. And it is available for pre-order from all good online book sites such as Waterstones and Bookshop UK.
Let the chaos commence!!