Authors beginning with: A
Having survived polio as a youngster, Ade Adepitan has succeeded as an international Paralympic wheelchair basketball player and has built up a wealth of broadcasting experience. He has travelled the world for his work and regularly goes undercover, investigating controversial and ground-breaking stories. He is a regular reporter for the BBC's One Show and a returning presenter for Children in Need. Ade has also presented countless sporting events including co-hosting the BAFTA award-winning coverage of the 2012 Paralympics alongside Clare Balding, and the 2016 Invictus Games, created by Prince Harry.
Ade had a very busy 2018 including releasing his first Children’s book, Cyborg Cat- Rise of the Parsons Road Gang. He also returned to co-host Children in Need, helping raise over £50 million for charity. However a majority of Ade's year was spent exploring the African continent for his first 4-part documentary Africa with Ade Adepitan. The series documents Ade's journey, uncovering how modern Africa is changing and sees him visit a vast array of contrasting places on the continent. Ade's second children's book Cyborg Cat and the Night Spider will be published on 3rd October this year. All proceeds will be donated to Children in Need.
Allan Ahlberg, a former teacher, postman, plumber's mate and grave digger, is in the super-league of children's writers. He has published over 100 children's books and, with his late wife Janet, created such award winning picture books as Each Peach Pear Plum and The Jolly Postman - both winners of the Kate Greenaway Medal. He has also written prize-winning poetry and fiction and lives in Sussex.
Atinuke was born and grew up in Nigeria. She writes children's books because she loves the vibrancy, joy, wisdom and humour of her own African culture, which she includes a lot of in her work. She shares with children all over the world how modern life is in Africa, how amazing African traditions and cultures are, and how our human joys and sorrows are the same.
She also tells traditional African stories which make her international audiences laugh and cry. Her books have been published in the UK, USA, France and Japan and have won lots of awards. Atinuke spends most of her time at home quietly dreaming up stories, but she sometimes visits schools and book festivals — she loves to meet her readers! Atinuke lives in Pembrokeshire.
Born in Woolwich, south London, Ashley trained as a teacher at Trent Park College of Education after his National Service in the RAF. His teaching career included thirty years as headteacher. Ashley is also an author of books for children and young adults. His debut novel, The Trouble with Donovan Croft, published in 1974, won The Other Award, an alternative to the Carnegie Medal. A Kind of Wild Justice (1978), Running Scared (1986), and Little Soldier (1999) were commended runners up for the Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria. She studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria then moved to the US to study communications and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University. She gained an MA in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. After initially writing poetry and one play, For Love of Biafra (1998), she had several short stories published in literary journals, winning various competition prizes. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, won the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book), and was shortlisted for the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her second novel is Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), set before and during the Biafran War. It won the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction.
Dapo Adeola is a British-born Nigerian self-taught illustrator and character designer. His work mostly revolves around creating characters and imagery that challenge gender norms and equality politics in a fun and upbeat manner. He is an avid believer in the importance of representation in the creative arts and raising the profile of Black British illustration talent in UK publishing. He also runs school workshops on the importance of representation in popular media with children from various ethnicities.
His goal is to have more BAME faces in normal spaces, instead of the outdated stereotypical spaces and limited forms of representational narratives that currently exist. He makes his literary debut in 2019 with the picture book Look Up about a young black girl’s fascination with the stars, and a middle grade book, Last Last-Day-of-Summer, about two young black male mystery-solving adventurers. Dapo lives in London.
David Almond is the highly acclaimed author of Skellig, The Savage, Clay, My Name Is Mina, My Dad's a Birdman, Slog's Dad and many other novels, stories and plays. His books are translated into almost forty languages and are widely adapted for stage and screen. His numerous awards include the Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Children's Book Awards and Le Prix Sorcieres, and in 2010 he gained the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international prize for children's authors. David lives with his family in Hexham, Northumberland.
Douglas Adams(March 11, 1952 - May 11, 2001) was a British comic writer whose works satirised contemporary life through a luckless protagonist who deals ineptly with societal forces beyond his control. Adams is best known for the mock science-fiction series known collectively as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as well as his satirisation of the detective-story genre Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
Edward Ardizzone was born in 1900 and brought up in Suffolk. As a young boy he was fascinated by the vibrancy of the small Suffolk ports such as Ipswich, then frequented by the coastal steamers that travelled from port to port, which later became his inspiration for his Little Tim series. He was appointed official war artist in 1940 by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery, London, 1933-1945. Between 1929 and his death in 1979 Ardizzone illustrated a large number of books, including Graham Greene's The Little Train series, and wrote and illustrated many more including the well-loved Little Tim series, and with his cousin Christianna Brand, created Nurse Matilda, later familiar to many as Nanny McPhee.
Giles Andreae is an award-winning children's author and has written both fiction titles and bestselling picture books, such as Pants and The Lion who Wanted to Love. He has won the Federation of Children's Book Award and the Book Trust Early Years Award, but he is probably most famous as the creator of the phenomenally successful Purple Ronnie, Britain's favourite stickman. Giles lives in Notting Hill, London with his wife and four children.
Humza Arshad is the first British YouTuber to have his own scripted comedy series on BBC Three in the mockumentary series Coconut. Since accumulating over ninety million views on his channel Humza has used his influence and comedy for a greater purpose. In 2015, Humza performed at one hundred and twenty schools using comedy to prevent at risk teens of becoming radicalised. He is currently an ambassador for YouTube's Creators for Change campaign.
Janet Ahlberg, along with Allan Ahlberg, created some of the world's most popular picture books, including Each Peach Pear Plum and The Jolly Christmas Postman, both winners of Greenaway Medals, and The Baby's Catalogue, inspired by their daughter Jessica. Janet died in 1994.
Jez Alborough was born and grew up in Kingston-upon-Thames. He loved drawing and painting from an early age and always wanted to be an artist. 'I used to love the exercise books which had one blank page opposite one lined page. It was like an invitation to me to write a story and draw the illustrations.' Jez didn't much like secondary school, but going to art college in Norwich was a much happier experience: 'It felt like freedom. Having the time and space to do what I wanted to do was so uplifting. 'He graduated with a BA Honours degree in Graphic Design.
Joan Aiken wrote over a hundred books for young readers and adults and is recognized as one of the classic authors of the twentieth century. Amanda Craig, writing in The Times, said, 'She was a consummate story-teller, one that each generation discovers anew.' Her best-known books are those in the James III saga, of which The Wolves of Willoughby Chase was the first title, published in l962 and awarded the Lewis Carroll prize. Both that and Black Hearts in Battersea have been filmed. Her books are internationally acclaimed and she received the Edgar Allan Poe Award in the United States as well as the Guardian Award for Fiction in this country for The Whispering Mountain.
Joan Aiken was decorated with an MBE for her services to children's books. She died in 2004.
John Agard (born 21 June 1949 in British Guiana) is an Afro-Guyanese playwright, poet and children's writer, now living in Britain. In 2012, he was selected for the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.
Agard grew up in Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana). John wrote his first poetry when he was in sixth-form, and left school in 1967. Leaving school in 1967, he taught the languages he had studied and worked in a local library. His father settled in London and Agard moved to Britain with his partner Grace Nichols in 1977, settling in Ironbridge, Shropshire.
His collections for young readers include The Young Inferno, a teenage spin on Dante's Inferno, Einstein, The Girl Who Hated Maths and Hello H20, both illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura. His adult collections include Alternative Anthem and his latest, Playing the Ghost Of Maimonides. His first non-fiction, entitled Book, tells the history of the book in the voice of the book. His awards include the Casa de las Americas Poetry Prize, the Paul Hamlyn Award and the 2012 Queen's Gold Medal for poetry. He lives in Sussex.
John Agard and Grace Nichols were brought up in Guyana and moved to Britain in 1977. Both are well-known writers and performers of poetry and they have each produced a number of poetry books for both adults and children. Under the Moon and Over the Sea, one of their bestknown children’s poetry collaborations, won the CLPE Poetry Award. They have also published A Caribbean Dozen and From Mouth to Mouth.
After he completed childhood, Jordan Akpojaro spent time getting rained on and dreaming about eating freshly picked fruit. He has worked on books about philosophy, coding and maps.
Kirsty was born in Essex and grew up in Hampshire. She has had a wide variety of jobs including bookselling, railway re-signalling, picking stones off conveyor belts, putting lids on perfume bottles and teaching Pilates. She now lives with her husband on top of a hill in Winchester.
Kwame Alexander is a poet, children's author, playwright, producer, performer, and winner of the Newbery Medal for his novel-in-verse, The Crossover, and shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal with Rebound. He conducts creative writing workshops in middle and high schools, often reaching more than five hundred students monthly. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Washington, D.C. area.
Laurence Anholt has written over seventy books, many in collaboration with his wife Catherine. They are both highly regarded in the UK and abroad as a successful author/illustrator team, and have had their books translated into many different languages. They met as undergraduates at Falmouth School of Art, and went on to achieve Master's Degrees from the Royal Academy of Art and the Royal College respectively.
The books which they have collaborated on are based firmly within their own family's experiences, and many of Catherine's illustrations depict scenes which families will recognise. It is this element which has helped to make their books so successful. Laurence also writes and illustrates his own books, and has written books with other illustrators, notably the Seriously Silly Stories, a topsy turvy series based on traditional tales but with a wonderful new twist.
These were hilariously illustrated by Arthur Robins and have won many awards. Laurence writes for a wide range of ages and is one of the most popular authors of today. Catherine and Laurence Anholt live in Lyme Regis with their three children.
Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous national and state awards, as well as international recognition. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Laurie was honored with the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by YALSA division of the American Library Association for her "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."
Mehrdokht Amini is an Iranian-British children's book illustrator living in London since 2004. She has a degree in graphic design from Tehran University, working for children's magazines and books while still a student.
Her picture book, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns written by Hena Khan, was selected for the 2013 ALSC notable children's booklist. In 2016, Chicken in the Kitchen won Best Book at the Children's Africana Book Awards, was put on the White Ravens Honour List, and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal.
Mehrdokht loves working with publishers who are interested in cultural diversity because it gives her the opportunity to study different cultures and communities, to gain a better understanding and appreciation of all people.
Nicholas Allan is the author/illustrator of over thirty children’s books. He wrote his first novel when he was 14, a story about a murder in a school. He sent it to Macmillan who, although they did not accept it, asked to see his next. Nicholas studied painting at the Slade School of Art. During this time he had his first radio play broadcasted by BBC Radio 4. He then completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.
Nicholas worked as a waiter, three weeks in a publisher's office and as a part-time teacher of a life class before he published his first book, The Hefty Fairy (1989). Since then he has been a full-time writer and illustrator. Many of his books are bestsellers, including The Queen's Knickers, Father Christmas Needs a Wee, Jesus' Christmas Party, Cinderella's Bum, Heaven, and Where Willy Went.
Horrible Science author Nick Arnold has been writing books and stories since he was a lad. Even in those days his favourite subjects for stories were horrible goings-on - the more gruesome the better. So you see, he hasn’t changed a bit. When he’s not writing books, Nick is constantly taking his one-person show to bookshops, libraries and festivals. The show is everything you would expect from a Horrible Science book, packed with revolting experiments and gory descriptions.
Patience Agbabi was born in London in 1965 to Nigerian parents, spent her teenage years living in North Wales and now lives in Kent with her husband and children. She has been writing poetry for over twenty years, The Infinite is her first novel. Like Elle, she loves sprinting, numbers and pepper soup, but, disappointingly, her leaping is less spectacular.
The Infinite is the first book in The Leap Cycle series.
Patrice Aggs is an American illustrator, writer, printmaker and comic book artist. She is based in West Sussex and her work on children's books has included projects with top authors such as Trish Cooke, Malorie Blackman and Philip Pullman. She is currently working with her son developing comic strips. Patrice has written four picture books and exhibits her hand-coloured etchings internationally.
For as long as she can remember, Penelope Arlon has wanted to write children's books. As the only child of a British intelligence officer, she spent most of her childhood moving around the world, living in unusual countries. Through her parents' love of literature (and the fact that she was often on her own), she was introduced to a huge number of children's books.
Now with children of her own, Penelope works from home as a freelance writer, where she has the opportunity to research and write books that continue to fascinate her. This has led her to create the Eye Know and Discover More series of books, taking her from the depths of the ocean to beyond our solar system. All this experience led to her book, The Ultimate Book of Randomly Awesome Facts (published by Scholastic Books).
Penelope Arlon's books have been translated into over 20 languages, won various awards, and sold millions of copies worldwide.
Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning author Philip Ardagh is the author of The Grunts. He is probably best known for his Eddie Dickens adventures, translated into over thirty languages, and for his Grubtown Tales, but he is author of over 100 books. He collaborated with Sir Paul McCartney on the ex-Beatle’s only children’s book, and wrote the BBC’s first truly interactive radio series, Arthur Story and the Department of historical Correction. He is a 'regular irregular' reviewer of children’s books for The Guardian, and is currently developing a series for television. Philip Ardagh is two metres tall with a ridiculously big, bushy beard and size sixteen feet, making him an instantly recognisable figure at literary festivals around the world.
Rachel Anderson (born 1943) is an English journalist and author best known for her children's books. Her work often features the positive portrayal of characters with learning disabilities, and themes of social injustice and alienation. For the novel Paper Faces, published by Oxford in 1991, Anderson won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime book award judged by a panel of British children's writers.
Richard Adams was born in 1920 and later went on to study at Worcester College, Oxford (of which he was a Scholar). He served for five and a half years in the army during the Second World War and then joined the higher civil service in Whitehall. He is most well known as the author of Watership Down, published in 1972, which won both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Award for Children's Literature.
RJ Anderson is a Canadian author of contemporary fantasy and science fiction for older children and teens. Her debut novel Knife, which has sold more than 50,000 copies in the UK, while her teen thriller Ultraviolet was shortlisted for both the Sunburst Award in Canada and the prestigious Andre Norton (Nebula) award in the US.
Ros Asquith started out as a photographer, became theatre critic for Time Out, City Limits and The Observer before emerging as an author and Guardian cartoonist. She wrote the best-selling book, I Was A Teenage Worrier, and the Girl Writer series. The first book in her new series, Letters from an Alien Schoolboy, was published in 2010 and the second book, Cosmic Custard, is published in October 2011. She lives in North London.
Russell Ayto was born in Chichester, Sussex and bought up in Oxfordshire. At school he loved both drawing and sciences and once thought about becoming a zoologist. He has worked in a medical laboratory and as as postman, but his favourite job is being an artist! The thing he loves best is the chance to be creative and use his imagination to make characters come to life. He has illustrated many picture books and been shortlisted for the Nestle Award, the Mother Goose Award and the Blue Peter Book Awards, and won the 2008 inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize for The Witch's Children go to School.
Sam Angus has five children and eleven horses and splits her time between Exmoor and London (the horses stay very much on Exmoor). She has been an English teacher and a fashion designer, but is now focusing on writing full-time.
In 2013 Sam was long-listed for the CILIP Carnegie Medal with her first novel, Soldier Dog, which is based on the fascinating true story of animals who gave their lives during the Great War. Her second novel, Hero, takes place on the Home Front during the Second World War and follows the fortunes of two child evacuees who rescue an orphaned foal.
Sav is an acclaimed storyboard artist and children's book illustrator of picture books. With over 15 years of storyboard artistry behind him, Sav has been asked to sketch many things by TV advertising executives. Things that excite (sports, cars, a combination of the two) and those that, perhaps, don't quite hold such glamorous appeal (such as roasted vegetables!).
But it hasn't all been Porsches and potatoes — Sav has also served time as a visual effects artist on numerous feature films; enjoyed an unforgettable term at the legendary 'Jim Henson's Creature Shop'; sweated as a cloth layer-upper for famous Brit brands Burberry and Aquascutum; and, perhaps most proudly of all, peddled 99 Flakes and Funny Feet as a wannabe 'Mr Whippy' stationed outside the Tate Britain. He lives in London.
Alexie was born to Salish Indians—a Coeur d'Alene father and a Spokane mother in 1966. He suffered from congenital hydrocephalus and underwent surgery when he was six months old. Though the procedure did not affect his ability to learn, he suffered harsh side effects, including seizures, in his childhood.
As a boy, he was much influenced by his maternal grandmother, a spiritual leader of the Spokane, who died when he was eight. Because of his health, he was unable to compete physically, so he became instead an avid reader. He went off the reservation to attend an all-white high school, where he was an honour student and class president.
His experiences there later fueled a young-adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007), which won a National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Alexie has also published many brilliant poetry collections.
Shirin Adl is an Iranian illustrator with a passion for bright colours and interesting textures. When she was little and could only read Farsi, pictures made books in other languages accessible, as she looked at them to work out the story. After she learned English, she sometimes came across a picture book she'd decoded as a child and realised the tale was very different to the one she'd thought of!
For Shirin, book illustrations complement the text, but can also tell their own story. She especially enjoys creating busy scenes where she depicts different characters, giving each one an imaginary life; so it makes her very happy when children or parents tell her that they've enjoyed coming up with their own ideas about her pictures. Shirin studied illustration at Loughborough University and lives in Oxford.
Steve Antony is a British children's author and illustrator, who has written and illustrated 16 picture books. Antony grew up in New Mexico, US,the son of a painter mother and blacksmith father. He earned a master's degree in Children's Book Illustration from Anglia Ruskin University in 2013.
Antony has written and illustrated six books in the Mr Panda series, and four in The Queen series.