What book now?

Alice Harman, author of many books for children, has started a monthly newsletter called What Book Now? – as the title suggests, the newsletter is full of suggestions for good books to read.

I was very pleased that she chose to pick Hope Jones Saves the World for the first issue:

If you want to get a monthly email from What Book Now? – and I recommend you do – you can sign up here:


Hope Jones in the lockdown

My new book was published last week: Hope Jones Saves the World is available in bookshops everywhere, and I will be travelling up and down the country, visiting schools, speaking at festivals, talking about climate change and plastic pollution…

That was the plan, anyway, but of course the reality is very different: bookshops and schools are closed, festivals have been cancelled, and I’m hunched over a page of sums or searching for grammatical mistakes in a text, home-schooling my own children.

Somehow, among all the lessons that I’ve been giving them, my daughters have found time to make a book trailer for Hope Jones.

The second Hope Jones book will be published in 2021. Let’s hope the world is back to normal by then – or some new version of normal, anyway.

World Book Day

Last week, I talked about my new book to an audience of schoolchildren – the first time that I had spoken about Hope Jones Saves the World.

I visited two schools in Bolton with the brilliant Rebecca Patterson, author of one of my favourite picture books (My Big Shouting Day). We share a publisher – Andersen Press – who had arranged for us to do this event together, celebrating World Book Day.

Andersen had released my new book early in Lancashire; it was great to see Hope Jones Saves the World in the hands of readers. The rest of the country will be able to read it in May.

Letters from Pip

I was very pleased to receive some letters recently, written by children from Southway Junior School in Burgess Hill.

Their teachers, Kelly and Melissa, have been reading Bearkeeper with Year 5, using the text as a way to discuss Shakespeare and daily life in Elizabethan London. 

Kelly and Melissa suggested they write letters from Pip’s perspective, describing his adventures in London.

Here are two of the letters, written by Taliyah and Scarlett.