Elizabeth Laird - Author Picture

Elizabeth Laird - Author

Elizabeth Laird was born in New Zealand of Scottish parents. She trained as an English language teacher, and her first job was in Addis Ababa. She has always retained a strong interest in Ethiopia, and his written several books set there, including CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlisted The Fastest Boy in the World. Later, while she was working in London, she was invited by the British Council to teach a summer school in India. The flight from Bombay to Bhopal was bumpy, and she was horribly airsick. The man in the next seat looked after her with great kindness. His name was David McDowall, and he made a deep impression on her. They married a year later. That was forty-two years ago, and they’ve been looking after each other ever since.

David was working in Iraq for the British Council at the time of their marriage, so that’s where they started their married life. They travelled widely, down to the Marshes and up into Kurdistan, where Elizabeth would later set Kiss the Dust. After a stint in London, David started working for the United Nations. They moved to Beirut, along with their first son. A fierce civil war was in progress, which formed the backdrop for her novel Oranges in No Man’s Land. After a year, the situation became too dangerous, and they were evacuated to Vienna, where their second son was born.

Returning to London, they decided to try to earn their living as writers, and took in bed and breakfast for a while to make ends meet. When the children were old enough, Elizabeth began to travel again. She returned many times to Ethiopia, but also visited Palestine, running workshops for writers in Gaza and the West Bank, and visiting several refugee camps. These experiences inspired A Little Piece of Ground. Indignation at the invasion of Iraq sparked Crusade, a historical novel set during a previous disastrous attempt to conquer a Middle Eastern country a thousand years earlier.

The plight of refugees as a result of the Syrian war deeply affected Elizabeth. She was invited by the Norwegian Refugee Council to run writers’ workshops in two Syrian refugee camps just across the border into Jordan. Spending time in Amman, and meeting other refugee families, she put those voices and experiences together into Welcome to Nowhere.

Inspired often by her travels, Elizabeth has also written novels set in the UK, and several historical novels as well. She has won the Children’s Book Award, been shortlisted six times for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, as well as every other major children’s book award.

Photo: © Anne Mortensen

Featured Books, with extracts, by Elizabeth Laird

Crusade
Elizabeth Laird
Two boys, Adam and Salim, come face to face when they find themselves on opposing sides in a Holy war. Adam is part of a Crusade to reclaim Jerusalem from the infidels; Salim finds himself at the heart of Saladin's...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 28/07/2016
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The Garbage King
Elizabeth Laird
A gritty, deeply moving story that shows how the human spirit can triumph in the harshest of worlds. The deserved winner of the Children's Book Award when it was first published. This is the story of children who live on...
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Format: Paperback | Released 28/07/2016
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Dindy and the Elephant
Elizabeth Laird
Dindy's way of life is about to change for ever. She's grown up on a tea plantation in Kerala but independence is coming, and the British, including Dindy's family, are getting ready to leave India. Frightened at the prospect, Dindy...
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Format: Hardback | Released 04/06/2015
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Dindy and the Elephant
Elizabeth Laird
Dindy's way of life is about to change for ever. She's grown up on a tea plantation in Kerala but independence is coming, and the British, including Dindy's family, are getting ready to leave India. Frightened at the prospect, Dindy...
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Format: Paperback | Released 04/06/2015
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The Fastest Boy in the World
Elizabeth Laird
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal - Shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2015 8-11 age category In a beautifully told story packed with emotion and action, Elizabeth Laird tells how eleven- year- old Solomon turns his dreams of...
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Format: Hardback | Released 05/06/2014
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The Fastest Boy in the World
Elizabeth Laird
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal - Shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2015 8-11 age category In a beautifully told story packed with emotion and action, Elizabeth Laird tells how eleven- year- old Solomon turns his dreams of...
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Format: Paperback | Released 05/06/2014
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Shahnameh The Persian Book of Kings
Elizabeth Laird - illustrated by Shirin Adl
February 2014 Poetry Book of the Month The Shahnameh is a fabulous collection of stories and myths from ancient Persia, written into an epic poem by the poet Firdousi in the 10th century. Elizabeth Laird is passionate about bringing this...
Lovereading Price: £7.99 - Saving £2.00 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers | 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 06/02/2014
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The Prince Who Walked With Lions
Elizabeth Laird
Award-winning Elizabeth Laird has an exceptional gift for telling stories that bring both other times and other countries to life. Son of a warmongering Abyssinian King, Alamayu grows up watching his father spilling the blood of his own people and...
Lovereading Price: £10.39 - Saving £2.60 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/03/2012
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The Witching Hour
Elizabeth Laird
Shortlisted for the Scottish Book Award 2010. Vivid and thrilling, The Witching Hour is a finely crafted historical novel, packed full of the important details which bring the past to life. At its heart is the story of strong...
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Format: Paperback | Released 02/04/2010
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The Witching Hour
Elizabeth Laird
Treachery and intrigue provide a sombre background for the story of spirited Maggie and her determination to survive the cruel persecution of the church. After her granny is falsely accused of being a witch, Maggie has to flee and to...
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Format: Hardback | Released 01/05/2009
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Lost Riders
Elizabeth Laird
A gripping and heart stopping story, Lost Riders uncovers the shocking story of child slavery today. Rashid is eight when his uncle sells him and his younger brother to a man who promises him a new life in Dubai. But...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/05/2009
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Lost Riders
Elizabeth Laird
A gripping and heart stopping story, Lost Riders uncovers the shocking story of child slavery today. Rashid is eight when his uncle sells him and his younger brother to a man who promises him a new life in Dubai. But...
Lovereading Price: £7.99 - Saving £2.00 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 06/06/2008
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Crusade
Elizabeth Laird
Two boys, Adam and Salim, come face to face when they find themselves on opposing sides in a Holy war. Adam is part of a Crusade to reclaim Jerusalem from the infidels; Salim finds himself at the heart of Saladin's...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 02/05/2008
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Oranges In No Man's Land
Elizabeth Laird
Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK. A gripping story of a ten-year-old girl who risks death...
Lovereading Price: £3.99 - Saving £1.00 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/08/2007
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Crusade
Elizabeth Laird
Two boys, Adam and Salim, come face to face when they find themselves on opposing sides in a Holy war. Adam is part of a Crusade to reclaim Jerusalem from the infidels; Salim finds himself at the heart of Saladin's...
Lovereading Price: £8.79 - Saving £2.20 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/06/2007
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Kiss The Dust
Elizabeth Laird
A highly topical, award-winning novel from a truly great writer for children. The genocide of the Kurds by Saddam Hussein was to most people brutal and barbaric and given the current situation in the Middle East and the wars there...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 02/02/2007
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Red Sky In The Morning
Elizabeth Laird
Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal and runner-up for the Children's Book Award, Red Sky in the Morning is remarkably moving and beautifully narrated. A teenage girl worships and adores her disabled little brother but can't bring herself to tell...
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Format: Paperback | Released 06/10/2006
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Paradise End
Elizabeth Laird
A brilliant story of two girls; one who dreams of swapping her semi-detached life and moving into the big empty house down the road but when she meets Tia who does move to Paradise End, Carly realises that although Tia...
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Format: Paperback | Released 05/08/2005
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A Little Piece of Ground
Elizabeth Laird
Despite being published nearly 5 years ago this remains a highly topical, very real story of a Palestinian boy living under military occupation. Incredibly moving; it's an absolute must read for our children in the hope that their generation will...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 06/08/2004
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Garbage King
Elizabeth Laird
A gritty, deeply moving story that shows how the human spirit can triumph in the harshest of worlds. The deserved winner of the Children's Book Award when it was first published.
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Paperback (b Format) | Released 02/04/2004
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Jake's Tower
Elizabeth Laird
A harrowing story about a boy who suffers not just from abuse but of a feeling that the world is against him, who runs away, experiences the most horrific violence but eventually has that eureka moment of meeting his father. ...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Paperback (b Format) | Released 05/07/2002
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Author Info

Author's Website

www.elizabethlaird.co.uk/

Author's Blog

lairdelizabeth.blogspot.com...

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