Shadow Forest by Matt Haig

Shadow Forest

Written by Matt Haig
Part of the Shadow Forest Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Be warned! Don’t go for a walk in the shadow forest lest you might not return. Poor Samuel Blink must go into the dreaded woods to somehow find his sister and bring her back alive somehow. With fast-flowing action and encounters with fantastical creatures throughout, the author skilfully manages to maintain a strong sense of foreboding and suspense right up until the dramatic conclusion of this creepy tale.

Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Award for ‘the book I couldn’t put down’. The winner will be announced on World Book Day at the beginning of March 2009. Other titles on the shortlist will be found in the prizewinners section.

Winner of the 9-11 Nestle Gold Award 2007.


Shadow Forest by Matt Haig

Samuel Blink is the hero of this story, but he doesn't know it yet. Right now, he and his sister Martha are in the back of his parents car. He has no idea a giant log is about to fall from the sky and change his life forever. He doesn't know that he and Martha will be forced to move to Norway and eat their Aunt Eda's smelly brown cheese. He hasn't the slightest clue Martha will disappear into Shadow Forest. It is a forest full of one-eyed trolls, the sinister huldre-folk, deadly Truth Pixies and a witch who steals shadows - a forest ruled by the evil Changemaker. It is a forest so dangerous that people who enter never return. No. Samuel Blink doesn't know any of this. So don't tell him. It might ruin the book ...

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A fascinating and magical tale. This is an outstanding piece of literature The Times Enough twists to keep children gripped The Daily Telegraph Matt Haig has crafted a children's classic Yorkshire Evening Post Clever use of Norwegian folklore skilfully weaves humour and sadness, reality and fantasy, into a tense, page-turning tale, which keeps readers guessing by the many unexpected twists and turns in the plot Carousel Shadow Forest features lots of humour mixed in with with some superbly gross parts (such as exploding heads). Matt Haig's quirky style of writing make this an exciting and most enjoyable read... This book is a definite for any child who enjoys being fully immersed in a world of myth and magic Fantasy Book Review

About the Author

Matt Haig

Photo of Chris Mould and Matt Haig © Jonathan Ring

As well as being a number one bestselling writer for adults, Matt Haig has won the Blue Peter Book Award, the Smarties Book Prize and been shortlisted three times for the Carnegie Medal for his stories for children and young adults. The idea for the A Boy Called Christmas series came when his son asked what Father Christmas was like as a boy.

Matt Haig is an internationally acclaimed writer of adult and children’s novels, screenplays and journalism. His first children’s book Shadow Forest won the Nestle/Smarties Prize, the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award and eight regional awards. His work has been translated into 29 languages. His 2013 adult novel The Humans has sold over 100,000 copies in the UK. Reasons to Stay Alive, both a powerful account of the illness that almost destroyed him and a joyous exploration of the things that make life worth living, rapidly gained a huge following, spending 41 weeks in the Sunday Times bestseller list. He lives in Brighton with the writer Andrea Semple and their children Lucas and Pearl.

Matt Haig's writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Sydney Morning Herald. The Dead Fathers Club is his American debut but his second published novel following The Last Family in England (2004), a reworking of Henry IV, Part I from the point of view of a black Labrador named Prince.
Shadow Forest, his first book for children, was published in the UK in May 2007; and in the USA as Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest in June 2007.
His next book for "grown-ups will be The Possession of Mr Cave in May 2008, to be followed by a children's novel called The Runaway Troll.
He now lives in Leeds but grew up in Newark-on-Trent where he went to a school much like Philip's in The Dead Fathers Club.

Matt Haig winning blue peter awardOn 5 Mar 2009 Matt won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award for Shadow Forest. When he won he said:

“To say I was shocked is an understatement. I was halfway through a book event at a school when suddenly I turned around and saw a Blue Peter camera crew burst in to hand me the award. I nearly hyperventilated! I was up against some very stiff competition so I couldn’t believe I’d won my category let alone the overall prize.”

Matt Haig on his teen novel, The Radleys:

"This is a story about growing up, first and foremost. About how we learn to come to terms with who we are, independent of the ideas our parents had for us. About how we decide our own identities. As well as what shapes those identities - who we choose to love, and hate, admire and fear. It is about how denying ourselves can sometimes be more dangerous than succumbing to tempation. This is the story I wanted to tell. I never set out to write a vampire story, but vampires were the obvious choice. After all, as family secrets go, you can't get much bigger than finding out you are actually a full-blown creature of the night. And hopefully it fits as a metaphor for teenage life. A life full of physical changes, forbidden cravings, and feelings of being an outsider. In that sense, we've probably all been vampires at some stage."

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Book Info


416 pages
Interest Age: From 9


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Random House Children's Books

Publication date

3rd May 2007




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