Numbers by Rachel Ward


Written by Rachel Ward

13+ readers   All Shortlists and Winners   Debuts of the Month   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

A tough, teenage novel about being different. Jem’s life has been hard from the beginning and it is not made any easier by her dangerous secret; every time she looks into a person’s eyes, she sees the date on which they’ll die. Jem’s struggle with life and through it paints a dark and at times bleak picture but, after falling in love with Spider everything changes and the conclusion is one of optimism showing that wayward and unusual adolescent paths can lead to a life of value and happiness.

A word from Barry Cunningham, the Publisher -

"It’s not often that I’m absolutely gripped from the first chapter as I was with Numbers by Rachel Ward. When a big idea is so intense, important and moving that I can’t get it out of my mind... Brilliant."

...and a word from:

Peter Carlton, head of WARP Films Europe (whose successes include BAFTA award winning film FOUR LIONS and hit television series THIS IS ENGLAND '86), believed right from the start that NUMBERS just had to be made into a film:

'Rachel's book leaped off the page as a must for screen adaptation. A fantastic premise, brilliantly recognisable characters and a page-turning thriller set in the real contemporary London. This is a great story for teenagers and adults alike packed with thrills, tension and heart.'

Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2010


Numbers by Rachel Ward

Since her mother's death, fifteen-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else's, a number pops into her head - the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together, her life takes a new twist and turn. Waiting for the London Eye, she sees everyone in the queue has the same number - something terrible is going to happen.


"Numbers is a true pulse racing narrative, leaving you breathless after only the first chapter. Rachel Ward writes with a flair, picking out life’s more delicate moments amongst an unforgiving account of escape and hardship." - John Lloyd, Waterstone’

About the Author

Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward, author of the NUMBERS series, grew up in Bookham, Surrey. After school she studied Geography at Durham University and, combined working for a number of local authorities with raising a family. She began writing in her 30's, starting out with short stories. One of these short stories formed the basis of the idea for NUMBERS. Rachel later came to the attention of Chicken House at a local writers' surgery and was signed to Chicken House as a result.

Her debut novel, NUMBERS, was the winner of Winner of the Flemish Children and Youth Literature Prize 2011 and the Angus Book Awards 2010, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2009 and the Branford Boase Award 2010.

The sequel to NUMBERS, entitled NUMBERS 2: THE CHAOS, was released in June 2010 and the third and final book in the series, NUMBERS 3: INFINITY was released in June 2011.

NUMBERS is currently in production as a film, and is being produced by the same film-makers who gave us This is England '86 and Four Lions.

Ward’s gritty YA thriller, THE DROWNING was published in May 2013. The second in the series, WATER BORN, will be published in August.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: 12-15 years


Rachel Ward
More books by Rachel Ward

Author's Website


Chicken House Ltd

Publication date

5th January 2009




I love Lovereading as it provides an honest opinion and showcases a range of fiction. Suited to both parents & kids alike, it’s a must-use.

Georgie Rowe – age 16

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

I love all the books they recommend & put up for me to review. I also love the fact that they give new authors the chance to share their boo

Daisy Pennock – age 15

It’s a community united by a passion for books and promoting the best there is in children’s literature.

Sam Bateman and family

Lovereading 4 schools