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Mary Hooper - Author

About the Author

Says of herself: I was born in Barnes, South West London, which became expensive and trendy as soon as I left it. I often – nostalgically and rather lazily – use Barnes as a setting for my books. If I speak of a river then I’m thinking of the Thames, and if it’s a park or common then I picture Barnes Common. I was able to utilise all these local points and bring in Mortlake and Richmond, too, when I was writing two books about Queen Elizabeth I’s magician, Dr Dee, who lived in Mortlake.

I wasn’t very clever at school, although I was always good at English. I failed my 11-plus exam, and then my 13-plus, and after this there wasn’t a lot of hope for me, so I didn’t get any qualifications or certificates. My last school report says, “Far too noisy and talkative” and I think this was because, being an only child, I just loved having someone around to talk to. I left school when I was fifteen (you could in those days) but it wasn’t until many years later than I did a part-time degree at Reading University and began to get officially educated.

I started working as a window dresser, but soon went into an office and – very valuable, this, for a writer – learned to type. One day I read a short story, thought that I could do better and sat down and wrote one. I sent it to Jackie, a teenage magazine, and much to my surprise sold it for £14. I was launched as a writer! I went on to write lots of short stories, and then serials, and eventually decided to write a book. At the time, there were hardly any books for teenagers, so I found getting published quite easy, but it’s very different now. I’ve written perhaps seventy or so books for children and young adults, most of them set in modern times, but as soon as I began writing historical novels I realised how much I loved doing this, and decided I didn’t want to write any more modern ones. No, not even any Megans!

I’m married to Richard and we live in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. I’ve still got a VW Beetle, but have upgraded it to a cabriolet version, which will be lovely when the weather improves and I can put the top down (if I can remember how to do it). My children are very grown up, my son is a writer and works for New Scientist and my daughter works for Microsoft - and has recently presented me with a gorgeous first grandson, Mackenzie. I look after him on Wednesdays so don’t ever bother me then! My hobbies are reading (of course), pottering around the house, painting furniture and being nosy (which goes with being a writer).

Featured books by Mary Hooper

Other books by Mary Hooper

A Dark Trade

A Dark Trade

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/01/2016

Gina knows that Victorian London is no place for an orphaned girl - there are those that would literally steal the hair off her head. And so Gina finds work with Thread and Spider as 'George', selling burial outfits stripped off rich corpses. The work is dangerous and illegal, but it is better than starving. But then Thread and Spider's demands increase and friendship with blind beggar girl Annameans that Gina has something to lose. Mary Hooper weaves her trademark spell on her readers with this enchanting book. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

Poppy in the Field

Poppy in the Field

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2015

When Poppy learns that the love of her life, Freddie de Vere, is to marry someone else, she knows her heart will break. Devastated, she volunteers her nursing skills overseas to take her away from the painful reminders at home. But things are about to get much worse for Poppy. The journey to the hospital in Flanders is full of horrors, and when she arrives it is to find a spiteful ward Sister and unfriendly nurses. Despite her loneliness and homesickness, the dangers of frontline warfare soon make her forget her own troubles and Poppy finds that comfort for a broken heart can be found in the most unexpected places. Brilliantly researched and inspired by real-life events, big and small, Poppy in the Field is a story about the forgotten bravery of women on the front line, told through the eyes of a young woman determined to play her part.

Newes from the Dead

Newes from the Dead

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2014

In 1650 Anne Green, a young servant girl, gave birth prematurely to an illegitimate child. Sadly the baby died and poor Anne was falsely accused of infanticide. In front of a large crowd she was hanged and then carried to the College of Physicians to be dissected for medical science. But as Anne's corpse lay on the table and the doctors assembled, a strange rattle was heard in her throat. Could she still be alive?

Ring of Roses

Ring of Roses

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/07/2014

Intensely powerful novel set in London during the height of the Plague in the 1600s. Abby is delighted to be appointed to the position of nursemaid in the well-to-do Beauchurch household. But it's the summer of 1665, and soon whispers are spreading through London that the Plague is returning. Can Abby keep herself and her small charge Grace safe, or will the disaster engulf them? A companion piece to Mary Hooper's bestselling 'At the Sign of the Sugared Plum'. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

Poppy

Poppy

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/05/2014

Poppy is young, beautiful and clever - and working as a parlourmaid in the de Vere family's country house. Society, it seems, has already carved out her destiny. But Poppy's life is about to be thrown dramatically off course. The first reason is love - with someone forbidden, who could never, ever marry a girl like her. The second reason is war. As the lists of the dead and wounded grow longer, Poppy must do whatever she can to help the injured soldiers, knowing all the while that her own soldier may never return home . . .

The Genie

The Genie

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/04/2013

Everyone would like a Genie to carry out their wishes, right? Perhaps not, as Fudge discovers when she gains her own supernatural helper! Be careful what you wish for...A new edition of this fun story from the author of the Megan series and bestselling historical novels including Velvet and Fallen Grace. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers of 8+

The New Girl

The New Girl

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/06/2012

Brand new edition of the popular story of a girl who argues with her best friend, but very soon finds a replacement - When Kirsty falls out with her best friend, new girl Carly seems the perfect replacement. At first, Kirsty thinks she's great, but she soon notices Carly copying her more and more and things just don't add up - Can she stop Carly from taking over her life? Taut novel about truth and friendship. Particularly suitable for reluctant, struggling or dyslexic readers.

Velvet

Velvet

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2011

Velvet is a laundress in a Victorian steam laundry. With both her mother and father dead, she is an orphan and has to rely upon her own wits to make a living. The laundry's work is back-breaking and Velvet is desperate to create a better life for herself. Then Velvet is noticed by Madame Savoya, a famed medium, who asks Velvet to come to work for her. Velvet is dazzled at first by the young yet beautifully dressed and bejewelled Madame. But soon Velvet realises that Madame Savoya is not all that she says she is, and Velvet's very life is in danger . . . A romantic and thrillingly exciting new novel from an acclaimed and much loved historical writer for teens.

Fallen Grace

Fallen Grace

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2011

Grace Parkes has just had to do a terrible thing. Having given birth to an illegitimate child, she has travelled to the famed Brookwood Cemetery to place her small infant's body in a rich lady's coffin. Following the advice of a kindly midwife, this is the only way that Grace can think of to give something at least to the little baby who died at birth, and to avoid the ignominy of a pauper's grave. Distraught and weeping, Grace meets two people at the cemetery: Mrs Emmeline Unwin and Mr James Solent. These two characters will have a profound effect upon Grace's life. But Grace doesn't know that yet. For now, she has to suppress her grief and get on with the business of living: scraping together enough pennies selling watercress for rent and food; looking after her older sister, who is incapable of caring for herself; thwarting the manipulative and conscience-free Unwin family, who are as capable of running a lucrative funeral business as they are of defrauding a young woman of her fortune. A stunning evocation of life in Victorian London, with vivid and accurate depictions, ranging from the deprivation that the truly poor suffered to the unthinking luxuries enjoyed by the rich: all bound up with a pacy and thrilling plot, as Grace races to unravel the fraud about to be perpetrated against her and her sister.

Fallen Grace

Fallen Grace

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/06/2010

Grace Parkes has just had to do a terrible thing. Having given birth to an illegitimate child, she has travelled to the famed Brookwood Cemetery to place her small infant's body in a rich lady's coffin. Following the advice of a kindly midwife, this is the only way that Grace can think of to give something at least to the little baby who died at birth, and to avoid the ignominy of a pauper's grave. Distraught and weeping, Grace meets two people at the cemetery: Mrs Emmeline Unwin and Mr James Solent. These two characters will have a profound effect upon Grace's life. But Grace doesn't know that yet. For now, she has to suppress her grief and get on with the business of living: scraping together enough pennies selling watercress for rent and food; looking after her older sister, who is incapable of caring for herself; thwarting the manipulative and conscience-free Unwin family, who are as capable of running a lucrative funeral business as they are of defrauding a young woman of her fortune. A stunning evocation of life in Victorian London, with vivid and accurate depictions, ranging from the deprivation that the truly poor suffered to the unthinking luxuries enjoyed by the rich: all bound up with a pacy and thrilling plot, as Grace races to unravel the fraud about to be perpetrated against her and her sister.

The Betrayal

The Betrayal

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2009

In this final volume, Lucy is asked to continue her work on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I. And her romance with Tomas, the queen's fool, seems to be flourishing - or it is until Mistress Juliette, the new lady-in-waiting, arrives and Tomas pays her far too much attention for Lucy's liking. But then Lucy realises that Juliette is telling lies and is not what she appears to be. Lucy fears for the safety of the queen as there are always supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots who are willing to risk all. How will Lucy convince Tomas of her fears when he just teases her and tells her that she is simply jealous? Desperate times call for desperate measures A thrilling and romantic historical novel that will give all teenage readers an accurate sense of the Elizabethan period.

Zara

Zara

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2009

Zara and Ella were both two weeks late for the start of the school year. Ever since then they've been best friends. They're always fooling around finding out the star signs of boys they fancy, reading out their horoscopes and playing games to discover the initial of the boy they're going to marry - just things to pass the time and take their minds off exams and tests. Ella's never really taken it all very seriously, but then Zara starts to act a bit differently - dressing like a Goth and experimenting with her new-found spiritual side and psychic powers in order to get them noticed by the popular crowd in their class and earn them both a bit of kudos. But little does Ella know how far Zara is really prepared to go - even betraying their friendship - to get the attention she clearly seeks. Mary Hooper writes with haunting accuracy about the manipulative mind games and power struggles that go on within groups of friends at school. Zara is a brilliantly observed account of school life for teenage girls as well as being a book that one simply burns through - pacy, juicy and lively writing about issues that horrify and fascinate and resonate all at once.

Holly

Holly

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2009

'Holly. I hope you won't mind me buying you this. I think it's the sort of thing you'll like. Am I right? And I think it matches your eyes. This comes with best wishes from (and I know it's corny). A Friend.' And that was how it all started. Holly starts receiving anonymous gifts at the cafe where she works. She can't believe it - how romantic can you get? But when Holly finds out the identity of her admirer she is in for a shock - her admirer is not a potential boyfriend: her admirer is her father. Holly has to come to terms with the fact that her father is not the man who lives at home with her, who she loves and calls her father. Her father is a man who has lived all her life on the other side of the world, not even knowing of her existence. Holly and her mother have some talking to do. Mary Hooper tackles this emotionally fraught situation with tenderness and compassion, yet still with her trademark pacy readability that has proved so popular with the young teen girls' market.

Newes from the Dead

Newes from the Dead

Author: Mary Hooper Format: eBook Release Date: 20/05/2009

Anne Green cant move a muscle, cant open her eyes, cant scream. She lies paralyzed in absolute darkness, terrified by her final memorybeing hanged. Is she in purgatory? Hell? Was she buried alive? An innocent woman caught up in a nightmare, Anne Green is trapped with her racing thoughts, her burning need to revisit the eventsand the manthat led her to the scaffold.Meanwhile, a shy young medical student attends his first dissection and notices something strange as the doctors prepare their tools. Did her eyelids just flutter? Could this corpse be alive?Haunting, thrilling, and impossible to put down, Newes from the Dead is based on the true story of the real Anne Green, a servant who survived a hanging in 1650 England only to awaken on the dissection table. Newes from the Dead concludes with an excerpt from an original 1651 document that recounts this chilling medical phenomenon.

Megan

Megan

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/03/2009

The hugely compelling sequel to Megan, who, at age 15, has discovered in her 'Personal Development' class that she is 5 months pregnant. With the first book ending with Megan giving birth, the sequel describes what Megan decides to do with the baby (yes she keeps it) and also how she copes in her first six months as a young mother - as her life is completely turned around.

Megan

Megan

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/03/2009

Megan, at age 15, discovers that she is 5 months pregnant in her 'Personal Development' class. How she copes, the decisions that she has to make, how her family and friends react are all told in a telling, compulsive tale. A tale that pulls no punches and yet is hugely responsible in its narrative. The sequel to follow will tell of Megan's first year with her new baby.

Megan

Megan

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/03/2009

It is Jack's , Megan's son, first birthday party and the atmosphere is very tense. But Megan is being distracted by the unusual amount of telephone calls that her mother is getting. Surely Mum hasn't got a boyfriend has she? But it turns out that she has - and what is more, he is moving in. This really shakes up the dynamics of the house-hold, which Mary Hooper details with her accustomed very acccurate and precise eye for domestic detail. A must for all Megan fans.

Newes from the Dead

Newes from the Dead

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2009

In 1650, Anne Green, a young servant girl, gave birth prematurely to an illegitimate child. Sadly the baby died and poor Anne was falsely accused of infanticide. In front of a large crowd she was hanged and then carried to the College of Physicians to be dissected for medical science. But as Anne's corpse lay on the table and the doctors assembled, a strange rattle was heard in her throat. Could she still be alive?

Thirteen Candles

Thirteen Candles

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2008

It's Julia's 13th birthday, but despite all the celebrations, she can't get rid of the strange shivery tingle going down her spine. And why did the candles on her birthday cake blow themselves out on their own? Then, when she watches a home video of her celebrations, she notices a dark hazy shape leaning over her shoulder. She's sure it blew out the candles - but what is it?

By Royal Command

By Royal Command

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2008

Lucy has become a firm fixture in the household of Dr Dee, a real-life figure who was court magician to Queen Elizabeth 1. Lucy, in return for saving the queen's life, has been told that she is to work as a spy for Her Grace and that she is to remain with the Dee family and await further instruction ...And then Lucy hears unexplained cries in the Dee house, and finds a young girl imprisoned there. What is Dr Dee doing? Lucy means to find out. A thrilling historical story, full of intrigue and royal plots and counter-plots, from the acclaimed Mary Hooper.

At the House of the Magician

At the House of the Magician

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2007

Lucy has been forced to run away from home as she fears for her safety from her drunken father. She is taken on as a maid at the house of Dr Dee, court magician, upon whom Elizabeth I relies heavily, even down to advising the date of her coronation. The household is strange and sinister, and Lucy has a nose for intrigue ...And she has more than enough to satisfy her: Lucy stumbles across a plot to assassinate the queen and has to find means to warn her ...

The Revolting Wedding

The Revolting Wedding

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/01/2007

We stared at the disaster area in front of us. Bits of icing lay like snow over half the dining-room, the little bride and groom had nose-dived on to the carpet and the columns that had supported the top two tiers had rolled under the table. It's the morning of the dreaded wedding, and Katie's promise to be on best behaviour falls foul when she tumbles headlong into the wedding cake. Katie may not be able to get out of wearing that revolting blue bridesmaid's dress, but she's going to have to find a way to get herself out of this sticky cake mess, or she's dead meat!

The Fever and the Flame At the Sign of the Sugared Plum , Petals in the Ashes

The Fever and the Flame At the Sign of the Sugared Plum , Petals in the Ashes

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/09/2006

Two tales following the remarkable life of a girl in London in the tumultuous years of the Great Plague and the Great Fire. Hannah is excited as she is about to embark upon her first ever trip to London to help her sister in her shop 'The Sugared Plum', making sweetmeats for the gentry. She does not, however, get the reception she expected from her sister Sarah. Instead of giving Hannah a hearty welcome, Sarah is horrified that Hannah did not get her message to stay away - the Plague is taking hold of London. In the second of these stories, Hannah returns to her beloved London to re-open the sweetmeats shop with younger sister Anne. Londoners are reeling from the plague epidemic of the previous year, but Hannah and Anne are keen to start enjoying everything the bustling city has to offer. But this is 1666, and it has been prophesised that terrible things will happen, and on Pudding Lane, flames are raging through the bakery ...Based on meticulous research, Mary Hooper evokes with complete mastery the sights, sounds and terror of a London gripped firstly by the shocking and gruesome plague, and then by the ferocious and terrible fire.

The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose

The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/09/2006

Eliza is ousted by her new stepmother from her family and finally makes her way to London - only to be thrown straight into prison for stealing a mouthful of bread. At this point Eliza's life takes some remarkable twists as she learns to survive the sordid prison life, and is rescued by a woman she has never met before pretending to be her aunt - but for what exactly? - and befriends Nell Gwynn who introduces her to the courtly intrigue, politics and glamour of the court of King Charles. And then Eliza finds out about her true background.

Petals in the Ashes

Petals in the Ashes

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2004

I could barely explain how much I wanted to go back to London, for I hardly understood myself. I'd hated the stinking city when we'd left, could hardly bear to think on its name, but now the plague had disappeared from the streets the people would be back, the theatres and shops would be open and we would find everything as cheery as it had been before. Hannah returns to her beloved London to re-open the sweetmeats shop with younger sister Anne. Londoners are reeling from the plague epidemic of the previous year, but Hannah and Anne are keen to start enjoying everything the bustling city has to offer. But this is 1666, and it has been prophesised that terrible things will happen, and on Pudding Lane, flames are raging through the bakery... Mary Hooper evokes with complete mastery the sights, sounds and terror of a London gripped by the ferocious and terrible Fire of London, engulfing everything in its path.

Boyfriend Trap

Boyfriend Trap

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/12/2001

These light-hearted stories by one of the most popular contemporary writers for girls were met with great acclaim when they were first published. Mad About the Boy is about Joanna, who has to cope with her new stepmother's son and doesn't like it one bit. In The Boyfriend Trap, Terri arrives at her older sister's flat with a bag full of teen mags and a head full of True Love, but is dismayed to discover that Sarah doesn't appear to have a single boyfriend! Something must be done - and quickly! Best Friends, Worst Luck is the humorous story of two friends who have to cope when one of them, Bev, moves to the country. How on earth will she manage without her best friend, Sal? With new, colourful and stylish covers illustrated by Smarties Award-winner Sue Heap, these are three titles that any girl would be proud to have on her bookshelf!

Mad About the Boy

Mad About the Boy

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/12/2001

Joanna has to cope with her new stepmother's son and doesn't like it one bit.

Holly

Holly

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/10/2000

Holly. I hope you won't mind me buying you this. I think it's the sort of thing you'll like. Am I right? And I think it matches your eyes. This comes with best wishes from (and I know it's corny). A Friend. And that was how it all started. Holly starts receiving anonymous gifts at the cafe where she works. She can't believe it - how romantic can you get? But when Holly finds out the identity of her admirer she is in for a shock - her admirer is not a potential boyfriend: her admirer is her father. Holly has to come to terms with the fact that her father is not the man who lives at home with her, who she loves and calls her father. Her father is a man who has lived all her life on the other side of the world, not even knowing of her existence. Holly and her mother have some talking to do. Mary Hooper tackles this emotionally fraught situation with tenderness and compassion: yet still with her trademark pacy readability that has proved so popular with the young teen girls market.

Megan

Megan

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/04/1999

Megan, at age 15, discovers that she is 5 months pregnant in her 'Personal Development' class. How she copes, the decisions that she has to make, how her family and friends react are all told in a telling, compulsive tale. A tale that pulls no punches and yet is hugely responsible in its narrative. The sequel to follow will tell of Megan's first year with her new baby. Mary Hooper is a highly accomplished and highly promotable author for children, and is published by Methuen, Puffin and Bloomsbury. Her other books for a younger age-range for Bloomsbury include Two Sides of the Story , The Naughty Angels series, and The Best Pets series.

Paul and Percy

Paul and Percy

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/04/1998

In this story, Percy, Paul's parrot, saves him from a terrible accident when a car crashes into their house. Mary Hooper is the author of the Two Naughty Angels series and Two Sides of the Story.

Two Sides of the Story

Two Sides of the Story

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/01/1998

Astra is thoughtful, a bit of a hippy, interested in astrology, and is best friends with Beth who is much more street-wise, trendy and vivacious. Their friendship is good and uncomplicated until they fall for the same boy, Ben. The girls' friendship is tested and they begin to fall out.

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