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Jenny Downham - Author

About the Author

Jenny Downham was our Guest Editor in January 2010. Click here to see the books she chose.

Jenny Downham was an actress for many years before concentrating on her writing full-time. She lives in London with her two sons. Her book Before I Die was critically acclaimed and was short listed for the 2007 Guardian Award and the 2008 Lancashire Children's Book of the Year, nominated for the 2008 Carnegie Medal and the 2008 Booktrust Teenage Prize, and won the 2008 Branford Boase Award.

Get to know Jenny more by watching her 30 second interview.

Featured books by Jenny Downham

Other books by Jenny Downham

Furious Thing

Furious Thing

Author: Jenny Downham Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Anger was something to believe in when the world let her down. FURIOUS THING roars with justifiable anger at an unfair world, as one girl fights to claim back the spaces that belong to her and battles to be heard . . . Lexi's angry. And it's getting worse. If only she could stop losing her temper and behave herself, her step-father would accept her, her mum would love her like she used to and her step-brother would declare his crushing desire to spend the rest of his life with her. She wants these things so badly she determines to swallow her anger and make her family proud. But pushing fury down doesn't make it disappear. Instead, it simmers below the surface waiting to erupt. There'll be fireworks when it does.

Before I Die

Before I Die

Author: Jenny Downham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/12/2018

Tessa has just a few months to live. So she compiles her bucket list, her To Do Before I Die list. Number one is sex. Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Heartbreaking yet astonishingly life-affirming, Before I Die will take you to the very edge.

Unbecoming

Unbecoming

Author: Jenny Downham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/05/2016

Katie's life is falling apart: her mum's controlling, her dad's run off, she's in love with someone whose identity she can't reveal and now her estranged grandmother's turned up on the doorstep and Katie's expected to take care of her. Soon Katie discovers she's not the only one in her family hiding the truth. If she's going to get her life back together, she's going to have to expose everyone's deepest secrets - including her own.

Unbecoming

Unbecoming

Author: Jenny Downham Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/09/2015

Three women - three secrets - one heart-stopping story. Katie, seventeen, in love with someone whose identity she can't reveal.Her mother Caroline, uptight, worn out and about to find the past catching up with her. Katie's grandmother, Mary, back with the family after years of mysterious absence and 'capable of anything', despite suffering from Alzheimers. As Katie cares for an elderly woman who brings daily chaos to her life, she finds herself drawn to her. Rules get broken as allegiances shift. Is Mary contagious? Is 'badness' genetic? In confronting the past, Katie is forced to seize the present. As Mary slowly unravels and family secrets are revealed, Katie learns to live and finally dares to love.Funny, sad, honest and wise, Unbecoming is a celebration of life, and learning to honour your own stories.

You Against Me

You Against Me

Author: Jenny Downham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/03/2014

When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the offence, her world begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, their worlds collide. This is a brave and unflinching novel from the bestselling author of Before I Die, about first love, loyalty, betrayal and truth.

Now is Good (Also published as Before I Die)

Now is Good (Also published as Before I Die)

Author: Jenny Downham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2012

Tessa has just a few months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests and drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her Before I Die list. And number one is sex. Starting tonight. Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Her feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and the powerful, bittersweet first love she finds with the boy next door - all are painfully yet beautifully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out.

You Against Me

You Against Me

Author: Jenny Downham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2011

If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's accused of a terrible crime but says he didn't do it, you defend him, don't you? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the offence, her world begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. This is a brave and unflinching novel from the bestselling author of Before I Die . It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love.

Before I Die

Before I Die

Author: Jenny Downham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/04/2010

Tessa has just a few months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is sex. Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa's feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out. BEFORE I DIE is a brilliantly-crafted novel, heartbreaking yet astonishingly life-affirming. It will take you to the very edge.

Before I Die

Before I Die

Author: Jenny Downham Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/04/2008

Tessa has just a few months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is sex. Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa's feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out. Before I Die is a brilliantly-crafted novel, heartbreaking yet astonishingly life-affirming. It will take you to the very edge.

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