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Gill Arbuthnott - Author

About the Author

Gill Arbuthnott lives in Edinburgh and has been a published author since 2003. She writes fiction and non-fiction and reckons that being a children's author is probably the best job in the world. Her recent books Dark Spell, Beneath and What Makes You You? have been shortlisted for major UK book awards. A former science teacher, she loves mixing scientific fact with wonderful anecdotes of people and places.


What is the maddest thing you have ever done?

Nothing very mad… I went once to buy a black kitten and came back with a deaf, one-eyed white adult cat. (It wasn’t my fault though: he chose me.) Oh, and there was the time at the fun fair when I went on a roller coaster even though I knew I hated them. It felt like the longest two minutes of my life.

Which of the mad scientists would you have liked to meet and why?

Rita Levi-Montalcini. Not only did she do important work under very difficult conditions, she lived through amazing times. She alsohad great style in the way she dressed and looked, and she was a fabulous cook. What a woman!

Which discovery would you have liked to have made?

I’d love to have been part of the discovery of the structure of DNA (the chemical that controls most of what we are). It’s so beautiful, and it unlocked so many ideas in Biology. AND I would have to go to work with some incredible people. Maybe I’ll tell you about them in another book!

What do you think is the best discovery made by a scientist?

It’s not an important discovery, but it has made a lot of people very happy… The discovery of how to make chocolate so that it starts to melt at the temperature of the human mouth!

Featured books by Gill Arbuthnott

Other books by Gill Arbuthnott

From Shore to Ocean Floor

From Shore to Ocean Floor

Author: Gill Arbuthnott Illustrator: Chris Nielsen Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/09/2021

From sandy beaches to mysterious, inky depths, this beautiful book is the story of ocean exploration, from shore to ocean floor. Seen from space, Earth is a swirl of blue and white. The blue is Earth's oceans, which cover 70% of its surface... yet the ocean in the most unexplored region of our planet. From Shore to Ocean Floor is the story of how humans went from building the first boats, to discovering the secrets of the deep. Marvel at incredible scientific discoveries, be dazzled by some of the most exciting new species and admire the incredible men and women who took the very first steps below the surface. This spectacularly illustrated book comes from the author and illustrator duo of the award-winning Balloon to the Moon.

Microbe Wars

Microbe Wars

Author: Gill Arbuthnott Illustrator: Marianna Madriz Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/09/2021

Since the beginning of human history, we have been at war with an invisible enemy. Microbes. These tiny organisms can spread terrible diseases. Ramses V, Pharaoh of Egypt may have died of smallpox; in 1918 a new illness called the Spanish Flu killed 50 million people in 18 months; and in the fourteenth century the black death killed more than a quarter of the population. In more recent times Covid 19 has changed the way we live. But there's good news too! Human scientists have learned to fight back. In the 18th century edward Jenner developed the first vaccine, and since the 1930s penicillin has saved millions of lives. And many microbes are helpful. They help our digestion, give us powerful medicines and even food. This is the Microbe Wars. It's good, it's bad sometimes it's ugly, but it's a scientific journey filled with innovation and hope.

Secret Diary of the First World War

Secret Diary of the First World War

Author: Gill Arbuthnott Illustrator: 0 Format: eBook Release Date: 20/09/2018

What was the First World War really like? Step into the boots of 14-year-old James Marchbank and experience the most important, incredible, peculiar, poignant, remarkable and revolting bits of World War 1.Inspired by the real-life diary of

A Secret Diary of the First World War Fact-tastic Stories from Scotland's History

A Secret Diary of the First World War Fact-tastic Stories from Scotland's History

Author: Gill Arbuthnott Illustrator: Darren Gate Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/07/2018

What was the First World War really like? Step into the boots of 14-year-old soldier James Marchbank and find out. Inspired by the real-life diary of a Scottish boy soldier, each easy-to-read chapter mixes James's story with timelines, letters, diagrams and illustrations to create a fact-tastic account of the First World War, which is both fun and emotionally engaging for younger readers. Why was rat hunting a popular hobby in the trenches? How did parachuting pigeons help win the war? Why would a really good friend rub whale oil on your feet? What did it feel like to be a teenager at war? Take a journey through time and discover all the most important and incredible bits of the First World War. A Secret Diary of the First World War is the first in a new brilliant series, which blends together intriguing facts and fascinating fiction to bring the most exciting, gruesome and crucial moments of Scottish history alive for young readers.

Chaos Clock & Chaos Quest

Chaos Clock & Chaos Quest

Author: Gill Arbuthnott Illustrator: 0 Format: eBook Release Date: 23/10/2014

Time won't stand still. It's being blown apart.In Edinburgh, time is coming unstuck and the past is breaking loose. Best friends Kate and David are no ordinary kids. They are keys: powerful controllers of time.With their powers the friends are forced into the middle of a war between the evil Lords of Chaos and the Guardians of Time. Can they prevent the barriers between times being blown away forever?Enter a race against time in Chaos Clock and its thrilling sequel Chaos Quest.



Author: Gill Arbuthnott Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/03/2014

Ice-covered sand and frozen seas -- not exactly what you'd expect on your summer holiday, even in St Andrews. But this isn't just awful Scottish weather; Josh soon discovers that something terrible is happening to the seaside town. With his new friend Callie and her enormous dog Luath, Josh is thrown headlong into a storm of witches, ice creatures, magic and the Winter King. Eternal winter threatens, unless they can stop the Winterbringers once and for all ... A brilliant fantasy adventure from Gill Arbuthnott. Prequel to dangerous and spooky Dark Spell.

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