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Matt Haig - Author

About the Author

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."

 Find Matt Haig on instragram   https://www.instagram.com/mattzhaig/

 

Featured books by Matt Haig

The Echo Boy

The Echo Boy

13+ readers

Author: Matt Haig Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/03/2014

The moving, gripping and stunningly written first novel for young adults by award-winning author, Matt Haig.

Other books by Matt Haig

Evie and the Animals

Evie and the Animals

Author: Matt Haig Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/06/2019

Ten-year-old Evie has a talent. A SUPERTALENT. Evie can TALK to animals and HEAR their thoughts. Pretty amazing, isn't it? One day at school, Evie sets Kahlo the rabbit free from her too-small cage. Evie knows she's done A Good Thing . . . but it lands her in BIG trouble. Evie's dad and Granny Flora say her talent is a curse; she must never use it again. Until a year later pets on her street - including Lady Gaga the cat and a hamster named Cheryl - start disappearing. Evie is determined to find them. But it's dangerous for her to help. Because the villain has a talent of their own, and only wants to use it for evil . . . Can Evie save the pets before it's too late, even if it means DARING TO BE HERSELF?

Father Christmas and Me

Father Christmas and Me

Author: Matt Haig Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/10/2018

Let the battle for Christmas begin . . . Amelia lives in the magical town of Elfhelm, newly adopted by Father Christmas and Mary Christmas. When the very jealous Easter Bunny launches an attack to ruin Christmas, it's up to Amelia, her family and the elves to fight off the forces of evil. But can they keep Christmas alive?

Girl Who Saved Christmas

Girl Who Saved Christmas

Author: Matt Haig Format: eBook Release Date: 31/10/2017

If magic has a beginning, can it also have an end?When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to askFather Christmas.But the magic she wants to believe in is starting to fade, and Father Christmas has things other than impossible wishes to worry about: upset elves, reindeer dropping out of the sky, angry trollsand the chance that Christmas might be cancelled.Amelia isnt just any ordinary girl, though. And as Father Christmas is going to find out, if hes going to save Christmas, he might just need some help . . .

Girl Who Saved Christmas

Girl Who Saved Christmas

Author: Matt Haig Format: eBook Release Date: 31/10/2017

"e;If somewhere in the afterlife Roald Dahl met Charles Dickens and they cooked up a new Christmas tale, it couldn't have much on this fleet, verbally rambunctious, heart-stealing follow-up to A Boy Called Christmas."e;The New York Times Amelia Wishart was the first child ever to receive a Christmas present. It was her Christmas spirit that gave Santa the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now Amelia is in trouble. When her mother falls ill, she is sent to the workhouse to toil under cruel Mr. Creeper. For a whole year, Amelia scrubs the floors and eats watery gruel, without a whiff of kindness to keep her going. It's not long before her hope begins to drain away. Meanwhile, up at the North Pole, magic levels dip dangerously low as Christmas approaches, and Santa knows that something is gravely wrong. With the help of his trusty reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens, he sets out to find Amelia, the only girl who might be able to save Christmas. But first Amelia must learn to believe again. . . .';Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.' Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author ofThe Graveyard Book"e;With a little bit of naughty and a lot of nice,this Christmastime yarn is a veritable sugarplum."e; Kirkus Reviews

A Boy Called Christmas and The Girl Who Saved Christmas

A Boy Called Christmas and The Girl Who Saved Christmas

Author: Matt Haig Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 10/11/2016

BELIEVE IN THE IMPOSSIBLE A lavish, boxed set containing Matt Haig's magical Christmas classics in hardback - A Boy Called Christmas and The Girl Who Saved Christmas. This special limited edition slipcase is beautifully illustrated by Chris Mould and makes the perfect gift for children aged 7 and above, and for anyone who still believes in Father Christmas A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS This is the true story of Father Christmas. It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible. THE GIRL WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to ask - Father Christmas. But the magic she wants to believe in is starting to fade, and Father Christmas has more than impossible wishes to worry about. Upset elves, reindeer dropping out of the sky, angry trolls and the chance that Christmas might be cancelled. But Amelia, isn't just any ordinary girl. And - as Father Christmas is going to find out - if Christmas is going to be saved, he might not be able to do it alone . . .

A Boy Called Christmas

A Boy Called Christmas

Author: Matt Haig Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 03/11/2016

NARRATED BY STEPHEN FRY You are about to hear the true story of FATHER CHRISTMAS . . . If you believe that some things are impossible, you should walk away right now. (Because this story is FULL of impossible things.) Are you still there? Good. Then let us begin . . .

The Girl Who Saved Christmas

The Girl Who Saved Christmas

Author: Matt Haig Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 03/11/2016

NARRATED BY CAREY MULLIGAN JOURNEY TO THE EDGE OF MAGIC When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to ask - Father Christmas. But Father Christmas has more than impossible wishes to worry about. Upset elves, reindeer dropping out of the sky, angry trolls and the chance that Christmas might be cancelled. If Christmas is going to be saved, he might not be able to do it alone . . .

Boy Called Christmas

Boy Called Christmas

Author: Matt Haig Format: eBook Release Date: 01/11/2016

Boy Called Christmas

Boy Called Christmas

Author: Matt Haig Format: eBook Release Date: 01/11/2016

2018 Odyssey Honor 2018 ALSC Notable Children's RecordingBefore there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy who believed in the impossible. . . . Lemony Snicket meetsElfin this warmhearted Christmas caper. Eleven-year-old Nikolasnicknamed ';Christmas'has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he's happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him. Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix thingsif only he can reach his father before it's too late. . . . Sparkling with wit and warmth, A Boy Called Christmasis a cheeky new Christmas classic-in-the-making from acclaimed author Matt Haig and illustrator Chris Mould."e;Irresistibly readable. Destined to become a Christmas and anytime-before-or-after-Christmas classic!"e; --Chris Grabenstein,New York Timesbestselling author ofEscape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library';The definitive (and funny) history of ho, ho, ho! My children loved it.' Yann Martel, bestselling author ofLife of Pi ';The most evergreen, immortal Christmas story to be published for decades.' Stephen Fry"e;Humorous and heartfelt,A Boy Called Christmaswill grow your heart three sizes and make you believe in magic."e; --Liesl Shurtliff,New York Timesbestselling author ofRump"e;Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.'Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author ofThe Graveyard Book

A Boy Called Christmas

A Boy Called Christmas

Author: Matt Haig Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/11/2015

You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas. It's a story that proves nothing is impossible. A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow and a boy called Nikolas, who isn't afraid to believe in magic. From the winner of The Smarties Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award. With enchanting illustrations by Chris Mould.

Echo Boy

Echo Boy

Author: Matt Haig Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/03/2015

Audrey's father taught her that to stay human in the modern world, she had to build a moat around herself; a moat of books and music, philosophy and dreams. A moat that makes Audrey different from the echoes: sophisticated, emotionless machines, built to resemble humans and to work for human masters. Daniel is an echo - but he's not like the others. He feels a connection with Audrey; a feeling Daniel knows he was never designed to have, and cannot explain. And when Audrey is placed in terrible danger, he's determined to save her. ECHO BOY is a powerful story about love, loss and what makes us truly human.

The Echo Boy

The Echo Boy

13+ readers

Author: Matt Haig Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/03/2014

The moving, gripping and stunningly written first novel for young adults by award-winning author, Matt Haig.

To Be A Cat

To Be A Cat

Author: Matt Haig Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/02/2013

From the bestselling author of A Boy Called Christmas, The Girl Who Saved Christmas, Father Christmas and Me and The Truth Pixie. *'A clawed masterpiece' - Guardian* Barney Willow's life couldn't get any worse. He's weedy, with sticky-out ears. Horrible Gavin Needle loves tormenting him. And evil headteacher Miss Whipmire seems determined to make Barney's existence a complete misery! Worst of all, Dad has been missing for almost a year - and there's no sign of him ever coming home. Barney just wants to escape. To find another life. To be a cat, for example. A quiet, lazy cat. Things would be so much easier - wouldn't they? A darkly funny and adventurous tale from multi-award-winning author Matt Haig.

To Be A Cat

To Be A Cat

Author: Matt Haig Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/02/2012

Barney Willow thinks life couldn't get any worse. He's weedy, with sticky-out ears. Horrible Gavin Needle loves tormenting him - Barney has no idea why. And headteacher-from-hell Miss Whipmire seems determined to make every second of Barney's existence a complete misery! Worst of all, Dad has been missing for almost a year, and there's no sign of him ever coming home. Barney just wants to escape. To find another life...Being a cat, for example. A quiet, lazy cat. Things would be so much easier - right? Barney's about to discover just how wrong he is. Because he's about to wake up as a cat - and not just any cat. Gavin Needle's cat...This is a fast, exciting story from the winner of the Gold Smarties Award, with illustrations from the brilliantly dark and mischievous Pete Williamson.

Shadow Forest

Shadow Forest

Author: Matt Haig Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2007

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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