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Berlie Doherty is one of the UK’s favourite children’s authors. She has been writing for over twenty years and is published in more than twenty languages. She is a prolific writer of novels, storybooks, picture books, and plays. Berlie lives in Derbyshire.
To read a question and answer session with Berlie Doherty please click here.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2018 An eye-opening book, The Girl Who Saw Lions (originally published as Abela) is the touching and profound story of two girls who apparently have nothing in common. The two girls tell their own stories. Abela, growing up in Tanzania, is surrounded by suffering. Her father has already died and now her mother and her baby sister are desperately ill. When they die too, Abela is sent off to England and an uncertain future as an illegal immigrant. Rosa, growing up in England, has everything she could possibly want. There is no reason why these two should become sisters. Their individual stories and the story of how they come together through adoption make a beautiful, satisfying and complete story. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for January 2018 Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by by Mem Fox Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal Emmeline and the Plucky Pup by Megan Rix Whatever Next! by Jill Murphy The Girl Who Saw Lions by Berlie Doherty The Poesy Ring by Bob Graham
Interest Age 5-8 Inspired by the Blue John stone found in the hills around her Derbyshire home, Berlie Doherty has created a myth that already feels as if it has been always been in our memories, just waiting to be remembered again. Her Blue John is a magical boy, created from glaciers and the sun, ice-blue and golden, who lives deep underground with his mother, the Queen of Darkness. He’s drawn to the light where he meets a girl, one of a group of children exploring the caverns. They have one golden day together before Blue John must return to his mother. Berlie Doherty takes care over each sentence and this short story, beautifully and simply told, will intrigue and move young readers. ~ Andrea Reece With the evocative charm of a fable, Blue John is inspired by the semi-precious mineral found in the caves of Mam Tor by Berlie’s home. Berlie says: The internationally celebrated violinist Peter Cropper invited me to write a ‘story to music’ for a Christmas children’s concert. I chose the haunting piece by the Czech composer, Smetana, ‘From My Life’. The music made me think of ice and darkness and sunlight, loneliness and joy. I walked over the Mam Tor mountain with the music in my head, and looked down at the caverns, and I knew immediately what I was going to write about. So I invented a character called Blue John, a little boy who is made out of stone … About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.
In a nutshell: Iconic | Outspoken | Big Issues | Difficult Truths The moving and very real story of two teenagers and an unplanned pregnancy. It is told from two viewpoints - that of Helen as she writes her thoughts in a series of letters to the unborn baby, the Dear Nobody of the title, and of Chris as he reads the letters and relives events as Helen is in labour. It is one of The Originals from Penguin - iconic, outspoken, first. The Originals are the pioneers of fiction for young adults. From political awakening, war and unrequited love to addiction, teenage pregnancy and nuclear holocaust, The Originals confront big issues and articulate difficult truths. The collection includes: The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton, I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith, Postcards from No Man's Land - Aidan Chambers, After the First Death - Robert Cormier, Dear Nobody - Berlie Doherty, The Endless Steppe - Esther Hautzig, Buddy - Nigel Hinton, Across the Barricades - Joan Lingard, The Twelfth Day of July - Joan Lingard, No Turning Back - Beverley Naidoo, Z for Zachariah - Richard C. O'Brien, The Wave - Morton Rhue, The Red Pony - John Steinbeck, The Pearl - John Steinbeck, Stone Cold - Robert Swindells.
Interest Age 5-8 Joe is upset: his teacher has asked the class to do a project on their pets but Joe’s mum has asthma and anything with fur makes her breath thick and squashy. Joe invents a pet for himself, an eleven-legged dragonosaurus with a voice like metal chains jangling, but it can’t compete with Lizzie’s rabbits. Then Joe goes to the help of a neighbour’s new born calf, and everything changes. Berlie Doherty, twice winner of the Carnegie Medal, always writes beautifully and this little story gives a very vivid impression of Joe’s life, and a real sense of just how he’s feels about things too. With lively colour illustrations by Becka Moor this is perfect for readers just gaining confidence in reading alone and for reading aloud too. ~ Andrea Reece About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.
Longlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal Award-winning Berlie Doherty tells a mysterious and romantic ghost story set on a wild and uninhabited island. Grieving Ellie is swept off to a special island belonging to a family she hardly knows at a time when she needs a way of resolving her great grief and rage at her parents’ divorce. Terrified when she is left alone on the island, Ellie’s experiences of nature and of her meeting a ghostly girl who once lived on the island change her perspective and give her space to heal.
Berlie Doherty, with her fantastic flare for storytelling, puts a different slant on a familiar fairytale. With beautiful line-drawn chapterheads by illustrator Steven Wood, this quirky set of stories within a story are perfect for children reading on their own, or for those adults reading with them.
Prize-winning Berlie Doherty brings the excitement and danger of life at the court of King Henry V111 vividly to life. Young William Montague is plucked from a life of obscurity to become a page boy to the King’s son and heir, Prince Edward. William soon becomes a favourite of the King’s but he also makes dangerous enemies who know enough about his family to bring about his downfall. Soon William is fleeing from charges of treason and the threat of death itself. These are dangerous times and William needs courage, luck and loyalty to balance love for his family and his father with saving his life and supporting the King.
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month June 2016 Twice the winner of the prestigious Carnegie Medal, here Berlie Doherty movingly captures the life of an orphan in Victorian London. Based on the true accounts of children whose lives led the famous philanthropist Dr Barnardo to set up his homes for children without families, Street Child is the troubling story of Jim Jarvis who is just a little boy when his mother dies leaving him all alone. Initially rounded up and taken to the workhouse, Jim soon escapes and finds a way of survival – and some friends. But surviving as a child in such a tough environment is tough. How can Jim stay out of trouble and be safe? Berlie Doherty makes the past come vividly alive in this story that will encourage all young readers to fight injustice. ~ Julia Eccleshare Click here to download a specially produced teachers resource to help children get the most from this Collins Modern Classic title.
An engaging classroom playscript. Fifteen-year-old James is mad about diving and trains hard. He has a natural talent and his dad encourages him to aim high. But James has always known he is adopted, and now he decides to find his birth mother and his true identity. He sets out alone, on the journey of a lifetime... New, innovative activities specifically tailored to support the KS3 Framework for Teaching English and help students to fulfil the Framework objectives. Activities include work on Speaking and Listening, close text analysis, and the structure of playscripts, and act as a springboard for personal writing
How long can a secret stay buried? The Barnes family has lived in one tiny village for generations. Twins Madeleine and Grace, their cousin Elspeth, their mums and in-laws, old Aunt Susan - all there for ever, in a place barely touched by time. But then two things change - one twin dies, and the villagers are told that their beautiful valley is to be sunk underwater to make a reservoir. How can you live without half of yourself? And how can this tiny community rebuild itself when its past is drowning? As family secrets begin to surface, secrets of love, death and hope, the Barnes family learns that change brings hope as well as sorrow.
When Tilly's mum goes out to work, Mrs Hardcastle from up the street pops in to look after her. There are two special things about Mrs Hardcastle. The first thing is that she's always dropping off to sleep (she snores too, sometimes). The second special thing is that whenever she goes to sleep, something magic always seems to happen to Tilly Mint! Carnegie Medal winner Berlie Doherty's enchanting Tilly Mint tales are at last available in one complete collection with brand-new illustrations from Tony Ross.
Berlie Doherty with her unique style manages to bring classic Fairy Tales such as Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty to life once more in this truly gorgeous picture book. Inside are some surreal, elegant and always exquisite illustrations from Jane Ray, which compliment the text superbly. Prepare to be enchanted!
A blind girl and a unicorn in a world where magic and reality merge together. Can Laura save the Wild Ones and take them to the safety of the Bright Wilderness? Laura is blind, but though she cannot see, she is an acutely perceptive child. As soon as she climbs onto the unicorn's back she is hurled into a wild and magical world. Though a contemporary child, living in a contemporary setting, Spellhorn and the Wild Ones see Laura as their leader and they know that only through Laura can they reach the safety of the Bright Wilderness. But can the unicorns lead Laura back home to her own world? Powerful and moving, a delicious blend of fantasy and reality.
Teenage Holly Starcross doesn't know who she is. She lives with her beautiful mother and stepfather, the twins and the baby, Zoe. She is close to Zoe, and the mysterious e-mail correspondent in whom she confides. Holly is stalked by a strange man who turns out to be her father - not seen since her mother stormed out when Holly was four. Holly and her father run away on a mad weekend and Holly is reunited with her grandparents. As she discovers that her musical talent comes from her grandmother who is her mystery e-mail friend, Holly must decide where she belongs and where she wants to live.
The moving and very real story of two teenagers and an unplanned pregnancy. It is told from two viewpoints - that of Helen as she writes her thoughts in a series of letters to the unborn baby, the Dear Nobody of the title, and of Chris as he reads the letters and relives events as Helen is in labour.
James is adopted. He knows that to work out his future he has to make sense of his past. He embarks on a journey to find his birth-mother who tells her own story in this moving and powerful novel. James's adoptive parents are proud of his talent and determination. He's in training for the Junior National Diving Competition. But when he discovers the snake-stone in a box with his other 'belongings' from his time as an abandoned baby, he determines to set out on a quest to find his birth mother. He must make sense of his past if he is to work out his future. James travels to the Derbyshire Peak District to begin his search. Events leading up to James conception and birth are told in his birth-mother's own voice, in flashbacks, and the most moving, poignant and powerful story is told.
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