Barbara Mitchelhill was born in Rochdale and trained as a teacher. While she was teaching, she began writing for BBC children's TV and went on to write for educational publishers, before writing novels for children. She makes school visits all over the country, and enjoys appearing at literary festivals and talking to teachers and librarians, some as far away as the Caribbean. Her hobbies include reading, theatre, music, gardening and walking her border terrier, Ella. She lives in Staffordshire and has two grown-up daughters.
Press play to see Barbara talking about being an author and her book Run Rabbit Run:
In a nutshell: comic mishaps and triumphs of a schoolboy detective A sign in his local library catches the eye of schoolboy detective Damian Drooth: it offers a weekend at Disneyland Paris for the winners of a ‘mega quiz’. Damian rounds up his gang and sets them to work, first of all to raise the £10 entrance fee, and then to swot up in readiness. He’s understandably furious when the quiz turns out to be a scam, but quickly cheers up at the prospect of tracking down the conman. With echoes of Horrid Henry and Just William, Damian is a terrific character, determined, confident, and totally unfazed by adult disapproval. This series will have children and adults alike chuckling and is perfect for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic mishaps and triumphs of a schoolboy detective Damian Drooth, self-proclaimed boy detective, is off with his mum to Green Park Holiday Village. Mum is standing in for the chef, who’s ill, and Damian can have a holiday – or at least that’s what Mum suggests. Fat chance! As soon as he hears that kids’ bikes are going missing, Damian is on the case and determined to track down the culprit, no matter what. As ever, he causes complete chaos without even really trying, but manages too to apprehend the thief. It’s another funny, satisfying story in an excellent series and is absolutely perfect for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of a schoolboy detective Schoolboy super-sleuth Damian Drooth is back with a new case: someone is selling forged tickets outside his local football ground and Damian is determined to track down the culprit. He’s ably assisted by his trainees Winston, Tod and Harry and despite their protestations that they don’t need girls to help, Annabelle Harrington-Smythe plays a part too. After a bit of breaking and entering and accidental arson, all works out successfully for Damian. His narrative is action-packed and wonderfully comic and the stories are great fun for children ready to read on their own. With echoes of Horrid Henry and Just William, and illustrations by Tony Ross, these books will definitely be the number one boy detective series in many homes. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of a schoolboy detective Self-proclaimed supersleuth Damian Drooth has a new case: someone’s sprayed graffiti on the toilet walls and the whole school will be punished if the culprit isn’t caught. It’s a particularly difficult case but using all his observational and detecting skills Damian solves it, though only after causing chaos in the DIY store and being accused himself. Damian is a terrific little character, smart, funny, blind to his own faults and a magnet for trouble. Full of illustrations by Tony Ross these stories are super-satisfying for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of school boy super-sleuth Damian Drooth’s life changes when he comes across a book called A Hundred Ways to Catch a Criminal. Overnight he is transformed from – in his words – ‘bored brat’ and ‘droopy drop-out’ to school boy super-sleuth. His first attempts at crime solving are not entirely successful to put it mildly, but then he gets the chance to lend the police a hand in a real life kidnapping. The mix of perfectly observed ordinary boy behaviour (a la Horrid Henry) and zany far-fetched adventure make these stories hugely satisfying and enjoyable. Packed full of illustrations by Tony Ross they’re great for children happy to read on their own, but read aloud wonderfully too: adults will find much to amuse them in Damian’s wry comments and moments of self-awareness. Great fun! ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of school boy super-sleuth Damian Drooth is a crime-buster extraordinaire, an ace detective; at least he is in his own imagination. Despite what his mother says, he’s determined to find crimes to solve and bones up by studying the detectives described in his favourite comic books. Laughs come in the gaps between what really happens, and what Damian thinks is happening while young readers will completely understand his propensity for getting into trouble or causing chaos. There’s something of Horrid Henry or even Just William about Damian and the story, with its Tony Ross illustrations, ends in triumph for our junior super-sleuth – he actually manages to catch a crook - despite his outrageously bad behaviour. Great fun for children to read on their own and for adults to read out loud. ~ Andrea Reece
Award-winning Barbara Mitchelhill brings Billy’s war-struck childhood vividly to life in this dramatic story of survival. Billy’s dad is away fighting and Billy’s mum thinks that the war will always be far away from their home in South London. As the threat gets close, Billy’s friends are evacuated to safety in the country. But not Billy or his sister Rose. His mum is sure that he will be safe at home. But will they? When the Blitz starts and the bombs begin to fall Billy faces real danger.
Victorian London provides a dramatic backdrop for this dramatic story about a much changed life for Sam, Eliza and Alfie Pargeter. The children have always lived a happy life in the country with their parents but, when their father takes off for America, everything in their lives changes. Suddenly the children are taken to life wit hostile relatives in the most dangerous part of London. How they survive and the journey they take to find a more welcoming relative makes a gripping and moving story.
The world of Shakespeare and his theatre sparkles with life in this fast-paced historical novel. Thomas loves everything about the players and dreams of joining them if he ever has the chance. Having met Mr Shakespeare while studying at school in Stratford, it is to him and London that he runs when he has to flee his home. But behind the glamour and style of the theatre, Thomas finds darker intrigue and danger. A thrilling story full of theatrical flourish.
This thrilling and poignant World War II adventure featuring the story of a young girl and her brother whose father is a pacifist is one of the best war time novels for children to be published in while. Desperate to keep his family together he and the children go on the run together but as the past catches up with him can the father find a place of safety for them all and remain with them?
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