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Gareth first started writing when he was very young but it wasn’t until he was in his early twenties that he completed his first novel. Having had it universally rejected, he wrote a novel for children called Who Killed Charlie Twig, which received an equally unimpressed reception and remains rightly unpublished to this day. Some years passed during which Gareth met his future wife, Lisa and began a career in TV. Working on shows such as 'The Big Breakfast' and 'Richard & Judy', he became side-tracked from his book writing ambitions until one day he found himself having lunch at the offices of Bloomsbury. He mentioned the unpublished book to a nice lady called Sarah, who politely suggested that he should send in the first three chapters for her to look at. Gareth returned home and excitedly told his wife this news, who gently explained that the book he had written actually wasn’t very good, but reminded him that he had recently begun work on a much better idea. This turned out to be good advice.
In 2007 Bloomsbury published the first of four books in the series The Dragon Detective Agency and have since published The Thornthwaite Inheritance, Space Crime Conspiracy and The Considine Curse, for which he won the Blue Peter Book of the Year 2012. Gareth has also written a shorter story, Perry’s 5, published by Barrington Stoke and a series of books called Ninja Meerkats, published by Stripes.
The Case of the Missing Cats was nominated for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize. The Thornthwaite Inheritance has won the Hounslow Junior Book Award, the Calderdale Book Award, Leicester Children’s Book Award, Sefton Super Reads, Doncaster Book Award, Rotherham Children’s Book Award and Fantastic Book Award, Lancaster.
Gareth now divides his time between writing books, producing TV programmes, spending time with his wife and children, and playing the slightly ludicrous number of stringed instruments in his front room. He lives in Forest Hill, south east London.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2021 | Thinking that her daughter Rabunzel’s very, very long ears would make her the object of too much attention from the hungry-eyed creatures that lurk in the deep, dark forest, Mrs Rabbit locks her up high in a tall, tall tree. Rabunzel is bored stiff in her prison and, despite all her mother’s best intentions, it is not long before her amazing ears attract attention. While it is Flash Harry the Hare who releases Rabunzel it is soon clear that she needs no champion: her ears prove to the ultimate weapons against all comers!
Reading Planet - Level 5: Fiction (Mars) | Hamid has very definite ideas about how his family should work. He insists they follow his rules for everything from what goes into their packed lunches to how long they can spend in the bathroom. But when his grandma comes to help out while Dad is away with work, everything starts to fall apart. Mamani has no intention of sticking to Hamid's rules and takes a very relaxed approach to meals and schedules. In fact, Hamid realises the only way to tame his grandma is to hypnotise her into becoming more obedient. But will the new Mamani make life as interesting? And will Hamid ever be able to get the old Mamani back?
Planet Earth Is under constant threat from aliens, and who is there to protect its inhabitants? Why, our pets. When Dung Guzzler beetles arrive from the former star Dun-Glowing, things look bad: these things thrive on rubbish, and as they get bigger will happily trample whole cities to produce more rubble. How will agent Biskit and his new partner Mitzy the cat stop them? Packed with excellent jokes as well as exciting action scenes, this neatly balances comedy and thrills, and Steve May’s black and white illustrations capture the tone perfectly. Garth P Jones has a deservedly dedicated fan-base and they will love this new series. For more mad-cap but exciting adventures see Guy Bass’ new Spynosaur series or Steve Cole’s Magic Ink.
The crew of the Leaky Battery are a rum bunch alright: steam-powered metal robots of different shapes and sizes. Originally designed to be servants, they choose piracy as a new career, as it offers adventure, the chance to see the world, and freedom. First Mate Mainspring feels he’d be a better leader than Captain Clockheart, who is a bit unpredictable on account of a loose valve sending too much steam to his head, and a fair amount of squabbling goes on but on the whole they are successful buccaneers. This brings them up against the cruel and snobby Iron Duke who is determined to send them for scrap. The steampunk twist gives this fun piratical adventure an original touch, and the metal pirates themselves are refreshingly moral free. There are great illustrations of the pirate crew too to add to the enjoyment. ~ Andrea Reece
Funny, gruesome and scary, with the great setting of a funeral parlour, this is an action packed adventure full of the darker and dirtier details of life in Victorian London. Sam’s father buries the dead which maybe why they find it so easy to get in touch with Sam. But something has gone badly wrong with the the trip from one side of the world to the other. A deadly virus is trapping ghosts in the world of the living. Sam has to use all his powers to sort the muddle out. Gareth's written a spooky song to go along with his book, and you can listen exclusively to it here. Constable and Toop - The Song! by Hot Key Books
The author has just been named as winner of the Blue Peter Book Award for 2012. Meerkats are everywhere in films and commercials at the moment so it seems quite normal for a terrific little series to be created for 5+ year olds that features meerkats in disguise as Ninjas! They're goodies who are sworn to protect the world against the awful Ringmaster. However, the latest evil plans of the Ringmaster could just be a fight too many for the four mighty meerkats. Click here for the whole series.
The Clan of the Scorpion are escorting their mentor, Grandmaster One Eye, to a Kung Fu Grandmaster Meet deep in the mountains of Chile, when they are ambushed by a horde of enormous spiders - the Trained Tarantulas of Santiago! But the eight-legged creeps are a cunning diversion, and the Clan soon realise that Grandmaster One Eye has been katnapped! The Clan sets out to follow the attackers south, all the way to a colossal mountain fortress in icy Antarctica - but will they reach One Eye before the trail runs ...cold? Click here for the whole series. You can also follow the Ninja Meerkats on Twitter and their website.
Winner of the Blue Peter Book of the Year 2012. A hair-raising family adventure that will have you howling with enjoyment from author of the equally funny The Thornthwaite Inheritance and the Ninja Meerkats series! Gareth P Jones comments on his Blue Peter Best Book of the Year 2012 win: ‘I am beyond thrilled to have won the Blue Peter Book of the Year for The Considine Curse. Blue Peter is a national institution which I have watched since I was a child and so this is a tremendous honour. Getting a positive response to a book from just one person feels like a pat on the back, so winning a national award like this is like being whacked between the shoulder blades by an entire army... in a good way.’
The meerkat members of the Clan of the Scorpions are back. This time they are investigating the theft of an Indian Emerald with magical powers which vanished from right under the noses of the monkeys who were guarding it. Even teaming up with the Delhi Llama, the Clan of the Scorpions have their work cut out as they go on their very active chase!
Bravery propels this entertaining adventure of how the four meerkat members of the Clan of the Scorpions fight to the death to prevent the evil ringmaster’s plan for world domination. A Big Cat is missing from the Hong Kong zoo; the Clan of the Scorpions are hot on the case following the one clue…Will they be able to stop the Circus goons?
Entertaining and threatening in equal measure. This is a twisted tale full of humour, calamity and of murderous intent set in a vast and menacing mansion, which lovers of Lemony Snicket, Spiderwick and the Addams family will devour virtually in a sitting. Heirs to a vast fortune, Lorelli and Ovid Thornthwaite are twins but that doesn’t make them friends. In fact, each is determined to kill the other. But there are other evil intentions at work too and the twins have to deal with killer bears and rampaging bears as they fight for their joint survival while each protects themselves from the other. Brilliant cover image, which tells brilliantly the reality that is sibling rivalry!!! For slightly younger readers then why not try the Dragon Detective Agency, the publishers call this Raymond Chandler for 9 year olds!!! ~ Julia Eccleshare
This detective series has become wonderfully addictive so if your children have yet to experience it then do take a serious look and dip into one of the extracts. This, likes its predecessors is brilliantly plotted, suspenseful, fast-paced and just what’s needed to captivate young readers. Earlier titles include The Case of the Missing Cats and The Case of the Wayward Professor. The publisher has gone so far as to say Raymond Chandler for young readers. Wow.
Dragons solving crimes, racy plot-driven stories and lots of humour make this an absolutely compelling read for 7-9 year olds. Action-packed and crime-infested The Wayward Professor is the second in The Dragon Detective Agency series with The Case of the Missing Cats, the first in the series. The publisher’s say it’s Raymond Chandler for 9 year olds!
Love fairy tales? Love animals? Love laugh-out-loud storytelling? Look no further! Cinder-Gorilla loves to dance. She longs to go to the Saturday Night Disco Ball, where the other gorillas strut their stuff, but her horrid aunt and cousins, Gertrude and Grace always say no. Instead Cinder-Gorilla must stay home and do the housework! But all that changes when Cinder gets a visit from her Hairy Godmother . . . The second hilarious title in a fun-filled fairytale series with empowering messages for young readers! Look out for: Rabunzel Coming soon: Snowy White and the Seven Gnomes
One puzzling mystery. Several slippery suspects. Endless possibilities! Welcome to Haventry, a town where the ordinary and extraordinary collide! With ghosts, werewolves and zombies living side by side, trouble is always brewing. And when a fiendish crime is committed, YOU are the detective in charge of the case. Dr Franklefink's precious Monster Maker has gone missing and there are lots of suspects! Along with your yeti partner, it's up to YOU to find the culprit. Should you trail Bramwell Stoker, the terrifying vampire, or Grundle and Grinola, the mischievous goblin twins? Should you follow up a lead about the cunning witches? Or will investigating the doctor's monstrous son Monty lead you to the thief? YOU decide! With hundreds of paths to choose from and no dead ends, you'll solve the mystery every time! A fantastically imaginative detective story for readers looking for an interactive adventure.
The Dragon Detective Agency. Dirk Dilly speaking. When Holly and her family fly to LA for a holiday, it promises to be the trip of a lifetime. On her first day exploring the city of dreams, Holly befriends a movie director, who's captured something suspiciously dragonlike on camera while filming out in the desert. But before she can examine the tape properly, it goes missing... Holly asks her partner-in-solving-crime, dragon detective Dirk Dilly, to join her on the hunt for clues in Hollywood. Will they be able to find the film before it falls into the wrong hands and exposes the existence of dragonkind to the world? The final instalment in a fun and action-packed detective series for fans of TOTO THE NINJA CAT, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and Tom Fletcher's children's books!
The Dragon Detective Agency. Dirk Dilly speaking. When a visitor turns up unannounced at Dirk's office with a new case for him and Holly to solve, all is not as it seems. A Sea Dragon has disappeared and the only clue left at the scene of the crime is the ashy outline of an elusive Sky Dragon. As their investigations take them from a dodgy billionaire's HQ to the top of the city's tallest skyscraper, trouble is set to soar sky high for this dragon detective and his partner-in-solving-crime. Will they be able to hunt down the suspect and find the missing dragon before they both disappear into thin air? The third instalment in a fun and action-packed detective series for fans of TOTO THE NINJA CAT, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and Tom Fletcher's children's books!
The Dragon Detective Agency. Dirk Dilly speaking. Holly is desperate to be sleuthing with her partner-in-solving-crime, dragon Dirk Dilly, but instead she's stuck at her exclusive boarding school for children of the rich and famous. She's determined to escape, until she meets Callum, the son of the Prime Minister, who claims he was kidnapped by dragons a year ago and hasn't been the same since. And when Dirk's own investigation into dragon activity brings him to the school, the two cases collide. What if Callum isn't as crazy as he seems? The second instalment in a fun and action-packed detective series for fans of TOTO THE NINJA CAT, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and Tom Fletcher's children's books!
The Dragon Detective Agency. Dirk Dilly speaking. When detective Dirk Dilly gets a call from Holly, a young girl whose pet cat has gone missing, the dragon ends up with not only a new case to solve but also a self-appointed partner-in-solving-crime. And it turns out that Holly's cat is just the beginning! As the pair hunt for clues, Dirk spots other dragons flying over the city - and not the good kind. Dirk has a hunch they might just be involved, but will he and Holly be able prevent further cat-astrophe before it's too late? The first instalment in a fun and action-packed detective series for fans of TOTO THE NINJA CAT, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and Tom Fletcher's children's books.
A darkly comic Dickensian ghost story from Blue Peter Award winner Gareth P. Jones: it's not the dead you'll need to worry about! Sam Toop lives in a funeral parlour, blessed (or cursed) with an unusual gift. While his father buries the dead, Sam is haunted by their constant demands for attention. Trouble is afoot on the 'other side' - there is a horrible disease that is mysteriously imprisoning ghosts into empty houses in the world of the living. And Sam is caught in the middle - will he be able to bring himself to help? Blue Peter Award winner Gareth P. Jones has woven a darkly comic story, a wonderfully funny adventure that roams the grimy streets of Victorian London.
Daniel can't believe his luck when his mum finally agrees to let him have a pet. Elvis the hamster becomes Daniel's new best friend and every day after school, Daniel pours out his worries to Elvis or teaches him tricks. Life is perfect. But then, out of the blue, Elvis dies. In an attempt to get over his heartbreak, Daniel comes up with a plan to bring Elvis back to life. Not by replacing him with another hamster, but by recreating a robot Elvis with the real Elvis's personality. With some help from his technology teacher, the experiment works - except the new Elvis might be just a little too similar to the real thing for his own good ... Project Pet is part of the Reading Planet range of books for Stars (Lime) to Supernova (Red+) band. Children aged 7-11 will be inspired to love reading through the gripping stories and fascinating information books created by top authors. Reading Planet books have been carefully levelled to support children in becoming fluent and confident readers. Each book features useful notes and questions to support reading at home and develop comprehension skills. Reading age: 9-10 years