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Dan Walker, 32, lives smack-bang in the centre of the UK, just outside of a city called Nottingham, with his lovely, patient and supportive partner Dominika.
Dan spent his childhood being dragged up and down the hills of the Peak District, frantically hammering away at computer games and raiding his cousin’s bookshelf for anything with a colourful cover. He later tricked the University of Derby into allowing him admission, before graduating with a First Class degree in English. Since then, he has worked with a procession of wonderful people in bookshops, libraries, and schools. He currently helps to run a specialist Autism centre.
On the rare occasion you find Dan away from the computer, he can be found trying to tease a melodious sound out of his guitar, re-reading his favourite books for the eighty-eighth time, or fighting off everyone nearby for the last blueberry in the pack.
Dan's books have been translated into four languages, and 'Sky Thieves' was shortlisted for the Brilliant Book Award 2018, the Reading Rampage Award 2018, the RED Book Award 2019, the Salford Children's Book Award 2019 and longlisted for the Derbyshire Schools Book Award 2019.
From its enticing opening (“If there’s one thing I am absolutely and utterly sure about,” said Maya Murphy ducking under her desk on the classroom floor, “it’s that Mr Winter is a monster”), through its 300 pages of character-driven action, The Light Hunters is a stellar start to a new Middle Grade series. At school, twelve-year-old Lux and best friend Maya are drilled in the art of what to do in the event of a monster attack. At home, Lux lives with his sick granddad, a clock repairer, and Miss Hart, Grandpa’s carer. Oh, and he’s also the most accomplished Light Hunter of all time and manages to save Maya when she’s gravely injured in a monstrous attack. But this brave act of friendship brings trouble, for it draws a mysterious stranger to town, someone who’s set on misappropriating Lux’s powers. With Miss Hart’s guidance (for she harbours a secret…), Lux steps-up his training in the ways of Light Hunting as word comes of the impending attack of a monster to whom he’s painfully connected.Skillfully blending relatable real-life emotions with a vividly conjured fantastical world, and an overarching race against time, this comes recommended for nine+ year-olds who enjoy epic action delivered in a descriptive style, such as fans of Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart series and Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines.
April 2017 Debut of the Month | In a nutshell: classic good versus evil tale with a colourful cast of flying thieves and unlikely heroes | Original, exciting and full of interesting characters and vivid action scenes, Dan Walker has created an excellent air-borne adventure story in Sky Thieves. Zoya Delarose is an orphan and knows nothing of her parents, the locket she wears around her neck is her only connection to them. But other people know just who she is, and one day they come for her. Zoya is saved from the clutches of evil despot Lendon Kane by her parents’ old friends, the crew of the pirate airship The Dragonfly. In the adventure that follows she’ll make friends, learn new skills – including sword fighting – and came face to face with danger in the skies. It’s thrilling stuff and the world Walker creates is thoroughly convincing. There are shades of Treasure Island to this, but readers are also recommended to look out Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart and Philip Reeve’s classic Mortal Engines series. ~ Andrea Reece
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