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John Dougherty - Author

About the Author

John Dougherty was born in Larne, Northern Ireland. He studied psychology at university and then tried his hand at a number of jobs including YMCA hostel worker, factory machine operator, and unsuccessful singer-songwriter, before becoming a primary school teacher.


Whilst John was teaching, his interest in children's literature was reawakened and he soon began writing stories and pestering publishers with them. After the publication of Zeus on the Loose (2004) he left teaching and took up writing full-time, only with more tea breaks. More recent books include the critically-acclaimed Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face series and his poetry collection, Dinosaurs & Dinner-Ladies.


His books have been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards and chosen for various book of the week/year roundups by the broadsheets, but more importantly, they make children giggle.

Featured books by John Dougherty

Dinosaurs and Dinner-Ladies

Dinosaurs and Dinner-Ladies

7+ readers 9+ readers

Author: John Dougherty Illustrator: Tom Morgan-Jones Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/06/2016

In dining halls of long ago When dinosaurs sat down to dine, Did prehistoric dinner-ladies Keep them all in line? What's the REAL reason the dinosaurs died out? Can anyone rescue Class 2M from the wild dinner-ladies? And what will happen when Class 2M meet a lion? This is a funny and brilliant debut collection from the author of the bestselling Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face books.

Other books by John Dougherty

Oxford Reading Tree Traditional Tales: Level 8: Finn Maccool and the Giant's Causeway

Oxford Reading Tree Traditional Tales: Level 8: Finn Maccool and the Giant's Causeway

Author: John Dougherty, Nikki Gamble, Teresa Heapy Illustrator: Lee Cosgrove Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/01/2021

Finn MacCool and the Giant's Causeway is based on an Irish tale about the creation of the Giant's Causeway. Finn, an Irish giant, and Angus, a Scottish giant, think they are the strongest in the land and are willing to prove it! But Finn has some tricks up his sleeve ... This humorous story written by John Dougherty and brilliantly illustrated by Lee Cosgrove will capture your child's imagination! It has been sensitively rewritten to enable your child to read it with confidence whilst capturing the magic of the original tale. There are useful tips for parents and an engaging story map inside the book to help you and your child retell the story together. The Oxford Reading Tree Traditional Tales series includes 40 of the best known stories from all over the world, which have been passed down for generations. They are a perfect introduction to different cultures, traditions and morals. All the stories are carefully levelled to Oxford Reading Tree levels and matched to the phonic progression in Letters and Sounds enabling your children to read the stories independently. Books contain inside cover notes to support children in their reading. Help with childrens reading development is also available at www.oxfordowl.co.uk.

Reading Planet - Aliens in the Library - Purple: Galaxy

Reading Planet - Aliens in the Library - Purple: Galaxy

Author: John Dougherty Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/08/2020

Sam and Bansi are excited about exploring their new school library - until they are joined by two cheeky aliens! Will they be able to stop the aliens from messing up the library? Will they be able to prevent an alien invasion? Find out what happens in this humorous playscript. Aliens in the Library is part of the Galaxy range of books from Rising Stars Reading Planet. Galaxy provides captivating fiction and non-fiction for Pink A to White band. The rich collection of highly decodable books immerses children in a range of cross-curricular topics and genres. Reading Planet books have been carefully levelled to support children in becoming fluent and confident readers. Each book features useful notes and activities to support reading at home as well as comprehension questions to check understanding. Reading age: 6-7 years

Mark and Shark: Detectiving and Stuff

Mark and Shark: Detectiving and Stuff

Author: John Dougherty Illustrator: Katie Abey Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2019

Meet Mark (a boy) and Shark (a shark) - they're experts(ish) in detectiving and stuff. When an enormous polar bear asks for their help with some stuff for her ice cream business, it sounds a little bit dull - but little do they realize that they'll end up doing more detectiving than they bargained for! With wild humour and hilarious illustrations, it's non-stop fun from beginning to end.

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Reflect: Oxford Level 18: Holiday of a Lifetime

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Reflect: Oxford Level 18: Holiday of a Lifetime

Author: John Dougherty Illustrator: Robin Boyden Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/04/2019

My dad says we're going on a holiday that will be unforgettable. It may well be - but not for the reasons he thinks. I'm going to be crammed into an ugly old van with three infuriating brothers, and driven around Europe by a dad who doesn't think things through and a mum who doesn't stop him. This had better be a once-in-a-lifetime holiday - there's no way I'm doing it twice! Join budding writer Izzy as the Travises set out looking for adventure, and instead find what it means to be a family. Reflect is a series of emotionally powerful books with realistic settings, carefully crafted to promote thoughtful discussions and develop higher-level reading comprehension. Written by top childrens authors and developed with Literacy expert and Series Editor Nikki Gamble, these are books you can trust to engage, entertain and support childrens personal development. The books are finely levelled, making it easy to match every child to stories with the right depth and complexity for them, and helping them to progress. Each book contains inside cover notes to help children deepen their understanding and support their reading comprehension. Teaching notes on Oxford Owl offer cross-curricular links to relationships education and support literacy skills.

Reading Planet KS2 - Treasure Island - Level 4: Earth/Grey band

Reading Planet KS2 - Treasure Island - Level 4: Earth/Grey band

Author: John Dougherty Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/02/2019

After discovering a long-lost pirate treasure map, Jim Hawkins finds himself on a sea-faring adventure. But when Jim overhears Long John Silver's plan to steal the pirate gold for himself, the voyage takes a dangerous turn. Whose side will Jim take when he arrives on Treasure Island? And will anyone make it home alive? Treasure Island 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: 8-9 years

Hero Academy: Oxford Level 7, Turquoise Book Band: Bug Alert!

Hero Academy: Oxford Level 7, Turquoise Book Band: Bug Alert!

Author: John Dougherty Illustrator: Bill Ledger Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Project X Hero Academy is a fully decodable and finely levelled reading series set in a school for superheroes, designed to captivate and motivate all young readers and turn them into reading superheroes. Bug Alert! is in Turquoise Book Band, Oxford Level 7, and supports Letters and Sounds Phase 6. In this story, a school inspector threatens to close down Hero Academy if it doesn't pass her inspection. Will the heroes manage to stop the academy being closed down? Each book can be used for independent reading, but also contains inside cover notes that include help on developing vocabulary and prompt questions that can be used for guided reading and one-to-one sessions. Full guided reading notes are provided in the corresponding handbook. There are also a range of follow-up activities to support reading for pleasure.

Hero Academy: Oxford Level 11, Lime Book Band: Mr Squid's Revenge

Hero Academy: Oxford Level 11, Lime Book Band: Mr Squid's Revenge

Author: John Dougherty Illustrator: Bill Ledger Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Project X Hero Academy is a fully decodable and finely levelled reading series set in a school for superheroes, designed to captivate and motivate all young readers and turn them into reading superheroes. Mr Squid's Revenge is in Lime Book Band, Oxford Level 11. In this story, a new boy joins Hero Academy. But Pip thinks there's something strange about him. Why is he being so unfriendly? Pip decides to investigate... Each book can be used for independent reading, but also contains inside cover notes that include help on developing vocabulary and prompt questions that can be used for guided reading and one-to-one sessions. Full guided reading notes are provided in the corresponding handbook. There are also a range of follow-up activities to support reading for pleasure.

Reading Planet - Superhero Sports Day - White: Galaxy

Reading Planet - Superhero Sports Day - White: Galaxy

Author: John Dougherty Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/05/2017

Welcome to Superhero Sports Day! When Captain Fabulous suddenly falls ill, it's up to two new superheroes to work out what has gone wrong, and stop an evil super-villain from taking over the world! Superhero Sports Day is part of the Galaxy range of books from Rising Stars Reading Planet. Galaxy provides captivating fiction and non-fiction for Pink A to White band. The rich collection of highly decodable books immerses children in a range of cross-curricular topics and genres. Reading Planet books have been carefully levelled to support children in becoming fluent and confident readers. Each book features useful notes and activities to support reading at home as well as comprehension questions to check understanding. Reading age: 6-7 years

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