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As well as journalism, Rachel still occasionally contributes to various journals and TV programmes. Rachel Anderson is an established Oxford author. Her special gift is to write powerfully about disability or alienation.
Rachel won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award for Paper Faces.
Rachel enjoys reading, drawing and walking. She is married and lives mainly in Cromer, Norfolk. She has four children.
The complexities of making choices in a world rich in different values, expectations and beliefs is cleverly explored in this hugely topical story. After the death of his father in a random violent attack, Hamish sheds the tolerant views he had been brought up with and slips into being alienated and negative, adopting the prejudiced and racist views he has previously despised. But Hamish changes again when he has to help Ali, the sole survivor among a group of North African refugees whose boat founders on the French coast. Powerfully written and thought provoking, this is a powerful read.
This Strange New Life is a powerful and moving story that follows one familyâ€™s experiences of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, an increasingly common problem among teenagers. The narrative follows Johnnie, the youngest of the family, coming to terms with her two brothersâ€™ diagnoses with CFS and their deterioration from strong, healthy heroes to being bedridden, with â€˜maggots munching inside their headsâ€™. However, through its different perspectives, the story also addresses bullying, sex, life, and everything else. And despite the hardships the family undergo, it is in many ways a book full of hope and wonder.
A quirky comedy about a family of inventors by Rachel Anderson with brilliant illustrations from Chris Jevons. Harry lives in a house full of inventors and experiments. So when he breaks his arm, his mum installs a reaching, grabbing and twirling invention to his cast. Except now his arm has special powers of its own and Harry has no choice but to go along with its mischief and mayhem... This funny fantasy from award-winning author Rachel Anderson has quirky black-and-white illustrations by Chris Jevons and is perfect for children who are developing as readers. The Bloomsbury Readers series is packed with brilliant books to get children reading independently in Key Stage 2, with book-banded stories by award-winning authors like double Carnegie Medal winner Geraldine McCaughrean and Waterstones Prize winner Patrice Lawrence covering a wide range of genres and topics. With charming illustrations and online guided reading notes written by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE), this series is ideal for reading both in the classroom and at home. For more information visit www.bloomsburyguidedreading.com. Book Band: Brown Ideal for ages 7+
Paper Faces by Rachel AndersonThe pale young soldier in the silver frame stared serenely out across the wide spaces of the kitchen with faraway forget-me-not eyes. Dot tried to remember her father's face from the brownish photo which Gloria kept in her handbag. She wished she could recall it more clearly. Even when she had the picture in front of her, she seemed to only see the flat paper.
Set in an about-to-be-demolished high-rise block of flats, various characters have arrived from a variety of situations; their lives and their stories, interweave, change and affect each other, and travel towards deeply moving, often funny, happy and painful outcomes. At the core of the story are two asylum seekers: All fifteen-year-old Sunday wanted was a country that was democratic and respectful of human life. All eight-year-old Rosa wanted was somewhere safe, away from the bad things of the past. Through their eyes, ideas of Britain and belonging are explored. Moving, thoughtful, outstanding and unforgettable.
Throughout the years that Veritas has spent trying to rear me, there's one essential truth she's always stuck to. 'Love is stronger than mountains.' My mother's name meant truth. But could any of us trust her to tell the truth about our family?' Can Ruth and her sister Mary discover lasting love for themselves amid the chaos of their large bohemian family? And what about their eccentric mother? Could they find a new love for her too? After the hardships of the 50s, how will any of them experience the new freedoms of the swinging 60s? As Ruth stands at the altar promising love to a young man till the end of life, under her breath she makes a vow: to set down everything of the past, the reality of a girlhood constantly touched by sadness, yet always profoundly secure.
This is a moving story about Matthew, whose adored older brother Ben has Downs Syndrome. Matthew is horrified when Ben turns 16 and has to go off to a special school - he will miss him very much. Gradually Matthew comes to realise that it is best for Ben and that he will need to find his own friends. When Matthew's teacher decides to focus on Ben for a class project on 'Interesting People in the Community' the class comes to recognise what an amazing person Ben is. An entertaining and amusing story about an area rarely tackled.
Hamish is sensible, conscientious, and respectable, friends with the good boys, stays away from the bad ones. When his father is murdered in an act of random violence, Hamish's world turns upside down. Angry and alienated, Hamish begins to lose his tolerant beliefs and is drawn towards racist reactions. A move to France promises a much needed new beginning, but only builds Hamish's new attitudes as he becomes embroiled in the narrow-minded views of the locals. But then a boat of north-african refugees founders on the coast and Hamish encounters the sole survivor. Now his world is turned upside down again, caught between the violence of his past experiences and new realities unfolding in front of him.
Johnnie's brothers have always been her heroes. Big, brave and brilliant, they are out making their way in the world while she is still stuck at home, the little girl of the family. So, when they both crawl back, too ill to fend for themselves, everything changes. How will Johnnie cope with these frail, demanding brothers? What strange ventures are going on inside their heads? And, what is Johnnie's place in this bizarre new family? From feet as cold as ice to the mysteries of tulips, and from angels with dreadlocks to maggots in the brain, this is a powerful, moving, and ultimately hopeful story about chronic fatigue syndrome, growing up, being a family, life, the universe - and everything.
When Hugo breaks his arm, he expects to feel bored an useless. But when his inactive arm suddenly starts to grow and develop unique reaching, grabbing and twirling powers, he finds he's constantly embroiled in mischief and adventure. In Hugo's world - which is quite like our own, but not entirely - the most ordinary things have bizarre and unusual properties and anything can happen ...and it does.
Until her father's death, Charlotte thought that the worst things to happen to you might be accidents like swallowing a paperclip, chipping your front teeth by walking into a gate, or tripping over in the dining hall in front of the whole school. But then, one day, her father just doesn't come home. And all she remembers is how she was in a hurry for him to leave for work, so that she could get on with the day. While others in her family mourn the loss, no one seems to be able to help Charlotte understand her feelings, what she's supposed to think or how she ought to behave. Only her elderly neighbour's friendship helps her find her way through the first weeks. Then when new girl Anita, a refugee, arrives at school, Charlotte is asked to look after her; she begins to think about what might have happened in Anita's life, and so to find the right questions to ask herself about her own loss, to start to make sense of what she is feeling. She begins to see that although she will never get over her father's death, she can move beyond it.
When Ha arrives as part of Simon's family, the nightmares arrive too. And as Simon tries to find out about Ha and his past, he begins to uncover a war-story which is not the one he wanted to hear. Is the story Simon hears in his head his own, or does it belong to this child who his parents now say is his brother - Ha, the war orphan? This novel with a background in the Vietnam War is now being reissued in a smaller, mass-market paperback format. Rachel Anderson is a previous winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.
The first in the outstanding MOVING TIMES trilogy, from a Guardian Award winner. It's the 1950s: there's no half-way between girlhood and womanhood - so where does a schoolgirl seek Life and Hope It is the late 1950s: teenagers have barely begun to be invented. Ruth and her older sister Mary struggle with the chaos of their parents' attempts to support five children by renting a rambling country house and running it as a holiday home for children of the rich. When their father dies, their increasingly desperate mother turns her efforts to the two hapless girls. Eager to marry them off, she plunges them into dancing classes and presentation at Buckingham Palace as phoney under-age debs. Instead Mary finds LIFE at art school in a nearby town, with beatniks, jazz poets and dancing in the river. When friends persuade their mother to take the family to a new start in London, Ruth finds that she, too, has other life-plans . . .