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Clive Gifford - Author

About the Author

Clive Gifford is an award-winning author of over 200 books specializing in engaging and entertaining non-fiction books for children and young adults. His books have garnered much praise and won Children's Choice, NAPPA Gold Star, TES Book of the Year and Smithsonian awards. Refugees was shortlisted for The British Book Awards whilst Discover the Extreme World was on the four-book shortlist for the 2012 Blue Peter Book Award. In October 2018, Clive won The Sainsbury's Children's Book Award for The Book Of Comparisons. He also won The Blue Peter Book Award 2019 for The Colours of History.

With a lifelong interest in geopolitics, ecology and the environment, Clive has authored a number of titles on ecology and global issues for Heinemann, Franklin Watts, Lonely Planet, DK and now Buster Books. Clive has contributed many articles to Encyclopaedia Britannica, appeared on radio and at live events and written hundreds of articles to a wide range of publications. He is based in Manchester.

A Q&A on This is Not a Science Book

Is your new book This is Not a Science Book a science book or what? 

Ahhh, that would be telling! I can tell you what it is not and that’s a stuffy school science textbook. It is an entertaining activities book with lots of drawing, investigating, colouring-in, project making and puzzling to be done but it does show how all around you, science is constantly happening. 

The book is packed with surprising facts and phenomena and activities to scramble your brain with visual illusions and tricks. Why not have a look yourselves, then you can tell me whether the book is out science or about fun or, a lot of both.

Where do you live?

I live in a large three-storey tumbledown house on the very edge of Manchester. It's pretty old - I think it was built in 1906 - and there always seems to be bits of it falling off! It overlooks the Mersey Valley and I can cycle through countryside and canal paths to get to the centre of Manchester.

What do you carry with you when you travel for your writing?

I always carry a notebook and several pens (I am constantly losing pens) to jot down any ideas that spring to mind. I also carry a digital camera or my smartphone to snap pictures and a tiny MP3 player to record interviews. There’s always a pack of Post-It notes in one of my pockets to mark pages of books with useful information to return to, as well.

What is your favourite children's book ever?

That is a toughie! I can give you several favourites if that is okay, starting with the ‘Golden Compass/Northern Lights’ trilogy by Phillip Pullman which I think were truly magical examples of storytelling and David Almond’s ‘Skellig’ which is a truly beautiful story.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Books. No question. Every project I work on needs lots of books to research the subject and gives me the excuse to go to the bookshop and spend, spend, spend! I haven’t counted them but I reckon I’ve got over 7,000 books all littered round my house!


Do you still buy books at shops or do you get all your facts off the internet?

The Internet is, of course, very useful especially for checking and getting the most up to date statistic or snippet but the information on there often only tells a tiny part of the whole story. For a complete picture of how or why something works or more detail, I still think books and magazines are extremely important. I visit bookshops and use libraries all the time. The libraries in my area, Trafford, are excellent and we have an amazing old bookshop over in Sharston which has more than half a million old books!

What would you like to be if you weren't a writer?

Really good question! I really would have liked to have been a rock star but was lousy at playing the guitar. The other job I would have liked was to be a documentary film-maker.

Featured books by Clive Gifford

Atlas of Football

Atlas of Football

7+ readers 9+ readers

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2018

Grab your football boots and get ready for the 2018 World Cup in this incredible journey around the globe! Football is enjoyed in every nation of the world by millions and millions of different people. This unbelievable round-the-world adventure is a celebration of the beautiful game that will take you through all of the planet's continents.

England Rugby Official Junior Supporters' Guide

England Rugby Official Junior Supporters' Guide

7+ readers 9+ readers 11+ readers

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/08/2015

Features profiles of over 40 players, including members of the current men's, women's, Under-20 and Sevens teams, as well as some of England's greatest rugby legends. Relive England's most memorable matches, from the men's victory at Rugby World Cup 2003 to the women's at Rugby World Cup 2014. Crammed full of fun activities such as number puzzles, spot the difference and quizzes, this exciting and activity-filled book is the perfect gift for any young rugby fan.

Other books by Clive Gifford

Wasted Fatbergs, Space Junk, Plastic and a load of other Rubbish

Wasted Fatbergs, Space Junk, Plastic and a load of other Rubbish

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/09/2020

Aimed at readers aged 9 and up, this book takes a look at the pollution and damage caused to our planet and the solar system through the lens of extreme waste manifestations, such as toxic smogs, grotesque fatbergs, mountainous landfills, marine garbage patches and space junk. It explores these human-created phenomena, uncovering their causes and impact, and asks what is being done to deal with them and prevent their recurrence. Real-life photographs are included, bringing home the extreme awfulness and scale of the problem.

Get Ahead in Computing: Computing and Coding in the Real World

Get Ahead in Computing: Computing and Coding in the Real World

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/09/2020

Computing and Coding in the Real World looks at applied coding and the computation hidden in the world that surrounds us. Readers will learn how things work, from scanners at supermarket checkouts to 3D printers. Features give practical activities for readers to try. These 'try at home' examples help reinforce learning and are not linked to specific software or operating systems. Real-world anecdotes from the world of information technology look at the forerunners of digital technology that have paved the way for coders today. Provides support to many teachers who are not subject specialists in this area and who can use this book for ideas, inspiration and materials. The book doesn't rely on a particular software/OS. Other titles in the Get Ahead in Computing series: Amazing Applications & Perfect Programs; Awesome Algorithms & Creative Coding; Great Games and Amazing Animation; Super Social Media and Awesome Online Safety; The Science of Computers; Web Page Design

Get Ahead in Computing: Great Games

Get Ahead in Computing: Great Games

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/09/2020

Great Games and Amazing Animation encourages readers to imagine and design their own computer games, including mazes, Pong and Space Invaders! It will take them through all of the creative steps involved, from initial idea to designing characters and learning the types of code that are used to bring these games to life. Features give practical activities for readers to try. These 'try at home' examples help reinforce learning and are not linked to specific software or operating systems. Real-world anecdotes from the world of information technology look at the forerunners of digital technology that have paved the way for animators and games developers today. Provides support to many teachers who are not subject specialists in this area and who can use this book for ideas, inspiration and materials. The book doesn't rely on a particular software/OS. Other titles in the Get Ahead in Computing series: Amazing Applications & Perfect Programs; Awesome Algorithms & Creative Coding; Computing and Coding in the Real World; Super Social Media and Awesome Online Safety; The Science of Computers; Web Page Design

Backward Science What was life like before world-changing discoveries?

Backward Science What was life like before world-changing discoveries?

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/07/2020

This book is backwards! It starts at the end, ends at the beginning and travels back in history to show you what life was like before major inventions and discoveries. Step into a time before smartphones, television, cars or even the toilet; then learn about the major invention or discovery that changed the world. Explore bright, detailed, humorous scenes from different eras that will spark discussion and make you think about what life was like in history. Learn about the clever inventors, the accidental discoveries and how people managed without the everyday things that we take for granted. Detailed, humorous scenes of different eras to explore Key topics of science, technology and inventions

A Short, Illustrated History of... Scientific Discoveries

A Short, Illustrated History of... Scientific Discoveries

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/05/2020

If your kids are fed up with learning the names of kings and queens or dates of battles, then this is the history book for them. This book only contains some of the most brilliant discoveries in history. No rubbish diagrams or grainy photos - just really cool facts, intriguing people and of course the best eureka moments - all beautifully illustrated. It includes, Archimedes leaping out of the bath as he discovered volume, the correct order of the solar system, the theory of evolution, the big bang, gravity, electricity, chemical elements, fossils of dinosaurs, alien worlds and more. We've curated for kids some of the best examples of discoveries from history. The chronological order will help them get to grips with how and why one discovery can lead to another. It also shows how humans have continually strived to improve their lives and even the world by building on successes from the past, inspiring them to take leaps into the unknown or to reveal their genius to the world. Designed to spark the interest of children aged 8+ studying history and STEM topics at key stage 2, the text is snappy and completely relevant, so boredom is not an option. The 4-book series, A Short Illustrated History, celebrates some of the best thinkers, scientists, mathematicians, inventors, engineers and creative geniuses the world has ever seen! Titles in this series: Space Exploration Scientific Discoveries Inventions Medicine

A Short, Illustrated History of... Inventions

A Short, Illustrated History of... Inventions

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/05/2020

If your kids are fed up with learning the names of kings and queens or dates of battles, then this is the history book for them! This book only contains some of the most interesting inventions in history. No rubbish diagrams or grainy photos - just really cool facts, intriguing people and of course incredible inventions - all beautifully illustrated. It includes: the invention of the wheel, ancient Chinese, Roman and Greek technological advances that have helped shape history, the bicycle, the motor car, steam engines, the motor engine, aircraft, satellites, lasers, computers, the World Wide Web and more. We've curated for kids some of the best examples of inventions from history. The chronological order will help them get to grips with how and why one invention or discovery can lead to another. It also shows how humans have continually strived to improve their lives and the world by building on successes from the past, inspiring them to take leaps into the unknown or to reveal their genius to the world. Designed to spark the interest of children aged 8+ studying history and STEM topics at key stage 2, the text is snappy and completely relevant, so boredom is not an option. The 4-book series, A Short Illustrated History, celebrates some of the best thinkers, scientists, mathematicians, inventors, engineers and creative geniuses the world has ever seen! Titles in this series: Space Exploration Scientific Discoveries Inventions Medicine

Kick Off! A Football Puzzle Book Quizzes, Crosswords, Stats and Facts to Tackle

Kick Off! A Football Puzzle Book Quizzes, Crosswords, Stats and Facts to Tackle

Author: Clive Gifford, Richard (Illustrator) Watson, Julian Mosedale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/04/2020

Packed with fantastic puzzles to tackle, this football puzzle book is guaranteed to keep fans entertained long after the final whistle has blown. Football-crazy kids will love to get their heads in the game with these themed quizzes, mazes, wordsearches, crosswords, guess the goals, stats attacks, spot the difference puzzles and many more. Packed full of engaging puzzles to entertain for hours, this book is suitable for supporters of any team to test their knowledge. Written by football fanatic Clive Gifford and with entertaining black and white illustrations from Richard Watson and Julian Mosedale, this is a great way for football fans to learn facts and stats about the beautiful game.

Out of this World Space Tech

Out of this World Space Tech

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/04/2020

Packed with stunning photographs, this book celebrates the incredible ingenuity of spacecraft designers and the courage of intrepid astronauts. It offers a chronological sweep of the history of space travel and technology, from the ealiest rockets to the latest missions. Readers age 7 and up can discover the amazing array of technology that has enabled us to leave Earth and explore the universe. Then they can become rocket scientists themselves by following step-by-step instructions to build and launch their own rocket.

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.clivegifford.co.uk/

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