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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 Illustrator: Tracy Worrall 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

Sports Academy: Tennis

Sports Academy: Tennis

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/09/2021

Build your sports skills with the Sports Academy series. Looking to take up a new sport? Or just thinking about ways to keep fit and healthy? This book is a great introduction to all the important tennis skills you'll need. Full of skills tips and illustrations showing key techniques, you'll discover everything - from serving to scoring. The series Sports Academy covers rules, equipment and major competitions through specially commissioned, step-by-step illustrations that clearly shows skills and techniques needed for a sport.

100 Things to Know About Inventions

100 Things to Know About Inventions

Author: Clive Gifford Illustrator: Yiffy Gu Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/09/2021

How do you sum upthe world's amazing inventions in just 100 words? This striking book takes on the challenge! From helicopters to fireworks, each of the carefully chosen 100 words has its own 100-word long description and quirky illustration, providing a fascinating introduction to incredible inventions from history to the modern day. Along with some expected inventions, such as trains and Internet, you'll also discover less predictable inventions that will give you a fresh perspective. With balloons and submarine, you can explore the risks some inventors had to take. Through paper and pencil imagine how such seemingly simple objects would have been groundbreaking at the time of invention; whereas some inventions, such as skates, had a very funny beginning! With a clean, contemporary design, each word occupies a page of its own. A large striking illustration neatly encapsulates the accompanying 100 words of text. Other titles in the 100 Things to Know About series include: Ancient World, World Politics, Art.

Sports Academy: Football

Sports Academy: Football

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/08/2021

Build your sports skills with the Sports Academy series. Looking to take up a new sport? Or just thinking about ways to keep fit and healthy? This book is a great introduction to all the important football skills you'll need. Full of skills tips and illustrations showing key techniques, you'll discover everything - from scoring to defending. The series Sports Academy covers rules, equipment and major competitions through specially commissioned, step-by-step illustrations that clearly shows skills and techniques needed for a sport.

Myth Busters: Animal Errors

Myth Busters: Animal Errors

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/07/2021

Myth Busters: Animal Errors takes readers on a wild ride through the natural world in search of-the truth! Have you been told a goldfish only has a three-second memory? Or that ostriches bury their head in the sand? Think again! Conspiracy theories, popular trivia, old wives' tales, common misconceptions and misinterpretations are explored to explain exactly why they are wrong, and how and why they were adopted as fact in the first place. Thoroughly entertaining with fun typography, fast-paced text written by Clive Gifford, light and fascinating side-stories, and lively, photo-montaged illustrations, this big huge compendium of curriculum-led subjects appeals to today's technological-savvy children. Fully detailing each myth and error, along with its historical or scientific background, each falsehood is debunked, and then a full explanation of its true facts are presented.

Myth Busters: Body Bloopers

Myth Busters: Body Bloopers

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/07/2021

Myth Busters: Body Bloopers takes readers on a wild ride through the human body in search of the truth! Have you been told carrots improve your eyesight? Or that junk food causes spots? Think again! Conspiracy theories, popular trivia, old wives' tales, common misconceptions and misinterpretations are explored to untruth exactly why they are wrong, and how and why they were adopted as fact in the first place. Thoroughly entertaining with fun typography, fast-paced text written by Clive Gifford, light and fascinating side-stories, and lively, photo-montaged illustrations, this big huge compendium of curriculum-led subjects appeals to today's technological-savvy children. Fully detailing each myth and error, along with its historical or scientific background, each falsehood is debunked, and then a full explanation of its true facts are presented.

A Quick History of Politics From Pharaohs to Fair Votes

A Quick History of Politics From Pharaohs to Fair Votes

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2021

How did ancient people make decisions? How do the people in power stay in power? Why did Karl Marx have to go without trousers? A Quick History of Politics answers these questions and more, taking a ride through time from plutocrats to people power. What do you think of when you hear 'politics'? Is it grey-haired men in suits, shouting at each other in a weird room? Well, you're partly right... but there's also a whole lot of crazy stories and weird history in the political world. A Quick History of Politics takes a look at the silly side of government, big and small, throughout the ages, and also explains the important stuff, like suffrage, elections and getting your voice heard. You will discover: How the earliest tribes got by without a leader. How the first ever kings and queens ruled their people. When and how democracy was invented, and what it actually means. Why there are so many different ways of governing people, with no one right answer. What 'gerrymandering' means (no, we didn't make that up). How empires, wars and revolutions have shaped the world we live in today. How elections work today. How countries work together (and sometimes fall out). How young activists can use their voice to call for change, before they're even old enough to vote! Plus, read about the women who used ju-jitsu to campaign for equal rights, the dictator who banned beards, and the rhino that became a council member in Brazil. Learn how the media can swing things in modern elections and get savvy to fake news. Test your knowhow with a quiz at the back of the book. Packed with facts and jokes and perfect for introducing young readers to big concepts, the latest in the Quick Histories series is here to make politics funny again.

A Quick History of Money From Cash Cows to Crypto-Currencies

A Quick History of Money From Cash Cows to Crypto-Currencies

Author: Clive Gifford Illustrator: Rob Flowers Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2021

Why is a GBP5 note worth GBP5? Where do coins come from? What do banks actually do? All this and so much more is answered in A Quick History of Money, a crash course from cash cows to cryptocurrency. Money might sound all grown-up and serious, but the history of buying, selling, saving and stealing is full of crazy stories and unbelievable facts. A Quick History of Money is here to show you the silly side, as well as give you the lowdown on the important stuff like interest, stocks and shares and wealth inequality. You will discover: How the earliest societies got by without a penny in their pockets. Why gold gets all the glory. How the first banks started making money from money. Who invented the first banknotes and the concept of 'fiat' money. The craziest money-making cons of all time, from shaving coins to selling the Eiffel Tower... twice. How wealth is measured in the modern-day. History's most expensive money mistakes. What money might look like in the future. Great tips for slick saving and smart spending. Plus, read about the world's weirdest wonga, from the four-tonne stones used as currency on the island of Yap, to teacups and sea shells in ancient Asia, to beaver pelts in colonial Canada. Learn how hyperinflation leads to some mind-blowing money maths, like the Bitcoins used to buy two pizzas in 2010 that would be worth GBP75 million today. Test your knowhow with a quiz at the back of the book. Packed with facts and jokes, the latest in the Quick Histories series takes us on a chronological tour from cashless societies to... cashless societies, proving that while it might make the world go round, money sure is funny.

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: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/06/2021

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.

Author Info

Author's Website

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

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