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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: Netball

Sports Academy: Netball

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/03/2022

Build your netball 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 netball skills you'll need. Full of skills tips and illustrations showing key techniques, you'll discover everything - from offence to defence. 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.

Sports Academy: Basketball

Sports Academy: Basketball

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/03/2022

Build your basketball 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 basketball skills you'll need. Full of skills tips and illustrations showing key techniques, you'll discover everything - from offence to defence. 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. Perfect for future sports stars aged 9+.

Sports Academy: Rugby

Sports Academy: Rugby

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/02/2022

Build your rugby 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 rugby skills you'll need. Full of skills tips and illustrations showing key techniques, you'll discover everything you need to know about rugby. 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 sporting children aged 9+.

Robographics: Robot Explorers

Robographics: Robot Explorers

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/01/2022

Exploration is a risky business. Advances in technology now mean that in many situations we can send machines to explore, rather than risk human lives. Among other amazing feats, robot explorers can climb into an active volcano, dive to the deepest point on Earth and travel to the dwarf planet Pluto. In this book, aimed at children aged 8+, readers can meet these robot explorers and many more, then try a quick quiz to find out how much they have learned.

A World of Computers and Coding Discover Amazing Computers and the Power of Coding

A World of Computers and Coding Discover Amazing Computers and the Power of Coding

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/01/2022

In this exciting, photo-packed book, discover the world's most amazing computers, from the first mechanical calculators to the latest groundbreaking designs. Step back in time to explore the history of computer gaming - from the first simple pong game to the latest high-tech console. Meet the pioneers of computer programming and gain an insight into how computers work. You can even become a coder yourself - follow step-by-step instructions to program your very own computer game!

Robographics: Eco-Robots

Robographics: Eco-Robots

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/01/2022

Fearsome robots are sometimes shown in sci-fi movies attacking Earth, but in real life, robots are actually helping to save the planet. Among other amazing feats, eco-robots can plant 10 trees every 15 minutes, collect 500kg of marine waste in 10 hours and blast 9,400 litres of water per minute to fight fires. In this book, aimed at children aged 8+, readers can meet these eco-robots and many more, then try a quick quiz to find out how much they have learned.

Sports Academy: Tennis

Sports Academy: Tennis

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2021

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 sporting children aged 9+.

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.

Author Info

Author's Website

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

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