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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

Violence on the Screen

Violence on the Screen

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/08/2006

Poverty Hardback

Poverty Hardback

Author: Clive Gifford, Paul Mason Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/01/2006

Poverty affects millions of people all over the world, both in developed and developing countries. This title takes a detailed look at what causes poverty, how it impacts the global community, and current government and individual efforts to tackle this worldwide problem.



Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/01/2006

More than 1 billion people around the world do not have drinkable water. This book helps students understand the issues surrounding the use, supply, and conservation of water.

Pollution Hardback

Pollution Hardback

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/01/2006

Pollution is a massive global problem with far-reaching consequences. Air, water, radioactive, and terrestrial pollution affect the lives of millions of people daily, causing disease and death, and contributing to global warming. This book examines how pollution has become a worldwide issue and discusses the debate over possible solutions.

So You Think You Know: So You Think You Know Dr Who

So You Think You Know: So You Think You Know Dr Who

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/01/2005

The great timelord has had many incarnations and many adventures, but can you remember them? Do you know who was the first Dr Who? Can you say what the word 'tardis' stands for? Well here's your chance to shine - with over 1,000 questions this quiz book will not only test, but also tease and torment the most ardent fan. But don't worry the answers are not to be found in the far reaches of the universe, they're in the back of the book!

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