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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

Monster Trucks

Monster Trucks

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2019

The monster trucks are back and they're still big, just like kids love them. Monster Trucks is an in-your-face book about the eye-popping behemoths that attract more than four million Monster Jam fans every year to sold-out stadiums around the world, including the UK (Manchester, Coventry, Cardiff) and Europe. Superfans dress up in the painted designs of their hero truck, pack the seats, and add to the noise. Monster trucks are their superheroes. On wheels. Very, very BIG wheels. This new tie-in book is marginally smaller but still as big and bold in colour and content as are the roaring monsters that crush cars, jump in the air, and do wheelies, spins and tricks. Large type describes the nuts and bolts of monster trucks, literally: how they are made, what makes them safe, and exactly how impressively big and tall and wide and fat they are. But the kick for monster truck fans are the pages and pages of the most famous monster trucks: Monster Medic, Thundertrax, Maximum Destruction, Jurassic Attack, Raminator, Grim Reaper and more. With a quiz to test monster truck know-how and activities to keep the fun going, plus a glossary of terms, Monster Trucks is perfect for kids to enjoy alone or with other monster truck superfans.

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: Hardback Release Date: 11/07/2019

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!

Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 (TM) Kids' Handbook

Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 (TM) Kids' Handbook

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/07/2019

The only official children's companion to Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 (TM), which kicks off on 20 September, 2019. As excitement builds in the run-up to RWC 2019, the official Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 (TM) Kids' Handbook provides the perfect tournament companion for younger rugby fans. It's bursting with information about the host country, Japan, plus the stadiums, top teams, superstar players, Rugby World Cup facts and stats, as well as loads of games, quizzes and puzzles.

Get Ahead in Computing: Webpage Design

Get Ahead in Computing: Webpage Design

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/06/2019

The World Wide Web is the world's biggest source of knowledge and entertainment, but how does all that information get there? Webpage Design looks at how people plan, design and code all types of webpages, from social media to shopping sites. Investigate all the options available and see how website designers choose fonts, colours and images, then code it all to create the coolest webpages. Learn the code, pick your pictures and have a go at creating your very own webpage! 'Try at home' examples encourage you to get practical with computing and are NOT linked to specific software or operating systems. Real-world anecdotes from the world of information technology will inspire a new generation of digital technology scientists. This series 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; Great Games and Amazing Animation; Super Social Media and Awesome Online Safety; The Science of Computers

Get Ahead in Computing: Super Social Media and Awesome Online Safety

Get Ahead in Computing: Super Social Media and Awesome Online Safety

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/06/2019

The World Wide Web has changed the way we communicate and socialise with our friends. Super Social Media and Awesome Online Safety investigates how social media sites work and how to stay safe in the online world. Want to type a tweet or write a blog? Upload your photos and videos? Share your news on a social media site? Find out how here! Uncover the code behind the social media networks that connect people around the world. Learn how the networks are built and think about how to participate in them safely and responsibly. 'Try at home' examples encourage you to get practical with computing and are NOT linked to specific software or operating systems. Real-world anecdotes from the world of information technology will inspire a new generation of digital technology scientists. This series will provide 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, and is ideal for young readers studying KS2 Computing in school. Other titles in the Get Ahead in Computing series: Amazing Applications & Perfect Programs; Awesome Algorithms & Creative Coding; Computing and Coding in the Real World; Great Games and Amazing Animation; The Science of Computers; Web Page Design

First Space Book

First Space Book

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/06/2019

Children can set off on an incredible adventure through the Universe and discover planets, stars, space travel, astronauts and much, much more. Quirky cartoon characters communicate extra fun facts, and a practical activity on every spread encourages reader participation. Also included is a wall poster of our Solar System, plus a useful glossary.

The Race to Space From Sputnik to the Moon Landing and Beyond...

The Race to Space From Sputnik to the Moon Landing and Beyond...

Author: Clive Gifford Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/05/2019

You know that man has walked on the Moon, but do you know the story of how he got there? With the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing on 20th July 2019, this book celebrates the Space Race rivalry between the US and the Soviet Union. Readers will learn about the neck-and-neck race between the two superpowers, through an illustrated story of the rivalry that gripped the world. From Russia's first satellite, Sputnik, to Neil Armstrong planting a US a flag on the moon, discover the events that unfolded through amazing nostalgic illustrations and engaging text. Explore, too, how these two space agencies now work together, and how the monumental achievements of the space race have created world-changing technology that we all use and benefit from today.

Author Info

Author's Website

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

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