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Mary Hoffman - Author

About the Author

Mary Hoffman has written over 100 books for children. Amazing Grace, commended for the Kate Greenaway medal, and its sequels has sold over 1.5 million copies. As well as the successful Stravaganza sequence of teenage novels, translated into over thirty languages, The Great Big Books series of information books for younger readers, illustrated by Ros Asquith has done very well. The first, The Great Big Book of Families, won the inaugural SLA Information Book Award in the under 7s category.

Mary loves to write historical fiction and her books for Bloomsbury - The Falconer’s Knot, Troubadour and David - have been followed by Shakespeare’s Ghost and now The Ravenmaster’s Boy. She runs a widely-read blog called The History Girls: https://the-history-girls.blogspot.com

Mary is an Honorary Fellow of the Library Association (CILIP) and lives in Oxfordshire.

 

 

Featured books by Mary Hoffman

Tilt

Tilt

11+ readers 13+ readers

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/01/2017

Pisa, 1299. In the male-dominated world of Renaissance Italy, Netta is an ambitious young woman and the last in the line of a great family of sculptors and stone-carvers. Determined to throw off the shackles of marriage, Netta sets out to take up her family's legacy and work on fixing the city's leaning tower. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

3+ readers

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/10/2007

Grace loves to act out stories. Sometimes she plays the leading part, sometimes she is 'a cast of thousands.' When her school decides to perform Peter Pan , Grace is longing to play Peter, but her classmates say that Peter was a boy, and besides, he wasn't black...But Grace's Ma and Nana tell her she can be anything she wants if she puts her mind to it...

The Colour of Home

The Colour of Home

5+ readers

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2003

Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.

Other books by Mary Hoffman

Pirate Baby

Pirate Baby

Author: Mary Hoffman, Ros Asquith Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/08/2019

Shiver me timbers, said the Captain. It's a baby! When the crew of pirate ship Ramshackle find a tiny baby adrift on the high seas, they are a bit flummoxed. Even more so, when they discover it's a baby girl. The adventures that follow in this rollicking tale are full of laughter and surprises, as the pirates sew nappies, make baby clothes out of pirate shirts and even a toy squid out of pirate gloves for the new arrival. The pirates won't give up their baby - not even to the women pirates who pass close by. And when a huge sea monster appears, it's baby Isla who saves the day, to become a true Pirate Baby.

The Great Big Green Book

The Great Big Green Book

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/06/2018

Think of the future. Can you imagine our planet as beautiful as it used to be? You could be the one to help make it beautiful again, with the things you do and the ideas you have. Your planet needs YOU! Join authors Ros Asquith and Mary Hoffman as they explain what we need for life on Earth and show us the importance of the rainforests and the oceans. In this bumper book of environmentally friendly ideas, they explain that we need to look after our planet, showing how some of the things we take for granted are running out, and how we have polluted so much our planet. As well as facts about our planet, the book is full of brilliant action plans to help save our planet, including ideas for saving water, saving energy, recycling, repairing, growing seasonal food, cooking fresh food, saving on packing, asking questions... and thinking of new inventions and big ideas. This is the eco-friendly guide to helping save the planet that all young children can learn from!

Smile The story of the original Mona Lisa

Smile The story of the original Mona Lisa

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/01/2018

A gorgeous historical novel following the fictional life of the young woman who would become Leonardo Da Vinci's greatest work. Renaissance Italy is a world of riches open to any man who dares to conquer it. In the life of young Lisa the doors to this world remain closed. Promised in her youth to a widower as a loving wife and mother, she is resigned to an unremarkable existence clinging only to the memory of being Lovely Lisa to the now great Leonardo Da Vinci. But when their paths cross again her portrait will become his masterpiece and her smile will capture the imagination of the world. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+

Pirate Baby

Pirate Baby

Author: Mary Hoffman, Ros Asquith Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Shiver me timbers, said the Captain. It's a baby! When the crew of pirate ship Ramshackle find a tiny baby adrift on the high seas, they are a bit flummoxed. Even more so, when they discover it's a baby girl. The adventures that follow in this rollicking tale are full of laughter and surprises, as the pirates sew nappies, make baby clothes out of pirate shirts and even a toy squid out of pirate gloves for the new arrival. The pirates won't give up their baby - not even to the women pirates who pass close by. And when a huge sea monster appears, it's baby Isla who saves the day, to become a true Pirate Baby.

The Great Big Body Book

The Great Big Body Book

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/07/2017

There are all kinds of bodies in the world. What are YOU like? Celebrate our brilliant bodies in this fantastic book jam-packed with interesting facts. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes as we change from babies to children to teenagers to adults, our bodies change too! Find out about growing and learning, keeping fit, breaks and bruises, the five senses, using our minds, how we are the same and how we are different - and lots more in the fourth book in the internationally best-selling Great Big Book series.

First Bible Story Book

First Bible Story Book

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: eBook Release Date: 01/03/2017

In this beautifully illustrated picture book 13 specially selected stories from both the Old and New Testaments are retold for the very young. Mary Hoffman's lively retellings preserve all the mystery wonder and excitement of the Bible while the charming illustrations by Julie Downing bring the best-loved characters and events to life. Each page provides many opportunities for shared discussion. Young children can follow the stories in pictures while an adult reads aloud. Produced in careful consultation with religious advisers A First Bible Story Book is an entertaining and delightful introduction to the teachings of the Bible.

Lost and Found Parables Jesus Told

Lost and Found Parables Jesus Told

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/02/2017

A Tale of Two Houses * Neighbours * Lost and Found * Fair Pay * The Jealous Brother * Sowing and Growing * Come to the Party * Forgiveness Mary Hoffman retells eight parables showing how Jesus used storytelling to explain God's idea of truth, fairness and love. With beautiful, atmospheric illustrations by Jackie Morris, this is a perfect introduction to the teachings of Jesus.

Tilt

Tilt

11+ readers 13+ readers

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/01/2017

Pisa, 1299. In the male-dominated world of Renaissance Italy, Netta is an ambitious young woman and the last in the line of a great family of sculptors and stone-carvers. Determined to throw off the shackles of marriage, Netta sets out to take up her family's legacy and work on fixing the city's leaning tower. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

Daughters of Time

Daughters of Time

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2014

Look through fresh eyes at the stories of some of history's most remarkable women, in this inspiring collection of short stories by the finest female authors writing historical fiction for children today - The History Girls. Subjects include: Queen Boudicca, Aethelfled, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Julian of Norwich, Lady Jane Grey, Elizabeth Stuart, Aphra Behn, Mary Wollestonecraft, Mary Anning, Mary Seacole, Emily Davison, Amy Johnson and the Greenham Common women.

The Sword in the Stone Band 11 Lime/Band 16 Sapphire

The Sword in the Stone Band 11 Lime/Band 16 Sapphire

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/01/2014

This action-packed graphic novel retells the legend of King Arthur, following him as he is transformed from an ordinary young boy to a powerful and famous monarch. Written by Mary Hoffman, this well-known story has been brought to life with illustrations by Dante Ginevra. * Collins Big Cat Progress books are specifically designed for children at Key Stage 2 who have a Key Stage 1 reading level, giving them age-appropriate texts that they can read, building their confidence and fostering positive attitudes towards reading. * Text type: A graphic novel set in the past * Curriculum links:

The Great Big Book of Feelings

The Great Big Book of Feelings

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/03/2013

The book opens with the question: How are you feeling today? And this leads on to a spread by spread presentation of a wide range of feelings, including: *Happy * Sad * Excited * Bored * Interested * Angry * Upset * Calm * Silly * Lonely * Scared * Safe *Embarrassed * Shy * Confident * Worried * Jealous * Satisfied The final spread is about Feeling Better because sharing and talking about feelings helps us to feel better. The approach and design follows The Great Big Book of Families, with lots of different children in lots of different situations, brief text captions and questions and plenty of humour to make sure the book is fun. Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith look at feelings in family life, at school and everywhere with the same warmth, wit and sensitivity that they brought to their award- winning The Great Big Book of Families.

The Great Big Book of Families

The Great Big Book of Families

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/04/2010

What is a family? Once, it was said to be a father, mother, boy, girl, cat and dog living in a house with a garden. But as times have changed, families have changed too, and now there are almost as many kinds of families as colours of the rainbow - from a mum and dad or single parent to two mums or two dads, from a mixed-race family to children with different mums and dads, from families with a disabled member to those with a mum or dad in prison. Mary Hoffman takes a look through children's eyes at the wide varieties of family life: from homes, food, ways of celebrating, schools and holidays to getting around, jobs and housework, from extended families, languages and hobbies to pets and family trees - and she concludes that, for most people, their own family is the best one of all! With Ros Asquith's delightful pictures, this book takes a fresh, optimistic look at families of today.

Princess Grace

Princess Grace

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/09/2008

Amazing Grace is back! The girl who proved that you can be anything you want and that families are what you make them, now discovers that there's more more than one way to be a princess. Grace has the chance to be a princess in a school parade. But what does a princess do, apart from wearing beautiful clothes and looking pretty? Does she have to be pink and floaty, with a crown? Grace and her friends start finding out about princesses in China, Egypt, the Philippines and Zimbabwe - and on the day of the parade, helped by Ma and Nana, Grace's school has the most interesting float of all. As for Grace - she's a sensation!

Starring Grace

Starring Grace

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/09/2008

In this high-spirited storybook, Grace, the heroine of Mary Hoffman's classic picture book, Amazing Grace, joins her friends in a series of dramatic holiday adventures, using her imagination to become just about anything she wants. Grace has made the transition from picture book to fiction book format. In these stories Mary Hoffman tackles the difficult subject of the absent father and Ma's new boyfriend with a great understanding of children's emotional needs.

The Falconer's Knot

The Falconer's Knot

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2008

Silvano and Chiara are two teenagers with a difference. Silvano has been accused of a murder he did not commit. Chiara has been ousted from her family as a young woman with no marriage prospects. For these two very different reasons they are forced to seek refuge in a neighbouring convent and friary. And when they meet they are instantly aware that they are both outsiders, ill at ease with monastic life. Then a grisly murder - followed by another, and then another - strikes fear into the close-knit community. Chiara and Silvano cling together within the terrifying spiral of murder as they, and the friends they have made, attempt to solve the deadly mystery. This remarkably rich mystery thriller, with all the pace and action of a 'whodunnit', is set in the incredibly atmospheric environs of a friary in 14th-century Italy. Amidst all the action of the murder mystery, the author depicts in fascinating and intricate detail the lives and tasks of the friars and nuns, whether it be crushing pigments to create paints for the fresco artists in nearby Assisi, or the daily and nightly ritual of the religious services. All the historical detail is carefully researched. A huge cast of characters with romantic teen heroes, combined with the thriller-murder element, ensure a pacy, richly enjoyable read.

City of Masks

City of Masks

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/03/2008

Lucien is in bed seriously ill with cancer. So how can he simultaneously exist in full health in a strange city that looks oddly like Venice - and yet couldn't be more different? Lucien has arrived in Bellezza, ruled by the powerful Duchessa, but it is his method of travel that marks Lucien out. Through an innocent gift of a Venetian notebook, Lucien has become a member of the Stravaganti, travellers in time and place. He has entered a world thick with drama, colour, intrigue and danger for which he is ill-prepared.

Grace and Family

Grace and Family

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/10/2007

Amazing Grace is back! To Grace, family has always meant her Ma, her Nana and a cat called Paw-Paw. So when Papa invites her to visit him in The Gambia, she dreams of finding the kind of fairy-tale family she has read about in stories. But, as Nana reminds her, families are what you make them. This warm and delightful picture book is the follow-up to the much-loved international best-seller, Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

3+ readers

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/10/2007

Grace loves to act out stories. Sometimes she plays the leading part, sometimes she is 'a cast of thousands.' When her school decides to perform Peter Pan , Grace is longing to play Peter, but her classmates say that Peter was a boy, and besides, he wasn't black...But Grace's Ma and Nana tell her she can be anything she wants if she puts her mind to it...

Bravo, Grace!

Bravo, Grace!

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2007

Following Starring Grace and Encore, Grace! here comes a new Grace story book. Grace' s ma is marrying Vincent and they' re moving next door - so there' s a new bridesmaid' s outfit and a new bedroom for Grace to think about. Grace starts to notice different boy-girl friendships emerging in the gang, and, when bullying and eating problems make an appearance in class, finds herself turning as usual for advice to Nana. Finally, Christmas brings an event that will transform family life for ever...

The Falconer's Knot

The Falconer's Knot

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/04/2007

Silvano and Chiara are two teenagers with a difference. Silvano has been accused of a murder he did not commit. Chiara has been ousted out of her family as a young woman with no marriage prospects. For these two very different reasons they are forced to seek refuge in a convent and a friary. And when they meet they are both instantly aware that they alone are not accustomed to the religious clothes and customs. And when not just one murder - but then another, and then another, happens to both the friars and guests staying with them, Chiara and Silvano cling together within the terrifying spiral of murder as they and the friends they make attempt to solve the deadly mystery. This remarkably rich mystery thriller, with all the pace and action of a 'whodunnit', is set in the incredibly atmospheric environs of a friary in 14C Italy. And amidst all the action of the murder mystery, the author depicts in fascinating and intricate detail the lives and tasks of the friars and nuns, whether it be crushing pigments to create paints for the artists painting frescoes in nearby Assisi, to the daily and nightly ritual of the religious services. All the historical detail is carefully researched. A huge cast of characters with romantic teen heros, combined with the thriller murder element ensure a pacy, richly enjoyable read.

A First Book of Fairy Tales

A First Book of Fairy Tales

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/08/2006

A beautifully illustrated anthology featuring fourteen classic children's fairy-tales, perfect for bedtime, as retold by children's author Mary Hoffman. As well as favourites such as Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk, A First Book of Fairy Tales also includes some wonderful stories that you might not know, such as The Fisherman and his Wife and Diamonds and Toads. Introduce your little one to the characters that enchanted you as a child, or meet the cast of a new story together. Mary Hoffman's charming retellings use simple language, ideal for reading or hearing aloud, while Julie Downing's stunning illustrations bring the characters to life, so children can follow and enjoy the fairy tales through the pictures.

City of Flowers

City of Flowers

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2006

Set in the beautiful city of Florence, the politics and the intrigue grow ever more dangerous. And beware - much that seems beautiful is in fact deadly poison. Featuring favourite characters from the first two titles in the series, including Georgia and Falco, as well as a host of exciting new characters, this breathtaking new novel will not disappoint.

City of Masks

City of Masks

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/06/2004

Set in a parallel world, where Italy is called Talia and Venice is called Bellezza, the narrative follows Lucien, who in our world is very ill. Given a marbled notebook to help him communicate when his throat hurts too much to speak, the notebook is the means that transports Lucien to this magical, dangerous new world set in an alternative sixteenth century, and thrills to the delight of political intrigue and danger of assassination attempts both foiled and successful. The parallel Venice is astonishingly evoked, with the silks and velvets, the sensuousness of the food and the elegance of the city and its waterways all beautifully and powerfully described. The world of Talia is unforgettably and convincingly real.

City of Stars

City of Stars

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/06/2004

The sequel to the international bestseller City of Masks . The time period is the same - C16 Talia as a parallel world version of Italy - but the setting has moved from Bellezza (Venice) to Remora (Siena). The main character in this book is Georgia - who has a love of horses. She is desperate to buy a little, dusty winged horse that has appeared in a local antique shop. This tiny, winged horse will prove to be the talisman (as the notebook was for Lucien in City of Masks ) that will transport Georgia to Siena - right into the rivalries and the high-octane excitement of the hugely competitive Stellata horse race - and more. Mary Hoffman has proved herself a mistress of a narrative tour-de-force with City of Masks and this sequel will not disappoint. 'If you enjoyed Stravaganza: City of Masks then you will love returning to Talia in this exciting sequel. Featuring a flying horse, a fast and furious horse race, kidnapping and much intrigue, this is a great adventure.' - Grainne Cooney, Bookseller Teenage Reading Choice.

Stravaganza City of Stars

Stravaganza City of Stars

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/09/2003

This book is aimed at age-range: 12+. This is the sequel to the international best-selling City of Masks . The time period is the same - C16 Talia as a parallel world version of Italy - but the setting has moved from Bellezza (Venice) to Remora (Siena). The main character in this book is Georgia - who has a love of horses. She is desperate to buy a little, dusty winged horse that has appeared in a local antiques shop. This little, winged horse will prove to be the talisman (as the notebook was for Lucien in City of Masks) that will transport Georgia to Siena - right into the rivalries and the high-octane excitement of the hugely compeititive Stellata horse race - and more. Mary Hoffman has proved herself a mistress of a narrative tour-de-force with City of Masks and this sequel will not disappoint.

The Colour of Home

The Colour of Home

5+ readers

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2003

Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.

City of Masks

City of Masks

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/09/2002

'City of Masks is a poignant, touching and exciting novel, difficult to put down. This is one of the best time-slip stories that I have read in recent years. Without doubt a masterwork of contemporary children's literature.' - Edgardo Zaghini, Children's Literature Officer, Booktrust. This is a fantastic first novel in a trilogy. Set in a parallel world, in an Italy that in this world is called Talia and in a Venice that in this world is called Bellezza, the narrative follows Lucien, who in this world is ill with cancer. Given a marbled notebook to help him communicate when his throat hurts too much to speak, this notebook is the means that transports Lucien to this magical, dangerous new world. This is a world which is set in the C16, and thrills to the delight of political intrigue, including assassination attempts both foiled and successful. The parallel Venice is astonishingly evoked, with the silks and velvets, the sensuousness of the food and the elegance of the city and its waterways all beautifully and powerfully described. The world of Talia is unforgettably and convincingly real.

A Twist in the Tail Animal Stories from Around the World

A Twist in the Tail Animal Stories from Around the World

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2001

Mary Hoffman's vibrant retellings capture the fun, wisdom and rich character of the diverse cultures from which they spring. Every story involves a battle of strength or cunning, with a surprise outcome. The book is suitable for the Literacy Hour, Key Stage 1.

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