No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
Frances Hardinge writes wonderfully imaginative, fantasy novels for YAs and has scooped 2 of the most prestigous book awards, the Branford Boase in 2006 and The Costa Book of the Year 2015 - only the second children's book to win the overall prize. Read on for more about this extraordinary author.
UKLA Longlist Book Awards - 2019 | Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2017 | Award-winning Frances Hardinge’s latest novel bubbles over with brilliant ideas in a fast-paced and thought-provoking adventure encompassing families, a very special kind of haunting, spying and the English Civil War. Twelve year Makepeace has grown up practising how to defend herself against spirits who go in search of another living being to inhabit when they are released from the dead. Makepeace is skilful at defence but, when grieving the death of her mother, she lets her guard down and is filled with the spirit of a bear. But Bear is a friend as much as a foe and now Makepeace has a strong internal allay who may be exactly what she needs when she goes to stay with her father’s terrifying family whom she needs to resist at all costs. Frances Hardinge’s beautiful writing makes the unbelievable credible and tangible as she weaves together and then unravels layer upon layer of complexities in this substantial and deeply story.
Frances Hardinge creates a brilliant sense of menace in this chillingly dark fairy story . Something sinister, beyond just getting wet, happens to Triss when she falls into the Grimmer. Something that causes her to change in all kinds of ways which her parents don't recognise. Triss can feel the changes - she is always hungry, her hair is full of leaves, her tears are like cobwebs and her sister is terrified of her - but she cannot understand why they are happening. Somehow, Triss has been taken over. She is now a changeling and she needs to search through the underworld of the city itself to find the truth. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Award-winning Frances Hardinge is spellbinding is this hugely entertaining and dramatic Victorian thriller. When Faith’s father dies suddenly she knows she must try to find out exactly what he was hiding in the local caves she had recently visited with him. Discovering the extraordinary Lie Tree which thrives off hearing lies and, in turn, reveals secrets long kept hidden Faith begins to uncover a web of secrets and mysteries that will change her view of the world forever. Faith is a feisty heroine whose courage combined with a determination that girls can be brave and resolute leads to the exposure of much dishonesty and many deceptions. ~ Julia Eccleshare. WINNER of the 2015 COSTA BOOK OF THE YEAR and Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016. Winner of the UKLA 2016 Book Award in the 12 - 16 year old category. The Lie Tree is only the second children’s book to take the overall Costa Book of the Year prize, and the first since Philip Pullman won with The Amber Spyglass in 2001. James Heneage, chair of the final judges, said: “Part horror, part detective, part historical, this is a fantastic story with great central characters and narrative tension. It’s not only a fabulous children’s book but a book that readers of all ages will love."
In a Nutshell: Intrigue and artisanal invention in an Alice in Wonderland world An endlessly inventive adventure through the twisting tunnels of a subterranean city that’s sent reeling by the arrival of a girl like no other. Caverna is like no place ever imagined. It has passages so twisty they make a person go mad. Wines that make you forget. Perfumes that provoke trust. And there are dark cheese tunnels in which expert artisans create incredible delicacies, none more committed to the craft than Master Grandible: “the cheeses were Grandible’s only friends and family, their scents and textures taking the place of conversation.” Then the unexpected arrival of a girl shifts Grandible’s life onto a different path, and sends Caverna into a spiral of fear and danger, for Neverfell is not like other girls. She’s certainly not like others in Caverna, whose faces bear no expression until the Facesmiths teach them how to express anything. Neverfell is issued with a mask to hide her face, for it reveals emotions with terrifying transparency, and that way madness and murder lies…And so an utterly compelling tale of political intrigue, revolution and truths unfolds, with as many unexpected, complex twists as the tunnels of Caverna itself. Hardinge is a truly distinctive writer, from the mind-bogglingly unique concepts and worlds she conjures, to her pithily elegant language, and this is a jewel that defies convention, and sparkles at every turn. ~ Joanne Owen
Winner of the Branford Boase Prize 2006 Fly By Night is a wholly original fantasy peopled with a cast of unusual characters whose adventures unravel at a breathtaking pace. Mosca runs away from home with a manic goose called Saracen who can cause untold harm to her enemies and a tricky charlatan glorifying in the name of Eponymous Clent, having ‘accidentally’ set fire to her hated uncle’s barn. Hounded as a criminal, she ricochets through a series of adventures meeting a huge cast of untrustworthy companions and getting involved in a bizarre espionage plot. Trying to unscramble any truths makes Mosca’s story an exhilarating quest. ~ Julia Eccleshare Reading Guide available to download for this title.
A hugely imaginative and inventive fantasy, Gullstruck Island is the wonderful creation of a whole new world in which some of the strangest things happen. Arilou is a Lost, a special child who has the ability to mind-fly with the winds. It’s a valuable but dangerous asset and Arilou hides a dangerous secret. Can she and her sister keep the secret and also keep themselves safe from their trackers on the island where volcanoes quarrel? ~ Julia Eccleshare
Frances Hardinge has written seven novels and impressively every one has won, or been shortlisted for, a major book award. Here's a sample of her success!
1. Fly by Night 2006 - won the 2006 Branford Boase Award, a prize for the most Outstanding Debut Novel and was also shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction prize.
2. Verdigris Deep/Well Witched - published in 2007, won School Library Journal's Best Children Books of 2008
3. Gullstruck Island 2009 - It reached the finals of the Young Adult Category for the Los Angeles Times Book Award
4. Twilight Robbery 2011 - the sequel to Fly by Night, was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, was longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal.
5. A Face Like Glass 2012 - longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and voted one of the Top 100 Best Ever UKYA Novels.
6. Cuckoo Song 2014 - won the prestigious Robert Holdstock Award for Best Novel at the British Fantasy Awards 2015 and shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.
Frances has also had short stories published in two collections; Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron and Twisted Winter.
Frances Hardinge spent her childhood in a huge old house that inspired her to write strange stories from an early age. She read English at Oxford University, then got a job at a software company. However, by this time a persistent friend had finally managed to bully Frances into sending a few chapters of Fly By Night, her first children's novel, to a publisher. Macmillan made her an immediate offer. The book went on to publish to huge critical acclaim and win the Branford Boase First Novel Award.
Find out more at www.franceshardinge.com
Follow Frances on twitter @FrancesHardinge
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.