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Chris Priestley lives, writes, draws and paints in Cambridge. He has lived in England, Wales and Gibraltar. He left home in 1976 to go to art college in Manchester. He was there for four years before heading off to London to seek his fortune as an illustrator. He worked mainly for newspapers and magazines as an editorial illustrator, caricaturist and political cartoonist. He has always written stories, but he was an illustrator for twenty years before his first book was published. He has had at least one book published every year since and continues to illustrate as well.
Interest Age 8+ Reading age 8 | Chris Priestley is a superb teller of ghost stories and knows just how to bring the uncanny into the ordinary, or turn the homely suddenly horrifying. A tour for talented young writers round a haunted house is the backdrop for this collection of linked stories. Each of the seven ghosts we meet is a child, each of their stories is different and each is guaranteed to send shivers up the spine or have you nervously checking over your shoulder in the dark. Written for dyslexia-specialists Barrington Stoke, this will enthrall even the most reluctant or struggling reader and concludes with a fantastically chilling twist. It’s the season for ghost stories, and this is required reading for fans of the genre.
Winner of UKLA Shortlist Book Awards 2019 | Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2019 | Will is only fifteen but he’s experienced more violence and loss than most people might in an entire lifetime. His big brother Shawn was recently shot dead, right in front of him, but as “everybody knows”, “gunshots make everybody/deaf and blind especially/when they make somebody/dead”. While his mom mourns, “sobbing into her palms”, Will knows what he has to do. He must follow the three rules: No crying. No snitching. Revenge. Armed with Shawn’s gun, Will heads down six floors in an elevator on his revenge mission, thinking he knows exactly who he’s going after. When the “spooky ass” elevator stops at each floor and ghosts from the past step into the “vertical coffin”, doubts set in as Will is presented with more facts and finally comes face to face with some big choices (do some rules need to be broken? Does he want out of the cycle?), and more besides. The writing is crisp, clever and dazzlingly compact, with a whole family history and personally-charged societal issues conveyed with powerful precision. The line and page breaks are perfectly constructed, words and phrases frequently have multiple meanings, and Chris Priestley’s raw and resonant illustrations are hauntingly powerful.
Interest Age 10+ Reading Age 8 | In a nutshell: creepy war-time horror story | There are all sorts of horrors to be encountered in this thoroughly unsettling wartime story. Evacuees Bill and his sister have returned to London from the countryside, much to his anger, arriving home just as the Blitz begins. Nights are spent cowering in the shelter, before they emerge into a frightening world of rubble and destruction. Dad is a POW and no-one knows if they’ll see him again. Even when Bill helps save a boy from a burning building, there’s no sense of hope but rather growing unease – the boy is strangely sinister. Chris Priestley knows just how to tell horror stories and this super-readable novella will have readers checking nervously over their shoulder in the dark. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 10+ Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.