This is the official web site of Anne Fine, the second Children's Laureate and a distinguished prize-winning writer for children of all ages, with over forty books to her credit. She has also written for adults to considerable critical acclaim. This site has news and information about Anne, and showcases her books.
Madame Doubtfire: a modern classic
Every author secretly hopes each book they write will turn into 'a classic' - a book loved by many over a long period of time" says Anne.
"So it's a huge boost to find my novel Madame Doubtfire out on the shelves this month in a brand new format and with a gorgeously appealing new cover by Mark Beech (on the right in the montage above).
So many people of all ages love this book. I think that's because it deals so honestly with a very real family in a very difficult situation. It doesn't try to hide the problems of separation and divorce. It faces up to the ugly emotions that can so easily surface when the happy and settled life everyone in the family had hoped for hits the rocks.
But the comedy keeps the topic bearable, and the story ends with a sense that things can, and will, get better for everyone. It's a message so many people have needed since the book was first published in 1987. I'm proud it has become a Puffin Modern Classic. It's a lovely fresh facelift I hope will bring in a whole new generation of readers.
Listen to Anne on Woman's Hour talking about the new Puffin edition of Madame Doubtfire, reading, writing and who looks after the cello.
When Anne was offered the chance to retell three classic English fairy tales, she found herself choosing three stories with something in common.
Sisters may be related, but they certainly aren't always alike; Drusilla and Isidora are like chalk and cheese, and receive very different enchantments in the story Diamonds and Toads.
Snow White and Rose Red tells of two sisters whose beloved bear turns out to be something quite different...
What if you had more than one sister? What if you had twelve? Twelve princesses share a love of dancing, to their father's despair. Will anyone be able to uncover their secret night-time escapades?
Sixteen Sisters is published in the TreeTops Greatest Stories series, offering children some of the world's best-loved tales in a collection of timeless classics. Each book contains inside cover notes to help children explore the content, supporting their reading development. Teaching notes on Oxford Owl offer cross-curricular links and activities to support guided reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Would YOU like to be a gerbil?
Hugo wants a gerbil, but his dad says it's cruel to keep an animal in a cage. Hugo doesn't agree, and so Dad challenges him to spend a day cooped up in his room.
Find out how he gets on in Out for the Count.
Warm, witty and wise to the impatience of childhood, this is Anne Fine on great form, encouraging young readers to develop imagination and empathy. Out for the Count was originally published as Countdown, but has been revised and redesigned, with high quality cream paper and a special easy to read font, perfect for readers of all kinds.
Stay on the reading ladder with four favourite titles, reissued to help you find the perfect book for solo reading or for reading together. Press Play, Friday Surprise, Big Red Balloon and Under the Bed tell stories of children - and their families - dealing with daily life at home and at school: they are truthful, funny and have plenty of pictures to read alone or to share.
Anne was delighted to learn that Le Passage du Diable (the French translation of The Devil Walks has won the Prix Sorcières in the Older Readers category. The announcement praised the book, saying "Anne Fine, flirtant avec les genres fantastique et gothique, distille petit à petit une atmosphère mystérieuse et angoissante. La fluidité du texte emporte inexorablement le lecteur dans l'ambiance trouble et pesante des sombres secrets de cette maison de poupée..."
The Prix Sorcières is awarded by the children's literature specialists among the booksellers and librarians of France. Anne has already been a winner in a different age category, with Le Journal d'un Chat Assassin in 1998.
Whose side will you be on?
Anne has finally joined the Great March of Progress: since September 2014 every last one of her eight adult novels has been available as an ebook. The last to join the modern world was Telling Liddy, and here's what Anne had to say about this previously hard-to-find novel:
People can vow to give up alcohol or cigarettes or cake, and next day they'll be at it again. Family rifts are quite different. Resentments breed and grow until the day that you hear someone say, "I'm never, ever speaking to her again!"
And, sure enough, they don't.
Telling Liddy dissects just such a fall-out. I loved the 'unpicking' nature of the story, which appealed to everything that fascinates me about the complicated emotional and moral refractions in families. Who's more to blame depends upon exactly where you start the accounting, and what you value in life. It doesn't help that family members often have nothing in common, and would even dislike or despise one another if they met as strangers at a party.
The book apparently causes huge arguments in book groups, with people taking sides almost as virulently as if they were the sisters in the story. I reckon you can tell a lot about someone from how they respond to this novel...
Anne has more to say about writing books for adults here.
The Killer Cat Runs Away
So what if I broke the new TV? Got fur on all Dad's clean clothes? Ate Tinkerbell the kitten's special kitten-food?
Meet Tuffy, the Killer Cat.
You thought you already had? Is that because you've read the books in which he causes such awful mayhem? Well, now he's back. Not spruced up, exactly. I wouldn't go that far. Steve Cox has handed over the illustrations to Thomas Docherty, so if you think that he looks a tiny bit different, you're right. But inside he's the same old Tuffy - driving Dad crazy, upsetting Ellie, and leaving the usual trail of chaos wherever he goes.
And in this book Tuffy does go a whole lot further than usual. Find out what happens when he decides there must be somewhere in the town where he'll be appreciated more, and treated better ...
The Killer Cat Runs Away now out in paperback!
Of course, in his own way, Tuffy is a very well-travelled cat. He has friends all over the world who want to keep up to date with his adventures. His latest escapade has already been translated into French, and there are Killer Cat books in German, in Italian, in Icelandic - and more!