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.
Blood Family on the shortlist!
Anne Fine was delighted to learn that her hard-hitting novel for older readers, Blood Family, has been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the UK's oldest and most prestigious children's book award. "I have my fingers tightly crossed," she says. "This is a prize I've won twice before, way back in 1990 with Goggle-Eyes, and again three years later with Flour Babies. Since then, I've been shortlisted another five times, and three of those books have ended up Highly Commended. But no one in the prize's history has ever won it three times. It would be wonderful to be the first."
Anne says that one of the reasons why this award is so important to her is that it's judged by librarians. "They really know their stuff. And I'm a library child. My father climbed up telephone poles for a living, so, with five children in the house, there was no money to buy books at all. I was a passionate reader and pretty well haunted the local branch library. Without the great British library system, I couldn't ever have done what I do - and nor could millions of others. To me, it feels as if I'm putting something back for something priceless that I once received."
The winner of the 2014 Carnegie Medal will be announced in June.
Blood Family asks how important blood family is in making you who you are. Edward is four years old when he is locked away with his mother by her abusive, alcoholic partner, Harris. By the time an elderly neighbour spots his pale face peering through a crack in the boarded-up window and raises the alarm, he is seven.
Edward is sent to live with a kindly foster family, and then adopted, but it's still clear to his new family and schoolmates that there's something odd about him. Who are his real family, and what sort of person will Edward grow up to be?
"Blood Family is almost a companion piece to The Devil Walks," Anne explains. "I'd become interested in the difference between the sheer chance of where an unprotected child could end up a hundred years ago - for better or worse - and what happens now."
The Reading Zone called Blood Family "intense, truthful and perfectly crafted"; in The Guardian, Tony Bradman compared Anne Fine to "a difficult relative", and to Johnny Cash - in a good way! Read the review to find out why.
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 ...
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!
Join the Club!
Anne Fine has a message for everyone who loved Nag Club. No, it's not a sequel, but - well, this is how Anne explains it:
"Nag Club has been a really successful book, chiming in as it does with young readers' own experiences of trying to wheedle things out of their parents by persistent or imaginative nagging. Everywhere I went, children were saying, 'Oh, please tell another story about Nag Club.'
"I'm hopeless at writing the same thing over and over. But one day I was thinking about an only child I know who's never had a squabble at the kitchen table about whose turn it is to get the free gift in the cereal, who's never bickered with a sibling all day long about nothing, who's never had to put up with a brother or sister carelessly damaging something he treasures.
"And I thought, how about a book about Only Children who - just for once, maybe only even just for one day - want to see what it's like...?"
So if you want to see what it's like, have a look at The Only Child Club (now out in paperback)!
Girls at War
Look out in the summer for a new collection of short stories exploring how the First World War changed and shaped the lives of women forever. A courageous nurse risks her life at the Front Line; a young woman discovers independence and intrigue in wartime London; a grief-stricken widow defends her homeland amidst the destruction of war - and all must face loss and grief, and learn new ways to live with them.
Anne Fine's Piercing the Veil joins stories by Adèle Geras, Melvin Burgess, Berlie Doherty and more in War Girls, coming from Andersen on 5th June 2014; already available for advance order from Amazon, or from any bookshop (ISBN: 978-1-7834-4060-3).