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.
On Wednesday 25th February, Anne will be at LSE (the London School of Economics and Political Science) for a discussion of how literature can help introduce philosophy to school children. She says "I'm a bit nervous about this event at LSE at 5pm on 25th February. Unlike my fellow panellists - Professor Luc Bovens and Peter Worley - I'm not a philosopher. But I'm just as enthusiastic as they are about using literature to encourage our children to THINK.
"Anyone who's read On Planet Fruitcake, The Chicken Gave It To Me, or The Granny Project will know how fresh and intriguing ways of looking at the world can spring straight off the page into the minds of young readers.
"I just hope no one starts to ask me about Plato, or Leibnitz, or Wittgenstein...."
Join the Club!
Anne Fine says:
It's astonishing how much children differ.
One seven year old is so sophisticated that he wants two mates to come with him to a film, then slide out for a pizza. The child in the desk beside him is already counting the days to the next streamer-ridden, cup-cake studded, game-crazy, themed home party. Part of the amusement of writing this book came from highlighting the rising hopes of Rosie's exhausted parents as the idea of something other than the traditional party gradually seeps round the class.
I loved writing Nag Club, and maybe because so many children are such professional naggers, it's been a joy to see how well it goes down in schools. Then came The Only Child Club - also a good laugh. So it's lovely to have completed the trio with The Party Club - which, like the other two, offers the pleasure of wry moments of recognition for parents as well as young children.
The Party Club is published on 5th February. Meanwhile, you can read more about The Party Club here.
Blue Moon Day
Most authors like me are invited to all sorts of places to talk about books: libraries, conferences and schools of every description.
I've been in dozens of boarding schools, met young people who go to schools for the blind and often visited the Young Offenders' Unit (a kind of junior prison) near to my house. Over the years I must have met hundreds of children who've ended up being schooled, for one reason or another, away from home.
I wanted to write about why some of these young people are there, and how they feel about it.
Once in a blue moon, Sam skips school, and on this particular day reads a book that's been gathering dust on the bookshelf. AWAY FROM HOME, it's called, and ten very different people of the same age as Sam tell, from the heart, their very different stories.
Curious? Then read Blue Moon Day. And find out what life away from home is really like for someone just like you.
Blue Moon Day was published on 9th October 2014; Read more about it here.
How Anne became a Killjoy
Anne was thrilled, last autumn, when the very last of her eight adult novels joined the Great March of Progress. Since September 1st 2014, Telling Liddy, In Cold Domain, The Killjoy and Taking the Devil's Advice are also all downloadable. And that set Anne looking back on those previously hard-to-find novels. Here's what she had to say about The Killjoy, her first book for adults:
When my daughter was four, we went off to America for seven years because of my husband's job. By the time we came back, our stable, almost unchanging babysitting cooperative of other families with young children had been turned upside down. Divorces, remarriages, chaos. I became fascinated by the nature of passion - how people could suddenly choose to risk all the stability they'd created around themselves and those they loved, simply in order to feel fully emotionally alive again. Up until then, I'd been perfectly happy writing novels for older children, but this was clearly a subject to be explored at an adult level.
The book become darker and darker in the writing. I didn't realise how dark until the first review came in: "a horror story which rings absolutely true". But that is passion for you. It's dangerous in every way.
Anne has more to say about writing books for adults here.
Anne has just learned that not one but two of her books have been longlisted for the UKLA Book Award 2015. The UKLA Book Awards are the only national awards judged entirely by teachers. The Awards seek to celebrate children's books in order to: encourage teachers to increase their professional and personal knowledge of recently published high quality children's books and to promote the place of books for young people in all educational settings.
Now the teacher judges have until March to read the longlisted books, discuss them with their group leaders, and share them with pupils. All groups will then meet together for the difficult task of choosing their shortlist of five books in each category.
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!