Elizabeth Laird - Author

About the Author

Elizabeth Laird was born in New Zealand in 1943, the fourth of five children. In 1945, Laird and her family returned to Britain and she grew up in South London, where she was educated at Croydon High School. When she was eighteen, Laird started teaching at a school in Malaysia.


She decided to continue her adventurous life, even though she was bitten by a poisonous snake and went down with typhoid. After attending the university in Bristol, Laird began teaching English in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She and a friend would hire mules and go into remote areas in the holidays. After a while at Edinburgh University, Laird worked in India for a summer. During travel, she met her future husband, David McDowall. The couple were married in 1975 and have two sons, Angus and William. Laird has also visited Iraq and Lebanon. She claims to dislike snakes, porridge and being cold but enjoys very dark chocolate, Mozart, reading and playing the violin in the Iraq Symphony Orchestra. She and her husband currently divide their time between London and Edinburgh.

Featured books by Elizabeth Laird

Other books by Elizabeth Laird

A Little Piece of Ground 15th Anniversary Edition

A Little Piece of Ground 15th Anniversary Edition

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/07/2018

In Elizabeth Laird's A Little Piece of Ground, twelve-year-old Karim Aboudi and his family are trapped in their Ramallah home by a strict curfew. Israeli tanks control the city in response to a Palestinian suicide bombing. Karim longs to play football with his mates - being stuck inside with his teenage brother and fearful parents is driving him crazy. When the curfew ends, he and his friend discover an unused patch of ground that's the perfect site for a football pitch. Nearby, an old car hidden intact under bulldozed buildings makes a brilliant den. But in this city there's constant danger, even for schoolboys. And when Israeli soldiers find Karim outside during the next curfew, it seems impossible that he will survive . . .

Song of the Dolphin Boy

Song of the Dolphin Boy

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/03/2018

Finn has always been different, and in the tiny fishing village of Stromhead he sticks out like a sore thumb. Always told to keep away from the water, he's felt that something was missing until one day he dives in and finds that, swimming with the dolphins, he feels completely at home. But his new friends are in danger of being injured by the rubbish that floats out into the water - and now a supermarket is going to release thousands of balloons that could drift out to sea and cause even more damage. Desperate to help the dolphins, Finn goes to the Lighthouse Crew, a group of kids who have always left Finn out. Will they be able to set aside their differences to save the dolphins? And what will Finn discover about his past along the way? A moving adventure about the impact of plastic pollution on our seas, and the campaigning power of friendship from the award-winning Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Peter Bailey. 'Song of the Dolphin Boy is such a beautiful, important, heartfelt book. I loved every page' Lauren St John 'A lively and inspiring tale of village life and the dangers to wildlife of releasing balloons' The Sunday Times

Song of the Dolphin Boy

Song of the Dolphin Boy

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: eBook Release Date: 08/03/2018

Finn has always been different, and in the tiny fishing village of Stromhead he sticks out like a sore thumb. Always told to keep away from the water, he's felt that something was missing until one day he dives in and finds that, swimming with the dolphins, he feels completely at home. But his new friends are in danger of being injured by the rubbish that floats out into the water - and now a supermarket is going to release thousands of balloons that could drift out to sea and cause even more damage. Desperate to help the dolphins, Finn goes to the Lighthouse Crew, a group of kids who have always left Finn out. Will they be able to set aside their differences to save the dolphins? And what will Finn discover about his past along the way?A moving adventure about the importance of looking after your home, from the award-winning Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Peter Bailey

Welcome to Nowhere

Welcome to Nowhere

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/07/2017

Welcome to Nowhere is a powerful and beautifully written story about the life of one family caught up in civil war by the award-winning author Elizabeth Laird, shortlisted for the Scottish Teen Book Award and the UKLA Book Award. Twelve-year-old Omar and his brothers and sisters were born and raised in the beautiful and bustling city of Bosra, Syria. Omar doesn't care about politics - all he wants is to grow up to become a successful businessman who will take the world by storm. But when his clever older brother, Musa, gets mixed up with some young political activists, everything changes . . . Before long, bombs are falling, people are dying, and Omar and his family have no choice but to flee their home with only what they can carry. Yet no matter how far they run, the shadow of war follows them - until they have no other choice than to attempt the dangerous journey to escape their homeland altogether. But where do you go when you can't go home? '[Sings] with truth' The Times 'A muscular, moving, thought-provoking book' Guardian 'Humane and empathetic . . . an effective call to action' The Sunday Times 'Powerful, heart-breaking and compelling' Scotsman

Kiss the Dust

Kiss the Dust

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/07/2017

Kiss the Dust by Elizabeth Laird is an unforgettable, award-winning novel of conflict, persecution and the hardships faced by refugees. Tara is an ordinary teenager. Although her country, Kurdistan, is caught up in a war, the fighting seems far away. It hasn't really touched her. Until now. The secret police are closing in. Tara and her family must flee to the mountains with only the few things they can carry. It is a hard and dangerous journey - but their struggles have only just begun. Will anywhere feel like home again?

Jake's Tower

Jake's Tower

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/02/2017

'It's good that I've found this secret place . . . No one can get to to me up there. It's totally safe.' In real life, Jake is never safe. He lives in constant fear of his mother's violent boyfriend. But in his imaginary tower he can dream up his own father - the stranger who gave him a cuddle and a fluffy duck the day he was born and went away for ever. Jake doesn't believe dreams ever come true. But sometimes they do - in strange and surprising ways. Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, Jake's Tower by Elizabeth Laird is a powerful and moving novel that spotlights the issue of domestic abuse.

Welcome to Nowhere

Welcome to Nowhere

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/01/2017

Twelve-year-old Omar and his brothers and sisters were born and raised in the beautiful and bustling city of Bosra, Syria. Omar doesn't care about politics - all he wants is to grow up to become a successful businessman who will take the world by storm. But when his clever older brother, Musa, gets mixed up with some young political activists, everything changes . . . Before long, bombs are falling, people are dying, and Omar and his family have no choice but to flee their home with only what they can carry. Yet no matter how far they run, the shadow of war follows them - until they have no other choice than to attempt the dangerous journey to escape their homeland altogether. But where do you go when you can't go home?

The Garbage King

The Garbage King

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/07/2016

Inspired by the true story of an African childhood lived on the edge of destitution, award-winning Elizabeth Laird's The Garbage King takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey. When Mamo's mother dies, he is abandoned in the shanties of Addis Ababa. Stolen by a child-trafficker and sold to a farmer, he is cruelly treated. Escaping back to the city, he meets another, very different runaway. Dani is rich, educated - and fleeing his tyrannical father. Together they join a gang of homeless street boys who survive only by mutual bonds of trust and total dependence on each other.

Crusade

Crusade

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/07/2016

Crusade is a richly detailed historical adventure, from Carnegie shortlisted author, Elizabeth Laird. Two boys. Two faiths. One unholy war . . . When Adam's mother dies unconfessed, he pledges to save her soul with dust from the Holy Land. Employed as a dog-boy for the local knight, Adam grabs the chance to join the Crusade to reclaim Jerusalem. He burns with determination to strike down the infidel enemy . . . Salim, a merchant's son, is leading an uneventful life in the port of Acre - until news arrives that a Crusader attack is imminent. To keep Salim safe, his father buys him an apprenticeship with an esteemed, travelling doctor. But Salim's employment leads him to the heart of Sultan Saladin's camp - and into battle against the barbaric and unholy invaders . . .

Oranges in No Man's Land

Oranges in No Man's Land

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/02/2016

Oranges in No Man's Land brings Elizabeth Laird's emotional and gripping adventure to her next generation of fans. Since her father left Lebanon to find work and her mother tragically died in a shell attack, ten-year-old Ayesha has been living in the bomb-ravaged city of Beirut with her granny and her two younger brothers. The city has been torn in half by civil war and a desolate, dangerous no man's land divides the two sides. Only militiamen and tanks dare enter this deadly zone, but when Granny falls desperately ill, Ayesha sets off on a terrifying journey to reach a doctor living in enemy territory.

Red Sky in the Morning

Red Sky in the Morning

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/02/2016

Twelve-year-old Anna is looking forward to the birth of her baby brother. Ben arrives, but is disabled and will never be like other children. Anna loves him with her whole heart, but she finds herself unable to admit the truth of Ben's condition to her school friends. Eventually the truth gets out and leads not to the ridicule Anna expected, but to sympathy and understanding. An emotional and wonderfully written story by Elizabeth Laird, Red Sky in the Morning was Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal.

Dindy and the Elephant

Dindy and the Elephant

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2015

Bored with her little brother Pog's childish games, Dindy decides that she's finally grown-up enough for a real adventure. While her mother is sleeping and the servants are busy, she takes Pog deep into the tea gardens, a place they are never supposed to go alone. Terrified by wild animals and snubbed by the local children, Dindy starts to realize how little she really knows about India, even though it's the only place she's ever called home. But little does she know her life is about to be turned upside down when her mother is taken ill and her father tells her they are leaving India, for good. Dindy and the Elephant by Elizabeth Laird is a wonderful portrait of a young British child coming to terms with leaving her beloved childhood home, while at the same time realizing that many of the things she has been raised to believe are wrong.

Rollercoasters: The Prince Who Walked With Lions

Rollercoasters: The Prince Who Walked With Lions

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 12/03/2015

Following the breakout of war between his country and Queen Victoria's army, Alamayu finds himself without parents, throne or friends. In a misguided attempt to care for him, the British take Alamayu to England. On arrival he is enrolled at Rugby College to become a 'proper' English gentleman and he is befriended by Queen Victoria herself. This Rollercasters school edition is published in a durable flexi-cover format, proven to last longer in the classroom.

The Fastest Boy in the World

The Fastest Boy in the World

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2014

Eleven-year-old Solomon loves to run! The great athletes of the Ethiopian national team are his heroes and he dreams that one day he will be a gold-medal-winning athlete like them, in spite of his ragged shorts and bare feet. When his grandfather announces that he's going to take Solomon to Addis Ababa, Solomon cannot believe his ears. A trip to the capital? It's unfathomable. Solomon's joy is increased when he realizes that the Ethiopian running team will be doing a victory parade through the city that day. Maybe he'll get a glimpse of Haile Gebrselassie or Derartu Tulu?! But Solomon's grandfather has other plans. As Solomon follows him through the big, overwhelming streets, he learns something he cannot believe. The strict old man is a war hero who once risked his life to save a friend and has been in hiding ever since. When grandfather collapses, Solomon knows that getting help from his village is up to him. It's a twenty-mile run from the city to home, and grandfather's life hangs in the balance. Can the small bare-footed runner with the big heart do it? Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, The Fastest Boy in the World by Elizabeth Laird is the inspiring story of a small Ethiopian runner with a very big heart.

Shahnameh The Persian Book of Kings

Shahnameh The Persian Book of Kings

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/2014

The Shahnameh is a collection of stories and myths from ancient Iran, filled with kings, heroes, princesses, magical animals and demons. Written as an epic poem by the poet Ferdowsi in the 10th century, it is one of the great classics of Persian literature. The tales include the Simurgh, the giant bird who brings up an orphaned king in her nest on a craggy rock, wicked King Zahhak with his man-eating snakes, and above all the story of the great hero Rustam and his son Sohrab. Elizabeth Laird is passionate about bringing this great epic poem to the children of western cultures, as well as retelling it for Iranian children living in the West.

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Myths and Legends: Level 16: Why Dogs Have Black Noses

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Myths and Legends: Level 16: Why Dogs Have Black Noses

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/01/2014

Have you ever wondered about dogs and noticed their bravery, their curiosity, their sense of mischief and their loyalty? The stories in Why Dogs Have Black Noses explain many mysteries about dogs. Captivating versions of some of the best myths and legends from around the world. TreeTops Myths and Legends are fascinating and action-packed stories that will motivate and inspire readers. These are some of the oldest and most enduring stories in the world, retold by leading contemporary children's authors to bring out all of the action, drama, humour and depth of the original stories in a way that makes them as exciting and meaningful today as ever. The stories are beautifully illustrated in a range of styles to bring each tale to life. Books contain inside cover notes to support children in their reading. Help with children's reading development also available at www.oxfordowl.co.uk. The books are finely levelled, making it easy to match every child to the right book.

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Myths and Legends: Level 12: When A Cat Ruled The World

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Myths and Legends: Level 12: When A Cat Ruled The World

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/01/2014

Do you ever wonder whether cats know a bit more than people night think? The cats in these stories in When a Cat Ruled the World do...Captivating versions of some of the best myths and legends from around the world. TreeTops Myths and Legends are fascinating and action-packed stories that will motivate and inspire readers. These are some of the oldest and most enduring stories in the world, retold by leading contemporary children's authors to bring out all of the action, drama, humour and depth of the original stories in a way that makes them as exciting and meaningful today as ever. The stories are beautifully illustrated in a range of styles to bring each tale to life. Books contain inside cover notes to support children in their reading. Help with children's reading development also available at www.oxfordowl.co.uk. The books are finely levelled, making it easy to match every child to the right book.

The Prince Who Walked With Lions

The Prince Who Walked With Lions

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/10/2012

The British Army is circling the stronghold of the King of Abyssinia. Its mission is to rescue the British Envoy, held prisoner. Watching with terror and awe is the king's young son, Alamayu. He knows that his father is as brave as a lion, but the fighting is cruel and efficient. By the time it is over, Alamayu is left without parents, throne or friends. In a misguided attempt to care for him, the British take Alamayu to England. There he is befriended by the Queen herself and enrolled at Rugby College to become a 'proper' English gentleman. What the English see as an honour is, to this lonely Ethiopian prince, terrifying and brutal. The Prince Who Walked With Lions is Alamayu's story, seen through his eyes: the battle, the journey to England and the trauma of an English public school as he tries to come to terms with the hand that fate has dealt him, skillfully told by Elizabeth Laird.

The Listener

The Listener

Author: Elizabeth Laird, Pauline Hazelwood Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2010

When Gavin arrives at his grandmother's house, she is nowhere to be found. Thoughts of the football match he is missing and seeing his mates seem insignificant as he realises that he has to find her, and soon - there is heavy snow falling and it is getting dark. A trail of footsteps in the snow provide a vital clue...But will he be too late?

The Ogress and the Snake and Other Stories from Somalia

The Ogress and the Snake and Other Stories from Somalia

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/04/2009

For millennia, Somalia has been crossed and recrossed by camel caravans of merchants bringing stories with them. Elizabeth Laird heard most of these oral retellings in Jigjiga, the capital of Ethiopia's Somali region, in gardens, bars, small huts and beautiful old Harari houses. Some of them are written down here for the very first time. This wonderful collection of down-to-earth tales makes a perfect introduction to a fascinating and little-known country.

Where's Toto? Donde esta Toto?

Where's Toto? Donde esta Toto?

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/2009

A bilingual fiction title for children who are independent readers. The parallel text, speech bubbles and pictures by different, talented illustrators provide a child-friendly bridge to reading - and speaking - in another language. There is a quiz at the end of each story to help comprehension and revise vocabulary.

Where's Toto? Ou est Toto?

Where's Toto? Ou est Toto?

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/2009

A bilingual fiction title for children who are independent readers. The parallel text, speech bubbles and pictures by different, talented illustrators provide a child-friendly bridge to reading - and speaking - in another language. There is a quiz at the end of each story to help comprehension and revise vocabulary.

Level 1: Karen and the Artist

Level 1: Karen and the Artist

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/03/2008

Original / British English Karen's job takes her to many places. She loves art, and in Rome she sees some beautiful pictures. But the artist can't sell them and he has no money. Karen likes the young man. Can she sell his pictures for him?

Easystart: Simon and the Spy Book and CD Pack

Easystart: Simon and the Spy Book and CD Pack

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 03/03/2008

Simon Simple is going on holiday and the police are looking for a spy. On the train, Simon meets a beautiful girl. He likes her and she likes him. But the spy is there too. Simon and the police can't see the spy. Can you?

Easystart: Simon and the Spy

Easystart: Simon and the Spy

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/02/2008

Original / British English Simon Simple is going on holiday and the police are looking for a spy. On the train, Simon meets a beautiful girl. He likes her and she likes him. But the spy is there too. Simon and the police can't see the spy. Can you?

Anna and the Fighter Beginner

Anna and the Fighter Beginner

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 29/04/2005

The House on the Hill

The House on the Hill

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Board book Release Date: 01/01/2005

No other description available.

The House on the Hill - With Audio CD

The House on the Hill - With Audio CD

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Board book Release Date: 01/01/2005

No other description available.

The Garbage King

The Garbage King

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/02/2004

The quiet of Dani's hiding place in the dark graveyard was disturbed by the sound of someone panting close by. Instantly awake, he saw a wild looking figure: a tall thin creature who stood starting at him, poised for flight. Mamo is sold into slavery after his mother's death and escapes. Dani is on the run from his rich but controlling father. The two boys come from very different worlds but are drawn together as they learn to survive on the city streets.

Beautiful Bananas

Beautiful Bananas

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/02/2004

Beautiful Bananas ia an imaginative picture book in the African folktale tradition. A little girl sets off through the jungle to take a beautiful bunch of bananas to her grandfather. On the way she encounters a number of wild, but friendly animals who take her bananas, but then apologise and replace them with various treats, until finally an elephant gives her another bunch of bananas. A beautiful circular tale, the kind of which often appears in folklore around the world. This particular story is often heard in East Africa. *Elizabeth Laird is a high profile, award-winning author who has been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and has won the Smarties Young Judges prize. She is also a specialist in African folklore. Her acclaimed works include When the World Began published by Oxford University Press *Liz Pichon is an exciting new children's book illustrator who has worked on a number of successful reference series for Oxford University Press

Nyr: Secret Friends

Nyr: Secret Friends

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/04/1997

A book about real dilemmas that children face every day - full of warmth and by an award-winning author. It's crazy, starting at a new school. For days you feel so new and lost it's as if you've wandered into a foreign country where you can't speak the language. This haunting story about Rafaella, the new girl at school who finds making friends hard, is a stunning piece of writing. With her strange name and sticking out ears she's different from the rest. Lucy is the first to tease, the first to call her 'Earwig'. Until a secret friendship starts, full of warmth and mystery. Beautifully illustrated throughout by Jason Cockcroft, this is a modern classic by the winner of the Children's Book Award. 'A humane and honest story. It conveys so much, so simply and so well.' The Scotsman '... a fine weepy with a moral, about the dangers of playground cliquishness and cruelty.' The Sunday Times

Stinker Muggles and the Dazzle Bug

Stinker Muggles and the Dazzle Bug

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/02/1995

Let your imagination take off with 'COLOUR JETS' Irresistable stories for children who are beginning to enjoy reading alone. Stinker Muzzles is not the most popular boy in class for reasons that are very obvious. But when the Dazzle Bug takes up residence behind his ear, life suddenly begins to smell much sweeter.

Red Sky in the Morning

Red Sky in the Morning

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/03/1990

One of a series of top-quality fiction for schools, this novel was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Children's Book Award. Anna's cares and concerns are those of any teenager - until her brother is born physically and mentally handicapped.

Author Info

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http://www.elizabethlaird.co.uk/

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