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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 House Without Walls

A House Without Walls

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/01/2020

A House Without Walls is a powerful story of family, hope and redemption amidst the refugee crisis in Syria from the award-winning Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Lucy Eldridge. Thirteen-year-old Safiya and her family have been driven out of Syria by civil war. Safiya knows how lucky she is - lucky not to be living in a refugee camp, lucky to be alive. But it's hard to feel grateful when she's forced to look after her father and brother rather than go back to school, and now that she's lost her home, she's lonelier than ever. As they struggle to rebuild their lives, Safiya realizes that her family has always been incomplete and with her own future in the balance, it's time to uncover the secrets that war has kept buried.

Secret Friends

Secret Friends

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/08/2019

What's the good in keeping secrets? Secret Friends is a heartbreaking story about friendship and bullying from the multi-award-winning Elizabeth Laird. Rafaella doesn't find it easy to make friends. She looks and feels different from the others at school. And Lucy is the first to tease, the first to call her 'Earwig', until they get to know one another and Lucy sees that Rafaella is full of hopes and ideas, just like she is. Lucy loves keeping her own secret friend, until tragedy strikes and secrets can't be kept any longer. Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Children's Book Award and reissued with gorgeous illustrations, more than twenty years after first publication, Elizabeth Laird's moving and unflinching novella brings home the crucial importance of cultivating empathy in young people. '[A] humane and honest story. It conveys so much, so simply and so well' Scotsman '[A] fine weepy with a moral, about the dangers of playground cliquishness and cruelty' The Sunday Times

A House Without Walls

A House Without Walls

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/08/2019

A House Without Walls is a powerful story of family, hope and redemption amidst the refugee crisis in Syria from the award-winning Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Lucy Eldridge. Thirteen-year-old Safiya and her family have been driven out of Syria by civil war. Safiya knows how lucky she is - lucky not to be living in a refugee camp, lucky to be alive. But it's hard to feel grateful when she's forced to look after her father and brother rather than go back to school, and now that she's lost her home, she's lonelier than ever. As they struggle to rebuild their lives, Safiya realizes that her family has always been incomplete and with her own future in the balance, it's time to uncover the secrets that war has kept buried.

A House Without Walls

A House Without Walls

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/08/2019

A House Without Walls is a powerful story of family, hope and redemption amidst the refugee crisis in Syria from the award-winning Elizabeth Laird, illustrated by Lucy Eldridge. Thirteen-year-old Safiya and her family have been driven out of Syria by civil war. Safiya knows how lucky she is - lucky not to be living in a refugee camp, lucky to be alive. But it's hard to feel grateful when she's forced to look after her father and brother rather than go back to school, and now that she's lost her home, she's lonelier than ever. As they struggle to rebuild their lives, Safiya realizes that her family has always been incomplete and with her own future in the balance, it's time to uncover the secrets that war has kept buried.

Beautiful Bananas

Beautiful Bananas

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/07/2019

Beatrice's mum has asked her to take a bunch of bananas to Grandad. On her path through the jungle, Beatrice meets a giraffe who accidentally flicks them into a stream. Whoops! But the giraffe picks some flowers for Beatrice to take instead. As her journey continues flowers are swapped for honey, honey is swapped for some mangoes . . . and so it goes on until a friendly elephant swaps a feather for . . . a beautiful bunch of bananas! A lovely circular story, based on an African folktale, about family, friendship, and teamwork. Written by best-selling author Elizabeth Laird, and illustrated by Liz Pichon, creator of Tom Gates.

Grobblechops

Grobblechops

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/02/2019

There's a monster hiding under the bed! This classic bedtime fear is hilariously brought to life by award-winning author Elizabeth Laird and Finnish illustrator Jenny Luncander. Amir thinks that a monster will come and eat him up! And maybe the monster will have a mum and dad too! But Dad reassures Amir that if the monster family comes to play, then the parents will have a good old chat whilst Amir makes a new friend.

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Greatest Stories: Oxford Level 19: Jewels from a Sultan's Crown

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Greatest Stories: Oxford Level 19: Jewels from a Sultan's Crown

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/09/2018

Elizabeth Laird retells a beautiful set of folk stories from East Africa and the Middle East. These stories in this collection have travelled across countries, survived through centuries, been retold by generations and have found their way into this book. They are stories of tricks and jokes, leopards and goats, heroes and fools, sorrows and joys - each one of them a perfectly formed gem. TreeTops Greatest Stories offers children some of the world's best-loved tales in a collection of timeless classics. Top children's authors and talented illustrators work together to bring to life our literary heritage for a new generation, engaging and delighting children. The books are carefully levelled, making it easy to match every child to the right book. 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.

A Little Piece of Ground 15th Anniversary Edition

A Little Piece of Ground 15th Anniversary Edition

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback 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 / softback 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

Kiss the Dust

Kiss the Dust

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback 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?

Welcome to Nowhere

Welcome to Nowhere

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback 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 winner of 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

Jake's Tower

Jake's Tower

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback 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 / softback 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?

Welcome to Nowhere

Welcome to Nowhere

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/01/2017

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. 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 / softback 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.

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.elizabethlaird.co.uk/

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