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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

Oranges in No Man's Land

Oranges in No Man's Land

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

Level 2: The Earthquake Book and Multi-ROM with MP3 Pack

Level 2: The Earthquake Book and Multi-ROM with MP3 Pack

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 01/12/2015

This reader is accompanied with a CD that contains the full audio of the text in MP3 format. Gabriel loves Silvia and is very disappointed when she chooses to go out with rich, handsome Marco instead of him. But that evening a terrible earthquake strikes the town and their lives are changed forever... A moving and dramatic tale of love against the odds.

Dindy and the Elephant

Dindy and the Elephant

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback 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.

The Fastest Boy in the World

The Fastest Boy in the World

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback 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.

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 / softback 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.

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 / softback 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.

The Prince Who Walked With Lions

The Prince Who Walked With Lions

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback 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 Prince Who Walked With Lions

The Prince Who Walked With Lions

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/03/2012

The British Army is circling the stronghold of the King of Abyssinia. Under orders from Queen Victoria, 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 how on earth can he and his warriors stand against the well-equipped foreigners? As battle rages, everything that Alamayu fears comes to pass. 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 in Rugby College to become a 'proper' English gentleman. What the English see as an honour is, to this lonely Ethiopian prince, a horror. This is Alamayu's story, seen through his eyes: the battle, the journey to England and the trauma of an English public school as he comes to terms with the hand that fate has dealt him and tries to build a new life.

The Listener

The Listener

Author: Elizabeth Laird, Pauline Hazelwood Format: Paperback / softback 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 Witching Hour

The Witching Hour

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2010

Everyone knows the devil is real. Everyone knows that witches exist. Everyone knows that saying the wrong thing can get you hanged . . . When fourteen-year-old Maggie's grandmother is accused of witchcraft, Maggie has to run for her life. But Scotland is in the grip of terror and Maggie runs straight into danger, falling into the hands of the English. Defying the king can be deadly, but falling in line is unthinkable. Maggie must learn to stand up for herself if she is to survive . . .

Pea Boy and other stories from Iran

Pea Boy and other stories from Iran

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/09/2009

Iran has mountains striped with snow, dense forests where bears and lynxes still roam, deserts, bazaars...but above all it has stories - of fairies and demons, of a monstrous metal eagle called the okab, of romantic cockroaches and foolish weavers. During her travels, Elizabeth Laird has gathered a wealth of stories, and here she retells, in her own inimitable style, some of Iran's best, with delightfully offbeat illustrations from Shirin Adl. Praise for A Fistful of Pearls and Other Tales from Iraq: 'Its baddies are wolves and thieves; its stories are fabulous.' The Daily Telegraph

The Witching Hour

The Witching Hour

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/05/2009

In seventeenth-century Scotland, everyone knows the devil is real. Everyone knows that witches exist. Everyone knows that saying the wrong thing can get you hanged . . . When fourteen-year-old Maggie's grandmother is accused of witchcraft, Maggie has to run for her life. With English soldiers on the march, nowhere is safe - certainly not Ladymuir, where her uncle is determined to defy the king. And wherever Maggie goes, disaster follows . . . A gripping historical novel about a young girl's journey through the Killing Time.

Lost Riders

Lost Riders

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2009

A story of separation and the strength of family, Lost Riders is a powerful and thought-provoking novel from award-winning author Elizabeth Laird. Taken from their home in Pakistan to work in the Persian Gulf, eight-year-old Rashid and his little brother Shari cling to each other. Then they are separated and forced to become jockeys in the lucrative camel-racing business. Rashid is starved and worked to exhaustion by harsh supervisors - but he has a talent for racing and quickly becomes his stable's star jockey. Soon he begins to forget what life was like when he had a proper home. He almost begins to forget about Shari . . .

Where's Toto?/Ou est Toto?

Where's Toto?/Ou est Toto?

Author: Elizabeth Laird Format: Paperback / softback 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.

Author Info

Author's Website

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

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