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Sally Nicholls - Author

About the Author

Sally Nicholls was born in Stockton-on-Tees, just after midnight, in a thunderstorm. Her father died when she was two and she and her brother Ian were brought up by her mother. She always wanted to write - when people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, 'I used to say "I'm going to be a writer" - very definite'.


After school she worked in a Red Cross Hospital in Japan, travelled around Australia and New Zealand and returned to do a degree in Philosophy and Literature at Warwick.

Her first book Ways to Live Forever was a multiple prize winner:
Winner of the Glen Dimplex Prize for New Writers 2008.
Winner of Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2008.
Winner of Luchs Prize (Germany) for best children’s book published in Germany in the last year.
Longlisted for Branford Boase Award 2009.

She now lives in a little flat in London and has a part-time job as an administrator for a charity called Effective Intervention. The rest of her time is spent writing stories and trying to believe her luck.

Photo by Eric Luke

Featured books by Sally Nicholls

An Island of Our Own

An Island of Our Own

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2015

From one of the brightest talents in children's fiction and the winner of the Waterstones Children's Book prize comes a new novel about family and friendship. Siblings Jonathan, Holly and Davy have been struggling to survive since the death of their mother, and are determined to avoid being taken into care. When the family's wealthy but eccentric Great-Aunt Irene has a stroke, they go to visit her. Unable to speak or write, she gives Holly some photographs that might lead them to an inheritance that could solve all their problems. But they're not the only ones after the treasure...

ebook of the month
Close Your Pretty Eyes

Close Your Pretty Eyes

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2013

A gripping psychological thriller from the author of the bestselling WAYS TO LIVE FOREVER. Eleven-year-old Olivia has been in care since she was five, and is just beginning her sixteenth placement. Her new home is a secluded farmhouse, centuries old, where she slowly bonds with her foster family. But the house holds dark secrets. Olivia discovers that it was once a notorious baby farm, where unwanted children were left to die. She becomes convinced that the place is haunted. She is desperate to save her new family from the ghosts. The danger is real - but does it come from the twisted mind of a very disturbed child? A powerful and thrilling story from one of today's most exciting young writers.

ebook of the month

Other books by Sally Nicholls

An Escape in Time

An Escape in Time

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/2021

Fun-filled, action-packed adventures in time from best-selling, award-winning author, Sally Nicholls. When Alex and Ruby fall through the mirror in their aunt's house, they find themselves in a different historical period, each time with a different task to perform before they can return to the present. From Edwardian crime capers to Victorian Christmasses, their time-slip stories are always exciting and beautifully told. When a furious French aristocrat lands in Alex and Ruby's hallway, they have to hide her in Regency England. Can they stop her causing chaos? Probably not... Classic storytelling from a brilliant writer and beautifully illustrated throughout by Rachael Dean, with covers by Isabelle Follath. One of these books is never enough!

The Button Book

The Button Book

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/01/2021

Here's a button. I wonder what happens when you press it? From a singing button to a tickle button, from a rude sound button to a mysterious white button, there's only one way to find out what they do... A remarkable adventure powered purely by imagination, where the sounds, songs and play are completely up to you and whoever you're sharing this wonderful book with. This picture book will take you on a magical journey of colour, imagination, and play with a wind-down bedtime ending (unless you're asked to read it again). The last one is a sleep button. Good night, children. More confirmation that children's book creators are unsung geniuses. New York Times

A Christmas in Time

A Christmas in Time

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2020

Fun-filled, action-packed adventures in time from best-selling, award-winning author, Sally Nicholls. When Alex and Ruby fall through the mirror in their aunt's house, they find themselves in a different historical period, each time with a different task to perform before they can return to the present. From Edwardian crime capers to Victorian Christmasses, their time-slip stories are always exciting and beautifully told. A Victorian Christmas is lovely - all the food and candles and games and singing - unless you're poor, motherless Edith who is condemned to be sent to a cruel boarding school on Boxing Day. Can Alex and Ruby persuade her strict father that home is where the heart is instead? Classic storytelling from a brilliant writer and beautifully illustrated throughout by Rachael Dean, with covers by Isabelle Follath. One of these books is never enough!

A Chase In Time

A Chase In Time

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2020

A fast-paced adventure full of car chases, arson and cake! The old gilt-edged mirror has hung in Alex's aunt's house for as long as he can remember. Alex hardly notices it, until the day he and his sister are pulled through the mirror, back into 1912. It's the same house, but a very different place to live, and the people they meet need their help. Soon they're caught up in car chases and treasure hunts as they race to find a priceless golden cup - but will they ever be able to return to their own time? From multi-award-winning author Sally Nicholls, A Chase In Time is the first in a brilliant time-slip adventure series for 7+ readers, beautifully illustrated inside by Rachael Dean, with cover illustrations by Isabelle Follath.

Who Makes a Forest?

Who Makes a Forest?

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2020

Who makes a forest? A wizard, a giant, an emperor? Come on a walk with Grandpa to discover how a forest is made, and see how a thousand tiny things can come together to change the face of the earth... Poetically written by award-winning Sally Nicholls and beautifully illustrated by Carolina Rabei, this gorgeous book features a non-fiction section about the different types of forests around the world, their importance to our ecosystem and the impact of deforestation on our planet.

Siwrne yn y Gorffennol

Siwrne yn y Gorffennol

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/11/2019

The Button Book

The Button Book

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Here's a button. I wonder what happens when you press it? From a singing button to a tickle button, from a rude sound button to a mysterious white button, there's only one way to find out what they do... A remarkable adventure powered purely by imagination, where the sounds, songs and play are completely up to you and whoever you're sharing this wonderful book with. This picture book will take you on a magical journey of colour, imagination, and play with a wind-down bedtime ending (unless you're asked to read it again). The last one is a sleep button. Good night, children. More confirmation that children's book creators are unsung geniuses. New York Times

An Island of Our Own (2019 NE)

An Island of Our Own (2019 NE)

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2019

From one of the brightest talents in children's fiction and the winner of the Waterstones Children's Book prize comes a new novel about family and friendship. Siblings Jonathan, Holly and Davy have been struggling to survive since the death of their mother, and are determined to avoid being taken into care. When the family's wealthy but eccentric Great-Aunt Irene has a stroke, they go to visit her. Unable to speak or write, she gives Holly some photographs that might lead them to an inheritance that could solve all their problems. But they're not the only ones after the treasure...

All Fall Down

All Fall Down

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2019

A deadly contagion races through England... Isabel and her family have nowhere to run from a disease that has killed half of Europe. When the world she knows and loves ends for ever, her only weapon is courage. The Black Death of 1349 was the deadliest plague in human history. All Fall Down is a powerful and inspiring story of survival in the face of real-life horror.

Ways to Live Forever (2019 NE)

Ways to Live Forever (2019 NE)

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2019

My name is Sam. I am eleven years old. I collect stories and fantastic facts. By the time you read this, I will probably be dead. Sam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl. And because he has leukaemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers to the questions nobody will answer. WAYS TO LIVE FOREVER is the first novel from an extraordinarily talented young writer. Funny and honest, it is one of the most powerful and uplifting books you will ever read.

The Great Telephone Mix-Up

The Great Telephone Mix-Up

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2018

When the village wires get crossed after a storm, there's a lot of confusion and plenty of missed connections. Margaret can't run her summer fair, Jai can't speak to Aditi, and Will is rather happy because no one can tell his mum how much trouble he's in! Can the villagers learn to love their neighbours and could the great telephone mix-up really be a blessing in disguise? A charming, funny, family adventure bursting with wonderful characters.

Things a Bright Girl Can Do

Things a Bright Girl Can Do

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2019, National Book Award, Books Are My Bag Readers' Awards and the YA Book Prize Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms and freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote. Evelyn is seventeen, and though she is rich and clever, she may never be allowed to follow her older brother to university. Enraged that she is expected to marry her childhood sweetheart rather than be educated, she joins the Suffragettes, and vows to pay the ultimate price for women's freedom. May is fifteen, and already sworn to the cause, though she and her fellow Suffragists refuse violence. When she meets Nell, a girl who's grown up in hardship, she sees a kindred spirit. Together and in love, the two girls start to dream of a world where all kinds of women have their place. But the fight for freedom will challenge Evelyn, May and Nell more than they ever could believe. As war looms, just how much are they willing to sacrifice?

All About Ella

All About Ella

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/03/2017

Sam is sick, and Ella is sick of Sam. Life seems to revolve around his hospital appointments, his medication and his need for peace and quiet. No one thinks about what Ella wants or needs, no one cares. They don't even know what day she was born on. In the end, Ella decides she doesn't care if Sam gets sicker, but when it happens, she finds she cares an awful lot. A charming and heartfelt exploration of family love and the challenges of being a younger sibling. High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all.

Billy Button, Telegram Boy

Billy Button, Telegram Boy

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2016

When Charlie the telegram boy breaks his leg and can't ride his bicycle, Billy Button sees his chance. He has always wanted to be a telegram boy, delivering messages all over the village on the red Post Office bicycle. Soon Billy is zooming about all over the place with news of new babies, sick sisters and sweethearts coming to visit. He even has a chance to put a few things right with a special 'extra' telegram or two...High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all.

Shadow Girl

Shadow Girl

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/04/2014

A poignant story about foster care children with a supernatural twist, from the award-winning author of Ways to Live Forever. Clare knows she's at least partly to blame for her problems at school, but she's learned that it hurts to make friends when you're a foster kid and you'll just be moved on again. It's a relief to meet Maddy, who knows exactly what it's like to be in the system. But then Maddy disappears. Clare has opened her heart at last, and she can't let it go - will she find her friend? Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

A Lily, A Rose

A Lily, A Rose

Author: Sally Nicholls Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/03/2013

Beautiful romance from an award-winning author. Lady Elinor of Hardford has fallen in love for the first time, with Dan, her cousin and knight-in-training. But her father has other plans. She must marry his friend, Sir William of Courtney - and he's nearly 50! Ellie must draw on all her skills to work out a solution to her dilemma. Can she change her father's mind? And will she ever get to marry Dan? An uplifting romance. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers of 12+