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Celia Rees was born and went to school in Solihull, in the West Midlands. She now lives in Leamington Spa with her husband and teenage daughter, Catrin. After gaining a degree in History and Politics from Warwick University, she taught English in comprehensive schools in Coventry for seventeen years. It was during this time that she began to write. Celia’s first book was published in 1993, a thriller for teenagers.
Celia now divides her time between writing, talking to readers in schools and libraries, and teaching creative writing on the University of Warwick’s Open Studies Programme. She writes for older children and teenagers and gets her inspiration from the world around her: newspaper stories, people she meets, places she visits. Celia particularly likes museums and art galleries. She first had the idea for Witch Child on a trip to the American museum near Bath.
Weaving romance and courage together into a powerful story set in Elizabethean England this tells how Violetta, a young girl in exile, desperately pursues the treasure stolen from her country by the evil Malvolio while also hoping against hope that she’ll find her true love. Violetta travels with Feste, fool extraordinaire, whose clowning antics catch the eye of Shakespeare himself in this gripping adventure that tells another chapter in his story of Twelfth Night.
This terrific historical romp tells how teenager Sovay fights against the restricting conventions of her time. Escaping from her cheating fiancé, Sovay adopts the dress and life style of a highwayman and takes to the dangerous roads of eighteenth century England. Soon she’s swept up in intrigue in England before crossing the channel and facing the terrible dangers of the French revolution.
Finn hates water. She's haunted by terrifying nightmares in which she is running before a huge wave that threatens to engulf hern watery darkness for ever. And the dreams have been worse since she, her mum and her two younger brothers arrived in Cornwall. Then she discovers the strange curse that was laid upon the cottage years ago, and she's sure vengeful Griffiths has something to do with it. She's seen him, endlessly tying and retying a length of rope, creating the knots that - superstition has it - can conjure storms. Finn knows that she's in mortal danger if she can't find a way to break the curse...
When two young women meet under extraordinary circumstances in eighteenth century West Indies they are unified in their desire to escape their oppressive lives. The first is a slave, forced to work in a plantation mansion and subjected to terrible cruelty at the hands of the plantation manager. The second is a spirited and rebellious English girl, sent to the West Indies to marry well and combine the wealth of two respectable families. But Fate ensures that one night the two young women have to save each other and run away to a life no less dangerous but certainly a lot more free. As pirates they roam the seas, fight pitched battles against their foes and become embroiled in many a heart-quickening adventure. Written in brilliant and sparkling first-person narrative, this is a wonderful novel in which Celia Rees has brought the past vividly and intimately to life.
Lewis James is unhappy. Overweight and unpopular, his dad despises him, the girl he likes won't look at him - he has no friends, no life. Desperate to change, anxious to know all about his future, he tries a fortune-teller with a difference. A beguiling and seemingly caring toyshop owner, Mr Jardine. Jardine is eager to help and first offers Lewis practical advice - such as taking up exercise and getting fitter to improve Lewis's chances with Lisa. He also offers Lewis a Saturday job in his shop and Lewis soon starts to feel more confident. He enjoys working in the shop, watching Jardine at work crafting his life-like and ultra-sophisticated puppets. But Lisa still evades Lewis, and he needs more help. Again he turns to Jardine - making the biggest mistake of his life. Jardine suggests Lewis somehow get a lock of Lisa's hair - then Jardine will use his 'psychic gifts' to influence her. But what Lewis doesn't know is that Jardine has no intention of helping him - or Lisa. Jardine is a spirit thief - a Soul Taker. He wants human souls to bring his 'children' to life and now he has Lewis right where he wants him. Ater all, a deal's a deal. A life for a life, a soul for a soul . . .
Even if she doesn't believe in the ghost of Michael Bailey, Alex Lewis is still haunted by the memory of the terrifying incident that took place two years ago, and by the fact that she too played the vicious game which led to it - the Bailey Game. And all it takes for the game to start again is the arrival of a new girl, Lauren Price, who doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the class. Alex is suddenly confronted with some difficult decisions, but ultimately her friendship with Lauren and her memory of the unstoppable Bailey Game demand that this time she opts out of the game and faces the perils of being on the outside . . . `A very exciting and disturbing tale which will hold the reader's interest right to the end. I highly recommend THE BAILEY GAME' Michele Elliot, KIDSCAPE
As Witch Child ends so Sorceress begins. Alison Ellman is still searching for information about the wonderful Mary Newbury, she has a diary and some scattered information about other people in Mary's life, but Mary has disappeared into the forests and Alison has no way of following her. But when she meets Agnes Herne, Alison encounters the person who is going to tell her all about Mary's life after she leaves Beulah. Agnes is a descendent of Mary's and has a special skill which allows her to be in touch with Mary in the spirit world. And Mary has a story to tell. This is a story of love and friendship, sadness and loss. A story that takes her across the new world in an epic search for a home. We fell under the spell of Mary in Witch Child and now at last we find out what happened to her after her ill-fated time in Beulah. Just as Mary's story has to be told to Agnes it has to be read by us for it is passionate, compelling and utterly wonderful. Praise for Sorceress - 'A fine achievement, memorably describing times when teenagers had problems that make today's frustrations seem tame.' - Nicholas Tucker, Independent .
In the midsummer of his twelfth birthday, Davey, his twin cousins and his sister Kate, embark on a tour of the infamous underground city in Davey's hometown. As the tour progresses, Davey finds himself separated from the others, and inside an eerie chamber. Here he is drawn to a large and hazy-glassed mirror. In a moment, Davey's reflection blurs, and he finds himself back on the streets of the ancient city - but the residents are not of his time - they are ghosts, and some do not take kindly to those from 'the other side'. Davey encounters some friendly spirits, too - but they urge him to try to make it back to his own time, before an evil ghost crew discovers he is mortal. A frantic search for his own world begins, and Davey makes it just in time. But he senses there is unfinished business and, come Hallowe'en, the ghosts will be on the lookout for him - and this time they will be visiting his world ...
A room of secrets in a house of lies.... When Josh explores his grandmother's house he finds an attic up a closed-off staircase. In it is a collection of strange drawings by his uncle, Patrick, who died suddenly in his teens. But he has no grave, and his name is never spoken. And Josh begins to uncover the dark truth his family has hidden for forty years..... 'Truth or Dare doesn't let up - and hits you with a final twist.' Daily Telegraph 'An unsettling, unputdownable mystery.' TES 'A moving book.' The Times 'Cecila Rees recounts a terrible human tragedy.' Children's Book of the Week, Guardian
This is a powerful, absorbing and unusual novel - The Bookseller . The sort of historial novel eleven and twelve year olds will gobble up at a sitting - Nina Bawden. When Mary sees her grandmother accused of witchcraft and hung for the crime, she is silently hurried to safety by an unknown woman. The woman gives her tools to keep the record of her days - paper and ink. Mary is taken to a boat in Plymouth and from there sails to the New World where she hopes to make a new life among the pilgrims. But old superstitions die hard and soon Mary finds that she, like her grandmother, is the victim of ignorance and stupidity and once more she finds herself having to make important choices to ensure her survival. With a vividly evoked environment and characters skilfully and patiently drawn this is a powerful literary achievement by Celia Rees, that is utterly engrossing from start to finish.