Mary Hoffman - Author

About the Author

Mary Hoffman has written around 90 books for children. Amazing Grace, commended for the Kate Greenaway medal, has sold over 1.5 million copies. Its sequel, Grace & Family, was among Junior Education 's Best Books of 1995 and shortlisted for the Sheffield Libraries Book Award 1996. Mary lives in Oxfordshire.

 

You can read her contributions to The History Girls blog by clicking here.

 

Mary Hoffman's Ten Things You Didn't Know About Me:


I had my appendix taken out by Enid Blyton's husband! (Fortunately he was a surgeon)

My first book was read in manuscript by Richard Adams, author of Watership Down and he suggested sending it to his publishers, Rex Collings, after a dozen others had turned it down. They took it.
 
I didn't change my surname when I got married.

Amazing Grace and Boundless Grace (which is what Grace and Family is called in the US) were both turned into musical plays and performed in Minneapolis in 1995 and 1998.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a garage mechanic.

I didn't learn to drive until I was over fifty.

My husband is half-Indian. His mother was a Parsee, born in Bangalore.

One of my great-grandfathers was German, another Irish.

I am learning Italian and would love to have a house in Italy.

I never wear or own anything blue.

 

Photo by Jess Barber (©Jess Barber)

Featured books by Mary Hoffman

Other books by Mary Hoffman

The Great Big Green Book

The Great Big Green Book

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/06/2018

Think of the future. Can you imagine our planet as beautiful as it used to be? You could be the one to help make it beautiful again, with the things you do and the ideas you have. Your planet needs YOU! Join authors Ros Asquith and Mary Hoffman as they explain what we need for life on Earth and show us the importance of the rainforests and the oceans. In this bumper book of environmentally friendly ideas, they explain that we need to look after our planet, showing how some of the things we take for granted are running out, and how we have polluted so much our planet. As well as facts about our planet, the book is full of brilliant action plans to help save our planet, including ideas for saving water, saving energy, recycling, repairing, growing seasonal food, cooking fresh food, saving on packing, asking questions... and thinking of new inventions and big ideas. This is the eco-friendly guide to helping save the planet that all young children can learn from!

The Great Big Book of Friends

The Great Big Book of Friends

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/03/2018

What is a friend? Can a pet be a friend? Are you friends with your brothers and sisters? What if you don't have any friends? A wonderful celebration of all kinds of friendship, from best friends to groups of friends to toys that feel like friends, this truly inclusive book is a great way to start a conversation with children about what makes a good friend. From the author and illustrator team behind The Great Big Book of Families and The Great Big Book of Feelings, this diverse celebration of friendship is perfect for both the home and the classroom.

Smile The story of the original Mona Lisa

Smile The story of the original Mona Lisa

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/01/2018

A gorgeous historical novel following the fictional life of the young woman who would become Leonardo Da Vinci's greatest work. Renaissance Italy is a world of riches open to any man who dares to conquer it. In the life of young Lisa the doors to this world remain closed. Promised in her youth to a widower as a loving wife and mother, she is resigned to an unremarkable existence clinging only to the memory of being Lovely Lisa to the now great Leonardo Da Vinci. But when their paths cross again her portrait will become his masterpiece and her smile will capture the imagination of the world. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+

Pirate Baby

Pirate Baby

Author: Mary Hoffman, Ros Asquith Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Shiver me timbers, said the Captain. It's a baby! When the crew of pirate ship Ramshackle find a tiny baby adrift on the high seas, they are a bit flummoxed. Even more so, when they discover it's a baby girl. The adventures that follow in this rollicking tale are full of laughter and surprises, as the pirates sew nappies, make baby clothes out of pirate shirts and even a toy squid out of pirate gloves for the new arrival. The pirates won't give up their baby - not even to the women pirates who pass close by. And when a huge sea monster appears, it's baby Isla who saves the day, to become a true Pirate Baby.

The Great Big Body Book

The Great Big Body Book

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/07/2017

There are all kinds of bodies in the world. What are YOU like? Celebrate our brilliant bodies in this fantastic book jam-packed with interesting facts. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes as we change from babies to children to teenagers to adults, our bodies change too! Find out about growing and learning, keeping fit, breaks and bruises, the five senses, using our minds, how we are the same and how we are different - and lots more in the fourth book in the internationally best-selling Great Big Book series.

The Ravenmaster's Boy

The Ravenmaster's Boy

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2017

Young Kit finds himself on a plague cart wedged between the bodies of his mother and father. But he is alive and is rescued and taken into the home of the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London. He soon finds he can speak the language of the big black birds, a skill which proves useful when he finds himself caught up in a story of queens and treason, princesses and executioners.There can be no change in the history of Henry Vlll's rst two wives but without Kit and the ravens another Tudor monarch might never have survived.

First Bible Story Book

First Bible Story Book

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: eBook Release Date: 01/03/2017

In this beautifully illustrated picture book 13 specially selected stories from both the Old and New Testaments are retold for the very young. Mary Hoffman's lively retellings preserve all the mystery wonder and excitement of the Bible while the charming illustrations by Julie Downing bring the best-loved characters and events to life. Each page provides many opportunities for shared discussion. Young children can follow the stories in pictures while an adult reads aloud. Produced in careful consultation with religious advisers A First Bible Story Book is an entertaining and delightful introduction to the teachings of the Bible.

Lost and Found Parables Jesus Told

Lost and Found Parables Jesus Told

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/02/2017

A Tale of Two Houses * Neighbours * Lost and Found * Fair Pay * The Jealous Brother * Sowing and Growing * Come to the Party * Forgiveness Mary Hoffman retells eight parables showing how Jesus used storytelling to explain God's idea of truth, fairness and love. With beautiful, atmospheric illustrations by Jackie Morris, this is a perfect introduction to the teachings of Jesus.

Tilt

Tilt

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/01/2017

Pisa, 1299. In the male-dominated world of Renaissance Italy, Netta is an ambitious young woman and the last in the line of a great family of sculptors and stone-carvers. Determined to throw off the shackles of marriage, Netta sets out to take up her family's legacy and work on fixing the city's leaning tower. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

The Great Big Body Book

The Great Big Body Book

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/07/2016

There are all kinds of bodies in the world. What are YOU like? Celebrate our brilliant bodies in this fantastic book jam-packed with interesting facts. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes as we change from babies to children to teenagers to adults, our bodies change too! Find out about growing and learning, keeping fit, breaks and bruises, the five senses, using our minds, how we are the same and how we are different - and lots more in the fourth book in the internationally best-selling Great Big Book series.

The Great Big Book of Feelings

The Great Big Book of Feelings

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2016

How are you feeling today? Happy? Sad? Excited? Scared? We all experience lots of different emotions, sometimes angry or silly, sometimes jealous or upset;sometimes lonely or worried. However you feel, sharing and talking about your feelings will make you feel better. This fresh, optimistic look at all the feelings we experience explores feelings in family life, at school and everywhere with warmth, wit and sensitivity. Featuring lots of different children in various situations, brief text captions and questions and plenty of humour, this is the go to book to learn about feelings.

David The Unauthorised Autobiography

David The Unauthorised Autobiography

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/04/2016

Shakespeare's Ghost

Shakespeare's Ghost

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/04/2016

It's 1610 and Jacobean London is full of dangers, from the plague to plots and revolutions.For William Shakespeare, life has taken an unexpected turn: one that will transform his writing. Haunted by a familiar spirit, he is urged to include more and more paranormal events and characters in his work.Meanwhile, Ned Lambert, a young player in Shakespeare's company, The King's Men, is having inexplicable experiences of his own, with a beautiful and elusive woman in green who is not of this world. Now a man on and off stage, Ned is caught between fears and temptations. The poet is his friend, as is the popular young Prince of Wales, but is the mysterious woman he sees friend or foe?

Apple of Sodom

Apple of Sodom

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: eBook Release Date: 24/04/2015

Emily Crawford, a young American wife and mother, seeks a long-overdue self-respect in this absorbing and dramatic portrait of an expatriate family experi-encing life in an exotic Arab culture at the start of the 1960s. Revelatory episodes unfold against the entertainments of the well-to-do and influential, among the lives of ordinary citizens, and during explorations of ancient cities in the Holy Land and beyond.

The Great Big Book of Families

The Great Big Book of Families

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/03/2015

What is a family? Once, it was said to be a father, mother, boy, girl, cat and dog living in a house with a garden. But as times have changed, families have changed too, and now there are almost as many kinds of families as colours of the rainbow - from a mum and dad or single parent to two mums or two dads, from a mixed-race family to children with different mums and dads, to families with a disabled member. This is a fresh, optimistic look through children's eyes at today's wide variety of family life: from homes, food, ways of celebrating, schools and holidays to getting around, jobs and housework, from extended families, languages and hobbies to pets and family trees.

The Angel Of Venice

The Angel Of Venice

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/07/2014

A moving historical adventure set against the backdrop of the last great sea battle - the Battle of Lepanto - ever fought in the Mediterranean. It is 1571 and Venice's colonies in Cyprus are under threat. The forces of the Holy League sail to meet the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean. On board the ship The Angel of Venice is young Venetian boy Luca, torn between the excitement of the sea and precious ties at home - Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

Deadly Letter

Deadly Letter

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/06/2014

A charming story about startinng over from a bestselling author. Prity is fed up of England. It's cold, wet and she doesn't understand any of the rules for Deadly Letter, the most popular playground game. The other kids aren't exactly welcoming either, but Prity is determined to make a place for herself in this strange new place. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 7+

Daughters of Time

Daughters of Time

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2014

Look through fresh eyes at the stories of some of history's most remarkable women, in this inspiring collection of short stories by the finest female authors writing historical fiction for children today - The History Girls. Subjects include: Queen Boudicca, Aethelfled, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Julian of Norwich, Lady Jane Grey, Elizabeth Stuart, Aphra Behn, Mary Wollestonecraft, Mary Anning, Mary Seacole, Emily Davison, Amy Johnson and the Greenham Common women.

The Sword in the Stone Band 11 Lime/Band 16 Sapphire

The Sword in the Stone Band 11 Lime/Band 16 Sapphire

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/01/2014

This action-packed graphic novel retells the legend of King Arthur, following him as he is transformed from an ordinary young boy to a powerful and famous monarch. Written by Mary Hoffman, this well-known story has been brought to life with illustrations by Dante Ginevra. * Collins Big Cat Progress books are specifically designed for children at Key Stage 2 who have a Key Stage 1 reading level, giving them age-appropriate texts that they can read, building their confidence and fostering positive attitudes towards reading. * Text type: A graphic novel set in the past * Curriculum links:

Stravaganza: City of Swords

Stravaganza: City of Swords

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2012

Desperately unhappy, Laura has resorted to secretly self-harming. But Laura is a Stravagante, somebody who can travel in time and space. When she finds her talisman, a small silver dagger, she stravagates with it to sixteenth-century Fortezza, a town similar to Lucca in Italy, where she meets her Stravagante, who is a swordsmith. But Laura also meets the charming and attractive Ludo, and falls for him. Their love for each other is tested when Ludo lays claim to the crown of Fortezza, and Laura finds herself fighting on the side of the Stravaganti opposing him . . . A thrilling tale filled with battles on the field and battles of the heart.

Troubadour

Troubadour

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: eBook Release Date: 05/03/2011

Sudfrankreich im 13. Jahrhundert. Elinor liebt Bertran, den Troubadour, doch fur ihre Eltern kommt eine solche Verbindung nicht infrage. Stattdessen soll die 13-Jahrige einen alteren Adligen heiraten. Doch Elinor nimmt ihr Gluck selbst in die Hand, flieht und macht sich auf die Suche nach Bertran.

Troubadour

Troubadour

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2010

This is a story of persecution and poetry, love and war set in thirteenth century southern France. A troubadour, Bertran, witnesses the brutal murder of the Pope's legate, and risks his life to warn others of the war that he knows is certain to follow this act. The lands of the peaceable Cathars - deemed heretics - are now forfeit and under threat from crusaders who have been given authority by the Pope to take the Cathar domains by force. But the Pope is trying to track Bertran down and so is somebody else: Elinor, a young noblewoman, in love with Bertran but facing a loveless arranged marriage, flees her family and becomes a minstrel herself. Soon both Bertran and Elinor find themselves enveloped in a rising tide of bloodshed that threatens the very fabric of their society.

City of Ships

City of Ships

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2010

Set in Classe (Ravenna in our world), the Stravagante is Isabel, a younger twin by a matter of minutes. Her talisman is a pouch of silver mosaic tiles and she stravagates to Classe, where she is met by Flavia, a successful female merchant who trades spices, silks, tapestries, and whose son is an outcast and a pirate. Isabel finds that Classe and Bellezza are under threat from attack by the fierce Gate people. What can she do to help save the city? A thrilling story packed with action, pirates and drama.

Princess Grace

Princess Grace

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/09/2008

Amazing Grace is back! The girl who proved that you can be anything you want and that families are what you make them, now discovers that there's more more than one way to be a princess. Grace has the chance to be a princess in a school parade. But what does a princess do, apart from wearing beautiful clothes and looking pretty? Does she have to be pink and floaty, with a crown? Grace and her friends start finding out about princesses in China, Egypt, the Philippines and Zimbabwe - and on the day of the parade, helped by Ma and Nana, Grace's school has the most interesting float of all. As for Grace - she's a sensation!

Stravaganza City of Secrets

Stravaganza City of Secrets

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2008

When Matt is unexpectedly transported to the Scriptorium of Padavia (real-life Padua) University, he discovers he is a Stravagante who can travel through time using his talisman, a leather-bound book. Together with Luciano, now studying at the University, and Arianna, in disguise as a boy, he must fight the dangerous di Chimici clan who are on the verge of making a terrifying breakthrough into our world. A breathtaking and thrilling novel that will delight all Stravaganza fans.

City of Flowers

City of Flowers

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2008

Sequel to City of Masks and City of Stars, the narrative moves to the Talian equivalent of the city of Florence, where beauty and danger walk - as ever - hand in hand. The focus this time is on the new Stravagante, Sky, whose talisman is an ornate and delicate blue glass bottle. Sky is propelled right into the midst of a deadly feud between the di Chimici and Nucci families, who think nothing of sliding a knife between a man's ribs for revenge A breathtaking and thrilling drama with a very special kind of magic, continuing the stories of Luciano, Arianna, Rodolfo, Falco and Georgia, which fans will sieze upon with glee.

City of Stars

City of Stars

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2008

Sequel to City of Masks, the setting is again Talia, the parallel world very similar to 16th-century Italy, but the main character in this book is Georgia - who has a love of horses. She is desperate to buy a little, dusty winged horse that has appeared in a local antique shop. This tiny, winged horse proves to be the talisman that transports Georgia right into the rivalries and the high-octane excitement of the hugely competitive Stellata horse race. Mary Hoffman proved herself a mistress of a narrative tour-de-force with City of Masks and this sequel will not disappoint. Fans will be thrilled too that favourite characters from the first book, such as Lucien and Arianna, again appear.

The Falconer's Knot

The Falconer's Knot

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2008

Silvano and Chiara are two teenagers with a difference. Silvano has been accused of a murder he did not commit. Chiara has been ousted from her family as a young woman with no marriage prospects. For these two very different reasons they are forced to seek refuge in a neighbouring convent and friary. And when they meet they are instantly aware that they are both outsiders, ill at ease with monastic life. Then a grisly murder - followed by another, and then another - strikes fear into the close-knit community. Chiara and Silvano cling together within the terrifying spiral of murder as they, and the friends they have made, attempt to solve the deadly mystery. This remarkably rich mystery thriller, with all the pace and action of a 'whodunnit', is set in the incredibly atmospheric environs of a friary in 14th-century Italy. Amidst all the action of the murder mystery, the author depicts in fascinating and intricate detail the lives and tasks of the friars and nuns, whether it be crushing pigments to create paints for the fresco artists in nearby Assisi, or the daily and nightly ritual of the religious services. All the historical detail is carefully researched. A huge cast of characters with romantic teen heroes, combined with the thriller-murder element, ensure a pacy, richly enjoyable read.

Grace and Family

Grace and Family

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/10/2007

Amazing Grace is back! To Grace, family has always meant her Ma, her Nana and a cat called Paw-Paw. So when Papa invites her to visit him in The Gambia, she dreams of finding the kind of fairy-tale family she has read about in stories. But, as Nana reminds her, families are what you make them. This warm and delightful picture book is the follow-up to the much-loved international best-seller, Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/10/2007

Grace loves to act out stories. Sometimes she plays the leading part, sometimes she is 'a cast of thousands.' When her school decides to perform Peter Pan , Grace is longing to play Peter, but her classmates say that Peter was a boy, and besides, he wasn't black... But Grace's Ma and Nana tell her she can be anything she wants if she puts her mind to it...

Read Write Inc. Comprehension: Module 16: Children's Books: Grace and Family Pack of 5 books

Read Write Inc. Comprehension: Module 16: Children's Books: Grace and Family Pack of 5 books

Author: Mary Hoffman, Ruth Miskin Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/05/2007

Read Write Inc. Comprehension is the next step in developing children's composition and writing skills once they have become confident readers. The programme offers 30 weekly modules, specially written to link reading and writing activities to carefully levelled texts. 16 of the modules are linked to published quality fiction and non-fiction children's books. The accompanying Read Write Inc. module offers activities which provide practice in reading, writing and spelling, and consolidate the pupils' knowledge through comprehension and guided composition. The illustrated children's books, of which this is one, that accompany 16 of the Comprehension modules can all be purchased from Oxford University Press in the same way as the module packs.

A First Book of Fairy Tales

A First Book of Fairy Tales

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/08/2006

Once upon a time there were some wonderful fairy tales waiting to be read as bedtime stories... Here are fourteen classics including magical tales by the brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, retold by Children's author Mary Hoffman. Beautiful illustrations and a sprinkle of story magic mean that bedtime will never be the same again. Enchant your child with favourite tales like Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Snow Queen, or Sleeping Beauty. This book also includes some wonderful stories that you might not know, such as The Fisherman and his Wife and Diamonds and Toads. Introduce your little one to the characters that enchanted you as a child, or meet the cast of a new story together. Mary Hoffman's charming retellings use simple language, ideal for reading or hearing aloud, while Julie Downing's stunning illustrations bring the characters to life, so children can follow and enjoy the fairy tales through the pictures. A wonderful collection to quietly enjoy together, making bedtime easy.

The Colour of Home

The Colour of Home

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2003

Hassan feels out of place in a new cold, grey country. At school, he paints a picture showing his colourful Somalian home, covered with the harsh colours of war from which his family has fled. He tells his teacher about their voyage from Mogadishu to Mombasa, then to the refugee camp and on to England. But gradually things change. When Hassan's parents put up his next picture on the wall, Hassan notices the maroon prayer mat, a bright green cushion and his sister Naima's pink dress - the new colours of home.

Dracula's Daughter

Dracula's Daughter

Author: Mary Hoffman Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/11/2002

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