Alex Shearer was born in Wick, in the far north of Scotland. His father was a blacksmith and his mother was a secretary. He enjoyed writing from an early age, and sold his first television script about thirty years ago. He went on to write several TV series, stage plays, radio plays and comedy scripts. Moving into writing for children, his novels BOOTLEG and THE GREATEST STORE IN THE WORLD were adapted for television by the BBC, and his 2003 novel THE SPEED OF THE DARK was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. He lives in Somerset and is married with two grown-up children.
Literary Strengths: Alex Shearer's trademark fast pace and high suspense A heady mixture of genres Multiple text forms Themes: Forced child labour Friendship Evil adults! Perfect for teaching! Explore genre Study the craft of suspense Analyse writing styles that suit different purposes Longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Children's Book Award 2007.
There's no telling who might write back . . . It's been a year since Tom Pellow's dad was lost at sea. He was a sailor and Tom also finds himself drawn to the vast ocean; it holds so many possibilities, dangers and secrets. After hearing a song on the radio, Tom decides to write a message in a bottle, and throw it out into the sea. To 'cast his bread upon the waters'. He doesn't really expect to hear back, but Tom keeps writing anyway, sending messages out on the tide and searching the waves for a reply. One day he finds one. It's a letter that seems to be from a ghost, deep down in Davy Jones's Locker - and the writer has a shocking answer to Tom's question. But if Tom's dad didn't perish at sea, where is he? A charming and beautifully written story about grief, hope and miracles.
Even when you have received a death sentence, you still have to live... Life just seems like a big party sometimes, at which we all gradually get edged to the door, and then we are out in the cold. But the party continues without us... This is the story of Louis, who never quite fitted in, and of his younger brother who always tagged along. Two brothers on one final journey together, wading through the stuff that is thicker than water. Tender-hearted, at times achingly funny, This is the Life is a moving testimony to both the resilience of the human spirit and to the price of strawberries.
A spooky, funny mystery with ghost-hunting, useless adults ... and tea Thruppence and Tim don't know what they're getting themselves into when they ring the bell at the house with dusty windows and a tarnished name plate to enquire about the advertised 'Saturday Person'. What could be so difficult about an unspecified Saturday job? Well, had that name plate been properly cleaned, Thruppence and Tim might not have been so keen to enter ... Pressured by the stern Minister Beeston from the Department of Economies, the Ministry of Ghosts has been given three months to prove the existence or non-existence of ghosts, or else it will be shut down! As it seems that children are particularly magnetic to ghosts and supernatural beings, Thruppence and Tim are added to their ghost-catching team. And although neither of them are scared by talk of ghosts or monsters, they couldn't have imagined the truth behind what they will find ...
A fantastical adventure through the world of the Cloud Hunters. In a world where islands float above the sun and Cloud Hunters sail the skies for water, orphans Gemma and Martin live with their 120-year-old great, great, grand aunt Peggy and the sky-cat Botcher on a remote rock miles from civilisation. When Peggy decides they should visit City Island to register at school, the group embarks on a trip that will take them through uncharted territories, navigating a very dangerous sky. Encountering cloud pirates, sky rats and an axe murdering motel owner, Gemma and Martin must learn to fend for themselves, and fight for what's right in a perilous world. In this sequel to Alex Shearer's CLOUD HUNTERS, SKY RUN returns to a fantasy world filled with adventure, escapism and a sense of magic at every turn.
A beautifully imagined adventure set in a world where islands float in the sky Hunting the skies is not for the faint-hearted. In a world where water is scarce and deadly jellyfish swim through the sky, mollycoddled teenager Christien dreams of excitement and danger. When he meets the exotic and alluring Jenine and her family of Cloud Hunters, he becomes determined to fulfil that dream... In a richly imaginative tale, perfect for both boys and girls as they launch themselves into the world of fiction as independent readers, Alex Shearer creates a Dahl-esque fantasy that roams through realms of magic, wonder and adventure.
Fergal is a self-confessed nerd with an eccentric hobby: tin collecting. He likes the lucky dip aspect of buying tins that have their labels missing - after all, you never know what might be inside. It's Fergal's idea of living dangerously. That is, until the day he innocently opens up a tin to find . . . a bloodied human finger. Everyone thinks it's a joke. But not Fergal - and when his next tin discovery is a note with the word 'Help' scribbled on it, he feels compelled to track down the factory responsible for these mysterious and macabre products. Fergal might be hungry to play detective, but has he opened a can of worms . . . ? This Dahl-esque black comedy will have readers squirming on the edge of their seats. Funny, frightening and totally gross - Alex Shearer taps into the repulsive-but-appealing tradition of urban myths that are perennial playground fodder.