Lisa Williamson won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2016 with her debut novel, The Art of Being Normal which won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for Older Fiction 2016, and was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and Branford Boase Award and was the bestselling YA hardback debut of 2015. Lisa was born and grew up in Nottingham. She studied drama at Middlesex University and since graduating has worked as an actor on stage and TV. Between acting jobs Lisa temped in offices across London, typing stories when no one was looking, one of which eventually became The Art of Being Normal. Lisa lives in east London.
Author photo © Dale Wightman
This is a sensitive, often funny and thoroughly engaging story of teenagers coming to terms with who they are. It’s easy to think in these liberal times that anything goes, but teens will be quick to point out that growing up is as difficult as it’s ever been. It’s particularly hard for David, one of the two central characters in this assured debut. David has known since the age of eight that he wants to be a girl. Teased as a freak at school, he feels he can’t even tell his family. New boy Leo seems to have problems too and when the two become friends they discover they have more in common than they ever thought. This ultra-readable, highly entertaining story could also provide readers with some much needed reassurance that normal is as normal does.
In Mia Campbell-Richardson, Lisa Williamson has created one of the stroppiest, most self-absorbed heroines ever to grace the pages of a novel. The middle of three daughters, Mia has convinced herself that she is unloved and overlooked by her parents in favour of her awe-inspiringly successful sisters. Indeed, when Grace, Cambridge-bound big sister returns home from her gap year pregnant – to the shock of all – Mia responds by laughing; it’s hardly surprising the atmosphere at home is tense. No matter how badly she behaves however, readers will remain on Mia’s side, such is the skill and sensitivity of Williamson’s portrait of a girl who for all her outward confidence is as nervous and insecure on the inside as the rest of us. As the story unfolds Mia has to acknowledge her anxieties, and that helps her renew relationships with her family. Sharply observed, painfully honest in its depictions of young teens, this is another impressive novel from one of the most exciting young authors around. Recommended for readers who enjoy the trials and tribulations of Mia are Trouble by Non Pratt and The Baby by Lisa Drakeford.
Endearingly authentic, Ro Snow is a character who stirs tenderness, empathy and much urging to survive and thrive. As a result of mum Bonnie’s extreme hoarding habit (every room of their house is a mountain of paper and pointless Amazon purchases), Ro has isolated herself, fearing that if anyone saw the squalor she and Bonnie live in, Social Services would intervene. Ro’s self-centered, insensitive dad has a new family and is no use whatsoever, which means she and Bonnie have reversed roles, with Ro keeping an eye on their bank balance while Bonnie shops and watches TV by day and earns a living as a singer by night. As this role reversal takes its toll on Ro, a fairy godmother materialises in the form of irrepressibly energetic Tanvi, who’s recently returned to school after being treated for cancer. There’s a truly uplifting, tear-jerking moment when Ro experiences the pure joy of people really believing in her, but Bonnie’s road to recovery won’t be a smooth ride. Highly readable, realistic and wholesomely heartfelt, this confirms Lisa Williamson as a YA author of remarkable empathy. Read about the story behind Paper Avalanche in our author Q&A.
A love letter to best-friendship, first loves and unexpected surprises. A powerful reminder that every day has the potential to be the first day of the rest of your life. It's GCSE results day. Frankie's best friend, Jojo, is missing. And a baby has been stolen. But there are three sides to this story. Frankie, Jojo and Ram's lives are about to change forever as their friendships are put to the test by the unpredictability of life. They're each determined to find out the truth, but at what cost?
Voiced by three unforgettable characters – Frankie, Jojo, and Ram, Frankie’s ex boyfriend - whose lives are inextricably bound by unexpected, life-changing circumstances, this impactful novel sparkles with heart, hope and a riveting storyline. Jojo and Frankie have been best friends since forever. Both promising actresses, their lives are on the brink of new horizons, so when Jojo doesn’t turn up to collect her GCSE results, Frankie is frantic with worry. Then, when she eventually hears from Jojo, and also hears a baby crying in the background, Frankie puts two and two together to get six. Could Jojo be responsible for the stolen baby that’s being reported on the local news? Fearing the worst, Frankie does what she must for her dear friend. She tracks her down and discovers an unimaginable truth that truly tests their relationship. Radiant with uplifting portrayals of friendship, and demonstrating that it’s possible to find a way through even the most seemingly impossible situations, this poignant page-turner packs a whole lot of punch in the author’s inimitably empathetic style. Of particular note is the way the novel shows that adults don’t always have the right answer, that life can be confusing no matter what your age, which demonstrates Williamson’s singular respect for her YA readers - she never talks down, and always writes in a spirit of openness.
1800. London. Margaret Anne Bulkley desperately wants to be a surgeon - but only men can train as doctors. Fifty years later, Dr James Barry is famous, serving as Inspector General of Hospitals throughout the British Empire. A brilliant surgeon, bold reformer and prickly individual known for his fierce temper, he fought a duel in South Africa and clashed with Florence Nightingale in the Crimea. But Dr Barry has a secret that he is determined no one should ever learn...
As the First Names title suggests, we will be getting to know these people on first-name termsdiscover who Malala actually is, not just what she has achieved. These funny and entertaining books give young readers an opportunity to see these remarkable people as ordinary individuals who grew up to do extraordinary things, and inspire them to believe they can do the same. MALALA the youngest ever winner of the Nobel peace prize, who overcame an attempt on her life to become a global champion of the education of girls, and an inspiration to everyone from Barack Obama to Reese Witherspoon!
Bonnie. Never Mum or Mummy or Mother. Just Bonnie... When it comes to flying under the radar, Ro Snow is the expert. No friends. No boys. No parties. And strictly NO VISITORS. It may be lonely but at least this way the truth remains where it should - hidden. Then Tanvi Shah, the girl who almost died, comes tumbling back into her life and Ro finds herself losing control of her carefully constructed lies. Because if Ro's walls come crumbling down, who's going to take care of Bonnie...
One family, three sisters. GRACE, the oldest: straight-A student.AUDREY, the youngest: future Olympic swimming champion. And MIA, the mess in the middle. Mia is wild and daring, great with hair and selfies, and the undisputed leader of her friends - not attributes appreciated by her parents or teachers. When Grace makes a shock announcement, Mia hopes that her now-not-so-perfect sister will get into the trouble she deserves. But instead, it is Mia whose life spirals out of control - boozing, boys and bad behaviour - and she starts to realise that her attempts to make it All About Mia might put at risk the very things she loves the most.
Eine Geschichte uber Freundschaft und Vertrauen - leichtfuig, humorvoll und herzerwarmendEs ist Davids vierzehnter Geburtstag und als er die Kerzen ausblast, ist sein sehnlichster Wunsch ... ein Madchen zu sein. Das seinen Eltern zu beichten, steht auf seiner To-do-Liste fur den Sommer - gaaaanz unten.Bisher wissen nur seine Freunde Essie und Felix Bescheid, die bedingungslos zu ihm halten und mit denen er jede Peinlichkeit weglachen kann. Aber wird David jemals als Madchen leben konnen? Und warum fasziniert ihn der geheimnisvolle Neue in der Schule so sehr?Mutig, wichtig und mit Witz erzahlt - ein Buch wie ein Leuchtfeuer!"e;Eine Geschichte, die man in einem Rutsch liest, und die noch lange in einem nachklingt."e; The Bookseller
January 2015 NewGen Debut of the Month. This is a sensitive, often funny and thoroughly engaging story of teenagers coming to terms with who they are. It’s easy to think in these liberal times that anything goes, but teens will be quick to point out that growing up is as difficult as it’s ever been. It’s particularly hard for David, one of the two central characters in this assured debut. David has known since the age of eight that he wants to be a girl. Teased as a freak at school, he feels he can’t even tell his family. New boy Leo seems to have problems too and when the two become friends they discover they have more in common than they ever thought. This ultra-readable, highly entertaining story could also provide readers with some much needed reassurance that normal is as normal does. ~ Andrea Reece
A collection of poems and photographs detailing the turn of the seasons. Both poems of nature and of life and love.The photographs come from my wandering about my new home in Canadapart of the Poems and Photographs series