David Almond

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David Almond was born in Newcastle and grew up in a big Catholic family in Felling-on-Tyne, a former mining town in the North of England.
After stints as a hotel porter, postman and labourer, he trained to be a teacher, going on to work for five years at a primary school in Gateshead before resigning to spend more time on his writing.

His early short stories were published in magazines and anthologies, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and collected in two volumes: Sleepless Nights and A Kind of Heaven.  He also edited the fiction magazine Panurge from 1987-93 and wrote the novel Seances, which was rejected by every publisher in the UK.

Skellig, his first book for young people, was published in 1998, and went on to win both the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year and the Carnegie Medal. It was followed by Kit’s Wilderness, Heaven Eyes, Secret Heart, The Fire-Eaters and Clay; as well as a collection of stories based on his childhood, Counting Stars. His books for younger children include Kate, the Cat and the Moon and My Dad’s a Birdman. He wrote the play Wild Girl, Wild Boy and has also adapted a number of his books for the stage. David’s books have been translated into over 30 languages, and in 2010 he was presented with the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the children’s literature equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

A prequel to Skellig called I Am Mina was published in 2010, while his most recent book is The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean, published in September 2011, a crossover book aimed at teenagers and adults and hailed by the Guardian as 'not only dramatically and emotionally suspenseful, [but also] vividly drawn and wonderfully well paced, as one might expect from a master storyteller'.

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