Shadow Forest

“An outstanding piece of literature”, The Times

read more reviews here

Shadow Forest has won these awards:

Nestle Children’s Book Prize Gold Award
Blue Peter Book of the Year
Blue Peter Book I Couldn’t Put Down Award
Calderdale Book of the Year
Lancashire Schools Library Fantastic Book Award
Sefton Super Reads Book Award
East Sussex Book Awards
Leeds Book Award

And was shortlisted/nominated for:
Waterstone’s Children’s Book Award
Carnegie Medal
Salford Children’s Book Award
Lincolnshire Young People’s Book Award
Warrington Winner of Winners Book Award
Bay Book Award Swansea

Shadow Forest is a children’s novel set in Norway and in the fantasy forest that gives the book its name. The America edition is called Samuel Blink. There’s a website all about the book here. It includes: the first chaptercharacter lists and profiles,reviewsgamesexclusive extracts, the artworkdeleted characters,deleted chapters, a reading guidecompetitions, an interview with myself, writing advice and lots more. Do stop by for a visit.

I suppose this novel is similar to my other books, in that it is about a family crisis (in this case a brother and sister coming to terms with the death of their parents) only this one features trolls and murderous pixies instead of ghosts and Labradors.

It was fun to write, especially the troll family with only one eyeball between them and the chapters with the religious rabbits.

Here’s the jacket blurb:

Samuel Blink is the hero of this story, but he doesn’t know it yet. Right now, he and his sister Martha are in the back of his parents car. He has no idea a giant log is about to fall from the sky and change his life forever. He doesn’t know that he and Martha will be forced to move to Norway and eat their Aunt Eda’s smelly brown cheese. He hasn’t the slightest clue Martha will disappear into Shadow Forest. A forest full of one-eyed trolls, the sinister huldre-folk, deadly Truth Pixies and a witch who steals shadows. A forest ruled by the evil Changemaker. A forest so dangerous that people who enter never return.

No. Samuel Blink doesn’t know any of this. So don’t tell him. It might ruin the book . . .


1. Don’t lose your shadow. Keep it with you at all times, making sure it is firmly attached to your feet.

2. Never accept meals from strangers. Especially if the stranger is a Truth Pixie.

3. Try not to fall down a Caloosh trap. If you do, you’ll be caught by the cruellest creatures in the forest.

4. Befriend a troll.

5. Never fall asleep on a Slemp’s belly.

6. If you see the Shadow Witch start running. Unless you want to be turned into a rabbit.

7. Wear a Hek-Bracelet. It will protect you from harm.

8. Be careful after dark, as that is when the huldre-folk are about.

9. Read Professor Tanglewood’s book, The Creatures of Shadow Forest.

10. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER go anywhere near the Changemaker. Unless you want your head to end up pickled in a jar.

It’s published in the UK by Corgi, Random House. If you want to order it you can do so here. There’s also an audio version available from W F HowesThe book is available in Germany (Bertelsmann – see here). It will also be published in France (Bayard), Italy (De Agostini), Holland (Clavis) and Romania (Corint Junior).