Sally Gardner biography

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Sally Gardner

Sally Gardner

Sally Gardner Biography

Sally Gardner grew up and still lives in London. Being dyslexic, she did not learn to read or write until she was fourteen and had been thrown out of several schools, labeled unteachable, and sent to a school for maladjusted children. Despite this, she gained a degree with highest honors at a leading London art college, followed by a scholarship to a theater school, and then went on to become a very successful costume designer, working on some notable productions. After the births of twin daughters and a son, she started first to illustrate and then to write picture books and chapter books, usually with fairytale- or otherwise magical subject matter. She has been called 'an idiosyncratic genius' by London’s Sunday Times.

I, Coriander is her first book for older readers. Her stories for middle readers include Lucy Willow and the popular Magical Children series, The Strongest Girl in the World, The Invisible Boy, The Boy with Magic Numbers, The Smallest Girl in the World, The Boy with the Lightning Feet, and The Boy Who Could Fly. She has also written and illustrated picture books including The Fairy Catalogue, The Glass Heart, The book of Princesses and Playtime Rhymes.

Sally Gardner's website

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Interview

Meet Sally Gardner, a successful children's author who, due to severe dyslexia, didn't read her first book, Wuthering Heights, until she was fourteen, and was labeled unteachable - but since then hasn't been able to put books down!

Why did you choose to write the novel in one hundred short chapters? What kind of impact do you hope this format will have on the reader?
We live in a day and age where things happen so quickly, where information comes to us in small fragments — so it's almost the best way to keep people's attention. Also, this story is being told in thought, in Standish's head, and my thoughts come in short, sharp moments, so the short chapters more closely reflect someone who is retelling the past in his head.

Maggot Moon includes some really provocative black-and-white illustrations that also work as a flip book throughout. How does adding this kind of art change or add to the story
As a former illustrator, I often think the best pictures are those that represent the abstract thought behind the story — the essence of it — but not a literal interpretation. The bold pictures in Maggot Moon work in what I call the "slipstream" of the writing, and I'm thrilled with Julian's work. His illustrations really enhance the narrative, the idea of the cycle. I've always admired him as an artist.

Can you tell us about Maggot Moon's main character, Standish Treadwell? What role does his dyslexia...

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Books by this Author

Books by Sally Gardner at BookBrowse
Maggot Moon jacket The Red Necklace jacket I, Coriander jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Sally Gardner but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Ananda Braxton-Smith

    Ananda Braxton-Smith

    Ananda Braxton-Smith is a journalist and children's author. She has written several titles including a series for older readers, the Secrets of Carrick. The first two books in the series, Merrow and Tantony, were Children&#... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    I, Coriander

    Try:
    Merrow
    by Ananda Braxton-Smith

  • Libba Bray

    Libba Bray

    Libba Bray is an author of young adult novels, including A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing and Going Bovine.

    Her first novel, A Great and Terrible Beauty, was a New York Times bestseller. In ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    I, Coriander

    Try:
    A Great and Terrible Beauty
    by Libba Bray

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