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 Londons 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.
About This Biography
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Author Sally Gardner talks about the inspiration for the dystopian state in Maggot Moon, and why she chose to write it in really brief chapters.
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
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...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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