Elizabeth Laird (author)
Elizabeth Laird (born 21 October 1943) is a British writer of children's books including both novels and picture books. Her novels include Red Sky in the Morning, Secrets of the Fearless and Kiss the Dust.
Laird was born in New Zealand to Scottish parents in 1943; her father was a ship's surgeon. In 1945, the family returned to Britain and Elizabeth grew up in South London, where she was educated at Croydon High School...
When she was eighteen (1961), Laird started teaching at a school in Malaysia. She decided to continue her adventurous life, even though she was bitten by a poisonous snake and went down with typhoid.
Laird attended Bristol University from 1963 to 1966, where she took a degree in French. Afterward she taught English[clarification needed] in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She and a friend would hire mules and go into remote areas in the holidays.
After a while at Edinburgh University, Laird worked in India for a summer. During travel, she met her future husband, David McDowall, who she said was very kind to her when she was airsick on a plane. The couple were married in 1975 and have two sons, Angus and William.
Laird has also visited Iraq and Lebanon. She claims to dislike snakes, porridge and being cold but enjoys very dark chocolate, Mozart, reading and playing the violin in the Iraq Symphony Orchestra.
She and her husband currently divide their time between London and Edinburgh.
Laird has published a variety of works including young adult novels, picture books, short novels for beginning readers, short stories, retellings, and stories for students learning to speak English. Laird's inspiration for her stories come from her travels and personal experiences.
- Red Sky in the Morning aka Loving Ben (1988)
- Kiss the Dust (1991)
- Hiding Out (1993)
- Jay (1997)
- Jake's Tower (2001)
- The Garbage King (2003)
- A Little Piece of Ground (2003)
- Paradise End (2004)
- Secrets of the Fearless (2005)
- Crusade (2007)
- Lost Riders (2008)
- The Witching Hour (2009)
- The Betrayal of Maggie Blair (2011)
- The Prince who Walked with Lions (2012), about Prince Alemayehu
- Rosy's Garden (1979)
- A Book of Promises (1999)
- Beautiful Bananas (2004)
- Me and My Electric (1998)
- Hot Rock Mountain (2004)
Awards and nominations
- Red Sky in the Morning - Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Children's Book Award.
- Hiding Out - Winner of the Smarties Young Judges Award.
- Jake's Tower - Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Book Award.
- The Garbage King - Winner of the Scottish Arts Council Children's Book of the Year award and the Stockport Book award. It has also been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the Blue Peter Award, the Salford Children's Book Award, the Calderdale Children's Book Award, the Lincolnshire Young People's Book Award, the Stockton Children's Book of the Year, the West Sussex Children's Book Award, the Portsmouth Book Award and the Sheffield Children's Book Award.
- A Little Piece of Ground - Winner of the Hampshire Book Award and has been shortlisted for the Southern Schools Book Award.
- Elizabeth Laird at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Laird, Elizabeth. "Elizabeth Laird: BIO". (elizabethlaird.co.uk). Retrieved 21 October 2011.
- "Writers: Elizabeth Laird". British Council Literature. 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
- "Profile: Controversy over children's book A Little Piece Of Ground". Day to Day. NPR (www.npr.org). 30 September 2003. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
- Official website
- Elizabeth Laird at British Council: Literature
- Elizabeth Laird Interview at Jubilee Books
- Review of Crusade at Book Bag
- Elizabeth Laird at Library of Congress Authorities — with 31 catalogue records