Alan Albert Gibbons (born 14 August 1953) is an English writer of children's books who has won a Blue Peter Book Award. He lives in Liverpool, England, where he used to teach in a primary school. His father was a farm labourer, but was hurt in an accident when Alan was eight years old. The family had to move to Crewe, Cheshire. He began to write for his pupils as a teacher, but never tried to get any of his work published.
Gibbons trained to be a teacher in his mid-thirties and starting writing short stories for his students. Later, he began to write professionally. In 2000, he won the Blue Peter Book Award in the category "The Book I Couldn't Put Down" category for Shadow of the Minotaur. He was a judge for the 2001 Blue Peter Book Awards. He was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal twice in 2001 and 2003 and shortlisted twice for the Booktrust Teenage Prize. He has also won the Leicester Book of the Year, the Stockport Book Award, the Angus Book Award, the Catalyst Award, the Birmingham Chills Award, the Salford Young Adult Book Award, the Hackney Short Novel Prize, the Our Best Book Award and the Salford Librarians' Special Award.
In addition to being a full-time writer, he is an educational consultant and speaks at schools across the UK and abroad, including visits to Switzerland, Norway, France, Spain, Cyprus, Brazil, China, Africa, Brunei and the Middle East. On a trip to Malawi he participated in a scheme to deliver 9,000 books to schools through the Char Char Trust and visited the Ndi Moyo clinic. On his blog www.alangibbons.net he asked people to take out banker's orders to support these charities and their work for local people. He has been a regular speaker at the Edinburgh and London Book Festivals, the Northern Children's Book Festival, Hay on Wye and Children's Books Ireland. His work is published in nineteen languages and he visits many schools internationally, including schools in Kenya and Kuwait.
He has appeared on BBC TV, Channel 4, Radio 4, and Radio 5 live and has written in the Times Educational Supplement, Junior Education, Carousel, Books For Keeps and other publications.
He organised the Authors Against the SATs Campaign.
He is organiser of the Campaign for the Book and organized a successful 200 strong conference in Birmingham to launch it. In December 2010 he organised an 1100 signature Open Letter on library closures signed by many well-known figures in the arts, literature, media and publishing such as Philip Pullman, Kate Mosse, Kathy Lette, Francis Wheen, Joan Bakewell, Lee Child, Sarah Waters, Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Holroyd, Michael Rosen, Jackie Kay, Terry Jones, and many more. He initiated countrywide Read Ins on February 5, 2011 to protest against library closures. Some 110 events took place across the country, involving up to 10,000 people. The events drew national and international media coverage. He also joined with the National Union of Teachers, Just Read and the National Literacy Association to organise a Reading for Pleasure conference in February, 2011. Michael Rosen, Bernard Ashley and Malorie Blackman were keynote speakers. He is a contributor to the Arts Council/UK Literacy Association Writers in Schools initiative. In March 2011 he launched a new initiative, calling for a National Libraries Day to celebrate reading for pleasure, public libraries, school libraries and School Library Services. This rapidly won the backing of many organisations for an annual event on the first Saturday in February. The sponsoring organisations include: The Booksellers Association, Unison, National Union of Teachers, Voices for the Library, Society of Authors, UK Literacy Association, Royal Society of Literature, Federation of Children's Book Groups, The Bookseller, CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals), CILIP School Libraries Group, The Reading Agency, Booktrust, Campaign for the Book, East Anglian Writers, Children’s Writers and Illustrators in South London. In May, 2011 Alan Gibbons initiated a campaign to establish a National Libraries Day.
At the Abingdon Joint School's Event in February 2013, he discussed upcoming books including 'Raining Fire' (to be published on March 7) and a future project called 'Hate Crime', now renamed Hate. a novelisation of the real-life murder of Sophie Lancaster. The novel was published in March, 2014 and covered by BBC and ITV, Radio City, The Sunday Express, the Telegraph, the Lancashire Evening Telegraph and the Manchester Evening News.
Alan Gibbons now co-writes occasionally with his twin daughters Megan and Rachel and his son Robbie.
Street Corner Dad (2015) Hate (2014) Read On series (2013-4) Harper Collins
- "the Alan Gibbons Interview". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved August 15, 2007.
- "Official site". Archived from the original on 6 August 2007. Retrieved August 15, 2007.
- Authors Against SATS statement from 2010
- "event report and interview". Retrieved February 18, 2013.
- Official website
- Alan Gibbons' page on AuthorsAbroad.com School Author Visits
- Authors Against SATS statement from 2010
- Interview with Alan Gibbons at the annual Abingdon School's Joint Author event, Feb 2013
- Alan Gibbons at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Alan Gibbons at Library of Congress Authorities, with 6 catalogue records