Francesca Simon

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Francesca Simon
Born Francesca Isabella Simon
February 23, 1955 (1955-02-23) (age 63)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Genre Children's literature
Notable works Horrid Henry
Spouse Martin
Children Joshua

Francesca Isabella Simon (born February 23, 1955) is an American author living in London, who is mostly known for writing the popular Horrid Henry series of children's books.

She is the daughter of screenwriter, director and playwright Mayo Simon.[1]


Francesca Isabella Simon was born in St Louis; she grew up in California and studied at Yale and Jesus College, Oxford, where she majored in medieval studies and Old English. Simon changed careers as a medievalist and worked as a journalist, writing for the Sunday Times, Guardian, Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and Vogue (US).[citation needed]

Simon's favourite writer is Anthony Trollope.[2] After she gave birth to her son, Joshua, in 1989, she started to write children's books full-time. Simon is one of the UK's best-selling children's writers; she has published over 50 different books, including the immensely popular Horrid Henry series, which has sold over eighteen million copies. Simon won the Children’s Book of the Year in 2008 at the British Book Awards for Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman. The Horrid Henry series is published in 24 countries.

She lives in London with her husband Martin, son Joshua. Their Tibetan spaniel, Shanti died in Autumn 2013, but is memorialized in the short story Shanti that Simon wrote for inclusion in the Paws and Whiskers anthology by fellow author Jacqueline Wilson published in February 2014.[3]


  • Horrid Henry series, illustrated by Tony Ross (Orion Books, 1994 to 2015)
  • The Topsy-Turvies , illus. Keren Ludlow (Dial, 1996); U.K. edition 1997, illus. Emily Bolam – picture book
  • The Lost Gods (Faber Profile)– longlisted, 2014 Guardian Prize
  • Tony Ross lucky duck [ 3 in 1 books i recamend ]


In 2008 she won the British Book Award for The Children's Book of the Year with Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman. She is the first American to do so.


  1. ^ McCrum, Robert (13 September 2013). "Francesca Simon: 'When I started out, people would ask: "When will you write for adults?"'". Retrieved 2014-02-19. 
  2. ^ "20 Years of Horrid Henry". 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2017-02-02. 
  3. ^ Francesca Simon (13 February 2014). "Supporting Battersea Cats and Dogs Home". Retrieved 2014-06-10. Published today is Paws and Whiskers a special anthology of the very best stories about cats and dogs from the world of children’s literature, chosen by my fellow author, and Battersea Cats and Dogs Home patron Jacqueline Wilson. This book is very special to me because it includes a piece about Shanti, my wonderful Tibetan spaniel, who very sadly died last autumn. That's Shanti on the cover, in the bottom right hand corner! 

External links[edit]

Horrid Henry funny names