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Sylvia Waugh was born in Gateshead, County Durham, Northern England in 1935. She attended Gateshead Grammar School. Having worked full-time as a grammar teacher for seventeen years, Waugh began her writing career in her late fifties. Her first book, The Mennyms, was published by Julia McRae in 1993. She won the annual Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a once-in-a-lifetime book award judged by a panel of British children's writers and made the Carnegie Medal shortlist. She continued "the Mennyms" as a series of five books (1993 to 1996) that have appeared in seventeen languages. The Ormingat books received very good critical reviews and have been published in Japanese (all three books) and Spanish (Space Race).
This section needs to be updated.(August 2012)
- The Mennyms (Julia MacRae, 1993) — her first book
- Mennyms in the Wilderness (1994)
- Mennyms Under Siege (1995)
- Mennyms Alone (1996)
- Mennyms Alive (1996)
- Space Race (2000)
- Earthborn (2002)
- Who Goes Home? (2003)
Beside winning the Guardian Prize and making the Carnegie Medal shortlist, The Mennyms (book one) was recognised in other ways:
- The Birmingham Readers & Writers Children's Book Award - a new prize, selected by schoolchildren
- An official commendation and the Silver Kiss (CPNB) for the Dutch 'Mennyms under Siege'
- A certificate from the American Hungry Mind Review naming it one of its 'Children's Books of Distinction'
- American Parenting magazine's 'Reading Magic Awards' - one of the top ten children's books in the USA for 1994, and one of the ten books of the decade that 'best withstand the test of time'.
- The whole series was awarded the Kinderbuchpreis 2000 in Vienna.
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