Running on the Cracks
This is a novel for teenagers – my longest book.
Leo’s running from her past. Finlay’s running into trouble. Together they stumble into a crazy new world of secrets, lies and Chinese food. But someone is on Leo’s trail … Don’t tread on the cracks. If you tread on a crack it could be him.
Winner of the Nasen Inclusive Children's Book Award 2009. (This award is for a book that provides positive images of people with special educational needs and disability, including mental health issues.)
I have dramatised six scenes from the early sections of the book, so that they can be acted out in English or Drama classes. To download these scenes in PDF format, click here.
I am very excited because Running on the Crack has been made into a play, to be performed at Glasgow's Tron Theatre, in February 2013, followed by a national tour.
"Donaldson's flair for a good story extends way up the age-scale."
"An engaging story about people you really come to care about"
"It gripped my 13-year-old from start to finish."
“A thrilling corkscrew of a novel that twists and turns weaving several strands of story into one compelling narrative…”
The Giants and the Joneses
This is a bookfor 7-11-year olds and I hope will reach those who enjoyed The Gruffalo but now want something more challenging.
Inspired by my son Alastair, who as a child was an avid collector of anything and everything, it tells the story of three human children (or “iggly plops” in giant language) and a girl giant, Jumbeelia, who first collects and then neglects them. Stranded in the land of giants, the Joneses find themselves at the mercy of Jumbeelia’s sadistic brother Zab, and have to draw on all their resources to hatch an escape plan. The book features an invented language, Groilish, and there is a dictionary at the back. If you'd like to have a go at the the Groilish quiz and worksheet, click groilish.pdf to download it then print it out.
The line drawings are by Paul Hess. There is also an audio edition read by Helen Lederer.
"so good in so many ways that it’s hard to know where to start… Donaldson’s stroke of genius is Groilish, the giants’ wonderfully onomatopoeic language… this adventure is set to be a giant hit." The Herald
The idea for this book came from my oldest son Hamish whose reflection was his imaginary friend.
Ellen’s reflection announces that she is a princess, and she turns out to be a very boastful and bossy one, who climbs out of the mirror and gets shy Ellen into all sorts of unexpected adventures. There are six stories in the book, and in each one Mirror-Belle appears from a different mirror. The line drawings are by Lydia Monks.
There is also an audio edition read by June Whitfield.
Mirror-Belle’s further adventures can be read in Princess Mirror-Belle and the Magic Shoes and Princess Mirror-Belle and the Flying Horse.
"A pinkly perfect story for all little girls with an imaginary friend and a hidden naughty streak." The Guardian
Princess Mirror-Belle and the Magic Shoes
“They’re magic shoes," said Princess Mirror-Belle. "As soon as I put them on, my feet start dancing and I can’t stop till the soles are worn out."
Five stories for 6-9-year-olds, recounting the further adventures of Ellen and her boastful mirror image, Princess Mirror-Belle. The line drawings are by Lydia Monks
There is also an audio edition read by Sophie Thomson.
Princess Mirror-Belle and the Flying Horse
“My horse’s name is Little Lord Lightning. He’s been suffering from wing-ache recently.”
This book contains five new stories for 6-9-year-olds about Ellen and her unconventional friend who appears out of mirrors and claims to come from a mysterious, faraway palace. The line drawings are by Lydia Monks
There is also an audio edition read by Sophie Thompson.
The Princess Mirror Belle Collection
The complete collection of stories about the naughty Princess Mirror-Belle contains the text of the three books, Princess Mirror-Belle, Princess Mirror-Belle and the Magic Shoes and Princess Mirror-Belle and the Flying Horse. The line drawings are by Lydia Monks.
When I was a child I went to a lecture about dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, and was amazed to learn that most of them were not giants but about the size of a hen.
The Dinosaur’s Diary is about one of these small creatures, who lives in perpetual terror of T Rex and the like. When she falls into a mysterious pool and finds herself on a modern farm, things don’t get any easier. How do you keep thirteen growing baby dinosaurs safe and secret?
The line drawings for this novel for 6-9-year-olds are by Debbie Boon. There is also an audio edition read by Emma Chambers.
For a Dinosaur's Diary activity sheet, click dinosaur.pdf
"canters along, full of fun and energy." The Scotsman