Latest Book

Thank you for visiting my website. You'll find out a bit about me, and if you haven't read any of my books, you might be tempted to try one. Most are for children and young adults, but the The Lure of the Honey Bird is for the grown ups. It's about my travels in Ethiopia to collect folk stories. Click on the title to read about it.

My new novel, The Fastest Boy in the Worldreturns to Ethiopia again. The story is about eleven-year-old Solomon, who loves to run and dreams of winning gold for his country at the Olympic Games. When his grandfather collapses on a long journey, it's up to Solomon to run for help.

The Lure of the Honey Bird describes my travels in Ethiopia to collect folk stories. You'll read some great stories in the book, and meet some interesting people. This one's for the grown ups.

I'm very excited to announce the launch of our new website, It contains 88 marvellous stories from Ethiopia, with exercise material, artwork, and recordings attached to every story. The site is designed for Ethiopian children to use and enjoy, but there's no reason why children (and grown-ups!) everywhere can't enjoy the stories too.


My Diary

I started writing my diary in 1956. Watch out for extracts that  I'll be posting here

A large woman was in the library this afternoon with a toddler called Nicholas. While I was reading through the picture books, Nicholas was trying to take books off the shelves. The woman kept telling him not to, and was trying to make him play with the plastic chairs instead. Eventually, she said, “I’m training not to take the books down.”

I was so astonished by this behaviour in the library that I didn’t say anything. I’m furious with myself for being such a coward now. She stayed there for three quarters of an hour, discouraging her child from looking at books.

There’s another reader lost to the nation.