Story Spinners

Adèle Geras, Lynne Reid Banks, Geraldine Brennan

01/03/2009 12:30 am

Two grandes dames of children’s literature met for the first time ever. Between them they have lived in ten countries, won countless awards and written over 130 books (and not just for children) including , Reid Banks’ The Indian in the Cupboard and The L-Shaped Room and Geras’ My Grandmother’s Stories and Voyage.

Here they discussed the challenge of integrating history into their writing and revealed their inspirations and the secret to writing for different generations of children.

Adèle Geras

Adèle Geras was born in Jerusalem. She was educated at Roedean School, Brighton and St Hilda\'s College Oxford. Since 1976 she has been a full time writer and has published more than 90 books for readers of all ages. Her novel Troy was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. In 2003, her first novel for adults, Facing the Light, was published and her latest adult novel is A Hidden Life. A book for young adults, Dido, will appear later in 2009 published by David Fickling Books. She has written several novels with Jewish themes, including A Candle in the Dark, which is about the Kindertransports and Voyage which is about emigration to the United States of America at the beginning of the twentieth century. She lives in Manchester.

Lynne Reid Banks

Lynne Reid Banks was born in London and evacuated to Canada during WW2. Her discovery on her return at the age of 15 of the horrors of the Holocaust influenced her whole life. After a period of acting and writing she became the UK\'s first woman TV news reporter, which led to a visit to Israel in 1960, and two years later she emigrated. She lived in Kibbutz Yas\'ur in the Galilee for nearly 9 years, married sculptor Chaim Stephenson, returning the UK with him and their three sons in 1971, since when she has written full-time. She has had 40 books for adults and young readers published, including The L-Shaped Room, One More River, Broken Bridge and two books of Jewish history, plus three books for children about a poisonous centipede who definitely has a Jewish mother.

Geraldine Brennan

Geraldine Brennan is a regular reviewer of teenage fiction for the Observer, has been a keen commentator on children\'s literature formore than a decade and has judged several literary awards, including, currently, the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Award.