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The Guardian’s best children’s books of 2015…

Mike News

With 2015 drawing to a close, the Guardian children’s book site is asking readers what their favourite stories of the year were. They’ve also run an article full of published authors recounting their top books of 2015 as well, and here’s the thing…

Stonebird was mentioned by TWO different authors.

I know, it sounds crazy. I’m still getting used to seeing my book in shops, to be honest. I still don’t think I’ll ever quite come to terms with the fact that I’m actually a published author. And here are two authors, whose work is quite frankly marvellous, mentioning my story in the same breath as some actually wonderful writers and their gorgeous books.

It means an awful lot to hear that other authors like your book, because they know what goes into making it happen. They’ve been through the same challenges; they’ve met the same deadlines; they’ve worked hard to turn their idea from a concept to a Word document to a proper book that kids can pick up and cherish.

SF Said mentioned me among his list of exciting debut authors to break into the business this year. Others he brought up included Abi Elphinstone, who quickly became a favourite of mine when I started reading The Dreamsnatcher; Katherine Woodfine, Michael Byrne, Stefan Mohamed, Sarah Benwel, David Hofmeyr and Anna McKerrow.

I’m a massive fan of SF’s work. Particularly his recent book, Phoenix, which is just extraordinary in so many ways. It came as quite a surprise to see him pick me out, I have to say, and I’m so thankful for him doing so.

Next there was Piers Torday, the author of the award-winning Last Wild trilogy, who called Stonebird a “magical and touching story about the power of stories that is best read under the duvet with a torch.”

It was such a thrill and an honour to see Stonebird mentioned in this list alongside some truly brilliant books, and it’s well worth reading through to see what stories everyone else chose.

I can’t really wrap this up any other way than by saying a massive THANK YOU to the authors who mentioned Stonebird. Here’s to a magical 2016!