Friday, 19 October 2012


I often get wonderful letters and emails from readers. Yesterday a parcel arrived from Leicestershire, containing a bundle of letters from children who I met at Melton Mowbray library earlier this year.

These letters are decorated with some great drawings, and I can't resist posting a few of them here: 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Salford Children’s Book Award

The Island of Thieves has been shortlisted for the 2013 Salford Children’s Book Award along with six other fabulous books. I'm very proud to be part of such a distinguished shortlist. 


Monday, 1 October 2012

Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012

I'm very pleased that The Dragonsitter has been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize as one of the "funniest books for children aged seven to fourteen".

The other shortlisted books are listed here; the winner is going to be announced at the beginning of November.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Cheltenham Festival

I'll be doing two events at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday 7 October. In the morning, I'm running a workshop on writing adventure stories - full details here - and in the afternoon, I'll be in discussion with Anthony McGowan and Andy Briggs:
Sunday, October 7, 2012

If you love adventure come and meet three amazing writers of action packed stories. Anthony McGowan has re-imagined the classic Willard Price animal adventures for a new generation of readers in Leopard Adventure, Josh Lacey’s (Josh Doder) latest Grk story follows Tim and his beloved dog Grk to Italy in Grk and the Phoney Macaroni while Andy Briggs traces Tarzan's footsteps in search of the world's most deadliest hunter and a kidnapped ape in The New Adventures of Tarzan: The Jungle Warrior.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Dragonsitter reviews

Two more reviews of the Dragonsitter. The first is from the Telegraph and is by Martin Chilton:
The Dragonsitter, based around a series of emails that ping back and forth between Edward Smith-Pickle and his Uncle Morton Pickle, is short, sharp and funny. The story is by Josh Lacey - also known for writing the excellent A Dog Called Grk series under the name Joshua Doder - is about the pickle Edward and his family get into when they agree to babysit a dragon.

The illustrations by Garry Parsons add to the fun as the dragon causes mayhem, eating everything from cold spaghetti to the pet rabbit Jemima. The emails get ever more frantic (one has the subject headline URGENT!!!!!!!!) as Edward pleads: "You could have warned us about his poo. It smells awful."
All turns out well and, as with so many situations in life, chocolate provides the answer.
The next is by Melanie McGilloway in Armadillo:
This is a cracking read for newly independent readers, so perfect for children aged five and above, but it will also work very well as a read aloud, and a shared read. 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Pseudonymous Books

I've written about my top 10 pseudonymous books for the Guardian - and about my own decision to use an assumed name for my first book, which I have since regretted.
"When I was wrote my first book, A Dog Called Grk, I was working for this very newspaper, writing and editing reviews for the books pages. I didn't want people to get confused about who I was or what I did, so I thought it would be sensible to have two different names, one for books and the other for journalism. I invented a new name for myself: a pen name, a nom de plume, a pseudonym."

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Dragonsitter

Here's the first review of The Dragonsitter - from Books for Keeps: 

"This is a witty and perfectly formed little book that deserves to be read and reread: it packs an extraordinary amount of fun and adventure into its 64 pages and will be enjoyed by readers of all ages."

Full review here.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Children's Lives

I went to a lovely exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery - I reviewed it for the Observer - and strongly recommend visiting if you're in the city. It's on till mid-June.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Thursday, 15 March 2012


I've been whizzing around the country over the past few weeks, visiting schools, leading creative writing sessions and talking about my books.

I had a great World Book Day at Fairholme School in Hounslow - here are some fantastic photos. If you click through to the last one in the collection, you can see a picture of me opening Fairholme's great new library. I actually got to cut the ribbon!

I went to Brixington School in Exmouth, and here is a nice piece from their local paper.

And here's a photo from a day that I spent at Harris Academy in Peckham.

Thank you to these three, and all the other schools who have hosted me. I've been from Nottingham to Yeovil, Folkestone to Croydon, and I always come home buzzing from the enthusiasm of the kids and teachers. An ordinary day at my desk, sitting on my own, telling stories, feels very quiet and mundane...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Grk and the Phoney Macaroni

Thanks to the Bookbag for their excellent review of Grk and the Phoney Macaroni: "a great adventure story for boys".