Thursday 22 February 2024

Author Visits: Children's Bookfest & Rose Green Junior School

I'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to Karen Ison and all the students and staff I met at Rose Green Junior School when I had the pleasure of visiting them last week – and to Georgina Lippiett, Jen Rogers and everyone at Children's Bookfest for making this visit possible!

Children's Bookfest is an amazing organisation that brings authors into schools.  The authors do events, and then every child is given a copy of a book, which the author signs and dedicates for them.  I was delighted to do an event for them in Chichester last year, and was excited to do another one in Bognor Regis at Rose Green, organised by the brilliant teacher Karen Ison.

We had a fantastic assembly where we talked about reading and writing and books, and it was clear that there were many brilliant readers in this school.  Some of them had come across all my books before, from Varjak Paw onwards.  But the book that everyone was currently reading was my new book Tyger, which Children's Bookfest had given to everyone in Years 5 and 6.  

I saw some fantastic creative writing and artwork that Year 6 had done with Tyger last year.  And this year's Year 6 were already getting started on it – a wonderful thing for an author to see!

It's an incredible thing to feel the buzz around reading and books that this kind of visit creates.  There's something so inclusive and inspiring about giving a book to every child on a visit, and I've loved working with Children's Bookfest.  So thanks again to everyone who was part of this brilliant day!  And thanks to Karen Ison for the fantastic photos!

Monday 4 September 2023

Tyger is Book of the Month in Waterstones & Foyles!

Some amazing news!  The Tyger paperback has just been published – and it's been picked as Children's Book of the Month in both Waterstones and Foyles!

I love bookshops, they've always been my favourite places, so this means more than I can say.  It's been absolutely amazing to see some brilliant Tyger bookshop displays on Twitter and Instagram, and I'd love to see more – please send me pictures if you see any!

Wednesday 9 August 2023


I'm so excited to be able to share the TYGER paperback with you – and it's just as beautiful as the hardback!  I think Dave McKean's cover is one of the most amazing covers I've ever seen – just look at the way it comes to life when you open it out!

It's published on August 31st by David Fickling Books, but is available for pre-order now – here are some links:

Wednesday 28 June 2023


I'm running a competition with BookTrust!  We want young people to create pieces of writing and artwork inspired by animals - just as I was inspired to write Varjak Paw and Tyger.  There are lots of prizes to be won, including sets of books and signed artwork, and the first 1,000 entries will all receive a free poster!  There are lots of free resources to help you, too - all the information is on this page on the BookTrust website!  And here's a video to get you started:

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Tyger wins Children's Book Of The Year at the British Book Awards!

Incredible news - my new book Tyger has just won the Children's Fiction Book Of The Year at the British Book Awards!  

You can read all about it in this wonderful piece on The Bookseller site.

And here's a video of the whole evening - you can see me receiving the award from Davina McCall from around 1:33!

Thursday 2 March 2023

World Book Day 2023

Happy World Book Day 2023!  This year, I made a World Book Day video of me reading aloud from Tyger, and it's been amazing to see people watching it in classrooms, libraries and homes around the world. And I absolutely love seeing all the different ways people celebrate their favourite books, so here are some of the incredible pictures I've seen this year - including the very first ever World Book Day TYGER costumes!  Huge and heartfelt thanks to everyone!

Monday 27 February 2023

World Book Day 2023 - SF Said Reads Tyger!

For World Book Day this year, I've made a video of me reading from my new book TYGER!  Here it is – I hope you enjoy it!  And if you do, please pass it on to anyone else you know who might enjoy it too!

Tuesday 20 December 2022

Happy Midwinter!

I just want to wish all my readers Happy Midwinter! My new book Tyger is set at Midwinter, around about now, but in a strange alternate world where there is no Christmas, but there is Midwinter...  and this year, Midwinter Night falls on the night of December 21st.  

So here's a short video all about it:

Happy Midwinter – and Happy Reading!

Monday 19 December 2022

Author Visits: Welton St Mary's

 I'd like to say a very big THANK YOU to Paul Gibson-Barton and all the amazing students and staff at Welton St Mary's Academy for the wonderful welcome they gave me when I visited them last week!

It was a total pleasure to talk to Years 4, 5 and 6 about reading and books.  This is a school where they've been reading my books for a long time now, so it was wonderful to see that a lot of them had already read Varjak Paw, or Phoenix, or even Tyger!

There were lots of fantastic questions, although we didn't quite have enough time to answer all of them!  So if anyone from WSM would like to ask me another question, or to say anything about the visit or my books, just leave me a comment below!

It was also wonderful to do a workshop with Year 4, who'd just been reading Varjak Paw, and to see some of the work they'd been doing with it.  They had created these amazing story maps, and were able to tell the story themselves by using them!

And finally, it was a total pleasure to sign books for everyone who'd ordered a book.  HAPPY READING to everyone at WSM – and thank you again for a fantastic visit!

Monday 5 December 2022

Tyger is Foyles Children's Book of the Year!

 Amazing news – Tyger is the Foyles Children's Book of the Year!!!

This is an absolutely incredible thing for me.  When I was a child, my grandfather would sometimes take me to Foyles on Charing Cross Road as a treat.  It was his favourite bookshop, and it became mine, too.  It's still where I go when I want to remember why I love books and bookshops, so this award means the world to me!  

Dave McKean and I spent an amazing evening in Foyles Charing Cross Road.  We talked to lots of customers and staff, and signed lots of books.  

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone at Foyles for an evening I will never forget, and for making Tyger their children's book of the year!  And if you would like to order one those signed copies – with a free exclusive art print – just click on this link or the pictures below!

Sunday 4 December 2022

Author Visits: Parklands Primary

I want to say a massive THANK YOU to legendary Headteacher Chris Dyson, inspirational librarian Aimee Allpress, and all the amazing children and staff I met when I visited Parklands Primary School!

I had seen pictures of Mr Dyson's incredible assemblies on Twitter, but I was absolutely blown by the joyful atmosphere in the assembly, where I handed out certificates to some brilliant young readers, writers & mathematicians!

It was then a total pleasure to talk to Years 6, 5, 4 and 3 about reading, writing and books.  Mr Dyson had with incredible generosity bought a copy of my new book TYGER for every single child, and at the end of these sessions, it was an extraordinary and wonderful thing to hand them out as gifts to everyone.

At the end of the day, the brilliant school librarian Aimee Allpress showed me the display they'd made about my books in the library, and inducted me as an honorary member into the school's Parklands Perusers reading club, and gave me a badge that I will wear with pride!

Thank you so much again for a truly memorable school visit!  Happy Christmas – and Happy Reading Every Day – to everyone at Parklands!

Monday 14 November 2022

Author Visits: East Hunsbury Primary

I'd like to say a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to Kathryn Pennington, Ruth DeChastelain, and all the amazing students and staff I met when I had the pleasure of visiting East Hunsbury Primary School last week!

I had a sense that this might be a brilliant visit when the school posted a picture of their librarian dressed as a tiger, with a copy of my new book TYGER!  

This is definitely a school that works tirelessly to inspire the love of reading, and it was wonderful to talk to Years 6, 5, 4 and 3 about reading and writing and books, and to hear all about their favourites.  

What I was not prepared for was the fact that they had decorated their doors with book covers – and put some of my books among them, alongside some of my own favourites!

It was a total pleasure to sign books at the end of the day for everyone who wanted a book.  But if anyone missed out and would like a signed book, you can order one from Pea Green Boat Books, who did the bookselling on the day.  And if anyone from East Hunsbury would like to ask me another question, or to say anything about the visit, just leave me a comment below!

Wednesday 2 November 2022

TYGER interviews & conversations!

If you'd like to know more about my new book TYGER – I've done quite a few interviews about it lately that you might enjoy.

Here's a video of an online event I did with The Blake Society, where I talked about TYGER with the brilliant bookseller and artist Tamsin Rosewell.  We covered lots of topics in our conversation, especially how it was inspired by the work of William Blake, and his great poem The Tyger:

If you'd rather read something than watch a video, here's a written Q&A interview I did with the Tyger Tale blog.  I think this is one of the best-named and most brilliant of all children's books blogs, and they asked me lots of great questions about TYGER, including its connections to my earlier books, like Varjak Paw.  They also featured lots of Dave McKean's beautiful artwork from TYGER, such as this incredible image:

If you're looking for a longer interview, here's a really thoughtful conversation I had with the critic Imogen Russell Williams for Books For Keeps – the UK's leading children's books magazine.  We talked a lot about TYGER's roots in my own life and experiences, and went into a lot of detail about the inspirations for both the story and the artwork.

And finally, if you want to read something a little different, here's an interview that takes the form of a walk through the world of TYGER, in the company of the terrific children's literature blogger Nick Campbell.  This is one of the most original and interesting pieces I've seen about the book, and I hope you enjoy it too!

Monday 24 October 2022

TYGER - more reviews!

I've been absolutely blown away to see the responses to TYGER!  Nine years is a very long time to spend writing a book, but all the hard work feels more than worthwhile when I see responses like this...

TYGER was picked as The Times Children's Book Of The Week by Alex O'Connell.  The review is behind a paywall, but she described it as "spectacular" and "another roaring success".

TYGER was also children's book of the week in The Sun, whose reviewer Zak Hope apparently couldn't put it down!

Meanwhile, Louisa Farrow's wonderful review on Reading Zone described TYGER as "absorbing, uplifting and joyous - my book of the year so far. Buy it, read it, share it!"  

It was a children's book of the month on LoveReading4Kids, where Tricia Adams described it as "much anticipated and destined to be a classic that will be taught everywhere."

One of my favourite reviews was this long one on the children's literature blog Achuka, which gives lots of detail and context, and concludes: "it is important to recognise when some books, and some authors, reach extraordinary heights of excellence. SF Said has done so with this novel."

Another review that meant a lot to me came on the Library Lady blog, where Anne Thompson wrote: "Tyger is a wonderful example of why children’s books matter and will, I think, be a book that today’s generation of young readers will remember and refer back to as adults."

I loved Laura Ovendon's review for Just Imagine, which said: "For me, this novel deserves to become a children’s classic. It belongs in every school library and will inspire many, many children, teachers and librarians."

The literacy charity BookTrust described TYGER as "a thought-provoking, profound, political and spiritual book... a book to cherish and read again", while Alison Leach picked TYGER as a book of the month for BooksForTopics, and said: "SF Said's fanbase will be thrilled to read this new adventure - laced with danger, edged with fantasy and packed to the core with thinking and discussion points that link to very real issues in society."

And here's one last TYGER review for now, from the Inkdrinker blog, who totally made my day by concluding: "Said says he thinks this is his best book yet. It’s actually one of the best you will ever read: a true classic has been born."

A huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to all these writers and publications for covering TYGER and writing such amazing things about it - it means more than I can say!