Varjak Paw won the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize for Children's Literature, as well as regional book of the year awards in Gateshead, Stockton and West Sussex. It has since been adapted as a stage play and an opera, and a film version is in development. It has been translated into 14 languages, and worldwide sales are now over half a million. In 2021, Varjak Paw was included in BookTrust's list of the 100 Best Children's Books From The Last 100 Years.
The sequel, The Outlaw Varjak Paw (2005), won the BBC's Blue Peter Book Of The Year, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and won the Leicester Teenage Book Of The Year. Varjak Paw is currently featured on the CLPE's recommended reading list for primary schools, and both books are being taught in classrooms around the UK.
SF's third novel, Phoenix (2013), is an epic space adventure for readers of 9 and up. It was chosen as an IBBY Honour List Book for the UK; shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award; nominated for both the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal; and won both the Warwickshire Secondary Schools Book Of The Year Award and the Haringey Children's Book Award.
He has described his new book Tyger (2022) as his "best book yet". Like his other books, it is illustrated by Dave McKean and published by David Fickling Books. It won the Foyles Children's Book Of The Year Award, and was picked as a book of the year by The Guardian, The Times and Sunday Times, and The Sun newspapers.
SF Said is a Fellow of Royal Society Of Literature, and is active in the wider world of literature and the arts. He has judged the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Whitbread Book Awards (now the Costa Book Awards) and the Amnesty CILIP Honour. He has given talks at the British Library, the British Film Institute, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and on BBC Radio 4. He has also written extensively about children's and young adult fiction for both the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph. Here is a selection:
- Blog launching the #CoverKidsBooks campaign for more children's books media coverage
- Feature on whether children's books can help build a better world
- Feature on re-reading children's books
- Feature on diversity in children's literature
- Top 10 Unlikely Heroes
- Book Blog on Ursula Le Guin's inspiration
- Book Blog on whether children's literature can be considered literature
- Feature on space stories
- Feature on the new golden age of children's literature
- Feature on classic storytelling, with Philip Pullman interview
- Column on The Amber Spyglass & the Whitbread Book Awards
- Interview with Jacqueline Wilson
- Interview with William Nicholson
- Interview with Richard Adams
- Review of Eoin Colfer's Airman
- Review of Shaun Tan's Tales From Outer Suburbia
- Review of Michelle Paver's Outcast
- Review of Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre's Oliver And The Seawigs
- Review of Marcus Sedgwick's She Is Not Invisible
- Review of Francesca Simon's The Lost Gods
- Review of Ellen Renner's Tribute
- Review of Paul Magrs's Lost On Mars
- Review of Philip Reeve's Railhead
- Review of Maria Turtschaninoff's Maresi