Nicola Morgan (1961–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1961, in England. Education: Cambridge, University, M.A.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Walker Books, 87 Vauxhall Walk, London SE11 5HJ, England.
Writer. Former teacher of English; founder, Magic Readers, 1994–; founder, Child Literacy Centre.
Fleshmarket named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults.
Bouncy Gets Wet, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
Come down, Silky!, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
The Lost Key, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
At Home with DadEgmont (London, England), 1999.
Sam at the Museum, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
The Tree House, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
Sam's Birthday, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
Sam's Jungle, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
Sam's New School, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
Tiger Tales, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
Silky and Bouncy, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
Silky Is Lost, Egmont (London, England), 1999.
People Who Made History in Ancient Greece, Hodder Wayland (London, England), 2000.
Mondays Are Red, Hodder (London, England), 2002, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2003.
Fleshmarket, Hodder (London, England), 2003, Delacorte (New York, NY), 2004.
Sleepwalking, Hodder (London, England), 2004.
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Chicken Friend, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.
The Leaving Home Survival Guide, Walker Books (London, England), 2005.
Blame My Brain, Walker Books (London, England), 2005.
The Passionflower Massacre, Hodder (London, England), 2005.
Also author of "I Can Learn" series, 18 volumes, Egmont (London, England), "Learning Rewards" series, seven volumes, Egmont, and "Thomas the Tank Engine" series, twelve volumes, Egmont.
Nicola Morgan was a teacher for sixteen years, first as an English instructor and then as a specially qualified expert in reading problems. Drawing on her expertise in this field, she has written many books for young children who are just learning to read, many of these aimed at the home-schooling market. More recently, Morgan has fulfilled a life-long ambition to write novels, and has produced the young-adult novels Mondays Are Red, Fleshmarket, and Sleepwalking.
Mondays Are Red tells of Luke, a fourteen year old who wakes up from a coma to discover that he is suffering from synesthesia, a condition in which the senses blur together and one seems to taste sounds, feel colors, and hear feelings. In this confused, hallucinatory condition, Luke struggles against a haunting presence named Dreeg, who is bent on encouraging him to do evil. A critic for Kirkus Reviews praised Morgan's "magnificent imagery" when describing the unusual medical condition. Hillias J. Martin, in School Library Journal, praised Morgan's "hallucinogenic imagery" as "well conceived and sophisticated."
Morgan sets Fleshmarket in nineteenth-century Edinburgh, Scotland. Robbie Anderson is a fourteen year old whose mother has just died after surgery. He and his little sister, Essie, are quickly abandoned by their distraught father and left to make their own ways in the world. Essie becomes a beggar, while Robbie works as a delivery boy. As life becomes more difficult for him, Robbie develops a growing hatred for Dr. Robert Knox, the surgeon who operated on his late mother. In addition to becoming convinced that Knox could have saved his mother, Robbie also discovers that the doctor is buying corpses to dissect, and some of these corpses are of murder victims. "Morgan's story is fast paced and absorbing," Anna M. Nelson wrote in School Library Journal. Betty Carter, reviewing the novel for Horn Book, wrote that "the fully realized setting and the character development of a young man facing interenal demons … make this novel memorable."
Sleepwalking is a science-fiction tale set in England, 150 years in the future. In this future world, most people are Citizens, content to have the state provide all their needs. Citizens' personalities are regulated by government-prescribed drugs, and implanted computer chips limit their ability to use language to analyze or question the authorities. But there are also Outsiders, those who live in the countryside where the government has little control. The Outsiders are content to live quietly until a plague hits their community, pushing them to launch a revolt against the government that is led by four teenagers attempting to infiltrate government headquarters. A critic for the Manchester Guardian called Sleepwalking "an intriguing read, as well as a thrilling one." "Morgan is a verbal sculptress," noted the reviewer for the London Sunday Herald, "creating images of vivid physicality so that the world of the Outsiders and Citizens is entirely credibly drawn."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, March 1, 2005, Chris Sherman, review of Chicken Friend, p. 1198.
Bookseller, February 18, 2005, review of The Leaving Home Survival Guide, p. 40.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 2004, Elizabeth Bush, review of Fleshmarket, p. 92.
Europe Intelligence Wire, October 8, 2002, Lindsey Fraser, review of Mondays Are Red.
Guardian (Manchester, England)October 19, 2004, review of Sleepwalking.
Horn Book, September-October, 2004, Betty Carter, review of Fleshmarket, p. 594; May-June, 2005, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Chicken Friend, p. 332.
Independent, October 15, 2004, review of Sleepwalking.
Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, March, 2005, Juliet R. Heyden, review of Fleshmarket, p. 523.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2003, review of Mondays Are Red, p. 1228; July 15, 2004, review of Fleshmarket, p. 691; February 15, 2005, review of Chicken Friend, p. 234.
Observer (London, England), October 24, 2004, review of Sleepwalking.
Publishers Weekly, November 17, 2003, review of Mondays Are Red, p. 66.
School Library Journal, November, 2003, Hillias J. Martin, review of Mondays Are Red, p. 143; September, 2004, Anna M. Nelson, review of Fleshmarket, p. 213; April, 2005, Steven Engelfried, review of Chicken Friend, p. 138.
Scotsman, October 16, 2004, review of Sleepwalking.
Sunday Herald, October 31, 2004, review of Sleepwalking.
Child Literacy Centre Web site, http://www.childliteracy.com/ (May 31, 2005), "About Nicola Morgan."
Nicola Morgan's Web site, http://www.nicolamorgan.co.uk/ (May 31, 2005).
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