All About Abi Elphinstone
Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as a teacher in Africa, Berkshire and London. She writes fast-paced magical adventures for 8-12 year olds (The Dreamsnatcher and The Shadow Keeper) and when she’s not writing, she volunteers for Beanstalk, visits schools to talk about her books and travels the world looking for her next story. Her latest adventure involved living with Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia: http://www.
Abi has created a scheme of work, drawing on her experience as an English teacher, with resources and activities on every chapter of ‘The Dreamsnatcher’ (click here to download) and she is passionate about placing adventure and outdoor exploration at the heart of reading and writing. Just recently, she took 45 children into the Berkshire woods on a Dreamsnatcher Expedition where children slept in Romany gypsy wagons, cooked around the campfire, carved catapults and wrote stories in the trees. During school visits Abi openly talks about her dyslexia and how even the least likely readers and writers can go on to become authors.
Abi lives in London but is available for school visits across the UK and abroad.
Abi Elphinstone’s School Visits
The Dreamsnatcher Talk
Duration: 1 hour
Year Groups: Years 4, 5 and 6
Size of group: can be a single class or a stadium full of pupils!
Facilities needed: PowerPoint/projector facilities
Abi will talk to your pupils about the childhood adventures that inspired her book, the magic behind the fast-disappearing Romany gypsy culture, the wild research trips she went on to build up the Dreamsnatcher world and the secrets behind her writing craft. With an exciting range of props (including catapults, crystal balls, ancient runes and dreamcatchers) and a number of dramatic PowerPoint slides (think abseiling 80 metres into a cave in the jungle and hang-gliding over Rio de Janeiro!), this is a very interactive session which encourages children to see writing as an adventure. Abi will share the notepads and maps used in her plot-planning process, reveal tips for pupils to write their own stories and host a book signing and purchasing at the end of the session.
Abi Elphinstone’s Books
Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Because Molly is more important than she knows…The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Molly, together with Alfie, a runaway from the enemy gang, and her friend Sid, are drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure. Perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling, Philip Pullman, Michelle Paver and Eva Ibbotson.
Please click here to watch the gripping trailer for ‘The Dreamsnatcher’.
A sequel, The Shadow Keeper, was published in February 2016.
Recommendations and Reviews
‘A breathtaking fantasy that evokes the magic and adventure of classic children’s fiction – a Top 10 Children’s Book Not To Miss in 2015’ – The Bookseller
‘A scintillating story’ – Waterstones
‘Thrilling for readers of 9+ years’ – The Sunday Times
‘Atmospheric, packed with drama’ – Daily Mail
‘Fast paced and full of charm’ – Piers Torday, author of The Last Wild series
‘An outstanding debut packed with suspense, adventure and heart’ – Katherine Rundell, author of Rooftoppers
‘So fast it left me breathless… The Dreamsnatcher confirms Abi Elphinstone as a hugely talented and exciting Middle Grade author’ – Emma Carroll, author of Frost Hollow Hall
From Godolphin School: ‘Many, many thanks for coming. You spoke brilliantly and everyone has told me how much they loved coming – girls, staff and the other schools who joined us. There was a real buzz in the room and both your adventurous life and your tales of rejection and perseverance were inspiring. Your book is already a hit in my house, and I see lots of the girls here are already messaging you on Instagram. Thanks also for the scheme of work, I have passed it on to the English Dept who are very grateful.’
From Sudbury Primary: ‘Just wanted to thank you for today. It was great and the children really loved your workshop and the chance to meet an author. I walked into my classroom after your workshop and my class were engrossed in reading their newly purchased books. I’m sure you have inspired them to become the next wave of children’s authors!!’
From Cottesmore School: ‘It was truly inspirational – Y6 have been concocting their own story maps today with me and at least two children I know of are writing their own books!’
From Tupton Primary: ‘I have had several parents come and tell me how much their children enjoyed it and one mother said she had never seen her son so animated and couldn’t stop him talking about it! He even read 52 pages of the book before bed!’
From Wetherby Prep: ‘Thank you so much for coming in to see us, it was a really fantastic talk and I know that all the kids loved it.’
From Westminster Under: ‘All the boys are completely buzzing- thank you so much. It was absolutely fantastic’
From Francis Holland: ‘You truly managed to inspire the children.’
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Abi Elphinstone, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org