All About Mo O'Hara
New York Times Bestselling author Mo O’Hara grew up in Pennsylvania, USA, but now lives in south-east London. She began her writing and acting career by touring theatres and schools across the UK and Ireland, working as an actor and storyteller. As well as writing books for children, Mo has written comedy sketches for Radio 4 and performed her own material in London and Edinburgh. Mo and her big brother once brought their own pet goldfish back from the brink of death. True Fact 😊
Mo’s School Visits
‘My Big Fat Zombie Assembly’
Suitable for Years 1-6.
Can be presented up to 300 students at a time, please get in touch to discuss requirements if you have a larger group.
Can be from 45 minutes to an hour long.
Mo can offer a whole school assembly which can be from 45 minutes to an hour long and is very interactive. Mo reads a bit from the ‘My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish’ books and talk about the process of taking a book from idea to actual published copy. Mo follows this up with a bit of stand up about the incident in her childhood that inspired the book, which leads into a mass brainstorming session about idea sparking for books. The children get to share ideas, dress up as characters from the books and it all ends in a Zombie Fish Face Off. Lots of evil scientist Mwhaaa haaa haaa laughing all around but also some great story sparking and some insight into the way a book is written.
Storytelling Sessions with Reception or Nursery Children
Mo can do a picture book storytelling session for Reception and nursery children. This works for with her picture book ‘More People To Love Me’ book which talks about how families come in all shapes and sizes.
Mo also offers a 30 minute session for Reception, Y1 and Y2 with her latest picture book, ‘Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex’ which includes songs (with a ukulele), dino dancing as well as feathered Shakespearian hats on dinosaurs. A bit of culture and a lot of fun.
Creative Writing Workshop
‘What If-ing Your Way Into Your Story’
Suitable for Years 3 and 4 – 50 minutes in length typiaclly
Suitable for Years 5 and 6 – typically an hour in length
Maximum 40 students per workshop.
Best suited to a classroom environment.
Mo can run a creative workshop in year groups or in class groups for Years 3 -6. In this creative writing session pupils make a story map that starts with creating a strong central character and spins a story out from there. They will work on methods for creating a story and then map out that story taking in the key points of Character, Plot and Setting. By the end of the session pupils will have a story map with sections of their story written and planned. There is plenty of opportunity for verbal input as well as drawing and writing.
Drama in Writing Workshop
Suitable for Years 5-8
Ideally for this you will need a hall space
This workshop can work for whole year groups and can be done in groups up to about 50
Mo’s’Drama in Writing workshop’ explores the connections between acting, directing and writing. This workshop is very much an on your feet experience that combines Mo’s experience of acting and writing. Children will not pick up a piece of paper in this workshop. Instead they would explore the creation of character and emotions on the page by acting and demonstrating those emotions. One of the most common notes given to new writers is, ‘Show, don’t tell.’ This is also one of the most common notes given by directors to new actors. Mo and the students explore, through drama exercises, how to show emotion through action and how to convey intent through dialogue. They also touch on the concept of muscular memory, which is a technique that actors use to recreate certain moments again and again on stage. Mo will show how this is useful in plotting and planning the actions of your characters, when you are, in effect, directing them in a scene. Lastly, they look at the concept of ‘hot-seating’ their characters to get to know them as an actor would when they approach a role. This is incredibly useful in making characters seem three dimensional in your book.
More People To Love Me
This little girl’s family is huge! The only way to show how huge would be to draw a family tree. With a step-mum, a step-dad, four brothers and sisters, and a whole lot of grandparents, her family tree has a lot of branches – and a lot of people to love her.
Mo O’Hara’s warm and playful story will speak to any young child with an extended family. Accompanied by Ada Grey’s charming illustrations, More People To Love Me is a gorgeous book which shows that families come in all shapes and sizes.
Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex
Two dinosaurs whose species are sworn enemies want to become friends in New York Times bestselling author Mo O’Hara’s prehistoric spin on Shakespeare.
In this hilarious take on Shakespeare for children 4 to 8—with dinosaurs instead of people—Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex get along perfectly well until they realize that their families should be mortal enemies!
“Your family would eat mine,” says Romeosaurus, who comes from a family of herbivores. Yes, it’s true—Juliet Rex’s family are carnivores, and Romeosaurus’s family are plant-loving herbivores.
With two families up in arms (very short ones for Juliet Rex) the two friends run away, determined not to let family baggage determine who their friends should be.
With this funny take on the world’s most cherished love story, Mo O’Hara transforms Shakespeare into a relatable and truly funny dinosaur romp for young readers. Coupled to perfection with Andrew Joyner’s expressive and classic illustrations, this tale will get giggles while introducing the most beloved writer known to the world today.
Shakespeare’s classic tragedy gets a comic retelling and a happy ending.
“Once upon a time, one hundred and fifty million years ago….” Romeosaurus’ family (a mix of dino species) are herbivores, while Juliet Rex’s (T. Rexes and a pterodactyl nurse) delight in eating meat. The two meet at a masked ball, quickly becoming friends, though the herbivores must make a quick escape after Romeo helps Auntie Gladys off the buffet table, where she’s been trussed, with an apple in her mouth, and Mercutio-tops accidentally pokes Tybalt Rex with his horns. The balcony scene leads to a cementing of Romeo and Juliet’s friendship, and the two leave notes for their loved ones and run off to the tar pits. Knowing what danger that poses, Nurse-a-Dactyl and Mercutio-tops fly to the rescue (“We should have let them be friends!”), and the foursome agree that carnivores and herbivores can be friends (not meals). But this happily-ever-after is marred by a looming final-page meteorite. Indeed, O’Hara sprinkles humorous references throughout that will fly over kids’ heads, though parents will be in stitches: “Juliet Rex was waving her tiny arms in the air like she just didn’t care….” Joyner’s digital illustrations are a hoot. The dinos are dressed in Elizabethan finery (dino color and clothing color separating carnivores and herbivores, in addition to the former’s pointy teeth), and their expressions are sure to evince giggles, most being over-the-top.
Not too shabby for a first taste of the Bard. (Picture book. 4-8)
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish Fiction Series for 7-11 Year Olds.
The ‘My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish’ Series has been translated into 11 languages so far and has sold over a million copies worldwide. It also made the New York Times Bestseller List!
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
A New York Times bestseller!
When Tom’s big brother decides to become an Evil Scientist, his first experiment involves dunking Frankie the goldfish into toxic green gunk. Tom knows that there is only one thing to do: Zap the fish with a battery and bring him back to life! But there’s something weird about the new Frankie. He’s now a BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH with hypnotic powers . . . and he’s out for revenge!
“It is books like this that make a child want to learn to read so they can enjoy stories like this whenever they want. The simple fact is – when boys discover books this good – boys do read.” The Bookbag
“My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish is perfect for children (and boys in particular) who have just learned to read and want something that they can talk tot heir friends about … We need many more books like this – books that just might a child on to a lifetime love of books and reading.” Bookzone for Boys
“Anyone who likes books by Dav Pilkey would seriously love this book.” Guardian Online peer review
“Mo O’Hara has the knack when it comes to writing for children and I look forward to delving into more of her writing.” Wondrous Reads blog
“…charming, super funny and completely off the wall. It would suit younger readers and adventurous older readers who like wicked humour and mad science shenanigans and annoying older/younger siblings.” My Favourite Books blog
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: The Seaquel
After Tom rescued Frankie the goldfish from his big brother Mark’s toxic science experiment by zapping him back to life with a battery, Frankie somehow became a BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH with dangerous hypnotic powers. Fortunately, Frankie has appointed himself Tom’s bodyguard, and together, with a little help from their friends, they thwart Mark’s Evil Scientist plans.
Tom is looking forward to their annual family trip to the seaside, right up until he hears about the Evil Eel of Eel Bay–a monster that Mark is entirely too interested in. After all, even a BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH might have a little trouble with a Super Electric Zombie Eel!
Then, Frankie takes centre stage to rescue Tom’s school play from Mark’s evil plans.
“Complete with brilliant black and white illustrations, even reluctant readers will be desperate for more stories in this hypnotically addictive series.” Ilford Recorder
“The My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish stories brim with life and humour and are ideal for children who like books with plenty of bold, busy pictures.” Lancashire Evening Post
Fins of Fury
When Tom zapped Frankie the goldfish back to life with a battery, he certainly didn’t expect him to become a BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH with incredible hypnotic powers. But it turns out that a zombie goldfish is a great pet to have on your side when your big brother is an evil scientist whose plans need to be thwarted.
There’s something fishy going on in the woods, as Tom and his best friend Pradeep take Frankie on a camping adventure. Could the Beast of Burdock Woods be real?
Then, something weird is going on with Mark. He’s actually being . . . nice! Meanwhile, paranormal pets (including a teleporting tortoise, a mostly invisible poodle, a levitating budgie, and a vampire kitten) are missing all over town. Can Tom and Pradeep find out what’s going on before Frankie disappears?
“Each story is full of action and really funny moments – like when Tom has to hide his goldfish, Frankie, in his mouth! Each chapter finishes on a cliff-hanger which makes you want to read on to the next chapter to find out what happens!” The Beano
“Both stories have wild, zany plot developments and lots of humour” Carousel
“When this book arrived my nearly seven year old was very excited. It’s exactly the sort of book that appeals to him as a fairly new chapter book reader. The lesson being, if you want to get small boys to read more books, then write them about fat zombie goldfish and half the battle is won!” Being a Mummy blog
Any Fin is Possible
More hilarious adventures and zany illustrations in the after life of a zombie goldfish!
When Tom rescued Frankie the goldfish from his older brother’s evil science experiment by zapping him back to life with a battery, he never expected his pet to become a BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH with incredible hypnotic powers . . . but he has to admit it’s helpful, especially when they are thwarting his big brother’s evil plans.
Dodging booby traps, avoiding evil possibly-mummified kittens, discovering the truth behind the ancient Egyptian Curse at the local museum . . . it’s all in a night’s work for a zombie goldfish!
Then, there’s something fishy going on at sports day. Can Frankie help Pradeep and Tom to foil Mark’s evil plans? Or will Mark and his pet vampire kitten, Fang, take home the gold?
New York Times-bestselling author Mo O’Hara delivers more laugh-out-loud fun in this illustrated chapter book series.
“another highly entertaining read” I Read Therefore I Blog, Blog
Live and Let Swim
The name’s Goldfish. Zombie Goldfish. Fishy mayhem abounds with two more fin-tastic stories from author Mo O’Hara featuring our favorite (New York Times-bestselling!) zombie goldfish.
Frankie was a completely normal pet goldfish . . . until Tom’s evil-scientist big brother tried to murder him with toxic gunge! Luckily Tom and his best friend shocked Frankie back to life with a battery, and ever since he’s been a BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH.
In Live and Let Swim, a normal trip to the aquarium for Tom, Pradeep, and Sami suddenly turns into a death-defying race to save Frankie from being eaten by a hungry psychic octopus during their big brothers’ latest evil plan.
Then, when the TV show My Pet’s Got Talent comes to town all the paranormal pets suddenly start losing their talents. Can Frankie save the day without his dangerous hypnotic powers?
Live and Let Swim by New York Times-bestselling author Mo O’Hara brings back all the kooky fun and humour you’ve come to expect from this irresistible chapter book series.
Fish-tory comes to life with two more fin-tastic stories featuring our favorite zombie goldfish Frankie from New York Times-bestselling author Mo O’Hara.
When Tom and his best friend rescued Frankie the goldfish from his evil-scientist big brother’s toxic gunge their new pet came back as a BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH.
Frankie is good at saving the day, but can he become a real knight in shining armor during the medieval day reenactment joust?
Then, can the school survive two BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH? Find out when Tom’s evil big brother manages to clone a Jurassic Carp!
Jurassic Carp: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O’Hara with fun illustrations by Marek Jagucki is a zany chapter book for kids, and is perfect for reluctant readers.
The Fin-tastic Fish-Sitter
My Fangtastically Evil Vampire Pet
My FANGtastically Evil Vampire Pet, the epic spin-off of Mo O’Hara’s New York Times bestselling My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series features an aspiring evil scientist, paranormal pets, and plenty of hilarious summer camp shenanigans.
Welcome to Camp Mwhaaa-haa-ha-a-watha!
This summer is going to be epic. Epically evil, that is. ‘Cause I’m going to Evil Scientist Summer Camp!
No annoying little brothers. No annoying zombie goldfish. Just me, my best friend Sanj, our notebook of evil plans, and my truly evil (and totally forbidden) vampire kitten Fang. We’ve got it all planned out. Okay, so maybe I didn’t expect for the totally not-evil Geeky Girl to show up, or for Sanj to find a new partner to work with, but there’s no way I’m going to let them ruin my summer. Evil Emperor of the Camp, here I come!
The Great and Powerful Mark
Currently only available in the US or through a US online supplier.
My Big Fat Zombie Fun Book
An interactive book, this book allows you to take centre stage in your own Zombie Goldfish adventure!
Currently only available in the US or through a US online supplier.
Recommendations & Reviews
“Mo O’Hara came to Melling Primary and fired up the children’s enthusiasm for writing. The whole school assembly was lively, fun and captured all the children’s attention. The interactive workshops which followed were catered according to age group and gave them tips and skills for planning and writing stories. Even the teachers learnt new tips as well! Mo’s visit began our book week in the best possible way!”
Lynne Toborne, Melling Primary, Liverpool, UK
“How would I describe a school visit by Mo O’Hara? Informative, inspirational, interactive, flat out fun? How about all of the above. Our students are still talking about it weeks later. The greatest benefit has been that our most reluctant readers and writers are genuinely excited about literacy. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to host this talented author at our school. I give her my highest recommendation. You will not be disappointed!”
Jonathan Lee Assistant Principal, Allen at Steinbeck Elementary San Jose, CA
“Mo O’Hara’s visit to St. Mary’s CEP School was inspirational. Her personality shone out during a whole school assembly and with a combination of props, costumes, audience participation and her hysterical account of how she was inspired to write her Big Fat Zombie Goldfish stories, she held the attention of both pupils and staff alike. This was followed up with engaging Key Stage 2 writing workshops where the children explored their ‘What ifs’ to create amazing new stories. The whole experience was energizing and left the pupils with a buzz that continued weeks after her visit.
So we were thrilled to have her back to work more closely with KS1. This focused on her picture book ‘More People to Love Me’ which tied in closely to the work being carried out in PSHE. Mo adapted really well to the different age group and again was able to engage with them through talks and activities which she pitched at just the right level. If you’re looking for an author to inspire and motivate your pupils writing I couldn’t recommend Mo O’Hara enough.”
Mrs G. Kirk Class Teacher, St Mary’s CEP School, Rawtenstall, UK
“We had Mo O’Hara come to our school which is a school for special education and emotionally damaged children. It is a challenging group of kids. Mo came in and did her presentation, complete with puppets and accents and such drama that it engaged our children for the entire 45 minutes. They were smiling and laughing and enjoying the event. Please be warned that laughter and a bit of craziness will ensue but it is so worth having Ms. O’Hara come visit and talk about her books and why she writes them.”
Sherri Ginsberg, Hillsides Education Center, CA, USA. Special Educational Needs School
Library Group Visits for KS1 an KS2
Local Pre-School Visit from Mo O’Hara
“We had a fantastic author visit from Mo O’Hara who came to Petts Wood Library in Nov 2016 to meet a local pre-school group. All the children loved listening to Mo read ‘More People to Love Me’. She then talked to children about their family which they all enjoyed. All the way through the session Mo kept the children and adults engaged which is sometimes difficult as they are very young children.”
Books Aloud Visit from Mo O’Hara
“Mo O’Hara came to visit my Books Aloud group (5-7 year olds) at Petts Wood Library last year and told us all about being an author and her series ‘My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish’
It was fascinating to hear how Mo had got into writing and what had inspired her to write the series. She brought along lots of props (Frankie and friends!) which made the whole session very interactive and hands on. The children in Books Aloud very much enjoyed the activities that Mo brought along for them to do, but also had lots of questions for Mo to answer which was lovely.
If you ever get the chance I would thoroughly recommend Mo for a library or class visit as she is excellent.”
Jenny Hawke, Library Manager, Petts Wood Library, Bromley Libraries
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Mo O’Hara, 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