All About Sam Angus
Sam is the award-winning and best-selling writer of Soldier Dog and other critically acclaimed books of historical fiction. Her works are published in the US, Canada, Australia and South Africa and translated into Portuguese and Italian and Chinese. She finds herself drawn again and again into stories set in either the first or second world war.
Sam was born in Italy, grew up in France and Spain and was educated rather haphazardly in most of these countries, at many different schools. She was asked to leave at least one school. She studied English Literature at Trinity College, Cambridge where she kept a dog until he was discovered being smuggled out of college in a laundry basket. She was summoned and asked to leave Cambridge too. Unless the dog left, in which case she might stay. She taught A level English before spending a decade in the fashion industry and now write full time. She lives between Exmoor and London with irrational numbers of children, dogs and horses.
Sam’s School Visits
Sam has talked at schools for over a decade and is frequently asked back three or four times to the same school. She also talks at festivals, libraries and events of all kinds. She speaks happily both to small and large and very large groups. She tends to use a slide show and to talk for about fifty minutes or so before starting a Q&A session.
Sam’s books and talks appeal to both children and adults of all ages. She speaks to children of age 9 and up. She often also speaks to sixth formers, doing either history or creative writing.
Stanley’s dad hasn’t been the same since his wife died and his eldest son went off to fight in the war. Now Stanley is either invisible to his dad or the object of one of his rages, and his only friend is his dad’s prizewinning greyhound, Rocket. But one day Rocket escapes, and the result is a litter of non-thoroughbred puppies that Da says will all have to be drowned, even Stanley’s favourite puppy, Solider. Stanley is so angry with his father that he runs away and enlists in the army to train as a messenger dog handler, and despite being far too young he’s soon heading to France with a great Dane called Bones by his side.
As the fighting escalates and Stanley experiences the horrors of war, he comes to realise that the loyalty of his dog is the one thing he can rely on. But his father hasn’t given up on him, and extraordinary circumstances will bring them together once more . . .
A Horse Called Hero
It is 1940. As the Second World War escalates and London becomes a target for German bombs, Dodo and her horse-mad little brother Wolfie are evacuated to the country, away from everything they know. After weeks of homesick loneliness, they come across an orphaned foal. They name the horse Hero for surviving against the odds and together they raise him, train him, and learn to ride.
Their days are suddenly full of life and excitement again, but the shadow of war looms over their peaceful existence, and soon Hero must live up to his name . . .
It’s 1915 and British troops are about to sail to Gallipoli. Billy is the youngest soldier in his platoon and is teased for not being old enough to drink or shave. The truth is, at 15 he’s not old enough to be a soldier either, and he’s terrified of the war he’s about to fight. Then he meets Captain, a refugee boy, and his donkey, Hey-ho. Together they teach Billy what it means to be brave, loyal and fearless, and above all what it means to be a friend.
House on Hummingbird Island
‘We’re going to a fine place,’ Idie told Homer to console him, ‘with gullies and monkeys and hummingbirds.’
Idie Grace is twelve when she inherits a grand old house on a Caribbean island, and is sent away from grey old England to a place where hummingbirds hover and monkeys clamber from tree to tree.
As a lady of property Idie can do as she pleases, so she fills the house with exotic animals, keeps her beloved horse in the hallway, and carries a grumpy, talking cockatoo called Homer on her shoulder. But the island house holds as many secrets as it does animals, and the truth behind Idie’s inheritance is the biggest secret of all . . .
School for Skylarks
It is 1939. When Lyla is evacuated from her home in London to her great-aunt’s enormous house in the West Country, she expects to be lonely. She has never been to school nor had any friends, and her parents have been at the centre of a scandal. But with the house being used to accommodate an entire school of evacuated schoolgirls, there’s no time to think about her old life. Soon there is a horse in a first-floor bedroom and a ferret in Lyla’s sock drawer, hordes of schoolgirls have overrun the house, and Lyla finds out that friends come in all shapes and sizes.
REVIEWS for SOLDIER DOG
“I loved this book and read it from cover to cover without putting it down; based on a true story the horrors of war are clearly depicted as is the role of the heroic Messenger Dogs who raced between troops carrying messages, fearless and loyal under heavy artillery fire. As I read this story my heart pounded and I had a lump in my throat…truly unputdownable.”
“Prepare for your heart to melt with this wonderful heartbreaking story about a boy’s love for his dog.”
“Soldier Dog’ is an emotive story of love, loyalty, courage and bravery. However it is intertwined with an evocatively harrowing portrayal of brutal trench warfare that for young (and older) readers will raise awareness, will be thought provoking, and will be inspirational.”
Sam’s books have been long and short listed many times over for the CILIP Carnegie. She won the North East Book Award for Soldier Dog & was short listed for the Branford Boase, Heart of Hawick, Centurion Award, Hampshire Book Award, Was Sussex Award, Grampian Book Award, Ealing Readers Awards, the Spell Binding book Award, the James Reckitt Award, the Calderdale Award, The Cheshire Schools Book Award, Young Quills. She has been long listed for the Redbridge Award & has won the East Lothian Lennox Author Award.
Recommendations and Reviews
“Just wanted to say a huge thank-you for your visit to our WW1 Centenary day last Friday. It was a fabulous day, and your presentations fitted perfectly with the whole ethos of the day. Students were fascinated and moved by the stories you told, and have been talking about it since. As well as the 80 books we sold on the day (wish I had ordered more), we have loaned out all 20 copies of Soldier Dog in the library catalogue – and we have a waiting list! All staff who were supervising the presentation were also very impressed. Believe you me, our year 8s can be a tough crowd, but you kept them enthralled for the whole hour.”
Ms Sally Perkins, Beauchamps High School
“Sam Angus came to our school to introduce her brilliant book ‘Soldier Dog’. The whole event was fantastic and successfully brought together different curriculum areas. She was extremely knowledgeable about the history of how messenger dogs were trained and used during World War 1 and she shared this knowledge in an accessible and captivating way to an audience of 250 pupils aged between 10 and 13. Both during and after the talk the students were given plenty of opportunities to ask Sam any questions and to have their books signed.”
King Charles School, Kidderminster