Here I am on a lovely Book Throne for the Ham and High Festival in the bookshop run by Waterstones. I ran two workshops this year, one for teens and one for adults on How to Plot a Novel. Both very successful and great fun!
The workshop on How to Plot a Novel was extremely helpful and invigorating.
The Book Throne is a wonderful idea for a seat surrounded by your favourite books within easy reach, designed by James Baldwin. Do take a look at his website.
Hidden has been chosen to feature on IMAGINATIONS : Ibby Ireland's new multicultural resource for 2014 and there is a great review.
"Halahmy's powerful voice animates her story vividly. It is both serious and large in its scope as well as personal and familiar."
Discussing on a Panel how I create characters, gathering my glittering treasures like a magpie from my observations of the world around me.
Jess is fifteen, Ryan is seventeen and they are falling in love. But each is keeping a terrible secret from the other. On a weekend away rock climbing they move closer until a terrifying incident drives a new wedge between them. Can Jess save her family from Dad’s mistakes and will Ryan resolve his mess from the past? If not, then their loved is doomed to failure.
Heartbreaking, painfully clear and filled with suspense, STUFFED
is the third book in the Hayling cycle of three novels by Miriam Halahmy.
Miriam Halahmy really understands troubled teens - and their parents- and portrays them with warmth and optimism.
Angela Kilverstein, Children's Books Editor, JC.
Stuffed gives you a perspective on modern issues while also giving the reader a rush of emotions.
Jad Faki, 14 years
Magic wands do not exist in Halahmy's writing and her characters have to make tough choices, so we suffer alongside her protagonists as they anticipate their imperfect but realisitic future. Can we hope for more from Halahmy? I hope so.
Bridget Carrington, IBBYLINK
A truly wonderful story... really enjoyed the climbing trip...the atmosphere was very tense...this will be a great catch to teens like me.
Tamara, 13 years.
Enjoyable, realistic, entertaining read...the author does not wave a wand and magic the problems away...you are left wondering what the future will hold...
Books, Teens and Magazines.
This is good stuff...I was totally caught up and I didn't cringe once, the way you sometimes do over books about teen romance and teen problems.
Miriam binds contemporary issues into gripping narratives of friendship and self-discovery like no-one else.
Jo Franklin, author
Couldn't put Stuffed down and was sorry when it ended. Such a satisfying ending and such an interesting story. I did love
Leslie Wilson, author.
Order your copies of HIDDEN, ILLEGAL and STUFFED directly from my publishers : Albury Books
Hard copy and E-books both available.
I was the guest author on a tutored children's writing retreat at the beautiful Arvon house at Lumb Bank, July 31st 2013, with author/tutors Nicky Browne and Steve Voake. We spent a lovely evening in the living room around a cosy fire, as I read my poetry and extracts from HIDDEN and ILLEGAL and talked about the arc of my writing career. As Lumb Bank was orginally Ted Hughes' home, one of the poems I read was about The Iron Man and The Thought-Fox. It sounded just right in that beautiful setting. I hope to be back at Lumb Bank again one day soon.
I gave a keynote speech at London University for this wonderful conference organised by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy based in Berlin. My lecture topic was 'How writers for young adults can stimulate dialogue across communities and challenge prejudices about the Other.' I drew upon my experiences building bridges across the Middle East divide as well as poetry and of course, extracts from HIDDEN, which deals with human rights, racial prejudice and the Other coming into our communities from abroad. The audience was largel made up of young people either studying international relations and cultural diplomacy or working in the field. A magical and inspiring event.
The E-edition of Secret Territory is now available on Kindle.
Set in Israel in the 1970s and in an underground cell in post-war London.
A fresh engrossing view of the Middle East : 5 star Amazon review
I ran a workshop, "So you want to write for kids!" to open the Greenacre LitFest and we had some wonderful writing and a range of participants including a 15 year old writer! The LitFest took place in Friern Barnet Library, which was saved from closure this year by the efforts of local residents, including Rosie Canning, one of the organisers of the Festival. Another library saved!
After the workshop there was an Open Mic and I was one of the Guest Authors. I read from my novel HIDDEN.
Wonderful sessions at the International Community School in London, W2, for World Book Day. We discussed the issues behind my novel, HIDDEN, including racist stereotyping, immigration and human rights. The pupils came from all over the world including Israel, France, Pakistan, the U.S. and Indonesia.
Miriam's greatest strength was adapting to the varied needs of different groups of students meaning that everyone got something of value from meeting her.
Annalise Taylor, Acting Assistant Principal/Librarian
Wonderful reviews for Hidden and Illegal in the latest edition of IBBYlink produced for the 19th Annual Conference.
HIDDEN : Plenty here to engage teenage readers and to make them (and adults) think hard about the way we treat each other, whoever and whatever we are.
ILLEGAL : Halahmy writes an exciting adventure story but there's always more than that.
Miriam visited Wandsworth this July for our joint Carnegie medal
shadowing event organised by Burntwood School. Miriam gave a fantastic talk to the pupils - they absolutely loved
her and she is featured in our display.
Penny Briers, School Librarian
The death of baby Jemma has sent fifteen-year-old Lindy's family into a downward spiral : her brothers are in prison and her parents have given up. The other girls at school all have proper families, with good jobs and nice cars. Why did Lindy get landed with such a useless one?
Lindy thinks she's been thrown a lifeline when her cousin Colin gives her a job, but she's soon out of her depth - he's a drug dealer and forces her to sell cocaine. Terrified that she will go to prison and seeing no way out, Lindy starts self-harming. Then she finds a surprising ally in fellow misfit, Karl, who is mute. Together they embark upon a desperate plan to ensure her freedom.
Illegal is the story of a teenage girl, driven to take desperate measures when all other choices are taken away from her.
Excellent! Beautifully written and a really strong and gripping story.
Wendy Cooling MBE, co-founder of Bookstart
I was swept off my feet.
Angela Kilverstein, Children's Books Editor, J.C.
Miriam Halahmy has pulled off a difficult trick - a second novel as good as her first. I read it in one gulp, unable to stop. ...looking forward to Stuffed, the third book in the cycle.
Subtly handled...This is a gritty, no holds barrred, nail biting young adult story.
Miriam Halahmy has an exceptional ear for dialogue, her characters in Illegal are so vivid and compelling that they ensue a breathless read from start to end, and her insight into troubled youth has us routing for characters most of us would cross the street to avoid in real life.'
Very exciting and not just one for the girls. Good plot and characters. Setting is ace.
Illegal maintains a fast pace and high drama, with a chilling undertone leaving the reader guessing what is going to happen right to the very end....Halahmy paints characters and their issues so vividly that it gives them life and meaning far beyond the page.
The Haringey Independent
Well written, gritty contemporary tale. This is an author who can deal with tough, hard-hitting issues and keep things realistic.
The Bookbag, starred review
A great story, maybe even better than Hidden and both equally exciting and equally necessary. I'm looking forward to Miriam's next book.
Illegal is another fascinating story from Miriam Halahmy and although aimed at young people, this is a book which is really enjoyable for adults too.
Katie Martin, BBC Radio Solent
A fantastic read, totally compulsive, unputdownable. The ending will make you cheer.
This book is bursting with realism.
Illegal is at times a heart-wrenching read but it is a book I would highly recommend.
Emotional, powerful, addictive. Had me hooked from page one. Can't wait to read Hidden and Stuffed.
Book Addicted Girl
Miriam tackles some difficult subjects in a sympathetic and age appropriate way.
Tall Tales and Short Stories
Illegal gives a real and valuable insight ino the difficulties many children face, like Lindy, from dysfunctional or chaotic backgrounds or like Karl, who on the surface seems to have it all. 9 year old Sean breaks my heart. I hope that the social worker's intervention and Lindy's support turns his life around. Lindy's parents are, quite rightly, portrayed with compassion and you have shown that with the right support, many families can work through their problems. There have been many challenges in writing this book but they never hold the story back. Well done Miriam, it is definitely a book that everyone should read.
An Adoptive Parent
"Gripping story..written with clarity and immediacy." Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times
Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week, April 2011.
Nominated : 2012 CILIP Carnegie Medal.
Shortlisted : 2012 Portsmouth Book Award
Shortlisted : 2012 Essex Book Award
Nominated : 2011 People's Prize
Longlisted : 2011 Southern Schools Book Award
Longlisted : 2011 Hampshire Book Award
HIDDEN on YouTube!!
Miriam Halahmy never puts a foot wrong in this gripping story focusing on an agonisingly difficult contemporary problem. Tautly written throughout, her fine novel deserves the widest audience.
Nick Tucker, reviewer and broadcaster.
The pace of the narrative carries the reader through the .... messages about justice and integrity.
Hidden is a terrific story. Miriam has managed that rare thing; a serious story told with a comic and emotional touch.
Hidden tackles one of the most contentious issues of our time. Everybody under your roof will find something great in this story.
Katie Martin, BBC Radio Solent
A contemporary novel dealing with contemporary issues...very accessible.
Books for Keeps. Starred review.
Miriam tackles such a hard subject ( racism) amazingly from the perspective of teenagers. GO GET IT NOW! Can't wait to read Illegal.
Steffi - Book Blogger - via Twitter.
'There's so much hidden in this little hut, and whatever I've dived into here is only going to get more complicated.'
HIDDEN is a brave debut novel tackling the complex issues of immigration and human-rights laws, through the eyes of teenage Alix.
A literary coming-of-age novel dealing with courage, prejudice, judgement, and the difficulty of sorting right from wrong. Challenging, charming, compelling.
Hidden left me feeling inspired and empowered to stand up for the things I believe in...Everyone should read this book...It's invigorating!
Beautifully written.... a novel about hope.
At a time when British youngsters are increasingly concerned about immigration, it seems very timely to publish a teen adventure about asylum seekers.
Bridget Galton, Ham and High
People grow and learn through this book. It raises all kinds of interesting questions but never loses sight of the fact that what we want to read first and foremost is an interesting story about people we can get to like.
Point this one out to your teachers - they'll thank you for it.
A brave choice of subject matter.
Tall Tales and Short Stories
The Hayling Island setting is well-evoked and the denouement is inspiring.
Angela Kiverstein, the J.C.
A great story about a very real and current problem.
Miriam Halahmy has addressed an increasingly common situation about which most teenagers know little and has cast an uncomfortable spotlight.
Alix is a marvellous heroine - an apparently ordinarygirl who turns out to have enormous reserves of courage and strength. A novel which will stretch the minds of readers of any age.
Brilliant! Un-put-downable! I liked the fact it was an Iraqi refugee as we rarely 'see' them. They are not as visible as other groups. Next installment please."