I write novels, short stories, poems and song lyrics for children, teens and adults. On my website you can find out about my work, so come on in!
If you have any queries or comments, CONTACT me and I will always reply.
“I am just going to write because I cannot help it.”
Haworth 1847. When Mother and her beloved twin brothers are taken by the Haworth ‘miasma’, to keep her family from the workhouse, 15-year-old Kate starts work at the Parsonage, home to the Brontё family. Kate dreams of being a writer. Poverty and gender stand in her way and Luke Feather who wants to marry her, believes writing stories is a waste of time.
When Charlotte Brontё discovers Kate’s passion for books and writing an important friendship develops. Kate begins to embrace Charlotte’s radical ideas of equality and is thrilled when she spots clues that the Brontё sisters are writing stories. But how can Kate achieve her ambition to write, while locked in the daily struggle to survive in Haworth?
Miriam Halahmy has written a novel which brings the Brontёs alive for a new generation of readers. Themes of women’s rights, inequality and poverty are illuminated in beautiful character-driven story telling. In a world of increasing inequality and global attacks on women’s rights, this is a novel for our time.
I loved this beautifully told tale of a young servant girl’s determination to realise her secret ambition of becoming a writer, set in the deftly imagined wild and wuthering world of the Brontё sisters. A must for all Brontё fans everywhere and anyone seeking the courage to pursue their dreams.
Ally Sherrick, Children’s Historical Author, Winner, Young Quills Award.
A slice of social commentary, a touch of romance with a twist, a glimpse into the lives and world of the Brontё Sisters. This is all wrapped up in a beautifully and skilfully written story of a young girl desperate to break out of her life of poverty, escape the shackles of gender inequality, purse her passion for writing and follow her dreams! A compulsive and enthralling read that hooks the reader from the beginning to the very last page and with characters that the feel real and the reader cares about. I loved it, felt bereft when I finished it and am desperate for a sequel!!!
Annie Everall OBE, Director Authors Aloud UK and Children’s Book Reviewer
“An absorbing story of bright but poor teenager Kate born on the ‘wrong’ side of the cobbles in Haworth, who finds work as a servant at the Parsonage - along with an unexpected friend and mentor in Charlotte Brontë. The book radiates with Halahmy’s meticulous research, allowing us to appreciate the harsh realities of life for Kate in 1840s Yorkshire - and her struggle to escape by writing, like Charlotte, because she cannot help it. A clever and insightful slant on the Brontës from an author adept at bringing fresh perspectives to young readers.”
Sharon Wright, author of Mother of the Brontës: The Life of Maria Branwell
This highly entertaining novel should ensure a new generation of Brontë fans!’
Dr Michael Stewart
Reader (Associate Professor) in Creative Writing, Huddersfield University
Many thanks to Arts Council, England, for a grant to research and write this novel. I spent a year travelling to Haworth from London, researching in the archives, kindly facilitated by Ann Dinsdale, Principal Curator, Brontё Parsonage Museum. Steven Wood, local Historian, walked me all over the village, discussing the social history of Haworth with me. I walked on the moors, all the way up to Top Withins, Alcomden Stones and the Fairy Cave, soaking up the atmosphere, imagining the Brontё sisters walking and discussing their work. Every time I went up to Haworth I stood for hours in the Parsonage, imagining scenes for my book. I joined the Brontё Society in London and I attended the annual Brontё Conference in Brussels, where Emily and Charlotte attended school and Charlotte fell passionately and hopelessly in love with her teacher, Professor Heger. I also researched in the British Museum. I have loved every minute of researching and writing this book. The following photos were taken over the past few years as I continue to learn about one of the greatest literary families in the world.
I kept diaries and took photos throughout my research period. Below is a Gallery of some of my photos. Click on each one for the caption.
A Boy From Baghdad, Green Bean Books.
"Jews are no longer safe in Iraq. When are you going to get it through your thick head."
It's 1951 and 12 year old Salman Shasha and his family have to leave their comfortable home in Baghdad to resettle in Israel. The 'Promised Land' turns out not to be what they dreamed of, and from a refugee camp the uprooted family have to work together to rebuild their lives.
Trying to find his feet in the unwelcoming new country, Salman misses swimming, his great passion, but even swimming is more difficult in this new life. Will he have to give up on his ambition to be a champion?
An atmospheric, inspiring tale about the power of perseverance, friendship and family in the face of hardship, hatred and change, A Boy From Baghdad is an important story of diversity in the modern world. Essential reading from children to adult, children 8 years and over.
Best Jewish Children's Books of 2023 : The Tablet
PJ Ourway Author Incentive Award
Shorlisted : Unofficial Sydney Taylor Award 2024 : USA
Children's Books of the Year 2023 : JC
A Boy From Baghdad's uniqueness lies in its setting, its power lies in it universality. A good novel to read.
Rachel J. Fremmer, The Tablet, December 2023.
A book which speaks to children and adults. Really well written, the characters very relatable as individuals and their struggles make the reader realise that persecution, racism and prejudice comes in many forms and always need to be challenged. I learned a lot from this book - its a powerful, very readable and important novel that shines a light on a period of history but is equally relevant in today's world. I couldn't put it down.
Annie Everall OBE
Powerful, beautifully written story, historical and eye-opening and so relevant to today's world, where many families are still forced to flee their homes to other countries.
Penny Joelson, Award Winning Author
I've had chills listening to Miriam Halahmy talk about the power of books in times of conflict. Her brilliant book set in 1951 when Jews were no longer safe in Iraq, sadly mirrors her own family's experience as Jews no longer feel safe in the UK after October 7th 2023.
Cat Barlow, ASCEL Conference Delegate, October 2023
A beautifully told story of one boy's attempts to realise his dreams despite prejudice and persecution. A celebration of how, in spite of almost impossible-seeming odds, the human spirit can triumph. Thoroughly recommended for both young people and adults.
Ally Sherrick. Award Winning Author of children's historical fiction. 5* Amazon Review.
A story of perseverance against the odds...it educated me ... plotted so skilfully
Sue Klauber, Author
Brilliant/atmospheric/evocative...packs a real emotional punch.
5 star Amazon review
You know a children's book is special when, as an adult , you both enjoy reading it and learn something new...Thank you to Net Galley for an advanced copy. We need more books like this!
Sara, 5* Goodreads Review
The has done a great job with wonderful characters that both represent different reactions to their changing circumstances ... and that feel real. While the book is perfect for MG readers, its perfect for their parents too. A compelling novel.
Erica Lyons. 5* Goodreads Review
I really liked this story .... I wouldn't change a thing.
Gabe, 9 years.
I loved the story because I could picture myself as one of the characters, I loved learning new words and a new language. and I loved this story because I could picture the scenes in my mind which made me feel like I was there on Salman's journey with him and his cousin.
Jacob, 9 years
Very excited that TV company, Red Planet Pictures, have optioned my MG book,
The Emergency Zoo, for a children's TV series. Kate Rowland, Creative Consultant at Red Planet said, "The story of the WW2 British pet cull - and its effect on children - is one of the most compelling tales never told. We are excited to be developing Miriam's book into a gripping children's drama, reminding ourselves of the incredible resilience and creative spirit of young people in times of crisis. It couldn't be more relevant."
The series is being developed with the support of the BFI Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF).
The script writers are Natalie Mitchell and Vickie Donoghue who scripted the stage adaptation of my novel HIDDEN.
Rudi is nine. His own country is no longer safe for Jewish children and he is being sent from Germany to England on the Kindertransport train. But he can't take his beloved little dog, Hanno. By a lucky chance Hanno is smuggled into England and helps Rudi to cope with life in a strange country. But as World War 2 looms, there is a chilling new threat to Hanno. How can Rudi and his new friends save their pets? Inspired by the real events of the Kindertransport and the refugee children who came to Britain just before war was declared.
Saving Hanno is about loss and hope. It tells a beautiful story, sadly still so relevant today, about how refugee children experience loss and grieve for the lives they left behind.
Lord Alf Dubs, Kindertransport survivor and lifelong campaigner for refugees.
Strongly empathetic...hope, courage and resourcefulness, as well as loss and fear, play a large part in this moving story.
Books For Keeps
This story can be read as an adventure about a boy and his dog. Ot ir can be thought about and explored and discussed as a rare example of historical fiction for younger Middle Grade readers.
Set at the outbreak of WW2 Saving Hanno is a gripping and moving story that will light empathy in reader's hearts for Kindertransport refugee children and their pets, receiving safety and welcome by strangers. It captures the hardships of the times and the enormity of the children's journeys while endearingly keeping step with their childhood hopes, dreams, ability to form new friendships and rebuild lives.
Sita Bramachari, Children's Author.
A fantastic addition to WW2 and Holocaust literature for children aged 7-11yrs, while also addressing themes still relevant today for refugee children.
Helen Mulligan, Just Imagine Story Centre
A Holocaust story with a difference...primary school readers will certainly relate to it. I would definitely advocate this one...
Jill Bennett, Red Reading Hub
Saving Hanno tells the tale of an unbreakable bond between a young boy and his four-legged friend. Essential reading.
A beautifully told story which merits being read, told and realised. A very moving, necessary story.
A gentle, occasionally heart-breaking book which is a welcome addition to Holocaust literature for children. A gripping and pacy read and a special book that will teach empathy. Recommended for age seven plus.
Miriam Halahmy draws on real events for a book set in the months before World War II. The story follows a 9-year-old German-Jewish boy, Rudi, who's separated from his parents and his beloved dachshund, Hanno, when he and his sister are sent on a humanitarian Kindertransport to London. Ensconced with English-speaking foster parents in a strange new culture, Rudi is thrilled when Hanno can join him after a stint in quarantine. But soon there are new threats. Not only does German bombing mean that Rudi is to be displaced again, to the countryside, but Hanno is now at risk from a government campaign to euthanize pets, lest food run short and, in the chaos of war, the animals run wild.
Wall Street Journal, USA
2021 CILIP Carnegie Medal
Southern Schools Book Award
Lancashire Book Award
Amazing Books Award
A tense story about a very real danger... pacey and successfully builds tension... frighteningly realistic potrayal of the dangers of on-line grooming. Needs reading!"
North Somerset Teachers Book Award
Poignant, powerful and educational
Emma Suffield, SLA UK School librarian of the Year.
A powerful, gripping story of online grooming...should be read in every class of every secondary school...add to your reading pile.
Annie Everall OBE; Consultant for Libraries, Director of Authors Aloud