Author details

Julie Bertagna


As a child I was a terrible daydreamer (or terribly good, depending on how you look at it) and from the age of seven I knew I wanted to be a writer - because then, I thought, I could get away with daydreaming all day. Of course, it turned out to be a lot harder than that. After a degree in English Language and Literature, editing a small magazine, teaching, and being a freelance journalist - plus a whole lot of daydreaming - I became a writer. Now, I write books for all ages but mostly for Young Adults and speak in schools, libraries and at festivals all across the UK.

About writer's work

‘The stories that spark my imagination are often about people on the edge,’ says Julie. ‘I look for something unusual that will fire up my imagination and hopefully yours too. I always begin with a strong sense of a landscape or a place and my characters and their stories seem to grow out of that. Being Scottish, the places that inspire me are often the landscapes, cityscapes and seascapes of Scotland. Each book is a new voyage of discovery.’ Best-selling Exodus was shortlisted for many awards, including the Whitbread Prize, won the Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year Award and was a US Booklist Top Ten Fantasy book. A sequel, Zenith, won the Catalyst Book Award. Soundtrack won a Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book Award. The Opposite of Chocolate was shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Fiction Prize. The Ice Cream Machine was made into a popular TV programme for Channel 5. Dolphin Boy was shortlisted for the NASEN special needs award and a Blue Peter book award. All Julie’s older fiction has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal and her books are sold in many countries around the world. Aurora, the final book in the Exodus trilogy, is now published.

Websites featuring the author

Earth Rise Blog | SFF Chronicles | Article in the Scotsman

Current events and projects

I like to bring my books alive with strong visual content and encourage audience discussion and Q&A. A popular event is a powerpoint presentation for older children, teenagers and adults with dramatic images of the ideas which sparked Exodus, Zenith and Aurora. This can be adapted into a writing workshop. eg. how news topics and scientific ideas can spark vivid creative writing. I have a wide experience of talks, readings and writing workshops for adults and children of all ages at all kinds of events, throughout the UK and beyond.

Preferred minimum two sessions (one/one-and-a-half hours each) if travelling out with Glasgow area. No limit on numbers but, where appropriate, my books should always be available to buy at the event.

Local authority where they are based


Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Other1, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian, Other

Age groups

9-12, Teens

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type




Books written

Pathfinder: Raging Earth

Author(s): Julie Bertagna
Less than a hundred years from now, the world as we know it no longer exists. Cities have disappeared beneath the sea, technology no longer functions, and human civilization has reverted completely.


Edited by Keith Gray. Heaven? Hell? Purgatory? Reincarnation? Ghosts? Buried? Nothing . . .? Some of today's leading writers for teens have come together to ask, what happens after you die?


Author(s): Julie Bertagna
Much of Earth is underwater – in the high mountains at the top of the world Lily survives with her mother and her people . . . but she feels trapped.

The Ice Cream Machine: Totally Fizzbombed AUDIO BOOK 2CDs

Author(s): Julie Bertagna
Twins Wayne and Wendy have two extraordinary friends - an ice-cream van called Macaroni, and a goat called Gina. Then one day they both disappear!

Our City (Onecity)

Illustrated by: John Fardell
The first in a new series of "OneCity" books (crime and London to follow in 2009), this is a cracking collection of specially commissioned stories for upper primary school children,


Author(s): Julie Bertagna
The world is gradually drowning, as mighty Arctic ice floes melt, the seas rise, and land disappears forever beneath storm-tossed waves...Sixteen-year-old Mara and her ship of refugees are tracking th

Bungee Hero

Author(s): Julie Bertagna
Are you afraid of heights? Adam is terrified of them. So why, then, would he do a bungee jump to earn money for charity?

Bungee Hero 4u2read.ok

Author(s): Julie Bertagna
Are you afraid of high places? Adam is terrified of them. So why then would he do a bungee jump to earn money for charity?

The Spark Gap

Author(s): Julie Bertagna
Kerrie feels trapped. She can't spend another day in her chaotic mother's house. Then Kerrie finds an escape.

Clumsy Clumps and the Baby Moon

Author(s): Julie Bertagna
Poor Beth is a clumsy clumps. She's always dropping things and making a mess. So when Baby Moon hears Beth wishing on a shooting star, he decides to help her.