Author details

Theresa Breslin


Theresa Breslin is the critically acclaimed author of over 30 books whose work is read world-wide and has been filmed for television, the Internet, and dramatised on radio. Theresa was born in Scotland, close to the Roman Wall, ancient burial grounds and castles, all of which helped fuel her very active imagination when growing up. She has been described as an outstanding writer who combines a powerful sense of drama with memorable characters and superb storytelling. Her books appear regularly on book award shortlists, are read extensively in schools, and are in published in more than twenty different languages. She won the Carnegie Medal, the UK most prestigious award in children’s literature, for Whispers in the Graveyard, her compelling story of a dyslexic boy. Author of bestsellers, Divided City, Remembrance and The Medici Seal, her latest books are The Nostradamus Prophecy, with Alligator and Whispers in the Graveyard published recently as plays.

Before taking up writing full time she worked as a librarian promoting reading and writing to young people and adults. She is passionate about literacy in both adults and children and believes that the skills of reading and creative writing enhance a person’s life enormously. She is a well-travelled and widely experienced speaker, taking part in conferences, book festivals, staff in-service sessions, author visits, and lively workshops in schools and on community projects.

She is a respected contributor to professional journals (including web-based editions) on the subject of literature and literacy. She started the West of Scotland Children’s Book Group and is an official Reading Champion of the Scottish Government. She served on the U.K. Government Advisory Committee for Public Lending Right and on the Board of Scottish Book Trust. She co-ordinated the Scottish Writers project, producing a BAFTA nominated DVD to promote fiction to 14-16 year olds. She was awarded lifelong Honorary Membership of the Scottish Library Association for distinguished services to Children's Literature and Librarianship.

About writer's work

Theresa writes books for children and young adults / adults with some titles especially suitable for EAL students and challenged readers. Her work covers a wide range of themes and interests, from historical tales to modern life, from school stories to fantasy and science fiction, with a seasoning of humour where appropriate. Theresa Breslin’s first book, Simon’s Challenge, won the Young Book Trust Fidler Award and the Scottish Book Trust Best of the Decade Award. Whispers in the Graveyard won the Carnegie Medal and a Civic Award from Strathkelvin District Council. Death or Glory Boys won the Sheffield Book Award (Longer Novel Category). Remembrance was selected for the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, Book Trust’s Best Book Guide, and the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age and shortlisted for three British Book Awards. Divided City (shortlisted for ten separate book awards) won the Catalyst Book Award and the RED Book Award, was commended in the Sheffield Book Award, selected for the Scotsman Twenty Scottish Books Everyone Should Read, and chosen for the Irish cross border ONE BOOK Community Reading Project, funded by the E.U. Programme for Peace and Reconciliation. Divided City and Mutant were chosen for the DfES Books for Boys Project. The Medici Seal was shortlisted for the Royal Mail Scottish Children's Book Award and the Book Trust Teen Prize. In 2009 Prisoner of Alcatraz was shortlisted for the Birmingham Book Award, Alligator for the Southwark Book Award, and Prisoner of Alcatraz for the Catalyst Book Award. For a full Honour List see author’s website.

Current events and projects

Theresa Breslin’s talks range from the general to the very specific, each one being tailored to suit the requirements of the occasion. In her presentations she highlights aspects of reading – sharing and stimulating the audience’s own reading development; and writing - to encourage imagination, articulate self expression, and develop creative writing. A general talk might give information about the author’s own background and writing methods and could cover the book process from idea to finished product, with Q&A time. Theresa has given speeches and workshops tailored to specific educational requirements including Keynote Speeches and Staff INSET and CPD sessions - suitable for the Curriculum for Excellence, the English Curriculum, and International Schools Curriculum.

Other work

Power Pack - the active guide to libraries (The Library Association 1995 ISBN 1872088074)

'More than Just a Painting', short story (The Herald magazine, 2007)

'The Power of Place', Scotland as Source (article, 2007)

'Seers, Stars and Standing Stones', article (Carousel 2008)

'Writing for Boys', article (ALT Report June/July 2008)

'Obituary for a Pardoned Soldier', poem for the soldiers executed for cowardice during WW1 (Carousel Winter 2007)

see also author's website for more info re professional articles, teacher and book group support material, interviews, reviews, critical perspectives, names of short stories etc


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

5-8, 9-12, Teens, Adults

LL funded


BRAW network


Author type




Books written

The Dragon Stoorworm

Author(s): Theresa Breslin
The Dragon Stoorworm was the very first, very worst dragon that ever lived. It was ginormous: almost as big as the whole of Scotland!

Ghost Soldier

Author(s): Theresa Breslin
A thrilling, poignant story of hope and loss set during World War 1, from Carnegie Medal-winning author Theresa Breslin. Nobody believes in ghosts until they see one . .

The Traveller

Author(s): Theresa Breslin
Thrilling mystery from the Carnegie Medal winning author.

An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales

Author(s): Theresa Breslin
Illustrated by: Kate Leiper
Slithering stoorworms, mischievious brownies, fierce kelpies and magical selkies -- these are the creatures of Scottish folklore.

Kezzie at War

Author(s): Theresa Breslin
During the 1930s Depression in Scotland, Kezzie and her young sister Lucy are luckier than most.

Prisoner of the Inquisition

Author(s): Theresa Breslin
Zarita, only daughter of the town magistrate, lives a life of wealth and privilege.


Author(s): Theresa Breslin
By Amnesty International (Author), David Almond (Author), Ibtisam Barakat (Author), Malorie Blackman (Author), Theresa Breslin (Author), Eoin Colfer (Author), Roddy Doyle (Author), Ursula Dubosarsky (

The Nostradamus Prophecy

Author(s): Theresa Breslin
Melisande is the daughter of the king's minstrel and lives among the royal French court. She, like many others, pays little heed to the dire warnings of Notradamus the soothsayer.

Alligator - The Play

Author(s): Theresa Breslin
Jono didn't mean to buy an alligator - it just sort of happened. Now his mum is going to kill him - if the alligator doesn't get there first.

Whispers In The Graveyard

Author(s): Theresa Breslin
Solomon is full of anger - with the teachers and his father, who mother who has left him and with himself. He cannot bear to be at home or at school.