Oh Horrid Henry! Children's author Francesca Simon joins LitFest's 2017 line-up

Written by Tony Millett on .

Marlborough LitFest has announced that the bestselling children's author Francesca Simon is joining the line-up for its 2017 line-up - its eighth year (28 September-1 October).

Francesca Simon is universally renowned for her phenomenally popular Horrid Henry series - the books and CDs have sold over 20 million copies in the UK alone and are published in 27 countries.

In December 2016 she published her first novel for older children and young teens - The Monstrous Child.  This is a teen rant on an epic scale based on the myth of Hel, Queen of the Norse Underworld.

Shortlisted for the Costa Book Award 2016, The Monstrous Child is a darkly funny look at life through the eyes of the teenage Hel, as she tries to overcome her dysfunctional family.  The novel has been described as combining an authentic adolescent voice with Norse mythology.

Francesca Simon spent her childhood in California, and began writing stories from the age of eight. Having studied medieval history and literature at Yale and Oxford Universities, she started writing children’s books after reading countless stories to her son.

Louise Tinker of Marlborough LitFest explained the book's attraction: “Norse mythology is a subject that fascinates teenagers, reflected in the recent surge of books looking at the diverse Norse gods by Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan and others.  Francesca Simon's talk promises to be of great interest to this older age group who love these myths.”
There will be a comprehensive children’s programme of events for LitFest 2017 including educational workshops for local primary schools, a Big School Read event with local secondary schools, and - back by popular demand - storytelling for the Under 5’s: "Marlborough LitFest aims to bring the best of good writing to Marlborough and especially to encourage a love of reading to children and young adults."

The box office opens on 13 July when the Festival programmes become available. There is more information on the LitFest website.

The photo - above - of Francesa Simon is the copyright of Helen Giles.