ABOUT

Jennifer was born in 1985, in London, where she still lives now. As a child she loved listening to stories, but didn't like reading. In fact, most of the brilliant children's books that were published when she was growing up, such as the Harry Potter series and His Dark Materials were recounted to her by her little sister on their walks to school. She enjoyed art and movies and wanted to be a film director, so she spent most of her spare time at the cinema. After leaving school, she went to study Film at the University of Kent, where she was taught screenwriting by acclaimed British filmmaker, Clio Barnard.

After University, Jennifer was gifted a copy of Eragon by Christopher Paolini – a story about a boy who finds a dragon's egg.  It was the first book she’d enjoyed reading cover to cover and, like a window, it opened up the magic of reading. She soon became an avid reader of children's books and got a job at the famous Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road. There she became a specialist children's bookseller, helping children of all ages to find the right books for them. As well as caring for the shop’s five piranha fish, she assisted many interesting customers, including royalty, astronauts, sports stars, Hollywood actors, politicians, musicians and artists. She was an integral part of the team who won Children's Bookseller of the Year at the 2012 British Book Awards.

Jennifer wrote her debut novel, The Uncommoners: The Crooked Sixpence, during her lunch breaks at Foyles. She signed a publishing deal with Penguin Random House and the following year, left Foyles to work at Tales On Moon Lane, an award-winning independent children’s bookshop in Herne Hill. She and her colleagues won Children’s Bookseller of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2017. The Uncommoners: The Crooked Sixpence was published in 2016 and went on to become a Waterstones Children's book of the month and a Sunday Times bestseller. The sequels, The Smoking Hourglass and The Frozen Telescope followed in 2017 and 2018. To date, the series has been translated into sixteen different languages.

Jennifer left bookselling in 2018 to become a full-time children’s author. In 2020 she will publish a new series for younger readers, AGENTS OF THE WILD, which she co-created with her good friend Alice Lickens, an illustrator and winner of the prestigious Sendak Fellowship. June 2020 will also see the publication of Jennifer's latest novel for middle-grade readers, Wonderscape. Find out more about Jennifer's books here.

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The Crooked Sixpence The Uncommoners Jennifer Bell
The Crooked Sixpence The Uncommoners Jennifer Bell
The Crooked Sixpence The Uncommoners Jennifer Bell
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Text & photos © 2016-2020 Jennifer Bell All Rights Reserved

'Uncommoners' Illustrations © 2016-2018 Karl James Mountford All Rights Reserved

'Agents of the Wild' Illustrations © 2019-2020 Alice Lickens All Rights Reserved

'Wonderscape' Illustrations © 2019-2020 Paddy Donnelly All Rights Reserved

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