Category: Books

The Frozen Sea – cover reveal!

I am delighted to reveal the cover and title of the next instalment in The Lost Magician series…


It is 1984 and forty years since Simon, Patricia and Evelyn and Larry first stepped through a magical library door into the enchanted world of Folio. When Patricia’s daughter, Jewel, makes a mysterious discovery in an old bookshop, she begins a quest that will make her question everything she thought she knew. Summoned to Folio, she is sent on a perilous rescue mission, helped only by her pet hamster and a malfunctioning robot.

Their mission to the Frozen Sea will bring them face-to-face with a danger both more deadly and more magnificent than they ever imagined.

What Jewel discovers will change not just who she thinks she is, but who we all think we are…

The book is due to be published on the 5th September 2019 and you can pre-order from Waterstones here

And enter a competition to win a proof giveaway here

Re-imagining Alice in Wonderland

Curiouser and curiouser…announcing that I have been invited to revisit one of the great children’s books of all time, Alice in Wonderland, by Macmillan – who published the original story.

Joining other authors including Robin Stevens and Swapna Haddow, we have all have written stories based on Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland for Return to Wonderland,  published in June, Peter Bunzl, Pamela Butchart, Maz Evans, Patrice Lawrence, Chris Smith, Lauren St John, Lisa Thompson and Amy Wilson have also contributed and each story re-imagines Wonderland from the viewpoint of one of Carroll’s original characters.

My story is about the Cheshire Cat, and how he got his smile….

Return to Wonderland will be illustrated by Laura Barrett and published in hardback on 27th June, ahead of Alice Day on 4th July.

Alexander Macmillan, co-founder of Macmillan Publishers, met Lewis Carroll in 1863 and published Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865. He published nine different editions in the subsequent 35 years until his death, including French, German and Italian translations.

The Lost Magician shortlisted for Alexandra Palace Book Award 2019

The Lost Magician is shortlisted for the inaugural Biblio-Buzz Alexandra Palace Book Awards, formerly Haringey Children’s Book Awards.

Chosen by librarians in my local borough of Haringey, the full shortlist in alphabetic order, is:

Child I  Tasane, Steve

Kat Wolfe Investigates  St John, Lauren

Kick Johnson, Mitch

The Lost Magician Torday, Piers

Tin Kenny, Padraig

Will You Catch Me? Elson, Jane

Schools and groups of children across the borough will now read and discuss these 6 books, culminating in the participating children voting for their favourite at the ceremony on Tuesday 2nd April at Alexandra Palace.

Congratulations all my fellow nominees and thank you once more, the librarians of Haringey.

The Lost Magician is a ‘Book of the Year’…

…in an astonishing number of publications. The response to this book is overwhelming. I’m so happy that so many have taken the story and its message to their hearts.

As well as featuring in many end of year /Christmas round ups in by numerous children’s book, teacher and literacy blogs, The Lost Magician is a Children’s Book of the Year in:

  • The Observer – ‘In recent years, Piers Torday has emerged as a major new voice’
  • The Times –‘Piers Torday has an unrelenting imagination, cleverly mixing nostalgia and modernity. After reading this you will never look at a bookmark n the same way.’
  • The Sunday Times – ‘The first in a trilogy, this is masterly storytelling, both entertaining and profound’
  • i newspaper – ‘A  wonderful story, if any book has the power to separate children from their screens, it’s this.’
  • Sunday Express – ‘A wonderful tribute to Narnia, CS Lewis and the magic of books and reading’
  • New Statesman –’Artistically daring…it is as much about storytelling as about creating an enjoyable story’

There May Be A Castle longlisted for People’s Book Prize

Completely delighted to learn that There May Be A Castle has been longlisted for The People’s Book Prize 2018 (Children’s)

The People’s Book Prize is a literary competition aimed at finding, supporting and promoting new and undiscovered works – decided exclusively by you, the public.

And you can vote here – it only takes seconds and no need to register

There May Be A Castle paperback

New series – coming this September

The Lost Magician by Piers Torday

I’m delighted to announce that my publishers, Hachette Children’s Group (HCG) imprint Quercus Children’s has bought a new fantasy series.

The first book will be The Lost Magician, set in 1945, about four children who step through a mysterious library door into the world of Folio, where an enchanted kingdom of fairy knights, bears and tree gods is under threat from a sinister robot army. The many stories of the library are locked in eternal war, and the children’s only hope is to find their creator – a magician who has been lost for centuries.

Sarah Lambert, editorial director for HCG, secured UK & Commonwealth rights in a three book deal from Clare Conville at C + W.

“Piers Torday is without doubt a master storyteller for children, and we couldn’t be more delighted to launch his eagerly awaited new series,” said Lambert. “Thrilling adventure, unforgettable characters and Piers’ trademark humour are wrapped up in a rich, exciting world. We can’t wait for readers to step through the library door and discover what lies beyond.

The Lost Magician will be published in hardback in September 2018, with two more titles to follow at a later date.

I can now also reveal the spectacular and magic artwork for the cover by the super talented Ben Mantle – more to come soon…

Leading writers join Alt-Write

I am delighted to join Ben Okri, Carol Ann Duffy and Frank Cottrell Boyce as contributors to Alt-Write, a new collection of writing from major authors intended to “debunk xenophobic myths and … help [readers] discover the natural human quality of empathy”.

Okri is contributing his poem Grenfell Tower, June 2017, written after the disaster, Cottrell Boyce has written a “fable about the lost”, The Burning Bush, and Duffy is donating her poem History to the anthology. Aimed at young adults, with all profits to go to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the anthology, subtitled “Creative reactions to uncertain times”, will feature work from 50 authors and illustrators who also include Benjamin Zephaniah,Michael Rosen, Chris Riddell, Sarah McIntyre, Celia Rees, Philip Ardagh, Alex Wheatle and Jackie Kay.

The past year has delivered a tumultuous series of world events that has left people reeling. Authors and illustrators asked themselves what they could do to help and the answer was to do what we do best, to write and draw and create. When you don’t like the story the world is telling, tell a different story,” said editors Mary Hoffman and Rhiannon Lassiter, who are looking to crowdfund publication of the anthology on IndieGogo. “This collection, to be published in spring 2018, is an outpouring of those emotions, an appeal to reason and a way for us to contribute to those in need of help.”

To help crowdfund the book, please click here.

There May Be A Castle nominated for Carnegie

CILIP Carnegie

There May Be A Castle has been nominated for a CILIP Carnegie Medal 2018, one of a 121 titles nominated for this 80 year old award.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually by CILIP for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people.

Previous winners of the CILIP Carnegie Medal include Neil Gaiman, Sally Gardner, Patrick Ness, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman and C.S. Lewis.

Librarians all over the country begin reading the nominated books now in order to make a Longlist announcement on 15 February 2018, with the shortlist announced on 15th March, and the winner revealed on 18th June 2018.

I am thrilled to be listed along with so many other wonderful books and authors – good luck everybody!


There May Be A Castle now in paperback

There May Be A Castle paperback

Finally, There May Be A Castle is out in paperback! With a fabulous new magical, shiny version of the acclaimed cover by Rob Biddulph.

Just in time for Christmas…

To celebrate, please join me at Waterstones Greenwich on 7th October for the launch, where I’ll be reading, taking questions and signing.

I also have some signed copies to give away, which you can enter to win below: