Empowering Authors Conference - Society of Authors

I will be speaking at the Society of Authors Empowering Authors Conference on 17 June.

10.30am - 7.30pm, Waterstones Piccadilly, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD.

A dynamic, empowering and knowledge-packed day to help children's writers and illustrators.

Book online through Eventbrite or call 020 7373 6642 to make an offline card payment.

www.societyofauthors.org

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Jewish Book Council review of Girl on a Plane

'Moss explains the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in clear and unbiased terms.'

Moss explains the plight of the Palestinians as Anna comes to understand it. After days stuck on the plane nearly starving in the intense desert heat, Anna gets to know one of the hijackers, a man not much older than she is. Anna asks him questions about why he’s there and develops empathy for the hijackers and an understanding that she’s being used as a pawn in a much larger fight. Though Anna is not Jewish, Moss explains the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in clear and unbiased terms, and the reader can feel Anna struggling to understand the pain and frustration felt on both sides. For more: http://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/girl-on-a-plane

Moss explains the plight of the Palestinians as Anna comes to understand it. After days stuck on the plane nearly starving in the intense desert heat, Anna gets to know one of the hijackers, a man not much older than she is. Anna asks him questions about why he’s there and develops empathy for the hijackers and an understanding that she’s being used as a pawn in a much larger fight. Though Anna is not Jewish, Moss explains the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in clear and unbiased terms, and the reader can feel Anna struggling to understand the pain and frustration felt on both sides.

For more: http://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/girl-on-a-plane

North Herts Schools Book Award

Delighted to hear that Girl on a Plane has been voted the winner in the older readers' category of the North Herts Schools Book Award.

Linda Aird, Librarian at St Christopher's School, writes: Girl on a Plane was the winner by a very healthy margin, and was obviously much enjoyed and admired by the large group of 11 - 16 year old students who voted it their favourite. I personally found the book a compelling and fascinating read, and liked the way you showed both sides of a very complex story.

Fish Short Story

Delighted that my short story, Salvage, is one of ten chosen by competition judge, Neel Mukherjee, for inclusion in the 2017 Fish Anthology. I'll be reading from the story at the launch of the Anthology at the West Cork Literary Festival in July.

                  www.fishpublishing.com

                  www.fishpublishing.com

http://www.westcorkmusic.ie/literaryfestival/

http://www.westcorkmusic.ie/literaryfestival/

Chailey School

Really enjoyed meeting the lovely staff and students at Chailey School on January 10th for a Girl on a Plane presentation in the hall and a writing workshop with Year 9 in the Library.

Girl on a Plane US review

Crossroad Reviews

This story starts out like any other. A girl is getting ready to go back to school and is flying out the next morning. She is part of a family that moves around a lot due to her dad being in the military.  The author did an amazing job letting us get to know Anna and her family before her world is turned upside down.  I wasn't very sure about this book when I first started but I found out early on that I wasn't going to be able to put it down.

This book is all told while Anna and the other passengers are being held hostage on a plane in the desert but the author again does an amazing job working with this environment. It never felt stagnant when the characters weren't going anywhere. The descriptions of their four days on the plane were vivid and I felt like I was right along with them. 

The flow of this story is worked out so well. Each point unfolds beautifully! This story of survival will touch your heart while ripping it open. All of the characters in this story were amazing. But the three main ones Anna, David, and Tim were the best. Anna is such a strong character. Even though she is in this very high stress situation she only loses her cool a few times. Usually she buttons it up and keeps going.  I hope if by some horrible turn of events I am ever in a situation like this that I could be like Anna as well.  Tim and David were amazing. I wish that the author could have given us more information on what happened to them afterwards.  I know via the amazing Q and A in the back of the book that in real life she did keep tabs with some of the other passengers but then lost touch, to only reconnect after this book was released. But for the story it would have been an interesting turn of events to know what happened to them. As well as the turtle!! 

Half way through this story I decided to look up the events of the 1970 Dawson's Field hijackings, as at the time I wasn't even born. And what I found were many pictures and information about what happened.  This is a great story for those who wish to have their children search about history.

The ending was great. I loved hearing about the future, 45 years later when Anna struggles to put the past in the past. This is one story that will keep you thinking about it for a while.  

Book in a Pinch: Girl's plane is hijacked by refugees

 Go Into This One Knowing: It’s a heart-pounding story based on the author’s real experience with the hijackings of 1970. 

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Carnegie

Absolutely delighted to hear that GIRL ON A PLANE has been nominated for the 2017 CILIP Carnegie Medal. Thank you to the incredible team at Andersen Press for publishing it, and to all the wonderful librarians that nominated it!

Roedean School

Miriam gave a talk about GIRL ON A PLANE to Years 8 and 9 at Roedean School, Brighton. To put the 1970 hijack in perspective, she showed a short film including real footage, then gave a PowerPoint talk about writing from life, a short reading, took questions and signed books.

From The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, USA.

MOSS, MIRIAM Girl on a Plane.
 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016 [288p] ISBN 978-0-544-78399-
$17.99
R Gr. 7-10

Fifteen-year-old Anna leads a divided life, traveling between her English boarding school and her family in Bahrain, where her father is stationed. The Middle East is a volatile place in 1970, however, and on this trip back to the UK, Anna’s plane is hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and flown to a desert airstrip in Jordan. There Anna and her fellow passengers wait as hostages, hoping for their eventual release and fearing a tragic end. Moss bases the story on her own experiences as a teen aboard a hijacked airplane in 1970, and she does an excellent job with the details of the experience, effectively conveying the convergence of small annoyances (drunk fellow passengers), serious discomforts (the scarcity of food and water, the temperature rising above 100°F in the airplane’s metal fuselage in the desert), and large fears (one captor who clearly wishes to kill them all). Anna’s bonding with her seatmates David (an agemate) and Tim (a young boy tending his beloved little turtle) adds another dimension of emotional reality, as do Anna’s wary conversations with one of the hijackers. Ultimately, the book combines you- are-there reality with the shape of fictional narrative, and it’ll make for wide-eyed and suspenseful reading. An extensive epilogue describes Moss’ recent return to the site; a note differentiates the fact from the fiction.
 

Booklist Review US

Girl on a Plane

On September 9th, 1970, 15-year-old Anna sets foot on a British Overseas Airways flight from Bahrain to London. Moments later, the plane is hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The fourth in a series of recent hijackings, the 105 passengers on Anna's flight are used to negotiate the release of prominent PFLP "comrade" Leila Khaled from British prison. Rooted in Moss' real-life experience, the novel chronicles four devastating days in the Jordanian desert as Anna and fellow passengers are deprived of food, water and electricity, and enveloped by tanks, reporters, and rigged explosives - while the region erupts in civil unrest, and the world, including Anna's frantic family, holds it's breath. It can be hard to grasp the timeline of the book's major events, and some readers will crave an overview of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nevertheless, Anna's agreeable first-person dialogue opens dialogue to interesting voices: freckled schoolboy Tim (and tough pet terrapin, Fred); cynical yet sensitive David; and Palestinian refugee Jamal. A unique glimpse into a pivotal point in world history.

Briana Shemroske

 

September 13th2016

GIRL ON A PLANE -  IS PUBLISHED IN USA by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

NOVA US REVIEW - Highly recommended

Edinburgh Festival

Miriam's event on August 13th was with Adrien Bosc (Constellation, Serpent's Tale) and was chaired by Eleanor Updale.

 

First US review!

An intense, realistic and absolutely gripping story .. and a thrilling read.  School Library Journal, USA

Fifteen-year-old Anna has been living in Bahrain with her family while her father has been stationed there by the British Armed Forces. She is supposed to fly back to her English boarding school by herself. It is September 1970, and the plane is hijacked by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who force the pilot to land the plane at a deserted airstrip in the Jordanian desert and turn off the power. The guerrillas demand the release of imprisoned PFLP members, and they threaten to blow up the plane and kill the passengers unless their demands are met. Anna and her fellow passengers suffer from heat and cold, hunger and thirst, and the claustrophobic confinement of the plane as they wait to see whether they will live or die. It is implied that one of the guerrillas sexually assaults a young woman on the plane, but this is never made explicit. Moss was a teenager when she was on a plane hijacked by Palestinian terrorists in the fall of 1970, and this book is a slightly fictionalized version of her experience. This is an intense, realistic, and absolutely gripping story; many readers have never heard of this incident and won’t know the outcome. It is not a one-sided treatment; a PFLP guerrilla tells Anna about the deaths of his family members and atrocities that occurred in Palestine. VERDICT An excellent choice for a book discussion or for a class on world history, and a thrilling read.

Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ

Sharjah International Book Festival April 25 - 29th 2016

Miriam worked with children in Sharjah at Dar Al Marefa School, the Australian International School, and took part in a panel discussion in the Expo Centre on Childhood Experiences and the Role of Children's Literature with Jon Walter and AbduRida AlSajwani.

For more info click here

Girl on a Plane has been shortlisted for the Historical Association's Young Quills Award.

For more information click here