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Joan Aiken

  • 5 stars across 61 books
    Joan Aiken wrote over a hundred books, and is best known for The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, the classic adventure set in her own version of the nineteenth century, a time when Dukes travelled by railway, and ravening wolves roamed the land... This was followed by a linked series of fantasy adventures known as The Wolves Chronicles. While many of the books are set in a murky and dangerous London full of hackney-cabs and duchesses, the travels of Dido, the spirited cockney heroine of many of the books, take her all around the world on a series of adventures at sea and in fantastic foreign kingdoms. While the books form a series, they can also be enjoyed as separate stories.
    Joan Aiken was also well known for working with Quentin Blake to create the Arabel and Mortimer stories, about a little girl and her hilarious pet raven which were originally shown on CBBC TV.
    You can find out all about Joan Aiken and her many different books - from ghost stories to funny modern fairy tales, thrilling dramas set on the high seas, or bedtime stories like A Necklace of Raindrops to read to your baby brother or sister - on her website at
    Joan Aiken Facts
    Joan Aiken was awarded the MBE for her services to Children's Literature
    Joan started writing at the age of five, and saved all her stories - they are hilarious!
    Joan Aiken was taught at home by her mother until she was twelve, and said that her best friends were books. When she went to boarding school she said she was so terrified of all the other children that she stopped growing! She put her height on her passport as four foot eleven and three quarter inches!
    She said a good way she had discovered to get ideas was to eat cheese for supper in the hope of having exciting nightmares she could turn into stories...
    Joan Aiken Characters
    Dido Twite - feisty cockney heroine of The Wolves Chronicles
    Mortimer the Raven - wildly naughty raven who does whatever he likes...! from Arabel's Raven
    Miss Slighcarp - wicked governess from The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
    Joan Aiken Quotes
    "It was dusk, winter dusk.  Snow lay white and shining over the pleated hills, and icicles hung from the forest trees." (The Wolves of Willoughby Chase)
    "'There's a great awful bird in the fridge!' sobbed Mrs Jones.'And it's eaten all the cheese and a blackcurrant tart and five pints of milk and a bowl of dripping and a pound of sausages...'
    Arabel looked at the raven and he looked back at her.
    ' His name's Mortimer,' she said." (Arabel's Raven)
    ‘Cor, love a lily-white duck!’ gasped Dido, as a murky bank of the smoke surged towards her and almost smothered her. ‘I never in all my born days smelt such a smell, never! It’s enough to make a bad egg burst out crying and go home to mother. (Night Birds On Nantucket
    2nd July 2015

    The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

    In a period of English History that never happened, when Good King James III is on the throne, and the whole country i... More

    (5 reviews)
    1st March 2018


    Patrick is a boy out of his time. He has been thrown forward 300 years into the future, and he must find a way home to s... More

    (1 review)
    5th November 2009

    A Necklace Of Raindrops

    " This is how it all began..." From 'A Necklace of Raindrops' to 'The Patchwork Quilt', here are eight classic storie... More

    (1 review)
    20th September 2004

    Year 6: Snow Horse and Other Stories

    Joan Aiken was famous for her spine-tingling ghost stories, and this collection presents five classic Aiken chillers in ... More

    (1 review)
    3rd November 2011

    The Kingdom Under the Sea

    This is a wonderful new reissued edition of the classic Joan Aiken short story collection illustrated with Jan Pienkowsk... More

    (1 review)
    11th April 2019

    Dangerous Games

    Kevin's older brother, Adam, is a bad lot. Adam and his mates burn out a car they've stolen, trash the local community c... More

    (0 reviews)
    1st June 2015

    Cold Shoulder Road

    Arun returns to his mother's house on Cold Shoulder Road, only to find it deserted and flood-ravaged. Some say she's run... More

    (0 reviews)
    29th June 2015


    Dido's sister, Is, travels north to try and find her lost cousin. But instead of the promised Playland, she discovers an... More

    (0 reviews)
    1st May 2014

    Midnight is a Place

    Lucas is lonely. Orphaned and sent to live with his formidable guardian in a vast mansion, he longs for a friend. ... More

    (0 reviews)
    27th January 2014

    The Song Of Mat And Ben

    There is eerie trouble once again in the Cornish village of St Boan, often known as Thunder's Pocket. Some hundred-year-... More

    (0 reviews)
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