Elspeth Hart and the School for Show-offs is the first adventure featuring the fabulous Elspeth Hart, a modern heroine with doodles on her trainers and unstoppable determination. Can you imagine never being allowed to play outside, dear reader? How about sleeping in a wardrobe every night? That’s what life is like for Elspeth Hart. Ever since her parents were tragically washed away in a flood, poor Elspeth has been forced to live with her disgusting aunt, Miss Crabb, in the attic of the Pandora Pants School for Show-offs. Elspeth spends her days sweeping up mouse droppings, washing filthy pots and dodging Tatiana Firensky, the most horrible show-off of all. But what Elspeth doesn’t know is that things are about to change…A fast-paced and funny story from a fresh new voice in children’s fiction, Elspeth Hart’s quirky adventures will delight fans of David Walliams, Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl.
10 Random Things About Elspeth Hart and the School for Show-offs
1. There is a lizard called Lazlo in the story, so called because a friend told me about an obnoxious businessman she’d overheard shouting on his mobile phone at a colleague called LAZLO. I just thought it was the perfect name for a lizard.
2. The day I found out about my book deal I was so shocked I had to have a little lie down on the floor. Then I went out for a walk (it was pouring rain, and I got soaked because I was too dazed to remember an umbrella) and bought champagne. Telling my friends and family was just lovely.
3. It took ages to settle on the name Elspeth Hart. Stripes, my publisher, came up with lots of good suggestions; we wondered about Abigail and Annabel and April and Charlotte. But I love the name we finally decided on.
4. One of the teachers in the book is the dramatic Madame Chi-chi, who puts on a foreign accent but was actually born in Enfield. One of my best friends is of Italian/French descent and lives in Enfield… I hope she forgives me.
5. I wrote the novel mostly in a freezing cold flat in Edinburgh wearing several layers and fingerless gloves and sometimes a charity shop fur coat.
6. As a child I loved school stories and was completely fascinated by the idea of boarding school. I would secretly still like to try playing lacrosse and quite fancy the idea of a tuck-box.
7. I’d never met James Brown, who does the brilliant illustrations for the books, but it turns out we both did the exact same course at the exact same university; just not in the same year. Small world…
8. Sticky Toffee Pudding used to be my all-time favourite dessert, but as sticky toffee sauce features so heavily in my books, I’ve gone off it! Cheesecake, you have been promoted…
9. My favourite characters to write in Elspeth Hart and the School for Show-offs are the villains. Miss Crabb and Gladys Goulash are chaotic and nasty and disgusting, and I like wondering what they might get up to next.
10. I feel extremely lucky to have been published, and to be working on a sequel: Elspeth Hart and the Perilous Voyage is coming out in October 2015. Hearing that kids enjoyed my first book and are keen to read book two is one of the best feelings ever … right up there with eating a cheesecake.
About the Author
Sarah Stewart, writing under the name of Sarah Forbes, was born in Aberdeen and currently lives in Edinburgh. She used to work on magazines, interviewing pop stars for a living, but now she works as an editor, helping other writers to create their own stories. She was previously fiction editor at Scholastic Children’s Books. Elspeth Hart and the School for Show-offs is Sarah’s debut novel.