Contact Jo

If you’d like to get in touch, leave me a message by commenting below and I’ll get back to you!


  1. Hi Jo, we are students from President Kennedy Secondary School in Coventry and we would like to congratulate you on winning the Hooked on Books category in The Coventry Inspirational Book Awards (Looking At The Stars). We all thought your book was amazing and we even had the privilege to assemble a performance based on your book for the Book Bout competition. We would be delighted if you could attend the Awards ceremony for the C.I.B.A. In addition to this we hope to send you a recording of our performance shortly!!


    Akeel Jawfer
    Harry Gilsenan
    Eesha Gupta
    Navi Sidhu
    Kavita Sidhu
    Riadeep Dhillon
    Iqra Sajid
    Millie Reed
    Courtney Randle
    Cameron Sidhu
    Tyler Eaton-Jephcote
    Ms Ranchhod
    Ms Lindsey

  2. Hi Jo πŸ™‚
    I am Honey Tlumang, i love reading your books and i need to know more about you cause i am doing about you so i cant really find about you so can i know more about you?If you can tell me that will be very lovely πŸ™‚ Thanks πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Jo!
    I am Chloe Brown and i am a massive fan of your books. Have you ever thought of sending it to a movie director or producer and have them all made into a T.V series or movie? I love them so much that I would audition for the part and still watch it 100 times πŸ™‚
    Can you email me at for your reply? thanks, love you loads!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Hi Jo
    My name is Emily, and I am part of The Hampshire County Council Book Awards! I chose to read your book first and was blown away by it! I loved it so much, that I read it in two days! If you ask me the others that I have read so far are no where near as good as yours but keep that to yourself πŸ˜‰. I was told by one of the Librarians running it, to write a book review on a book I have read so far, so I obviously chose yours. I wrote a poem about it and I thought you might like to hear it:

    Looking at the stars is an emotional read
    About a girl who dreamed she’d be freed
    From a government called the Katana

    Amina was told her imagination was useless and wild
    But would it end up making everyone smile
    And forget the world that they live in?

    When her country is raged with war and tears
    Amina and her sister make the journey that everyone fears
    Will she make it to the unknown end?

    I felt myself pushed into this book
    It took my breath away
    I cried when she cried, I laughed when she laughed
    It’s unbelievable I would say

    Looking at the stars is aimed at young adults
    A book that you cannot insult
    So, I guarantee you a good read

    Emily x

  5. Dear Jo,

    I really enjoyed reading Looking At The Stars as part of a school reading challenge for the North East Book Awards. I found the book such a rewarding read that I sent a review to the Guardian Children’s book website and it is now on the web, see link below. I hope that more children will discover you and that my review will help that in a little way. Very best wishes and good luck for the NEBA’s. Amazed Earthling, aged 11.

    • Hi Amazed Earthling, I LOVE your name! Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a lovely review; I’m thrilled you loved the book so much, and if you’re going to be at the Awards, do come and say hi to me! πŸ™‚ Jx

  6. Thank you for your passionate speech yesterday at the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards. It is the exactly what young people need to hear in the face of some of the ‘adult’ views around them. Your book has obviously inspired some of our youngsters and I hope more will read it. I have heard that in one Coventry school children are telling others that they are going to be sent home now – very worrying – so I hope we can do more to challenge (than you for that call) these attitudes an others. Thank you again

    • Hi Kevin, thank you very much for your kind words. I felt nervous about saying what I said, given the result in Coventry, but I felt it necessary. Good luck – I think we’re all going to need it…

  7. Hi Jo
    My name is Rosie. I went to go see you talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival and I saw you had written a new book, Library of Lemons. It is an amazing book for many reasons. It has emotion, friendship and grief. I had to write an English essay for school and I chose your book and even the teacher said that it was an amazing book.I was also interested to discover more about young carers. We have discussed int school and we also have a young carers group. When I read your book, I thought I understood a lot more about the matter. Thank you

    • Hi Rosie! I’m so sorry, I thought I’d replied to your message but obviously I didn’t. Thank you very much for writing to me. I’m so glad you enjoyed A Library of Lemons – and that your teacher liked it too! Jo x

  8. Hi Jo,

    I am a university student studying for a teaching degree with an English Literature specialism I have been set a research project to look into an author. I work at Stockham School which you visited this week. I bought a Library of Lemons and have read it today. Following this I now need to read further books you have written. I know you are really busy but if you had time I would really appreciate your help.
    I must research ;

    The range of the your work
    Themes which appear your work
    Language choices, narrative mode.
    Implied values within the text.
    Influences on your work.

    In particular I am looking at the Library of Lemons, I also need to choose 2 other books you have written and I need to research the following;
    The significant features of these texts.
    The significance of the work in relation to other work
    Exploration of why this work would be included in my class book stock to develop children’s pleasure in reading.

    I would be very interested in any information you may have that would help me with my research. I study at Oxford Brooke’s and I know my tutor has a particular interest in children’s literature and is always looking to contact new authors such as yourself.

    I look forward to hearing from you,


  9. Hi Jo,
    For school I read your book A Library of Lemons and had to study you i was wondering can u answer these questions for me,

    1.Where did you get the idea of the book
    2. Would you make a sequel
    3.How did you think up the personality of each of the characters
    4.Are one of the characters in the book related to someone you know
    5.If there was something you would change about the book or add to it what would you
    6. What is your favourite part of the book

    Thank you and i wanted to say i really enjoyed the book. Good luck with your writing career.
    Sincerely Magda-Jean.

    • Hi Magda-Jean! Good questions πŸ™‚
      1. The idea of A Library of Lemons came from wordplay. I like putting words together to make titles – and one day this phrase popped into my head, and I thought it was a great title! And then, as I was wondering what the book would be about, I suddenly knew! The whole plot and idea and everything.
      2. No, I have no plans for a sequel
      3. I’m not really sure. Characters sort of reveal themselves to me as I write them: the way they talk and the things they care for. I don’t work out their personalities before I start writing. I’m not very keen on planning!
      4. Not especially. Calypso is quite like me in that I love books and when I was a child, I loved being by myself and didn’t always understand the importance of making an effort to get to know people.
      5. I wouldn’t change anything about it now – it went through FAR too many versions before it was published! My editors and I worked on it for a long time.
      6. Ooh, this is a hard one. I think I have two favourite parts. The first is when Calypso and Mae discover what’s behind the shelves in her Dad’s library. And the second is towards the end, when Calypso’s dad has written some of her story, and she writes the ending for it. I love that bit – it’s like they have come to understand each other through writing.

      Hope that helps! Good luck with your school work πŸ™‚
      Jo x

  10. H,i Jo!
    I loved your book Looking At The Stars! It was a truly inspiring book & it is one of my favourite books!
    I saw another book written by you, Library Of Lemons, and I absolutely ADORED it!
    I would love if I could do some sort fo review and author interview with you on my blog?

  11. Hi Jo,

    My name is Katy. I want to comment on your amazing presentation/talk that you did today at Didcot Girls School. I would like to say that:

    1) I think that the way you acted out whilst talking was extremely entertaining and would’ve relieved anyone from boredom.

    2) I think that your hilarious ( in a good way )

    3) I would really like to read your books ( fingers crossed I’ll find them soon ) and I love the story setup.

    4) I think it was really nice that you read the start of the book and set the atmosphere

    I’ve also got a question, where did you get the idea of Electrigirl from?

    Yours Sincerely

    • Dear Katy

      What a lovely message! Thank you for writing to me, and I’m really glad you enjoyed my presentation today (and weren’t bored! Phew) – I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to your school and I’ve got new plans about what I can do as your patron of reading…

      Electrigirl came from two ideas: firstly that the world really needs more female superheroes, and the best thing to do would be to write one; and secondly that I wanted to include lots of artwork in a book. I loved comics when I was growing up, and thought it would be brilliant fun to write comic strips. And it is! So that’s how Electrigirl was born…

      Hope to see you all again before long!
      Jo x

  12. Hi Jo,

    I want to say thank you for responding to my comment, it really touched me when I saw it this morning.
    Also I love comics to! Me and my younger brother are both really into the Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon. We love them so much that they’ve inspired us to do our own stories about us Tom Gates style. However when you showed us some of the pictures in Electrigirl I was intrested. I think it’s really nice to have a clear image of the person and not just some scruffy drawings

    Once again thanks for responding
    Your Sincerely
    Katy x

  13. Hello Jo,

    I found Library of Lemons very moving and well done. It brought back memories of my own childhood – my father died suddenly before I was born, I was an only child and basically became my mother’s carer. I can really relate to that longing for a normal family life, the fear, the isolation and the temptation to retreat into books. I think you’re very wise and eloquent on the joys of reading, fantasy, colour and creativity – but also their limitations.

    I’m left wondering what some of the children I work with in school are dealing with at home. No easy solutions but the ending felt right – people define their own normality, but we can’t do it alone.

    • What a lovely message, thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚ sometimes, when I’m writing a book, I have no idea quite how it’ll end up or whether it’ll say quite what I want it to. Lemons was one of those books, so it’s lovely for me to hear from readers who have had a personal reaction to it. Jo x

  14. Hello!
    My name’s Tabitha and I came to see you for the announcement of the Berkshire Book Awards shortlist. I really enjoyed your talk and your story( and your oh no and happy faces.) I love books and I like writing a bit as well. I bought and started reading Electrigirl while I was there and I really like it already. At the talk, you said you were thinking of fruity titles. I have some suggestions that might not work but here they are:
    A tornado of tangerines
    An academy of apples
    A pile of plums
    A world of watermelons
    A class of clementines
    A mind of mandarins
    A bag of berries
    Pomegranate peace
    Perfect peach
    Date dreams
    Clementine chat
    Berry bureau

    Here are my sister’s:
    Austrian oranges
    Tomato talk

    Love Tabitha:)

    • Hi Tabitha! I remember signing your book because you have one of my favourite names πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you enjoyed yesterday; I did too! And I LOVE your list of suggestions! An Academy of Apples is particularly brilliant. I’ll let you know what I eventually decide! Jo x

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