About Lines in the Sand

My story The Wall is included in the anthology Lines in the Sand : New Writing on War and Peace (edited by Mary Hoffman and Rhiannon Lassiter)

Published in 2003 by Frances Lincoln in the UK and Disinformation in the USA; suitable for ages 8 and older.

UK: ISBN: 0711222827
USA: ISBN: 0972952918

All royalties and profits to UNICEF

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Cover illustration by Jane Ray

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          You may be studying war at your school and learning about trenches and gas masks. But do you realise how many wars have been going on in the world since the last World War ended in 1945?
          In places like Nigeria, Israel, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Kosovo, Rwanda, Vietnam, the Falklands, Iran and Iraq, bombs, bullets and landmines have done their deadly work. But they don't do it on their own; people have to fly the planes, pull the triggers, lay the mines.
          You may see the results on the TV news and think it's like the special effects in exciting action films, with explosions and lots of people running. But that blood is real, not the work of make-up artists, and when the people fall down, they don't get up again. They are people like you, who feel pain when they bleed.
          The writers and artists who have contributed to this anthology want you to know what has been going on in the world for the last fifty years or so. But they don't want to make you despair about the future of the human race. You, the children of today, are the ones with the power to make it stop. Tomorrow, when you are the grown-ups, you can make the world a more peaceful place.

Mary Hoffman and Rhiannon Lasssiter





February 2004:
Book reading/discussion at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Miami, Florida (in conjunction with David Potorti of 'September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows').


  Julia Eccleshare, The Guardian
June 14, 2003

This excellent illustrated anthology of stories and poems has an impact that reaches well beyond its initial purpose. Compiled in response to the Iraq war, Lines in the Sand includes contributions from children's authors and illustrators from around the world including Michael Rosen, Brian Patten and Michael Morpurgo. Grouped under headings such as "The Road to War" and "Seeds of Hope", all the contributions show the human side of conflict, allowing children to feel something of what it might be like to live through a war, or in a place where war is endemic. To show that conflict is by no means a modern affliction, there are stories from the 13th-century crusades and the Jacobite rebellion of 1745.


Children's Book of the Week
Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times
June 08, 2003

One hundred and fifty authors and illustrators responded to an invitation from the editors of this exhilarating book to contribute to an anthology that would communicate to children the human cost of war and the possibilities of peace.

The result is an uplifting and impassioned collection that goes beyond ephemeral politics to broaden children's understanding of their own and others' history and to encourage them to aspire to a better world. Its poems and stories allude to international conflicts from the world wars to the Gulf wars; it is up to date enough to refer to the toppling of statues of Saddam Hussein, but also goes back to the Crusades.

Most of the work is new, including poems by Carol Ann Duffy, Brian Patten and Michael Rosen. The children's laureate Michael Morpurgo has contributed a heartbreaking story from the point of view of an Argentine soldier in the Falklands, and there are poems here (eg Hiawyn Oram's Use-Up Missiles) that would be show-stopping if recited by schoolchildren to audiences of parents. All proceeds and royalties go to Unicef's appeal for the children of Iraq (Frances Lincoln £4.99).


Jubilee Books
April 3, 2003

As the 40th Children's Book Fair opened in Bologna yesterday, Frances Lincoln could claim to have one of the hottest books of the event - an anti-war anthology, 'Lines in the Sand: New Writing about War and Peace'. Mary Hoffman and daughter Rhiannon Lassiter, both authors, came up with the idea the week before Bologna and by 31 March had a deal in place with Frances Lincoln and a publishing date of 12 June.

To get things moving they asked fellow author Michael Rosen if they could piggyback off the address list he'd collated in putting together a letter from children's authors to the Guardian. "Of course he said yes," says Hoffman, "and within an hour of the first e-mails going out I had the first reply from Ben Hodson, a Canadian artist, and since then the floodgates have opened."

Hoffman had mentioned the project to Janetta Otter-Barry, Frances Lincoln's Children's Editorial Director, very much in passing as she says she didn't associate the publisher with 'instant' books. "Janetta called me back to say that MD John Nichols wanted the book and could do it in six weeks, at £4.99 and with a 10% royalty going to UNICEF," Hoffman says. "John has since said he's also donating Frances Lincoln's profits as well, and all the artists are giving their illustrations for auction. We're going to have to work night and day to meet the deadline, but I'm sure we will as there's so much passion, commitment and anger."


Contributors (125)

  Writers (98)

Deborah Abela, Bruce Abrahams, Stephen Aitken, Aytul Akal, David Almond, Rachel Anderson, Laurence Anholt, Leah Aplin, Bernard Ashley, Ros Asquith, Bruce Balan, Cat Bauer, Liz Berry, Julie Bertagna, Wendy Blaxland, Helen Brain, Mark Burgess, Robbie Butler, Ayla Cinaroglu, Paul Cookson, Nicki Cornwell, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Erzsi Deak, Penny Dolan , Malachy Doyle, Alan Durant, Vashti Farrer , Simon Fletcher, Andrew Fusek Peters, Graham Gardner, Alan Gibbons, Bob Graham, Gwen Grant , Nigel Gray , Robin Grey, Aysel Gurmen, Sandra Guy , Damian Harvey, Stewart Henderson, Steven Herrick, Mary Hoffman, Sandra Horn , Sabina Horvat, Lynn Huggins-Cooper, Gill James, Julia Jarman, Cindy Jefferies, Susie Jenkin-Pearce, Ann Jungman, Pnina Kass, Jackie Kay, David Kinnaird, Ann Kordahl, Rhiannon Lassiter, Elizabeth Laird, Alison Leonard, Anna Levine, Maggie Ling, Joan Lingard, Nichola McAuliffe, Hilary McKay, Anne MacLeod, Chris Mansell, Graham Marks, Lorraine Marwood , Adrian Mitchell, Michael Morpurgo, Sue Moules , Beverley Naidoo, Linda Newbery, Judith Nicholls, Hiawyn Oram, Shereen Pandit and Zora Laattoe, Brian Patten, Maggie Pearson , Caroline Pitcher, Joan Poulson, Alison Prince, Mike Rosen, Linda Sargent, Laurence Schimel, Marcus Sedgwick, Jacqui Shapiro, Dyan Sheldon, Naomi Shihab Nye, Poupette Smith, Mark Svendson, Hillary Taylor, Kate Thompson, Joanna Troughton, Chika Unigwe, April Halprin Wayland , Kathryn White, Ann Whitford Paul, Jane Yolen.

Artists (27):

Stephen Aitken, Alison Ashwell, Ros Asquith, Caroline Binch, Mark Burgess, Carll Cneut , Doug Cushman , Ender Dandul, Mustafa Delioglu, Fiona Dunbar, Paul Geraghty, Shona Grant, Ben Hodson, Shirley Hughes, Lisa Kopper, Mary Kuper, Karin Littlewood, Moira Munro, Martin Olsson, Guy Parker-Rees, Korky Paul, Anne-Marie Perks, Jeff Perks, Stephen Raw, Jane Ray, Ben Redlich, Chris Riddell, Arthur Robins, Tony Ross , Nick Sharratt, John Shelley, Peter Schrank, Nicola Smee, Sybille Sterk, Joanna Troughton, Clara Vulliamy, DoffyWeir, Colin West, Marcia Williams, Sam Williams, Irene Wise.

Nationalities (21):

Australia, England, Turkey, S. Africa , Scotland, Croatia, Israel, Wales, Nigeria, Belgium, Ireland, France, India, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Spain, Palestinian, USA (10, though some live abroad).



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