Mayfield, Sue 1963–
Mayfield, Sue 1963–
PERSONAL: Born March 15, 1963, in North Shields, England; daughter of Alexander William (a merchant naval captain) and Brenda Patricia (a teacher; maiden name, Mobberly) Kinghorn; married Timothy Mayfield (an Anglican clergyman), 1985; children: Frank Alexander, Jonah William. Education: Lincoln College, Oxford, B.A. (with honors), 1985; University of Bristol, teaching certificate, 1986. Politics: "Broad left wing—no party involvement." Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: Cooking food for friends, going for walks, theater, cinema, photography, salsa dancing, and reading.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Hodder Headline, 338 Euston Rd., London NW1 3BH, England.
CAREER: Taught English and drama in secondary school in Bath, England, 1986–87. Visits schools to do Book Week days and writing workshops; previously worked as a pizza waitress in the United States and as an actor.
AWARDS, HONORS: Heartland Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, 2005, for Drowning Anna.
I Carried You on Eagles' Wings, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard (New York, NY), 1991.
Blue (for children), Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 2001.
Drowning Anna (young adult novel), Hyperion (New York, NY), 2002.
Reckless, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2002.
Shoot! (for children), illustrated by Ken Cox, Crabtree (New York, NY), 2002.
The Four Franks (for children), illustrated by Garry Parsons, Crabtree (New York, NY), 2005.
I Can, You Can, Toucan! (for children), illustrated by Rochelle Padua, Crabtree (New York, NY), 2006.
Women and Power (history), Dryad Press (London, England), 1988, also published as Timeline: Women and Power, Batsford (London, England), 1989.
SIDELIGHTS: Sue Mayfield is a fiction writer who writes primarily for children and young adults. Her young adult novel Drowning Anna concerns Anna Goldsmith, a teenaged girl who attempts suicide because of the cruelty of one of her classmates. The story tells how Anna, the new girl at school, is befriended by popular Hayley Parkin, and then dumped and harassed. Hayley is feared by the other students because she pretends to be friends, learns confidences, and then uses this information to start harmful rumors. But what begins as a whisper campaign against Anna soon escalates to physical attacks. Anna becomes more desperate as time goes on. A near-fatal overdose finally leaves her in a coma. Told from several perspectives, including that of Anna herself via her diary entries, her friend Melanie, and Anna's mother and father, the story moves from present to past and back again. A Kirkus Reviews contributor praised the story's structure: "This slow backward and forward unfolding of Anna's increasing depression is remarkably effective." Cindy Darling Codell, writing in the School Library Journal, explained that "this book is complex in structure." Codell added: "The shifting narratives contribute to a compelling story that will strike a chord with many young teens." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that Mayfleld's "intense novel unspools at a breakneck pace," while in Booklist Debbie Carton praised Mayfleld's ability to capture "teen girls' closeness and cruelty with excruciating accuracy."
In Shoot! the author relates in rhyming verse the story of the JC United soccer team. One of the best teams around, it is made even better by goalie Maxine Cole's dog Shoot, who is good at nearly every facet of the game. The story follows an intense and exciting game between JC United and Ricky's Rockets in which Shoot subs for an injured player and wins the game. "A great high interest book for those soccer players," wrote Resource Links contributor Valeri Pollock.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 15, 2002, Debbie Carton, review of Drowning Anna, p. 401.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2002, review of Drowning Anna, p. 1314.
Kliatt, November, 2004, Myrna Marler, review of Drowning Anna, p. 19.
Publishers Weekly, October 7, 2002, review of Drowning Anna, p. 73.
Resource Links, April, 2002, Valeri Pollock, review of Shoot!, p. 13.
School Library Journal, September, 1991, Marjorie Lewis, review of I Carried You on Eagles' Wings; December, 2002, Cindy Darling Codell, review of Drowning Anna, p. 145; May 2005, Jennifer Ralston, review of Drowning Anna, p. 52.
Sue Mayfield Home Page, http://www.suemayfleld.com (April 23, 2006).