Singer, Nicky 1956-

views updated

Singer, Nicky 1956-


Born 1956, in Chalfont-St.-Peter, Buckinghamshire, England; married; children: two sons, one daughter.




Writer. Performing Arts Labs (writer's workshop), cofounder and codirector; British Broadcasting Corporation, London, England, presenter of Labours of Eve (television documentary series), 1995; Asylum Wall (writers' group developing interactive media), member. Member of South East Arts Board.


Blue Peter Book of the Year designation, 2002, for Feather Boy; British Book Trust Teenage Prize shortlist, 2003, for Doll.


What She Wanted, Orion Press (London, England), 1996.

My Mother's Daughter, Orion Press (London, England), 1998.

(With Jackie Singer) The Little Book of the Millennium, Headline Press (London, England), 1999.

(With Kim Pickin) The Tiny Book of Time: Creating Time for the Things That Matter, Headline Press (London, England), 1999.


Feather Boy, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Doll, CollinsFlamingo (London, England), 2003.

The Innocent's Story, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2005, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2007.

Gem X, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2006, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2008.


Feather Boy was adapted as an audiobook.


British author Nicky Singer tackles themes involving religion, the supernatural, and scientific progress in her fiction for young adults. Her novel Feather Boy won England's Blue Peter Book of the Year award in 2002, and the following year Doll was shortlisted for the British Book Trust Teenage Prize. These and other novels by Singer feature young teenagers in desperate—and sometimes life-threatening—situations who must cultivate both courage and understanding as they navigate difficult emotional terrain.

Feather Boy introduces readers to gangly and self-conscious narrator Robert. Bullied and lonely, Robert accepts an assignment to interview an elderly resident of a local nursing home. The resident, Edith Sorrel, presses the boy to uncover the secrets of her past and to construct a wider and more spiritual worldview. According to Roger Leslie in Booklist, Feather Boy relates "a compelling story about courage, death, and self-forgiveness," while Bookseller critic Sheila Wood deemed Singer's fiction debut a "fascinating, emotional and captivating book that deserves wide recognition."

The Innocent's Story begins with an act of violence, as thirteen-year-old Cassina becomes the victim of a terrorist bomb. While her body has been killed, Cassina's spirit lingers but must inhabit moist territory—the minds of others. Cassina wanders from the brains of her devastated family members into the thoughts of the terrorist bomber himself. Here the disparate views on life, death, and religion cause Cassina to ponder philosophies she never quite understood in life. Singer's "original paranormal story raises compelling moral issues," noted a contributor to Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist correspondent Hazel Rochman concluded that the novel "humanizes the demon stereotypes" of religiously motivated terrorists. In Publishers Weekly, a reviewer characterized The Innocent's Story as "compassionate in its approach to a host of topical and difficult issues."



Booklist, May 1, 2002, Roger Leslie, review of Feather Boy, p. 1519; May 15, 2007, Hazel Rochman, review of The Innocent's Story, p. 54.

Book Report, November-December, 2002, Judith Beavers, review of Feather Boy, p. 49.

Bookseller, October 12, 2001, Sheila Wood, review of Feather Boy, p. 41.

Horn Book, November-December, 2002, Kristi Beavin, review of Feather Boy, p. 790.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002, review of Feather Boy, p. 499; May 15, 2007, review of The Innocent's Story; February 15, 2008, review of Gem X.

Kliatt, May, 2004, Myrna Dee Marler, review of Feather Boy, p. 24.

Publishers Weekly, February 25, 2002, review of Feather Boy, p. 67; June 25, 2007, review of The Innocent's Story, p. 61.

School Library Journal, April, 2002, Alison Follos, review of Feather Boy, p. 158; September, 2007, Riva Pollard, review of The Innocent's Story, p. 208.

Times Educational Supplement, March 14, 2003, review of Doll, p. 26.


HarperCollins Web site, (October 27, 2008), "Nicky Singer."

Oxford University Press Web site, (October 27, 2008), "Nicky Singer."