Thompson, Kate 1956–

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Thompson, Kate 1956–


Born 1956, in Halifax, Yorkshire, England; partner of Conor Minogue; children: Cliodhna and Dearbhla (daughters). Education: Studied law.


Home—Ireland. Agent—Sophie Hicks, Ed Victor Ltd., 6 Bayley St., Bedford Sq., London WC1B 3HE, England. E-mail—[email protected].




Bisto prize, 2002, for The Beguilers, 2003, for The Alchemist's Apprentice, 2004, for Annan Water, and 2006, for The New Policeman; Children's fiction prize, London Guardian, Whitbread Children's Book award, and the Dublin Airport Authority Children's Book of the Year Award, all 2005, all for The New Policeman.


There Is Something (poetry), Signpost Press (Bellingham, WA), 1992.

Down among the Gods, Virago (London, England), 1997.

Thin Air, Sceptre (London, England), 1999.

An Act of Worship, Sceptre (London, England), 2000.

The Alchemist's Apprentice, Bodley Head (London, England), 2001.

The Beguilers, Dutton Children's Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Annan Water, Bodley Head (London, England), 2004.

The New Policeman, Bodley Head (London, England), 2005, Greenwillow Books (New York, NY), 2007.

The Fourth Horseman, Bodley Head (London, England), 2006.

The Last of the High Kings, Bodley Head (London, England), 2007.


Switchers, Bodley Head (London, England), 1997, Hyperion Books for Children (New York, NY), 1998.

Midnight's Choice, Bodley Head (London, England), 1998, Hyperion Books for Children (New York, NY), 1999.

Wild Blood, Bodley Head (London, England), 1999, Hyperion Books for Children (New York, NY), 2000.

The Switchers Trilogy, Red Fox (London, England), 2004.


The Missing Link, Bodley Head (London, England), 2000, also published as Fourth World, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2005.

Only Human, Bodley Head (London, England), 2001, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2006.

Origins, Bodley Head (London, England), 2003, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2007.


Kate Thompson was born in England to activist parents and spent the majority of her time growing up riding and racing horses. Thompson traveled the world, including going to the United States and India, before settling in Ireland in 1981 and seriously writing poetry and novels. Many of Thompson's novels are science fiction and oftentimes deal with lore or locales of Ireland. Writing primarily for younger audiences, she is one of the few authors who writes fantasy novels for children.

The first novel Thompson published was Switchers, which later developed into a trilogy. The story follows teenaged Tess and Kevin in their mission to prevent the jelly-fish-like krool from sending the planet into another ice age. The krool devour anything in their path, but the pair are gifted with the ability to change into any animal, real or imaginary, that they want. Reviews for Thompson's debut novel were mixed. A contributor to Publishers Weekly, noting the occasional poetic language, praised Thompson for her ability to join "elements from mythology and science fiction with insights into animal nature." John Peters, writing in Booklist, found parts of the story that suggested Thompson "hasn't thought through every detail." Writing on the Rambles Web site, Donna Scanlon claimed that "Thompson's plot is completely engrossing, and the characters of Tess and Kevin are very well drawn and sympathetic."

Thompson rounded out the series with Midnight's Choice and Wild Blood before moving to her next trilogy, the "Missing Link" series. The first book in the series, Fourth World, continues a key concept from the previous series in playing on the link between humans and animals. Christie accompanies his mentally impaired foster brother, Danny, when he sets out to meet his birth mother, Maggie. Christie is suspicious, however, when Maggie sends a talking bird and dog to travel with them. Christie later finds out that Maggie is a neo-Dr. Moreau, splicing human DNA with that of animals creating a range of hybrids, Danny included. In a Horn Book Magazine review, Vicky Smith found holes in the genetic arguments Thompson makes. Smith commented, however, that even "if the exact nature of the genetic work is rather sketchily developed, the characters are not." Susan L. Rogers, writing in School Library Journal, thought that "Christie's narrative voice seems far too sophisticated for his age." Rogers conceded, however, that it brings the story "more heft than the average plot-driven series opener." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews concluded that Thompson "weaves some stimulating ideas into this suspenseful tale and leaves plenty of unanswered questions for future installments." Thompson continued the series, publishing Only Human one year later, and following up with Origins.

Published in 2005, The New Policeman won the 2006 Bisto prize, 2005 Whitbread Children's Book award and the London Guardian Children's fiction prize, and was named the 2005 Dublin Airport Authorities children's book of the year. Fifteen-year-old Irish musician J.J. Liddy discovers a link between his world and that of eternal youth in an attempt to literally give his mother more time in the day to play music. While in this fantasy land, he faces dark rumors about his family and attempts to fix a leak in time between the two worlds. Reviews for the independent novel were positive. Judith A. Hayn, writing in the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, commented that "Thompson takes the reader into a dreamland, coupled with the reality of Ireland as part of the European Union of 2005, and captivates her readers until the charming tale ends in surprise." Gillian Engberg noted in a Booklist review that readers would "overlook any creaky plot connections and fall eagerly into the rich, comic language and the captivating characters and scenes." Writing in School Library Journal, Heather M. Campbell added that "those who follow this story through to the end will not be disappointed."



Booklist, March 15, 1998, John Peters, review of Switchers, p. 1245; April 15, 2000, Sally Estes, review of Wild Blood, p. 1543; May 15, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of Fourth World, p. 1660; May 15, 2006, Jennifer Mattson, review of Only Human, p. 61; February 1, 2007, Gillian Engberg, review of The New Policeman, p. 47.

Bookseller, February 18, 2005, review of The New Policeman, p. 40; February 17, 2006, review of The Fourth Horseman, p. 32.

Children's Bookwatch, July, 2005, review of Fourth World.

Horn Book Magazine, January-February, 2002, Anita L. Burkam, review of The Beguilers, p. 85; May-June, 2005, Vicky Smith, review of Fourth World, p. 333; May-June, 2006, Vicky Smith, review of Only Human, p. 332; March-April, 2007, Betsy Hearne, review of The New Policeman, p. 206.

Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, May, 2007, Judith A. Hayn, review of The New Policeman, p. 690.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2005, review of Fourth World, p. 427; May 1, 2006, review of Only Human, p. 468; December 15, 2006, review of The New Policeman, p. 1273.

Kliatt, January, 2007, Paula Rohrlick, review of The New Policeman, p. 19.

M2 Best Books, September 30, 2005, "Kate Thompson Awarded Guardian Children's Fiction Prize."

Publishers Weekly, June 8, 1998, review of Switchers, p. 61; October 29, 2001, review of The Beguilers, p. 65.

School Library Journal, July, 2000, Patricia A. Dollisch, review of Wild Blood, p. 111; October, 2001, Steven Engelfried, review of The Beguilers, p. 173; October, 2005, Susan L. Rogers, review of Fourth World, p. 175; March, 2007, Heather M. Campbell, review of The New Policeman, p. 220; April, 2007, review of The New Policeman, p. 73.


Contemporary Writers in the UK, (October 8, 2007), author profile.

Rambles, (October 8, 2007), Donna Scanlon, review of Switchers.

SLA, (January 5, 2006), "Kate Thompson Wins Whitbread Children's Book Award."

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Thompson, Kate 1956–

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