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Ure, Jean 1943–

Ure, Jean 1943–

(Ann Colin, Jean Gregory, Sarah McCulloch)

PERSONAL:

Surname sounds like "ewer"; born January 1, 1943, in Surrey, England; daughter of William (an insurance officer) and Vera Ure; married Leonard Gregory (an actor and writer), 1967. Education: Attended Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, 1965-67. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, writing letters, walking dogs, playing with cats, music, working for animal rights.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Croydon, Surrey, England. Agent—Caroline Sheldon, Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency, Thorley Manor Farm, Thorley, Yarmouth PO41 0SJ, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Has worked as a waitress, cook, washer-up, nursing assistant, newspaper seller, shop assistant, theater usherette, temporary shorthand-typist, translator, secretary with NATO and UNESCO, and television production assistant.

MEMBER:

Society of Authors.

AWARDS, HONORS:

American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults citation, 1983, for See You Thursday; long-listed for Guardian Award for Children's Fiction, 2003, for Bad Alice.

WRITINGS:

FICTION; FOR YOUNG READERS

Ballet Dance for Two, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1960, published as Dance for Two, illustrated by Richard Kennedy, Harrap (London, England), 1960.

A Proper Little Nooryeff, Bodley Head (London, England), 1982, published as What If They Saw Me Now?, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1984.

If It Weren't for Sebastian, Bodley Head (London, England), 1982, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1985.

Hi There, Supermouse!, illustrated by Martin White, Hutchinson (London, England), 1983, published as Supermouse, illustrated by Ellen Eagle, Morrow (New York, NY), 1984.

You Win Some, You Lose Some, Bodley Head (London, England), 1984, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1987.

You Two, illustrated by Ellen Eagle, Morrow (New York, NY), 1984, published as The You-Two, illustrated by Martin White, Hutchinson (London, England), 1984.

Nicola Mimosa, illustrated by Martin White, Hutchinson (London, England), 1985, published as The Most Important Thing, illustrated by Ellen Eagle, Morrow (New York, NY), 1986.

Megastar, Blackie (Glasgow, Scotland), 1985.

Swings and Roundabouts, Blackie (Glasgow, Scotland), 1986.

A Bottled Cherry Angel, Hutchinson (London, England), 1986.

Brenda the Bold, illustrated by Glenys Ambrus, Heinemann (London, England), 1986.

The Other Side of the Fence, Bodley Head (London, England), 1986, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1988.

One Green Leaf, Bodley Head (London, England), 1987, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1989.

Tea-leaf on the Roof, illustrated by Val Sassoon, Blackie (Glasgow, Scotland), 1987.

War with Old Mouldy!, illustrated by Alice Englander, Methuen (London, England), 1987.

Who's Talking?, Orchard (New York, NY), 1987.

Frankie's Dad, Hutchinson (London, England), 1988.

(With Michael Lewis) A Muddy Kind of Magic, Blackie (Glasgow, Scotland), 1988.

(With Michael Lewis) Two Men in a Boat, Blackie (Glasgow, Scotland), 1988.

Play Nimrod for Him, Bodley Head (London, England), 1990.

Cool Simon, Orchard (New York, NY), 1990.

William in Love, Blackie (Glasgow, Scotland), 1991.

Dreaming of Larry, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1991.

A Place to Scream, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1992.

Spooky Cottage, Heinemann (London, England), 1992.

The Unknown Planet, Walker (London, England), 1992.

The Ghost That Lives on the Hill, Methuen (London, England), 1992.

Captain Cranko and the Crybaby, Walker (London, England), 1993.

The Phantom Knicker Nicker, Blackie (London, England), 1993.

Always Sebastian, Bodley Head (London, England), 1993.

Seven for a Secret, Blackie Children's (London, England), 1993.

Night Fright, Blackie Children's (London, England), 1994.

Who Says Animals Don't Have Rights?, Puffin (London, England), 1994.

Faces at the Window, Corgi Freeway (London, England), 1994.

Howzat, Gordon!, Black Children's Books (London, England), 1994.

Horrible Baby, Longman (Harlow, England), 1994.

Jug Ears, Longman (Harlow, England), 1994.

Help! It's Harriet, Collins Children's Books (London, England), 1995.

Demons in Disguise, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1995.

Has Anyone Seen This Girl?, Bodley Head (London, England), 1996.

Love Is Forever, Orchard (London, England), 1996.

Whatever Happened to Katy-Jane?, Walker (London, England), 1996.

Dance with Death, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1996.

The Gools, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1996.

The Children Next Door, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1996.

Harriet Strikes Again!, Collins (London, England), 1996.

The Collins Book of Ballet and Dance Stories, Collins (London, England), 1996.

Whistle and I'll Come, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1997.

The Big Time, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1997.

Danny Dynamite, Transworld, 1998.

Three-in-One Ballet Stories, Red Fox (London, England), 1998.

Girl in the Blue Tunic, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1998.

Puppy Present, Collins (London, England), 1998, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Big Head, Walker (London, England), 1999.

Secret Simon, Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 1999.

A Twist in Time, Walker (London, England), 1999.

Just Sixteen, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

Family Fan Club, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Big Tom, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Monster in the Mirror, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Get a Life!, Orchard (London, England), 2001.

Boys on the Brain, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Daisy May, Collins (London, England), 2002.

Dazzling Danny, Roaring Good Reads (London, England), 2003.

Bad Alice, Hodder (London, England), 2003.

Ballet Stories: "Hi There, Supermouse!," "Proper Little Nooryeff," "Star Turn," Red Fox (London, England), 2004.

Is Anybody There? Seeing Is Believing, HarperCollins Children's Books (London, England), 2004.

The Tutti-Frutti Collection (short stories), HarperCollins Children's Books (London, England), 2005.

Sugar and Spice, HarperCollins (London, England), 2005.

Over the Moon, HarperCollins Children's Books (London, England), 2006.

The Flower Power Collection, HarperCollins Children's Books (London, England), 2006.

Gone Missing, HarperCollins Children's Books (London, England), 2007.

Hunky Dory, HarperCollins Children's Books (London, England), 2007.

Star Crazy, HarperCollins Children's Books (London, England), 2007.

Just Sixteen, Orchard (London, England), 2007.

Love Is Forever, Orchard (London, England), 2008.

Fortune Cookie, HarperCollins Children's Books (London, England), 2009.

Contributor to anthology The Animals' Bedtime Storybook, Orion Children's Books, 2000.

"THURSDAY" TRILOGY

See You Thursday, Kestrel (London, England), 1981, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1983.

After Thursday, Kestrel (London, England), 1985, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1987.

Tomorrow Is Also a Day, Methuen (London, England), 1989.

"WOODSIDE SCHOOL" SERIES

The Fright, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1987.

Loud Mouth, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1988.

Soppy Birthday, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1988.

King of Spuds, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1989.

Who's for the Zoo?, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1989.

Who's for the Zoo?; Loud Mouth: Two Plays, Longman (Harlow, England), 1994.

"VANESSA" TRILOGY

Trouble with Vanessa, Transworld (London, England), 1988.

There's Always Danny, Transworld (London, England), 1989.

Say Goodbye, Transworld (London, England), 1989.

"PLAGUE" SERIES

Plague 99, Methuen (London, England), 1989, published as Plague, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1991.

After the Plague, Methuen (London, England), 1992.

Watchers at the Shrine, Methuen (London, England), 1992.

Come Lucky April, Methuen (London, England), 1992.

"PETER HIGH SCHOOL" SERIES

Jo in the Middle, Hutchinson (London, England), 1990.

Bossyboots, Hutchinson (London, England), 1991.

Fat Lollipop, Hutchinson (London, England), 1991.

Jam Today, Hutchinson (London, England), 1992.

The Matchmakers, Hutchinson (London, England), 1992.

"WIZARD" SERIES

The Wizard in the Woods, illustrated by David Anstley, Walker (London, England), 1990, Candlewick Press (New York, NY), 1992.

Wizard in Wonderland, illustrated by David Anstley, Walker (London, England), 1991, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 1993.

The Wizard and the Witch, Walker (London, England), 1995.

"DANCING DREAM" SERIES

Star Turn, Hutchinson (London, England), 1993.

A Dream Come True, Hutchinson (London, England), 1994.

Fandango!, Hutchinson (London, England), 1995.

"COMETS" SERIES

(With John Blake, David Clayton, Mick Gowar, Ian Gregory, Sam McBratney, and Stephanie Moody) Comets Pack: 1, Collins Educational (London, England), 1995.

(With John Blake, David Clayton, Mick Gowar, Ian Gregory, Sam McBratney, and Stephanie Moody) Comets Pack: 2, Collins Educational (London, England), 1996.

The Great Safe Blag, Collins Educational (London, England), 1996.

"DIARY" SERIES

Skinny Melon and Me, illustrated by Chris Fisher and Peter Bailey, Holt (New York, NY), 1996.

Becky Bananas: This Is Your Life!, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1997.

Fruit and Nutcase, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.

Secret Life of Sally Tomato, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Shrinking Violet, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2002.

Pumpkin Pie, Collins (London, England), 2002.

Passion Flower: Wars of the Roses, HarperCollins (London, England), 2003.

Secret Meeting, HarperCollins (London, England), 2004.

Boys Beware, HarperCollins Children's Books (London, England), 2005.

"PET PALS" SERIES

Lucky Pup, Orchard (London, England), 1997.

Lucky, Orchard (London, England), 1998.

"SANDY SIMMONS" SERIES

Sandy Simmons and the Spotlight Spook, Orchard (London, England), 1998.

Sandy Simmons, Star Struck!, Orchard (London, England), 1998.

Sandy Simmons: Saves the Day, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

Sandy Simmons, Show Stealer, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

Sandy Simmons: Superstar, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

Sandy Simmons: Sweet Success, Orchard (London, England), 1999.

"WE LOVE ANIMALS" SERIES

Brave Warrior, Scholastic Hippo (London, England), 1998.

Daffy Down Donkey, Scholastic Hippo (London, England), 1998, Barron's Educational Series (Happauge, NY), 1999.

Foxglove, Scholastic Hippo (London, England), 1998, Barron's Educational Series (Happauge, NY), 1999.

Muddy Four Paws, Scholastic Hippo (London, England), 1998, Barron's Educational Series (Happauge, NY), 1999.

Snow Kittens, Scholastic Hippo (London, England), 1998, Barron's Educational Series (Happauge, NY), 1999.

Honey Bun, Scholastic Hippo (London, England), 1999.

"FOSTER FAMILY" SERIES

Foster Family, Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 1999.

Here Comes Ellen, Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 1999.

Meet the Radish, Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 1999.

My Sister Sam, Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 1999.

Babycakes, Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 2000.

Little Miss Perfect, Hodder Children's Books (London, England), 2000.

"CHUMS" SERIES

Bella, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Buster, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Bouncer, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

Bonnie, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.

"GIRLS" SERIES

Boys Are OK!, Orchard (London, England), 2002.

Girls Are Groovy!, Orchard (London, England), 2002.

Girls Stick Together!, Orchard (London, England), 2002.

Pink Knickers Aren't Cool!, Orchard (London, England), 2002.

"STREETWISE" SERIES

Literacy Land, Longman (London, England), 2003.

Prince Pantyhose, Longman (London, England), 2003.

"STEVIE SILVER" SERIES

Stage Struck, Orchard (London, England), 2006.

Star Light, Orchard (London, England), 2006.

FOR ADULTS

The Other Theater, Transworld (London, England), 1966.

The Test of Love, Corgi (London, England), 1968.

If You Speak Love, Corgi (London, England), 1972.

Had We but World Enough and Time, Corgi (London, England), 1972.

The Farther off from England, White Lion, 1973.

Daybreak, Corgi (London, England), 1974.

All Thy Love, Corgi (London, England), 1975.

Marriage of True Minds, Corgi (London, England), 1975.

No Precious Time, Corgi (London, England), 1976.

Hear No Evil, Corgi (London, England), 1976.

Curtain Fall, Corgi (London, England), 1978.

Masquerade, Corgi (London, England), 1979.

A Girl like That, Corgi (London, England), 1979.

(Under pseudonym Ann Colin) A Different Class of Doctor, Corgi (London, England), 1980.

(Under pseudonym Ann Colin) Doctor Jamie, Corgi (London, England), 1980.

(Under name Jean Gregory) Love beyond Telling, Corgi (London, England), 1986.

"RIVERSIDE THEATER ROMANCE" SERIES; FOR ADULTS

Early Stages, Corgi (London, England), 1977.

Dress Rehearsal, Corgi (London, England), 1977.

All in a Summer Season, Corgi (London, England), 1977.

Bid Time Return, Corgi (London, England), 1978.

GEORGIAN ROMANCES; UNDER PSEUDONYM SARAH MCCULLOCH; FOR ADULTS

Not Quite a Lady, Corgi (London, England), 1980, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1981.

A Most Insistent Lady, Corgi (London, England), 1981.

A Lady for Ludovic, Corgi (London, England), 1981.

Merely a Gentleman, Corgi (London, England), 1982.

A Perfect Gentleman, Corgi (London, England), 1982.

TRANSLATOR

(And compiler and editor) Pacala and Tandala, and Other Rumanian Folk Tales, illustrated by Charles Mozley, Methuen (London, England), 1960, published as Rumanian Folk Tales, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1961.

Henri Vernes, City of a Thousand Drums, Corgi (London, England), 1966.

Henri Vernes, The Dinosaur Hunters, Corgi (London, England), 1966.

Henri Vernes, The Yellow Shadow, Corgi (London, England), 1966.

Jean Bruce, Cold Spell, Corgi (London, England), 1967.

Jean Bruce, Top Secret, Corgi (London, England), 1967.

Henri Vernes, Treasure of the Golcondas, Corgi (London, England), 1967.

Henri Vernes, The White Gorilla, Corgi (London, England), 1967.

Henri Vernes, Operation Parrot, Corgi (London, England), 1968.

Jean Bruce, Strip Tease, Corgi (London, England), 1968.

Noel Calef, The Snare, Souvenir Press, 1969.

Sven Hassel, March Battalion, Corgi (London, England), 1970.

Sven Hassel, Assignment Gestapo, Corgi (London, England), 1971.

Laszlo Havas, Hitler's Plot to Kill the Big Three, Corgi (London, England), 1971.

Sven Hassel, S.S. General, Corgi (London, England), 1972.

Sven Hassel, Reign of Hell, Corgi (London, England), 1973.

Contributor to television series Dramarama, 1983. Contributor of articles to periodicals, including Vegan, Writers' Monthly, Books for Keeps, and School Librarian.

SIDELIGHTS:

While Jean Ure has written fiction for audiences of all ages, she is best known for her young-adult books, in which she combines her lively sense of humor with unique stories that feature off-beat situations and characters. Ure is a vegetarian who is avid about animal rights, and while her books make references to these tendencies among her characters, they are not considered preachy. Class struggles, homosexuality, sexual awakenings, and feminism are among Ure's topics, all of which she discusses with freshness and immediacy.

Ure does not remember a time when she did not want to be a writer. While growing up in Surrey, England, she would steal notebooks from her school to fill with imaginative stories. She was also happy to read poetry or dance in front of a room of adoring relatives.

Going to school, however, was painful for Ure. She constantly felt that she did not fit in. Being outside of the popular crowd caused her to fantasize about many things, including being in love and dancing. Being a compulsive writer, Ure wrote down these fantasies. She sent the manuscript off to a publisher and, at the age of sixteen, she became a published writer with Dance for Two. Writing the novel "was a very cathartic exercise and brought me great solace," she once recalled. "I almost managed to believe that … I really did have a sweetheart called Noel, that I really was a ballet dancer."

Ambition and not wanting to continue with the pain of school life were reasons why Ure chose to try writing as a profession rather than go to college, and she worked several menial jobs while trying to get her work published. Discouraged by her lack of success, she enrolled in a drama class and found that she had a talent for entertaining. While attending drama school, she met her husband, Leonard Gregory, at one of the few parties she attended, and he became a major influence in her life. Shortly afterward, Ure's writing career suddenly took off, and she started writing romance novels and translating books. While these did not stimulate her intellectually, they helped her learn her craft and earn a living at the same time. After a few years, however, she began to feel that she was compromising herself by writing such books.

Her book See You Thursday was a turning point for Ure. The novel focuses on a blind pianist named Abe and a sixteen-year-old rebel named Marianne. Although Abe is eight years older, wiser, and from a different background than Marianne, the pair become attracted to each other, and the relationship blossoms as Marianne sheds her shyness and finds a new maturity. In After Thursday, the sequel that followed, the romance of Abe and Marianne is further tested by their differing perspectives on independence.

Ure was extremely happy to have found a fresh audience for her writing. "The reason I turned to writing for young adults was, basically, that it offered a freedom which ‘genre’ writing does not allow," she later related. She also commented: "When I created Abe, my blind pianist, I did the very minimum of research into blindness, but was able to gain direct knowledge, albeit to a severely limited extent, of how it would be to be blind by tying a scarf about my eyes and blundering around the house." See You Thursday won the American Library Association's Best Book for Young Adults citation in 1983.

Ure returns to the themes of autonomy and awakening sexuality in the "Vanessa" trilogy, which includes Trouble with Vanessa, There's Always Danny, and Say Goodbye, as well as in The Other Side of the Fence. Describing the first two books of the "Vanessa" trilogy as more than a romantic tale, Stephanie Nettell in the Times Literary Supplement labeled Ure's novels "intelligent, spiky and imaginative." Similarly enthusiastic about The Other Side of the Fence, reviewers such as Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books contributor Zena Sutherland praised the same novel as a "mature and sensitive" work that is "told with both momentum and nuance." This romance is unusual, however, because it concerns a homosexual boy, Richard, who meets and finds friendship with Bonny, a girl who is attracted to him but cannot understand, until the end, why her sexual interest is not returned. Although School Library Journal writer Karen K. Radtke questioned Bonny's "naiveté" regarding Richard when she is otherwise street-smart, the critic also admitted that the novel may be satisfying to teenagers who "harbor secret fantasies about … flaunting parental authority."

Ure's sensitive treatment of relationships is often praised by critics. The special rivalry among sisters is explored in Supermouse, as a shy but talented girl, Nicola, is offered a dancing role over her more favored younger sister, Rose. Mary M. Burns wrote in Horn Book that even though the story is told from the point of view of an eleven-year-old, "the author has managed to suggest subtle emotions which underlie the family's values and actions." The story is continued in The Most Important Thing as Nicola, now age fourteen, must decide whether her future career will include ballet or whether she should concentrate instead on science and become a doctor. Cynthia K. Leibold concluded in School Library Journal that "Ure is skillful at creating colorful characters … and her characters execute their roles perfectly."

Using insight and sometimes humor, Ure's novels often question values and touch upon subjects such as social standards. In one such book, What If They Saw Me Now?, an athletic young man is caught in an amusing dilemma when he is asked to dance the male lead in a ballet. Described by Zena Sutherland in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books as "a funny and liberating" tale, Ure's novel may appeal to both boys and girls as they appreciate Jamie's predicament: how to overcome his own and others' "macho" stereotypes.

Coping with illness is the theme of two of Ure's contemporary works, If It Weren't for Sebastian and One Green Leaf, the first focusing on mental illness, and the latter on a fatal physical sickness. In If It Weren't for Sebastian, the title character is an intense, but peace-loving, young man whose "strangeness" is an object of scorn and misunderstanding to others. Maggie becomes his friend and soon discovers that Sebastian is being treated as an outpatient at a mental health clinic. Ure "explores the borderline psychotic and his relationships with great sensitivity and understanding," declared Zena Sutherland in a Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books review. Fatal illness is treated with similar sympathy and skill in One Green Leaf. After an unsuccessful surgery, it becomes obvious that David's cancer is terminal. Ure's emphasis, however, is on how David copes, and on the affection of his friends during his illness. According to Tess McKellen in School Library Journal, the author "dramatizes successfully the effect of unexpected tragedy on young minds and emotions" in the novel.

Always Sebastian brings back the unique character from If It Weren't for Sebastian and follows the relationship between Sebastian, now deeply involved in the animal-rights movement, and Maggie, a single parent with two daughters. That same year, Ure also authored a science-fiction thriller for teens, A Place to Scream. The work is set in 2015, a near future in which social problems caused by incautious economic policies have worsened immensely. The protagonist is the teenage Gillian, who has been fortunate enough to grow up in an affluent household, but feels overwhelmed by the world outside. Her involvement with a maverick new friend brings both romance and a sense of purpose to her life.

Ure's teen novel Has Anyone Seen This Girl? is told in diary form. The book begins with fourteen-year-old Caroline riding in a train to her new boarding school. Aboard the train, she meets Rachel, and the two become fast friends. At school, however, the quirky Rachel is relegated to the role of outcast, and Caroline is torn between peer pressure to reject her and a sense of loyalty to her first friend. Rachel makes friendship difficult, however, as she proves to be a demanding, asocial friend, and Caroline suffers tremendous guilt when Rachel runs away from the school. "Ure once again writes with a sympathetic understanding of young people," attested Maggie Bignell in Quill & Quire.

Ure won critical plaudits for her "Plague" series, which includes the postapocalyptic tales Plague 99 (published in the United States as Plague), Come Lucky April, and Watchers at the Shrine. Plague 99 opens in the twentieth century in a world where biological warfare germs have triggered a contagious and deadly illness. Returning from camp, Fran Latimer finds both of her parents dead and her best friend looking to her for help. The two girls team up with Shahid, a schoolmate. As the plague worsens in their hometown, with death seemingly everywhere, they journey across London in search of Shahid's brother, only to find the family there decimated as well. When Shahid becomes sick, Fran nurses him as they hide out in an old bookstore until he recovers enough for them to once more begin their journey to safety. As Plague 99 concludes, they are on their way to distant Cornwall, where Fran's grandmother lives.

Plague 99 proved to be so popular with teens that Ure decided to continue the story. After the Plague follows Fran and Shahid's great-grandson, Daniel. A hundred years after the fateful flight to Cornwall, Daniel learns of the existence of Fran's fascinating journal, which she wrote during the plague. He travels to Croydon where the manuscript was left, but the London suburb is now an entirely feminist-governed community in which new births are the result of artificial insemination, and male offspring in Croydon are routinely castrated. A virtual outlaw in this community by reason of his gender, Daniel falls in love with one of its members, April, and she must choose between remaining in her society or leaving with him and entering the outside world.

Watchers at the Shrine, Ure's third installment in the "Plague" series, reveals that in 2099 April did not leave Croydon, but remained behind and gave birth to a son, Hal. When Hal nears puberty, he is sent to Cornwall to escape castration, but he has trouble adjusting to the vastly different patriarchal community. A large number of birth defects occur in Cornwall since an abandoned nuclear power plant nearby is still emitting radiation. Hal is shocked to discover that people both in the greater Cornwall community and those inside the odd religious sect known as the Watchers, with whom he is sent to live, display an ignorance of history and science, and, in contrast to Croydon, women are treated quite brutally. He falls in love with a Watcher's daughter who, born with a birth defect, will soon be relegated to the community's brigade of officially sanctioned prostitutes. Instead, the pair escape to Croydon where a crisis has brought some positive changes to the feminist community's system of social order. In a review of Watchers at the Shrine, a Junior Bookshelf critic commended Ure's powers of description in creating a desolate, post plague Britain, as "intriguing as well as shocking and forbidding, and she contrives associations for Hal which increase the horror of societies which have lost their way."

Other topics benefitting from Ure's creative energy often center around her passions: music, vegetarianism, animal rights, books, and theater. Her main motive is not to convert people, but to stimulate thought. Having published many books during her career, she offered this advice to aspiring writers on her home page: "Basically, try to become as a child. Think as a child thinks. See through a child's eyes. Experience a child's feelings. Keep the adult part of yourself in the background—whilst always making sure that you keep a tight hold on the reins. In other words, let the child in you do the speaking while the adult shapes the words."

Ure's goal as a writer, she maintained on the Conversations with Writers blog, remains "to entertain. I see no point in indulging and amusing myself if no children are going to read what I write. I do want to indulge and amuse myself, but I also want readers to identify with my books, to recognise the concerns of the characters as their concerns, to take heart, gain solace, to laugh, to cry and maybe, along the way, to learn a bit about life."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Children's Literature Review, Volume 34, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1994.

St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers, 2nd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 1996, Hazel Rochman, review of The Children Next Door, p. 836; January 1, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of Skinny Melon and Me, p. 961; December 15, 2001, Ilene Cooper, review of Plague, p. 729.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, June, 1984, Zena Sutherland, review of What If They Saw Me Now?, p. 195; June, 1986, Zena Sutherland, review of If It Weren't for Sebastian, p. 198; February, 1988, Zena Sutherland, review of The Other Side of the Fence, p. 127.

Horn Book, June, 1984, Mary M. Burns, review of Supermouse, p. 334.

Junior Bookshelf, October, 1994, review of Watchers at the Shrine, p. 191.

Publishers Weekly, September 27, 1991, review of Plague, p. 59; November 27, 2000, review of Skinny Melon and Me, p. 77.

Quill & Quire, August, 1996, Maggie Bignell, review of Has Anyone Seen This Girl?, p. 121.

School Library Journal, May, 1986, Cynthia K. Leibold, review of The Most Important Thing, p. 110; April, 1988, Karen K. Radtke, review of The Other Side of the Fence, p. 114; May, 1989, Tess McKellen, review of One Green Leaf, p. 128; January, 2001, Ashley Larsen, review of Skinny Melon and Me, p. 134.

Times Literary Supplement, June 9, 1989, Stephanie Nettell, reviews of Trouble with Vanessa and There's Always Danny, p. 648.

ONLINE

Conversations with Writers, http://conversationswithwriters.blogspot.com/ (December 4, 2006), "Interview with Children's Author Jean Ure."

Jean Ure Home Page, http://www.jeanure.com (September 29, 2008).

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  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.