Hooper, Mary 1944-

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HOOPER, Mary 1944-


Born 1944; married; children: Gemma, Rowan. Education: Reading University, degree (English), 1990. Hobbies and other interests: Pottering, doing things with dried flowers, painting furniture, collecting china rabbits.


Home Hampshire, England. Agent Rosemary Canter, PDF, Drury House, 34/43 Russell St., London WC2B 5HA, England. E-mail [email protected].


Writer. Formerly worked as a secretary.

Awards, Honors

North East Book Award, 2001, for Megan.


Jodie, Nelson (Sunbury-on-Thames, England), 1978.

Only the Beginning, Nelson (Walton-on-Thames, England), 1981.

Love Emma XXX, Piccolo (London, England), 1982.

My Cousin Angie, Pan (London, England), 1984.

Follow That Dream, Pan (London, England), 1984.

Happy Ever After, Pan (London, England), 1984.

Janey's Diary, Methuen London (London, Englqnd), 1984.

A Love like Yours, Severn House (London, England), 1986.

Opposites Attract, Pan (London, England), 1986.

Lexie, Methuen Children's (London, England), 1987.

Janey's Summer, Magnet (London, England), 1987.

Making Waves, Methuen (London, England), 1988.

Short Cut to Love, Methuen (London, England), 1988.

Cassie, Teens Mandarin (London, England), 1990.

The Revolting Bridesmaid, Blackie (London, England), 1990.

Park Wood on Ice, Mammoth (London, England), 1991.

First Term, Mammoth (London, England), 1991.

Star, Mammoth (London, England), 1991.

The Boys Next Door, Mammoth (London, England), 1991.

The Revolting Wedding, Blackie (London, England), 1992.

Best Friends, Worst Luck, Walker (London, England), 1992.

Kate Goes to Chiddinghurst: The Four Katherines, Piccadilly (London, England), 1993.

There Goes Summer, Mammoth (London, England), 1993.

Spook Spotting, Walker (London, England), 1993.

Scandal Sheet, Mammoth (London, England), 1993.

The Revolting Baby, Blackie Children's Books (London, England), 1993.

The Pretend Princess, Heinemann (London, England), 1994.

The Boyfriend Trap, Walker (London, England), 1994.

Kae's Secret, Piccadilly Press (London, England), 1994.

The Revolting Holiday, Blackie Children's Books (London, England), 1995.

Carley's Story, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1995.

Down to Earth, Bloomsbury Children's Books (London, England), 1995.

Ray's Story, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1995.

Jenny's Story, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1995.

The Ghoul at School, Bloomsbury Children's Books (London, England), 1995.

Poppy's Big Push, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1996.

Poppy's Secret, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1996.

The Surprise Party, Heinemann (London, England), 1996.

Mad about the Boy, Walker (London, England), 1996.

The Lost Treasure, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1996.

Time Flies, Macdonald Young (Hemel Hempstead, England), 1996.

The Golden Key, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1996.

Freddie the Fibber, World International (Handforth, England), 1997.

Slow Down Sally, World International (Handforth, England), 1997.

Round the Rainbow, Bloomsbury Children's Books (London, England), 1997.

House of Secrets, Ginn (Aylesbury, England), 1997.

Gita and Goldie, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1998.

The Peculiar Power of Tabitha Brown, Walker (London, England), 1998.

Paul and Percy, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1998.

Thirteen Candles, A. & C. Black (London, England), 1998.

Timmy and Tiger, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1998.

Two Sides of the Story, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1998.

Becky and Beauty, Bloomsbury Children's Books (London, England), 1998.

The Great Raj, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1998.

Spooks Ahoy!, Walker (London, England), 1998.

Bodies for Sale, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1999.

The Great Twin Trick, Walker (London, England), 1999.

Megan, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1999.

Megan 2, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1999.

The Never-ending Birthday, Macdonald Young (Hove, England), 1999.

The Genie, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1999.

Lucy's Donkey Rescue, Macmillan Children's Books (London, England), 2000.

Lucy's Perfect Piglet, Macmillan Children's Books (London, England), 2000.

A Stormy Night for Lucy, Macmillan Children's Books (London, England), 2000.

Lucy's Badger Cub, Macmillan Children's Books (London, England), 2000.

Lucy's Wild Pony, Macmillan Children's Books (London, England), 2000.

A Lamb for Lucy, Macmillan Children's Books (London, England), 2000.

Holly, Bloomsbury Children's Books (London, England), 2000.

Megan 3, Bloomsbury Children's Books (London, England), 2001.

Nickie's Secrets, 4 Books (London, England), 2001.

Amy, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2002.

Amber's Letter, Walker (London, England), 2002.

Spooks and Scares!, Young Hippo (London, England), 2002.

Letters to Liz: Nicki's Letter, Walker (London, England), 2002.

Letters to Liz: Jo's Letter, Walker (London, England), 2002.

Mischief and Mayhem, Scholastic (London, England), 2002.

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, Bloomsbury Children's Books (New York, NY), 2003.

The New Girl, Barrington Stoke (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2003.

Chelsea and Astra: Two Sides of the Story, Bloomsbury (London, England), 2003.

Petals in the Ashes, Bloomsbury Children's Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Work in Progress

A sequel to Petals in the Ashes; the novel Zara; a novel for adult readers.


Before earning her reputation as a prolific author of teen fiction, British writer, Mary Hooper worked as a secretary and raised her two children. Having left school at the young age of fifteen, she eventually returned, attending Reading University as an adult student and earning her college degree in English. Before tackling longer fiction, Hooper came to writing by submitting hundreds of short stories numerous magazines that catering to women and teen readers. When she tired of this and wanted to write more serious prose, she set about penning her first novel, Jodie, which was published in 1978. In the years since, Hooper has accumulated a vast array of writing credits, and two of her novelsAt the Sign of the Sugared Plum and Petals in the Ashes have found their way to American readers.

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum is an historical novel that follows main character Hannah as she travels to London in 1665, just as the plague is taking the city by storm. Hannah initially goes to the city in order to help her sister Sarah run her small sweet shop, but with horror and fear the two girls watch as the plague grows to become a threat to all inhabitants of the city. "From the fetid smell of the streets to the ghastly sights of overwhelming cemeteries, the scope of the disaster is impressively wrought," commented Kristen Oravec in a review of the novel for School Library Journal. A Publishers Weekly critic also enjoyed the novel, stating that, "So likeable is Hannah that readers will cheer when she and her sister accomplish the near-miracle of escaping from the quarantined city" in "a tale almost as tasty as the sisters' comfits."

The second volume in an intended trilogy that began with At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, Petals in the Ashes once again follows sisters Hannah and Sarah. After narrowly escaping London the pair head off to their home in Chertsey before returning to London. Once back in the city, Hannah finds herself trapped as the Great Fire breaks out, devouring all in its path. A strong heroine in her own right, Hannah bravely deals with the disaster and cares for those she loves. Renee Steinberg, reviewing the novel for School Library Journal, praised the book as "exemplary historical fiction, skillfully combining reality and imagination." Anne O'Malley, a reviewer for Booklist also enjoyed the sequel, writing that "Hooper does a masterful job of portraying lively, realistic characters while also making history interesting and accurate."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, September 15, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of Amy, p. 226; September 15, 2003, Kay Weisman, review of At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, p. 236; August, 2004, Anne O'Malley, review of Petals in the Ashes, p. 1934.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2002, review of Amy, p. 1132; July 1, 2003, review of At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, p. 911; June 1, 2004, review of Petals in the Ashes, p. 537.

Publishers Weekly, August 19, 2002, review of Amy, p. 90; August 25, 2003, review of At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, p. 65.

School Library Journal, September, 2002, Sharon Rawlins, review of Amy, p. 226; August, 2003, Kristen Oravec, review of At the Sign of the Sugared Plum, p. 160; August, 2004, Renee Steinberg, review of Petals in the Ashes, p. 123.


Bloomsbury Web site, http://www.bloomsbury.com/ (March 19, 2005), "Mary Hooper."

Mary Hooper Web site, http://www.maryhooper.co.uk (March 19, 2005).*