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Pearce, Philippa (1920–)

Pearce, Philippa (1920–)

English children's novelist and short-story writer. Name variations: Philippa Christie. Born Ann Philippa Pearce, 1920, in Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire, England; dau. of Ernest and Gertrude (Ramsden) Pearce; attended Cambridge University; m. Martin Christie, 1963 (died 1965); children: Sarah.

Worked for 13 years as scriptwriter and producer for BBC's schools broadcasting department (1945–58), then as editor at Clarendon Press (1959–60) and editor of children's books for Andre Deutsch Ltd. (1960–67); wrote 1st children's novel, Minnow on the Say (1954), during long stay in hospital with tuberculosis, drawing on childhood memories of village life on banks of River Cam; published Carnegie Medal-winning classic Tom's Midnight Garden (1958); wrote The Battle of Bubble and Squeak (1979), winning Whitbread Award; won Kate Greenaway Medal for Mrs. Cockle's Cat (1988); also wrote Still Jim and Silent Jim (1960), The Children of the House (1968), Lion at School (1973), The Shadow-Cage: And Other Tales of the Supernatural (1985), The Children of Charlecote (1997), The Ghost in Annie's Room (2001) and Amy's Three Best Things (2004); became fellow of Royal Society of Literature. Awarded Order of British Empire (OBE) for services to children's literature.

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