A lot of children, like I did, move away from words because of the fear - which is something you have to take out of education: the fear of worrying about what marks you'll get, detention, worrying about letting people down, your parents, teachers.
Access to books and the encouragement of the habit of reading: these two things are the first and most necessary steps in education and librarians, teachers and parents all over the country know it. It is our children's right and it is also our best hope and their best hope for the future.
Admitting failure is quite cleansing, but never - pleasurable.
Animals are sentient, intelligent, perceptive, funny and entertaining. We owe them a duty of care as we do to children.
Don't worry about writing a book or getting famous or making money. Just lead an interesting life.
Everyone is interested in war, in that people don't want it to happen. I'm much more interested in peace than in war but it's important to understand why we fight.
It is the child's understanding that teaches the adults the way of the future. They're still doing it today with modern technology.
It's the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.
One of the great failings of our education system is that we tend to focus on those who are succeeding in exams, and there are plenty of them. But what we should also be looking at, and a lot more urgently, is those who fail.
Strange questions are the more interesting ones. Children by and large don't try to trip you up... they want to find out how you do this funny thing that you do... if they've loved a story they love to know how it started.
War continues to divide people, to change them forever, and I write about it both because I want people to understand the absolute futility of war, the 'pity of war' as Wilfred Owen called it.
When children are very young, you read them books that are positive to help them go to sleep. But there comes a moment when they begin to understand the difficulties of the world. They know there are problems and the books they read should reflect that, not gloss over them.
Wherever my story takes me, however dark and difficult the theme, there is always some hope and redemption, not because readers like happy endings, but because I am an optimist at heart. I know the sun will rise in the morning, that there is a light at the end of every tunnel.