Gillian Cross

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Gillian Cross (born 1945) is a British author of children's books. She won the 1990 Carnegie Medal for Wolf and the 1992 Whitbread Children's Book Award for The Great Elephant Chase . She also wrote The Demon Headmaster book series, which was later turned into a television series by the BBC in January 1996; a sequel series was produced in 2019.



Gillian Clare Arnold was born in London on 24 December 1945 to James Eric and Joan Emma Arnold. [1] She was educated at North London Collegiate School, Somerville College, Oxford, and the University of Sussex. [2] She married Martin Cross in 1967, and they had four children: Jonathan, Elizabeth, Anthony, and Katherine.

Cross's first published book was The Runaway. Three years later she inaugurated The Demon Headmaster series of seven books (1982 to 2002). She also completed The Dark Behind the Curtain, a horror story illustrated by David Parkins and published by Oxford University Press. [3] It was highly commended for the 1982 Carnegie Medal [4] [lower-alpha 1] from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British subject. A Map of Nowhere was highly commended for the 1988 Carnegie [4] [lower-alpha 1] and she won the Medal two years later for Wolf (Oxford, 1990). [5]

Before becoming a full-time writer, Cross held several different jobs, including acting as an assistant to a Member of Parliament. She is now a full-time writer who often travels and gives talks in connection with her work. [6] In early 2014, Cross became a patron for the Leamington Spa-based charity Cord, after their work in Sudan inspired her latest novel, After Tomorrow. [7]



  1. 1 2 3 4 Cross was also a commended runner up twice, for Chartbreak (1986) and The Great Elephant Chase (1992).
    • Since 1995 there are usually eight books on the Carnegie shortlist. According to CCSU, some runners up through 2002 were Commended (from 1954) or Highly Commended (from 1966). The latter distinction was approximately annual from 1979, with 29 in 24 years including Cross alone in 1982 and three in 1988.
    • No one has won three Carnegie Medals (awarded for 1936 to 2011 publications). Seven authors have won two. Among the dozens to win one, Cross and Melvin Burgess also wrote two Highly Commended books (1966–2002). (Burgess was a runner up for The Cry of the Wolf when Cross won the medal for Wolf.)

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  1. "Cross, Gillian 1945–". Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  2. Official biography Pt. 1
  3. "The dark behind the curtain". Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  4. 1 2 "Carnegie Medal Award". 2007(?). Curriculum Lab. Elihu Burritt Library. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  5. (Carnegie Winner 1990) Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine . Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  6. Official biography Pt. 2
  7. "Leamington charity inspired new Gillian Cross novel". Leamington Observer. Archived from the original on 17 June 2014.