Tim and the Hidden People

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Tim and the Hidden People
Tim & Tobias front cover.png
Front cover of first book in series
Author Sheila K. McCullagh
CountryUnited Kingdom
Set in United Kingdom
PublisherE.J. Arnold & Son (Later Arnold-Wheaton)
Publication date
  • 1974 (Series A)
  • 1976 (Series B)
  • 1977 (Series C)
  • 1980 (Series D)
  • 1983 (Novellas)
Media typePrint

Tim and the Hidden People by Sheila K. McCullagh is a 1970s and 80's reading scheme, also known as Flightpath to Reading, originally devised for young children and intended for children with a reading age of eight-and-a-half to nine years. [1] It consists of 32 books, each 32 pages long and illustrated by Pat Cook (1974-1979) and later Ray Mutimer (1980), written in a simple vocabulary. [1] [2] Four paperback "novella" books intended for older readers were also published in 1983 by Arnold-Wheaton. [3]


Sheila McCullagh also wrote many other books, including Puddle Lane, The Village with Three Corners, Dragon Pirate Stories, and Griffin Pirate Stories .


The Tim and the Hidden People books are about a boy called Tim who lives in a house in The Yard. The books begin with Tim finding a key which enables him to see the Hidden People, he befriends Tobias the black cat and has many adventures. [4] Tobias has a son, Sebastian, who also has special power as one of the "strange ones" - those who are half "ordinary folk" and half "Hidden people". [5]


Writing for the Times Educational Supplement in July 1980, Anne Barnes described the Tim and the Hidden People stories as "quite adventurous" saying "Tim encounters enough mysteries to keep the reader in suspense to the end". [1] Child Education magazine described the series as "excellent" in an August 1979 review. [6]

The books were cited as an inspiration by the author Victoria Biggs, who used the "Hidden People" as an analogy for those suffering from dyspraxia. [7] Author and director Tom Harper also cited the series as an early inspiration. [8]


Series A

Series B

Series C

Series D


Series A to D were reprinted in single novel form, with reduced quantity black and white images, but with expanded text.


Tim & Tobias online

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  1. 1 2 3 Barnes, Anne (11 July 1980). "A Spider Named Sophocles". The Times Educational Supplement. p. 38. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  2. May, Hal, ed. (April 1984). Contemporary Authors. Gale. p. 347. ISBN   9780810319103 . Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  3. British National Bibliography. The British Library. 1985. p. 1521. ISBN   0712310304 . Retrieved 18 January 2023.
  4. Alderton, David (2010). Famous Felines: Cats' Lives in Fact and Fiction. Pen & Sword Books. ISBN   9781844688647 . Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  5. Sfetcu, Nicolae (2014). About Cats. Nicolae Sfetcu. p. 269. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  6. Bentley, Diana (August 1979). "Extension Readers". Child Education. p. 14. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  7. Biggs, Victoria (2014). Caged in Chaos: A Dyspraxic Guide to Breaking Free (Updated ed.). Jessica Kingsley. pp. 14–15. ISBN   9781849054744 . Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  8. Harper, Tom (8 June 2013). "BOOK CLUB". Daily Record. Retrieved 14 September 2023.