NS Blackman

NS Blackman

Author and illustrator of middle grade historical fiction and illustrated chapter books. Creative writing teacher for Kent Adult Education.

Also writes as

Nigel Blackman
www.facebook.com/NSBlackman
Booking enquiry
NS Blackman - author tools

Available for

Workshop, Talk, Reading, Interview, Commission a book

Audiences

Age 3 to 5, Age 5 to 7, Age 7 to 11, Age 11 to 14, Further Education

Genres

Adventure, Fiction, Historical fiction, Magical realism, Mystery, Mythology, Picture book, Science fiction

Book types

Fiction 5-9, Fiction 8-13

Awards

  • Hull Children's Book Award

Organisations

Details

During visits I often combine whole school assemblies with smaller classroom workshops - inspiring the children to read for pleasure and to develop their creative writing skills. My books have a track record in engaging emergent and more reluctant readers, and encouraging boys as well as girls to enjoy reading. The books highlighted here are perfect for enrichment of the Saxon topic at KS2, the transport topic at KS1 and the dinosaur topic at KS1/ KS2. Freedom for Bron (Saxon fiction) also includes themes of migration, friendship and acceptance of others. 

My Visits

My visits are fun, friendly and very interactive. They include quizzes, role play, group story telling and on-the-spot illustrating to show how my character illustrations developed over time. Very importantly, I also read from the books - inspiring reading for pleasure is something that I am passionate about. However no two visits are exactly the same - I liaise closely with the organising teacher and tailor visits accordingly - for example, if a teacher wants to incorporate work they are already doing on Saxons, dinosaurs or transport - or if they have already used or intend to use the literacy activity sheets that accompany my books. 

FREE ONLINE VISITS I am able to offer free online sessions, where a set of a class books are purchased. There is a also a 20% discount available for teachers purchasing a set of books for the class. For more details please email my publisher, Dinosaur Books Ltd on info@dinosaurbooks.co.uk

Anglo-Saxon Topic KS2   

Freedom for Bron, my Anglo-Saxon story, has become a firm favourite with many teachers. Rachel Steele, the literacy lead in an Essex primary explains how the story has brought the Anglo-Saxon period to life for her KS2 children in the video at the bottom of this page. During my visits I cover factual aspects of Anglo-Saxon life and culture and show how my story is based on a real event in Anglo-Saxon history.

      Dinosaur Topic KS1 and KS2 

My Secret Dinosaurs series is great for this topic and I often get booked to coincide with the teaching of this. I can visit just the class/year who are doing this topic or expand my visit to take in a whole school assembly too.

Transport Topic KS1

The Fantastic Electric Mash-Up Machines is one of my newer titles. It is particularly pacy with short chapters and plenty of page-turning cliff hangers and vibrant illustrations to keep emergent readers happy and help them become fluent readers. The book is set on a fantasy island where there is a series of wonderful all-terrain car races - these mash-up machines are recycled vehicles which run on electricity (derived from local renewable sources).

       About Me 

When I'm not busy writing, I teach creative writing to adults twice a week. I love drawing, walking, family time and watching Dr Who! I visit dozens of schools each year (all areas - I once took the night train from London to Cornwall to visit schools, it was great!). 

As a child I loved to read shorter books and now, as an author, I believe that shorter middle grade books are a great way to encourage reading - particularly when those books have a few illustrations. I wrote a guest blog for the lovely Armadillo Magazine about this recently: Armadillo Magazine Guest Blog

If you'd like me to put you in touch with a school I have recently visited, do let me know.

Contact: nsblackmanauthor@gmail.com

      Teacher feedback :

 “Thank you so much. The children had a great time and enjoyed drawing their dinosaurs!” – Year 3/4 teacher, Charminster School (June 2021)
“Really interactive and the drawing session worked well” Librarian & LRC Manager, Thomas Hardye School (June 2021)
"The visit brought the period to life! All the children were enthralled by the story-telling" Rachel Steele, Head of English, Epsom Downs Primary School (June2022)
 “An inspirational visit – thank you – the children were so thrilled and will remember this for a long time.”  Catherine Carter (London, June 2018) 
“I read The Secret Dinosaur with my year 3 class and they LOVED it – they made me read the second book and are completely hooked. I discovered Nigel through recommendation on a forum and his visit was fantastic – he was great at engaging the children." Mandy Joslin (Dorset, July 2018)
The visit was a great success last week - please see below from a happy parent!... “Hi, Both R and E loved the visit from Nigel Blackman. The house is being filled with dinosaur pictures! Please do forward on my thanks and these pictures if possible.”  Jennie Wallace (Bristol, March 2018) 
“We have children of all abilities and today I saw two of our boys in particular focused in a way they have never done before. Thank you!”   Jo Morris (Cornwall, March 2018) 
I read the first book to my yr3 /4 class and they absolutely loved it. It inspired some fantastic writing even from the most reluctant writers. The children are so excited, thank you!”   Catherine Townshend (London, March 2018)

Some books reviews - please see Amazon for more teacher and parent reviews

The Secret Dinosaurs:

"We would recommend this imaginative and high-energy story to be read aloud to Key Stage 1 classes or as an exciting independent reading choice for early or reluctant readers who are beginning to dive into chapter books."  Books For Topics

“Fast moving; rip roaring adventures …The characters and world building are believable which is no mean feat given the subject of the book!...  A welcome addition.”  The School Librarian Journal

“5* dinosaur fiction …This is a fun and engaging world ... the books are a great fit for the target audience – straightforward, energetic and imaginative.” Bookbag Book Reviews

Freedom for Bron:

"A tour de force of accurate history and epic adventure scenes, this is a really great book for Year 5 and 6 children." The School Run

“This is an excellently written narrative that really evokes the period, bringing the reader an excellent cast of characters to relish ...the excitement of the period is conveyed really well, to draw in the reader.”  Parents-in-Touch

The Fantastic Electric Mash-Up Machines:

"The Fantastic Electric Mash-up Machines is a fast-paced, action-packed racing story. The cartoon-style drawings make the book particularly accessible for emergent and struggling readers" The School Reading List

      

Classroom resources - linked to the text and suitable for KS1 and KS2 (free PDF downloads)

The Secret Dinosaurs

Freedom for Bron (Anglo Saxon fiction)

Shortlisted for Awards

Freedom for Bron is among titles shortlisted for one of the most respected book awards for children in the UK: the Hull Children's Book Award for KS2, run by Hull City School Library Service. The shortlist of 5 is drawn up by a panel of teachers and librarians who survey all new titles for children published across the UK over the past year.

Championing literacy, comprehension and a love of stories

I was thrilled and delighted when The Dinoteks - Giants Awake! was selected by Hodder Education to feature in their Literacy Course for primary schools. The course includes fiction by a few selected writers, including Michael Morpurgo and Roald Dahl (and respected educationalist/poet Pie Corbett - who visited my school and taught me in the late 1980's - what great company to be among!). The course book uses the opening of The Dinoteks as an exemplar of how to engage children into a story, encouraging them to read for pleasure.

 

 

Event feedback

We had a lovely day of workshops with Nigel Blackman for our World Book Day celebrations last week. After a highly engaging assembly sharing his illustrations, he spent time with each of our KS2 classes to support their work to create dinosaur drawings based on his book.

Kat Smith (St Anne's Catholic Primary School)

Books by NS Blackman

I write illustrated chapter books for emergent readers, helping them to develop fluency through a combination of reading for pleasure and engaging illustrations and middle grade books for readers aged 8+ including historical fiction that is curriculum-linked.
9780993010576
Freedom for Bron - The Boy Who Saved a Kingdom - An Anglo-Saxon Adventure

Freedom for Bron - The Boy Who Saved a Kingdom - An Anglo-Saxon Adventure

A tale of friendship and the desire to belong, this adventure resonates with all children and immerses readers in the Anglo-Saxon era, with plenty of detail about the myths and culture of that time. Editorial Reviews: "A tour de force of accurate history and epic adventure scenes, this is a really great book for Year 5 and 6 children." --The School Run website “This is an excellently written narrative that really evokes the period, bringing the reader an excellent cast of characters to relish. The historical background is authentic, and the excitement of the period is conveyed really well, to draw in the reader.” – Parents-in-Touch "This engaging historical novel is the story of Bron, enslaved to a cruel and drunken blacksmith, who gains his freedom and wins the respect of the warriors he joins through his bravery and loyalty…The landscape of villages, farms and dangers for travellers is realistically drawn, and the mythology of the time is deftly conjured …a rewarding read.” – The School Librarian Journal 
‎ 9781999336325
The Fantastic Electric Mash-Up Machines

The Fantastic Electric Mash-Up Machines

A fun, fast-paced, illustrated racing adventure, appealing to motorsports fans, emergent readers and all children who like a great story * “Do not try to cheat. You will be caught!” * That’s the ever-so-friendly message waiting for the racing teams when they arrive on Rumblemore Island for the Mash-Up Machines racing competition – a thrilling series of electric, recycled car races through the wild terrain of Rumblemore Island. But who would think of cheating? Not Lexie, the brave young racing driver. And not her friend Jace, the boy who loves fixing up old machines. But what about Mr Deesol Dragg? He’s already rich (you should see his super-powered car!) and now he seems determined to be famous too. He wouldn’t cheat to win… or, would he? **The Fantastic Electric Mash-up Machines is a thrilling adventure that will have young readers gripped from the opening page! **  
9780992752507
The Dinoteks: Giants Awake!

The Dinoteks: Giants Awake!

**A fast-paced adventure, full of action, excitement and compelling characters** What if the dinosaurs came back? Impossible - that's what Marlin Maxton thinks until he makes a discovery that plunges him into an incredible adventure. During a school outing to a museum Marlin finds a forgotten room with an old display of life-sized dinosaur models…. To his astonishment and delight, his interest in the models sparks them into life! But these are more than dinosaurs, these are Dinoteks: metallic-model-dinosaurs. They are as awesome as their prehistoric predecessors – and able to talk, feel and work together to face danger. Best of all they befriend Marlin and together boy and dinosaurs embark on a series of thrilling adventures. The first is to escape from their predators – hunting humans who believe these animals are a menace that should be destroyed.  
9780992752514
Hunters Attack

Hunters Attack

The dinosaurs are back! But not everyone is pleased to see them... A ruthless new enemy is heading their way and Marlin Maxton must act quickly to protect his friends. *Editorial Reviews* "A cracking book to introduce younger children to chapter books. Have just read the first few chapters with my kids at home and they are loving it." Teacher Glitter "5-star dinosaur fiction. The books are a great fit for the target audience: straightforward, energetic and imaginative." Bookbag Book Reviews. "We would recommend this imaginative and high-energy story to be read aloud to Key Stage 1 classes or as an exciting independent reading choice for early or reluctant readers who are beginning to dive into chapter books." Books for Topics 
9780992752521
Jurassic Adventure

Jurassic Adventure

The dinosaurs are in danger! It's their greatest adventure and Marlin Maxton is about to discover an amazing secret... 
9780993010569
The Night Rescue

The Night Rescue

The best dinosaur adventure yet! A mysterious stranger arrives at the museum and the Dinoteks attempt a dangerous mission to rescue a friend. 
978-1999336363
Undercover Alien

Undercover Alien

When Col sees something that definitely doesn't look human hiding among the shelves, he thinks it must be new-school nerves getting the better of him. But his classmate Alicia is not so sure – and she’s determined to get to the bottom of the mysterious disasters that keep befalling their school. It’s a lot more than Col bargained for at secondary school – and a lot more fun! Life at his new school has proved tricky so far; everyone already seems to know each other, so Col has been playing it safe and keeping his head down – but now it looks as though Col, and his new friend Alicia, are about to have an adventure that’s out-of-this-world! 

Photos and videos

NS Blackman - first image
NS Blackman - first image
NS Blackman - first image

Keywords

ABLE READERS ANGLO SAXON ANIMAL STORIES ASSEMBLIES ASSEMBLY AUTISTIC BOOKS FOR BOYS BOYS CARS CHAPTER BOOK CLASS READER CREATIVE WRITING DINOSAUR DINOSAUR TOPIC DINOSAURS EARLY READER ELECTRIC VEHICLES FRIENDSHIP GIFTED AND TALENTED HISTORY ILLUSTRATION ILLUSTRATOR IMMIGRATION INFANTS JUNIOR KEY STAGE 1 KEY STAGE 2 KS1 KS1 DINOSAUR TOPIC KS1 DINOSAURS KS1 TRANSPORT KS2 KS2 ANGLO SAXONS KS2 ANGLO-SAXONS KS2 DINOSAUR TOPIC KS2 DINOSAURS KS2 SAXON TOPIC KS2 SAXONS MIGRATION NURSERY PRIMARY PRIMARY SCHOOL READ ALOUD RECEPTION RELUCTANT READERS ROBOTS SAXON SAXON SAXONS SPECIAL SCHOOL TOLERANCE TRANSPORT TOPIC WHOLE SCHOOL WORKSHOP WORLD BOOK DAY WORLD BOOK DAY 2019 WORLD BOOK WEEK WORLD BOOK WEEK 2019 YEAR 1 DINOSAUR YEAR 1 DINOSAURS YOUNG READERS