Ali Sparkes

Before she became an author, Ali worked as a singer, journalist, magazine editor, assistant to a juggling unicyclist, and comedy columnist on BBC Radio.

Ali describes herself as, at heart, an 11-year-old boy, and as a child spent a lot of time poking about in copses, building dens, climbing trees and digging up stuff.

Ali lives in Southampton with her husband and sons and would never kill a creepy-crawly of any kind. They are more scared of her than she is of them (creepy-crawlies, not her husband and sons).

Ali’s Books

Ali Sparkes wrote the Monster Maker series, the Shapeshifter series, the S.W.I.T.C.H books and some stand-alone novels such as Dark Summer, Whishful Thinking and Frozen in Time. Unleashed -A life and Death Job, is the first title of a new series.

Please click on the book cover to check if the books are available from East Lothian Libraries – remember that sometimes, audio versions are also available if you prefer listening to a book.

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18 Responses to Ali Sparkes

  1. Jenna Primary 5B says:

    I read Bug Battle by Ali Sparkes. It was about twins called Josh and Danny who were given poison by their next door neighbour who lived in a freaky Science house and turned into big hairy smelly bugs.

    My favourite character was Josh because he always helps his brother Danny with problems. Danny loved being a bug at the start and Josh knew it was a bad idea and in the end Danny hated it and wanted to be back to his own self again.

    This book was a whacky adventure story an also contains fantasy.

    I enjoyed it because it was very interesting and good that Josh cared for Danny.
    It was probably best for younger children than me and I am 9 years old.

    I would give it 5/10 because I should have chosen a slightly harder book but it was interesting and Ali Sparkes is a very good Author though.

  2. Emily Blyth 5B Law Primary says:

    Shapeshifter- Finding the Fox By Ali Sparkes
    Dax Jones is the main character, and he is the boy who turns into a fox. A man called Owen Hind whisks him away to a place called C.O.L.A club- Children Of Limitless Abilities. Dax needs to go there because he is the only shapeshifter and needs to be protected. C.O.L.A club is up in Corn Well. The main event is when Dax turns into a fox when he’s at Treegaren College (C.O.L.A club) by will.
    My favourite character is Lisa Hardman, she is a clairvoyant- speak/hears from the dead, and tells the future, she is very moody and is what people call a superstar. A person who always keeps to her/himself and wears expensive and fancy or posh clothes. The genre is animals and magical powers. The moral is never to trust anyone you don’t really know or think is dangerous. I enjoyed it because it gets me intrigued and it made me feel like I was in the story. It made me feel that Ali Sparkes had a great idea and I loved it. I learned that I should never trust anyone I don’t know well. I would recommend this book because after you’ve read it you’ll want to read the sequels. Mark out of 10……. 10!
    By Emily Blyth.

  3. Neil primary 5B Law PS says:

    Book review
    I read Monster Makers Electrotaur and Slashermite by Ali Sparkes.
    It is about two monsters; Slashermite and Electrotaur that come to life. It all started when Jack spilled magical mead on their drawings which makes them come to life. The main event is when the two men are trying to bully their aunt into moving house so they can build flats instead. I think that is very mean and selfish because they had already bullied everyone else in their street to move. The problem is solved when Slashermite hypnotises the two men who are trying to dig up their aunt’s garden and tells them to rethink their lives.
    My favourite character is a boy called Jack who created Electrotaur. He is very smart, sneaky and always brainstorming.
    It is an adventure packed thriller. I enjoyed it because it isn’t what I normally read. I would recommend it because it a very different from a normal book but even better. It different because you don’t get monsters coming to life in every book!
    I think Ali Sparkes is a very talented writer with a brilliant imagination for confident readers. I thought it was awesome!! 10/10 definitely!!!

  4. Charlotte 5B Law primary says:

    I read The Shapeshifter Finding the Fox by Ali Sparkes.
    Dax is an ordinary boy who lives with his step mum and sister. He gets shut in the shed and shifts/changes into a fox! Parliament people take him to a college with lots of COLAS , Children Of Limitless Ability ,he is the only shapeshifter and makes a lot of good friends .Then he realizes he can’t see illusions( one of the cola arts). Big problem when the head, Mr Wood, knows he can’t see them and he uses it to get their attention so he tries to kill him ( he doesn’t trust him , Mr Wood killed another shape shifter before he could come ) .
    It was just right in spelling( So it wasn’t hard spelling) ,it had no illustrations , which I liked and my favourite character is Lisa because she is very moody , bossy and persuasive and thinks she knows best . I would really recommend it
    I think it’s the best! I enjoyed it because I never knew what would happen, it was always the unexpected. The genre is animals /adventure. The theme is that if you really try hard you can get there!
    My mark out of ten is ……………10. Well done, I really do recommend it. I really would not change it because it’s very unique and different. she really has thought about it so much . I would recommend it to readers who like animals and fiction.
    By Charlotte 3rd of May.

  5. Sarah 5A Law primary school says:

    I read S.W.I.T.C.H. Ant Attack by Ali Sparkes.
    The story is about two boys who are twins and they get sprayed with a new S.W.I.T.C.H. spray and they turn into ants.
    My favourite character is Josh because he knows about his insects and reptiles so when they get sprayed he always knows what to do and he is always there for his brother.
    It is a very adventurous book but with some trouble.
    I really enjoyed the book because it had some funny parts with some adventures.
    I would recommend this book for 9 years old because it is for their reading stage and they will really get their head into the book.
    I would give it 10 out of 10 because it was really fun.

  6. Sofia 5A Law Primary School says:

    Frog Freak Out by Ali Sparkes
    I liked the bit when Petty the mad scientist changed Josh, Danny and Charlie into frogs!!
    My favourite character was Charlie because she is funny and when she was a frog she was like weeeeeeee! look at meeee!!!
    I learnt to be careful where you carry things because Charlie dropped the key to the convocation cupboard.
    The genre of the story is action and adventure.
    I enjoyed the book because it was funny and it was quite scary too.
    I would recommend this book to a 10 year old because someone nearly gets killed.
    I loved this book I give it a 10/10! It was so funny!

  7. Meganne Law Primary 5a says:

    Ali sparks – Ant Attack!
    There are two boys called Danny and Josh and they have a next door neighbour called Petty Potts and she has something called a switch spray. If you get sprayed then you will get turned into animals or insects. There are six types of switch sprays, they are all different and Danny and Josh get turned into ants by the switch spray.
    Tarquin is my favourite character because he likes to pull bugs legs off and he is only seven years old and very intelligent.
    The moral is not to be mean to bugs and I learnt from it not to kill bugs because they haven’t done anything to you .
    The genre of the story is action.
    I enjoyed the book because it was very interesting and it was quite funny as well. I would give it 10 out of 10 because it is a .really great book
    I would recommend the book to 9 year olds.

  8. Katie 5A Law Primary School says:

    Dark Summer
    By Ali Sparkes
    Eddie goes to Wooky Hole with his aunt because his mum is ill. He meets a strange girl in the caves and an adventure begins.
    My favourite character is Gwerren because she knows all the good places in the caves and she is really smart.
    I think the genre is action because it is so adventurous in the caves.
    I enjoyed the book so much because it was so exiting in the hole when Eddie was trapped under water.
    I would recommend the book to ten year olds.
    The score is ten out of ten and I hope to get more of your brilliant books.

  9. Owen 5A Law Primary School says:

    Frozen In Time by Ali Sparkes
    The main characters are Ben, Rachel, Pauline and Freddy. It is about a genius scientist who froze his children and a dog called Bessie in cryonic suspension which is having your hearts frozen until someone wakes you up again. They think their dad will wake them up in an hour but their dad disappears mysteriously and they would be in cryonic suspension forever and their stuck in their dad’s lab that’s in Ben and Rachel’s garden. It’s very well hidden underground and Ben and Rachel find it and let them out and they can hardly believe that it’s not 1956 anymore but 2009 they have to adapt to 2009 and find their dad.
    My favourite character is Freddy because it’s funny when he is disgusted when Rachel asks him to wash up and do the ironing.
    The genre is action.
    I liked the book because it’s funny and it has lots of action in it.
    I would recommend the book to people who are age 7 and up.
    I would give it a nine out of ten because it is very interesting and exciting.

  10. Jordan P5B Law PS says:

    I read the book The Shapeshifters Finding the Fox which was about a boy called Dax who could turn into a fox, he was a kind of mutant. His Step mum was really mean and he once he got trapped in the garden shed and because it was really hot and he was dying of thirst, he turned into a fox an in his fox shape he found water in a tyre.
    It is kind of an adventure and I really enjoyed it and would give it ten out of ten, because it is showing you the harm you could do to foxes. If a fox wanders into your shed it would die of thirst. Dax only shifted when he was annoyed and thirsty.
    My favourite character is Dax because he was the main character, he was quite fun and che could shapeshift and that was interesting to read about.

  11. Finn P5B Law PS says:

    I read the book Frozen In Time
    It is about two children Fredrick and Polly whose father Henry Emerson put them in cryonic suspension for 53 years underneath their back garden at Darkwood house. Ben and Rachel their great nephew and niece dig them up and Fredrick and Polly need to try and fit in to 2009. Russia’s government find out about the 63 year old boy and the 62 year old girl and come to try and capture them.
    Rachel delays the helicopter taking off until the police get there and Freddy and Polly get returned to their father who put himself into cryonic suspension. The mystery got solved.
    My favourite character is Freddy because he has awesome roller skating skills and he got used to 2009 really quickly.
    The Genre was an exiting, dangerous science fiction book
    The theme of the story was… never give up
    I enjoyed the book because it was scary, funny and had cliff hangers
    I highly recommend this book because it is exiting, scary and had lots of action in it.
    I would give this book 10/10 and it was the best book I ever read

  12. Phoebe Barber says:

    Wishful Thinking
    Wishful thinking is a really good book because it is so gripping. I think that the fast paced plot and the exciting finish are great! For me, the best bit was when the car fell into the river and I also liked the bits when Abandinus appeared in the car and when Gracie sent out the chain email. You can’t put this book down. I would recommend this book to 9-10 year-olds.

  13. Katharine P5B Law PS says:

    Title: Unleashed
    Author: Ali Sparks
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Brief summary:
    I have read the book Unleashed. It was about 2 girls Lisa, Mia and a man Michael.
    Lisa and Mia and are protected by the government because they have special powers. On their shopping trip they meet a guy called Michael a TV psychic he has a power like Lisa’s but not as good. They save lives and recue a rich girl called Stacey. They were in London for a holiday.
    The main event in the story was when Stacey and Lisa were taken away in a boat; Lisa got saved by Dax and Michael although she could have died, also when Lisa and Michael were on red carpet they tried to save the prime minister from Edwina’s deadly plan. Dax was the saviour then.
    Dax was my favourite character because he saved the prime minister because of being able to change into a falcon.
    I think this story was action packed fantasy.The theme of the story was life and death.
    I enjoyed the book because it was extremely clever and I couldn’t put it down. I loved how you had a spirit guide and you could do mind messages to each other.
    I highly recommend this book because it was exciting, clever and mysterious.
    I give this book 10/10, I think everybody should read this book!

  14. James kinniburgh 5b says:

    I read Frozen in time by Ali Sparkes. The book was about two people who were frozen underground for over fifty years and two children dug a hole in their garden because they were going to go Go karting down it which I think was a silly idea. The heat from the sun thawed the ice and they woke up spent time with the family.
    I found this book very interesting when Freddy & Polly got rescued by Ben & Rachel. My favourite character was Freddy because I really like the stuff that he did.
    I would recommend the book to others and I would give it ten out ten because I thought it was a really good book.

  15. Breanna P5B Law PS says:

    I read the book Frozen in Time. It’s about two kids whose father is a genius and he discovered how to freeze people’s heart and then one day he freezes his kids in a underground chamber and he leaves them there for 53 years and they are stuck there till a girl and a boy discovered them in 2009 and they have to teach them about what kind of stuff there are in 2009 But there is a few side a facts…
    My favourite charter is Rachel because she is all most all ways in the action and when there was a funny bit or a scary bit she was in it. The genre is being frozen in time. The theme is the past and Iwould recommend this book because it’s very good and it gets you intrigued. I would also mark it ten out ten- ten.

  16. Shona P5B Law PS says:

    I read Dark summer
    It’s the summer Holidays and Eddie finds himself drawn to the famous caves of Wookey Hole. He made friends with the ticket seller (Stan). His Aunt thinks Eddie is going bird watching but really he is roaming free in the Wookey caves until he gets lost. When he goes through the crack in the cave wall and Eddie finds a secret quarry and a weird young girl with huge lilac eyes and white hair, when she grabs Eddie’s hand and takes him to the surface where Stan is. He nearly dies in a waterfall pothole. Gwerran is not a full human but she is still there.
    My favourite characters are Kayleigh and Chanelle ,They are cousins of Eddie and are really annoying and disco champions.
    My score for this book is 9/10 , I liked the book because it felt like I was having an adventure myself. It is an adventure and a fantasy book
    I would recommend this book for 12 and under.

  17. Ruaraidh P5a says:

    Title: Monster Makers- Electrotaur and Slashermite
    Writen by Ali Sparkes and published by Scholastic

    The book is about two brothers called Jack and Lewis who draw Monsters.They have an aunty called Thea who has brought a present of Merrion’s Mead for the boys.

    The boys accidently spilled some of the mead on their pictures and their Monsters come alive.

    Aunt Thea is being forced to move house and Jack and Lewis bring in Slashermite and Electrotaur to fight the builders .

    Lewis is my favourite character because he created the Monster called Slashermite- who has sharp claws, sharp spikey hair and he wears funny tartan trousers- I think he is really cool!!!
    I liked everything about the book- it was cool, adventurous and exciting.

    If it was a sleepover and somebody wanted to read a book then I would tell them to read it.

    I give thiss book a score of 10 out of 10- it was awesome!

  18. zarah ayesha says:

    i’ve started to read UNLEASHED alittle a death job its really good e are learning about in school

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