Mary Hoffman
Mary hoffman
Year of Birth
Place of Birth
Hampshire, England
University of Cambridge
University College London
Two elder sisters
Stephen Barber, husband
Rhiannon Lassiter, daughter
Rebecca, daughter
Jessica, daughter
Library Association
Amy Lovell
Suzy Cavendish
Mary Lassiter
Nominated for Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2011)
Current Residence
West Oxfordshire

Mary Hoffman is the author of the Stravaganza series. Overall she has written over 90 books (her first published in 1975); including White Magic, The Falconer's Knot, Troubadour, Amazing Grace series, Special Powers, and David.

Background Edit

Mary Hoffman won a scholarship to James Allen’s Girls’ School in Dulwich, which she describes as “an exercise in punctuation in itself.” Afterward, she attended the University of Cambridge to study English at Newnham College and then spent two years studying Linguistics at University College London. Since 1998 she has been an Honorary Fellow of the Library Association in 1998 for her work with children and schools. She worked at the Open University for nearly five years, contributing to courses for teachers on reading, language and children’s literature. For eighteen years, she was Reading Consultant to BBC Schools TV’s Look and Read series and wrote the teaching scripts. Hoffman has been a freelance, self-employed professional writer and journalist since the mid-90s. She has been nominated for the post of Children's Laureate[1], 2011–2013.

Hoffman lives with her husband Stephen Barber, whom she married in 1972, and three Burmese cats. They have three grown-up daughters, including the writer Rhiannon Lassiter. She moved from London to West Oxfordshire in 2001.[2] She is a vegetarian. Hoffman visits Italy about once a year.

Writing Edit

Mary Hoffman's first book was White Magic, published by Rex Collings in 1975. In total, she has written over 90 books, and now concentrates on longer books for teens, including the Stravaganza series and a new thread of historical novels.

Teen fictionEdit

  • The Stravaganza series published by Bloomsbury.
  • The fantasy novel Special Powers (1997) was republished in 2008 by Barn Owl Books.
  • The historical novel The Falconer's Knot (Bloomsbury, 2007) was shortlisted for The Guardian Children’s Book Award and North East Teenage Book Award.[3]
  • Troubadour published by Bloomsbury (2009)
  • David published by Bloomsbury (July 2011)


She has created 24 picture books, including the three books in the Grace series which have together sold over a million and a half copies. Amazing Grace, published in 1991, made the New York Times Bestseller lists.

Junior fiction and non-fictionEdit

Mary Hoffman has written titles for junior readers' series, including Beware, Princess! the first title illustrated by the British illustrator Chris Riddell. She has also written children's non-fiction.

She has written re-tellings of myths and legends, fairy stories, nursery stories King Arthur and the Bible, including Women of Camelot, which tells the King Arthur stories from the points of view of the female characters. She has also edited collections of stories, including Lines in the Sand (2003) – a response to the allied invasion of Iraq, with all funds raised donated to UNICEF in Iraq. She was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2011.

Books for adultsEdit

Mary Hoffman writes for adults under the names Amy Lovell and Suzy Cavendish. She has written adult non-fiction under her own name and the name Mary Lassiter.


  1. Children's Laureate
  2. [1]
  3. Author Biography: Mary Hoffman (Bloomsbury Publishing)

External LinksEdit