Jonathan Stroud HOME

Lockwood London Fan Event is a Huge Success

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the release of the Netflix show, Lockwood fans gathered in London on Saturday 27th January 2024.

Over 40 LockNation fans, from all over the world, met up in real life, on a cold, crisp weekend, to visit locations used in the show such as Kensal Green cemetery, the house used for Portland Row and the Barbican (Fittes’ HQ).

The day was rounded-off with a screening of some episodes in a private cinema near Brixton. Or that was the plan…

In fact, when Jonathan Stroud and Joe Cornish attended the screening to meet the fans and answer questions, they brought along two surprise guests – Cameron Chapman and Ali Hadji-Heshmati. Such was the delight of the fans, that no actual episodes of the show were screened, instead the time was spent chatting, signing memorabilia and taking photographs.

Lockwood & Co. Netflix Show Highlighted as ‘Best of the Year’

Many media outlets included Lockwood & Co in their round-up reviews of the best TV shows in 2023:

“a fun fantasy romp…filled with mysteries, sword fights, peril and scares, and boasts an excellent 80s Goth soundtrack. “
Den of Geek

“a snappy script and likeable characters”

“a fun and fantastical adventure that was simply a delight to watch.”
Games Radar

“a great cast, nicely pitched retro-future aesthetic, darkly gothic London – that made for charming entertainment. Joe Cornish and team created something special with this.”
The Guardian - Reader Favourites

“This is a spooky, atmospheric, and addicting show that will keep you guessing — and also leaving the lights on at night!”

“…charming characters and eerie aesthetic made it fun and original…one of the best shows for a teen audience released in 2023.”

“[Rubt Stokes’]…performance has a warm charisma reminiscent of Madison Reyes’ charm in the equally-ghost-packed series Julie and The Phantoms. Lucy balances her struggle for confidence with a brave need to see the good in the evilest entities. And Stokes’ undeniable chemistry with Cameron Chapman’s Lockwood empowers her as the two get their flirt on.”

Tell Tale TV chooses their Standout Sci-fi / Fantasy TV Characters of 2023

A New Lockwood Story For Christmas

Festive gifts a plenty this Christmas, as Jonathan Stroud released a brand new Lockwood scene – a gift for his fans.

Lockwood & Co. Graphic Novel Announced!

For Halloween 2023, Jonathan Stroud and ‘Doodling Raka’ announced some very special news - a graphic novel of Lockwood & Co. is in the works!

Lockwood, Lucy, George and Skull are being brought to comic-book life, with Raka’s wonderful artwork and storyboarding.

Initially to be published in French with Rue De Sevres, it is hoped that many more languages will follow.

Stay tuned for more information on this project.

A New Look for Scarlett and Browne!

The cover for the Japanese edition of The Notorious Scarlett and Browne has just been released – and it’s a cracker!

With art by the amazing Shiho Enta and translated by Mizuto Kanehara and Miho Matsuyama, it will be published by Sayzansha on 20th February 2024. 








Archived News . . .

Buzz for Netflix’s Lockwood & Co.!

With the Netflix release of Lockwood & Co. on 27th January, buzz in the media is building. Magazines, newspapers and websites are all choosing Lockwood for their ‘what to watch’ features. Click on the titles below!

Cosmopolitan | Guardian

Hello Magazine | Stylist Magazine | Yahoo!

Plus, there’s a fantastic article and interview with Joe Cornish in SFX magazine:

Good News for Scarlett and Browne!

It’s been a brilliant winter for our favourite Outlaws, with awards success and plaudits galore.

Jonathan joined a live awards ceremony recently, to reveal the winner of the Warwickshire Teen Book Award 2022. He was over the moon when his name was read out – The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne was chosen by local secondary school pupils as their favorite book the year!

The second book, The Notorious Scarlett and Browne, has been chosen as one of the best books of the year by several newspapers, including:

“…a rattling story”
The Spectator

Ptolemy's Gate“Witty and scary”
The Financial Times

“Storytelling of the first order”
The Times

“The characters are brilliant and the writing has great humour that keeps you turning the page to see what will happen next.”
The Reading Agency's Books of the Year! Children & Young People

Lockwood Deleted Scene

Did you see that Jonathan released a deleted scene from The Screaming Staircase?

If you missed it, check it out here:

First Glimpse of Netflix’s Lockwood & Co. Show!

Netflix UK has released some advanced material from its adaption of Lockwood & Co. coming soon to a TV screen near you. The content includes an image of our favourite ghost-hunting trio, a teaser clip from the show and an interview with Joe Cornish, exclusively for Empire magazine.

You can view the clip here.

And check out the teaser poster image:

Also, read an interview with director Joe Cornish in Empire Magazine:

Scarlett and Browne
Movie News!

Phoebe Dynevor to star in James Bobin’s ‘The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne’ for Amazon Studios and Temple Hill Entertainment

Joe Tracz will adapt the script from Jonathan Stroud’s book of the same name

Phoebe Dynevor is set to star in and executive produce The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne for Amazon Studios. James Bobin will direct and Joe Tracz will adapt the script from Jonathan Stroud’s book of the same name. Temple Hill Entertainment will produce.

For more information see:

Critical Acclaim for The Notorious Scarlett and Browne!

Jonathan’s second adventure with our favourite Outlaws, Scarlett and Albert, has received glowing reviews and critical acclaim in the UK since it published in the summer!

It was chosen as The Sunday Times’ Children’s Book of the Week, with a review including this wonderful feedback:

"Humorous, nail-biting and rich in unexpected turns of phrase, this is beautifully constructed storytelling of the first order."
Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times

It was also selected as Dubray Books’ July Teen Recommended Read:

“A thrill from start to finish!”
Éadaoin Kennedy, Dubray Rathmines

More reader and blogger reviews are raving about the second Scarlett and Browne book:

“I've just finished this totally marvellous book! I think it's a rare sequel that surpasses the first!...The amount of action is astounding and brilliantly written. The settings are so vivid and broad and believable. The world is full of dangers and wonder, and the array of characters is a delight - each one brings something different and vital. A must read!
John Lamb, teacher and father.
Via twitter: @Bedemeister

“Full of adventure, mystery, humour and fantasy this book has everything you would want in a story.”
Little Blog of Library Treasures

“ With twists, turns, action and the brilliant sass and sarcasm of Scarlett in abundance (I'd almost forgotten what a brilliant character she was), this really is a great read - a proper 'page-turner'- and sets up the final in the trilogy brilliantly, too.”
What I Read blog

“The second book in this British Wild West-esque dystopia series is another funny romp through a post-Cataclysm Britain, full of bandits, fractured kingdoms, and dangerous secrets. And to top it all off, we get heists (in both high end storage and the buried ruins of an old city), quick talking, and (somewhat clever but involve a healthy dose of luck) plans.”
Sifa Elizabeth Reads blog

“We simply couldn't put it down!”
The Stripey Badger Bookshop and Café, Yorkshire, UK

“This book was incredible! It was full of adventure, fantasy and mystery! It is great to read and one you start to read it you don’t want to stop. I would recommend to ages 10+. Also I would recommend to anyone who loves adventure and mystery.”
Review by a 12yo reader, on Toppsta

A blog tour to celebrate Notorious!

To celebrate UK publication of Notorious, Walker Books UK organised a blog tour with Jonathan.

Want to know if Jonathan found it hard to write a sequel? Fancy hearing his thoughts on the different international jackets for the series so far? Read about these topics and more by following the blog tour posts:

Day 1: An extract on Little Blog of Library Treasures

Day 2: Jonathan comments on the different covers of Scarlett and Browne on Check ‘Em Out Books blog:

Day 3: Jonathan discusses the importance of landscape in his books, hosted by Library Girl and Book Boy blog

Day 4: Exploring the challenges of writing a sequel, on What I Read blog:

The cast of the Netflix Adaption of Lockwood & Co. is announced!

Its been a very exciting month at Stroud HQ – with the cast of the Lockwood & Co TV series being revealed by Netflix, in an article on Deadline.

The three heroic residents of 35 Portland Row are Ruby Stokes as Lucy Carlyle (you might recognise her from smash-hit series Bridgerton), Cameron Chapman as Lockwood and Ali Hadji-Heshmati as George.

The announcement created huge excitement in the Stroud-verse, and for Jonathan himself. He says:

“I’ve seen these guys in action – and they are FABULOUS. Even the skull in the jar was grudgingly impressed!”

The reveal also let fans know the actors playing other key roles, like Flo Bones, Penelope Fittes, Inspector Barnes and more. To read the full information, see the Deadline article here.

The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne – Award Glory!

There are not many literary awards that are voted for and chosen solely by young readers – The Children’s Book Award, coordinated by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, is one. It is therefore doubly thrilling to hear that Scarlett and Browne has been shortlisted for this special prize.

Jonathan’s latest novel has been selected as one of three top books in the older readers category.  The winner will be announced at a ceremony to be held in London in June.

More wonderful award news for Jonathan came through this month, when it was announced that The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne is shortlisted for the CrimeFest Awards 2022.

Selected in the category of Best Crime Novel for Young Adults, the winner will be announced in May.

Fingers crossed for our favourite Outlaws in both awards!

Cover Reveal: UK Cover for The Notorious Scarlett & Browne is here!

The wait is over – at last the world can see the UK cover for the new Scarlett and Browne novel called The Notorious Scarlett & Browne.

Publishing with Walker Books in the UK on 7th July 2022, the second installment in the Outlaw’s adventure promises bandits, buried cities and giant owls.

Who could resist?!

Live Doodling Event is a Huge Success for Charity

This month, Jonathan teamed up with his good friend, illustrator and artist, Raka, to raise money for Unicef’s Ukraine appeal.

Through a wonderful two hour live event on Instagram, fans were treated to hearing Jonathan and Raka chatting, watching Raka create a beautiful piece of bespoke Lockwood art, and even seeing Jonathan turn his hand to some doodling.

The event was such fun and raised over £1000 for Ukraine.

In case you missed it you can watch the whole event on Jonathan’s instagram account (@Jonathan.Stroud) or you can read a summary of the event here compiled by Czenzo:


Exciting news has just been announced: Phoebe Dynevor is to star in James Bobins’ The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne, for Amazon studios and Temple Hill Entertainment.

That’s right – Bridgerton star, Phoebe Dynevor is set to play Scarlett in a film adaption of Jonathan’s book, and she’s also going to executive produce it!

Read more about the news on the Variety website and at the Daily Mail



“Action! Humor! Fantasy! Kicking off a new series with a bang (several bangs, in fact), Stroud sends two young fugitives with murky pasts fleeing murderous pursuers across a fractured future Britain.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A crack-shot bank-robber called Scarlett and her sidekick, Albert Browne, are being pursued across England by sinister forces who want to exploit Albert’s eerie talents. The only flaw is that Scarlett can only function after a good meditation session. Mindfulness? In an adventure story? Really?”
The Spectator

The Outlaws Scarlett and Browe was included in the Reading Agency’s best books of the year. You can see the full list here:

"Stroud builds wonderful fantasy worlds and terrific characters for teen readers who enjoy fast-paced adventure. I recommend any book by him."

 “Scarlett has street smarts and physicality, Albert has poorly controlled explosive power, and what’s left of Britain is variously overgrown, sunken, lawless, beset by cannibals, or repressed by Faith Houses that enforce social order—just the kind of setting where adventure fantasy thrives. Add the razor-sharp banter that delights readers of the Bartimaeus series, and you can lay the smart money on another Stroud winner.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, US

It was also included in’s top 20 books of the year!

Lockwood & Co. TV Series for Netflix is Filming Now!

If you see a suspicious looking person angling a camera at you, whilst hanging around the streets of London past midnight, possibly accompanied by disheveled looking trio – do not be alarmed! For the filming of the Lockwood & Co. TV series for Netflix is taking place right not in the UK’s capital.

Everything is hush hush at the moment, but it was with great excitement that Jonathan visited the set in January 2022 for a nighttime shoot. He says:

“I paid a night-time visit to the Lockwood and Co set last week, on location in ghost-haunted London. I kept myself safe with salt and lavender, and saw many wonderful things.“

Scarlett and Albert Across the Globe!

There are lots of foreign editions of Jonathan’s new novel, each with their own twist on the story in terms of cover art.

The latest is a Japanese version published by Sayzansha Publications featuring a wonderful design! Also don’t miss the eye-poppingly-good Italian version, translated beautifully by Licia Troisi.

The Japanese cover The Italian cover


Awards Galore for our Favourite Outlaws!

The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne has been making big waves in the UK literary awards circuit, with a fantastic number of nominations and short listings. These include:

  • CILIP Carnegie Medal 2022 - nominated
  • Books Are My Bag ‘Readers’ Choice’ Awards 2021 (YA category) - shortlisted
  • The Wirral Book Awards 2021- shortlisted
  • DSBA Reads (Derbyshire Schools' Book Award) 2021 - shortlisted
  • The Grampian Children’s Book Award 2021-2022 - shortlisted
  • The Redbridge Teenage Book Award 2022 - longlisted
  • The Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 2022 (Simply the Book category i.e. 13+)- shortlisted


More Glowing Reviews for The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne!

National newspapers and magazines in the UK have given Jonathan’s new book critical acclaim this month:

“Stroud’s writing is a treat; brilliantly crafted world building, taut action scenes, fabulous villains and witty dialogue. A wild ride indeed, and the first in a series.”
The Observer

“Wanted” a sequel – as fast as you can pull a pistol.”
The Times, Children’s Book of the Week,

“Gunslinging action and pitch-black humour meet post-apocalyptic thrill ride.”
The Guardian

“Jonathan Stroud is an exceptional world-builder…a smart and audacious first volume of a new series.”
The Sunday Times, Children’s Book of the Week

“Fuelled by black humour, this action-packed odyssey grips from the first page.”
The Daily Mail

“A unique blend of Wild West-inspired action and fantasy, this is a brilliant new tale from the author of Lockwood & Co. It's bold, funny and original, and older, more adventurous readers will love it from start to finish.”
The Week Junior, Book of the Week

 “Brilliant from start to finish.”
SFX magazine

"I defy any reader not to fall for Scarlett and Albert, and to become gasp-out-loud, laugh-out-loud invested in their quest."

International Covers for Scarlett and Browne Revealed!

Jonathan’s readers were treated to exclusive glimpses of different jackets for his new series recently. Each cover has a different style, though all seem to have struck a chord with his readers.

The UK cover The US cover The German cover

New Interviews

Want to know where Jonathan got the idea for Scarlett and Browne? How did he create the world? And what is his favourite snack to eat while he writes?!

Find out all this and more in a series of recent interviews with Jonathan:

Words and Pictures magazine: Creative Spaces

Booktopisa, Australia



Books for Keeps

The Pod Around the Corner podcast interview

Blog Tour!

Jonathan’s UK publisher, Walker Books, recently set up a blog tour to celebrate publication of The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne. Check out the articles and extracts here:

Jonathan writes about how he approached his new novel for JTH Books’ blog

The first chapter on Laura Patricia Rose’s blog

Chapter Two, part one on What I Read blog

Chapter Two, part two on Library Girl and Book Boy blog

Jonathan’s five top writing tips on Geek Dad site


“This is a fast-paced fantasy adventure filled with thrills, humour and the most charismatic anti-heroes in teen fiction. It’s a highly anticipated read for 2021, and we’re certain you’ll be gripped throughout and hungry for more adventures by the end.”

“Imaginative, original, taut and with multi-layered protagonists... A wild ride.”
Jo Cotterill, author

“Stroud's talent for creating astonishing yet utterly believable literary worlds is well known - and this is another triumph.”
Fiona Noble in The Bookseller

“Perfectly paced, beautifully written and bursting with black humour and bold ideas.”
Philip Reeve, author

“You won't be able to put this down. A classic in the making.”
Eoin Colfer, author

 “Fast-paced and gripping, this is an action-packed adventure that is the very thing the YA market is crying out for.”
Bonkers About Books, a mother and son blog

“An irresistible juxtaposition of gunslinging Wild West and waterlogged dystopian England… A thrilling adventure in an inventive new world—long live Scarlett and Browne!”
Rebecca Rouillard, librarian and writer

“…one of the most unique books I've read for a long while…the main character Scarlett  is a wonderful flawed heroine, fierce and wild but deep down good and loyal… Cussing, action-packed, scary at points...this is a great start to what I'm hoping will be a continuing series.”
What I Read (RichReadAlot)

“An exciting and masterfully imaginative adventure…I cannot wait to find out what happens next to Scarlett and Browne.”
The World’s Smallest Library, Mrs Sydney, teacher and blogger

“…an amazing, gripping book. Throughout the book there are laughs, shocks and scares… If you enjoy comedy, mixed with thrilling action, this is the book for you.”
Becky, 12 years old, for Books Up North

“…a tantalising book… Stroud really knows how to ratchet up the tension, so even though this book is aimed at young teens and pre-teens, I became quite caught up in the action. I foresee a fantastic adventure series in the offing starring Scarlett and Browne.”
The Cat and the Kindle blog


Lockwood TV show coming soon!

The adaption of the Lockwood & Co. books for television with Netflix has been officially confirmed, moving from ‘in development’ status to ‘in production’ status.

Produced by new TV and film company, Complete Fiction, for streaming on Netflix, casting on the series will happen throughout spring 2021 with filming taking place over the summer.

Lockwood & Co. is one of seven big new series by British creators to be confirmed by Netflix:

Give Bartimaeus for a virtual gift

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, based in New York, has released a new e-book gift set of Jonathan’s Bartimaeus sequence, so now you can give the gift of the books to friends and family anywhere in the world, or download them for your own reading enjoyment.

The blurb for the bind-up says:

Fall into New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Sequence in this complete e-book edition that includes: The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, Ptolemy's Gate, and The Ring of Solomon.

Nathaniel is a young magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But after a devious hotshot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates him in front of everyone he knows, Nathaniel seeks his revenge through magic. He pores over texts and works to perfect his skills to summon the 5,000 year old djinni Bartimaeus -- but Nathaniel may have bitten off more than he can chew, and soon finds himself in a situation more dangerous and deadly than he could have ever imagined.

These four spellbinding tales -- The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, Ptolemy's Gate, and The Ring of Solomon -- invite readers into a brilliantly imagined world that they'll never want to leave.


Jonathan’s Trip To Italy!

Last month, Jonathan flew to Mantua in Italy (called Mantova by Italians) to take part in the city’s Literary Festival, one of the biggest annual gatherings of book lovers in the country. The event was part of the READ ON project, for which Jonathan is patron author of the Fan Fiction Lab element.

It was a packed day meeting fans, signing books, doing an event and being interviewed. Click here to see a video of Jonathan’s day.

And click here to read a write-up from one of the young people involved in the Fan Fiction Lab who got the chance to meet her hero

New Adventures for Bartimaeus!

The Fan Fiction Lab project which Jonathan is partnering with this year, challenges young writers from all over the world to create stories inspired by Jonathan’s Bartimaeus sequence.

Launched a few months ago, the project is yielding fantastic results already – there are some amazing Bartimaeus fan fiction stories on the Read On website. The stories are open to be read by anyone and you can also read Jonathan’s feedback on each piece. See this link:



After last week’s announcement of Jonathan’s new project, THE OUTLAWS SCARLETT AND BROWNE, social media has been abuzz with excitement from his readers around the world. As announced, Walker books will publish Jonathan’s new series in the UK and Commonwealth.

Today (17th July), there is more good news for the series:

In a pre-emptive deal, CBJ Verlag Random House, Jonathan’s longstanding German publisher, will release the series in Germany. The deal was negotiated by Allison Cole, Translation Agent at David Higham Associates.

Book One is set to publish in Germany in Spring 2021, alongside the UK edition.


Jonathan announces new series and new UK publisher!

Today (12th July) sees the announcement of Jonathan’s next project - and a new UK publisher.

The new series is called The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne. It will be published in the UK by Walker Books, in a deal brokered by Walker’s Editorial Director, Denise Johnstone-Burt, and Jonathan’s literary agent, Veronique Baxter at David Higham.

The deal represents a return ‘home’ for Jonathan, who worked as an editor at Walker Books at the beginning of his career in the publishing industry.

Set in a fragmented future England, The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne introduces us to a world where gunfights and monsters collide, and where the formidable outlaw Scarlett McCain fights daily against the odds. When she discovers a wrecked coach on a lonely road, there is only one survivor – the seemingly hapless youth, Albert Browne. Against her instincts, Scarlett agrees to escort him to safety. This is a mistake. Soon, new and implacable enemies are on her heels. As a relentless pursuit continues across the broken landscape of England, Scarlett must fight to uncover the secrets of Albert’s past – and come to terms with the implications of her own.

In his first new project since Lockwood & Co., Jonathan once again fuses action, humour and mystery to create a uniquely exciting adventure with two fascinating heroes at its heart. Book One of The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne is scheduled for a Spring 2021 release.

Jonathan says: “I’m overjoyed to be bringing Scarlett and Browne to Walker Books. This is where everything began for me. Walker wasn’t just my first home in publishing, but the place where I was truly inspired to become an author. I’m hugely excited that this series will become part of the Walker story, and I can’t wait to introduce my new characters to readers everywhere.”


Jonathan Partners with European Fan Fiction Project

Last week, an exciting bit of news was announced - Jonathan is partnering up with a European-based literary project which will see hundreds of young people creating stories based on his Bartimaeus sequence of books.

The FanFiction Lab is one strand of READ ON, a four-year-long project which aims to encourage young people to become active readers and writers. It is part funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. The FanFiction Lab will challenge young people, in Europe and around the world, aged 12 to 19, to use Jonathan’s Bartimaeus stories as inspiration for creating their own work.

READ ON project manager for Italy, Marella Paramatti, comments: “We are thrilled to have Jonathan Stroud involved in the FanFiction Lab. Bartimaeus is the perfect character to inspire young people to write – the stories are funny, adventurous, set in many different places around the world and in lots of different time periods. It’s a rich and engaging universe for young people to use as inspiration to create their own stories. We are very excited to be working with Jonathan throughout 2019 on this project.”

As part of the partnership Jonathan will regularly be reading the stories written by young people, offering his feedback and tips from an authorial perspective. Jonathan will also be travelling to five of the partner countries this autumn and winter (England, Norway, Spain, Italy and Portugal) to meet the young writers, visiting literary festivals and schools, and talking about his Bartimaeus books. It’s a project he’s really looking forward to:

“I’m honoured to be part of the FanFiction Lab project. To see my books, characters and stories used as a springboard for children’s imaginations couldn’t be more exciting. I can’t wait to read where they take Bartimaeus, who he meets along the way and what mischief he gets up to. The highlight of the collaboration for me will be visiting the different countries involved and meeting the young writers face to face.”

The FanFiction Lab project launches today with a video that’s just gone live on the Read On website:

Visit Jonathan's Events Page for details of FanFiction Events in Europe this year.

Carnegie Nomination for Lockwood & Co!

The nomination list for the Carnegie Medal 2019, the most prestigious children’s literature award in the UK, was announced last winter – and it included Lockwood & Co.: The Empty Grave!

Lockwood features alongside tens of other amazing novels – congratulations to all the authors and illustrators chosen!

New Interviews

Jonathan has had a busy few months recording two video interviews where he talks about his writing, characters and where he gets his ideas.

For Listening Books, a service providing a postal and internet based audiobook service to over 50,000 members who find it difficult to read the printed word in the usual way, Jonathan starred in the Ask An Author feature – where an author answers questions from fans and readers around the UK. Check out Jonathan’s characteristically witty and insightful thoughts here:

Over the pond, American blogger and author, Seth Adam Smith, interviewed Jonathan via skype for his YouTube channel, A Literal World. Seth has created two fascinating video segments from the interview:


Jonathan also chatted with podcaster-extraordinaire, Tim Clare, about his books and stories. Tim’s podcast, Death of a Thousand Cuts, is a fantastic series offering practical tips and advice for aspiring writers. Hear Jonathan and Tim’s podcast on this link:

Freedom To Think New Podcast

This spring the second Freedom To Think podcast went live – this time featuring Jonathan chatting with award-winning author SF Said.

Discussing their writing process, multiple drafts, the discipline of sitting down at your desk daily and more, check it out on any of the platforms below. As SF tweeted “If you want to know secrets writers only tell each other – have a listen!”



F2T site:



Jonathan Out and About

Jonathan is busy writing and working on a new project this spring, but he has taken some breaks from his office to meet his readers and fans!

At Claremont Fan Court School in Surrey, Jonathan brought the world of Lockwood & Co to life as part of the school’s World Book Day Week celebrations. Read more here:

Jonathan attended the ceremony of the St Alban’s Book Award in the new year, chatting with the young people gathered about his writing and answering their questions on what life is like as an author. He was also privileged to be able to announce the winner of the book award: The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Fan Art

There are some amazing artists and scribblers creating fan art inspired by Lockwood & Co!

If you have a spare moment and want to check out how other people imagine Lockwood’s world, search the hashtag #Lockwoodart on twitter.

Latest Lockwood Reviews

The Week Junior says of The Screaming Staircase: “A fantastic supernatural tale”

Elitist Book Reviews raves about The Empty Grave: “I don’t want to give away the story because it’s worth reading the amazing revelations for yourself: from Lockwood’s history, Lucy’s hopes for the future, and what may very well become a solution for the Problem plaguing London, England. So I’ll just say that if you’ve been reading this series, the ending is everything you’ve hoped for, and so much more.”

Bestselling Artemis Fowl author, Eoin Colfer, is interviewed for SyFyWire and says he’d love for Artemis to hang out with Bartimaeus: “I would love Artemis to meet up with Jonathan Stroud’s genie Bartimeus. That is a whole lot of mischief in one book. The worlds those two could conquer together.”

More Lockwood Reviews

Glowing reviews continue to stream in for the fifth and final Lockwood & Co. installment.

The Evening Standard included The Empty Grave in their Best Books for Older Children feature, saying “The last of Jonathan Stroud’s fabulous Lockwood and Co series was a cue for the usual fight between me and my son as to which of us could read it first. The Empty Grave is a terrific read, bringing to a conclusion a series based on the premise that London is victim to a plague of ghosts, with our four heroes a kind of teenage spectral Rentokil. Quite, quite, brilliant.”

The Metro chose Jonathan’s book in a round-up of spine-tingling novels, commenting “A brilliant culmination to a splendidly scary series”

In a Christmas round-up of the best books for young adults, the Financial Times selected The Empty Grave saying “The last in the series about the teenage ghostbusting team brings together all the strands of the series in a big-bang finale.”

Literary Review chooses the new Lockwood book in its 2017 round-up: “Lucy, the narrator, is as bold and charming as ever; her companion, a grumpy skull, provides moments of light relief. Lockwood, our stylish hero, faces some serious dangers, including a visit to the world of the dead. This is a superb novel, and I recommend the whole series to any child.”

Popular reviews site, Dead Good Books, recommends The Screaming Staircase as a best read for young people: “Sherlock meets Ghostbusters in the first in this chilling new series full of spooky suspense, supernatural beings and a good dose of humour added in. It’s a real page turner with a deliciously creepy atmosphere. Enjoy it if you dare.”

Respected literary reviewer, Andrea Reece, chose The Empty Grave in Books for Keeps magazine’s best books of 2017: “Jonathan Stroud’s ghost-hunting Lockwood & Co series reached its thoroughly satisfying conclusion this year with book five, The Empty Grave. Intelligent, well-written, full of action and starring characters readers have come to love, I feel almost bereft knowing there won’t be a new episode in 2018.”

Crime Review heaps praise on the latest Lockwood book: “There are some series you just don’t ever want to end – and Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co falls into that category for me.”

Highly respected American review magazine, Booklist, picks The Empty Grave in the Editor’s Choice for 2017: “A first-rate adventure story, full of memorable, original characters.”

LoveReading4Kids included The Empty Grave in their best books of 2017 round-up: “dicing with the dead has never been so thrilling”

London Mum’s Magazine also rates the last Lockwood book: “a breath-taking finale to the bestselling series.”

Author Non Pratt chooses her favourite books for 2017 on popular blog site YA Under my Skin. Non says: “Witty, scary, thrilling and intricately plotted, packed with set pieces, dead-pan dialogue it was everything I could possibly have wanted in a finale.”

Zoe Toft, blogger ‘Playing by the Book’, chooses The Empty Grave in her best books of 2017 round-up for Achuka magazine: “The weight of such expectation hangs on the final book of any much loved series, but The Empty Grave is more than a worthy finale for the fabulous Lockwood & Co stories. Funny as ever, packed with rich characterization and breath-holding developments, The Empty Grave not only answers important questions from earlier in the series but also delivers a deeply satisfying new scary storyline to salivate over.”

The Empty Grave’s rating on GoodReads stands at a mind-blowingly brilliant 4.6 out of 5, calculated from over 3000 reader ratings!


News from 2018 . . .

Jonathan is a Patron of Reading!

This spring, Jonathan Stroud has been appointed as Beechwood Park School's first ever Patron of Reading. The role will see Jonathan undertaking activities throughout the calendar year of 2018 including author talks, creative writing workshops, judging writing competitions, suggesting reading lists, presenting awards to Year 6 pupils at the school's summer Booker Prize Awards ceremony and more.

Liz Green, librarian at the school in Markyate, Hertfordshire, says:

"We are delighted that Jonathan has agreed to take this position, and are looking forward to working with him as our Patron of Reading throughout 2018."

Jonathan accepted the role with delight:

“I’m truly thrilled to be Beechwood Park’s first ever Patron of Reading. Books are a vital part of every childhood – for the doors they open, for the worlds they unlock, for the new dreams and possibilities contained on every page. They send the imagination soaring and they help us forge an understanding of who we are.

During my patronage I hope to inspire Beechwood Park’s students to explore their own creativity, to give them writing tips and helpful feedback, and to join in a school-wide discussion about the books and authors that enthral us all.”

What is a Patron of Reading?

A Patron of Reading is a school's special children's author, poet, storyteller or illustrator. The school and their patron develop a relationship over a period of time. Everything the patron does is related to helping encourage and develop a reading for pleasure culture in the school: book quizzes, blogs, book recommendations, discussions, plays, poetry bashes, blogs, book trailers and visits. The possibilities are virtually endless.

For more information see

Readers Create Lockwood Content!

One of the best things about being an author for Jonathan is seeing his readers enjoying his worlds and characters so much that they create their own content inspired by his stories. From the plethora of amazing fan art based around Lockwood (google Lockwood fan art) to a new fanzine and podcast, it’s thrilling for Jonathan to see his work explored and admired by his readers.

A brand new Lockwood & Co fanzine has just been launched, which features loads of wonderful fan art, interviews with contributors and more. Check it out here:

Also just launched is a podcast called Ghost Buddies created by two fans, Kate and Emma. In the podcast Kate and Emma answer questions about Lockwood and enthuse about the series.


News from 2017 . . .

Reaction to The Empty Grave

October 2017 saw the publication of the fifth and final Lockwood book, The Empty Grave, and the early reviews are glowing with praise:

“Stroud at the top of his game.”
The Financial Times

“The Empty Grave is a satisfying conclusion to a brilliant series.”
Luna’s Little Library blog

“It is just as fun and exciting as the other four Lockwood books. It’s a delight reading about such warm humour and wit, friendship and romance.”
The Bookwitch blog

“Action, suspense and sometimes sheer terror are well blended and tempered with a touch of humour. This is the thrilling finale to the multi award-winning series, and the excitement and tension are held right to the very end.”
Parents in Touch

“Stroud brings his intricate, series long storyline to a close with a complex, dramatic climax followed by a simple, satisfying conclusion. A first-rate adventure, full of memorable, original characters.”

“This book runs to 530 pages, and honestly, I can’t think of another writer who makes an epic story so very accessible.”
Jo Cotterill, author

“Great characters, plenty of humour and some deliciously indulgent gruesomeness – what's not to like?”
The Bookbag

“If you are looking for something thrilling, witty, clever and sharp as a rapier blade then the novels of Mr Stroud should be near the top of your TBR pile… Lucy Carlisle is the person you want to guide you through this cracked and damaged landscape but the team we have come to love - Lockwood, George, Holly and even the redeemed Quill and the Skull in the jar will all be lucky to get through this 'alive'... my heart was in my mouth. W.O.W!”
The Alligator’s Mouth bookshop blog

“One last haunting and one epic finale is a fitting end to a fabulous series. But we’re sad to say goodbye to Lucy and Lockwood.”
WRD magazine

“Jonathan Stroud uses language like a master, never pretentiously but with a skill that evokes in his reader vivid  images of his characters and their world.”
Magic Fiction Since Potter blog

Lockwood on Tour!

Jonathan has been travelling the trains and road networks of the UK this autumn on an Empty Grave promotional tour organised by his UK publisher, Penguin Random House. During the tour Jonathan has met thousands of young people, sold hundreds of copies of the book and inspired lots of new readers and writers. For some photos of the events see:
Jonathan is going to do one more big schools event in November to round off the tour for the 10th anniversary of the Swindon Youth Festival of Literature. Click here for more details.

Video Interview

Jonathan was interviewed via the internet for a‘15 Minutes With…’ slot for Booktrib in the US via Net Galley.

To watch the brilliantly entertaining and insightful interview follow this link:

TV Deal Announced for Lockwood & Co!

Today, it has been announced that Big Talk Productions have signed a deal to adapt Lockwood & Co. for television. 

Big Talk’s credits include feature film, Baby Driver, and, currently in production, Joe Cornish’s new movie; The Kid Who Would Be King, for 20th Century Fox. For TV, Big Talk have made Cold Feet (ITV), Rev (BBC) & Friday Night Dinner (Channel 4).

Rachael Prior, Big Talk's Head of Film, comments: 

"Big Talk are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Jonathan’s amazing Lockwood & Co universe to TV. We’ve been passionate fans of this series of books for a long time, and feel a great affinity with their distinct Britishness, innovative world building, vibrantly drawn characters and absolutely joyful command of genre. Lockwood & Co will be a highly original, distinctively authored, ghost-detective show to enthrall audiences of all ages.”

THE EMPTY GRAVE publishes this week in the UK so the announcement is great timing.

Jonathan Stroud says:

“I’m hopping with delight at the prospect of Lockwood being brought to the screen by Big Talk. I’ve loved so many of their movies over the years – their unique sensibility blends comedy, adventure and horror beautifully, and is in perfect synthesis with Lockwood’s world. I can’t wait for us to take up our rapiers, salt bombs and iron chains and get to work.”

First Reviews of The Empty Grave!

The fifth and final installment in the Lockwood & Co series, The Empty Grave, is already garnering critical acclaim with some glowing reviews just in:

“Stroud’s prose is evocative…his humour is also perfectly judged, never undermining the terror, but allowing the reader to bask in the camaraderie of London’s smallest, most slapdash and unlikely ghost-hunting agency, the eponymous Lockwood and Co. Throughout the series, he has achieved great feats of ­characterization, from the deadpan narrator Lucy Carlyle, most eloquent in what she leaves unsaid, to the pasty, steatopygous George Cubbins, doughnut fiend and sagacious researcher, and elegant Anthony Lockwood, bereaved as a child of his parents and sister and overshadowed since by a foolhardy fascination with death.”
Time Literary Supplement

“An expertly crafted concoction of gut-wrenching fear and side-splitting hilarity”
Sci-fi Bulletin

“A devilishly good combination of engaging cast, memorable locations, comforting food and delicious pace all sewn together with seriously good, unaffected writing, The Empty Grave is the full monty; entertainment, excitement and intelligence sprinkled with wit and verve and sparkling throughout with an endorphin-laced exploration of a liminal frontier – in this case the very boundary between the living and the dead. The Empty Grave is a fitting and extraordinary end to a remarkable series; I am very envious of those who are yet to discover Lockwood & Co. for themselves.”
Playing by the Book blog

Covers for The Empty Grave revealed!

The fifth and final installment in the Lockwood & Co series, The Empty Grave, will be coming out in September 2017.

To whet your appetite, Jonathan has shared the American and British covers for the book, which look fantastic!

The UK jacket (below, left) features George for the first time, which has pleased many of Jonathan’s fans, and the US jacket (below, right) continues the series look of an object relevant to the story looking as creepy as possible.

Let Jonathan know what you think of them via twitter @JonathanAStroud

Media Coverage for The Creeping Shadow

The latest installment of Lockwood & Co continues to receive glowing reviews.

In a round-up of 2016’s best books for young people, The Irish Times chose The Creeping Shadow saying: “very clever, very spooky and very exciting.”

In another 2016 round-up, the Evening Standard recommends the book, saying: “The arrival of a new book in Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood and Co series cheers up my entire year.”

The Guardian chose The Creeping Shadow as one its picks of the year: “Stroud’s nerve-shredding ghouls, laconic hilarity an intelligent character development make him a must for fiction aficionados with an iron nerve.”

The Week recommends the book too: “Featuring action-packed battles and supernatural artefacts, this spine-chilling adventure is the perfect ghostly read.”

Respected American review publication, Booklist, gave The Creeping Shadow a starred review saying: “The wry first-person narrative is a pleasure, relating the story with an impeccable, understated sense of drama. Appearing at chapter headings, Adams’ dark, richly atmospheric, and often ghostly vignette drawings can make even a sandwich look downright sinister. Stroud’s scene setting and storytelling are second to none, but it’s his ability to create credible, idiosyncratic characters and relationships that creates avid fans of the Lockwood & Co. series.”

Respected literary blogger, The Bookwitch, writes: “I really, really like these books…If you’ve not started yet, do so before it’s too late. Before they get you. Ghost-touch is no joke.”

LoveReading4Kids reviews The Creeping Shadow: “Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co series…is simply superb. Each episode offers a first-class helping of brilliantly-written, edge-of the-seat adventure packed with intrigue, humour and even a touch of romance, and I can’t think of another modern series that makes for quite such entertaining reading…Unmissable”

Sci-Fi bulletin has this recommendation: “Hilarious, gripping and truly chilling, The Creeping Shadow artfully sets the stage for the doubtlessly unforgettable finale to come.”

Crime Review’s write-up says: “The characters are sparky, the dialogue is witty…this is young adult writing of the very highest quality.”

Children’s book radio show, Down the Rabbit Hole, picks out the new Lockwood book as a highlight new publication:

Award Nominations

Our favourite ghost-hunting trio continue to be nominated for literary awards around the world (little do they realise their notoriety!):

The Creeping Shadow was nominated for a Good Reads Choice Award in the middle grade category.

The Screaming Staircase is up for the Leicester reading Rampage Award. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in June this year.

The Hollow Boy scooped the top prize of an Indonesian awards - the Paranormal & Supernatural Fiction awards.

Meanwhile, the Swedish audio book for The Hollow Boy has been nominated for the Stora ljudbokspriset award (loosely translated to Great Audio Book Award).

New Interviews!

While Jonathan was in the US this autumn he took part in events and signings at YALL Fest held in Charleston. During the trip he was interviewed by a site called Adventures in YA Publishing. Here’s the interview: 

Also during his US tour, Jonathan was interviewed on camera for NCTV’s ‘Authors Revealed’ slot. Watch the interview here:

Lockwood Fan Art Competition – Winner Announced

The winner of the Lockwood fan art competition is this brilliant pencil drawing of Lucy and a very creepy skeleton. Congratulations to the artist, Connie Turner.


First reviews of The Creeping Shadow

The first reviews of the new Lockwood & Co installment are coming out in the media and blogosphere – and they’re glowing with praise!

The Financial Times chose The Creeping Shadow as one its top picks for the autumn, saying “The Creeping Shadow is the penultimate volume in a series that reads like the Famous Five fused with HP Lovecraft…It’s cosy and terrifying; no matter how ghastly the apparition, Lockwood & Co always find time for tea and cake.”

Parents in Touch magazine writes: “This is a totally compelling series with a high level of tension maintained throughout; it's certainly spooky, but the characters are so well depicted that you feel you are right with them through their adventures; it's not bedtime reading!”

Author and blogger, Jo Coterill, has this to say of the fourth Lockwood book: “The writing style is as accessible as ever, containing frequent moments that made me snort out loud…The plot is gripping, but what makes this book sing, as with all the others, is the characterisation. Lucy Carlyle is hands-down the strongest female protagonist I’ve come across in a long time…a brilliant grab-you-by-the-lungs comic horror.”

Sneak Peek of The Creeping Shadow

This month Jonathan will release an extract from The Creeping Shadow, the fourth Lockwood & Co. book.

You may remember the cliffhanger ending of The Hollow Boy, and be desperate to know what happens next. Well, the wait it almost over - you can read the first chapter of the new book from Thursday 14th July at 5pm UK time. There will be a link to it from that time on The Creeping Shadow page.

The Creeping Shadow Cover Revealed

In June, Jonathan revealed the UK cover of The Creeping Shadow to the world, with a fantastic reaction. He followed the reveal with a facebook live chat, which is always a fantastic chance for him to connect with his readers and fans across the globe.

More Awards for Lockwood & Co!

This spring, The Screaming Staircase was awarded a top literary prize in France - the Prix Chimère 2016. Lockwood won the prize in the 11-14 years category. The Prix Chimère recognizes and awards books in the ‘imaginative’ genre so that might be sci-fi, fantasy, horror, or in the case of Lockwood, a mixture of all three.

The prize is organised by school librarians from all over France, and the winners are chosen by a voting group of young people and teenagers.

Feedback from the first Freedom To Think Event

In April, the Oxford Literary Festival hosted the first ever Freedom To Think event all about creativity. It was called THE GREAT BRITISH CREATIVE CHALLENGE!

Jonathan chaired a talented panel including Abi Elphinstone, Alex Wheatle and Chris Riddell. The panel discussed their creative roots as children, how they developed their artistic passions in to careers, and how they carve out space now to explore their imaginations. There was also a hilarious live creative challenge where the audience shouted out items and creatures for the panellists to draw - Chris and Alex conjured up a burrito-wearing cutlery fish, and Alex and Jonathan designed a werewolf going to a party.

The event was proudly support by children’s newspaper, First News, which backs the campaign’s concept and, via the paper’s stories, quizzes, competitors and more, it encourages children to explore and enjoy their creativity.

After the event, the authors all signed books for the audience. For photos of the event see:

Jonathan’s Latest Interviews and Articles

Grab a cup of tea and catch up on the latest interviews and articles by Jonathan:

Jonathan wrote about Lockwood fan art for the Guardian, who also hosted a gallery of fan images of Anthony, Lucy and George:

Jonathan was interviewed by Graham Marks about Lockwood and Freedom To Think for the Just Imagine newsletter this spring:

Jonathan took part in a radio interview for a show called Down The Rabbit Hole, which is all about children’s books. You can catch up on the interview and hear Jonathan reviewing other new books for young people here:

Reviews for The Hollow Boy!

Lots of lovely praise and glowing reviews for the latest installment of Lockwood & Co.:

A review of The Hollow Boy by top bookseller and Lockwood fan: Darran Stobbart:

The Horn Book Review raved about The Hollow Boy:

“Readers are once again treated to inventive world-building, memorable characters, and edge-of-your-seat pacing—with dashes of sardonic humor (cue the skull in the jar) and signature snacks (cue the cheap sausage rolls, bacon-flavored chips, and chocolate fudge cake).”

The School Library Journal said of the third Lockwood book: “Pleasantly nightmare-inducing and as captivating as its predecessors. Fans of the series will anxiously await Lockwood and Co.’s spine-tingling adventures in the next installment.”

The Spectator gave the latest installment of Lockwood the thumbs up saying “Brilliant as ever.”

The Independent on Sunday reviewed The Hollow Boy:

“Witty and inventive, Stroud always provides plenty of excitement without ever losing the essential good humour found in his works. Writing horror stories which somehow avoid coming over as genuinely horrific is a rare gift, and Stroud is a worthy successor to those authors of adventure stories in the past who also set out to entertain without unnecessarily upsetting more sensitive readers. His ghosts lack any detailed psychological hinterland from their past lives; they are primarily there to frighten before being destroyed. Rhetoric is absent in favour of Lucy’s often self-deprecating account of herself and her friends, unheroic in what they say and do until coming to a climax when they all excel. Younger readers may well have a fight on their hands with older members of the household for first go at a novel that is such a continual pleasure to read.”

A Guardian reader review praises The Hollow Boy:

“I would recommend this thrilling novel to boys and girls 9 upwards. I really enjoyed it so much that I hope there will be yet another book soon to follow in this fabulously told series.”

Lockwood 3 was reviewed on An Awful Lot of Reading blog:

“I love this series so much, the characters are funny, the plot intertwines everything neatly so we see both character development and action sequences, and the ghosts are awesome. I can't wait to see what happens next, there was something of a shocking ending and I need to know how things work out!

Join Lockwood & Co for live, online murder mystery game!

If you haven’t yet taken part in a Lockwood Whodunit, you’ve missed out.

Every Friday 13th this year, a game is being run asking fans and readers to join Lockwood’s psychic detection agency to solve a case.

The third Lockwood Whodunit will take place this month, on Friday 13th November, and it promises to be the hardest case to crack so far.

Fans of Jonathan’s books and readers from all over the planet are invited to take part in the game. All you have to do is follow the clues throughout the day and piece the evidence together, to discover the haunting, the source and the story behind the paranormal goings on. It is your chance to discover what life is really like for the ghost hunters in Lockwood’s London.

Follow the clues on twitter under the hashtag #Lockwoodwhodunit or on facebook at Jonathan’s fan page:

See you there, if you dare!

Another Starred Review for The Hollow Boy!

Lockwood, Lucy and George must be jumping for joy in Portland Row this week as the story of their adventures receives more critical acclaim.

The School Library Journal has awarded The Hollow Boy a starred review, saying:

“Pleasantly nightmare-inducing and as captivating as its predecessors. Fans of the series will anxiously await Lockwood and Co.’s spine-tingling adventures in the next installment.”

Top Literary Award Nomination!

In thrilling news this week, Lockwood has been nominated for one of the most prestigious British literary awards – the Carnegie Medal. The Whispering Skull is on the nomination list, voted for by UK librarians, alongside the crème de la crème of the British publishing world.

To see the full nomination list see:

Congratulations to Jonathan (and Lockwood, Lucy and George of course!).

Latest reviews for The Hollow Boy!

The Hollow Boy was published last month in the US and UK and already we are seeing glowing reviews online and in print:

The Independent on Sunday dedicated a large review column to The Hollow Boy saying: “Younger readers may well have a fight on their hands with older members of the household for first go at a novel that is such a continual pleasure to read.”

Little Luna’s Library loved the third Lockwood book: “I continue to adore the world Jonathan Stroud has built, the writing and characters.”

Fellow children’s author Jo Cotterill was filled with praise: “Gosh, these books are funny. They really are – I can’t possibly work out how it’s done, because basically they’re horror (and I don’t like horror) but they make me laugh out loud on a number of occasions.”

The Bookwitch is one of the most respected and influential book bloggers in the UK; to receive a glowing review from her is high praise indeed. The Hollow Boy was lucky enough to get her seal of approval:“This is another jolly, thrilling and amusing installment in the Lockwood saga.”

Blogger Stephen at Dark Readers is a huge Lockwood fan: “This is a fantastic series, and also one that's very visual…”

Last, but not least, The Book Bag gave their verdict on the third installment of Lockwood & Co. saying: “Oh, this series is brilliant! Spine-creeping terror is balanced by the kind of throw-away comments that will have readers snorting with amusement and the drama never lets up until the very last paragraph of the very last chapter.”

Other Lockwood Media

On top of reviews of The Hollow Boy, Jonathan’s name has come up elsewhere on the internet this month.

When Jonathan toured America last month he did an interview with a food blogger who is a huge Lockwood fan. The interview went live this week and is a brilliant snap shot of the inspiration behind Lockwood, how Jonathan writes and what his favourite food is:

A mention for Lockwood & Co. on Den of Geek this week, in an article about books being developed into films. No new updates on the Lockwood film just yet, but nice to see it amongst this list.

More Honours for Lockwood

Two great bits of news just in for our ghost-hunting trio - The Whispering Skull has been longlisted for the prestigious UKLA book awards. These British awards are the only national awards judged entirely by teachers and the longlist includes the crème de la crème of the authorial world.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony held in July 2016. For the first year the award is being sponsored by LoveReading4Kids which has set up a special webpage for the longlisted titles:

Secondly, The Hollow Boy has been awarded a top honour in the American library world: a Junior Library Guild Selection in for Fall 2015. For more information see:

The Hollow Boy launches in the UK!

The end of September saw publication of The Hollow Boy in the UK to a fanfare of applause, virtual and actual, from fans and readers. Jonathan did a fan Q&A on GoodReads on publication day (see his answers here), the first (and very positive) reviews came in (see below), a funny article about characters’ clothing by Jonathan went live on the website (visit the page here) and Jonathan held a launch event in London.

The launch party was held in Daunt Bookshop in Chelsea and a wonderful crowd of booksellers, librarians, teachers, book bloggers, reviewers, readers and more came out to celebrate the new adventure of Lockwood & Co. Guests played a ‘guess where the ghost is’ map game and let their creativity loose on Lockwood’s ‘Thinking Cloth’. Jonathan also took the chance to speak about his new creativity campaign, Freedom To Think, which hopes to see children given more time to be creative and use their imaginations.


Read about the event and see photos on Jonathan’s blog, and check out the write-up by Shelley from book review site, Love Reading, here:


The Hollow Boy US Tour a Huge Success

Last month Jonathan travelled thousands of miles around the US talking about The Hollow Boy, meeting readers and signing books for fans. The tour was the first time Jonathan’s been paired up throughout with another author; he and Eoin Colfer did every event together and got on like a house on fire (that means really well for anyone who doesn’t know that very English saying!).

For photos and to hear about their travels see Jonathan’s blog:


First Reviews of The Hollow Boy

The first reactions to the third Lockwood & Co. installment are in and they are glowing with praise!

“Publication of a new Lockwood and Co adventure must qualify as one of the literary events of the year. Jonathan Stroud not only writes like a dream, he creates some of the most inventive, most exciting storylines around. Each Lockwood adventure raises the levels of tension, as plots thicken dangerously, and our affection for his teenage ghost hunters grows. In this story, there’s a terrifying outbreak of paranormal activity in Chelsea that leaves all the Psychic Investigation Agencies baffled. Can Lockwood & Co find the source? The appointment of a new assistant, the charming Holly, has introduced strains that weren’t there before, and after a shattering climax Stroud leaves the reader on a massive emotional cliffhanger. Book four can’t come soon enough!”
Andrea Reece on LoveReading4Kids

Booklist, a well respected book review magazine in the US, awarded The Hollow Boy a starred review saying: “From the banter among the young associates at Lockwood & Co. and the flaring of unruly emotions to the well-choreographed fight scenes involving monstrous spirits, Stroud brings his considerable storytelling skills to bear in this riveting sequel to The Screaming Staircase (2013) and The Whispering Skull (2014)”.

Book blog site, Jennyopolis says: “I love that you never know where these books are going. Stroud never breaks any rules of his universe, and he manages to deal out new bits of information to get characters out of situations without it seeming like he’s scrambling to make up explanations as he goes.”


Details about the third title in Lockwood & Co. series revealed!

This summer the first details about the next installment of Lockwood & Co have been released. The book will be called The Hollow Boy and it will be published in America on 15th September, the UK on 24th September, and Germany on 26th October. Other international editions will be published thereafter.

Jonathan has given a sneak preview of the book:

“In The Hollow Boy there’s a sudden outbreak of ghosts in London, and Lockwood, Lucy and George have to try to get to the bottom of it. On the way, though, they have to deal with a trail of bloody footprints up a spiral stair, a murderous ambush in a London Street, and something very sinister lurking in a big department store… In short, there are lots of thrills, jokes and cliff-hangers, and I had a great time writing it. I really hope you’ll enjoy it too.”

The UK jacket will be revealed on Good Reads later in the summer. The US jacket and the German cover are already in the public domain and both look fantastic:

To support the global publication of The Hollow Boy, Jonathan will be spending the autumn touring, meeting fans face-to-face and online via social media. Confirmed so far is a publication tour of America with Disney Hyperion in late September, a UK events tour in October and November, a Friday 13th (November) online detective game called #LockwoodWhoDunIt run by Jonathan’s UK publisher, Penguin Random House, and more to be firmed up too.

For more news of The Hollow Boy watch this page and keep an eye on Jonathan’s twitter account too:

Jonathan Stroud launches Freedom To Think Campaign!

This summer, Jonathan Stroud is launching a campaign close to his heart – it’s called Freedom To Think and its aim is to help children unleash their imagination through regular, dedicated, creative ‘free time’.

Jonathan has long been aware of children’s increasingly busy lives, their schedules packed with homework, play-dates, chores or after-school clubs. It was this awareness that inspired him to create the campaign: “My older children, aged 11 and 8, seem busy all the time. It’s all good stuff – both stimulating and educational – but they often don’t have time or space to be creative in their own right. This got me thinking.”

Freedom To Think suggests parents and carers ring-fence at least one period each week for their child as unstructured thinking time. Within this period, it’s up the child to choose their activity and to direct their play. The campaign will provide a space online for parents and children to capture their creative moments, and it will offer inspiration via monthly activity ideas.

Jonathan continues: “I think all parents would agree that play is an invaluable part of their children’s lives. Crucially and above all, of course, it’s about having fun. But it does other things too. Through play kids learn to be creative – they make things, they improvise, they follow the implications of their own ideas. And it gives them better self-knowledge, helping them to understand the world and their own place in it. In short, it’s an essential part of their personal development.

“As families and as a society, we need to allow children to play – we have to make it a priority. I think even a little extra focus could make a big difference.”

To find out more about the campaign see  and follow news on twitter on @iamfree2think

Jonathan will be supporting and promoting the Freedom To Think campaign alongside his work as an author.

Awards Success!

The Lockwood & Co. books have received more literary accolades this summer, much to Jonathan’s delight!

The Screaming Staircase has won the Hampshire Book Award, voted for by young people aged 11-13 from 50 secondary schools in the county. There will be a ceremony held in the autumn for Jonathan to collect the award in person.

The audio book version of The Whispering Skull has been named a YALSA Amazing Audiobook! The judges of the award commented “The spine-tingling performance of Lyons’ narration will keep listeners on the edge of their seat.” It’s a double triumph for Lockwood - The Screaming Staircase audio book also made the list in 2014.

You can read more about the YALSA Amazing Audiobooks list here:

Sherlock Holmes inspires Lockwood & Co.

The Guardian (UK) published an article by Jonathan earlier this year about his lifelong admiration for Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Jonathan explains that his early love for detective stories, and specifically Holmes, directly fed in to the inspiration for Lockwood & Co.

The Dagger in the Desk publishes!

The Lockwood & Co. short story, The Dagger in the Desk, has been published as an ebook, complete with the story itself and an illustrated guide to the ghosts and ghouls found in Lockwood’s London.

Jonathan wrote the short story in 2013 in conjunction with the Guardian’s website – it was an innovative project that saw the story created interactively with young readers in the UK. The children chose the setting, the title, the ghost and the jokes. Every day Jonathan would log on and write the next installment based on the children’s votes and suggestions.

At only 49p it’s an irresistible download – either for readers who are yet to discover Lockwood’s world and want to try it, or for committed fans who are looking for more adventures, laughs and scares from our favourite ghost hunting trio.

Download now on one of the links below:

There’s also a review of the story on the respected blog site, Pewter Wolf:

“For those of you curious over this series and wondering if this would be good starting point to see if you like the writing, I would say yes. You get a feel for the world…and with this, you get a tiny galley of the ghosts and an sneak peek of Screaming Staircase so if you like it and want to read more, you can read that and see if you like it.”

Reviews Round-up

Some fantastic Lockwood reviews have gone live this month, here’s a run down:

Ann Giles, aka the UK’s much respected book blogger, the Bookwitch, reviewed The Whispering Skull saying:
“This is quality reading for young and old. Bring on those ghosts, but first hand me my rapier!”

Middle Grade Mafia blog site recently reviewed The Screaming Staircase:

 “Fans who love Dr. Who, Men In Black, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom will love this series. Sorry for thinking of movie and a television shows for examples, but I’ve never really read anything like this in children’s literature before.”

The Guardian posted a review for The Whispering Skull:
“The amount of suspense was terrific and I can't wait for book three in the series. I would recommend it to children 10+ who enjoy ghostly scares, thrills and throw your head back laughter. A great suspenseful read, go check it out!”

And Lockwood was also chosen in the Guardian’s best books of the year round-up by blogger, Amazing Earthling:
“…it was great, really gripping.”

Serendipity Reviews Blog loves the latest Lockwood installment too:
“I would recommend these for when you want a fast-moving, entertaining read with likeable central characters – and you love a mix of eerie and funny.”

Primary Times magazine picked out The Whispering Skull in their recent book reviews:
“A gripping story full of surprises – some quite gruesome, with a real cliff hanger ending that will leave you desperate for the next book!”

Also, this month, some reviews for other books by Jonathan:

Book Marked Pages blog reviewed The Amulet Of Samarkand:
“The Amulet of Samarkand definitely lived up to, and is worthy of the praise it received. It is an imaginative, witty and thoroughly entertaining novel set in a universe where the veil between our world and the world of the demons can be breached.”

Jonathan’s book for Barrington Stoke (a specialist publisher for reluctant and dyslexic readers) called The Ghost of Shadow Vale was reviewed this month by the respected Fantasy Book Reviews site:
“The Ghost of Shadow Vale is the perfect read near a roaring fire with a slice of cake and a hot drink.”

Costa Book of the Year

At the start of the year, the category winners for the Costa Book Awards 2015 were announced, including the winner of the children’s category as judged by Jonathan. Kate Saunders’ Five Children on the Western Front scooped the win for the kids prize.

Since the category announcements, Jonathan has been furiously reading other category winners as he was invited to join the judging panel for the overall Costa Book of the Year award. The winner is announced this week at a ceremony in central London which Jonathan will attend. Watch this space for the judges’ best book of the year.

The Dagger in the Desk

You maybe remember, in 2013 Jonathan teamed up with the Guardian to write an online, interactive Lockwood story for Halloween where the readers took control of the story. It was an incredible week: kids inventing ghosts they’d like included, choosing where the story was set, what strange and funny events took place. Every day Jonathan would log on and write the next installment based on the children’s votes and suggestions. The result was the short story, Lockwood & Co: The Dagger in the Desk.

It is hugely exciting to announce that this story will be published as an e-short by Hyperion in the US and by Penguin Random House in the UK on 9th February 2015. The e-short also includes illustrations and descriptions of the various types of ghosts in Lockwood’s world.

If you have a spare half an hour, do download it and read it over a cuppa – a little extra Lockwood to add to your day!

Costa winners announced!

The category winners of the Costa Books Awards 2014 have been announced, including the best children’s book, which was co-judged by Jonathan.

Jonathan, alongside his fellow judges Lorna Bradbury and Jake Hope, chose Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders as the best book in the children’s category. Of the book the judges said: “This profoundly moving and magical story tackles the biggest themes – love, family and friendship – set against the horrors of WWI. Kate Saunders’ astounding achievement is to have created a modern masterpiece that captures the spirit of a much-loved classic.”

Click here for a brilliant interview with Kate Saunders in the Telegraph

Congratulations to all the winners – and the judges too of course!

More Christmas round-ups choose Lockwood

The national newspapers have been selecting their best books for Christmas and their top reads of 2014 – and lots of them have included Lockwood!

The Financial Times chose Lockwood & Co. The Whispering Skull saying: “Plenty of humour alongside the chills”.

The Metro picked out Lockwood commenting: “Seriously scary, brilliant prose.”

While the Evening Standard had this to say in their round-up: “Set in a London beset with ghosts and a crying need for child ghost-hunters, it’s a world with a Linnean system of apparitions, prescribed rules for dealing with them and no obvious need of adult chaperonage for teenagers. A blissful read.” 

The School Run website selected Lockwood in their best books for children this Christmas: “There are heart-stopping moments aplenty in the second, chilling installment of the adventures of London's smallest, shabbiest and most talented psychic detective agency. Apparitions, phantoms, coffin-looting... this is definitely not a tale for faint-hearted children.”

And there was more non-Christmas-related love for our ghost-hunting trio hot-off-the-press this week:

Darran who works at Waterstones Durham reviewed the second Lockwood book:
 “Yay! I was immediately sucked straight back into the haunted realm of Stroud’s series, it was almost like I’d never been away…They truly are an ensemble cast on the same footing as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, and The Whispering Skull is proof that this series is gripping, fun, chilling and so much fun.”

Raziel’s Book Recommendation blog says of The Screaming Staircase:
 “All in all it’s a fantastic read and this series doesn’t get enough love.”

Another blog, Books, Literature and Writing, run by Madelyn, reviews The Screaming Staircase and includes a wonderful ‘which character from Lockwood & Co are you’ quiz – we highly recommend it!
“A fantastic mix of suspense/thriller and paranormal YA, this book is great at unsettling your stomach and making the reader feel as if the shadows by the bathroom door may perhaps be a vengeful toilet ghost.” 

Looking for A Good Book is another blogger fan of Lockwood:
“The story alternates between fast-paced, breath-taking action and a flow of story-line information, seeded with an appropriate amount of humor to relieve tension… The Whispering Skull is a great book.”

Latest reviews, reviews, reviews!

A plethora of recent glowing reviews for Lockwood & Co: The Whispering Skull:

“A page-turner at its peak, Jonathan Stroud has written another rip-roaring success of a story that has all the chills and thrills of the first book and the added depth of characters and their relationships that build over time and develop” raves Sister Spooky blog.
Read more

“The Whispering Skull 100% delivered a steaming hot and delicious pizza pie of satisfied high hopes” says Book Punks blog.
Read more

Books 4 Teens love the latest Lockwood instalment: “The Whispering Skull is a brilliant read especially at this time of year. This review doesn’t really do it justice but trust me it’s brilliant – plot twists, humour, ghosts and a mystery to solve – what more could you want?”
Read more

Thirst for Fiction blog comments: “an entertaining read that can be enjoyed without too many goose bumps.”
Read more

“The Whispering Skull is an impressive addition to the Lockwood & Co. series, expertly managing to avoid the infamous sequel slump while simultaneously laying the groundwork for what promises to be another exciting adventure.  The next book cannot be released too soon.” writes Pages Unbound blog.

“Jonathan Stroud is a genius for plotting” says Sonder Books blog.

Some reviewers are catching up on the Lockwood series, and have just posted reviews for The Screaming Staircase:

SF Crowsnest blog says: “It is smart, funny, witty and genuinely frightening in all the right places.”
Read more


Halloween this autumn saw a lot of love for Lockwood & Co:

The Guardian showed the world what ghosts actually look like in a Guide to Ghosts inspired by Lockwood and described by Jonathan:
Read more

There was also a Guardian competition for young fans to invent their own ghost and be in with the chance of having their ghost appear in the third Lockwood book!
Read more

The Independent newspaper reviewed its favourite Halloween books this autumn, choosing The Whispering Skull as it’s best book for older readers saying: “A dashing teenage hero, a ghostly cult leader and a girl gravedigger with serious personal hygiene issues are just some of the delights that lie in wait in The Whispering Skull, Jonathan Stroud’s second book in the Lockwood & Co. series.”
Read more

The World Book Day website’s best Halloween picks included our very own ghost-hunting trio:
Read more

The Scotsman also chose Lockwood in their Halloween round up, commenting: “The story is just as spooky, and brilliantly told as the previous instalment  - which admittedly you don’t need to have read first, but why miss out?”

To mark the spooky day, Waterstones’ website featured an article called ‘Books to make your toes curl’ and said of The Whispering Skull: “It’s a little bit Sherlock Holmes, a little bit Skulduggery Pleasant, with a terrifying haunted house thrown in for good measure. You definitely won’t be disappointed.”
Read more

UK Mums website showcased an amazing Halloween haul, which included Jonathan’s book:
Read more

Meanwhile, a ‘Thrills and Chills’ blog tour in America saw book blogs hosting articles written by Jonathan:

Fashion for ghost-hunters appeared on My Friends are Fiction blog:
Read more

5 Questions with Jonathan Stroud was hosted on The Midnight Garden blog:
Read more

The Social Potato took readers in to Jonathan’s life as an author through a photo tour of his office!
Read more

10 Great Horror Films appeared on For the Love of Words:
Read more

Costa Book Awards

As you may know, Jonathan is a judge of this year’s Costa Book Award in the children’s category.

This month he met with his fellow judges; literary consultant, Jake Hope, and book critic, Lorna Bradbury, to debate the shortlist. Their choices were announced on Radio 4’s Front Row this week.
Read more

More Literary Awards!

More award shortlistings this month as the list for the Warwickshire Secondary Book Awards is announced and The Screaming Staircase has made the cut!

The complete shortlist includes:

• The Bubble Wrap Boy – Phil Earle
• The Company of Ghosts – Berlie Doherty
• The One Safe Place – Tania Unsworth
• Phoenix – SF Said
• Gabriel's Clock – Hilton Pashley
• The Screaming Staircase – Jonathan Stroud

Students in years 8 and 9 all over Warwickshire will now be reading the shortlisted books and voting for their winner, which will be announced at a ceremony in March 2015. Fingers crossed for a Lockwood triumph!

Best Books of the Year

Towards the end of each year, the media, book bloggers, reviewers and librarians often choose their favourite books that were published throughout the year. It’s thrilling to see Lockwood make it on to one of the first of these lists – the Waterstones Bookseller’s Best Childrne’s Book for 2014! Emy, from Waterstones Bath, comments:

“Brilliant horror for 9-12s with a well thought out alternative world, fast-paced adventure and shining glimmers of humour. It’s an incredibly enjoyable read.”
Read more

Latest Lockwood Reviews

More glowing reviews for Jonathan’s new series appeared on the web this month:

A Keyboard and an Open Mind blog gave The Whispering Skull 5 out of 5 stars:

The Online Eccentric Librarian says of the second Lockwood installment; “This was one of my favorite reads of the year.”

Stephen at Dark Readers blog has review The Whispering Skull this month:
 “This was a cracking read, that packed a punch to the very last word and I eagerly look forward to tacking future cases with Lockwood and Co.”

Also don’t miss Stephen’s hilarious application letter to Jonathan within the review!

Meanwhile, an American book blog, The Midnight Garden, is hosting a virtual Halloween Chills and Thrill tour, which launched this week with a guest Q&A with Jonathan (look out for the ghostily author photo!):

Of Lockwood & Co. the blog says: “I love how the books feel both modern and classic, how the narrative is both elegant and humorous, and how genuinely shivery some of the scenes are.”

The blog of the Williamsburg Regional Library caught up on the first Lockwood & Co. story when they reviewed The Screaming Staircase: “Fast moving, witty, and nicely creepy, the series is written for a middle grade audience, but entertaining enough for any age that appreciates a good ghost story.”

Lockwood is a favourite with bloggers

Award news: The Screaming Staircase has won a category in the Book Blogger UKYA Awards this week!

All book bloggers in the UK were invited to choose their favourite books and authors in a variety of categories and, to great whoops of joy in the Stroud household, Lockwood came out on top in the paranormal novel category.

The bloggers, who give up their free time to review and recommend books in the UK, are a special bunch of people - passionate, knowledgeable, discerning, magnanimous – this win really is a great honour.

For the full list of winners see the post on A Daydreamer’s Thoughts blog below or follow the conversation on twitter at #bbukyaawards.

More Award News

Award news just in – The Salford Children’s Book Award has shortlisted The Screaming Staircase in their 2015 award!

Lockwood will now battle it out against the other five shortlisted titles as students from 18 schools in and around Salford will vote for the winning book - to be announced at a ceremony held in March next year.

Good luck Lockwood!

Heroes of the Valley chosen as a classic

The Sunday Times has put together a list of its favourite ‘100 Modern Children’s Classics’ (chosen from the past 10 years) and it’s thrilling to see Jonathan’s stand-alone 2009 novel, Heroes of the Valley, has made the selection!

See the full list here (warning: pay wall on all content in The Times):

Buzz for The Whispering Skull reaches fever pitch…

Our favourite ghost-hunting trio have been unleashed for a second adventure in the US for a couple of weeks, and this week they’ll enthrall readers in the UK when The Whispering Skull hits bookshops on Thursday. The buzz around the latest Lockwood installment is palpable and growing. Check out this selection of reviews just in:

Hidden In Pages blog on The Whispering Skull:
 “I love the world, the characters, and the creepy ghost stories. Highly recommended to those who love paranormal ghost stories.”

The Book Faerie reviews The Whispering Skull:
“…at the end of the book, there's a door opened that I'm sure is going to segue into another book in the series.  I'm glad about that!”

Mega bestselling author Rick Riordan celebrated publication of the second Lockwood installment in the US on his blog:

The School Library Journal on The Whispering Skull:
“The plot gallops along at a breakneck pace, giving little respite from the horrors within. For fans of scary fare, this page-turner is a dream (or nightmare) come true.”

A starred review in Kirkus for Lockwood II:
“If you’re a fan of swordplay, ghost stories and snark, go out RIGHT NOW and pick up the first book…Fingers crossed that Jonathan Stroud will keep these books coming for a ZILLION YEARS.”

Blog of a Bookoholic comments:
“…an utterly, hair-raising, heart-racing story that will have you at the edge of your seat.”

Books Aplenty blogger is a Lockwod fan:
“Once again Jonathan Stroud has created a complete and compelling world… Outstanding, Mysterious, and Creepy.”

A glowing review from this SciFi review site:
“Another highly entertaining adventure. 9/10”

Blogger and reviewer Lucy Catton proves the power of hand-selling books in her review of The Whispering Skull:
 “Have you ever walked into a bookstore and bought a book you’ve never heard of by an author you’ve never come across, purely on the strength of a recommendation from the staff? That’s how I came across the first Lockwood & Co. book (The Screaming Staircase) – and I am so glad I did. I LOVED it so was over the moon to be sent the second instalment to review… creepy, fast paced and full of action… I loved it just as much as the first book.”

Dogo Books enjoyed the new Lockwood:
“…another amusing, chilling, and ingeniously plotted entry in the critically acclaimed Lockwood & Co. series”

Looking for a Good Book blog site catches up on The Screaming Staircase:
“…the perfect blend of humor and horror… a remarkable read.”

The Horror and Hope of Lockwood & Co

Jonathan has done a Q&A for American entertainment news site, Hypable, to celebrate publication of The Whispering Skull in the US.

Read the ‘Horror and Hope of Lockwood & Co.” here:

Australian Awards News!

A few months ago, Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase was longlisted for an Inky Award, a prize presented by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria, Australia. This week, the shortlist was announced at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival and Lockwood has, thrillingly, made the list! The winner will be chosen by votes from young readers and the most popular book will be announced at a ceremony on 21st October. Keeping our rapiers crossed for Lockwood.

More boosts for Lockwood’s ego!

Our favourite ghost-hunter must be getting a big head by now, the reviews and awards are coming in thick and fast! This month’s update:

The Screaming Staircase was reviewed in The Sun, one of the UK’s biggest papers. They said:

“…the first in a new series that promises suspense, humour and things that go bump in the night…For Lucy Carlyle things are about to get scary. 4/5”

The Screaming Staircase has been shortlisted for the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 2015! In its ninth year, this regional literary prize is voted for by young people in the UK and, more recently, now takes votes and feedback from readers around the globe. Fingers crossed for Lockwood when the winner is announced in spring 2015.

Lockwood’s first installment is also shortlisted for The Weald Book Award 2015, a Sussex literary prize voted for by young people from seven local schools. The winner of the award will be announced in March 2015 at a presentation attended by the shortlisted authors (rapiers at the ready!).

Also up for glory in the US, The Screaming Staircase has been chosen as one of 20 books to compete in the St Louis, MO, annual book battle. This sees 20 books go head-to-head with over 30 teams of middle-school students reading the books, voting and being tested on them. Jonathan will take part in the battle by contributing a blog entry later in the year.

There have been two sci-fi/fantasy conventions going on in the UK this month, Nineworlds and London Comic Con. Although Jonathan wasn’t in attendance, his physic detective agency didn’t miss the chance for self-promotion (!) - postcards and Lockwood goodies were up for grabs for fans who attended.

Countdown to The Whispering Skull begins!

The chance to get your hands on The Whispering Skull is almost here! With just over a month to go, buzz is building and the first copies have arrived hot-off-the-press.

Watch this space for reviews, giveaways, event images and more as the next step in Lockwood & Co’s adventure unfolds.

Click the covers below to pre-order The Whispering Skull at Amazon in the UK and US.


Review of The Screaming Staircase

The Evening Standard newspaper featured a great review of Lockwood & Co in a recent summer books round-up:

“For older readers, let me commend the first in the series Lockwood and Co, The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (Corgi, £7.99), one of those books you take with you to the bath. It’s set somewhere in modern London but it’s curiously old-fashioned in feel — about a trio of young, professional ghost-hunters in a Britain where ghosts have become a national problem. It has that crucial element of internal coherence, whereby you buy into the world that’s being described. And it’s packed with bloodcurdling spectral incident.”

First reviews of The Whispering Skull!

As publication of the second Lockwood & Co. book, The Whispering Skull, approaches this September, the first reviews are cropping up. The first is from Kirkus, an influential literary review magazine in America - they give Jonathan’s latest ghost-hunting adventure a starred review:

“An occult portal and its spectral guardian nearly cut short the careers of three rising young ghost hunters in this madcap sequel to The ScreamingStaircase (2013).

Continuing their predilection for falling into predicaments that require rapier work and fast exits, psychic detection agents Lockwood, George and Lucy are reluctantly hired by Scotland Yard to track down a mystical old "bone-glass" no sooner found in the arms of a moldering exhumed corpse than stolen. As everyone who has looked into this small but potent artifact seems to have either been driven insane or eaten by rats (or both), police and psychic black marketeers are equally eager to get their hands on it.

In fine form, Stroud sends Lockwood & Co. on a trail that leads from an upper-crust social event to the mucky margins of the Thames and into dust-ups with thugs, rival agents and carloads of ectoplasmic horrors that can kill with just a touch. Lucy's cautionary "If you're easily icked-out, you might want to skip the rest of this paragraph…"goes for more than one grisly passage. For all their internecine squabbling, the three protagonists make a redoubtable team—and their supporting cast, led by the sneering titular skull in a jar, adds color and complications aplenty. Rousing adventures for young tomb robbers and delvers into realms better left to the dead.”

Another Whispering Skull review from Moon Shine Art Spot blog:

“The author of the blockbuster Bartimaeus series delivers another amusing, chilling, and ingeniously plotted entry in the critically acclaimed Lockwood & Co. series.”

And a final one from Luna’s Little Library blog:

“It took about a sentence for me to be completely hooked and I loathed having to put the book down. I’m completely sold on the world-building, so much so I was half expecting fog and/or ghosts to start floating from the page…The Whispering Skull is thrilling storytelling at its best.”


Jonathan does YALC!

Last weekend London was host to the first ever convention for Young Adult fiction in the UK. Held as an off shoot of the London Film and Comic Con at the Excel Centre in Earls Court and curated by Children’s Laureate, Malorie Blackman, YALC saw a coming together of the crème de la crème of the YA authoring world.

Jonathan took part in a panel event called ‘Bring Me My Dragons’ – the event was packed with readers of all ages who had some insightful and interesting questions, and the signing queue afterwards snaked through the convention. A wonderful event and everyone’s keeping their fingers crossed for YALC to become an annual event.

The Screaming Staircase is Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month!

July is such an exciting time, the paperback of The Screaming Staircase is publishing all over the world and in the UK it’s been chosen as top booksellers Waterstones’ book of the month for children.

As part of this major promotion, a bookseller from Waterstones Durham (Darran Stobbart) has written a blog about Lockwood & Co for the Waterstones website. Darren says: "a series to capture the imaginations of children, hooking them on to reading".

And Jonathan’s written a very funny guide to writing ghost stories – a must read this one!

Jonathan has been on the road this month to support the Waterstones promotion. He’s taken the heady Lockwood mix of danger, spookiness, action and humour to schools around the south east of England in conjunction with several branches of the book store (Bedford, St Albans, Milton Keyes, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds). Jonathan also popped in to branches to sign books in Berkhamsted, Richmond and Teddington, so if you live nearby do pop in as they’ve got signed copies.

Twitter abuzz with Lockwood fans!

With the release of the paperback of The Screaming Staircase, fans of Jonathan’s have been posting review links to twitter. Here’s a round-up of their verdicts:

“Think Harry Potter, Sherlock, and Ghostbusters all mashed together: that’s Lockwood & Co. It’s a great new series that middle schoolers, teens, and adults will love.”

“A creepy mystery, rich descriptions of a haunted London and masterful storytelling combine to make The Screaming Staircase irresistible summer reading fun!”

“Please pass on my thanks to Jonathan Stroud, for keeping me awake all eyes are gritty from lack of sleep, the children ate chocolate cake for breakfast because I inadvertently slept in, and they decided cake was better than cherrios.  So my children are wired on sugar, I am confused because of lack of sleep.......and I couldn't be happier. The Whispering Skull was worth it.”
Caitie Canon on

“Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense, and humor in Jonathan Stroud's internationally best-selling Bartimaeus books will be delighted to find the same ingredients, combined with deliciously creepy scares, in his thrilling and chilling Lockwood & Co. series.”

 “★★★★★ It's the Young Ghostbusters!”

“This is the first book I have read by Jonathan Stroud and I can't believe I haven't read any of his books before. I really enjoyed this a lot, and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.”

Hazel West on

“Man, this book was awesome and impressive… Honestly, I have troubles deciding which is this book’s strongest asset – the narration, the characters, or the mood/atmosphere? All of them were absolutely well done and written that’s it’s hard to pick. It’s that amazing.”

An early review of The Whispering Skull too:

“After reading The Whispering Skull, I can definitely recommend this series for middle grade readers of dark fiction.”

Austrian prize glory

Thrilling news just in: Lockwood has won a literary award in Austria – in fact, it’s won two!

The Screaming Staircase was voted the best book in the Austrian Young Critics award in two different age categories – a first for this award!

Jonathan’s novel has won the 12 year old age category and the 14/15 year old category too – a double win!

Jonathan has actually won this prize previously – in 2007 for the Bartimaeus trilogy, so it’s a great honour to be chosen top of the pile again by young readers in Austria.,0,0&LNG=de


Best Book Award ceremony update

Jonathan attended a star-studded event in central London on Wednesday 2nd July to find out the winners of the Booktrust/Kindle Best Book Award for which The Screaming Staircase was shortlisted.

Unfortunately it was not Lockwood’s day, and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid scooped the 9 – 11 year old award. But Jonathan had a fantastic day meeting over 300 children who had voted in the award, the judging adults who chose the shortlist and all the other authors and illustrators up for prizes.

The final list of winners is:

0-5 Years: Best Picture Book - Peck Peck Peck by Lucy Cousins
6-8 Years: Best Story Book - Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis
9-11 Years: Best Story Book - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
9-11 Years: Best Fact Book - Operation Ouch! by Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tulleken
12-14 Years: Best Story Book - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


The Screaming Staircase WINS the WeRead Prize 2014!

In a ceremony held in University College School in Hampstead, London, yesterday, Jonathan Stroud was announced as the winner of the WeRead Prize 2014!

To say Jonathan was shocked to hear the result is an understatement: “I was so surprised I barely knew what to say, but I’m thrilled at being awarded such a fine prize.”

Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase scooped the top prize of this literary award which is in its sixth year and is voted for by students from schools in and around London. It’s co-organised by the wonderful independent bookshop in south London, Tales on Moon Lane, who were in attendance on the ceremony day making sure things ran smoothly and books were available for sale.

Jonathan continues: “What’s great about the prize is that it’s entirely voted for by young readers from many schools, many of whom were at the event today.”

This prize brings Lockwood’s awards success to 10 shortlistings and 4 wins. Fingers crossed for the Booktrust Best Book Award ceremony next week on 2nd July too.

For more information about WeRead see:

Huge congratulations to Jonathan (and Lockwood, Lucy and George of course)!

Breaking news: Jonathan Stroud will judge the Costa Book Awards 2014

Jonathan Stroud is delighted to announce he will be one of three judges awarding the Costa Children’s Book Award 2014! Jonathan will adjudicate the award with his co-judges, Lorna Bradbury, reviewer at The Telegraph newspaper and Jake Hope, renowned literary consultant.

Jonathan, Lorna and Jake have a busy summer ahead reading over 100 books and then, through the autumn, they must choose their favourite by mutual agreement. The judges are asked to rate books according to “a combination of three characteristics - great writing, a good read and of broad appeal.”

The winner of the award will be announced in January 2015.

Video interview for Germany

Whilst Jonathan was on tour in Germany in the autumn he recorded a filmed interview with Jugend Buch Blog – and the interview has just gone live on the link below. Also interviewed is Judith Hoersch, the actress who travelled the country with Jonathan doing readings in Lucy’s voice.

More praise and accolades for Lockwood!

An amazing review of Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase has gone up online this week by author Jo Cotterill, who says:

“I should have read this book sooner. It’s BRILLIANT… And wow. I mean, really – wow. It’s THAT good. And not at all what I was expecting.”

It always means a lot when another author writing for young people reviews a book, and this one has got everyone on Team Lockwood smiling. A big thank you to Jo.

Another glowing review can be found this week on a website called Good Books for Kids. Reviewer, Pam, comments:

“I could gush on but it comes down to this. THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE is a fabulously Good story with good characters and solid world-building.  I adore this book and HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.”

Thanks Pam!

Also this week we heard that The Screaming Staircase has been included in The Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2014 Edition, in the 12 – 14 years category. The list includes 600 books and is chosen by the Children’s Book Committee at the Bank Street College of Education in New York, US. Committee members consider “literary quality and excellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers” when making their selection.

It’s fantastic Lockwood has ticked all these literary boxes to make it in to the list!

Lockwood gets a new look in the UK!

This summer (July) sees the release of The Screaming Staircase in paperback in the UK and across the world. For the UK market, Random House has designed a new look – a striking image of Lockwood  himself slightly silhouetted with the moon behind him. This bold new look promises to attract a new sets of fans, and is sure to grab the eye of younger readers too.

Here’s the new jackets as modeled by two advance copies which landed on Jonathan’s desk this week.


Lockwood nominated for an award in Japan

The Screaming Staircase has been nominated for a literary award in Japan – the Sakura Medal 2015.

Started in 2006, the Sakura award is voted for by 15,000 school pupils across 20 schools all over Japan. For more information about the award see:

It’s thrilling to see Lockwood shortlisted for awards across the globe – it shows the true international appeal of ghosts and Jonathan’s books!


Lockwood scoops Look Hoo’s Reading Award!

This weekend, Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase has won the Look Hoo’s Reading inaugural book award, making it one of the top three winning books on their recommended reading list.

The final list of winners is:

Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
More Than This by Patrick Ness

Congratulations to all three winning authors!

Also, more award news just in: The Screaming Staircase has been shortlisted for the North Carolina Young Adult Book Award (NYCA) 2014. Voted for by students across North Carolina, the winning book will be chosen in March 2015 – good luck Lockwood!


Lockwood & Co.:The Screaming Staircase has made it on to another highly prestigious list – the ‘CCBC Choices’ - an annual list of the best books of the year chosen by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center in Wisconsin, USA.

The complete lists, for both young readers and grown-up readers, can be seen here:

Congratulations Lockwood!

Lockwood US tour: a huge success!

Jonathan’s four-week tour of the US is now finished and he’s back at home, resting, recuperating and writing.

It was an amazing tour – filled with the most enthusiastic young readers, booksellers buzzing for Lockwood, brilliant librarians and teachers and some amazing event venues.  It included the Texas Library Association annual conference and a glitzy awards do in LA. To read all about the tour and see photos from the road, see Jonathan’s blog:


Announced today, 27th March: Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase is shortlisted for a Booktrust Best Book Award!

This is a major UK literary prize and run in conjunction with Amazon Kindle. It selects only the best books of the year to make the shortlist, so it’s a complete honour to have Lockwood up for the award.

The complete shortlist for the 9-12 category is:

  • Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
  • The Jade Boy by Cate Cain
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
  • The Mysterious Misadventures of Clemency Wrigglesworth by Julia Lee

To see the shortlists for the other categories visit:

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London in early July.

More award shortlistings

The Screaming Staircase has been shortlisted for the Look! Hoo’s Reading literary award, a brand new prize set up by the people behind the Hoo’s Kids Book Festival (which Jonathan took part in last year). The prize will choose three winning books in early May that will become the Look! Hoo’s Reading recommended reads.

Also Lockwood has been shortlisted for an Australian literary award: the Inky Awards are presented by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria for local and international fiction, and Lockwood is on the list!

Well done Lockwood!

Awards tally!

The running awards tally for Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase is an impressive and wonderful 11 awards:

L.A. Times Book Award – shortlisted
YALSA Amazing Audiobook for Young Adults 2014 – winner
Edgar Award - shortlisted
Carnegie Medal 2013 – nominated
Cybil award – winner
The Northern Ireland Book award – shortlisted
Look! Hoo’s Reading Award – shortlisted
Inky Award 2014 – shortlisted
Worcester Teen Book Award – shortlisted
WeRead book award – shortlisted
Redbridge Children’s Book Award – longlisted

Watch this space for more award news soon.

Spring media round-up

Washington Parent magazine have given Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase a glowing review saying: “There's fast-paced action, humor and a rich sense of setting.”

Christchurch, NZ, has chosen Jonathan as their author of the month this spring:

More awards for Lockwood!

The award news keeps coming in, and this time it’s for the audio version of The Screaming Staircase. The YALSA has chosen the audio book read by Miranda Raison as an Amazing Audiobook for Young Adults 2014, saying: “…an interpretation that ranges from creepy to hilarious”.

Summer reading across UK libraries

Every summer The Reading Agency in London works with thousands of libraries throughout the UK on the Summer Reading Challenge – a scheme designed to encourage kids to use their library in the holidays. For the first time this year a list has been put together recommending books for the 8000 teenage volunteer helpers of the scheme. The teenage volunteers are a vital part of the SRC scheme - they help libraries to run the project, from setting up displays, to helping children choose books; from monitoring stock levels to giving out certificates at the end of the holidays.

It’s very thrilling to hear The Screaming Staircase has been selected for ‘The Summer Reading Challenge 2014 Teen Collection’ as it’s been called.

Jonathan has worked with libraries during the Summer Reading Challenge for years, it’s a project he passionately supports and he is therefore delighted to have Lockwood on the recommend teen list.

Jonathan supports local writing competition

Jonathan is once again supporting the Berkhamsted Writing Competition, in aid of the St Francis hospice trust. Jonathan worked with the competition organisers last year to encourage children and grown-ups to write short stories based on a theme, and Jonathan then judged the young people’s category.

The year the theme for the competition is ‘beginnings’ and it was launched at Waterstone’s Berkhamsted at en evening event with Jonathan, adult-category judge Catherine Alliott and literary consultant Alison Baverstock.

Amazing Award News!

Hugely exciting news this week that Lockwood & Co.:The Screaming Staircase has been shortlisted for the L.A. Times Book Award 2013! One of only two finalists in the books for ‘young readers category’, the winner of this prestigious award will be announced at a ceremony in LA in mid-April. Fingers and rapiers crossed everyone!,0,6943176.story#axzz2tmvZJm00

Also exciting news from the digital world – Lockwood has won a Cybils award. Set up and voted for by book bloggers, these awards reflect an appreciation for a book from the online world, and it’s completely thrilling they’ve chosen Lockwood as a winner.

Nomination for an Edgar Award!           

Breaking news – it has just been announced that Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase is nominated for an Edgar Award, a major literary award in the US celebrating the best mystery writing.

This year is the 205th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, in whose honour the awards were created. Lockwood faces some tough competition, the compete shortlist for the ‘juvenile’ category is as follows:

Strike Three, You’re Dead by Josh Berk
Moxie and the A
rt of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne
P.K. Pinkerton and the Petrified Man by Caroline Lawrence
Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in New York on May 1st 2014. We’ll keep you posted on Lockwood’s chances.

New year – new reviews

2014 has been kind to Lockwood already, with some glowing reviews:

“Fast moving, witty, and nicely creepy, the series is written for a middle grade audience, but entertaining enough for any age that appreciates a good ghost story.”
Blogging for a Good Book, the blog of Williamsburg Library in the US

A blogger coincidentally called Jonathan has recently reviewed Lockwood: “The Screaming Staircase is one of the most fun books I've read all year. It is the sort of fantasy that doesn't get too caught up in itself…Seriously. Jonathan Stroud rocks.”

Australian newspaper, The Age, gave their verdict on Lockwood: “Stroud juxtaposes laughter and screams in an effervescent fantasy cocktail.”

A reader review went live on The Guardian website at the very end of last year: “This book is brilliant. I am really looking forward to finding out more about the background of the main characters in book two. This is a book for readers who are looking for originality, humour and excitement with a spooky touch that is not too scary.

Lockwood was chosen as a highlight of 2013 by The Daily Telegraph here:

The Bookwitch also voted for Lockwood as one of her favourite reads of last year:

More Award News!

It’s so exciting to hear Lockwood being nominated for literary awards – to know that young people around the world are reading it and choosing it out as their top read.

This month two prizes have nominated The Screaming Staircase for an award - the Northern Ireland Book Award and the ‘We Read’ Award. More details on both prizes below and watch this space for news about shortlistings and, hopefully, some wins down the line!

Pick of the year!

As the year comes to close the newspapers and media outlets around the world take a moment to look back and review the best books of the year. The Screaming Staircase has made it in to a number of these round-ups:

The Guardian chooses Lockwood in their top books of the year: “The book is genuinely spooky and suspenseful, with appealing characters and great dialogue, and all shot through with Stroud's dry wit.”

The Financial Times' Christmas round-up also selects Lockwood: "A delicious mixture of bone-dry wit and spooky shocks." 

Literary Review also lists Lockwood in its best twelve best books of the year:
“…those who encounter Lucy will find more than enough to keep them entertained.”

The Screaming Staircase also makes it in to National Public Radio’s top 100 books of 2013. Chosen by NPR staff member, Emily Ecton says: “If you're into gripping and suspenseful ghost stories mixed with dry humor, this book is for you.”

Lockwood is chosen by independent bookshops across Americas as a top pick for 2013. Reviewer and bookseller Mark Adam of Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Book Shop, La Verne, CA, comments on the book: “Stroud’s characters are well developed, the plotting is fun, and the writing is full of lots of humor that counterbalances the scare-factor and action.”–2014-kids'-indie-next-list-preview

The Children’s Book Review selects Lockwood in their best reads of the year: “Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense, and humor in Jonathan Stroud’s internationally best-selling Bartimaeus books will be delighted to find the same ingredients, combined with deliciously creepy scares, in his thrilling and chilling Lockwood & Co. series.”

Latest Lockwood reviews

A fantastic reader review of The Screaming Staircase went up on the Guardian Kids Books Site:
“This was absolutely excellent. I loved the story, the amount of suspense and creepiness was exactly right to keep me reading page after page very quickly. I really liked all three of the main characters, especially Lockwood who was smooth, intelligent, witty and charming.”

And a glowing write up on blog, The Book Plank:
"The Screaming Staircase is a magnificent start to a new series... if you are stilling looking for a Christmas present, get your kids this book."

Word Candy blog has also recently reviewed The Screaming Staircase: "This is the first book of a series, and it's set the standard very, very high"

The Indian edition of Time Out magazine just reviewed Lockwood, saying:
“His new series is chilling and funny at the same time. The ghosts portrayed in the book are macabre and frighteningly real. Yet, it's a compelling read, with endearing characters.”

More award news

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase has been shortlisted for the 2014 Worcester Teen Book Award. The ghost fighting trio stand amongst good company – also on the shortlist are Anthony Horowitz and Patrick Ness. The winner of the award will be announced in March next year.

The Guardian Halloween story is complete

Jonathan’s adventure in to the world of interactive writing has now come to end – the Lockwood & Co. story Jonathan created for the Guardian for Halloween has now come to an end.

Readers around the world helped to creatre the story, suggesting settings, ghosts, titles and jokes to get Jonathan started. Then, over a week-long period in October, Jonathan wrote a chunk of the story every day which was posted on to the Guardian website and readers were asked to decide what happened next.

Missed the story? Don’t worry, you can read it here:

And did Jonathan enjoy being told what to write or did editorial independence fight back? Read more here:

To add another nice piece of Guardian activity to the Lockwood press file, The Screaming Staircase was chosen by author Sandra Greaves for a Halloween top 10 ghost stories article: “Fantastic characters, fast-paced action, and truly alarming in places.”

Carnegie nomination!

Hugely exciting news this week; The Screaming Staircase has been nominated for the Carnegie medal! This is one of the biggest literary awards in the UK and is chosen by a judging committee made up of some of the best children’s librarians in the country.

The nominations are the first round of the award process – now a panel of judging librarians will choose a longlist, then whittle that to a shortlist and from there choose the winning book.

Jonathan is thrilled by this news: “This is a big one for me, it’s the award everyone wants to win and I’m just delighted to have Lockwood in the mix.”

Lockwood stands amongst fine company on the nomination list:

The shortlist will be announced in February next year, with the winner chosen in June.

Time for Lockwood Cake?

The culinary highlight of Jonathan’s UK promotional tour must be his visit to Droitwich High School where a very talented parent (thank you Kerry Palmer) had made a Lockwood inspired cake, complete with magnesium flare, iron filings and, of course, a cup of tea and biscuit!

Click here for the story

Good Reads Choice Awards 2013

Great to see Lockwood’s made it in to the running for the GoodReads Best Books in 2013 award. Please vote now for our favourite ghost-hunting team!

When Jonathan met Rick

In case you missed it, Jonathan and Rick Riordan did a two-way email interview exclusively for earlier this autumn. The interview is now published in its entirety on Rick’s website. Do make a cup of tea and find ten minutes to read this, it’s a fantastic and insightful interview:

Video interview from Scotland

While Jonathan was in Edinburgh for the literary festival this summer, he did a number of interviews in print and for broadcast. This filmed interview has just gone live on Summerhall TV’s website:

Lockwood reviews keep coming!

Top book blogger Daisy Chain Book Reviews has just posted her verdict on Lockwood:
The Screaming Staircase was such a fun and enjoyable book with a great cast of characters and a lot of witty dialogue.”

Children’s Books Ireland have just published their annual ‘recommended reads’ booklet which happily includes The Screaming Staircase: “Stroud is one of the smartest and most talented writers around – and Lockwood & Co. is a rich, twisted and intricate world.”

Could you work for Lockwood & Co.? New interactive Lockwood video game launches!
14 October 2013

Today sees the global launch of a Lockwood interactive video game. Users are put in the shoes of Lucy, Lockwood and George exploring a dark, derelict house with all the typical signs of a haunting. Seen through the eyes of the investigator the game has an immediacy and tension you won’t forget in a hurry. We promise you – it’s very scary!

Test your Psychic Sensitivity with this interactive training video for new field operatives. Enter the haunted house with Anthony Lockwood himself, if you dare, and face a strong Type II apparition. Make the right choices to keep the ghost at bay and locate and contain the source.

Share with your friends and see who can make it out alive.

Good luck!

Second vote for Guardian interactive Halloween story now open!
15 October 2013

The second vote and chance for you to help create a Lockwood story especially for Halloween is now open on the Guardian website. This time you must choose a title for the story and a funny joke or situation for Jonathan to include. Get your thinking caps (ghost-hunting caps?) on now!


The New York Times reviews Lockwood & Co!
11 October 2013

This weekend The New York Times reviewed The Screaming Staircase saying:

“With the same sophisticated imagination that made his Bartimaeus series such a success, Stroud’s writing is assured and nimble. He’s terrific at mixing the macabre with high-school-level repartee:

“Well, that was useful.”


“No. I’m being ironic. Or is it sarcastic? I can never remember.”

“Irony’s cleverer, so you’re probably being sarcastic.”

A large part of the fun for any former teenager reading these books is recognizing background Victoriana. Is Gleason’s seamstress Madame Varney any relation to Varney the Vampire? Do the Brontës haunt Stroud’s novel, with the Red Room and the name Fairfax wafting in from “Jane Eyre” and Lockwood’s name a revenant from “Wuthering Heights”? If such games appeal to you, stay alert.”

Want to meet Jonathan? UK tour begins and tickets available for two public events
14 October 2013

The next fortnight sees Jonathan travelling around the UK visiting schools, bookshops and libraries to talk about Lockwood & Co. If you’re in the UK and want to attend an event there are two event open to the public:

Thursday 17th October 2013
Ipswich Children’s Book Group hosts an evening event with Jonathan Stroud
18.45 in the County Library, Ipswich IP1 3DE
Call for tickets: 01473 714672

Wednesday 23rd October 2013
Dudley Children’s Book Group hosts an evening event with Jonathan Stroud
19.00 at the Earls High School, Halesowen, Birmingham B63 3SL
Call for tickets: 01384 816105

Lockwood joins up with The Guardian for interactive Halloween story!
10 October 2013

Have you ever read a book and wished you could change the ending? Or influence the story? Or tell the characters what to do? Well now is your chance to help write a Lockwood story…

This week sees the launch of an exciting partnership between Lockwood & Co and The Guardian. Jonathan will be writing a live, interactive story during half-term asking young people to help him create the story. The partnership launches this Friday when Jonathan will be asking kids to come up with ideas for ghosts, settings, jokes and more to include in this exclusive Lockwood adventure.

The beginning of the story will go live on Saturday 26th October, and each day of half-term Jonathan will post up a new bit of the story and ask for more suggestions of what happens next. The story will be finished on 31st October, Halloween, and published on the Guardian site in full for everyone to read.

To take part in this exciting, interactive story, click here for The Guardian's polling and suggestions page

Latest coverage for The Screaming Staircase
8 October 2013

The reviews, interviews and buzz continue this month as more Lockwood coverage pops up all over the internet and print media including:

The Telegraph recommends their top ten audio books this month, including Lockwood & Co on the list:

“a really well-done and exciting page-turner” say Common Sense Media in their Halloween books round up.

The Blog of a Bookoholic sums up Jonathan’s book saying: “Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase is an utterly outstanding novel that everyone must have the pleasure of reading! As you read it, you will enjoy being immersed into the eerie, hair-raising atmosphere and shrieking at some moments from terror, and at other parts because of sheer delight!”

Calling all Dads! Lockwood is the perfect book to read with your son or daughter, share the scares as a blog called Adventures by Daddy confirms: “Oh heck, this father enjoyed the book just as much as when he read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games before handing them down to his daughters.  I can’t wait for Book 2 of Lockwood & Co.”

Review on Literary Grand Rounds blog: “In all its ghostly glory, Screaming Staircase will leave you wanting to read the next installment. Highly recommended!”

A Little Ink blogger heaps high praise on Lockwood saying “one of the best children’s books I have ever read”

The Social Potato also reviewed Lockwood: “There is so much to love in this book: the endearing, well-polished characters; the enchanting, well-written narration; and the hypnotic, effective atmosphere.”

If you’re stuck for a book to read or buy for a young person you know, check out’s flow chart recommending the best books around – including Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase:

If you want to be in with the chance of winning a signed US edition of The Screaming Staircase, enter the contest on Boys Life Magazine here:

If you haven’t yet bought Lockwood or would like to recommend it to a friend, there is an extract over on the World Book Day app right now to give a little taster:

Stroud takes over Random House UK blog
1 October 2013

Jonathan’s takeover of the Random House UK blog, Totally Random Books, happened for a month in September. Jonathan wrote a weekly article for the blog which inspired much debate and interaction, especially the biscuitometer!

Read and laugh as you catch up on the guest blogs:

Lockwood: creation to publication:

Jonathan’s best things about school:

The, now famous, biscuitometer!

Jonathan’s touring tips:

More praise and coverage for Lockwood & Co!
11 September 2013

More buzz online and in bookshops this week as the UK edition of Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase gains pace.

A brilliant independent bookshop in New Zealand, Page & Blackmore in Nelson, has created an amazing window display, pictured right, around Lockwood!

English newspaper in India, DNA in Mumbai, have reviewed the book saying “With this new series, Stroud brings refreshing goosebumps, spine chilling read and spectacular environment-centric story narration…a perfect page-turner.”
Click here for the full review

Book blog, Nayu’s Reading Corner, just posted a review saying: “A good story brilliantly told - Stroud is an excellent storyteller.”
Full review

And Jonathan’s taken over ‘Totally Random Books’, a Random House UK site, as the author-in-residence for September, starting his residency talking about what it feels like to have a new book unleashed to the world. Visit the site And his second post talks about his school days. Visit here

Bookshelves of Doom blog says of Lockwood “It's smart, it's scary, it's exciting, it's funny, it's got loads of atmosphere and great world-building and DID I MENTION HOW MUCH I LOVE IT?” The blogger hosts an article about Jonathan’s top seven favourite swordsmen too. Read it here

Little Luna’s Library blog heap praise on the ghostbusting tale too: “It’s not often that you get the story, character and writing to work together so perfectly. Don’t ask me to find a fault in this book because I’m going to struggle. It ended – there that’s a fault.”
Full review

If you’re looking to buy Lockwood & Co on then you’ll see the seven reader reviews, all of whom have given it the top rank of 5 stars ☆☆☆☆☆ Read them here


Lockwood & Co UK launch party
9 September 2013      

Random House Children’s Publishers held a launch party last week in a spooky, haunted pub in central London.

The tunnels and vaults below The Old Bank pub are said to be where notorious Daemon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd, carried out his atrocities. He was famous for his pies too – hence the party seeing guests served pies, a Lockwood cake complete with spiders and bloody mary cocktails!

The packed event was attended by a fantastic mix of the most influential people in UK publishing – literary journalists, book bloggers, booksellers, librarians, teachers, oh, and Jonathan himself of course! Jonathan also brought his family along, who proved useful in a demonstration of ghost-hunting equipment.

It was also a pleasure to have some superfans attend the party too – three winners of a facebook competition came along to meet Jonathan and get their books signed.


Lockwood UK Blog Tour recap

Here’s a summary of the UK blog tour to celebrate publication of Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase. From laugh-out-loud entries to truly insightful revelations, it’s rich reading. Get the kettle on and check out the links below.

Top Tips for a Scary Story – Jonathan gives his advice on creating characters, tension and terrifying endings to create brilliant ghost stories.
Hosted by Dark Readers blog

Six Things I Can’t Write Without – from pens to paper, silence to computers, Jonathan gives his essential writing kit and reveals why an uncomfortable chair is a must-have for any author.
Hosted by Overflowing Library blog

The Trouble with Covers – find out why Jonathan thinks book jackets are so important and which cover put him off a book for life.
Hosted by Narratively Speaking

Fashion Accessories for Ghost-hunters – the ultimate guide to must-have fashion for ghost hunters.
Hosted by Winged Reviews

The Write Way – Jonathan answers the vital questions in this Q&A slot. From how he created Lockwood to his favourite recent YA read.
Hosted by Serendipity Reviews

My Three Favourite Ghosts – Jonathan describes his three favourite ghosts from literature, legend and history, and uses the phrase “ectoplasmic flesh”!
Hosted by Fabulous Book Fiend

How I Became a Writer – Jonathan looks back at his childhood, student years and early days as an editor in London to unpick how he actually became a writer.
Hosted by A Daydreamers Thoughts

Ghost-hunting: Tools of the Trade – so, you’ve set up a psychic detection agency, what kit do you need to get going? Jonathan reveals all.
Hosted by Book Zone

My Favourite Places to Read – a hilarious account of Jonathan’s favourite places to read including in the bath, on a walk and in bed.
Hosted by Fluttering Butterflies blog

Location Location – Jonathan describes why he chooses London for the setting of many of  books and why he loves a good map.
Hosted by Read & Repeat


Wed 11th Sept -
Sustaining the Flow

Friday 13th Sept -
Top 5 Classic and Modern Ghost Films


1st September 2013

This week’s release of the UK and English language export editions of Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase saw excitement aplenty online, in bookshops and libraries and in the offices of Jonathan’s UK publisher, Random House Children’s Publisher (check out the Lockwood clock they made ‘it’s Lockwood time’!).

First off, Jonathan was a guest on Waterstones’ official blog where he introduced Lockwood, discussed literary inspirations and made a confession of his own.

Jonathan also popped to the BBC studios in Luton for a live interview on BBC 3 Counties Radio show hosted by Nick Coffer. You can listen again here (skip to 37:00)

A brilliant review appeared on Winged Reviews blog alongside a blog tour stop:
“In trying to articulate my excitement for the wonder that is The Screaming Staircase, I was going to write my shortest ever review and leave it at that, because it summarises the book so well: freaking brilliant. (Well, freaky and brilliant, really)….Recommended for absolutely everyone, kids and adults alike will be enthralled by it.”

This week leading books/writing website in Ireland,, reviewed Lockwood and published an e-interview with Jonathan. In the review they say:
“The author of the Bartimaeus trilogy gives us a thrilling, intelligent adventure, with a female protagonist as capable and determined as any of her peers. It’s thrilling and often humourous, but most of all, it’s creepy.”
For the full review and the really interesting interview see the link below.

Already mentioned but so influential and so positive, it needs mentioning again – the glowing review for Lockwood by the Bookwitch:
“This is the kind of book you fall in love with at first sight”

This week also saw release of Lockwood in export territories likes Australia, New Zealand and English language copies in South Africa, Europe, India and more. Some cracking reviews on Random House New Zealand’s website:

Jonathan tramped the streets of London visiting London bookshops this week to sign copies of Lockwood.

What excitements do the next few weeks hold?!

Lockwood UK Blog Tour recap

Here’s a summary of the UK blog tour to celebrate publication of Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase. From laugh-out-loud entries to truly insightful revelations, it’s rich reading. Get the kettle on and check out the links below.

Top Tips for a Scary Story – Jonathan gives his advice on creating characters, tension and terrifying endings to create brilliant ghost stories.
Hosted by Dark Readers blog

Six Things I Can’t Write Without – from pens to paper, silence to computers, Jonathan gives his essential writing kit and reveals why an uncomfortable chair is a must-have for any author.
Hosted by Overflowing Library blog

The Trouble with Covers – find out why Jonathan thinks book jackets are so important and which cover put him off a book for life.
Hosted by Narratively Speaking

Fashion Accessories for Ghost-hunters – the ultimate guide to must-have fashion for ghost hunters.
Hosted by Winged Reviews

The Write Way – Jonathan answers the vital questions in this Q&A slot. From how he created Lockwood to his favourite recent YA read.
Hosted by Serendipity Reviews

My Three Favourite Ghosts – Jonathan describes his three favourite ghosts from literature, legend and history, and uses the phrase “ectoplasmic flesh”!
Hosted by Fabulous Book Fiend

How I Became a Writer – Jonathan looks back at his childhood, student years and early days as an editor in London to unpick how he actually became a writer.
Hosted by A Daydreamers Thoughts

Ghost-hunting: Tools of the Trade – so, you’ve set up a psychic detection agency, what kit do you need to get going? Jonathan reveals all.
Hosted by Book Zone


Monday 2nd Sept -
My Favourite Places to Read

Thursday 5th Sept -
Location Location

Wed 11th Sept -
Sustaining the Flow

Friday 13th Sept -
Top 5 Classic and Modern Ghost Films


29 August 2013

Thurs 29th August 2013 is publication day of Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase in the UK, Commonwealth and English langue export market – that means that today fans will be able to buy a copy of Lockwood & Co in English in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the many countries with English-language bookshops like India, South Africa, Europe and more.

To celebrate this exciting day below is a collection of brand new reviews of the book. Watch this space (and Jonathan’s twitter and facebook pages) for photos and news of the first few days with Lockwood, Lucy and George unleashed to the world!

 “This is the kind of book you fall in love with at first sight”
The Bookwitch blog

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
SFX magazine

“This smart, fast-paced ghostly adventure promises future chills”
School Library Journal

“I loved loved loved this book! It is exciting and unputdownable. The writing is utterly brilliant and so engaging I was drawn into the story from the start.”
Literally Addicted blog

“a fantastically engaging adventure.”
Once Upon a Series blog

“Tightly plotted and striking just the right balance between creepiness and hilarity, this rollicking series-opener dashes to a fiery finish but leaves larger questions about the ghost Problem open for future exploration.”
The Horn Book magazine, Sept/Oct 2013 issue


First Lockwood event!
August 2013

This week sees Jonathan doing his first Lockwood events! He’s at the Edinburgh International Book Festival speaking to crowds of school kids and public audiences about his new ghost-hunting series. To give you a taste, here is Jonathan modeling some of the props he’ll be using in his talk!


The Lockwood coverage keeps coming!
August 2013

Two more glowing reviews for Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase this week:

“Smart as a whip, funny, witty, and honestly frightening at times, Stroud lets loose and gives readers exactly what they want. Ghosts, kids on their own without adult supervision, and loads of delicious cookies.”
Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal   Full review here

“By the end of the first sentence of The Screaming Staircase…I was irrevocably hooked…I guarantee that I’ll be handing this one out right and left: After all, it’s an easily described, high-interest story—Murder mystery! Ghost story! Teen entrepreneurs! Business rivalries! Midnight feasts!—and it’s absolutely fantastic across the board.”
Kirkus Reviews   Full review here

Also, an interview: Literatwo was one of the first media outlets to interview Jonathan about Lockwood & Co earlier this year. Based in Germany, the site asked some probing and insightful questions really getting to the heart of Jonathan’s new story. Literatwo has just translated the interview in to English for more fans to enjoy.   Read it here.

Lockwood UK website launched
August 2013

The official Lockwood & Co UK website is now live. For video clips, audio extracts, games and trailers, check it out at:

You can even leave a message for Jonathan on the messageboard – go on, drop him a line, he needs some company while he’s writing Lockwood book two!


Lockwood & Co UK Blog Tour is announced
August 2013

Random House UK is delighted to announced a blog tour to celebrate publication of Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase.

Jonathan will be guest-posting articles on some of the very best book blogs in the country. It’s a privilege to work with these bloggers, all of whom are passionate about books, sharing them and shouting about them.

The blog tour has already kicked off on the Dark Readers site with a post where Jonathan reveals his five top tips for writing a ghost story.

The tour schedule is below – do check out the blogs on the relevant days for more behind-the-scenes info, funny anecdotes and writerly advice from Jonathan.


Already live:
Friday 9th August –
Monday 12th Aug -
Friday 16th Aug -
Thursday 22nd Aug -
Monday 26th Aug -
Thursday 29th Aug –
Monday 2nd Sept -
Thursday 5th Sept -
Wed 11th Sept -
Friday 13th Sept -

There’s a few more dates to confirm, so watch this space for updates.


Lockwood and Co UK trailer is released!
August 2013

Shut the door, turn the volume up and most importantly keep the lights on – the UK trailer for Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase has been released by Random House Children’s Publishers. It’s scary stuff, watch it if you dare at

Tell Jonathan what you think about the trailer on his facebook site ( or on twitter (@JonathanAStroud). Does it make you want to read the book? Is it scary enough or too scary? Would you want to work for Lockwood & Co?


One month countdown begins!
August 2013

It’s under one month until Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase is unleashed to the world!

Jonathan ran a competition on twitter and facebook asking fans to guess how many times the word ‘ghost’ appeared in the book. Twenty fans who guessed closest have won an advance copy of the UK edition to read before anyone else.

Jonathan also visited his UK publishers, Random House to sign his first copy of The Screaming Staircase.


Lockwood international tours announced!
August 2013

Publishers across the world are eagerly awaiting the autumn release of the first Lockwood & Co book: The Screaming Staircase. Jonathan will be on the road for three months this autumn meeting readers young and old in schools, bookshops, libraries, festivals and more. A number of these international tours are now ready to be announced (see events page for details).


Glowing reviews for Lockwood & Co continue!
August 2013

With just a month to go until UK publication, excitement is building worldwide. More reviews heaping praise on Jonathan’s news series have come in:

The Metro newspaper includes Lockwood in its summer books round-up, saying "Suspenseful, supernatural adventure." Full review here

"It's a dark and scary roller-coaster ride that will keep you on the edge of your seats from the very first page to the last. It's gripping, engaging and full of explosive action."
Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books Full review here

"With plentiful wit and good humour, more than a few chilling moments and, above all, refreshing creativity, Jonathan Stroud has constructed an energetic, fast paced narrative that trips nimbly back and forth from the present to the past as he first sketches and then deftly paints this fascinating’s a ripper!"
Science Fiction World Full review here

“As with many of Jonathan Stroud's novels, there is plenty of humour, sarcastic wit and laugh out loud moments. This is very different from the Bartimaeus series, but Stroud manages to tell this story very well. I look forward not only to the rumoured screen adaptation, but to the next title in the series.”
Askews and Holt newsletter


The book Rick Riordan says you "need to read"!
June 2013

Bestselling author of the Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan, has just read Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase and given it a glowing write-up. Here's an excerpt from his review which you can read in full on the link below:

"Ancient evil, unsolved murders, powerful ghosts and nefarious mortals - this story will keep you reading late into the night, but you'll want to leave the lights on.

"Stroud is a genius at inventing an utterly believable world which is very much like ours, but so creepily different. Put The Screaming Staircase on your 'need to read' list!"


Lockwood & Co jackets revealed plus first chapter
June 2013

The jackets for some of the major international editions of the first Lockwood & Co book, The Screaming Staircase, have been revealed. With much buzz on social media, Jonathan Stroud's publishers in the US, the UK and Germany all simultaneously published their jacket images. The US jacket was in fact released in an exclusive deal with online news site, Entertainment Weekly, alongside the first chapter of the book. Click here to view.

Let Jonathan know what you think via @JonathanAstroud or via his Facebook page.

The buzz is building!
June 2013

With just over two months to go until publication of the first Lockwood & Co book, The Screaming Staircase, a sense of excitement and anticipation is definitely growing.

There are some amazing marketing plans to make a bang come publication day – look out for digital assets like an choose-your-ending video game, a cinema-style trailer and an interactive storytelling partnership. There'll be blog tours, events tours, virtual talks, twitter chats, competitions, festival appearances, special mailings, coverage in major newspapers, promotions especially for libraries and schools, international trips, and even a bit of fancy dress!

Keep checking this site for more news and excitement!

First reviews for Lockwood & Co!
June 2013

The coverage has just started – the first reviews are just in:

"A hugely enjoyable fantasy-adventure page-turner"
Robin McKinley, author and reviewer
Full review at

"A heartily satisfying string of entertaining near-catastrophes, replete with narrow squeaks and spectral howls."
Kirkus Reviews

"Best known for the Bartimaeus books, beginning with The Amulet of Samarkand (2003), Stroud writes for a younger audience in book one of the Lockwood & Co. series and delivers some chilling scenes along the way…Stroud made many fans with the Bartimaeus books, and even though this is for a younger audience, his name carries weight with librarians, teachers, and parents."
ALA Booklist Review of The Screaming Staircase

"...another wonderfully entertaining read...Another winning ingredient is the humour – not too much, not too little. This is where Stroud is at his very best, the humour in his books is always perfectly in balance with the storyline, never inappropriate and most impressively, consistently amusing, be it wry, cynical, silly or sarcastic."
Fantasy Book Review

Link to Books