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Darren Simpson writes vivid, unruly fiction for older children. His latest book is The Memory Thieves. His debut novel, Scavengers, was a Guardian Best Book of the Year, and was selected for the national Summer Reading Challenge and shortlisted for the Northern Ireland Book Award.

Darren lives in Nottingham, where he works with the Literacy Trust to promote reading for pleasure. He loves using otherworldly settings and unconventional characters to explore bravery, self-discovery, and the endless quirks that make up our real lives. Find out more about Darren at


Landfill has lived his whole life as a scavenger, running with wooflings, swimming with turtles and feasting on whatever he can catch. Old Babagoo has always looked after him, on one condition. Follow Babagoo’s rules. And the most important rule of all is NEVER go beyond the wall. But Landfill longs to venture Outside. And some rules are made to be broken.

“A book unlike any other – I was totally unprepared for the twists!” – Alex Wheatle

“Extraordinary… A hugely compassionate, sophisticated novel.” – The Observer


What you don’t remember can’t hurt you…

Cyan has lived at the Elsewhere Sanctuary for as long as he can remember, freed by Dr Haven from dark memories of his past life. But when Cyan finds a mysterious warning carved into the bones of a whale skeleton, he starts to wonder what he had to forget to be so happy. New resident, Jonquil, begins to resist the sanctuary’s treatment, preferring to hold on to her memories – even the bad ones. So when Dr Haven resorts to harsher measures, Cyan embarks on a secret mission to discover the truth about the sanctuary…and himself.

“Marvellously visual and gripping.” – A. M. Howell

“Gripped me from the very first page – vivid storytelling, wonderful world-building and characters you’ll think about long after the end.” – Jasbinder Bilan

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