Mel Darbon writes books with characters not normally seen in stories for children and young adults. Having a brother with severe learning disabilities meant that she always wanted to be able to give a voice to those people who otherwise might never be heard. She wants everyone to see that her brother’s life was not unworthy of a story and that he, and everyone like him, deserve to see themselves represented in books. She will never stop in her fight to help stop ableism.
Her debut novel Rosie Loves Jack has won many awards including the Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature, a Carnegie Nomination, was a Sunday Times YA novel of the Year and shortlisted for The Best Book for Young People in the Netherlands. Her second book, which came out this year, What the World Doesn’t See, is a dual narrative between two characters based on herself and her brother and is already an EmpathyLab choice for 2024, was a BookTrust feature in March this year and an Author of the Month for the ReadingZone.
Mel lives just outside Bath with her husband and Norfolk Terrier, Reggie. Her children have all flown the nest, but she keeps busy at schools and festivals inspiring others to be creative. Mel loves walking, reading and painting but can often be found sitting in her garden watching two Peregrine Falcons hovering on the air currents or watching the bats flit past her bedroom window at dusk