Celia Rees

About the books

Celia Rees is the author of seventeen books for young adults, including the award-winning Witch Child and the celebrated Pirates!. Her books have been widely reviewed to great acclaim in the trade press.

Each book has a "buy this book" link – you can get a copy right away! And you can click on each book's cover for more details.


Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook

Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook cover

2020, HarperCollins


An ordinary woman. A book of recipes. The perfect cover for spying

Sent to Germany in the chaotic aftermath of World War II, Edith Graham is finally getting the chance to do her bit. Having taught at a girls’ school during the conflict, she leaps at the opportunity to escape an ordinary life – but Edith is not everything she seems to be.

Under the guise of her innocent cover story, Edith has been recruited to root out Nazis who are trying to escape prosecution. Secretly, she is sending coding messages back to the UK, hidden inside innocuous recipes sent to a friend – after all, who would expect notes on sauerkraut to contain the clues that would crack a criminal underground network?

But the closer she gets to the truth, the muddier the line becomes between good and evil. In a dangerous world of shifting loyalties, when the enemy wears the face of a friend, who do you trust?


18th March 2020

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Glass Town Wars

Glass Town Wars cover

2019, Pushkin Children's Books

Glass Town Wars, Celia’s first YA novel for a while, was inspired by the early writings of the Brontë siblings. She has taken the magical world that the siblings created and written an ambitious, intricate and innovative novel, featuring the Brontës as you have never seen them before, a teenage boy and an action-packed plot full of epic battles, new loves and old passions.

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Trap in Time series

City of Shadows cover A Trap in Time cover The Host Rides Out cover

2015, HodderSilver

City of Shadows, A Trap in Time, The Host Rides Out

Davey Williams is a chime child, born when the clock stuck midnight. He has ‘the gift’, as his gran calls it. He is psychic. His gift is revealed on a ghost walk that he takes with his sister and cousins. The outing to the old town was meant to be fun, a birthday treat, but it is the beginning of a series of hair raising adventures, a year long battle with terrifying supernatural powers.

Buy City of Shadows, A Trap in Time, and The Host Rides Out for Kindle

Daughters of Time

Daughters of Time cover

2014, Templar Publishing

Look through fresh eyes at the stories of some of history s most remarkable women, in this inspiring collection of short stories by the finest female authors writing historical fiction for children today – The History Girls.
Subjects include: Queen Boudicca, Aethelfled, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Julian of Norwich, Lady Jane Grey, Elizabeth Stuart, Aphra Behn, Mary Wollestonecraft, Mary Anning, Mary Seacole, Emily Davison, Amy Johnson and the Greenham Common women.
Authors: Penny Dolan, Adele Geras, Mary Hoffman, Dianne Hofmeyr, Marie-Louise Jensen, Catherine Johnson, Katherine Langrish, Joan Lennon, Sue Purkiss, Celia Rees, Katherine Roberts, Anne Rooney and Leslie Wilson.

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This Is Not Forgiveness

This Is Not Forgiveness cover

2012, Bloomsbury

Everyone says that Caro is bad… but Jamie can't help himself. He thinks of her night and day and can't believe that she wants to be his girlfriend. Gorgeous, impulsive and unconventional, she is totally different to all the other girls he knows. His sister, Martha, hates her. Jamie doesn't know why, but there's no way he's going to take any notice of her warnings to stay away from Caro.

But as Jamie falls deeper and deeper under her spell, he realises there is more to Caro – much more. There are the times when she disappears and doesn't get in touch, the small scars on her wrists, her talk about revolutions and taking action, not to mention the rumours he hears about the other men in her life.

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The Fool's Girl

The Fool's Girl cover

2010, Bloomsbury

Violetta and Feste are in London, the year is 1601 and William Shakespeare is enjoying success at the Globe Theatre. But Violetta is not there to admire his plays; she is in England to retrieve her country's greatest treasure, stolen by the evil Malvolio, and she needs help.

In an adventure that stretches from the shores of Illyria to the Forest of Arden, romance and danger go hand in hand. In a quest that could mean life or death, can Violetta manage to recover the precious relic and save her country and herself?

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Blood Sinister

Blood Sinister cover

1996, Scholastic

Ellen Forrest is sick, she feels as if the life is being sucked out of her. The doctors think that she is suffering from a disease of the blood, and she has been sent to her grandmother's house to rest, but she seems to be getting worse, not better. Can it have anything to do with the diaries she has found in the attic? Diaries written in Victorian times by her great great grandmother. Diaries that describe an encounter with a handsome young Count who comes from the Land Beyond the Forest. 

Ellen likes a vampire story, who doesn't? The difference is that this one just happens to be true…

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Sovay cover

2008, Bloomsbury

Sovay begins her life as a highway robber to test her lover, but she is living in dangerous times, full of fear, with the spectre of the Revolution in France reaching across the Channel. Sovay’s father has disappeared, the family are tainted by accusations of treason. Sovay takes to the road in earnest to clear her name and quickly becomes entangled in a terrible web of deceit and duplicity. Can she escape before the net closes in on her and all around her?

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Pirates cover

2002, Bloomsbury

The true and remarkable adventures of Minerva Sharpe & Nancy Kington, Female Pyrates. What would make two young women take to the high seas and a life of piracy? Nancy Kington is the daughter of a rich merchant, Minerva Sharpe a slave on her father’s plantation. Divided by birth and fortune, together these two find friendship and break the bounds of gender, race and social position to follow their own destiny.

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Witch Child

Witch Child cover


1659. A time of fear and persecution. Mary, granddaughter of a witch, keeps a diary. It begins: I am Mary. I am a witch…

She sees her grandmother hanged, is rescued by a stranger, takes ship for America and finds a place in a Puritan community there. All that befalls her, she records in her diary and as she writes, she stitches the pages inside a quilt for discovery would mean death.

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Sorceress cover


The sequel to Witch Child. Shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Award 2002.

Over three hundred years separate Agnes Herne from Mary Newbury, but they are linked inextricably by more than blood. Some of Mary’s special powers have come down to Agnes and through her the rest of Mary’s remarkable story can be told.

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The Cunning Man

The Cunning Man cover

2001, Point Horror Unleashed

Finn is not at all sure about the Salt House. Overlooking the dramatic sweep of Westwater Bay, it brings back all her nightmare fears of drowning, of the ghosts of the dead reaching out for her… And Westwater is dangerous. Countless seafarers have lost their lives there, ships lost, broken on the vicious Viper Rocks, lured by wreckers’ false lights, summoned by the dark enchantments of cunning men – masters of sea or tide. Or so the legends say, but all that was a long time ago. It cannot be happening now. So why does Finn feel such fear? Is it her old terror back again, or something new entirely?

Buy The Cunning Man paperback

The Vanished

The Vanished cover

1997, Point Horror Unleashed

There are all kinds of stories about the school, about the city: ghost stories, hauntings, mysterious disappearances. They make entertaining copy for the school newspaper, then Fraser begins to wonder if some of them might be true.

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The Stone Testament

The Stone Testament cover

2007, Scholastic

As foretold in ancient texts, and marked by the Mayan Long Count, time has nearly run out. Foreshadowed by a sequence of bizarre phenomena and natural disasters, the End Time is fast approaching. Only Abraham Black has the knowledge to stop this from happening, ancient wisdom inherited from those who have gone before him: Edwardian scholar, Aurel Lockwood and American adventurer, Brice Ambrose Stone. With the help of his son, Adam, suicide cult survivor, Zillah, and streetwise Kris, he hopes to outwit the sinister forces ranged against him before it is too late.

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The Wish House

The Wish House cover


Summer, 1976: Life-changing, heartbreaking, unforgettable. Every year, Richard has taken the same holiday with his parents, in the same part of Wales, meeting up with the same people. But this summer, everything is about to change.

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or buy the audio version

Earlier titles

Soul Taker cover Truth or Dare cover The Bailey Game cover

Short stories

Short stories by Celia appear in the following anthologies:

Heroes and Villains cover