In 2008 Andrea Quincey of Oxford University Press sent me an e-mail asking if I’d be interested in being the lead author on a new reading scheme for boys. To her surprise I rang her seconds later – I could see from her outline that it was going to be an amazing project, and I didn’t want to miss the chance to be involved! Ever since then Project X – as it was soon called – has become a bigger and bigger part of my working life…

Essentially, Project X is – as it tells you on the excellent Project X section of the Oxford University Press website - ’a high-quality, whole-school reading programme built to motivate 21st-century children, especially boys, and raise literacy standards’ in the schools that used it. At its heart are four great characters – Max, Cat, Tiger and Ant – who stumble across some very special watches which give them the power to shrink to micro-size and have adventures. But soon they discover that someone else is after the watches too – a mysterious villain called Doctor X, who sends his forces against them.

Writing the stories was a lot of fun, mostly because you don’t get the opportunity to work on such a big scale – there are lots of books! The OUP team is great to work with too, and Jon Stuart’s computer-generated, 3D illustrations are stunning – 21st century indeed! Project X has been hugely successful in schools all over the UK, and has been sold abroad – to the USA, China, Scandinavia and other countries. It’s also available in Welsh!. There are CDs and teacher notes to support the books, and a couple of new storylines have been added – there are now Phonics books and a dedicated series for special needs and struggling readers – Project X: Code.


Here’s a list of the Project X titles that I’ve written so far…

Ant and the Baby (Reception)

Underwater Adventure (Year 2)

My Cat Moggy (Reception)

Cuckoo Trouble (Year 2)

The Rainy Day (Reception)

A NASTI Surprise (Year 3)

The Race (Year 1)

Heroine in Hiding (Year 3)

The Noisy Day (Year 1)

Making a Stand (Year 4)

Max the Detective (Year 1)

The X-Machine (Year 4)

The Silver Box (Year 2)

Journey to Mars (Year 4)

The Wild Ride (Year 2)

Team X (Year 5)

Don’t Look Down (Year 2)

Just in Time (Year 5)

Message in an X-Bot (Year 2)

Ant’s Hamster

I’m the Leader (Year 2)

Max’s Adventure