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Simon, Francesca

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

(1955-    ) US-born author, in UK from early adulthood; she initially concentrated on books for younger children, like the Horrid Henry sequence beginning with Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine (2012), but is of more direct interest for the sharply Equipoisal Norse Gods sequence comprising Sleeping Army (2011) and The Lost Gods (2014), set in an Alternate World where the Norse Gods exist, and are considerably more hands-on than the Christian God of this world. The young protagonist of Sleeping Army cannot resist blowing Heimdall's Horn, awakens three slaves from a spell (or Suspended Animation) and is coerced into a quest to restore the Gods to youth. In The Lost Gods, three senior Gods appear in contemporary London attempting to recharge their puissance, chased by Frost Giants whose effect on the world is akin to Climate Change; the Satire is broad, focusing on a Media Landscape the Gods find difficult to comprehend at first, but insultingly easy to master: including a triumphal rush of followers to their Twitter account. Some terribilita is permitted when Woden sings on a tv talent show. [JC]

Francesca Isabella Simon

born St Louis, Missouri: 23 February 1955



Horrid Henry

Norse Gods

  • Sleeping Army (London: Faber and Faber/Profile Books, 2011) [Norse Gods: illus/hb/Adam Stower]
  • The Lost Gods (London: Faber and Faber, 2014) [Norse Gods: illus/hb/Adam Stower]

individual titles


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