Jan Mark was one of the most distinguished writers for children of recent times. She won the Carnegie Medal twice - for Thunder and Lightnings (1976) and Handles (1983). Other acclaimed titles include They Do Things Differently There, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award and The Eclipse of the Century, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. Her science fiction novels - The Ennead, Divide and Rule and Aquarius (all Hodder) - are acclaimed as masterpieces. A former teacher, Jan came from a London family, spent many years living in Norfolk but, for the last twenty years of her life, made her home in Oxford, where she died in 2006.