Now available on Kindle
Justice of the Dagger
Talking in Whispers
Ticket to Prague
The Freedom Tree
Sign of the Swallow
Published by Nelson [Out of Print but possibly in a state of dog-eared readiness in local and school libraries].
The Bull Leapers
Published by Victor Gollancz (UK), Coward-McCann (USA). [OOP].
‘In the same class for young readers as Mary Renault for adults…The old legend takes on new and vivid life as a tremendous historical adventure accurately and beautifully described.’
Smith’s Trade News.
Legion of the White Tiger
Published by Gollancz, Beaver Books (Hamlyn Paperback). [OOP].
‘An epic story, full of blood and terror, danger and heroism. Mr. Watson creates his own mythology…this is the kind of treatment that makes history live’.
Times Educational Supplement.
The Freedom Tree
James Watson’s fourth novel for young people, is a telling and poignant reminder of a struggle for freedom, the lessons of which are still relevant today.
Published by Gollancz, Puffin (1978), Mora (Hungary), Lion Fontana Paperback (1986), Tellerup (Denmark), Alibaba Books (Germany), Puffin (1999). Available from Collins Cascades.
‘Exciting and furious action are the touchstones of the whole book…wholly convincing…and accurate.’ Times Literary Supplement.
‘A superb book…alternately stark and lyrical.’ Birmingham Post.
Talking in Whispers
A skilful blend of fact and fiction, this tense political thriller makes compulsive reading; it is also a telling comment on the denial of human rights. (Gollancz 1st edition). Here was terrible danger. The photographer had been snapped by the officer’s eye. He turned to Andres: ‘Take this – I beg you. The film in the camera…’ For an eternal second Andres stood and watched as the journalist was dragged away. He trembled as if touched by an electrified fence.Till now, he had wandered helplessly, insignificant. His brain, his heart, his passionate resolve – they were nothing in the face of the Junta’s untouchable strength. But now, a brief encounter has changed everything. All at once, he has a direction. The film in the camera is worth more than bullets. He must join those brave people who are speaking out, no longer talking in whispers. (Lions Tracks).
Published by Gollancz, Tellerup (Denmark), Knopf-Pantheon (USA), Servire Katwijk (Netherlands), Fontana Lion (Paperback), Raben & Sjorgen (Sweden), Fawcett Junior paperback (USA), Spectrum (Germany), Lion Teen Tracker, Editorial Noguer (Spain), Gomer (Wales), HarperCollins Cascades, Puffin paperback. Available from Collins Cascades.
‘Hard to put down…it is frightening, exciting, gritty and grim.’ The Guardian.
‘Anyone who reads this book will be a different person when he comes to the end…superb.’ Books for Your Children.
‘Taut and chilling prose and characters as utterly convincing as they are sympathetic.’ British Book News.
‘The is a truly enthralling book which gives you a feeling of how life would have been for the people of Chile.’ Tom Gilmour. Chiswick Community School, London.
Where Nobody Sees
Where Nobody Sees is a tense, uncompromising thriller which deals with controversial issues, drawing attention to the menacing undercurrents within our society. It is also the story of a love between two young people, gently and tenderly told.
Published by Gollancz, Tellerup (Denmark), Spectrum (Germany), Fontana/Collins,CollinsEducational Cascades.
‘A brilliantly exciting book…nudges you into asking questions about the real world around you.’ Stephanie Nettall, The Guardian.
Make your Move and other stories
Make Your Move is a powerful and compelling collection of nine stories by the award-winning author of Talking in Whispers and Where Nobody Sees. From present-day Britain to the Soviet Union and South America, James Watson examines the ugly faces of intolerance, violence and tyranny. Yet ultimately the message that emerges from these compassionate and often humorous stories is one of hope, and of confidence in the dignity of the human spirit.
Published by Gollancz, Collins Teen Tracks, Heinemann English 4 (First story, ‘The Eyes Have It’).
‘James Watson…is above all a master of narrative.’ Junior Bookshelf.
‘Most impressive: a collection of fast moving stories which explore intolerance, violence and courage in a variety of settings…Vivid writing. Whether writing about young women or men, Watson confronts his reader and keenly engages all the senses and the mind. Highly recommended.’ School Library Service.
No Surrender is a tense political thriller set against the back-drop of war-torn Angola – battle-ground of the superpowers and convenient pawn in an international struggle for control of Southern Africa. It is also the compelling story of two young people struggling to keep faith with themselves in a ruthless world.Published by Gollancz, Ali-Baba (Germany), HarperCollins paperback, Modryk (Denmark), CollinsEducational Cascades.
‘A powerful evocation…of an almost forgotten, appalling conflict.’ Douglas Hill, The Guardian.
‘I’ve just finished reading No Surrender and felt I had to write at once to congratulate you on a truly stunning book. I found it so moving and I was most impressed with the way you manage to present issues so that kids who know nothing about Angola will understand and identify.’ Rosemary Stones.
Ticket to Prague
This timely and thought-provoking novel by award-winning author James Watson is both a heart-warming story of friendship and loyalty, and an eloquent plea for the reconciliation of an embittered people. (Gollancz, 1st edition).…This story is really well-written – the plot keeps hold of your attention all the way through, from Amy being in trouble with the police and at school, through her job in the psychiatric hospital and her trip to Prague with her friend Josef, to her feelings for Jiri.It is very realistic and exciting, especially when strangers in Prague try to get some answers from Josef. Is he a traitor? What is the case he has had for years? What happened to his son? Meanwhile, will Amy and Jiri get together?
Published by Gollancz, Ali-Baba (Germany), Modryk (Denmark), CollinsEducational Cascades edition, Puffin.'This makes it a book which you quickly become pulled into and find hard to put down! There is something in this which could appeal to anyone – love, drama, mystery and quite a bit of humour.'(Valentina Buzeta, pupil at Fulham Cross School, London; CollinsEducational Cascades edition).
‘A very enjoyable way of researching Eastern European history in a fascinating story laced with risqué language and rich vocabulary.’ Ann Fisher, Carousel.
‘Although it is often funny, Ticket to Prague is also a very serious novel, and it shirks none of the tragic implications which it puts forward. The city of Prague is portrayed lovingly but also with one eye on the absurdities of tourism. Above all this is a novel of character, and there are some full-length portraits, as well as some sharp caricatures like the unspeakable Alan who leads his TV team in Prague in pursuit of the wrong quarry.
‘Immensely readable, Ticket to Prague is deeply thought-provoking, dealing as it does with real personal and political problems and wisely leaving most of the answers to the individual reader.’ Junior Bookshelf.
Justice of the Dagger
Justice of the Dagger is an exciting thriller with a strong political message, crying out against oppressive forces that have very little regard for human life and even less for the environment. Laura Moran, St. George’s College of Technology, Sleaford. Collins Cascades.…The machines are yellow like the morning sun. At first Muyu’s people thought them gods. They glowed, they glistened, they roared. No forest ears had ever heard such sounds. Not even the gunfire of the soldiers from the Distant Masters could match them…How can young Muyu and his beautiful friend Lyana stop the hated soldiers and the timber companies from destroying the forests? Their friend ‘Greenboots’, whose book about their people’s plight has focused the eyes of the world on East Timor, now has a price on his head and they are on the run together, in a desperate bid to outwit Captain Selim, the Butcher in Shades…
Published by Puffin, Collins Cascades, Modryk (Denmark), Bertelsmann (Germany)
'Justice of the Dagger is an exciting, gutsy political thriller whose message is hard-hitting and timely.'Puffin Teenage Fiction.
‘Watson’s pedigree as a writer of political novels for young adults is impeccable…This is a powerful and intelligent book which uses its chosen genre both to grip and incite its teenage audience.’ Books for Keeps [5-star rating].
The Ghosts of Izieu
Specially written for Penguin Readers (Level 3).
Banned! Tom Paine, This Was Your Life
WARNING: Schools should consider the consequences before performing this play.Throw together a school inspection, an insecure Headmaster, the school’s sink class and one student’s explosive article on the true state of the school, and you have the recipe for James Watson’s daring new play. Set against the background of a class project on Tom Paine, the resultant turmoil is heightened by the arrival of a strangely dressed ‘Inspector’ – proving that centuries may pass but important issues of freedom and censorship are timeless.Banned! is a bold, poignant, and at times hilarious play bringing together contemporary quick-wits, schemers and idealists and the historical figure of Thomas Paine – ‘the Greatest Englishman ever’.
24 speaking parts; with resource material by Rachel O’Neill.Collins.
15 parts, with resource material by Michael Goron.