Anthea Simmons  


Tuesday 22nd September, 11am

 “Ordinary is what most people are and I am not. I am not ordinary at all. I am a scientist”


Join Anthea Simmons for an introduction to a heroine from history you should all know, Mary Anning, the star of her new book Lightning Mary. The story of the 19th century fossil finder who defied convention to seek out incredible treasures on Dorset’s Jurassic coast is one of courage, resilience and determination.

Mary’s complete disregard for any social, financial or physical obstacle to fulfilling her ambition of becoming a scientist speaks to children and young people across the centuries. This will be a unique event, designed to inspire young minds to follow their dreams and ‘just do it!’

Expect lively discussion, readings and a Q&A. If you’ve any questions to ask Anthea, send them in advance to 


About Lightning Mary:


On a stormy night, a group of villagers are struck by lightning. The only survivor is an infant – Mary Anning. From that moment on, a spark is lit within her. Growing up on the windswept Dorset coast, Mary follows her father, hunting for fossils uncovered by the waves. Ignoring taunts from fellow villagers, Mary is determined to bring back valuable treasures to help feed her family – even if that puts her in the face of danger. Mary must depend on her unique courage and knowledge to fulfil her dream of becoming a scientist at a time when girls have no opportunities for such ambitions. What will happen when she makes her greatest discovery of all?

Winner of the 2020 UCLan STEAM Children’s Book Prize – Middle Grade category


About Anthea Simmons:

Anthea Simmons lives in Devon with her polydactyl cat, Caramac. After a successful career in the City and a spell of teaching, she finally knuckled down to write at the insistence of her son, Henry. She is the author of Share, The Best Best Baby, I’m Big Now and Lightning Mary.

Watch Anthea’s adventure live or catch up here: