My books

My books for children and YA are published under the name Shirley Harber.

My poetry book for adults, Turning the Map Over, is published under my real name of Shirley Anne Cook.

All books are available on Amazon.

Turning the Map Over


This is Shirley Anne Cook’s first collection of poems.

They are inspired by a variety of themes, ranging from childhood memories to reflections on the complexity of life.

Most of the poems in this collection have won or been placed in established competitions.

‘Turning the Map Over’ is a stunning first collection. The maps of the title are routes through places, cultures, times past and relationships. They are explored with candour and vision, through varied, finely crafted poems which are enhanced by fresh insights and vivid imagery. Evocative and focused, this collection is as moving and inspiring as it is memorable.’

Alison Chisholm, Poet and Tutor.

‘An outstanding debut from a frequent prizewinner on the poetry scene. This first collection will rattle your bookshelf with a language that dances and sings. ‘Turning the Map Over’ takes you to places you have never been before. Enjoy!’

Pauline Suett Barbieri, Waterloo Press, Hove.



Here is my web site about my children’s books.



Ancient Egyptian Rhyme Time for ages 6 plus.






The Diary of Teti-Tuti aged Twelve and a Half Summers.

‘Who’d want to read my diary?’ asks young apprentice scribe Teti-Tuti.
His teacher says, ‘In the future, people will want to read about how we used to live.’
Still unconvinced, Teti-Tuti unrolls a piece of papyrus and begins. He writes about everyday life in the time of Rameses the Second, as well as the girls he fancies, his uncle being eaten by a crocodile and his best friend Seti, who is being bullied.
This look at life in Ancient Egypt is told with a modern voice, plenty of humour and fun, plus some great digs at the adult society of Teti-Tuti’s day.



The Snake Princess

Ancient Egypt. Thirteen-year-old Shahira lives with her adoptive mother, Halima and Meret, Halima’s jealous daughter.
Shahira is wrongly accused of stealing and suspects that Meret has set her up. Shahira is sent to work in Commander Nebamon’s house.
One day in the herb garden a cobra is about to strike, but Shahira sings to the snake and sends it away.
She remembers a similar occurrence when she was a child and is mystified by the power she seems to have over snakes. There is also the strange serpentine birthmark on the sole of her foot.
What does it all mean? Who are her real parents?
Halima’s death-bed revelations shock and confuse her and she is given a quest to fulfil.
When Ahmose, the handsome apprentice boy she has befriended, asks her to help him she is further caught up in world of danger and intrigue.
( This book is for ages 12 plus)

‘This is a thrilling story that really brings alive Ancient Egyptian life in the time of Pharaoh Amenhotep the Third.’ Jacques Kinnear, Egyptologist and author.

‘I found myself captivated by the wonderful description.’ Stephanie Baudet, children’s author.

‘This is a really intriguing story, full of excitement and twists and turns.’ Stephanie Stansbie, adjudicating the Little Tiger Press Writing for Children competition at the Winchester Writers’ Festival.






Kystal Bull Rain Dancer

published by Little Devil Books.



IT’S KRYSTAL’S THIRTEENTH BIRTHDAY —CAN HER LIFE GET ANY WORSE? It starts at one of her mum’s not-so-psychic sittings… and something unusual appears… “Jessie Parker, cowgirl and spirit guide—at your service.” Yep, a rootin’ tootin’ cowgirl from the Great Plains of the American Wild West. Turns out she has news just for Krystal—a mysterious inheritance from her great-great-great grandad, Lakota Sioux Chief Sitting Bull. Exciting, right? Except the news comes with a warning… “RED TOMAHAWK, A BAD SPIRIT—YOU’RE IN DANGER.” Danger? Krystal does not like the sound of that at all. Still, she wonders what Chief Sitting Bull left to her. When she discovers a mysterious key, her wonder grows—along with her own uncontrollable powers. At the end-of-year dance, her powers kick into high gear, and everyone sees—like dreamy Jason and horrible Donna. Even her best friend Lara thinks she’s gone crazy. Throw in a dangerous spirit hot on her trail, and it all makes for one bizarre birthday!

( For ages eight plus)


The Treasure of the Urn



Melanie, an English teenager, meets an Egyptian boy, Yusuf, while on holiday in Cairo. Soon she is caught up in his dangerous quest to the ancient city of Petra. With the help of Yusuf’s eccentric camel, can they find the spell that will save Yusuf’s people from an evil jinn?

Shirley Harber was a finalist with this book in the Brit Writers’ Awards and shortlisted in the Earlyworks children’s book competition.

( for ages 6 plus)


Serena and the Moor’s Last Sigh



Serena and her family move from England to Spain. There she befriends Ismael, a Moroccan boy. They find a message on an ancient scroll that leads them to a castle dungeon where they find the trapped spirit of Muhammad, the last Moorish king of Granada. He tells them he must see his beloved Granada one last time, only then will his spirit rest. But Serena and Ismael have only hours to help him and when they are trapped in the dungeon it seems all is lost.
This book for children, aged six years and over, was highly commended at the Writing for Children competition sponsored by Little Tiger Press (Winchester Writers’ Conference)



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