Valerie Mendes

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Valerie Helene Mendes (née Barnett, born October 1939) is an English novelist, children's writer and poet. Mendes is best known for her teenage fiction novels, Girl in the Attic and Lost and Found.


Mendes was born in Buckinghamshire, located in South East England in October 1939.[1] She was raised Jewish.[2]

She attended North London Collegiate School and the University of Reading.[3] Her son, Samuel Alexander "Sam" Mendes, is a well-known director and producer.[4]


The stories; New Year Cat and The Best Guy in Albert Street were both published by Puffin Post. Mendes then moved to writing picture books, and published two; Tomasina's First Dance in November 1992 and Look at Me, Grandma! in January 2001. Tomasina's First Dance was illustrated by Heather Calder. Look at me, Grandma! was illustrated by Claire Fletcher. The picture book was praised for the repetitive nature of the writing, however some allusions were deemed too vague for a recommended age group of three to seven.[5]

After Girl in the Attic, Mendes then published three more teenage novels. Coming of Age, was published in June 2004, Lost and Found in June 2004,[6] and The Drowning, published in August 2005.[7]

In 2014, Mendes published her first historical fiction novel, Larkswood, at seventy-four years of age.[8]


  • Girl in the Attic (2002)
  • Coming of Age (2003)
  • Lost and Found (2004)
  • The Drowning (2005)
  • Larkswood (2011)
  • The Hideaway (2015)
  • Daddy's Girl (2021)

Picture Books[edit]

  • Tomasina's First Dance (1992)
  • Look At Me, Grandma! (2001)


  1. ^ Mendes, Valerie. "Valerie Mendes: About Valerie". Valerie Mendes. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  2. ^ Wood, Gaby. "How Sam became The Man". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  3. ^ Mendes, Valerie. "Valerie Mendes: About Valerie". Valerie Mendes. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Sam Mendes Biography (1965–)". Retrieved 21 April 2014. External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "LOOK AT ME, GRANDMA!". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Lost and Found ~ Valerie Mendes". Fictiondb. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  7. ^ "The Drowning by Valerie Mendes". Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  8. ^ Mendes, Valerie. "Larkswood". Google Books. Hachette UK. Retrieved 21 April 2014.