Rachel Ward

‘Numbers’ was published in the UK in January 2009, has now been sold to 26 countries.

‘Since her mother’s death, fifteen-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else’s, a number pops into her head – the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together, her life takes a new twist and turn. Waiting for the London Eye, she sees everyone in the queue has the same number – something terrible is going to happen.’



  • Flemish Children and Youth Literature Prize 2011 (14-16 age group)
  • Angus Book Award 2010
  • Oxfordshire Book Award 2010
  • Stockport Schools Book Award, Key Stage 4 2010
  • Hounslow Book Award 2010
  • Wandsworth Fabulous Book Award 2010
  • Salisbury Schools Book Award 2011
  • Maidstone Schools Book Award 2012

Runner up:

  • Southern Schools Book Award 2010

Shortlisted for:

  • Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2009
  • Branford Boase Prize
  • Leeds Book Award
  • Blackpool Book Prize
  • Centurion Award (Bath & North East Somerset)
  • Young Jury Prize 2011, The Netherlands
  • Deutscher Jugendliteraturepreis, Nominierungen der Jugendjury, 2011

Longlisted for:

  • Carnegie Medal 2010
  • Booktrust Teenage Prize


  • “Numbers is a true pulse racing narrative, leaving you breathless after only the first chapter. Rachel Ward writes with a flair, picking out life’s more delicate moments amongst an unforgiving account of escape and hardship.” – John Lloyd, Waterstones – Here
  • “Numbers is a high-concept, it-could-go-anywhere idea taken down an unexpected and interesting route. Seemingly downbeat, it is both intelligent and life-affirming.” – Philip Ardagh, The Guardian – Here
  • “Rachel Ward has managed to write a realistic, gritty thriller that instantly pulls you in…” – Wondrous Reads blog.
  • “This debut novel from Rachel Ward is a tautly plotted teenage thriller which poses disturbing questions of ethics, free will, predestination, and societal expectation. Powerful stuff!” – Armadillo online magazine, Spring 2009 issue.
  • ‘Ward’s debut novel is gritty, bold, and utterly unique.’ – School Library Journal, starred review.
  • ‘It’s a gritty tale, unsparingly told, and debut novelist Ward demonstrates exceptional control of her material.’ – Publishers Weekly, starred review.
  • ‘Even the idea of this book gave me chills. Creepy and original.’ – R.L.Stine.

‘Numbers 2: The Chaos’ - Published on 7th June 2010.


Runner up: Southern Schools Book Award 2012


  • ‘Rachel Ward has the talent to set any pulse racing and the skill to keep the suspense ticking all the way to the final page, paragraph and even sentence.’ John Lloyd, Waterstones.com
  • ‘I was hanging on every word. Numbers The Chaos is a strong sequel that improves upon everything raised in the first novel.’ The Discriminating Fangirl, blog.
  • ‘The Chaos is a riveting and frightening story with nuanced and compelling characters.’ Teenreads.com
  • ‘The Chaos is another action packed, character driven book by Rachel Ward N3that had me skipping sleep in favor of reading just one more page.’ Bewitched Bookworms, blog.

‘Numbers 3: Infinity’ – published in the UK in June 2011.

  • ‘A powerful and emotive read which will have your heart racing at a ridiculous speed. Amazing novel and full marks!’ Magic of Reading, blog.

‘The Drowning’ – published in the UK and France in May 2013 and Germany November 2013


  • Shortlisted for the Lancashire Book of the Year 2014
  • Shortlisted for the Sussex Coast Schools Amazing Book Award 2014
  • Longisted for the Lanarkshire Catalyst Prize.

‘When Carl opens his eyes on the banks of a cold lake, his brother is being zipped into a body bag. And a shivering wet girl is being helped nearby.

‘What happened in the water?

the drowning 1‘He can’t remember. All he knows is that he must find out – before the truth comes back to drown him …’

‘The Drowning’ has been optioned by US film company, Escape Artists.

THE DROWNING 2 Cover stg2cEarly reviews can be found on the lovereading4kids website and include’

‘Absolutely amazing … a rollercoaster full of excitement, danger and romance.’

‘..a gripping book, with a genuinely chilling supernatural element to it.’

‘A fantastic book that I couldn’t read quick enough.’

‘This book was so, so spooky and haunting. It made a shiver run along my spine…’ Queen of Contemporary blog.

‘Disturbing, addictive and utterly exhilarating.’ Feed Me Books Now!!! blog.

‘…the fact that I read it in one sitting, shows that it’s one of those plots that embeds itself in your mind, draws you in completely and has you contemplating it for days.’   Book Symphony blog.


Water Born, the sequel to The Drowning was published in 2014.



To be published in the UK on 21st September 2017.

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