Susan Elkin

Susan Elkin is an education journalist, author and former secondary teacher of English. Her book Unlocking the Reader in Every Child is published by Ransom. She is Education and Training Editor at The Stage.

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Christmas at a children’s hospice: Adding life to days when days cannot be added to life

For some children, this will be their last Christmas. But the right support can make a huge difference to families

Boy in homemade costume reading a book

Best books for children this Christmas: Part one

In the first of three round-ups, Susan Elkin reviews titles aimed at age 12 and above

Explore the real America: the best way is on foot

You could see real – as opposed to tourist – America in all its earnest eccentricity

Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair

When Susan stopped using shampoo, some were appalled and called her filthy. Three years on, her ‘no-poo’ regime has left her tresses fresh, and her bank balance healthier, as she stopped paying into an industry that's worth £22.6bn

Victoria Hislop, The Sunrise, book review: Plots are so strong that even the occasional cliche doesn’t jar too much

One of the best things about this novel is the way Hislop depicts the growing teamwork, love, respect, and trust which two families from opposing sides of a war manage to establish.

How to get children to eat vegetables

Many parents struggle with getting their kids to try healthy foods, but there are methods children respond well to (and other bad habits they mimic)

Vegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, so why are the meat-free options at restaurants so boring?

The value of the vegetarian food market is growing as more people want to enjoy the odd meat-free meal - are restaurants taking note for their menus?

Queen Anne: Patroness Of The Arts, by James Anderson Winn - book review

The eventfulness of the last Stuart monarch’s 12-year reign, from 1702 to 1714, compensates for its brevity. Among other things Anne and her administrations dealt with union with Scotland, ongoing war in Europe, the far-reaching 1714 Treaty of Utrecht, ongoing worry about the succession, and the ever-present Jacobites. On a personal level, meanwhile, the never-healthy, and eventually morbidly obese, Anne faced continual failed pregnancies and the deaths of her only living child in 1700 and of her husband, Prince George of Denmark, in 1708.

Things to do with the kids in Kent during the summer holidays

Including a submarine, a steam train, a castle and a goat

Things to do with the kids in London during the summer holidays

Penguins, ships, puppets, a walrus and a tiger - there's plenty to see this summer

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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick