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Robert Leeson started a career in journalism aged 16. In 1946 he began two years' army service in the Middle East and developed a keen interest in Arabic culture. Since the early 1970s he has written history books and over 70 children's books, and contributed to literary journals. His book Grange Hill Rules OK? inspired the highly successful BBC series Grange Hill. Over the past 30 years he has visited over 600 schools and libraries encouraging children in reading and creative writing. In 1985 he won the Eleanor Farjeon Award for Services to Children and Literature.