has lived nearly half his life in Scotland. But the inspiration
for nearly all of his writing comes from his early life in
the forties, fifties and sixties, when he grew up in North
One of the best things for a young boy growing up in North
Belfast was that you could climb up on the big basalt shoulders
of the Cave hill and make the world you came from look small
and less significant. The young MacLaverty would have been
able to achieve a sense of freedom, but with home in sight.
For a young MacLaverty and a spirited gang of friends from
off the Antrim Road, North Belfast, Cave Hill proved to be
an adventure playground, and a place for cementing friendships
that have lasted a lifetime.
MacLaverty grew up in the quiet, residential street of Atlantic
Avenue. His father, Johnny, was a commercial artist. But MacLaverty's
father died when he was twelve, which led to a big change
in family life. MacLaverty's books often deal with twelve-year-old
boys in difficult circumstances, a theme that may recall his
own difficulties in dealing with his father's death.