Won a scholarship to Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Barnet. His lifelong love of books was encouraged there by Spencer Vaughan-Thomas, an outstanding English teacher. Left school at 17 and worked on local newspaper in Muswell Hill.
A conscientious objector in WWII, worked on a farm.
In 1949 attended London emergency teacher training college. Was a teacher until 1959.
Broadcaster: a weekly BBC programme for young African writers; then BBC Magazine of the Arts Overseas.
part-time teaching at York University between 1963 and 1965 in the education department. Blishen devised a course built around different literary descriptions of teaching found in texts from David Copperfield to The Rainbow.
A constant and acute reviewer and editor of children's literature,