Ultimate Teen Book Guide

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Melvin Burgess (seen here with Leonie Flynn) was one of a host of authors present for last night's launch party for The Ultimate Teen Book Guide.

Daniel Hahn, the book's co-editor with Leonie Flynn and Susan Reuben, included in his talk a special tribute to an absent contributor, Jan Mark.

David Almond, who wrote the book's introduction, was one author unable to attend the event, as he was away in America. The bar, however, was serving a cocktail named after him, reputed to be very potent. ACHUKA stuck to red wine.

I was not an immediate fan of the first 'Ultimate' book (for 8-12s), although I warmed to it, and wrote in February 2004:

Hahn has several entries in the book and I am getting a feel for his style now - familiar, informal, conversational. "I laughed loads as I read this, and really, really wanted Nick to make it. And I readily confess to a big old lump in my throat at the end..." That's good. It makes me read the Tom Sawyer entry in a different light. That doesn't make it any better an entry, but I can hear Hahn's voice now, and it comes across as sincere and genuine - the voice of a warm-hearted advocate of children's books. I hope I haven't made an enemy of him.

Well, this new book is fantastic - infectiously enthusiastic for the books its multitude of contributors recommends. I'm hardpressed to think of any obvious omissions. There are one or two surprising inclusions (notably very recent novels of dubious durability), but the game of seeing what one's favourite authors recommend is endlessly fascinating and revealing.

Heartily recommended


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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on February 10, 2006 7:11 AM.

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