June 2006 Archives

Branford Boase

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FLY BY NIGHT, a novel set in a vividly imagined alternative 18th Century, by Frances Hardinge, edited by Ruth Alltimes (also by Rebecca McNally and Marion Lloyd) and published by Macmillan Children�s Books, has won the Branford Boase Award. The award presentation took place last night at the offices of Walker Books.

Century by Sarah Singleton, edited by Venetia Gosling (Simon & Schuster) was Highly Commended.

The Branford Boase Award was set up in memory of the outstanding children�s writer Henrietta Branford and Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books.

At the same event prizes were presetned to the winners of the Henrietta Branfrod Writing Competition, selected by by Kate Jones, Director of Young Writer magazine:

The six winners were:

� James Falgate from Leeds Age 12

� Becci Fearnley from Farnborough Age 16

� Kane Kushner from St Albans Age 12

� Ciara O�Neil from Porchester Age 7

� Ramona Pulsford from London Age 7

� Rebecca Walters from Middlesbrough Age 11

Further information on the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition and the Branford Boase Award can be found on www.branfordboaseaward.org.uk

Myths, Legends & Lost Notes

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Here are some pictures from last night's Puffin audience with Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson And The Sea Monsters) and Paul Shipton (The Pig Who Saved The World). The discussion was chaired in relaxed and informal style by Amanda Craig, children's books reviewer for The Times. I did make one or two notes during the entertaining session, but my notebook has disappeared. The photos will have to suffice, except to say that I have been a Paul Shipton admirer for many years, so it was good to meet face to face at last, and that it was refreshing to hear Rick Riordan say that he missed the classroom (he was a middle school teacher in the US for fifteen years).

Of Time And The Gods

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Time travellers in present danger - Books - Times Online

For some reason I missed Amanda Craig's review of Tanglewreck, the much-noticed, heavily-promoted, very-well-produced Hawthornesque-titled hardback children's novel by Jeanette Winterson:

The tale is told with such sympathy and verve that you wonder why it has taken this writer so long to do what seems most natural to her. Reminiscent of John Masefield�s classic, The Midnight Folk, this story of a brave, lonely, imaginative child is drawn by someone who retains perfect recollection of what it was like to be one. What is particularly interesting is that, where adult novelists such as Audrey Niffenegger and Liz Jensen have recently used time travel to explore romantic love, these children�s authors use it to explore the moral debt adults owe children � a challenging preoccupation that guilty parents will recognise all too well. The special nature of childhood rests on having the luxury of time, as Dylan Thomas�s great poem, Fern Hill, recognises.

Amanda Craig is chairing one of Puffin's regular panel discussions tonight. Rick Riordan, on a rare, swift visitfrom the Sates, and Paul Shipton, will discuss the way their writing has been inspired by myths and legends.

Westerfield Film Deal?

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Fox Gets Ugly - Cinematical

Now that they're about to get Eragon off the ground (it's due to be released in December), Fox is looking for another teen trilogy that could potentially bring them the piles of money they so crave. According to Variety this morning, the studio went in a very different direction with young-adult series two: They've acquired the rights to a trilogy of books by Scott Westerfeld, the first of which, Uglies, already has producers attached...

JK On Richard & Judy

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Rowling: 'I may kill off Harry Potter' | the Daily Mail

Report on J. K. Rowling's 'Richard & Judy' appearance:

J.K Rowling has given her strongest hint yet that she is planning to kill off the young wizard who has made her a multimillionaire...

Chance In A Lifetime

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We are amused from Guardian Unlimited: Culture Vulture

Julia Ecclesahre reports from the palace:

With children's books enjoying a previously unimaginably high profile, this was a chance in a lifetime....

ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Pirateology by Dugald Steer et al

The beautiful drawings of swashbucklers and ships, and the carefully conceived design, make this a treasure worth burying. NICOLETTE JONES

Amoral Snake

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Review: Ivy by Julie Hearn


"a seething, dark-edged, amoral snake of a novel"

Marcus Sedgwick, reviewing Ivy by Julie Hearn

Not For Adults

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Puppy love

Lucy Ellman, reviewing Daniel Handler's adult novel, Adverbs, thinks it better suited for an adolescent readership:

Handler is better known for his Lemony Snicket children's books, and his wild grabs at insight and avuncular wisdom in Adverbs would better suit the American junior high market. The cute faux awkwardness, the pedantry proposed as mateyness, the tricksy reminders of the narrator's role, combined with ominous stories of young women going into the woods alone or getting into cars with strangers, and the requisite allusions to 9/11, all connive at seeming cool, timely, significant, memorable: teenage stuff...

Feather Boy The Musical

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Down with the kids - Music - Times Online

Piece about a musical version (by Debbiew Wiseman and Don Black) of Nicky Singer's Feather Boy


Feather Boy runs at the Brighton Dome and Lyric Hammersmith next week and the National Theatre (020- 7452 3000) on July 15. Full details: www.shellconnections.org

Orion Summer Party

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Orion Summer Party 2006

Orion's Summer Party gallery


John Gordon, in conversation with Michelle Paver and Geraldine Brennan (TES)


The White Giraffe by Lauren St John is published 1st August


Gatty's Tale by Kevin Crossley-Holland in published in October, and will be Orion Children's Books lead autumn title

Ian Falconer Interview

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Scripps Howard News Service

An interview with 'Olivia' creator Ian Falconer

Narnia Film Prize

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HarperCollins Children's Books :: HarperCollins Children's Books Announces 'Narnia ... Beyond the Wardrobe' Educator Sweepstakes

HarperCollins Children's Books announced [yesterday] the "Narnia ... Beyond the Wardrobe" Educator Sweepstakes. Beginning June 21, 2006 and running through January 31, 2007, the contest offers the chance for a unique behind-the-scenes look at the making of the next blockbuster film in the Narnia franchise, "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" from Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, coming to theaters in Summer 2008. This contest is open to all educational professionals ages 18 and over.

Puffin Party Gallery

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Puffin party cake

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Puffin party cake
Puffin party cake,
originally uploaded by achuka.
Guests at Puffin's annual summmer party - held this year at the V&A - were given small cakes on departure by flamboyantly dressed gals on stilts. Full gallery later tomorrow.



Comment: cool evening, fine surroundings, good buzz.



I shall never forget seeing the always elegantly turned-out Francesca Dow, Puffin MD, queueing up for Lemony Snicket (not a Puffin author) at Hay as an ordinary mum with her children.

Changing Shirts

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Hodder Children's Books recently held a day devoted to David Almond at Seven Stories, the Centre for Children�s Books, based in the Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle, to celebrate the paperback publication of CLAY, now shortlisted for the Carnegie and the Guardian Awards.

A writing workshop began the day's activities, with clay modelling sessions in the Engine Room and readings of David's picture book - Kate, The Cat and the Moon. The afternoon was devoted to a schools session with an evening drinks and reading to round off the day!

Kate Stephenson, aged 12 said: �It�s been really good listening to his tips of how to become a writer and has really inspired me.�


Party Pictures

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Children�s Publishers Honor Quint - 6/15/2006 - Publishers Weekly

The biggest names in the children�s book industry gathered [last] Tuesday evening to bid farewell to Paula Quint, president and executive director of the Children�s Book Council, who is retiring this month after 40 years at the CBC. Several veterans who have retired from the business, including Susan Hirschman, John Keller, Jim Giblin, Eden Ross Lipson and Paulette Kaufmann, were among the many who gathered to pay tribute to Quint.

Recommended picture page (all shots are captioned)

Malorie Blackman Writes

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EducationGuardian.co.uk | News crumb | A mirror to every child's life

Malorie Blackman writes in The Guardian about her experience as a black author:

Why aren't black children allowed to have any other "problem" than their colour in children's books? Why can't black children experience love, jealousy, sorrow, joy, loneliness and every other human emotion in books, without that emotion being tethered to their colour first?

Not to be missed!

Laureate Event

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Two picturesfrom last week's Writing Together event, attended by Children's Laureate, Jacqueline Wilson:


Jacqueline Wilson, Children�s Laureate with Liverpool based poet Kevin McCann, Winner of Writing Together Award for a teacher writer partnership.


Jacqueline Wilson, Children�s Laureate in conversation with Chris Meade, Director of Booktrust, at a Writing Together event at the Royal Institute of British Architects on 14th June

Both Photographs by Dominic Dibbs


ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

SundayTimes Childre's Book Of The Week

Mia's Story by Michael Foreman

This moving picturebook is based on an encounter between Michael Foreman and a Chilean he met outside Santiago... ... Foreman already has a distinguished reputation as an illustrator, but this is his finest work to date. NICOLETTE JONES

Asda Buyer To Waterstones

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | The bookseller: Jun 17

Waterstone's has recruited its new head of fiction and children's book buying from Asda. His name is Toby Bourne, and he effectively takes up the role inhabited by industry enfant terrible Scott Pack ...

Amusingly Consoling

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Enchanted by words

Adele Geras on Exchange by Paul Magrs:

This is a wonderful novel about bereavement, growing up and above all about the power of books to console and amuse; to give us a means of escape and also a means of understanding ourselves and the world....

Monster Hit

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Here be monsters - Books - Times Online

Amanda Craig loves Beast by Ally Kennen...

I really love this book: it is so good to discover a writer who does not depend on the supernatural for suspense. Kennen has taken an urban legend and turned it into a tense, funny and touching tale of how a troubled adolescent could, against extraordinary odds, gain control of his life. Gorgeously jacketed with lumpy scales and a glowing yellow eye, Beast should be a monster hit.

See also the 5-chick review on achukareviews

Stephen Hawking Children's Book

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Hawking: Humans Must Spread Out in Space, Physicist Stephen Hawking Says Humans Must Move Out Into Space in Order to Survive - CBS News

[Hawking] plans to team up with his daughter, 35-year-old journalist and novelist Lucy Hawking, to write a children's book about the universe aimed at the same age group as the Harry Potter books.

"It is a story for children, which explains the wonders of the universe," said Lucy Hawking. They did not provide further details.

US Laureate

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6abc.com: New Poet Laureate

Prize-winning New Hampshire poet Donald Hall will be the next poet laureate of the United States.

Also a writer of prose and children's books, Hall won the Caldecott Medal for his children's work Ox-Cart Man.

Lotte Klaver #66

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Lotte's sketchbook

One of Lotte's latest:

Lotte Klaver is a young Dutch illustrator. ACHUKA is continuing to feature her work because we are convinced she has a bright future as an illustrator generally, and as an illustrator of children's books in particular.

Canadian Authr Of The Year

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CBC Arts: Stephen Lewis wins two Libris awards for 'Race Against Time'

Canadian Booksellers' Association Award


Kenneth Oppel, author of Skybreaker and the bestselling Silverwing series was named children's author of the year. Skybreaker, about a young airship operator chasing a ghost ship, reached No. 5 on the New York Times bestsellers' list....

Underbelly Tales

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Scotland on Sunday - Review - The sick and the dead

Profile of George Saunders, author of The Very Persistent Gappers Of Frip

CRITICS LIKE TO mine Saunders' fictions for influences, from the cult writer Donald Barthelme to Don DeLillo. But Saunders insists that the biggest influence on his imagination was his father, a coal salesman, who would entertain him and his two younger sisters when they were growing up in Chicago with riveting tales from the underbelly of the city ... ...

ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

The North Pole Was Here by Andrew C Revkin

Full of fascinating facts and generously illustrated with maps and photographs, this is a timely, myth-busting warning for a new generation. NICOLETTE JONES

Deakin Newsletter Summer 2006

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Deakin Newsletter Summer 2006

Very Highly Recommended

Andrea Deakin's online review newsletter

Lacking Credibility

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Review: Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson

Kate Thompson reviews Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson:

The desire of writers of adult literature to venture into children's fiction is an understandable one. The genre offers a wider palette with which to explore ideas, and Winterson has made full use of this. Tanglewreck is an ambitious project, wide-ranging and colourful, but it suffers from a lack of discipline and, more seriously, from a lack of credibility. When we first meet the Throwback Gabriel, we learn that he and his kind die if they live above ground, but in the closing chapters Gabriel reveals, without explanation, that he can live there now. The book is full of similar short cuts. The rules that govern the imagined world are insufficiently developed, and the author feels free to change or break them on a whim. Elaborate explanations of the laws of quantum physics are expounded and then ignored, in the belief, presumably, that children won't notice. The author makes a great deal about the difference between science and magic, but in the end most of the solutions emerge out of neither, as when Gabriel is pulled from the Black Hole by "the power of love". This does a great disservice to young readers, who have as much right to expect internal logic in a book as adults do..

Down-Adown-Derry

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | A kind of magic

In a highly recommended feature, James Campbell writes about the splendid Walter d la Mare, on the 50th anniversary of his death, saying:

we should read him for enchantment, which is plentifully supplied in his peacock pie, his wind's tittle-tattle, his down-adown-derry, and even in his "winter fallen early".


The stories


The poems

Mermaids

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We�re in deep waters here - Books - Times Online

Amanda Craig chooses mermaids has her theme in today's revew in The Times, in which, amongst others she mentions The Tide Turner by Angela McAllister and The Tide Knot by Helen Dunmore:

This summer a fresh wave of mermaid books, and the timely release of Aquamarine, a fishy tale from 20th Century Fox, will be washing into bookshops...

Min Grey Freature

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Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | Little Grey cells

Children's author and illustrator Mini Grey talks to Dina Rabinovitch about the influence of childhood TV on her work and how to humiliate Action Man.

Recommended

Lemony Snicket Feature

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Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | Not so unfortunate

Tim De Lisle meets the 'Roald Dahl of our day' - from yesterday's Guardian


Pullman's Boatyard

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Pullman fails to save water people from the bailiffs - Britain - Times Online

News report from last Thursday in which Pullman describes British Waterways as "the agents of industrial villainy to which this Government has devoted itself..."

Author & Test Tube

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News - Preston Today: News, Sport, Jobs, Property, Cars, Entertainments & More

Short news report about a Kate Thompson event in Lancashire - interesting for the accompanying photo of author playing out a scene from her latest novel.

6 Yr Old Reviewer

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CNN.com - A child looks at children's books - Jun 6, 2006

A 6-year-old son of a CNN worker reviews some children's books.

Estrella #6

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Estrella's magical, mixed-media, dreamy images 'lead you back to the world of old story books read in childhood'. Click on the image and you will be taken to her Flickr stream. If you have a Flickr account yourself and wish to contact Estrella to discuss her work, you can use Flickr mail. Otherwise, get in touch with me.

Lotte Klaver #65

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Lotte's sketchbook

One of Lotte's latest:

Lotte Klaver is a young Dutch illustrator. ACHUKA is continuing to feature her work because we are convinced she has a bright future as an illustrator generally, and as an illustrator of children's books in particular.

Author Signings

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Red House Children's Book Awards 2006

Author signing gallery from Hay.

APOLOGY: The Hay picture galleries were not functioning properly earlier in the day. The links to the larger images are now working as they should :)

Hay Picture Gallery

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Hay 2006

Mixed picture gallery from Hay.

ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Gideon The Cutpurse by Linda Buckley-Archer

Stimulating about the relative merits of then and now, and so convincing a picture of the 18th century that we feel transported ourselves, this first book of a planned trilogy of time-travel adventures is skilled, engrossing and irresistible. NICOLETTE JONES

Guardian Longlist

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | A corner of hope

The longlist for the Guardian Award was annou8nced on Saturday:

Clay by David Almond
Blown Away by Patrick Cave
Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce
A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd
Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge
The Worst Witch Saves the Day by Jill Murphy
A Darkling Plain by Philip Reeve
The Survival Game by Tim Wynne-Jones

The winner will be announced on September 28. The judges are Charlie Higson, Francesca Simon and Kate Thompson, and the panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare.

Gripping Thriller

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The first cut is the deepest - Books - Times Online

Westerfield has created a gripping thriller about a dystopia founded on ideas of beauty, with all the gadgets, urban planning, moral dilemmas and medical disasters of superior science fiction.

Amanda Craig on Scott Westerfield's Pretties. Her Saturday review column in The Times also included (slightly less enthusiastic) comment on Sara's Face by Melvin Burgess.

While at Hay, Sherry Ashworth spoke to me about my recent comment about my not entirely trusting Craig's taste. I said that at least there was a consistent critical viewpoint in The Times, as opposed to The Guardian, which continues to use a host of mainly peer reviewers. Ashworth said that, as an author, she preferred The Guardian's approach, because it made her feel that at least her kind of novel stood a chance of being reviewed in The Guardian, whereas she felt (probably correctly) that Craig is not best disposed towards her brand of fiction.

I still feel very strongly that the reviewing of children's fiction deserves to be put on the same footing as, say, film reviews. In other words, a selection of recently published novels (not, as so often happens, a themed selection) should be reviewed by a regular reviewer, whose critical tastes and standpoint become familiar to readers. The Guardian Review page continues to distress me in this regard.

ACHUKA at Hay - Red House Report

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ACHUKA at Hay

This report page contains a couple of flash movie files, in addition to still images, so wiill take a moment or so to load.

I've opened up a discussion topic on ACHUKACHAT in case anyone wishes to voice opinions about this year's venue for the Awards.


Puffin Plunder

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Strongly represented on the shortlists, Puffin managed a complete clean sweep of this year's Red House Children's Book Awards, winning all three categories. A fuller report on the event, with photos, is to follow. In the meantime, these were the winning books.

Older Novel Winner & Outright WInner


Percy Jackson And The Olympians:The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan


Younger Novel Winner



Spy Dog by Andrew Cope


Picture Book Winner


Pigs Might Fly by Jonathan Emmett, Steve Cox

Daniel Handler at the Hay Festival

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handler04
handler04,
originally uploaded by achuka.
Currently working on the full photogallery and report on the Red House Children's Book Awards - so check back later

Eoin colfer signing

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Eoin colfer signing
Eoin colfer signing,
originally uploaded by achuka.
Colfer signing at the enf of his one-hour standup act, hugely entertaining for both adults & children.

Hay hearty breakfast

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Hay hearty brakfast
Hay hearty brakfast,
originally uploaded by achuka.
Not my usual half a grapefruit & toast

achukahat

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achukahat
achukahat,
originally uploaded by achuka.


Laureate signing

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Laureate signing
Laureate signing,
originally uploaded by achuka.


3 authors signing

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3 authors signing
3 authors signing,
originally uploaded by achuka.


Ashworth,Cooling,Cassidy,Brooks

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Ashworth,Cooling,Cassidy,Brooks
Ashworth,Cooling,Cassidy,Brooks,
originally uploaded by achuka.
3 YA authors in conversation with Wendy Cooling, Hay

Next event

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Next event
Next event,
originally uploaded by achuka.


Author signing - hay

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Author sig ing - hay
Author sig ing - hay,
originally uploaded by achuka.


Hay Diary 3

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After the Mini Grey session - which included a superb animated version of Egg Drop - caught shuttle bus into village for coffee & lunch - back at 2 for a three-author discussion - sill unable to pick up wifi connection in press office - so unlikely i'll be uploading photos till return

hay diary 2

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Arrived at the festival site - struggling to pick up wireless connection in press tent - collected press passes fist event Mini Grey at 10am

hay diary 1

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Having a cooked breakfast at the Railway Hotel, Gloucester, en route to Hay-on-Wye for the Red House Children's Book Award.

Guardian Unlimited | Family | Melvin Burgess on living with teenagers

Melvin Burgess attempts some social commentary about the teenage predicament.

Stick to fiction, mate*. This was published in The Guardian at the weekend. It has taken me a mercifully long time to get to it. Reading it back to himself should bring a red flush to Burgess's cheeks, assuming he is capable of embarrassment.

Drivel.

Growing things are so interesting. It should be a pleasure to review a time when we were changing so much, growing, learning so much. We have a lot to learn from teenagers about how to keep on our toes, about how to be lazy, about how to be playful, and most of all, how to just grow up.

*Look forward to Melvin's autobiography of his own teenage years, though.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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