July 2011 Archives

Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

David by Mary Hoffman, reviewed by Linda Buckley-Archer

Full of carefully researched detail, David is at once the tale of a fictional character, the story of a work of genius and an evocation of a particularly compelling moment in Italy's past. It is to Hoffman's credit that she manages to entertain and inform in equal measure. David is aimed at teenagers, but this page-turning story is bound to appeal to many adult lovers of historical fiction. For me it is Mary Hoffman's most accomplished novel to date. LINDA BUCKLEY-ARCHER

Daily Express Reviews

Emma Lee-Potter, in the Daily Express, divided her children's books roundup into Books for Girls and Books for Boys....

Observer Reviews

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Posted a link to the online preview of Gerladine Brennan's teen fiction reviews last week..

here are the links to the rest of the 'summer' children books coverage from Sunday's Observer New Review...

Picture Books - reviewed by Kate Kellaway

Fiction - reviewed by Gemma Kappala-Ramsamy (a name new to me)

Robert Muchamore interview feature - by Lisa O'Kelly

David Almond: Review My Book

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Guardian Review

The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, reviewed by Marcus Sedgwick

There's a lot to like about this novel. It's fast-moving and never hesitates, and it quickly sketches the eight young people who inhabit its pages as quirky and likeable individuals, from the taciturn artist, Michael, to the fiery and intelligent Isobel. It's also a story about stories: tales from the past are woven into the narrative in an elegant way, with the whole book framed by the narrative of the last surviving member of the group. MARCUS SEDGWICK

Guardian Review - Fiction for Teenagers

As you would expect from Geraldine Brennan, who was for many years children's books editor at the TES, this is an excellent selection/review. As someone who has also worked as a sub, she will not be impressed if the following error makes its way into the print edition: "Clem and Frankie in Life: An Unexploded Diagram by Mal Peet (Walker £7.99)..."

I was a little taken aback to find this on a weekday at first, wondering if it heralded a shift in The Guardian/Observer's approach to book reviewing.

But clicking on article history revealed that this is an online preview of the piece that will be printed in this coming Sunday's Observer.

"This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 11.40 BST on Thursday 21 July 2011. A version appeared on p41 of the The New Review section of the Observer on Sunday 24 July 2011. It was last modified at 14.42 BST on Thursday 21 July 2011."

What's A Bear To DO?

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What's A Bear To Do?

Disney have released their first ever Android app, and this one's to go along with their latest movie. Called "Winnie the Pooh: What's a Bear to Do?"

Anita Silvey on Maurice Sendak

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Anita SIlvey on Maurice Sendak

German Trailer for A Monster Calss

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Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

Julia Eccleshare's summer reading bag:

The Rhyming Rabbit, by Julia Donaldson
A Place to Call Home, by Alexis Deacon
Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey, by Mini Grey
Painting Out the Stars, by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham
Earwig and the Witch, by Diana Wynne Jones
Olivia's First Term, by Lyn Gardner
The Picture History of Great Buildings
The Island of Thieves, by Josh Lacey

Hannah Shaw Interviewed

an interview with The Great Hamster Massacre illustrator....



‪Carl Miller talks about his stage adaptation of Keith Gray's 'Ostrich Boys'‬‏

Kelpies Prize Shortlist, 2011

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Edinburgh-based publisher Floris Books has announced the shortlist for the Kelpies Prize 2011. The annual prize is for previously unpublished works of fiction, set in contemporary Scotland and suitable for children aged 8 to 12. Since the end of February deadline, judges have been busy reading their way through a large number of manuscripts to decide on the final three.
The 2011 shortlist (in alphabetical order) is:
• How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People) by Alette J. Willis
• The Really Weird Removals Company by Daniela Sacerdoti
• The Resurrection Spell by Roy Gill

How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People) by Alette J. Willis
Edda is tired of her nickname, "Mouse", and wants to be braver. But when her house is burgled on her twelfth birthday, Edda is more afraid than ever. That is until new boy Michael Scot starts school. There's something peculiar -- and very annoying -- about know-it-all Michael. He claims to be a great alchemist who can help Edda overcome her fears by teaching her to build a golem. But surely they can't bring a giant mud monster to life? Can they?
Alette J. Willis was born in Britain but brought up and educated in Canada. She and her husband returned to Edinburgh three years ago. After gaining success writing short stories for adults, she returned to her first love, children's fiction. For the past two years she has volunteered as a Talking Trees Storyteller at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. She currently works at Edinburgh University as a teaching fellow and researcher.

The Really Weird Removals Company by Daniela Sacerdoti
Luca has never met his Uncle Alistair before; in fact, he didn't even know he had an uncle. But as soon as Alistair arrives on the tiny island of Eilean, Luca and his sister Valentina notice a strange shadow perched on Alistair's shoulder. It turns out to be Camilla, a ghost their uncle has rescued. Uncle Alistair is a supernatural investigator, an expert in warding off feisty fairies, capturing stray trolls, and rescuing mermaids lost in the River Clyde. Whatever your supernatural problem, Alistair has a solution. When he sees that Luca and Valentina share his gift, he invites them to join his new venture, the Really Weird Removals Company.
Daniela Sacerdoti is Italian but moved to Scotland ten years ago. She lives with her husband and sons, and loves Scotland so much she considers herself "adopted". Daniela has studied at the University of Turin and Strathclyde University. She has been writing, for both adults and children, since she can remember.

The Resurrection Spell by Roy Gill
Cameron's dad never took him to visit his Grandma Ives -- and he's just found out why! Living with her after his dad's death, Grandma Ives soon reveals their family's extraordinary abilities, and introduces Cameron to the Daemon Parallel -- the dark and dangerous side of Edinburgh he never knew existed. When Grandma Ives reveals they could use an ancient spell to bring his dad back to live, Cameron enters the deadly daemon underworld to find the spell's vital ingredients. On this terrifying adventure, Cameron befriends a werewolf, bargains with a giant bat-like time eater, and struggles to escape the clutches of a powerful spider daemon. But will he survive long enough to finish the resurrection spell? And who can he trust in a world where nothing is what it seems?
Roy Gill was born in Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner, and an increasing number of bookshelves. In 2008, having completed Glasgow University's Creative Writing MLitt, he was shortlisted for the Sceptre Prize for best work-in-progress manuscript. In 2009/10 he was the winner of a New Writer's Award from the Scottish Book Trust.

Children's Books: Picture Books - Telegraph

Lucy Daniel reviews a batch of picture books...

Children's Books: Fantasy 9-12 - Telegraph

lena Seymenliyska revels in some fantastical children's books for the 9-12s, including Philip Reeve, Anne Fine and Darren Shan....

Well, that was a different sort of event. The only people I'd spoken to before were two of the four authors, Marcus Sedgwick and Sally Gardner.

added coverage from the Floor-to-Ceiling Books blog

The Girl With The Yellow Bag

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'The Girl with the Yellow Bag' by Maia Walczak with music by Amy Hiller from Maia Walczak on Vimeo.

Once there was a girl. She had a very yellow bag. But it was no ordinary bag. She set off for a walk through the city and through the woods, and the bag showed the girl an amazing world of beautiful things...

Illustrations and story are by Maia Walczak - MaiaMakesBooks.com

Beverly Cleary Interviewed at 95

published a week ago in The Atlantic

The real Secret Garden

On the centenary of Frances Hodgson Burnett's best-loved story, The Secret Garden, Helen Brown (for the Daily Telegraph) visits the corner of Kent behind the myth...

Telegraph Reviews

Teen Fiction: Historical, reviewed by Philip Womack

Telegraph Reviews

Teen Fiction: Adventure, reviewed by Jake Kerridge

Telegraph Reviews

Adventure books for 9-12, reviewed by Philip Womack

telegraph Reviews

Books for younger readers, reviewed by Toby Clements

Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

The Devil Walks by Anne Fine, reviewed by Mal Peet

Fine has not won all her awards for nothing. She is a superb and subtle writer. The Devil Walks functions perfectly as a page-turning chiller (it would translate wonderfully into film or television) but it also operates at other levels. This is a book that, without seeming to, subverts the keystone notions of family, home and nurture. While the novel offers, at its end, forgiveness and redemption, these arise from the smoke and ashes of both the miniature High Gates (that is, Daniel's childhood) and the huge and sinister house itself (his inheritance). Only by razing what he was and what he might have become does Daniel have the possibility of freedom. MAL PEET

Online Literary Festival

Impressively full schedule - follow the link for full listings....

Historical Review

Philip Womack, in the Daily Telegraph, reviews two historical children's novels:


The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence


Young Sherlock Holmes: Black Ice by Andrew Lane

Book of a Lifetime

Helen Humphreys's, whose novel 'The Reinvention of Love' is published by Serpent's Tail, wirites about Charlotte's Web, in this short featire from The Independent...


CLPE Poetry Award 2011

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The winner of the CLPE Poetry Award for 2011 is Philip Gross for Off Road to Everywhere, illustrated by Jonathan Gross, Salt Publishing.

The presentation of the Award was made at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education on Tuesday 5 July, 2011.

Off Road to Everywhere was described by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, last year's winner of the prize and a judge as, "an outstanding winner for this Award" while fellow judge Fiona Waters who is also a previous winner said, "This is wonderful stuff. Here are real, proper poems which are full of beauty and imagination. I loved it!"

Philip Gross is Professor of Creative Writing at Glamorgan University.

The CLPE Poetry Award which was judged this year by Carol Ann Duffy, Andrew Lambirth and Fiona Waters, honours excellence in poetry written for children. Previous winners include Jackie Kay, Roger McGough, Fiona Waters, Carol Ann Duffy, Grace Nichols and John Agard.

The 2011 award was sponsored by Travelling Books.

The other shortlised books...

Branford Boase Award 2011

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Branford Boase Award 2011

Should have been there myself, but had another engagement. Here is some video shot by Sarah McIntyre and a link (above) to her blog entry about the ceremony.

The winners of the award were Jason Wallace and his editor Charlie Sheppard for the novel Out of the Shadows.


I wrote it in a bout eight hours...

Andy Stanton talks to The Guardian about how the Gum books came into being:

"It was quite haphazard, almost fairytale-like," says children's author Andy Stanton of the publication of the first book in his award-winning Mr Gum series. He wrote the manuscript from start to finish through the night one Christmas Eve, as a present to read to his young cousins on Christmas Day. "I had a scrap of writing about a horrible old man having a fight with a big dog and I started with that. I didn't think twice about any of it. As I went along all the other characters built into the story and I wrote it in about eight hours," he says.



Andrea Deakin Newsletter

Andrea Deakin has been a great friend, both professionally and personally, even though we have never met face to face. She has been ACHUKA's semi-official Canadian correspondent for many years, always ensuring I am kept up to speed with shortlist and winner announcements. I have lost count of the packages that have arrived from Canada containing books that she thinks will interest me or my grandchildren.

I am grateful beyond words for her generosity, and the farewell messages at the head of her final Children's Literature Newsletter make it clear that this very special English-born Canadian lady has spread that generosity widely.

The University of Alberta Libraries will now assume all responsibilities of the eponymous "Deakin Newsletter", which will be renamed "The Deakin Review of Children's Literature" and will be mounted on a University of Alberta Libraries webpage as an open access ejournal in mid-July.

Orchard YA Deal

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In a three-book deal for world rights excluding USA that was brokered with Caroline Sheldon of the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency, Orchard Books have acquired Slated, a psychological thriller from debut author, Teri Terry.

This is the first major acquisition for the new Publishing Director of Orchard Books, Megan Larkin, who says: "Slated is a remarkable debut; it completely gets under your skin, and lingers in your mind long after you've finished reading it. It's haunting, tense and thought-provoking. We're thrilled to be launching such an exciting new author on the Orchard Books teen list."

Slated is Teri Terry's first novel. She lives in Buckinghamshire and is an active member of SCWBI. She currently divides her time between writing, working in a library, and doing a research MA on the depiction of terrorism in Young Adult literature since the 9-11 attacks in America.

ACHUKA Chapter Book Table

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Chapter Book Table

Updated selection of short chapter books, principally (but not exclusively) for younger readers...

What strikes me when I make selections for this category is the overwhelming preponderance of what I can only describe as funny and frothy reads.

I wish there were more books of the quality and type of Linda Newbery's LOB.

Oh, how much Dick King-Smith is missed!

Hooray For YA

Five recommendations...
A tweet from Marcus Sedgwick brought this to my attention. Thanks @marcussedgwick

Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson, reviewed by Mary Hoffman

A "film for all the family" was once jokily defined as "one with a dog in it". By that criterion, Eva Ibbotson's last novel is one for all the cousins, aunts and uncles you can muster. Ibbotson died in her sleep last October, at the age of 85, having just finished correcting the proofs of this, her last book. In spite of the singular title, it is full of dogs - characterful, idiosyncratic dogs, from pampered pooches to circus performers. MARY HOFFMAN

Timor The Alligator

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A preview of XG Media's first Interactive eBook App: Timor the Alligator - Brushing his Teeth. Soon available on iPad and Android Devices.


The Making of: Timor the Alligator - Brushing his Teeth / Interactive eBook from XG Media on Vimeo.


iPad Apps For Toddlers

The New York Times recommends five...

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2011 is the previous archive.

August 2011 is the next archive.

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