Lots of pictures and comment from Sarah’s weekend at the CBI Conference in Dublin.
Lots of pictures and comment from Sarah’s weekend at the CBI Conference in Dublin.
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell, reviewed by Simon Mason
Simon Mason quite likes this ‘dotty’ novel. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it when I read it, and felt it somehow missed being a great read. I shall be interested to see what children make of it…
Katherine Rundell’s charmingly lyrical style is dotty in the way Charles is dotty. In the London section she seems interested mainly in conversations, which have a high quota of witticism (wearing a skirt, Sophie looks as if she’s "mugged a librarian") and aphorisms (lawyers have all "the decency and courage of lavatory paper"). In general, her metaphors are determinedly original. Such verbal showiness, though entertaining, has the disadvantage of showing up the misses as well as the successes, and in the early stages the story has the contrived manner, but not the solidly exciting matter, of a fairytale.
This changes the moment Sophie climbs up through the skylight in her Parisian hotel bedroom to the rooftop above. All her life she has been a keen tree-climber, drawn to heights. Now, standing above the city, she is liberated – and the story is liberated with her. Almost immediately she realises she’s not alone up there. A feral boy called Matteo lives on the roof of the law courts, and the drama of his encounter with Sophie and their subsequent partnership is thrilling. The roof-top world is grittily real, the stuff of broken toes and roasted rat and howling gales. Breaking away from Charles’s protection, Sophie finally expresses the Pippi Longstocking-like wilfulness only coyly hinted at before. Even the showy metaphors thin out. There’s a gripping journey of exploration, an extraordinary feast and a tremendous fight between Sophie, Matteo and their tree-dwelling friends and a wolf-like pack of boys from the station area.
From Amsterdam to Wolf Hall, some of the world’s most acclaimed writers have annotated their own first editions. The books will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in aid of English PEN. What would you bid for these bibliophiles’ dreams?
The winners of the Atlantic Book Awards were announced at a celebration hosted by CBC Radio’s Louise Renault.
The winners are:
Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature
Live to Tell, Lisa Harrington (Dancing Cat Books)
Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association’s Best Atlantic-Published Book Award
The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini, Bruce McNab (Goose Lane Editions)
Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing
The Ocean Ranger: Remaking the Promise of Oil, Susan Dodd (Fernwood Publishing)
Dartmouth Book Award for Non-fiction in Memory of Robbie Robertson
French Taste in Atlantic Canada 1604–1758: A Gastronomic History/ Le goût français au Canada atlantique 1604-1758: une histoire gastronomique, Anne Marie Lane Jonah and Chantal Véchambre (Cape Breton University Press)
Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing
In Search of R.B. Bennett, P.B. Waite (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
E.J. Pratt Poetry Award
Paradoxides, Don McKay (McClelland & Stewart)
Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction)
Anna from Away, D.R. MacDonald (HarperCollins Canada)
Lillian Shepherd Award for Excellence in Illustration
I Is for Island: A Prince Edward Island Alphabet, Hugh MacDonald; Brenda Jones, illus. (Sleeping Bear Press)
Margaret and John Savage First Book Award
Dirty Bird, Keir Lowther (Tightrope Books)
Rogers Communication Award for Non-fiction
In the Field, Joan Sullivan (Breakwater Books)
A New York Times Book Review of the 150th anniversary newly annotated edition for adults of THE WATER-BABIES: A Fairy Tale for a Land-Babies, by Maria Tatar
The golden age of children’s literature — beginning in the 1860s with Charles Kingsley’s “Water-Babies” and Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and ending with the publication of the Winnie-the-Pooh books in the 1920s — earned its name by turning stories into luminous contact zones for adults and children. A million golden arrows point to Neverland, and you can reach Oz by passing through a gate studded with glittering emeralds. The heft of “Or else!” in cautionary tales about children going up in flames after playing with matches was replaced with the incandescent beauty of “What if?” Writers aspired to lure children into fantasy worlds that would leave them, as Frances Hodgson Burnett put it, “breathing quite fast with excitement, and wonder, and delight.”
Publishers across the UK submitted their best recent books that communicate science to young people. An adult shortlisting panel has narrowed down the choice to a shortlist of six books.
The winning book will be selected entirely by groups of young people from schools and youth groups around the UK. These groups together form a judging panel that looks at all the shortlisted books and chooses a winner.
The six books shortlisted by the shortlisting panel for 2013 are:
The judges said: “A hands on, fun kit to help learn about the human body, accompanied by a well-illustrated, concise, clear book.”
The judges said: “This book is buzzing with interesting science facts and wonderful poetry. Each page features a different British minibeast that you might find in your back garden, with a funny poem about them.”
The judges said: “A good starting point for learning about the topic and full of rocking chemistry! Starting with what elements are and where they come from, the book goes through each element in turn with facts about their discovery and the science about how they impact our everyday lives.”
The judges said: “A light-hearted but informative look at the science behind the use of poo and wee throughout history to build houses, wash and dye our clothes, fertilize crops, treat illnesses, solve crimes, control pollution and create fuel, energy and explosives. A perfectly disgusting book: Kids will love it!”
The judges said: “This book is intricately illustrated with tiny factory workers who explain how each part of the body works. It is the ‘Where’s Wally?’ of the human body; you keep noticing comic little details such as the workers in dinghies mixing gastric juices in the stomach with a giant whisk! As well as being fun, we were also impressed by the level of accurate scientific detail.
The judges said: “A fantastically interactive book for younger children. Full of flaps to lift (and flaps under flaps) that reveal amazing facts about space!”
The shortlisting panel are:
Professor John Goodby FRS – Chemist at the University of York researching liquid crystals
Dr Jenny Read – University Research Fellow at the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University researching visual perception
Grrlscientist – an evolutionary biologist, science writer and blogger
Shazia Lydon – Assistant Headteacher at Challney High School For Boys, Luton
Simon Watt – Science communicator and presenter of Inside Nature’s Giants on Channel 4
via Shortlist – Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize | Royal Society.
The winner will not be announced till 11th November 2013.
Short extract from the findings of an interesting, indepth survey into ebook sales and pricing. Highly recommended:
An indie ebook author earns about $2.00 from the sale of a $2.99 book. That book, on average, will sell four times as many units as a book priced over $10.00. In order for a traditionally published author to earn $2.00 on an ebook sale, the book must be priced at $11.42 (if the publisher has agency terms, as Smashwords does) or $16.00 (if it’s a wholesale publisher). Remember, traditionally published authors earn only 25% of the net, whereas Smashwords authors earn 85% net. If your book is traditionally published, and your publisher sells under the wholesale pricing model, you earn only about $1.25 for a book priced at $9.99, whereas an indie ebook author would earn $6.00-$8.00 at that price.
If a reader has the choice to purchase one of two books of equal quality, and one is priced at $2.99 and the other is priced at $12.99, which will they choose?
Recommended for the photo gallery:
After tallying 1,138,675 votes from kids all over the country, the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader announced the winners of the sixth annual Children’s Choice Book Awards at a gala benefit in New York City on May 13.
As part of the second Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour of 2013, run by Scottish Book Trust, over 1,500 lucky North and South Lanarkshire primary school pupils were invited into Robin and Lorenzo Etherington’s zany world of comic art and storytelling.
The brothers will have visited ten schools during the tour, including five schools in North Lanarkshire from 13 to 15 May, and a further five schools in South Lanarkshire from 15 to 17 May.
The energetic and engaging Etherington Brothers are a British comic book duo who are changing how pupils and teachers up and down the country are thinking about comic books. With Robin writing and Lorenzo illustrating they show pupils how to devise original characters, worlds and stories for a 21st century audience. Aside from original material, the talented brothers have also produced comic work for Transformers, Star Wars, Wallace and Gromit, and Terminator. They’ve also worked on movies such as Dreamworks’ Monster vs. Aliens and Madagascar.
“It is a genuine honour to be invited to take part in the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. For over a decade Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Friendly have been exciting readers and writers and artists by bringing a host of incredible authors to schools and libraries across Scotland and England, and we feel truly privileged to join their ranks.”
Chris Newton, Children’s Events Manager at Scottish Book Trust added:
“Scottish Book Trust is delighted to have the Etherington Brothers on the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. Their events are great fun and I can guarantee that children and adults alike will be spellbound. We hope that the brothers will inspire pupils in North and South Lanarkshire to have a go at writing and drawing their own comics, and most importantly have a long lasting impact on the children’s enthusiasm for reading.”
The number of young people reading from a screen every day has overtaken those who read printed material for the first time.
However, according to research done by the National Literacy Trust, it could be potentially detrimental to their reading ability.
The study found those who read only electronic books daily are significantly less likely to be strong readers than those who read daily in print, and are much less likely to enjoy reading.
The research, which surveyed 34,910 young people aged eight to 16, also revealed that fewer students who read from devices reported having a favourite book.