April 2003 Archives

Feed Win

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Publishers Weekly | Reed Business Information

Feed by M. T. Anderson wins the Los Angeles Times Young Adult Novel Award.


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Co-authors fascinated by faeries
About the authors (Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi) of the 5-volume Spiderwick Chronicles, publishing in the UK in August...

Lindsey Likes...

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Lindsey Fraser's two choices in The Guardian are
Spindle's End by Robin McKinley ("a powerful performance")

Blue John by Berlie Doherty ill. Tim Clarey ("a wonderful stimulus for creative writing")

Puffin Pout

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Received an invitation to the summer Puffin Party held each year at the Roof Gardens, Kensington, and am downcast to find it takes place while I'm away in France with a group of Y6. It's always the best event of the year for picture gallery shots, so I'll have to try and find another digital snapper to wear the ACHUKA badge.

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Leader-Telegram Online
Piece from a few days ago (April 24th) about Chris Crutcher, missed from the Web Watch section in ACHUKA's weekly update...

Robert Lipsyte

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The Power to Change Young Lives
New York Yimes article about YA author Robert Lipsyte

Riverside Walk

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The day was wet at the start and the end, but the afternoon was gloriously sunny, and after P. had been taken on a tour of garden centres, buying up birthday plants, we and R. had a riverside walk at Lewes.

Berlingo clocked up its first 1000 miles today so will have to arrange the quick half-hour service check.

Guardian Review II

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Sisters doing it for themselves
Lyn Gardner reviews Poison by Chris Wooding

"This novel's book-within-a-book double narrative makes it a cut above most teenage fiction, and also offers the story's most haunting image: that of a lost sister wandering the earth looking for a lost sister who has found her true place in the world. That is as tragic a happy-ever-after as you can get. "

Guardian Review I

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | The never-ending story
Jan Mark reviews Roderick Townley's The Great Good Thing

"The Great Good Thing is not aimed at mass consumption; it is a book waiting for the right reader. When it is opened the characters will drop whatever they are doing and converge on page 3, ready to begin. Authors do not create readers, they create books. Readers create themselves."

Doing It Interest II

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Doing It Interest

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Guardian Unlimited | Arts features | Mark Lawson: Publicity laid bare

Doing It was also discussed on Newsnight Review last night. Rosie Boycott enthusiastic. Will Self less so.

Friday Already!

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Did four short reviews for Carousel in the morning -
TWO FROGS by Chris Wormell (Greenaway shortlist next year?)
OUR GRACIE AUNT by Jacqueline Woodson & Jon J Muth
MANNEKIN PIS by Vladimir Radunsky

Middle part of day in Brighton, birthday shopping for P. Stopover in Seaford. Now I'm wondering where the week has gone!

Carnegie Greenaway 4

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Have written up the CKG shortlisting and will email in the morning after a last look. After being holed up at CILIP for two entire days it was good to get out pm for a walk in the woods and a stroll round Rye with P. and R.

Came back to a message from Carousel. Help, I haven't sent them my reviews. Their deadline usually ties in with end of a school holiday but because Easter was late this year they actually wanted things in by end of March. There're 4 books in the box I'm ready to review at short notice so will send them something in the morning.

Carnegie Greenaway 3

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Have had this paranoid feeling all day wondering whether yesterday's message breached the CILIP Embargo I had to sign.

I don't think so. Yes, it's true that some Carnegie authors/publishers might be able to deduce from my comments that they have not been shortlisted, but there are other factors involved which make such conclusions unsound. I can think of at least two books where the obvious conclusion - based on my reviews and known views - would be wrong. So, in the end, I have an easy conscience, especially insofar as any speculation provoked by my remarks can only enhance interest in the shortlist announcement.
I had been advised that the Greenaway shortlisting would not take so long as the Carnegie. It took longer. It was more intense and the discussions were more emotionally charged. One or two of the librarians were visibly shell-shocked at the end of the process. My proverbial hat goes off to them. Tomorrow (Thursday) I have to write my piece for the TES. I sketched much of it out in a notebook while travelling back on the train with R. -- who I met at Victoria -- on a 4 day visit from Sheffield.

Carnegie Greenaway 2

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I know what's on the Carnegie shortlist but YOU won't know till May 2nd - all I'll say for now is that NONE of my six favoured shortlist titles made it! - mind you, the official shortlist (of 7) is a good one & includes two books I haven't so far read... ... Now I have to be up at the crack of dawn to get to CILIP for the start of Greenaway judging. Susan Elkin, Nick Tucker and Julia Eccleshare also there at various stages today...

Carnegie Greenaway 1

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Just mentally marking off my own preferred shortlists on a printout of the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals longlists:


Off to CILIP HQ tomorrow and Wednesday to report on the shortlisting process for TES. I shall only be able to make very general comments here, however, as there is a strict embargo on the outcome of the discussions.
I'm belatedly reading Hoot by Carl Hiaassen and am really enjoying it.
Lovely sunshine again today. V. pleasant walk at Birling Gap...

Choc Hazelnut Meringue Roulade

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Spent Easter Day in Brighton at Tim & Jane's. Niece Emiliy had prepared a Chocolate Hazelnut Meringue Roulade from Delia's recipe:
Nephew Harry, Emily's older brother, had just secured a video camera for ?37 from Ebay, so he and the other two nephews, Joseph and Thomas, were busy testing it out.


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Lisette (ACHUKA reviewer) was married yesterday and we attended the evening reception, along with several other of her friends from a previous life as a teacher in the south-east. She now works for OUP in Oxford. L. was a nanny for the Nicholson family and the wedding took place in the church near the Nicholson home, with the reception in the Nicholsons' own barn. The sudden dive in temperatures rendered the occasion for late arrivals such as ourselves (family and main guests were well-lined with food and drink) somewhat of an ordeal, as we stood listening to the end-of-dinner speeches. We stayed for the cutting-of-the-cake and a quick word with L. then scurried home for some warmth and wine.


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These three pictures were taken in warmer weather yesterday. The local carpet warehouse lease is up for sale, so I wanted a picture of this sign before it's taken down. The other two are from the back garden.

Wardell Gray

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Brian, the next-door neighbour just knocked. He'd taken in an Amazon box while we were out this morning. Inside, the 4CD box-set The Wardell Gray Story, fantastic value. And Dreamweaver MX: Advanced PHP Web Development, which should keep me busy over the second week of the Easter holiday!

Cold Start

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Nip to the air as I walk down the High Street to fetch the Saturday papers (Times, Guardian & Telegraph) - not expecting to find much children's books coverage, most of the Easter roundups already having appeared - though I heard from David Robinson midweek that my Scotsman piece had been held over - till this weekend or after Easter? I'm not sure.
Just checked online. My general teenage fiction piece not in, but this review by David Sexton of Melvin Burgess's DOING IT well worth a look:

Best show

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Spent Good Friday morning entering newly-arrived books into the MySql database, shortly to be brought into play on ACHUKA. Yellow shrub, bought as a tiny tiny plant from Woolworths when we moved here nearly 10 years ago, is now a splendid 10 foot proud specimen, looking at its best this Easter, swaying in the wind, and scratching against the window.

The slightly tedious cataloguing enhanced by Lucinda Williams' excellent new CD, World Without Tears

The conservatory wisteria is already dropping its bloom.

East & West Hill

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Had good walk in the sun pm. Parked Berlingo at top of Hastings West Hill, walked down into Old Town then climbed steps up to East Hill. Went some way along the cliff edge, alongside the Pitch & Putt course where I worked (best job I ever had) in the early 1970s.
Came down, strolled along George Street and High Street, and saw these dogs again (see them nearly every time we go to Hastings).



11:45 Just back from the Post Office, having collected a large grey sack, mainly filled with packets from the TES. The new warehouse should help us develop a rolling in/out system for received review copies which recently have threatened to take over the entire living space.

Summery April

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Hot day in Brighton. Came home, by way of Seaford, where the Multispace had its first wash. Reading Abraham Hannibal and the Raiders of the Sands by Frances Somers Cocks while Pip chatted with Granny.
Inspired to set up this Blog by Helen's Online Diary.

New Warehouse

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Spent the day sorting ACHUKA's new warehouse = shed at bottom of garden, having screwed seven sets of Homebase shelving together, which means I haven't read a word all day, and am further and further behind with reading. Yesterday I read Blue Moon by Julia Green (Puffin), one of the better books about teenage pregnancy.

The hallway is piled with boxes of old review copies ready to be shipped out to school libraries tomorrow. Recently replaced our ancient Peugeot estate with a new Berlingo Multispace, selected partly with bookloading capacity in mind, but also because of its quirky charm.

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