September 2004 Archives

Booktrust Early Years Awards

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The Winners:

Baby Book AwardI love you! by David Ellwand and Mike Jolley (Templar)

Pre-School Award
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Macmillan)

Best New Illustrator Award
Polly and the North Star by Polly Horne (Orion)

The judges were: Wendy Cooling, Children's Book Consultant; Sarah Brown, consultant at Brunswick Arts, and married to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; Annette Faamausili, a Nursery Nurse; Giles Harrison, a Children's Librarian; Catherine Anholt, who has produced more than 90 bestselling children's books; and Ken Wilson-Max, creator of several award-winning picture books.

Shanville - Sons Of Destiny

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Darren Shan Monthly 51

Darren Shan's October newsletter includes a link to a new and impressive microsite which has been established to help market Book 12 of the saga...

Shan embarks on a major month-long promotional tour on October 2nd - dates and venues are included in the newsletter.

OZ Awards

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The Courier-Mail: Literary award winner is no accidental storyteller [30sep04]

Other winners in the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards include: Peter Robb for A Death in Brazil (non-fiction); Carole Wilkinson for Dragonkeeper (children's); Martine Murray for How to Make a Bird (young adult); Tara June Winch for Dust on Waterglass (David Unaipon Award); JM Coetzee for Elizabeth Costello (fiction); Sturat Macintyre and Anna Clark for The History Wars (public debate); Inga Clendinnen for Dancing with Strangers (history); Alana Valentine for Run Rabbit Run (stage drama); Blake Ayshford for The Cooks (television script); Sarah Watt for Look Both Ways (film script); Eva Sallis for Mahjar (Steele Rudd Award); Judith Beveridge for Wolf Notes (poetry); Sonya Pemberton for Genius of Junk (science).

More On That Bad Book

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Pratchett Pics

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Here is the photo gallery of Perry Pratchett's 21 Years of Discworld event (see entry below).

Main gallery

Going Postal

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Ostensibly a launch of the latest Discworld title, published as a children's book, as well as a celebration of 21 years years of Discworld, the event at the Royal Society of Arts' Vaults was much more the latter. Not a single copy of Going Postal was evident and I can't remember it being mentioned in either of the main speeches. But as a celebration of Discworld and of Pratchett's success as a popular cult author it was a tremendous evening, with Shirley Hughes and Jacqueline Wilson amongst the guests. A retinue of professionally got-up fancy dress characters was completely bemusing to those few guests who, like me, knew very little about the Discworld cast.

Pictures to follow Wednesday am, or evening.

The event clashed with a Thames riverboat joint launch for two OUP books, by Gerladine McCaughrean and Tim Bowler. Worried about missing my preferred last train back to base, I had opted for a West End venue. But I did start reading Tim Bowler's Apocalypse on the train.

It is a powerful book; although its stunningly atmospheric opening is somewhat undermined on p43 by the appearance of a girl, whose entry into the story immediately marks this out as a children's novel, whereas the previous pages had been bracingly ambivalent as far as audience was concerned. But I am still only 100 pages in, so may end up revising my judgement on the girl.

Series Start

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The Carnegie Pulse: Art & Culture > The next JK Rowling

...first book of a six-part children's book series entitled Boy Werewolf. After sending a manuscript to several publishing companies, Colin received a book deal [with Lightning Source UK]. He is now looking forward to the November 15 release of the first book in the series, Curse of the Golden Statue, a fantasy story geared toward children ages 8-12.

2000 Year Old Man

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Another 6-Figure xxxx

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Publishing News reports that Sarah Odedina of Bloomsbury Children's Books has sealed a six-figure two-book deal with Pearl Morrison, a debut author, whose first book, The Wind Tamer, is scheduled for Spring next year.

In Bad Books

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Bad Book 'not good enough' - Books -

Andy Griffiths has got himself into the bad books of some children's booksellers and conference organisers with the latest title by him and his illustrator Terry Denton, The Bad Book, previously mentioned in a blogged report...

Children's bookseller Kate Colley, of Bloomin' Books at Caringbah in Sydney, said: "I'm not a prude, and a lot of the book is fun. But after reading the whole thing, I couldn't sleep."

Ms Colley cited the stories of a grandmother eating her own excrement, a child setting a cat on fire, and a mother sending her child across a six-lane road to be run over by a truck.

"This is the first book I've refused to stock in 15 years," she said. "But some of us have to take a stand . . . I don't think children need this, with so much violence going on."

ST Book Of The Week

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Times Online - Sunday Times

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Lizzie Nonsense by Jan Ormerod

Set in Australia around 1900, this picturebook is notable for Jan Ormerod?s atmospheric landscapes and figure drawings. In crayon, watercolour and gouache, with a skilful and immensely satisfying pencil line, they convey dazzling sunshine, autumnal softness, interiors lit by oil lamps, and faces and bodies that express patience, playfulness, anxiety, hope and, above all, tenderness. NICOLETTE JONES

Select Reviews

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Times Online - Books

A select group of junior reviewers write about a random group of good reads.

Nerissa Nields

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New Haven Advocate: Folk Fiction

"Scholastic Books just called," said my manager, Patty Romanoff. "They want you to do a series of young adult books based on your songs. Are you interested?"

Long piece by Nerissa Nields about her transition from singer to novelist.

Listen Again

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BBC - Radio 4 - Woman's Hour -Children's picture books

Ritula Shah talks to The Gruffalo?s author, Julia Donaldson and to the Guardian?s Children?s book editor Julia Eccleshare about what makes an enduring and popular picture book.

Has a 'Listen to this item' link.


NZ Review

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Grim In Book And Film

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The New York Times > Movies > Lemony Snicket's Down and Dirty Indie

he writer Daniel Handler, a k a Lemony Snicket, was in New York this week promoting two new works. One is "The Grim Grotto," the 11th installment of his hugely successful "Series of Unfortunate Events." These gothic children's books, following the star-crossed Baudelaire orphans through fantastical misadventures, have sold about 25 million copies in the last five years and won approval from grown-ups for their shrewd storytelling and clever wordplay. The other is "Rick," also grim, but strictly for adults. An independent movie written by Mr. Handler, it is unsparing in language and sexuality.

Excellent New York Times feature on Daniel Handler.


Rooting For Kerry

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Authors & Illustrators for Children

More than 300 (and rising) published US children?s authors and illustrators ? including Judy Blume and Maurice Sendak ? are joining forces to place ads in swing states in support of John Kerry.

The print ads, with a child?s face behind hundreds of author and illustrator names, are headlined ?We Create Children?s Books Because We Care About Children?That?s Why We?re Voting For John Kerry.?

Among the award-winning authors and illustrators are:



Louis Sachar (HOLES)

Sid Fleischman (THE WHIPPING BOY)

Patricia MacLachlan (SARAH PLAIN AND TALL)


Joanna Cole (THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS series)

Eve Bunting (SMOKY NIGHT)

Chris Crutcher (WHALE TALK)

Tomie dePaola (STREGA NONA)

Crescent Dragonwagon (HALF A MOON AND ONE WHOLE STAR)

Jack Gantos (The ROTTEN RALPH series)




James Howe (BUNNICULA)

Gail Carson Levine (ELLA ENCHANTED)



Linda Sue Park (A SINGLE SHARD)


Laurence Yep (DRAGONWINGS)

Jane Yolen (OWL MOON)

Charlotte Zolotow (THE SEASHORE BOOK)

Terrible Tale

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Star-Telegram | 09/21/2004 | The Terrible Tale Of The New Dark Side Of Childrens Literature

Kids read dark books for the emotional experience, says Donna Jo Napoli, an author who writes contemporary, fantasy and historical fiction for children.

"If we want to find out about sharks, we read nonfiction," she says. "We read fiction to have an emotional experience."

And who's looking for a bland, boring emotional experience?

"You have to have the extreme -- you want to be challenged, you want to be horrified," Napoli says.

A US article about the recent wave of children's books with a darkly humorous take on tragedy.

Dickie Ending

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Concord Monitor Online

Simpsons writer, Mike Reiss, complains that the ending to his latest children's book, The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln, is being misconstrued... my utter amazement, my newest children's book has been branded "vulgar" and "obscene" by angry, readers who just don't get it.


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Bond News

Popular children's author Anthony Horowitz turned down the opportunity to write the new Young James Bond novels, according to a recent interview.

The interview referred to is from the Independent, back in August.

Tribal Wars

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eBay item 6927961631 (Ends 27-Sep-04 20:24:26 BST) - Tribal wars Wolf Brother V's Lexian Chronicles.Paw &

Sam Salmon, book collector, eBay dealer, entrepreneur and literary agent for the mysterious Harry Gallan, author of 'The Lexian Chronicles', has drawn attention to the similarities in content, but contrasts in publishing provenance, of his author's first book, Full Circle, and Michelle Paver's Wolf Brother.
According to Salmon there is both movie and comic book interest in Gallan, whose identity has to be closely guarded because of the nature of his full-time occupation. Two hundred signed and dated copies of Full Circle will form the centrepiece of a display in Harrods book department in a fortnight's time.

You can discover more about this item by reading Harry's Blog and related pages on the Markosia website.


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The Australian: The prince of pulp fiction [September 20, 2004]

Excellent Australian feature interview with Elmore Leonard...

When I ask him at what age he had pitched his first children's book, A Coyote's in the House, which has just been published, he replies: "I thought children of 12, or even 10, because I probably write at a 5th or 6th-grade level anyway, in my use of words."

Highly recommended

ST Book Of The Week

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Times Online - Sunday Times

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Clarice Bean Spells Trouble by Lauren Child

What Bridget Jones is to thirtysomethings, Clarice Bean is to pre-teens: full of funny one-liners, doing her best to overcome her shortcomings, prone to embarrassing mistakes and good at heart. NICOLETTE JONES

Eoin Colfer

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On a wing and a prayer - Books -

Eoin Colfer feature...


Banned Books

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Louisville Scene | Arts

A US feature about 'banned' children's books...

Unworthy Sequel

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Times Online - Books

Amanda Craig is disappointed by The Gruffalo's Child:

Unlike the first book, there is nobody really to root for. Children want to be on the side of the Gruffalo?s Child because she?s one of them right up until the moment that she tries to eat the mouse. It needs a further twist to the tale. Despite its charm, this, sadly, is not a worthy sequel to an inspired modern classic.


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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Of angels and oranges

Diane Samuels reviews Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli:

Milkweed is fresh and vital. The writing is vivid and as funny as it is uncompromising in its depiction of the horrors of life for less-than-humans under the Jackboots.

Great Day

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Made in Britain

Malorie Blackman was just one of many writers of Caribbean, Asian and African descent gathered together for a group photo in London:

Looking at the writers in the picture you can see how this is the case. There is Lynton Kwesi Johnson, widely regarded as the father of dub poetry; Malorie Blackman, the highly successful children's author whose novel Noughts and Crosses was one of the books on the BBC's The Big Read Top 100 list; Ben Okri, who won the Booker Prize for his novel The Famished Road; Romesh Gunesekera, who was short-listed for the same prize with his novel Reef; Gary Younge and Maya Jaggi are well known for their thoughtful, intelligent journalism... ...

Sharp North Launch

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Patrick Cave's impressive third novel, Sharp North, was officially launched in a London vodka bar last night, towards the end of a full week of promotional events, which has taken Cave up and down the land. The tour ends today, with Cave flying out to Dublin, before returning to France, where he now lives, and where the thrilling climax of the novel is set.
Cave's is a refreshingly unfamiliar voice in children's fiction, partly perhaps because, as he revealed last night, he had never met another children's author before this week, when he was introduced to David Almond and Melvin Burgess, who was apparently intrigued to find out that Cave had acquired a proof copy of Doing It (at a bargain price) via an ACHUKA eBay auction.

More Gossip

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Best-Selling Young Adult Novel, Gossip Girl, Releases 6th Book in Series Today!

In a publishing coup, Little, Brown and Company has signed best-selling young adult novelist, Cecily von Ziegesar, to write an additional 3 books for her New York Times best-selling series "Gossip Girl." In addition to this feat, von Ziegesar has also been signed to create a spin-off of the lucrative series entitled "The It Girl."

Medal For Blume

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The New York Times > Books > Literary Prize for Judy Blume, Confidante to Teenagers

Judy Blume, whose frank portrayals of the travails of adolescence have won flocks of teenaged fans but whose books have sometimes been pulled from library shelves after being deemed inappropriate for preteens, has been selected by the National Book Foundation for its annual medal for distinguished contribution to American letters.

Blume is the first children's author to receive the medal.

Posthumous African Novel

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KENYAN publisher East African Educational Publishers (EAEP) has released the first posthumous book by Stephen Alumenda, one of Zimbabwe's finest children's book authors, who died in a road accident in June.


Probably the most prolific children's book writer ever to emerge from Zimbabwe, Alumenda published 20 children's books and teenage novels in a career spanning just over a decade. He wrote with equal dexterity in both English and Shona and spared time to run skills training workshops for aspiring writers.

Dreaming Of Freedom

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Pulitzer winner's 'Dream of Freedom'

A feature about Diane McWhorter, author of a new overview of the Civil Rights movement for readers aged 9 - 14, Dream Of Freedom

Writer In Residence

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Roald Dahl Museum
Writer in Residence
?7,000 Fixed Fee for 4 Months
March 2005 - June 2005

Read the full job ad...

DIfficult Market

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Small print - Books -

Think writing a best-selling children's book is as easy as a game of hopscotch? Alexa Moses discovers many an adult horror story in the literary schoolyard.

Excellent Australian feature about the children's book market.

Highly recommended

Avi Feature

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From a struggle to a career

Stubbornness, says children's author Avi, is at the root of his decision to become a writer.

Short feature about American children's author, Avi.


ST Book Of The Week

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Times Online - Sunday Times

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Freak The Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

Suspenseful, touching and swiftly persuasive about its most unusual central characters, this remarkable book takes you through dark territory, but is written with humour and simplicity. It celebrates language, loyalty and imagination, and leaves you smiling. NICOLETTE JONES

Before The Flood

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Retelling the greatest story

Adele Geras reviews In The Shadow Of The Ark by Anne Provoost:

This may not be entirely a young adult's novel. Some teenagers will find it too slow and may decide that not enough happens on the way to the possible end of the world, but for those who don't demand a whizz-bang book every single time, there's much here to remember.

Once again the Guardian online review shows the US not the UK jacket, which makes Geras's comment that the "young woman on the cover could perhaps have been a little more Middle Eastern in appearance" difficult for the online reader to take a view on.

Sharing A Secret

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Really ab fab

Philip Ardagh is mightily impressed by Martine Murray's The SLightly True Story Of Cedar B. Hartley:

Part of me wants to keep it to myself, buying it for family and friends as a special treat, as "our secret". Part of me wants to shout its brilliance from the roof tops.

Slightly annoying for the book's UK publisher, Macmillan, The Guardian's review shows the US Scholastic cover, and (unless now corrected) links to Amazon's purchase page for the American edition.

Our link points to the UK edition.

It's A Political World

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Renowned [Canadian] children's author Robert Munsch played political commentator yesterday, praising the provincial Liberals for promoting literacy and slamming the former Conservative government for mismanaging the education system.

Swamp Man

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CBS News | James Carville's Children's Book | September 9, 2004?15:00:51

CBS) James Carville, a political consultant who rose to national fame for his work in Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, has joined the ranks of other unlikely children's book authors such as Madonna, Lynne Cheney, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jay Leno, Maria Shriver, Jerry Garcia and Spike Lee.

His book, Lu and the Swamp Ghost, is based on the stories Carville's mother Lucille told him as a child.

Straight In At #1

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Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

Over 6,500 copies of The Gruffalo's Child were sold in the UK in the four days since the book hit store shelves on September 1 and since then 3,000 have been snapped up each day -- propelling the story to No. 1 on the Children's Hardback fiction chart.

Nightmare Director For Coraline

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Henry Selick

Henry Selick, director of James and the Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas, is set to turn Neil Gaiman's children's novel, Coraline, into an entirely stop-motion movie, the film option on the book now having been 'exercised'.

Global Acquisition

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HarperCollins has acquired Eric Carle's latest book, 10 LITTLE RUBBER DUCKS, which will be published simultaneously in the UK, North America, Australia and New Zealand in February 2005.

10 LITTLE RUBBER DUCKS is based on the true story of the rubber ducks that fell overboard from a container ship en route from China to Seattle during a storm in 1992. These rubber ducks, carried by the ocean currents, have been washing up on shores all around the world.

Carle says, from his studio in Northampton, Massachusetts: "I am pleased that this book will be published around the world by HarperCollins, just as these ducks have travelled around the world on their long journey"

Roald Dahl Museum Site

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The Roald Dahl Museum website went live today...

Neck n Neck Race

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The race is on!!!! -

Darren Shan sales are about to cross the million line in both the UK and US. But which will be first?

Wars Over Alice

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BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Arts | Walking in a modern Wonderland

A piece about mixed responses to Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars. Whilst I wouldn't be as enthusiastic as John McClay, quoted in this article, I did enjoy the book. It should appeal to the type of reader who likes Artemis Fowl.

Lianza Award Winners

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Scoop: LIANZA Children's Book Awards Winners

The LIANZA Children's Book awards are regarded as New Zealand's most prestigious children's book awards by writers and illustrators throughout New Zealand. Each award consists of a medal or taonga and a monetary prize of $1000

Mahy Presents Awards

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Scoop: Six Times Winner Mahy to present Awards

The 2004 winner of the Esther Glen Medal, New Zealand's longest standing literary award, will be announced by Margaret Mahy at the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA)'s annual conference at Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland today....

Themed Choice

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Step aside, Dr. Spock: Children's books touted as guides in raising kids

[Cheryl] Coon has compiled Books to Grow With: A Guide to Using the Best Children's Fiction for Everyday Issues and Tough Challenges, (Lutra Press, 2004, $17.95 paperback).

Books to Grow With recommends more than 500 books that address everything from learning to swim to divorce, from comfort objects to chores for children up to about age 10.

YA Warning

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SavannahNOW | Book delves into too dark a place - 09/04/2004

An Egg on Three Sticks makes a lasting impression, but why should a young adult mind go to such a desolate place?

Bad Book

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The Mercury: Rude, crude but oh, so popular [04sep04]

CHILDREN'S author Andy Griffiths has described his latest collection of stories, The Bad Book, as 52 cases of failure to provide children with uplifting and thought-provoking literature.

Living With A Teenager

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New York Post Online Edition: entertainment

Brief interview with S. E. Hinton:

You're the queen of teen fiction. What made you decide to write an adult novel? For one thing, I was living with a teenager and it's hard to work up any sympathy for them when you're living with one. For another, I was ready to try something different.

Hawkes Harbor by S. E. Hinton

ST Book Of The Week

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Times Online - Sunday Times

Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week

Jonathan Swift's Gulliver
adapted by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Chris Riddell

This handsome book must be the year?s most impressive illustrative feat. NICOLETTE JONES

Guardian Shortlist

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Special Reports | Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2004

Michael Morpurgo, Jan Mark, Kevin Brooks... have not made it onto the shortlist for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. The shortlist, of just four books, comprises:

Millions by Fank Cottrell Boyce

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

No Shame, No Fear by Anne Turnbull

Last Train from Kummersdorf by Leslie Wilson

Times Times Two

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Times Review

Two new novels, by the former children?s laureate Anne Fine and the enthralling Sally Prue, explore family loyalties and courage, and the relationship between God and man while placing their heroes in vaudeville settings. Both have resulted in novels of touching, startling hilarity, originality and depth. AMANDA CRAIG

Frozen Billy by Anne Fine

Goldkeeper by Sally Prue

Two Sentence Preview

| No Comments | No TrackBacks | Sneak look at new Harry Potter (September 4, 2004)

BESTSELLING children's author JK Rowling has given fans of her Harry Potter books a brief, but tantalising taste of the next in the series chronicling the boy wizard's adventures.

Visitors to her website,, were able to play an online game of darts, which, if accomplished successfully, revealed a picture of a safe on the page, Britain's Sun newspaper said today.

Those able to crack the safe's code were able to see two sentences from the as-yet unreleased sixth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Spiderwick Adapter

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Forrester Pen on 'Spiderwick' Pic

Brent Forrester is being tapped to adapt "The Spiderwick Chronicles" for Nickelodeon Movies, Atmosphere Entertainment MM and the Gotham Group. Mark Waters is attached to direct.

Spiderwick#5: The Wrath Of Mul

Million Dollar Bash

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Mass coverage for book with $5m advance hopes:

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | ?2m advance for new children's author

As [Michelle Paver's] prehistoric adventure tale, Wolf Brother, reached the bookstands, it emerged that her total international advances were worth close to ?2m - "and that even allows for the dreadful dollar rate", said her rights director and publisher Fiona Kennedy.

See also this BBC page...
and this Australian page...
and this Scottish page...

Spiderwick Script-writer

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Coming Soon! - Latest News

Brent Forrester has been hired to adapt The Spiderwick Chronicles for Nickelodeon Movies, Atmosphere Entertainment MM and the Gotham Group, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Japanese Potter Frenzy

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Australian Awards

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Book Council Awards ? ABC Great Southern

Report on Australia's Book Council Awards...

Includes sound extract from Book of the Year for early childhood readers, Carole Wilkinson's "Dragonkeeper" (Black Dog Books).

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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