November 2004 Archives

New Critic

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Edward Malnick (aged 15) takes a walk on the wild side with the latest novels for teenagers - precocious and otherwise

Malnick's taste is spot on. Read his reviews and you'll probably surmise why I say that ;-)

Independent PB Reviews

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Picture book reviews, by Nicola Smyth, from the Independent On Sunday...

Andersen's True Peers

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A review of a new edition of The Stories Of Hans Christian Andersen:


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Atwood's Bashful Bob

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Bashful Bob and Doleful Dorinda is the third book in an alliterative series which began with Rude Ramsay and the Roaring Radishes and followed up by Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut.

"I wrote that on the train to Windsor, which lasts about three hours," she said....

US Illustrator Obit.

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The New York Times > Books > J. P. Miller, Children's Book Illustrator, Dies at 91

ohn Parr Miller, an early animator for Walt Disney whose later art adorned best-selling children's books, including those in the popular Little Golden Books series, died on Oct. 29 on Long Island. He was 91 and lived in Manhasset, N.Y.

Top Ten Teen Titles Competition

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After much deliberation and some rereading I have arrived at my Top Ten Teen Titles of the Year for The Scotsman.
This year's list includes one Australian, three American and seven British novels. (There is a tie for tenth place.)
A number of titles prominently featured in award shortlists are not in my Top Ten - an example being Not The End of the World by Geraldine McCaughrean, a book so superlatively good that it should be entered for the Booker Prize. It is not, however, in my view, a book that speaks predominantly to a Young Adult audience.
Other books from the Guardian and Whitbread shortlists are also missing from my Top Ten. Although a re-reading of one of them has persuaded me to give it a place, I am not persuaded that it should have displaced some of my higher-placed titles from the aforementioned shortlists.

There will be a prize for the person who can most accurately replicate my Top Ten prior to its publication in The Scotsman. Suggested Top Tens can be posted here on the Blog, via Comments, or on ACHUKACHAT.

Turning Point

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Congratulations to David Belbin, for having organised such a successful and well-attended one-day conference on Young Adult fiction, held at Nottingham Trent University yesterday. The large lecture theatre that was the venue for the various panel discussions throughout the day was full nearly to capacity, with editors, school librarians, agents, reviewers and others voluntarily giving up half of the weekend to attend.

Melvin Burgess, giving the closing keynote speech, was in fine, freeflowing form, talking about the variously barmy and barking mad objections to his work, but the prize for the most entertaining speaker of the day has to go to Keith Gray, who, with an anecdotalist's mastery of timing, told a tale about the 18 numbered instructions attached to a stepladder - a tale which, as the story unfolded, became, amongst other things, an oblique moral fable about the dangers of patronising an audience.

A resume of the day will follow (after I have met a Scotsman deadline, which will also delay dispatch of this week's Mailing List update). The worst part of the roundtrip (which involved leaving home before 5am and arriving back after 10pm) was having to use the new St Pancras station - not the inconvenience of the building works and the 10 minute walk to and from Kings Cross Thamselink, but the sheer brutal ghastliness of the new station itself. Waiting for the outward train in the morning, I sat on a hard bench looking up at the steely hangar, while an electric buggy marked 'Mobility Assistance' (or some such ridiculous phrase) beeb-beeped by, and felt as if I was in some futuristic East German film, made in the Cold War.

Archly Xenophobic

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Searching in vain for online versions of the children's books coverage in today's Independent On Sunday, I came instead upon this strongly critical review of Philip Kerr's Children Of The Lamp. The review is by Nick Tucker and was printed in the November 22nd edition.

Arch Self-Indulgence

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Times Online - Books

Amanda Craig, reviewing both Pullman's The Scarecorw And The Servant and Allan Ahlberg's The Boy, The Wolf, The Sheep And The Lettuce, finds that Ahlberg cannot match the genius of Pullman:

[Ahlberg's] latest foray, building a plot of sorts around the riddle about how a boy ferries a sheep, a wolf and a lettuce across in a boat made only for two is arch, muddled and self-indulgent. Genius demands a continual purification and renewal of talent. Pullman has realised that, and it?s why he is great.

Good Family Reading

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Find me a leg

Michael Rosen approves of Philip Pullman's latest picaresque fiction, The Scarecrow And His Servant, and also recomends his retelling of Aladdin And The Enchanted Lamp:

Pullman has gone for a full-scale retelling, returning to some of the scholarly versions of the tale. In so doing, he's avoided the over-floweriness of those editions and his dialogue is, as you'd expect, direct and to the point. It all makes for a fine gift book and good family reading.

Publishing News reports that Bloomsbury is to strengthen its children's marketing and PR with two new appointments:

Ian Lamb, currently at Puffin, will join Bloomsbury as Children's Publicity Manager. And Joanne Owen, a buyer at Borders, will join the marketing team.

Blue Peter Winner

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CBBC Newsround | TV/Film | Blue Peter name book award winner

Man On The Moon by Simon Bartram has been voted the overall winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards. It was also the best picture book to read aloud.

Montmorency by Eleanor Updale won the 'book I couldn't put down' category, and The Ultimate Book Guide by Daniel Hahn the 'best book with facts' category.

Documentary Heritage

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We were flattered, yesterday, to receive an invitation from the British Library to participate in a Web Archiving pilot:

The British Library would like to invite you to participate in this pilot project by archiving your web site... We have judged this web site to be an important part of our documentary heritage and would like it to remain available to researchers in the future. If the pilot is successful the archived copy of your web site will subsequently form part of our permanent collections.

Copyright will remain unaffected: "You still retain full copyright in your web site, both in the live version of your web site and the archived version in the Consortium?s archive. If any third party wanted to copy more than an insubstantial portion (as defined by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988) either from the live version of your web site or from the archived version, they would still be obliged to seek your permission."

Kate's Team Transfer

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Kate Wilson has acquired another member of her old Macmilllan team. The latest press release from Scholastic announces that Alyx Price is to be the Scholastic Group's PR Director on her return from travelling in February 2005:

Alyx Price has been appointed as Group PR Director for Scholastic UK . This is a new role that will project the public face of all of the Scholastic UK group's businesses - Scholastic Children's Books, Scholastic Book Clubs and Fairs and Scholastic Education. Alyx will work closely with the heads of those businesses - Gavin Lang, Miles Stevens-Hoare and Max Adam.

Kate Wilson, Group M.D., said, "I am delighted that Alyx is joining us. She has a huge talent for making connections with a wide range of people including authors, illustrators, educators and the media, which will be invaluable to Scholastic in this new phase of its growth and development."

Alyx was formerly the Publicity Director for Macmillan Children's Books. She is currently travelling, and will join the business on 28th February 2005.

Alyx looks forward to the challenges ahead. "I am delighted to have the opportunity to take on this challenge of working with all parts of the Scholastic business in the UK. Scholastic has an exciting range of publishing programmes linked uniquely with the capacity to make direct contact with children and teachers, getting children reading and giving books to schools. I look forward to communicating this to the outside world."

Macmillan Departures

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Hotlink to item blogged yesterday - or scroll down.

Blue Peter Award

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Here's a link to the blogged shortlists, so that you can remind yourself which books are contenders, ahead of the announcement tomorrow (Friday) at 5pm.

Blue Peter Shortlists

Earthsea Miniseries

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FilmForce: Countdown to Earthsea

A four-hour series ? a long feature film, essentially ? will air on the US Sci Fi Channel in two parts on the 13th and 14th of December:

With Earthsea, Le Guin hoped to put both political and magical issues in a serious light, as compared to lighter works like the Harry Potter books. "[The wizards in Harry Potter] ? use their wizardry just against each other. It's a competitive sport, whereas my Earthsea books are really kind of a study of power. What's good about having unlimited power, what's bad about it, what's the responsibility, what does it do to you as a person to have power.

"I think in my Earthsea books, the wizards are testing themselves in a kind of real world, where it's not full of Muggles, it's full of real people with problems. That's a big difference. It's partly the difference between a child's book and a young adult book."

Author Of The Month

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Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | Author of the month: Michael Rosen

The subject of Dina Rabinovitch's monthly feature in Wednesday's Guardian was:

Michael Rosen


NYT Obit. Trina Schart Hyman

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Macmillan Departures

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Marion Lloyd and Alison Green are to leave Macmillan and work with Kate Wilson (also previously at Macmillan) who is now Group MD at Scholastic.

They will both head up eponymous children's book imprints, Marion Lloyd Books and Alison Green Books.

Kate Wilson, Group MD, Scholastic UK, says:

I am very happy to have the opportunity to work with both Marion and Alison once again. I value Marion's astute judgement of potential, her editorial rigour and her caring approach to authors and colleagues very highly. Alison's editorial skills and instincts and her eye for illustration and for paper-engineering are unparalleled. I believe that Scholastic can give them, and the authors and illustrators they work with, remarkable opportunities to succeed in the UK and internationally.

Wynne Jones Movie

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Guardian Unlimited Film | News | Film based on British book casts spell on Japan

The latest animated adventure from the director of Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazaki, has set a new Japanese box office record for an opening weekend with a 1.5bn yen (?7.85m) haul. Howl's Moving Castle, based on a British children's book of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, is a tale of witches, wizards and mixed identities.

Famed illustrator Trina Schart Hyman dies

Hyman illustrated more than 150 books, including fairy tales and Authurian legends. She won the Caldecott Medal, the highest honor for children?s books authors and artists, four times... ...

Stocking Miscellany

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From time to time a review title is sent to me at school, rather than to the ACHUKA address. These titles tend to be self-published, often by teachers. I wish it happened more, just as I wish more of them were worthy of mention.

The package I opened just after lunch today was sent by an ex-teacher but contained a title published by Hodder. Look out for it. Better still, ask for it, as bookshops are likely to have dificulty deciding where to shelve/display it.

How To Spot A Hadrosaur In A Bus Queue by Andy Seed is a children's miscellany of useless but fascinating lists, such as
the top 5 causes of broken biscuits
Beckham's Haircuts 1991-2004 (all 12 of them)
how to say yes in 13 languages

An ideal stocking-filler

Harry Hargreaves Obit.

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Telegraph | News | Harry Hargreaves

Harry Hargreaves
(Filed: 20/11/2004)

Harry Hargreaves, who has died aged 82, was a cartoonist who produced "the bird" for Punch and Hayseeds in the London Evening News; perhaps his most popular work, however, was his series of drawings illustrating Michael Bond's Paddington Bear stories for the Blue Peter annuals.

ST Book Of The Week

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Times Online - Sunday Times

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Michael Rosen's SAD BOOK, ill. Quentin Blake

...Both the words and the images articulate strong emotion with admirable economy and convey a sense of the preciousness of life without being sentimental, platitudinous or falsely hopeful. At moments, the story is even funny. This is certainly a book that makes you sad, but its honesty is surprisingly uplifting.

Nancy Larrick Obit.

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Nancy Larrick, 93, wrote guides to kids' reading

... Her most popular work, "A Parent's Guide to Children's Reading," was published in 1958 and reprinted six times.

Sequels included "Your Child and His Reading: How Parents Can Help" (1960), "A Teacher's Guide to Children's Books" (1963) and nine other books for adults. She wrote or edited almost 30 books for children, including at least 14 poetry anthologies...

More Fun Than Selling Coffee

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | How I jumped out of the sack race

Meg Rosoff takes an amusing look at her own c.v. and reflects that the best thing about being a writer is not having to work in advertising anymore, which makes her glad that she didn't have her first book published until her mid-forties.

... the way, the second book is proving slower to write, sadly smashing my early dreams of four bestsellers per year. But it's still infinitely more fun than selling instant coffee.

Simply Luminous Darling

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Snap happy

Jan Mark is impressed by the luminous simplicity of Geraldine McCaughrean's Smile!:

... ...There is material here for a long, discursive novel, perhaps a philosophical examination of the chasm between western and aboriginal cultures, or a sentimental portrayal of the chasm bridged by common humanity. In fact it is tiny, maybe 15,000 words, so simply written that a seven-year-old could read it, nudged into understanding by Ian McCaughrean's black and white renderings of the 10 photographs. Adults might consider these redundant since the writing is so luminously graphic, but this is a children's book, no crossover nonsense here. Adults chancing upon it should feel grateful that Geraldine McCaughrean believes young readers deserve work of this depth and quality.

Dinosaurs' Birthday

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Telegraph | Education | The making of a monster

An article about Henrietta and Paul Stickland:

To mark its 10th birthday, Paul Strickland [sic] has created Dinosaurs Galore!, a pop-up version of the original which uses the same illustrations plus one new little dinosaur which guides the readers around... ...

MSNBC - �Today Book Club� selection: 'Be More Chill'

Young author Ned Vizzini has received a hugely influential endorsement on the US 'Today Book Club' when Judy Blume, hot from the National Book Awards, chose Be More Chill as the show's Book Club selection.

The web link contains a video link to the chat section of the show in which both Blume and Vizzini talk about the book.


See this blog entry for squip links....

Opportunity to acquire a very early edition of Be More Chill - bid on this auction of a FINE UK proof copy:
Go direct to the auction page...


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Booktrust Teenage Prize

Apologies, particularly to the author, Anne Cassidy, for failing to report the fact that she has been judged the winner of the second Booktrust Teenage Prize Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy.

Polar Express UK Premiere

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Hanks visits 'snowy' London

Christmas came early to London when Hollywood star Tom Hanks arrived to the Leicester Square premiere of his latest film...

Crime Writer's Christmas Book

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Entertainment News - James Patterson: The Santa Kid

This year the biggest and brightest new Christmas picture book comes from James Patterson, a bestselling author whose name is usually associated with crime thrillers. He has written two compelling (and inter-connected) love stories: Suzanne's Diary for Nicolas and Sam's Letter to Jennifer. Now that he has a young son, Patterson decided it was time for him to write a children's book that celebrates the joy of Christmas.

In addition to Kenneth Oppel winning a Governor General award for his novel Airborn (see entry for 16 November), Stephane Jorisch has been awarded his third Governor General illustration award (he has won previously in 1993 and 1999) for Jabberwocky (Kids Can Press):

Andrea Deakin writes:

Stephane Jorisch's rendering of Jabberwocky is not for young children, there are other editions more suitable for them. This is a version for secondary students or students at college or university, not little ones. That stated, it is a challenging and gripping exercise for the imagination. Limbless ex-soldiers stand before rows of television sets on which an officer is backed by a text,"Beware the Jabberwock". An old soldier sends his son, a dress designer, off to tackle this enemy. When his son returns victorious "Callooh! Callay!" is cried out from a hospital bed where the old man lies dying; and the whole ends with the old soldier's funeral. Alice found the poem hard to understand, she would certainly have had trouble with this version. This is an interpretation that contains clues only truly accessible to those who have lived a little and are cognizant of repressive invasive societies and war. The illustrations explore war, the freedom to do as you wish, the right to be creative in a militarized world. The overwhelming presence of television comments on the influence of the media and the power of this influence in the wrong hands. Ink drawings, splashes of sombre shades of colour challenge the reader to see and then to see again. Powerful, dramatic, an outstanding interpretation, Jorisch's visual narrative is for an older, more sophisticated audience.

Barker's Ararat II Bestseller

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The Alien Online - Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror News, Reviews, Articles and more...

The ever-popular Clive Barker is back in US best-seller list with both the first and second volumes of his new series Abarat. Aimed at the Young Adult market, Abarat is the story of Candy Quakenbush who is swept from her home in Chickentown (by the Izabella sea) to the fantasy world of the Abarat archipelago, where each island represents a different hour of the day. In this second volume, Days of Magic: Nights of War, Candy and her friend Malingo are still being pursued by the Criss-Cross Man, a servant of the evil Christopher Carrion, Lord of Midnight.

Anne Fine 'Down' Down Under

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Fine-spun tales of empathy - Books -

Anne Fine, interviewed while on a recent visit to Sydney, in fine dyspeptic mood...
Highly recommended

"I think mobile phones have done more to infantilise and reduce children's resources and ability to be on their own, even in their own head, than anything else. "If you watch them, the minute they are on their own, they start to text someone. It is an even more facile contact with the world than television. That's facile enough because there is no inner life to television. If I could give advice to parents, I'd say don't allow children to watch any more than three hours a week of television and don't let them have a mobile."

Scholastic's Children of the Lamp 'Three Wishes for the World' Contest Reveals That U.S. and U.K. Children Share a Desir |

Scholastic Inc. announced today the winners of its extensive trans-atlantic "Three Wishes for the World" essay contest where children in the United States and United Kingdom have the chance to win all-expense paid trips to New York and London. The essay contest was inspired by Scholastic's New York Times best-selling Children of the Lamp trilogy by acclaimed British author P.B. Kerr.

Oppel's Movie Moment

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The Province

Kenneth Oppel confessed to a seminal movie moment Monday after accepting the 2004 Governor General's children's literature prize for his latest novel, Airborn. "Someone asked me what the most memorable event in my childhood was - it was at a book conference, too - and I scandalously said it was seeing Star Wars for the first time," said the 37-year old Toronto author.

"Some people got quite mortified that I would even dare to say this at a book festival. But it was true."

Recomended - Report of acceptance speech given by Canadian author, Kenneth Oppel, on receiving the 2004 Governor General's children's literature prize for his latest novel, Airborn.

Andrea Deakin writes of Airborn:

In the alternative world of Kenneth Oppel's Airborn luxury airships fly over the Pacificus, operating only in charted skies. Matt Cruse, fifteen-years-old, is a cabin boy on the Aurora. He is following in his dead father's footsteps, training to be a sailmaker and, if fortune smiles, a captain. When we first meet him he is undertaking the daring rescue of an elderly balloonist who speaks, in his dying moments, of beautiful winged cat-like creatures,"Kate would've loved them". A year later Kate de Vries, the granddaughter of the balloonist, comes aboard as a passenger. Through the sharing of her grandfather's diary the two become close friends who face danger together as air pirates board the Aurora, leaving her badly damaged. A storm forces the battered airship to set down on a desert island. Oppel's invention is totally convincing. It is a world in which the "what ifs" of invention have come to pass; in which a Nineteenth Century swashbuckling adventure can come true and feel true. In Airborn masterly storytelling offers mystery, adventure, discovery and growth. It is a tale in which courage, quick thinking and loyalty exuberantly succeed.

Deb Caletti Interview

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A moment with ... Deb Caletti, writer

This is dream week for Deb Caletti, a 41-year-old Issaquah writer who is one of five finalists for the National Book Award in young adult fiction for her second novel, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart (Simon & Schuster, 308 pages, $15.95). Caletti will be in New York City for the gala awards ceremony on Wednesday evening.

Pratchett Down Under II

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STUFF : ENTERTAINMENT : BOOKS - STORY : New Zealand's leading news and information website

Another feature interview with Terry Pratchett, given during a recent tour to New Zealand. (Has picture of TP in hotel room.)


Novel Of The Year?

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Times review of THE SEA OF TROLLS by Nancy Farmer

Reviewing The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer, Amanda Craig cites it as the best children's novel of the year...

The life of the Norse sea-farers is so detailed that any child who reads this will pick up far more about Viking customs, beliefs and language than a hundred school text-books. It's strange that out of the four best new novels for children to be published this year, three should be about this period and people, but I have no hesitation in recommending Sea of Trolls as the best children's novel of the year.

Meg Rosoff Interview

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Amanda Craig interviews Whitbread-shortlisted author Meg Rosoff fro The Times...

Very highly recommended

ST Book Of The Week

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Times Online - Sunday Times

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

The Scarecrow And His Servant by Philip Pullman

It is a remarkable skill to make simplicity and even silliness embrace such complexity yet offer children so much wisdom. Somehow, it?s not surprising that Pullman can do it. NICOLETTE JONES

Peer Review

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Short and sweet

Adele Geras likes Julie Burchill's Sugar Rush:

What Julie does very well is chart the ups and downs of friendship between girls. The bitchiness, the tenderness, the fads and the fashions: they're all there. She's shrewd about noting the status and position of black girls at school. She's sharp about families and she's funny an awful lot of the time.

Children & War

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War IS sad. Don't hide it from your children
Michael Morpurgo - THE TIMES

Printed in Wednesday's London Times, this long piece by Michael Morpurgo, on the impact of televised wars on children...

of all my books that touch on war Private Peaceful might seem the one that is too harsh, too painful for a young audience. I wrote it because I discovered on a visit to Ypres that more than 300 British soldiers were shot by firing squad in the First World War for cowardice or desertion. Trials for a man?s life were brief, sometimes less than half an hour. Witnesses were often not available. At best it was rough justice, at worst not justice at all. I read of one young man of 18 who had fought through the Somme. In rest camp one day with the guns still firing he turned to his friend and said that he ?couldn?t stand the sound of the guns any more, that he was going home?. He was arrested, tried and condemned. Men from his own company were obliged to make up the firing squad. In protest they stood over his grave till sunset. I wanted to write that young soldier?s story...

Whitbread Shortlist

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Anne Cassidy - Looking for JJ (Scholastic Children's Books)

Geraldine McCaughrean - Not the End of the World (Oxford University Press)

Meg Rosoff - How I Live Now (Puffin Books)

Ann Turnbull - No Shame, No Fear (Walker Books)

ST Book Of The Week

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Times Online - Sunday Times

Rich in the detail of Victorian London, from the printers? shops of Clerkenwell to the dangerous docklands, this impressive debut... NICOLETTE JONES

The Printer's Devil by Paul Bajoria

N.B. Late posting of this item due to fact that the ST online page had not been updated from previous week...

Madonna Launch

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Madonna Launches The Adventures of Abdi in London

Madonna will launch her fourth children's title, The Adventures of Abdi, with a series of print, radio, and television interviews in London, followed by a book signing on November 11 at Selfridges. The Adventures of Abdi, written for readers aged six and up, is a 32-page jacketed hardcover. The book's lavish and elaborate images were painted by husband-and-wife team Andrej Dugin and Olga Dugina, who also worked on the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban...

Pratchett Down Under

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Entertainment News - Prolific Pratchett rides Discworld wave in NZ

Terry Pratchett interviewed, while on tour in New Zealand...

Lite Gothic

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An article about the Spiderwick series, with a quote from Roger Sutton, Horn Book editor...

Inane Quote

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Philip Pullman�s scarecrow is no man of straw - The Herald

There should be an award for the most inane truncated press quote to appear on a book jacket. The Indy's revelation, emblazoned across Philip Pullman's latest work, The Scarecrow and his Servant, that he is "A masterly storyteller" would be a contender.

Anne Johnstone of The Herald, at the start of her review of The Scarecrow And The Servant by Philip Pullman ("probably incapable of writing a bad book").

Special offer! Half-price...

More children's book reviews from The Herald...

Let Them Rip

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EDP24 - Kids told: Dump the computer games

Jacqueline Wilson, speaking in Norfolk on Friday, gave some advice on reading and writing...

"People are trying hard to get children to read lots more but writing is difficult because creative writing is not taught properly in schools."

"Teachers prime concern is to construct proper sentences but if we want children to develop imaginations it is more fun to let them rip,"

Scieszka Talks

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A report - with quotes - on some talks given by Jon Scieszka last Friday to students at Culver Academies.

No Sequel

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Centre Daily Times | 11/07/2004 | Always the outsider

S. E. Hinton on why there will be no sequel to The Outsiders:

"If I tried to write it now, when I'm a much better writer, I'd ruin it," she says. "They think I'm being mean when I say, 'No, I won't write a sequel.' But I need to change that to, 'No, I can't write a sequel.' "

Miss Spider

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Author David Kirk building empire with friendly spider

Author David Kirk is the creator of the popular Miss Spider series of children's books, which have sold close to 5 (m) million copies since 1994. Now, Kirk's creation is reaching an even wider audience as a daily show on Nick Junior and C-B-S -- "Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends."

Bush As Villain

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Peer Review

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Guardian Unlimited Books | Review | Into the Cornish rainforest

Philip Ardagh gives The Valley of Secrets by Charmian Hussey a mixed review...

an excellent example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Though, ultimately, I suspect that this is more a book for adults who like reading children's books than for the typical child reader, it has plenty to offer....

Presidential Puppy

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The president is giving first lady Laura Bush a puppy for her birthday. The Scottish terrier pup is related to Barney, the current first pooch, and will be named Miss Beazley after a dinosaur in the children's book The Enormous Egg.

BfK Online

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Books for Keeps ::

For the first time, Books for Keeps has posted selections from the current content on its website, and this is something they "intend to expand in upcoming months". The current online content includes
an article by Jennifer Donnelly
an Authorgraph interview with Axel Scheffler
and suggestions for Books for Giving

New Macmillan MD

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Publishing News - News Page

From Publishing News:

PAN MACMILLAN HAS promoted from within to fill the vacancy of MD of Macmillan Children?s Books, with the appointment of Emma Hopkin, previously Children?s Sales and Marketing Director. The vacancy was created by the departure of Kate Wilson to be Group MD of Scholastic. At the same time, Sarah Davies is promoted to Publishing Director across all Macmillan Children?s imprints, including picture books and Campbell... ...

Eleanor Farjeon Award

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The Eleanor Farjeon Award was presented (in London, last night) to Jacqueline Wilson. At the presentation she revealed that her legendary collection of books is currently boxed up while she is in the process of moving in to a larger house, which previously belonged to a dentist.

The Eleanor Farjeon Award rewards outstanding achievement in children?s books. It is awarded to an individual in recognition of their distinguished contribution to the world of children?s books. The winner is chosen from nominations from members of the Children?s Book Circle ? entries are not required.

Past winners:
2003 Miriam Hodgson, editorial consultant at Egmont

2002 Philip Pullman for his 'crusading advocacy' of the children's book world

2001 Amelia Edwards (Children's Book Designer)

2000 Julia Eccleshare (children's book editor at The Guardian)

1999 Klaus Flugge (publisher at Andersen Press)

1998 Gina Pollinger

1997 Michael Rosen

1996 Books for Keeps

1995 Helen Paiba

1994 Eileen Colwell

1993 Susan Belgrave

1992 Stephanie Nettell

1991 Patricia Crampton

1990 Jill Bennett

1989 Anna Home

1988 National Library for the Handicapped Child

1987 Valerie Bierman

1986 Judith Elkin

1985 Bob Leeson

1984 Shirley Hughes

1983 Jean Russell

1982 Aiden & Nancy Chambers

1981 Margaret Marshall and Virginia Jensen

1980 Dorothy Butler

1979 Joy Whitby

1978 Peter Kennerley

1977 Elaine Moss

1976 Joyce Oldmeadow and Court Oldmeadow

1975 Naomi Lewis

1974 Leila Berg

1973 Eleanor Graham

1972 Janet Hill

1971 Margaret Meek

1970 Kaye Webb

1969 Anne Wood

1968 Brian Alderson

1967 Jessica Jenkins

1966 Margery Fisher

Sickbag Warning

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Received in the post today: a sick bag promoting Hellbent by Anthony McGowan ( due to be published early next year), warning me that it will be "the most disgusting book you'll ever read"...

The bottle of emergency foul mouth wash, also mentioned on the sickbag but not enclosed, is (I trust) to follow.

Illustrators On Tap

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From this new site's launch press release:

With over 30 years experience, NEW specialist online illustration resource, launched on November 1st. Founded by digital marketing specialist, Tom Thorogood, the site aims to create the most comprehensive source of childrens illustration available on the Internet... ...

To Smack Or To Growl

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Editing smacks of censorship: author - National -

Changes to a 25-year-old children's classic about a hippopotamus that eats cake are set to reopen the debate over whether parents should smack their children.

Melbourne author Hazel Edwards yesterday said she had been been asked by her publisher, Penguin, to change the line "Daddy gave me a smack" to "Daddy growled at me" in her book There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake.

... ...

HarperCollins Double

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[extracted from a Press Release]

HarperCollins UK have won the LIMA Licensee Publisher of the Year Award for the second consecutive year.

Sally Gritten, Managing Director of HarperCollins Children's Books, says "To win the award once was good - to win it twice is fantastic. It really shows that we are the UK's Number 1 publisher of children's properties - that we have the vision, talent and resources to truly do justice to the incredible publishing licenses we hold.'

The Properties division's star performance has been helped by its stable of thoroughbred children's publishing properties including Noddy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tractor Tom, Narnia and Mary-Kate and Ashley, as well as film tie-in publishing to the movie blockbusters Cat in the Hat, Spiderman 2 and Thunderbirds.

One of 2004' s star performers has been Dr. Seuss - which has been celebrating the 'Seussentenial', 100 years since the birth of Theodore Geisel (aka Dr Seuss). As well as throwing the world's biggest birthday party in libraries up and down the country, Dr. Seuss' sales figures have increased year on year by 38%.

Snowed Under

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Overdue Media, home of Unshelved - a comic strip about a library

I've just stumbled on this daily webcomicstrip about library life, with a children's and young adult librarian as two of its main characters. As well as showing the latest daily offering, there's an archive with a random button to help you catch up with past strips. Warning - it's addictive.

Highly recommended

Shanville Monthly

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Darren Shan Monthly 52

Just back from his whistlestop, month-long UK tour, Darren Shan manages to release his Shanville Monthly right on time...

Mailing Monkey, Part II

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Holes Sequel

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extracted from the Bloomsbury Press Release:

Bloomsbury Children?s Books has acquired hardcover and paperback publication rights to a new novel by Louis Sachar entitled, SMALL STEPS: a sequel to Holes.

Sarah Odedina says, ?It is a vibrant, exciting and richly plotted book that is immensely pleasurable to read. This compelling book will appeal not only to Louis?s many fans, but all those lucky enough to still discover him as an author.?

In SMALL STEPS... readers will be reunited with Armpit and X-Ray Stanley Yelnats?s pals from Camp Green Lake, Armpit and X-Ray from Camp Green Lake. It?s three years later, and Armpit is taking small steps to turn his life around. Joined by old friends and a cast of vibrant new characters, Armpit discovers what it takes to stay on course and learns that doing the right thing is never the wrong choice.


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Pop-Ups for older children and adults... ...

Sonya Hartnett

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Children, adults, anything - Books -

Sonya Hartnett interview...

Highly recommended

Handler Profile

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Mr. Snicket's Handler: The sly children's book author never shows up in public - or does he? - The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon, USA

``The reason I don't see much difference between writing for children and writing for adults is I don't see much difference in general between children and adults,'' he says.

Daniel Handler, quoted in this profile...

Talking Of Death

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Are you sitting comfortably, children? Let�s talk death - The Herald

"a gem of emotional and artistic harmony"

Rosemary Goring, on the current ACHUKA Choice title, Michael Rosen's SAD BOOK

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