December 2006 Archives

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For some time ACHOCKABLOG has taken an abnormally long time to load. By a process of elimination I have discovered that the script producing the Recent Searches listing in the left-hand panel was the main culprit, so it has, at least temporarily, been eliminated.
Performance seems significantly better, but I would be grateful for confimration from other end-users. So do drop us a comment letting me know if this has speeded thngs up or not.

ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Down

Written with a fluent, lyrical sprightliness, this poignant novel invests tragic events with humanity and even, in places, humour... NICOLETTE JONES

I Can't Begin To Describe

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Magical transportation | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

I can't begin to describe how refreshibngly right-on this review by Frank Cottrell Boyce is:

I can't begin to describe how terrific this book is. We're in the middle of a spate of novels about football. I've read them all. This is the best. If you want to know just how much bolder and more accomplished current British "children's" fiction is than British "adult" fiction, I suggest you read a few chapters of David Peace's po-faced Beckett-lite account of Brian Clough's tenure at Leeds - The Damned United - and then turn to this glorious, cartwheeling, magical, frightening story. I promise you it'll be like watching Brazil after watching, well, Leeds... ...

CBE For McCall Smith

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BBC NEWS | Entertainment | McCall Smith shows the write way

Alexander McCall Smith, who has been made a CBE for services to literature... ....

Aurealis Shortlists

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Talking Squid ? Blog Archive ? Aurealis Awards 2007

Aurealis Young Adult and Children's catorgory shortlists:

Young Adult novels
D.M. Cornish - Monster Blood Tattoo Book One: Foundling
Amanda Holohan - The King�s Fool
Justine Larbalestier - Magic Lessons
Juliet Marillier - Wildwood Dancing
Scott Westerfeld - The Last Days

Young Adult short stories
Deborah Biancotti - �The Dying Light�
Simon Brown - �Leviathan�
Margo Lanagan - �A Feather in the Breast of God�
Margo Lanagan - �Baby Jane�
Margo Lanagan - �Forever Upward�
Shaun Tan - The Arrival

Children�s novels
Isobelle Carmody - A Fox Called Sorrow
John Flanagan - Oakleaf Bearers
Mardie McConnochie - Melissa, Queen of Evil
Nury Vittachi - Twilight in the Land of Nowhen
Kim Wilkins - Fantastica: The Sunken Kingdom Series

Children�s short stories
Jane Godwin - �The True Story of Mary Who Wanted to Stand on Her Head�
Margaret Wild & Anne Spudvilas - �Woolvs in the Sittee�
Victor Kelleher & Stephen Michael King - �The Magic Violin�

Philppa Pearce - Times Obit

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Philippa Pearce - Comment - Times Online

[London] Times ombiturary - Philippa Pearce

Jean Ure Interview

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An Interview with Children's Author Jean Ure - Associated Content

An Interview with Children's Author Jean Ure
By Ambrose Musiyiwa

Philippa Pearce Obituary - Independent

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Independent Online Edition > Obituaries

Nicholas Tucker's obituary of Philippa Pearce - The Independent

Philippa Pearce Dies Aged 86

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EDP24 - Outstanding writer of the 20th century

Philippa Pearce, who has died aged 86, was one of the outstanding children's writers of the 20th century - with brilliant flights of fantasy rooted in her beloved East Anglia...

Deathly Hallows

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Name of final Harry Potter book announced -

Missed this a couple of days ago ;)

NEW YORK (AP) -- We now have a title for Book VII: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."
Rowling's U.S. publisher, Scholastic Inc., released a brief statement Thursday announcing the name of the world's most anticipated children's book, the finale to her phenomenally popular fantasy series.
No publication date or other details were offered.

Blog Central

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Anastasia Suen, Author and Writing Teacher: Blog Central

Useful listing, recently updated, of blog sites related to children's publishing.

Maggie Noach - Obituary

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Maggie Noach | Obituaries | Guardian Unlimited Books

I was shocked last night to discover, while reading The Guardian, that the literary agent, Maggie Noach, died last month following minor surgery.
News of her death must have first circulated while I was away in Sweden, and I have not been to any London events since my return. Still, I am surprised to have found out about it in this way.
I didn't know Maggie in her younger days, but can imagine the picture painted by Julia Eccleshare in her obituary is accurate enough. She was, indeed, one of the more colourful figures in children's publishing and I shall miss her. She always made a point of speaking to me at launch events, and not just to spread the word about her clients, though she did this well.

Always an extrovert, Maggie was fast and fashionable. She had her own car - a Mini - as soon as possible. Driving it, she would distract other drivers by air guitaring to the Rolling Stones in traffic queues. Her heels were always high and her glasses often sparkly. She epitomised the fun side of publishing, although she was a tough negotiator when it came to her authors' contracts...

Pan Sequel Movie

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BBC Films, the U.K. Film Council and an independent British producer, Headline Pictures, have bought the film rights to the offical sequel penned by Geraldine McCaughrean, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Great Ormond Street Hospital Chrildren's Charity, which commissioned McCaughrean to write Peter Pan in Scarlet, has authorized the movie deal.

Economist article

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Reading | Catching up |

lukewarm recommendation

Narnia Lawsuit

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Narnia Fans - Prince Caspian Movie News (In Theaters May 16, 2008) | Made By and For Fans of C.S. Lewis and Chronicles of Narnia | The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Blogged by

Kelly Kyle, the owner of a bookshop named �Narnia Children's Books� is facing a lawsuit for having the word �Narnia� in their store name, according to This comes as a surprise because the store opened in 1984, and they have not received any prior requests to change the name...

Sprawling Disembodiment

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A tale of magical times | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

From The Guardian yesterday - Diane Samuels on Margaret Mahy's new novel, Maddigan's Fantasia:

This is a sprawling quest of a book, crammed with action. A lot of ground is covered in this mythical world that suggests itself as a possible future for our own. There is a hotchpotch of eras and styles: Victoriana with the travelling circus and its traditional acts; fairytale forests and magical archways; post-apocalyptic anarchy ? la Mad Max road gangs; and sci-fi hi-tech with computers and androids. The disembodied enemy from the future who practises body-invasion to give himself physical presence is reminiscent of Voldemort, before he "comes back", in the early Harry Potter books. All the ingredients are here. It's a rich and engaging brew that sometimes feels overloaded. And there are so many strands to follow that some tie up less satisfyingly than others. The sheer breadth of the work tends to take over at the expense of depth and, while Garland is brought fully to life with her classic inner struggles as a girl becoming a young woman, the deeper emotional undercurrents of her relationships and growth seem to be left untapped...

Joysucking New Yorker

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Alice's CWIM blog

Never have I read an article on children's books that sucked the joy out of them. Never have I read an article on children's books that made me want to cry. Thank you Elizabeth Kolbert for doing both.

Nestle Award Winner

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Former diplomat's sparkling debut wins Nestle prize | News | Guardian Unlimited Books

A debut novel set in London's theatreland in the 1790s, The Diamond of Drury Lane, has won this year's Nestle Children's Book prize...

The full results:

9 to 11 age category
Gold: The Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding (Egmont Press)
Silver: The Tide Knot byHelen Dunmore (HarperCollins Children's Books)
Bronze: The Pig Who Saved the World by Paul Shipton (Puffin)

6 to 8 age category
Gold: Mouse Noses on Toast by Daren King, illustrated by David Roberts (Faber and Faber)
Silver: Hugo Pepper by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell (Doubleday)
Bronze: The Adventures of The Dish and The Spoon by Mini Grey (Jonathan Cape)

5 and under age category
Gold: That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell & Neal Layton (Orchard Books)
Silver: The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell (Macmillan Children's Books)
Bronze: Wibbly Pig's Silly Big Bear by Mick Inkpen (Hodder Children's Books)


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Blue Rose Girls: Turnover in the children's book publishing industry

Turnover in the children's book publishing industry...

Life Of The Day

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Oxford DNB

Children's author, Mary Norton, was the subject of DNB online's Life Of The Day earlier this week.

Adele Geras Interview

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ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week - Sunday Times - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

On Angel Wings by Michael Morpurgo and Quentin Blake

This stocking-sized Nativity story embellishes the traditional tale by being the narrative of an elderly shepherd who was a small boy at the time of Christ�s birth.

Dinah's Choices

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Telegraph | Entertainment | From toddlers to teens

Dinah Hall's 'from toddlers to teens' roundup - Sunday Telegraph

There was also extensive children's books coverage, with separate pages for 'Adventure', 'Fantasy', 'Teenage' and 'Picture Books' - in yesterday's Telegraph, but I can't yet find these online. If someone else can, please add the link as a Comment.

Philip On Philip

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Queen Anne conquers the Moon | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

Phlip Ardagh reviews Larklight by Philip Reeve

Independent - Teen Fiction

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Independent - Children's Fiction

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Independent - Picture Books

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ST Roundup

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Christmas through the ages - Sunday Times - Times Online

A bit belatedly (!), Nicolette Jones' seasonal roundup from last Sunday's ST:

Nicolette Jones chooses books to cheer the very young and stories that pack an emotional punch for older readers...

Blyton To Be Disneyed

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Independent Online Edition > Media

Back for more jolly japes: the return of the Famous Five Their names have been changed - and that's not the end of it. Disney is planning to give Enid Blyton's adventurous quintet a 21st-century makeover in a new television cartoon series...

Paolini Feature

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The prince of fantasy rides out - Books - Times Online

Christopher Paolini�s secluded childhood led him into a world of the imagination. Now his life is stranger than he could ever have dreamt. Catherine Philp met him...

Feature about Christopher Paolini, ahead of the relase of Eragon the movie

Ransome Auction

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Found: Captain Flint�s hidden treasure - Books - Times Online

Arthur Ransome�s books evoke idyllic childhood adventures. But real life was more complicated, Christina Hardyment found as she previewed a sale of rediscovered family papers...

Excellent article by Chirstina Hardyment wirting in yesterday's Times ahead of the auction of newly-discovered Arthur Ransome papers at Dominic Winter Book Auctions this Thursday.

Scotsman Teen Picks Of The Year

| No Comments Living - Books - Growing pains and pleasures

This year I haven't attempted to put my top teen reads of the year into numerical order. But I kick off:

"ONE OF THE BOOKS I WAS most looking forward to all year was the third novel by Mal Peet, The Penalty (Walker, ?6.99). Billed as "a Paul Faustino novel" it features the same sports journalist as in Keeper... ..."

You need to be registered (free) with to read the online review. Contact me direct if you have problems.

The Facts

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The facts, just give them the facts - Books - Times Online

Amanda Craig's Christmas roundup of non-fiction in The Times

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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