February 2007 Archives

Scotsman.com Living - Books - Dubyas at the back take note

review of Zenith by Julie Bertagna

...With allusions to the French Revolution and America's Founding Fathers, Bertagna elevates the novel to something more than a post-apocalyptic high-seas adventure. As Fox stays behind wondering "what would revolution really mean?", Mara begins a journey to a brave new world in which there is a chance of putting the excesses of the past behind her. Charting a course somewhere between Noah's Ark and Lord Of The Flies, the author maps out the possibility of hope....

Pullman Quoted

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Faith | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

Philip Pullman quoted in long Guardian article about the 'battle between believers and non-believers':

Children's author Philip Pullman argues that atheism should be taught in schools. "What I fear and deplore in the 'faith school' camp is their desire to close argument down and put some things beyond question or debate. It's vital to get clear in young minds what is a faith position and what is not, so that, for instance, they won't be taken in by religious people claiming that science is a faith position no different in kind from Christianity. Science is not a matter of faith, and too many people are being allowed to get away with claiming that it is."

Life In The Day

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A Life in the Day: Michael Morpurgo-Arts & Entertainment-Books-TimesOnline

No childen's book of the week this week. Instead:

A Life in the Day: Michael Morpurgo
The 63-year-old former children�s laureate is writer in residence at London�s Savoy hotel.

Labour Of Love The Vernacular

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Written in blood | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

"... no one can accuse Cornish of jumping on the [fsantasy] bandwagon to make a quick buck. The Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy has been 12 years in gestation, with Australian illustrator-cum-author Cornish filling at least 28 notebooks along the way. This is clearly a labour of love," says Philip Ardagh in his review of Monster Blood Tatto ("a series title that reads as though it came out of a focus group") by D M Cornish.

Seuss Class

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�A person�s a person no matter how small'-Arts & Entertainment-Books-Children-TimesOnline

World Book Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the 50th birthday of Dr Seuss�s classic children�s book The Cat in the Hat, says Amanda Criag in The Times...

Five Gold Chicks

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We don't often give them but The Astonsihing Life Of Octavian Nothing gets five gold chicks. See the review page.

Writers In Russia

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Weblog - enCompass Culture

Matt Whyman and Jamila Gavin are on a British Council trip to Russia and giving regular blog reports.


Database Locked

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Most of our book listing pages are out of action this morning because the database has become locked. We're working to resolve the situation as soon as posible.

Scandal Of The Scrotum

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Librarians ban top children�s book for using the �Sword�-News-World-US & Americas-TimesOnline

An award-winning children�s book about a ten-year-old girl seeking answers about life has provoked an uproar in America because it uses the word �scrotum� on the first page. ...

Bravura Debut

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Guilty pleasures | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

Apart from a few 'curmudgeonly' reservations, Mal Peet hails The Black Book Of Secrets by F. E. Higgins a 'bravura debut':

Higgins's prose has terrific verve, with glittering descriptive flashes. (Lembart Jellico, a stranger to sunlight, has white skin with "a slight shine to it, like wet pastry".) The underlying seriousness of the tale, its Catholic subtext, is offset by Dahl-like humour ("A hanging was as good as a holiday. The crowds enjoyed the spectacle almost as much as the poor fellow on the gibbet detested it." Nice verb, that "detested"). Nor will my quibbles deter Higgins's intended readership (children of 10 or thereabouts). I have no doubt that they will love this book. How could they not? It has got grave-robbing, pies with dead rats in, a murder plot involving a fake burial, a villain whose reek rises from the page, an enigmatic hero and a supporting cast of vivid grotesques, plus a psychic and lethally poisonous frog. I think Higgins might well be on to a winner here. At the very least, it's a bravura debut.

Jacqueline Wilson feature

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A girl's own story-Arts & Entertainment-Books-TimesOnline

A Jacqueline Wilson feature in The Sunday Times, ahead of publication of her autobiography, Jacky Daydream, out next month

Thomas Trew Series Blog

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Thomas Trew and the Hidden World

Australian author, Sophie Masson, has started a blog specially addressed to readers of her new series for Hodder, illustrated by Ted Dewan

Red House Awards Shortlists

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The full shortlist for the 2007 Red House Children�s Book Award is as follows:

Books for Younger Children
Silly Billy by Anthony Brown
The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
The Lamb Who Came for Dinner
by Steve Smallman and Joelle Dreidemy
Who�s in the Loo? by Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynolds

Books for Younger Readers
The Legend of Captain Crow�s Teeth by Eoin Colfer
Araminta Spook: My Haunted House by Angie Sage
You�re a Bad Man Mr Gum by Andy Stanton

Books for Older Readers
Alone on a Wide Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo
Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie
Soul Eater by Michelle Paver

Children can vote for their favourite books on the 2007 shortlist via the RHCBA website: http://www.redhousechildrensbookaward.co.uk/

Observer Reviews

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When reality bites | Review | The Observer

Stephanie Merritt reviews some recent teenage fiction...


Kate Kellaway reviews picture books

ST Book Of The Week

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Children's book of the week-Arts & Entertainment-Books-TimesOnline

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Ottoline And The Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell

... the fun of this book is not so much the plot as the fine artwork in detailed black and white (with spots of red) of buildings (including aerial cross sections and maps to pore over), over-the-top characters and settings such as stage sets.... NICOLETTE JONES


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Review: Fluffy by Simone Lia | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

The adventures of Simone Lia's Fluffy, an all-too-human rabbit, charm Carrie O'Grady

Fending For Itself

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Right with the programme-Arts & Entertainment-Books-Children-TimesOnline

Amanda Craig is a Jimmy Coates fan...

DESPITE THE SEARCH for the next Anthony Horowitz or J. K. Rowling, children�s publishers often fail to realise when they have struck gold. They pump money into solemn, literary offerings by established authors which no normal child is going to hanker after and leave the rip-roaring read to fend for itself. Joe Craig is a case in point. His Jimmy Coates series is about a twelve-year-old boy, who thinks he is normal until he discovers that he is only 38 per cent human.

Matt Phelan Interview

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A Thousand Times No ? InTheNo 5: Illustrator Matt Phelan

After learning that the optioned screenplay he had quit his job to write would never be made into a movie, Matt Phelan took the opportunity to set his sights elsewhere. Now he has the dream job he�s wanted ever since he was young: illustrating children�s books, including this year�s recipient of the Newbery Medal. He talks about his approach to illustration, shares some behind-the-scenes glimpses of how words and pictures are brought together in children�s books... ...

mp3 audio interview


Boston Panel

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The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN CHILDREN'S BOOKS?

Report on Editor's Book Panel, moderated by Roger Sutton, hosted by the Foundation of Children's Books at Boston College...


Cabot To Scholastic

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Scholastic to Publish Mega-Bestselling Author Meg Cabot

Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company, has won the rights to publish Meg Cabot, one of today's most popular and bestselling authors for teens. The deal was negotiated on behalf of Meg Cabot by Laura Langlie of Laura Langlie Literary Agency...

Atom Wiki Agent

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ATOM BOOKS - Achukawiki

All praise to the Wiki work being done by Atom books :)

Rachel Cohn Podcast

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Simon & Schuster: Podcast archive

US Simon and Schuster's weekly podcast has an author with Rachel Cohn

In today's podcast, we'll hear from award-winning young adult author Rachel Cohn, who'll talk about Cupcake, her third book about reformed hellion Cyd Charisse...

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

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales retold and illustrated by Marcia Williams

Children will snigger and be seduced: this is a delightfully cheeky way to get an education... NICOLETTE JONES

Vikings, We Like You

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The new Viking invasion - Books - Times Online

EVERY CHILD IN Britain learns about the Vikings in school, yet until recently there was little fiction to bring their exploits to life between Oliver Postgate�s Noggin the Nog and Rosemary Sutcliffe�s retelling of Beowulf....

Amanda Craig reviews some recent Viking fiction:

Troll Blood by Katherine Langrish, final book in the trilogy

How To Treat A Dragon's Curse by Cressida Cowell

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
[a sequel, The Silver Apples, is due in October]

Room 652

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The Herald : News: HEADLINE NEWS

Room 652 in the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh, is a place which most people, save the lucky few who can afford the ?300-a-night room fee, could expect to know little about. Until yesterday, that is. We now know, for example, that the room comes adorned with a marble bust, that it was the chosen site for JK Rowling to pen the final instalment of her latest novel and that, on January 11, she wrote the last sentence in the last chapter of what is already the biggest publishing phenomenon in history....

Recommended - rest of article includes quotes from Julie Bertagna, Keith Gray and Julian Baggini


Avoiding The Intimate

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Bought and sold | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

Diane Samuels reviews Dirty Work by Julia Bell, a previous 'ACHUKA Choice' title:

...the growing relationship between the two adolescents, both emerging against the odds as young women of courage, provides a strong backbone to the tale and enables the reader to engage imaginatively. Bell avoids getting to grips with the grittier and more intimate details of life as an underage forced sex worker, the uneasy inevitable result of grappling with adult territory for a pre-adult readership. That apart, the sense of authentic detail - cheap underwear falling off the skinny frames of the girls, the types of cars the pimps drive, the descriptions of typical trafficking methods and routes - does not feel like journalism but serves to give some edge to what is essentially a rite-of-passage tale.

Notables 2007

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ALA | Current Notable Children's Books List

According to ALSC policy, the current year's Newbery, Caldecott, Sibert, Geisel, and Batchelder Award and Honor books automatically are added to the Notable Children's Books list.

Annual list of notable children's books, as issued by the Amercian Library Service to Children:

For your convenience, Notable Children's Books that have also received other ALA awards, such as the Coretta Scott King Award, Michael L. Printz Award, Schneider Family Book Award, and/or were named a Best Book for Young Adults are noted on this list...

Harry Potter Date Announced

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Publishing News - News Home Page - Bloomsbury sets Potter date

BLOOMSBURY HAS ANNOUNCED the publication date of the seventh and final Harry Potter title. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be published around the world at 00.01 British Summer Time on Saturday, 21 July.

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