June 2007 Archives

Blyton & Rowling Compared

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Why Blyton was another breed | Books | Arts | Telegraph

Nicolette Jones compares the careers and public profiles of Enid Blyton and J. K. Rowling.


Robert Sabuda Profile

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A movable feast | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

Continuing an occasional series on illustration, Joanna Carey looks at the papercrafting art of Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart...

Carey's profiles are always worth reading...

Highland Hits

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Highland News and North Star: Schoolkids name their top book titles

YOUNG readers in Ross-shire have been voting for their favourite books of the year. Along with children from all over the Highlands, the youngsters have all been busy reading, reviewing and voting for their top titles for Highland Council's Children's Book Awards. And at a ceremony held in the Strathpeffer Pavilion last week, the award winners were announced.

Sharing the top prize for the picture book category was Ed Vere, for The Getaway, and Niamh Sharkey for her book I'm a Happy Hugglewug.
Winner of the eight-plus category was Richard Hamilton, with Ghostboy and the Moonbalm Treasure, and the 12-plus award went to Tim Bowler for Frozen Fire.

Author Killed By Bus

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Hornsey and Crouch End Journal - Children's author is killed on crossing

Douglas Hill was killed last week after being hit by a double-decker bus on a zebra crossing. This death notice from a loacal paper includes a quote from Mary Hoffman:

A 72-YEAR-OLD children's author from Wood Green was fatally injured last Thursday in a collision involving a double decker bus on a zebra crossing.

Friends paid tribute this week to grandfather Douglas Hill, of Maryland Road, who was walking along the junction of Aldermans Hill and Green Lanes, in Palmers Green, when the accident took place. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Another local paper report, with further incidental details of the accident....

Shanville, Issue 84

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Shanville Monthly 84

Shanville, Darren Shan's monthly fanzine, celbrates its 7th birthday. Shan himself has a birthday this month. Guess how old? And where he'll be for it? Read his newsletter... ...

Andrea Deakin Summer Newsletter

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Deakin Newsletter Summer 2007

Andrea Deakin's splendid online newsletter, Summer 2007

To celebrate next month's launch of Half Moon Investigations in paperback, Puffin Books has created a web comic of Eoin Colfer�s best-selling crime adventure, bringing to life an extract of the plot line and characters featured in the book. There are clues throughout the comic strip to help readers solve the crime which hero Fletcher Moon is determined to get to the bottom of. John Royle, one of the Spiderman comic book illustrators, is responsible for the artwork.

The comic strip can be viewed here: http://www.halfmooninvestigations.co.uk/comic/ along with various partnered kids, books and entertainment sites.

Puffin Party Gallery Complete

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The gallery from last week's Puffin Party is now complete.

Access it via this Guest Pass link from Flickr, then view the slideshow.


There are 69 shots in the full set. If you can only see a far smaller number, the Guest Pass isn't working for you and you need to let me know.

St Book Of The Week

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Children�s book of the week - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

King Ocean's Flute by Lucy Coats, illustrated by Peter Malone

Evoking in loving detail an Italian village on the Mediterranean sometime early last century, this picturebook tells the story of a shepherd boy whose flute-playing is inspired by the sounds he hears... ...Witty details (mermaids have seals and turtles on leads for pets, and their scale polish is called Scaloglit) add a note of surreality to this skilful, minutely observed, decorative masterpiece. NICOLETTE JONES

It�s a girl thing - Times Online

Amanda Craig reviews some new romaticn comedies aimed at girls...

FOR THOSE OF US struggling with a month of exams and hysterical daughters the arrival of junior rom-com comes as a huge relief. All, I suspect, are descendents of Jean Webster epistolary novel, Daddy-Long-Legs, a rather creepy comedy about a girl who falls in love with a much older man, but the genre really took off with Meg Cabot�s Princess Diaries. Girls of 8 love these, and all her other books, from the All-American Girl series to the most recent, How to be Popular, follow in the same chirpy, wholesome vein. The plot is always the same: Nice (Bookish) Girl stands up to Mean Girls, gets makeover and wins Hot Guy...

How To Be Popular by Meg Cabot

Caddy Ever After by Hilary McKay

Luuurve is a Many-Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

Girl, 15: Flirting for England by Sue Limb

Craig finishes her piece ibserving: "Boys are supposed to stick to manly adventures by Higson, Muchamore and Horowitz but have hearts � and sit exams � too. It would be good if there were more to cheer them up, because while my daughter squirrels these away and rocks with laughter my poor son is left with Tintin."

Of Death & Depression

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Tale of death and depression wins children's award-Arts & Entertainment-Books-Children-TimesOnline

Carnegie & Greenaway winners (apologies for late posting)

Just In Case by Meg Rosoff

It's no secret that I found Meg Rosoff's first novel deeply flawed and disagreeable in its use of armed invasion and violence as a backdrop. Her second novel, which has now won the Carnegie Medal, is clever but cold. Clearly I am in a minority (possibly of one) in finding that Rosoff's voice does not speak to me.

The Adventures Of The Dish and the Spoon by Mini Grey

I'm a huge fan of Grey's work, and delighted by this choice.

Top Of The Lists

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Carnegie quick to realise Pullman's potential-Arts & Entertainment-Books-Children-TimesOnline

Philip Pullman�s Northern Lights, the first volume of the His Dark Materials trilogy, has been voted the �Carnegie of Carnegies� in a poll to celebrate 70 years of the award now called the CILIP Carnegie Medal (from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals; the winner is chosen annually by a panel of librarians). Pullman received 40 per cent of the public�s online vote; his nearest rival, Philippa Pearce�s Tom�s Midnight Garden, received 16 per cent...

The Greenaway of Greenaways was Dogger by Shirley Hughes


Puffin Party 2007

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Keep checking this link - more images from Wednesday night's Puffin party have bee added...

Puffin Party 2007

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originally uploaded by achuka.
More images from Wednesday night's Puffin Party at Tate Modern - fresh upload & still some more to come

Sonya Hartnett Interview

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Lauren Child Feature

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Child's play | Seven Magazine | Arts | Telegraph

Recomended feature interview from the Telgraph a few days ago...

Shaun Tan Interview

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A Fuse #8 Production - Blog on School Library Journal

Three part interview with Shaun Tan by Elizabeth Bishop (Fuse #8)

Bishop starts off:

Work too long in any single profession for an extended amount of time and there's a danger of growing jaded. In my particular case, sometimes I'll have days where I feel as if nothing original or new is being published anymore. I'll get into a slump of sorts, nit-picking and kvetching over the various lovely titles that cross my path. Such slumps are cured one of two ways. Either I bore myself out of it, or I'm so shocked by a title that it is physically impossible to call it anything but brilliant...

I identify with that!

Kate Petty - Guardian Obit

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Obituary: Kate Petty | By genre | Guardian Unlimited Books

Guardian obituary (by Julia Eccleshare) of Kate Petty

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

Naked Bunyip Dancing by Steven Herrick

Steven Herrick is an award-winning Australian writer of children�s novels in free verse. This is the funny and touching story of a new teacher (�Carey the hairy�, a hippy in sandals) who encourages his class to put on a show that uses their various talents... ...Some of the wordplay is a bit arch, but there are plenty of enjoyable jokes and insights and the form is economical, unstuffy and page-turning. NICOLETTE JONES

SOlid Start

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Review: The Devil's Breath by David Gilman | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

Josh Lacey reviews The Devil's Breath, first title in the Danger Zone series by David Gilman:

this is a solid first instalment; the descriptions of the Bushmen are fascinating, and the big set pieces are always exciting, ensuring that readers will race through this enjoyable adventure story..

Practice Makes Perfect

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Fitting Conclusions-Arts & Entertainment-Books-Children-TimesOnline

Two authors I haven�t previously liked have novels worth recommending on this subject. Cliff McNish wrote The Doomspell Trilogy and the Silver Sequence, which generated gigawatts of supernatural suspense but never found a satisfying storyline. But Angel, his eighth book, follows the acclaimed Breathe and shows how practice makes perfect.

Siobhan Dowd�s grim tale of a teenage pregnancy in Ireland, A Swift Pure Cry,won numerous prizes last year, but I much prefer The London Eye Mystery, not least for its tender comic ebullience.

Hawking SF

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Hawking writing children's book

Stephen Hawking, author of the million-selling "A Brief History of Time," is writing a "middle-grade" novel. "George's Secret Key to the Universe," the story of a young man's computer-driven adventures, will be published this fall by Simon & Schuster... The book, co-written with Hawking's daughter, author Lucy Hawking, is the story of a boy named George who befriends a scientist and the scientist's daughter...

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The winner of the CLPE Poetry Award for 2007 is:

Julie Johnstone (editor): The Thing That Mattered Most. Scottish Poems for Children, illustrated by Iain McIntosh, Scottish Poetry Library/Black & White Publishing �6.99 9781845020958

The presentation was made at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education on Wednesday June 13th 2007 by Ian McMillan.

Same Thrill

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Publisher claims to have found Potter successor | News | Guardian Unlimited Books

...Barry Cunningham is now tipping a fantasy tale about a boy archaeologist, who discovers a world of thrilling adventure after digging a hole, as the next enormously big thing. Cunningham found the first of the books, Tunnels, after its joint authors Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams pooled their resources to self-publish a deluxe edition... ... Cunningham is currently in Hollywood, in discussions to sell the film rights. "I knew from page one that Harry Potter was magic," Cunningham said earlier, "Reading Tunnels gave me the same thrill...

Michael Rosen The Laureate

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Forever young | By genre | Guardian Unlimited Books

Big Guardian feature on the new Children's Laureate, Michael Rosen.

Whoopee! They've Chosen Rosen

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New children's laureate slams education policy | News | Guardian Unlimited Books

Michael Rosen was appointed the fifth Children's Laureate earlier today, and ACHUKA is cock-a-hoop about it :)

photographer: Laurence Cendrowicz

Whole Page For First Novel

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No trace of corn-Arts & Entertainment-Books-TimesOnline

The Sunday Times Culture section devoted a whole page to Before I Die by Jenny Downham, a debut young adult novel which, as we reported in April, has been fast-tracked to publication in record time by David Fickling:

Before I Die is the story of Tessa, a 16-year-old with leukaemia who has a to-do list to complete before she dies. Number one is losing her virginity. The rest of the list is no less controversial. As a first novel by an unknown author, Before I Die is also remarkable for the stir it has created among publishers and the speed with which it arrives in bookshops. Downham wrote the final full stop in February; the book will be on sale next month. It was snapped up by David Fickling, whose previous triumphs include publishing most of Philip Pullman�s novels. Foreign rights were sold in 11 languages in two weeks, and the book is tipped to replicate the success of Mark Haddon�s debut novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime...

Roman Mysteries TV series Reboot

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Roman Mysteries Blog: Meeting Colombo

The Roman Mysteries TV series, which was recently suspended due to sensitivity about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, is to 'reboot' on BBC1 on Tuesdays at 4.30pm from 19 June, starting again from the first episode, The Secrets of Vesuvius

The series cost �1 million per episode to film (on location in Tunisia and Malta), making it the most expensive British children's TV series to date. It stars Simon Callow, Nicholas Farrell and Liz May Brice and has cinematic sets, costumes and soundtrack.
There is a BBC website with clips and interactive games based on the series:

You can read the roller coaster account of its making on Caroline Lawrence's TV series diary on this page of her website:

I have chosen to link this blog entry to the author's account of her appearance at the Hay Festival, which focuses on her movingly recorded encounter with Peter Falk, the actor who played Colombo in the TV series of that name.

ST Book Of The Week

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

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Dowd�s first book, A Swift Pure Cry, was a deservedly acclaimed young adult novel. This second book, which is aimed at younger readers, demonstrates her versatility. NICOLETTE JONES


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Undaunted by the spam-related problems experienced on their Kevin Brooks microsite, Penguin yesterday announced the launch of a pioneering online book community for teenagers.

Spinebreakers.co.uk will be a stimulating and entertaining portal into the world of books, run by teenagers themselves. Editorial control of the site will be in the hands of a core editorial team of nine teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years, supported by a large network of contributing teen editors from across the UK.

The teen editors will begin bringing the site to life in July with an intensive four-week internship at youth marketing agency Livity who Penguin have teamed up with to create spinebreakers.co.uk. Working with journalists, authors, editors and web designers, the teen team will produce a wide variety of multi-media content including video and audio reviews, alternative book jackets and endings, soundtracks, author interviews, podcasts, blogs, short stories and much more.

It sounds like a considerable investment and ACHUKA gives the project every encouragement.

The Press Release continues after the break...

Percy Jackson III

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Apollo's solar-powered car | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

Philip Ardagh enjoys the third Percy Jackson title, Percy Jackson And The Titan's Curse

save 45%

Young Africa Hands-Arts & Entertainment-Books-Children-TimesOnline

Amanda Craig says Africa is the hot new location for teenage fiction:

David Gilman�s debut, The Devil�s Breath, is a gung-ho eco-adventure...

Daisy & Tom Closures

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Children's retail chain Daisy & Tom will re-open under the same name, founder Tim Waterstone has pledged. Last week the company annnounced its intention to close in January 2008 following its sale...

Boston Globe - Horn Book Awards

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Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards

This announcement (June 4th) passed me by a coule of days ago and hence, annoyingly, was not included in today's eLetter update (now active again after a brief hibernation).

Emily Gravett's Wolves is one of the two Picture Book 'honor' titles. ACHUKA can only applaud and hear-hear the selection of The Astonishing Life Of Octavian Nothing as the winner in the Fiction and Poetry section

Fiction and Poetry:
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party (Candlewick) by M. T. Anderson
Picture Book: Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories (Porter/Roaring Brook) written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Nonfiction: The Strongest Man in the World: Louis Cyr (Groundwood) written and illustrated by Nicolas Debon

Read on for details of the honor books and the judging panel....

Deakin Newsletter

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Deakin Newsletter June 2007

Andrea Deakin's newsletter for June.

Highly Recommended

Shanville Monthly

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Shanville Monthly 83

The June edition of Darren Shan's online newsletter (we've said it before, but it bears saying again, the most regular and informative author fanzine ACHUKA has ever seen) contains full dates for his summer tours (in the UK, Ireland and the Far East).

Illustrators' Lot

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The Herald : Features: MAIN FEATURES

Ross Collins and Debi Gliori, both Glasgow-based illustrators, speak about the state of children's illustration, in a highly recommended piece by teddie Jamieson of The Herald:

"I'm going through a rather bleak phrase," admits Gliori. "My appreciation of the industry is at an all-time low. I've certainly noticed, and I know I'm not alone in this, picture books have really fallen by the wayside in the past four years and that is reflected in diminished sales across the sector."

Quill Awards Shortlists

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Charlotte Observer | 06/04/2007 | Quill Awards announce 2007 nominees

Here are the shortlists in the relavant categories of the Quill Awards:

Children's Picture Books

� "The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon," by Mini Grey (Alfred A. Knopf).

� "Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy," by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins).

� "Flotsam," David Wiesner (Clarion Books).

� "Orange Pear Apple Bear," Emily Gravett (Simon and Schuster).

� "Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship," by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff, Dr. Paula Kahumbu, photos by Peter Greste (Scholastic Press).

Children's Chapter/Middle Grade

� "Clementine," by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee (Hyperion Books).

� "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," by Jeff Kinney (Abrams/Amulet).

� "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press).

� "Pick Me Up," by Jeremy Leslie and David Roberts (DK Children's Books).

� "The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3)," by Rick Riordan (Miramax Books).

Young Adult/Teen

� "American Born Chinese," by Gene Luen Yang (First Second Books).

� "The Green Glass Sea," by Ellen Klages (Viking).

� "Incantation," by Alice Hoffman (Little, Brown and Company).

� "Life as We Knew It," by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Harcourt Books).

� "Sold," by Patricia McCormick (Hyperion Books).

The 2007 Quill Awards will be presented on Oct. 22. More than 6,000 booksellers and librarians will vote for the winners in the 18 categories. The winners will be announced on Sept. 10 and then readers will be able to cast their votes via quillsvote.com for "The Book of the Year."

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

A Picture History Of Britain by Clarke Hutton

Nicolette Jones selects a title first published in 1945, reissued by Oxford Children's Books to celebrate their centenary:

a reminder of a time when youngsters were more innocent but were still expected to know what happened when NICOLETTE JONES

IBBY has announced the candidates for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2008.

� Argentina: Author: Beatriz Mar�a Ana Ferro; Illustrator: Isol Misenta
� Australia: Author: Jackie French; Illustrator: Shaun Tan
� Austria: Author: Lene Mayer-Skumanz; Illustrator: Linda Wolfsgruber
� Belgium: Author: Anne Provoost; Illustrator: Kitty Crowther
� Brazil: Author: Bartolomeu Campos de Queir�s; Illustrator: Rui de Oliveira
� Canada: Author: Brian Doyle; Illustrator: Pierre Pratt
� China: Author: Qin Wenjun
� Croatia: Illustrator: Svjetlan Junak�vic
� Cyprus: Author: Kika Pulcheriou
� Czech Republic: Author: Iva Proch�zkov�; Illustrator: Adolf Born
� Denmark: Author: Bjarne Reuter; Illustrator: Lilian Br�gger
� Egypt: Author: Fatima El Maadoul
� Finland: Author: Irmelin Sandman Lilius; Illustrator: Virpi Talvitie
� France: Author: Marie Desplechin; Illustrator: Claude Ponti
� Germany: Author: Peter H�rtling; Illustrator: Jutta Bauer
� Greece: Author: Voula Mastori; Illustrator: Vassilis Papatsarouchas
� Iceland: Author: Gudrun Helgadottir
� Ireland: Author: Kath Thompson; Illustrator: Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
� Italy: Author: Mino Milani; Illustrator: Roberto Innocenti
� Japan: Author: Shuntaro Tanikawa; Illustrator: Akiko Hayashi
� Lithuania: Illustrator: Kestutis Kasparavicius
� Mexico: Illustrator: Mauricio G�mez Mor�n
� Netherlands: Author: Guus Kuijer; Illustrator: The Tjong-Khing
� Romania: Author: Iuliu Ratiu; Illustrator: Stan Done
� Russia: Illustrator: Nickolay Popov
� Serbia: Author: Dragana Litricin-Dunic
� Slovak Republic: Author: J�n Navr�til; Illustrator: Olga Bajusov�
� Slovenia: Illustrator: Lila Prap
� South Africa: Author: Beverley Naidoo; Illustrator: Piet Grobler
� Spain: Author: Mar�a Asun Landa; Illustrator: Ulises Wensell
� Sweden: Barbro Lindgren; Illustrator: Eva Eriksson
� Switzerland: Author: J�rg Schubiger; Illustrator: Hannes Binder
� Turkey: Author: Ayla �inaroglu; Illustrator: Nazan Erkmen
� United Kingdom: Author: David Almond; Illustrator: Jan Pienkowski
� USA: Author: Lloyd Alexander; Illustrator: David Wiesner
The elected Chair of the International Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury, Zohreh
Ghaeni (Iran) and Jury members from Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, New
Zealand, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States of America, will meet in
March 2008 to select from among these nominations the winners of the 2008 Andersen
Awards. The results will be made public at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, Monday,
31 March 2008 and the Awards will be presented to the winners at the 31st IBBY
Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark on 7 September 2008.

Red House Children's Book Award

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Andy Stanton was announced the winner of the 2007 Red House Children�s Book Award at Hay yesterday afteronoN

Overall winner
You�re a Bad Man, Mr Gum! by Andy Stanton published by Egmont

Books for Younger Children
Who�s in the Loo? by Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynolds published by Andersen Press

Books for Younger Readers
You�re a Bad Man, Mr Gum! by Andy Stanton published by Egmont

Books for Older Readers
Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie published by Simon & Schuster

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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