November 2007 Archives

Shanville Monthly - December

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Eleanor Farjeon Award Winner

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Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog - books: Coming to the rescue of children's books

Jane Nissen was this year's recipient of the Eleanor Farjeon award...

I Would Have Written A Sermon

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BBC NEWS | UK | Golden Compass author hits back

The author of the book on which the new film The Golden Compass is based has hit back at critics who accuse him of peddling "candy-coated atheism"...

Guardian Christmas Roundup

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New Paddington Book Next Year

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from The Bookseller:

The first new Paddington novel for 30 years will be published by HarperCollins Children�s Books in June 2008, backed by a significant marketing and publishing programme.

The 2007 Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children�s Books, a nationwide search for the best Scottish children�s books of 2007, reached its conclusion on Thursday, November 22), with the winning authors and titles announced at a ceremony in Glasgow.

Thousands of young readers from around Scotland had voted for their favourite books in three categories. The winning books are as follows:

Early years (age 0 - 7)
Katie�s Moose written by James Robertson and Matthew Fitt and illustrated by Karen Sutherland (Itchycoo, an imprint of Black and White Publishing).

Younger readers (age 8-11)
Chill by Alex Nye (Floris Books).

Older readers (age 12-16)
Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy (Puffin).

Mirrorscape Reviewed

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The world inside art | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

Philip Ardagh likes Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks

The special thing that Wilks brings to his tale is the artist's eye, playing with everything from perspective to the different inspirations and styles of the artists whose works his characters inhabit.

Oh, Oh, Oh, The Fun of The Pharaoh

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Imaginary Worlds

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Imaginary worlds from Philip Pullman to Terry Pratchett review | Children's Books - Times Online

Amanda Craig on imaginary worlds:

Done badly, fantasy is more risible than any other genre, perhaps because there is such a fine line between heroic endeavour and bathos. Success isn't just a matter of consistency (Tolkien despaired of C.S. Lewis when he introduced Christian myths such as Father Christmas into a world with nymphs and satyrs). A gifted writer makes the mundane magical and the magical mundane. We believe in everything they tell us because the ultimate magic is to make us think that what they describe is true.

Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz - Times Online

Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz

The novel is dark and damned clever, its preposterousness persuasively mitigated by just enough plausibility. NICOLETTE JONES


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Good eggs and malted milk | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

Has Biggles stood the test of time? After reading an anthology of his adventures, Giles Foden thinks he has ... ...

Music To His Ears

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Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz review | Children's Books - Times Online

Amanda Craig's conclusion to her review of Anthony Horowitz's new Alex Rider novel should be music to his ears:

Horowitz, and the best spy kids authors such as Charlie Higson, Joe Craig and Robert Muchamore are too often dismissed as pulp fiction when in fact they are outstanding at both writing and plotting. Far too many adults think that children should read books as a kind of Weetabix for the brain rather than because they give pleasure. These writers will, however, lead young readers on to Dickens and Dostoevsky. (If your child is reluctant, try the brilliant audiobook recordings from Naxos and Assembled Stories � the latter, a new venture, includes The Thirty-Nine Steps, The Prisoner of Zenda and Moonfleet.) They share the same understanding that the best kind of story is the one we all need when growing up � about being alone in a dangerous world, with nobody but ourselves to rely on. Horowitz is right up there with Buchanan, Conan Doyle and H.Rider Haggard, and Alex Rider's seventh adventure proves it.

Deakin Newsletter, November 2007

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Deakin Newsletter November 2007

Latest newsletter from Andrea Deakin

Highly recommended

Extended Downtime

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Apologies for the extended downtime!
ACHUKA was unavailable from late Saturday until late Tuesday UK time - some 72 hours - whilst the site's hosts,, moved their entire client base to new servers in a new location. The transfer, it would appear, did not go quite according to plan...

Pleasure To Read

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Review: Hazel by Julie Hearn | Review | Guardian Unlimited Books

...Throughout, it's the quality of Julie Hearn's writing - assured, flexible, bringing every scene vividly to life - that makes Hazel such a pleasure to read. From the larkiness of the school scenes to the drama of a Caribbean hurricane, she takes us on an exciting and memorable journey.

Throughout, it's the quality of Julie Hearn's writing - assured, flexible, bringing every scene vividly to life - that makes Hazel such a pleasure to read. From the larkiness of the school scenes to the drama of a Caribbean hurricane, she takes us on an exciting and memorable journey.

Nancy Farmer Review

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Booktrust Teenage Prize Winner

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Meet the winner of the Booktrust Teenage Book Prize review | Children's Books - Times Online

It was a close-run thing (writes Amanda Craig) but after plenty of argument the judges have decided on the winner of the Booktrust Teenage Book Prize. The award � the only national prize for teenage fiction � goes to Marcus Sedgwick's My Swordhand is Singing...

Lauren Child Profile

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Dina Rabinovitch

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Obituary: Dina Rabinovitch | Obituaries | Guardian Unlimited Books

It was with almost unbearable sadness that I learned of Dina Rabinovitch's death late on Wednesday. Unusually that day, my wife had bought the papers, as I had to be at school early both because the Ofsted man was in for the day and because I had to dress up as a Victorian gent and accompany Year 5 on a role play visit to Preston Manor, Brighton. So it wasn't until the end of a long day, browsing the day's newsprint on the sofa, that the front cover of G2, with the appallingly dreaded news, slipped into view.

Dina was a great fan and supporter of ACHUKA, as I was of her journalism. For a while she contributed reviews to the site. We didn't coincide at all that many events, but when we did she always came up to speak.

Her feature interviews in The Guardian with children's authors will be sorely missed. Being of a squeamish disposition and having something of a primitive horror of conversation and discussion about illness, I was finding both her blog and her regular reports about her physical progress, especially recently, difficult to deal with.

We met face to face no more than a handcount of times. We emailed one another occasionally. And yet I felt a click of connection that led me to believe we would get to know one another better and for that reason alone I always felt confident that she would get well again.

I shall miss her. The world of children's books will miss her. But her family (about which she wrote with such warmly comic candour) will miss her dreadfully. ACHUKA's heart goes out to each one of them.

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