September 2008 Archives

Teen Titles #42

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The 42nd issue of the always well-presented Teen Titles is now available and includes the usual mix of reviews, features and author factfiles.

We always recommend this Scottish publication.

To purchase an annual subscription phone 0131 469 3328
or email

And for more information visit the website...

Freindly Decent Place To Be

The world of children's books is a very friendly, decent place to be. It's full of people who are desperate to enlighten, interest and excite children in ideas, imaginary worlds and contemporary issues. Everywhere you look in this world, you'll find very committed, low-paid people, who will go the extra mile if it means reaching a child who might not otherwise come across a book. MICAEL ROSEN

from his Foreword to the booklet/tutorial 'How To Write Books for Children' written by Linda Newbery and published with The Guardian last Friday

Guardian Review Feature on Patrick Ness, winning author of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

Guardian Prize - Young Critics

Two knife titles on one longlist might seem provocative in the current sensitive climate. But the young critics who reviewed the books in contention for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize were certainly not put off by the titles or contents...

The winner of the Prize will be announced this evening.

50th Anniversary Edition

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OUP have issued a special 50th Anniversary Limited Edition of Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, who died in 2006.

The Inaugural Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture was held on Thursday 11th September at Homerton College, Cambridge.
The actor Samuel West read from Philippa's books, and the speakers were Victor Watson, David Wood and Julia Eccleshare. Next year's speaker will be Michael Rosen (the Children's Laureate) and the lecture held on Thursday 10th September 2009, again at Homerton College.

Photos and captions courtesy of Mary Nathan:

Photo 1
From Left to Right
The actor Samuel West (who read from Philippa Pearce's books at the Inaugural Philippa
Pearce Memorial Lecture), Philippa's daughter Sally Christie and her son Nat, Morag
Styles (Chair of the Steering Committee), Ben Norland (Steering Committee and
Philippa's son-in-law), and Helen Craig (who illustrated�A Finder's Magic,
the book Philippa wrote for Nat and his brother Will, and who is their grandmother too).

Photo 2
From Left to Right:
Standing: Helen Taylor (Literature Development Officer for Cambridgeshire), Ben Norland (Philippa's �son-in-law), Liz Cross (Oxford University Press), Julia Eccleshare (speaker at the lecture, Children's Book Editor of the Guardian), Margaret Meek (writer), Victor Watson (speaker at the lecture, trustee Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books), John Rowe Townsend (author), Laura Cecil (Philippa's literary agent), Morag Styles (Chair of the Committee, Reader in Children's Literature, Cambridge University), Sally Christie (Philippa's daughter)
Kneeling: Nat Norland (Philippa's grandson), Nicky Potter (freelance publicist), Gillian McClure (author), Jill Paton Walsh (author), Mary Nathan (freelance editor)

Photo 3
From Left to Right
Victor Watson (trustee Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books), Julia Eccleshare (Children's Book Editor of the Guardian) and David Wood (dramatist)

BookTrust Scheme

A BBC news item about BookTrust's scheme to give away 750,000 packs to children in Reception classes to include a poetry anthology and a story book.

In a tandem initiative, Y7 students will receive a free book in a scheme called Booked Up.

Colfer To Wirtie New Hitchhiker Book

Children's author Eoin Colfer has been commissioned to write a sixth instalment of the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series...

[Thought I'd blogged this first thing this morning. Just noticed it hadn't uploaded.]

Blurb Winner

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Winner of Scottish blurb competition pictured with author Catherine MacPhail

The Winner is Becky Wright from Morgan Academy with this entry:

The school was dark. Empty. Phoebe and her 5 best friends sat alone in their maths classroom getting ready for a ghostly game of hide and seek. One after another they start to go missing.

Will they be able to find their friends in time to face the danger that hovers around the corner?

Becky will see her blurb transformed into a story by bestselling author Catherine MacPhail. The book will be published by Barrington Stoke in early 2009.

Writing Workshop

Writing for Young People with Laura Atkins.

7 pm - 9 pm. Tuesdays 21st October - 25th November.
Brighton Writers' Centre.

Price £75 or £65 Concessionary Rates and Friends of THE SOUTH

follow link for full details

Not Worth Indexing


I'm getting the impression that the team responsible for do not consider children's books reviews worth indexing or linking to...

Once again I am struggling to find a link to Saturday's review by Amanda Craig, 'Hereos Not Hardened', in which she reviewed By Royal Command by Charlie Higson; SIlverfin, The Graphic Novel by Charlie Higson and Kev Walker; and Rip Runner by Will Gatti

Guardian Review 2

Nation by Terry Pratchett

It's 25 years since Terry Pratchett invented Discworld. If there's any justice, the Post Office will issue a set of silver jubilee stamps, the government will declare a national holiday, and giant turtles will parade through our municipal parks. Pratchett himself has celebrated in brilliantly perverse fashion by producing a non-Discworld book. FRANK COTTRELL BOYCE

Guardian Review

The novel is full of delights, with characters who are both believable and heroic. Even Pom-Pom, the dog, who plays such an important part in the denouement, is a fully-rounded character, while the aunts are of Wodehouse standard. The language is neither too formal nor too chatty but perfectly poised between the two, and the moral - that friendship can overcome almost every difficulty - is a good one. ADELE GERAS

Maurice Sendak...

article referencing an interview in the New York Times, published Sep 9

ST Book Of The Week

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Sunday Times Children's Book Of The Week

Picturebooks need to engage and delight children while also entertaining the adults who read them aloud. Hughes's new picturebook achieves this end triumphantly. Her drawings inhabit a child's emotions, so that young readers understand and empathise from the body language and facial expressions alone. At the same time the book resonates for adults; it is Dogger meets A Midsummer Night's Dream, with echoes of Peter Pan... NICOLETTE JONES

The Young Scottish Book Trust Blog

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Scottish Book Trust Blog

latest entry by Keith Gray - 'So when did writing stories suddenly become cool?! '

Recommended, with link to video writing masterclass

Guardian Prize Shortlist

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd

Useful Listing

worth bookmarking

Booktrust Teenage Prize Shortlist

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Booktrust Teenage Shortlist

Creature of the Knight by Kate Thompson (Bodley Head)
The Knife that Killed Me by Anthony McGowan (Definitions)
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner (Orion)
Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz (Walker)
Apache by Tanya Landman (Walker)
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Walker)

The winner, who will be announced on November 18, will receive a cheque for £2,500 and a trophy

Philip Pullman's Address

on age-banding, given at this weekend's conference in Cambirdge.

Read every word.

The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington

"Girls just fell at Roald's feet," declares Antoinette Marsh Haskell, the daughter of Dahl's closest American friend. "I think he slept with everybody on the east and west coasts that [was worth] more than $50,000 a year." Drawing on a previously unpublished trove of Dahl letters and other documents, Jennet Conant, an American journalist, has written what may prove the most comprehensive account of Dahl's raucous wartime exploits as a charming RAF attaché.

Random House Series Acquisition

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Random House Children's Books have announced today their acquisition of a major new action-adventure series launching in July 2009. "Think Alex Rider meets Houdini and you have got the flavour of SHADOW ISLAND by Paul Adam," they tell us.

Clare Argar, editor at RHCB, brokered a pre-emptive three book deal with world rights for a significant sum from Simon Trewin at United Agents. SHADOW ISLAND is the first book in the series.

Paul Adam started his writing career as a journalist. He has written ten critically-acclaimed thrillers for an adult audience.

Paul Adam was born in Sheffield and studied law at Nottingham University. After travelling the world chasing news stories, Paul has settled in Sheffield where he lives with his family. He is starting work on the second Max Cassidy book this Autumn.

RHCB are planning to launch this series with a major marketing and publicity campaign focussing on digital strategies to reach children, parents, booksellers and librarians.

Frank Cottrell Boyce Profile

ahead of Wednesday night's screening of God On Trial, BBC2 9pm

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