February 2010 Archives

Rd House Children's Book Award Shortlist 2010

The shortlist was announced earlier this week (apologies for delay in posting) and Voting is Open now...

Children's Book Doctor<

Good job I'm not the Guardian's book doctor. I wouldn't have been able to contain my open-jawed disbelief at the opening question:

"Do you have any suggestions for getting an 18-year-old boy [sic] on to adult books? He has enjoyed Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl and the Alex Rider books."

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AS Byatt on Alice In Wonderland

In the week Tim Burton's film is released, AS Byatt takes another trip down the rabbit hole to celebrate classics she first enjoyed as a child

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John Grisham Children's Titles...

Hodder & Stoughton has announced a deal to publish two children's books from bestselling author John Grisham:

The novels follow Boone, a 13-year-old boy "who knows more about the law than most lawyers do", as he becomes "unwillingly" caught up in a local murder trial. Although H&S said it would appeal to 9-12 year-olds, the books are aimed at "all the family".

The first will be published on 10 June, this year. The second will follow in 2011. Hodder has promised the launch will be "a major international event in the media, in bookshops and in online communities".

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Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne-Jones
reviewed by Marcus Sedgwick

There are some things you're not supposed to do as a writer. Item number one on day one of Creative Writing 101 is the axiom "show not tell", but a great writer knows that laws are made to be broken, and so Wynne Jones can not only get away with but revel in a line such as this: "Aidan discovered that he really, really liked Andrew." This kind of thing isn't meant to work, and yet Enchanted Glass, like much of Wynne Jones's writing, is full of it, working wonderfully.

Wynne Jones belongs to an elect clan of the most treasured of British children's authors, creating her own unique brand of fantasy, in the same manner as Alan Garner and Susan Cooper, and it's surely this experience that breeds the confidence to write with such subtle depth. MARCUS SEDGWICK

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Waldo Hunt obituary

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Waldo Hunt

Guardian obit., written by Jan Penkowski, of businessman behind the production of pop-up books such as Haunted House...

National Literacy Trust Survey

Less than half of children aged nine to 14 read fiction more than once a month, a study by the National Literacy Trust (NLT) has found...
reported in the Daily Telegraph

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Queen Victoria's Underpants

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Write Away - Michael Foreman

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Michael Foreman Interviewed

Write Away's latest interview: Kim Toohey talks to Michael Foreman...

Interview with Gillian Philip

Good author interview on the Absolute Vanilla blog...


Guardian review

X Isle by Steve Augarde reviewed by Patrick Ness:

X Isle is a strong tale, well told, if perhaps lacking quite enough incident to fill 477 pages. There are a number of easily remedied logical lapses - has no parent noticed that children never return from X Isle? - which teenagers, the closest readers on earth, aren't going to let him get away with. But the book does have a refreshingly optimistic hero in Baz, and a warm camaraderie develops among the X Isle refugees. It's a surprisingly upbeat story that boys should like.

Some boys, that is. X Isle has one big (if easily guessed) secret, so stop reading here if you don't want to know. Baz begins to feel a special protectiveness for the pretty-eyed Ray. There are hints of attraction - something the other boys mildly tease him about. But guess what? This very familiar situation is resolved as it has been since time immemorial: Ray turns out to have been a girl all along. Well, phew! Thank goodness we're all heterosexuals here, eh?

... ... Augarde is clearly a generous and big-hearted writer, so why not seek a more inventively subversive solution? How refreshing it would be for gay teens - and, incidentally, straight teens, too - to read a twist that reverses expectations in new ways, rather than the usual Shakespearean ones.

It's time, perhaps, for certain old plot devices to be buried with a fond, but firm, farewell.

Waterstone's Prize Winner

Great Hamster Massacre wins Waterstone's children's books prize


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Waterstone's Admits 'Terrible Mistake'

WATERSTONE'S, Britain's biggest bookseller, has recommended a novel full of expletives, sex and violence for children as young as eight.

Amanda Craig On Percy Jackson

Gods and goddesses make Percy Jackson an obvious winner, says Amanda Craig, in The Times....

Series companion...
Book description: "In these top-secret files, Rick Riordan, Camp Half-Blood's senior scribe, gives you an inside look at the world of demigods that NO regular human child is allowed to see. These highly classified archives include three of Percy Jackson's most perilous adventures, a Spotter's Guide to Monsters, a Who's Who in Greek mythology, Percy's Summer Camp report and much more. So, if you're armed with this book, you'll have everything you need to know to keep you alive in your training. Your own adventures have just begun . . ."

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Inga Moore - GuardianFeature

Joanna Carey talks to Inga Moore about her determination to illustrate a classic of children's literature...

Neil Gaiman Interview

Jeffrey Berman interviews Neil Gaiman for The Huffington Post:

The first time I met Gaiman was in a little comic shop I used to frequent in Sherman Oaks, California, called Forbidden Planet. "The Sandman" had been in print less than a year and Gaiman was several years off from becoming the superstar he is today. I found him seated alone at the back of the store, making the rounds, promoting the comic from store to store, city to city and God knows where else. There he sat as the rush of comic collectors wound their way around the store pawing through that week's new comics deciding which issues to buy and which they were just going to just read off the rack...
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Press release from S&S UK:
Venetia Gosling, Fiction Editorial Director at Simon & Schuster Children's Books has acquired UK & Commonwealth rights in two L. J. Smith novels for a high five figure sum, at auction, from literary agent Ginger Clark on behalf of Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown NY. Never published in the UK before, The Night of the Solstice and Heart of Valour are classic fantasy adventures with wide age appeal and follow a gang of kids on a journey into a parallel world of legend and danger. The Night of the Solstice was the first book ever written by L. J. Smith - originally published in the US in 1987 - and has been updated by the author this year. The Night of the Solstice will publish in September 2010, followed by its sequel, Heart of Valour, in January 2011. Though these books are new to the UK, L. J. Smith has previously been published on the Simon & Schuster UK list, with her Dark Visions trilogy selling over 50,000 copies in a bind-up edition in the first three weeks of publication. A second teen trilogy, The Forbidden Game, will publish as a bind-up edition in July 2010. The TV adaptation of another of her teen series, The Vampire Diaries, shows on ITV2.

Venetia Gosling, Fiction Editorial Director at Simon & Schuster UK says: "I've long been a fan of L. J. Smith's, having previously worked on her Night World and Vampire Diaries series, and am delighted to have the opportunity to publish the debut novels which set her on her very successful path as a writer. We look forward to building on the success we have achieved with her Dark Visions trilogy, and to bringing these gripping new adventure stories to an ever wider UK audience."

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With less than a week to go before the winner is announced, listen to some Waterstone's booksellers championing their personal favourites:

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Archivist Award

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As the ACHUKA Blog is essentially an archive of salient online links relating to children's books and their creators, I was particularly happy to receive these details (from Rachel Albergo) of the following award (presented just over a week ago) and take pleasure in giving it a little further publicity:

The Scone Foundation's Seventh Annual Archivist of the Year Awards, 2010

This year, the honor was awarded for the first time to two archivists, both from Jerusalem. One Palestinian archivist, Mr. Khader Salameh of the Al-Aqsa Library and Muslim Museum and one Israeli archivist, Dr. Yehoshua Freundlich, the Israeli State Archivist..

Beginning with a presentation promptly at 6 o'clock, Stanley Cohen, founder of The Scone Foundation, kicked off the evening by explaining why it is important for archivists to be acknowledged for their work. "The archivist plays an understated, but essential role in our society," stated Mr. Cohen. "The role of the archivist is, however, much broader than acting as an essential resource for writers, researchers or historians and we thought that they should be honored more directly than a mention in the front or the back of a book."

l-r: Mr Khader Salameh; Dr Freundlich; Stanley Cohen; Dr MeravMak

Mr. Khader Salameh was the first to speak and accept his award. One of his ongoing concerns is the preservation of Palestinian newspapers from 1900 to the present day. He touched on this concern in his speech, showing select images of the 1,000 Palestinian documents that are in dire need of preservation. He believes it is important for these documents to be available to the public and hopes to be able to publish the documents on their website for everyone to view.

Mr. Salameh has served as director of the Islamic Museum and director of the al-Aqsa Mosque library for over two decades. He has published several catalogs on Arabic manuscripts, not only at the al-Aqsa library, but at private foundations as well. Mr. Salameh has played an important role in the preservation or archives and has delivered many lectures on the importance of digitization of archives. Among his publications is a monograph: "A General Survey of Christians in Jerusalem through the Shari'ah Court Registers." He was previously employed in the Hebrew University Library and worked as a librarian in Saudi Arabia and as a teacher in Libya. A PhD candidate in Ottoman History, he holds a Masters degree from Hebrew University.

Dr. Yehoshua Freundlich was second to accept and deliver his speech. Dr. Freundlich painted a picture for the audience of Jerusalem, the place he and Mr. Salameh call their home. He described Jerusalem as a diverse community. He stated that even though Jerusalem is rich with diversity, there are no Palestinian archives in Israel. "Don't lose faith," Dr. Freundlich said, "We are keeping all the information...and it is incumbent upon us to pay attention to all communities."

Dr. Freundlich has served for many years as the general editor of the series, "Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel'; he has also edited studies on the Jewish Agency and lectured on the relations between the U.N. and Israel. He joined the Israel State Archives in 1974 and was appointed State Archivist in 2006. He was born in Israel and educated at the Hebrew University with a major in the Modern History of Israel. He also earned a PhD studying diplomatic history of the Zionist Organization 1945-1948.

The evening concluded with a post award conversation with Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University and Dr. David N. Meyers, Director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies. The two discussed "Archives and History" and the challenges archivists face due to Israeli's political state. Dr. Meyers stated, "Archives can be the bridge of understanding between conflicting parties." Rashid Khalidi agreed saying "We need shared narrative in order for there to be peace. However, we need peace to reach this narrative and a narrative to reach peace."

Noted guests included two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro; politician Hamilton Fish; New York Time's columnist Roger Cohen; writer David Kahn; French academic, writer and historian Annie Cohen-Solal; and American journalist David Margolick.

The Scone Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides grants for artist programs, historical societies, and art schools as well as the annual Calder Prize, which provides to a sculptor a residency program at the Calder home and studio in France.

see also

Bob Dylan's "All the Animals" To Be Turned Into New Children's Book

Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming track "Man Gave Names to All the Animals" will serve as inspiration for a children's book bearing the same name. According to artist Jim Arnosky, Dylan approved the song title for use in the project, which will feature drawings inspired by Dylan's lyrics. A CD featuring "Man Gave Names to All the Animals" will accompany the book...
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Currently Listening...

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ACHUKA is listening to Devotion by Beach House, currently available at a really low price...

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ACHUKA Links Page

Just completed checking/updating all the weblinks here. It's an intentionally selective list, but if you think a site is worthy of inclusion I'm very happy to receive suggestions...

Meet The Anholts

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Meet The Anholts

Heavens above, how long has the Anholts' website looked like this!

I don't remember the 2006 redesign and relaunch looking as good as it is now. [Maybe it did and I'd just forgotten!]

I was checking ACHUKA's links page (finding a few bad urls to update) and came upon this complete overhaul and redesign which includes some innovative use of embedded video and animation. It really is now a children's books website to be proud of, featuring the full range of titles produced by both Laurence and Catherine Anholt, with buy-me links to specially signed editions all dispatched from their bookshop in Lyme Regis.

Fellow authors/illustrators: Take a look & learn :)

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Mr Nobody Rediscovered

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The Indpendent reports:

An original Mr. Men character by Roger Hargreaves has been discovered in archival material, announced the Egmont Publishing Group on January 29, and will be published in March 2010. According to Egmont, the new title is about the invisible Mr. Nobody and his quest to become a somebody.

Mr. Nobody was in fact published in 1985 in a limited-edition run but had since been forgotten...

Mr. Nobody will be published on March 1, 2010.

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Time Riders Trailer

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Norwich author Alex Scarrow says, "It's a sort of teen book about time travel. The teenagers are plucked from the very last seconds of their lives in a way that doesn't make a difference to history to become time travellers and work for a covert agency.

"For example, one of them is called Liam and is a steward on the Titanic, and he is taken just as the ship is sinking, so it doesn't make a difference to history as he would have died anyway.

"They are based in New York and their job is to stop others changing the course of history. So in this book, Neo Nazis have gone back in time to make Hitler win, and the kids see New York transformed into a Nazified version of the city. They have to work out what has happened and go back in time and stop the future being changed."

See local news feature...

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Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief

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The movie PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF is out on February 12th.

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack:

Movie poster:

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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