September 2010 Archives

Speaking Out...

Judy Blume and fellow authors and readers have rallied behind Laurie Halse Anderson's acclaimed young adult novel about the rape of a teenager, Speak, following a call to ban it from schools in Missouri...

Digital Brands & Children's Publishing

Traditional licensed publishing of television brands is coming under pressure as publishers turn to digitally-created brands for 'the next big thing'. This week, Penguin's licensing imprint Sunbird will begin publishing a series of books based on characters from Mind Candy's social networking website Moshi Monsters, including The Moshling Collector's Guide - a book explaining how children can perform better on the website.

[Today] (30th September) more than 200 delegates will converge on the British Library Conference Centre in London for The Bookseller's annnual children's conference, which this year will focus on digital developments in the children's books market and present a vision of where the industry is heading. Speakers include publishers from Random House, Penguin, and small presses such as Winged Chariot Press and Nosy Crow. CAROLINE HORN, The Bookseller

Dick And Jane And Vampires

Whatever you think of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, letting monsters loose on classic children's books has got to be a good idea...

Ebooks And Author Earnings

An article that looks at the different earnings margins for publisher and author when comparing ebooks with printed books.

Orion Acquire Kate Harrison YA Trilogy

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Amber Caravéo's first acquisition for the Orion Children's list is the SOUL BEACH trilogy by Kate Harrison, author of the best-selling SECRET SHOPPER novels (also published by Orion).

Rights to the UK & Commonwealth (excluding Canada) have been acquired from Philippa Milnes-Smith at LAW.

The first book in the trilogy, SOUL BEACH, will be published in summer 2011.

Amber Caravéo says of the acquisition:
'As soon as I read the first few pages of Kate's spectacular and sinister SOUL BEACH trilogy, I knew I wanted to publish. I am delighted that my first acquisition for Orion Children's Books could be something that is so original and stand-out in the YA arena.'

Kate Harrison says of her first books for a teen audience:
'I had the idea for Soul Beach after spending far too much of my writing time on Facebook, and beginning to see a darker side to social networking. After I started writing the book, I really hoped that I'd find a publisher who'd feel as excited about the story as I did, so it was fabulous when I met Amber and the team at Orion Children's, as they totally 'got it.' It's also brilliant to be able to give rein to my creepier instincts, and even better that I'm being published by the people at Orion, who have done such a great job with my adult novels.'

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Guess How Much I Love You - The Animation

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Guess How Much I Love You - The Animation

BEST-SELLING children's book Guess How Much I Love You will be made into an animated preschool series.

It will distributed worldwide after an Australian producer managed to secure the highly sought-after TV rights...

Written in Ireland by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram, it has for 15 years remained as a book property only because TV producers failed to come up with the perfect pitch to satisfy publishers Walker Books.

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Charlotte's Web Illustration Auction

More than 40 original illustrations from the beloved children's book "Charlotte's Web" are to be auctioned off next month in New York, organizers said.

The artwork from the estate of illustrator Garth Williams is to be part of Heritage Auctions' Oct. 15 Illustration Art Auction in Manhattan. The original cover art and 44 of the book's 46 interior illustrations will be offered in the auction and sold without reserve.

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John Boyne Interview

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John Boyne Interview

John Boyne interviewed in the Irish Times...

His latest book, Noah Barleywater Runs Away, has just been published by David Fickling.

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New in children's books...

Reviews from The Globe and Mail

Titles reviewed:







Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

The Radleys by Matt Haig
reviewed by Keith Gray

Haig pays just about enough respect to the conventions of the [vampire] genre that the average vampire fan should find lots to enjoy, but it's the blackly comic dissection of the family that makes this book stand out. As The Abstainer's Handbook says: "Do your bit for society and hide those dark desires." But where's the fun in that?

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SCBWI Conference 2010

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Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators British Isles Conference 2010
13-14 November, University of Winchester Main Campus, SO22 4NR

Our third, two-day, annual conference offers the opportunity for those who are published or unpublished to network with other authors, illustrators and publishing professionals, to work on their craft and learn more about marketing their books and the realities of today's children's book market.

Speakers include Marcus Sedgwick, Lynne Chapman, Mini Grey, Linda Chapman and David Fickling. A limited number of one-on-one manuscript and portfolio reviews with editors and art directors will be available. We will also be offering individual website reviews with a professional web designer. There is an optional critique meet on the evening of Friday the 12th, an open portfolio exhibition on Saturday 13th and various competitions for authors and illustrators.

Join us to celebrate 10 years of the SCBWI-BI and our members' recent success at our exclusive party on Saturday night!

Booking is now open at
Limited places available.

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Scholastic (US) Earnings Down

from Daily Finance:

For children's book and education publisher Scholastic (SCHL), the first quarter of 2010 was a mix of good and bad news. On the positive side, the rising sales of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy -- and especially the Aug. 24 release of the third and final book, Mockingjay, which sold 450,000 copies in its first week -- spurred big gains in the company's trade book publishing division.

The bad news is that the publishing house's overall performance dropped significantly across the board, a disappointment after ending its fiscal 2009 on a fairly high note.

Zack Snyder, Film Director, Intrerviewed

... the director of 300 and Watchmen has taken a step into the family friendly genre of animation with his latest film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. The film is based on the children's books of the same name that were written by Kathryn Lasky. Not only is he stepping into new territory by doing a family film, but Legend of the Guardians also marks his first encounter with 3D.

Puffin Designer Classics

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Earlier this month, to celebrate its 70th anniversary, Puffin released six limited numbered editions priced £100 each (priced just over £80 on Amazon).
The designers for the six books are:
Antony Gormley - James and the Giant Peach
Orla Kiely - Little Women
Sir Peter Blake - Oliver Twist
Lauren Child - The Secret Garden
Frank Gehry - Treasure Island
David Adjaye - Around The World in Eighty Days

New 39 Clues Series

The second installment of the popular multimedia children's book series "The 39 Clues" is scheduled for release in April, the publisher said. Scholastic, the American publisher of the Harry Potter series, introduced "The 39 Clues" in 2008 as a 10-book mystery series for 8-to-12-year-olds. The second part of the series will be "The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers," and like the first part will include an online game and collectors' cards.

'The Little Prince' graphic novel

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The Little Prince - The Graphic Novel

from The Indpendent

A graphic novel based on The Little Prince by French artist Joann Sfar is set to be published in an English-language edition in October, reported Publishers Weekly on September 22.

An internationally acclaimed cartoonist, Joann Sfar is known for previous graphic novels including The Rabbi's Cat, which was adapted for film and for which he won the prestigious Jury Prize at the Angoulême Comics Festival, as well as for his The Little Vampire children's books.

Sfar's adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's classic novella takes the unique approach of depicting the story's narrator, the pilot, who never appears in the original book's illustrations. The adaptation was first published as a French-language title in France in 2007.

20 Worst Children's Book Covers

Beware the dubious sidebar advertising...

Seven Stories celebrates John Burningham's artwork

Recommended link (in spite of annoying popup advertising)

Why Adults Read Young Adult and Children's Literature

Includes two lists of recommended titles compiled by Kansas State University children's literature experts Phil Nel and Karin Westman...

There is significant leaching of BPA from children's books...

A study reports that there is "significant leaching of BPA from children's books."

BPA is known to imitate the hormone estrogen. Acting as an anti-androgen--substances which block hormone activity--BPA affects sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children. Professor David Melzer, a scientist at Exeter University described BPA as "gender bending," calling for BPA to undergo the same safety trials as emerging medications.
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Charlie Higson Interview

Charlie Higson, interviewed in The Scotsman

Guardian Prize Shortlist

Ghost Hunter by Michelle Paver
The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson
Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes
Now by Morris Gleitzman

The winner will be announced on October 8.
Julia Eccleshare and Mal Peet are joined on the judging panel by authors Linda Buckley-Archer and Jenny Downham.

The Threat of Digitisation: Robert McCrum in The Observer

McCrum is always worth reading and he is especially trenchant here. Reas the whole piece, not just the quoted extract.

Books, like newspapers, are an essentially middle-class phenomenon whose market is the self-improving professional. As a bourgeois medium, books and their authors depend on the cash nexus. Johnson went straight to the point with: "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money."

Johnson was right. Words that get written for money are likely to be superior to words spun out for nothing, on a whim. California's "free" movement wants to argue that literary copyright is an intolerable restriction of the public's right to access information, and that words should be free. That's a profound threat to the western intellectual tradition. I hope that André Schiffrin, having raised the alarm about the demise of serious publishing and journalism, will urgently turn his attention to the new, possibly darker, threat of digitisation and its consequences.

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Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

Annexed by Sharon Dogar, reviewed by Mal Peet

Mal Peet detects a failure of nerve in an otherwise admirable attempt to 'defamiliarise' and 'revitalise' a legend.

It is regrettable, therefore, that Dogar and her publishers appear not to have the courage of their convictions. Annexed has a preface, an apologia that is the nearest thing to an attack of nerves you are likely to see in print. The novel has anxious footnotes that indicate where it departs from the "truth" of the diary. (The truth is that Anne, like all diarists, is an unreliable narrator. She "improved" - sexed up, one might say - her diary with a view to its eventual publication. She imagined a future as a novelist.) By her own account, as well as Dogar's, she yearned for sexual love.

We should grieve for her more, rather than less, if she was murdered before she experienced it. The zealous, self-appointed guardians of her memory should be grateful to Dogar rather than outraged. Hindered by caution, this is not quite a great book, but it is firmly on the side of the angels. MAL PEET

See photos from the launch event....

Philip Pullman's Dislike

What I dislike about the present-tense narrative is its limited range of expressiveness. I feel claustrophobic, always pressed up against the immediate.

I want all the young present-tense storytellers (the old ones have won prizes and are incorrigible) to allow themselves to stand back and show me a wider temporal perspective. I want them to feel able to say what happened, what usually happened, what sometimes happened, what had happened before something else happened, what might happen later, what actually did happen later, and so on: to use the full range of English tenses.

See Darren Shan's comment on previous entry about Pullman's dislike of the present tense....

Enid Blyton's Famous Five - Telegraph

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Blyton Revised

Enid Blyton's 70 year old classics are being revamped with modern dialogue. Lorna Bradbury asks how well they hold up when so much more than our language has changed - Recommended reading

The Famous Five books have now undergone their most extensive reworking to date, with changes made throughout the texts. The aim of the project, the publisher Hodder says, is to bring the books, the first of which was originally published in 1942, to "a new generation" of readers by removing the dated language, especially in the dialogue.
To this end the books have been revised line by line, leaving the plots intact but cutting many of the old-fashioned expressions, such as "golly", "rather" and "awfully", and replacing numerous other words...


In the first book, Five on a Treasure Island, for example, the presentation of the marriage between Julian, Dick and Anne's parents has been tweaked so it seems more like a marriage of equals. So to take a passage from the first page, the lines: "'Well, this time Daddy wants me to go to Scotland with him,' said Mother. 'All by ourselves!'" has been changed to: "'Well, this time Dad and I have planned to go to Scotland,' said Mum. 'Just the two of us!'"
But this kind of editing has not been carried out systematically. The relationship between George's parents, for example, has not been altered. Uncle Quentin is still grumpy and absent for long stretches in his study, while Aunt Fanny oversees the running of the household. And though Fanny and Dick's names haven't been revised, as they were in The Faraway Tree books, the circus boy Nobby in book five has been rechristened Ned.

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The Next Big Thing?

There's a huge market in iPad apps for kids. Tablet-owning parents are discovering that Apple's device is good both for keeping children amused alone, and for using together. Meanwhile, iPad is also bringing a dash of interactivity to e-books.

Publisher Random House is hoping to blend these two trends. It's signed a deal with a design agency called Smashing Ideas, in order to make a series of 'book-based children's apps' for mobile devices. iPad, yes, but presumably iPhone and other smartphones too.

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Wall Street Journal Book Review

Bink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee ill. Tony Fucile
[published in UK by Walker Books]

"an effervescent and endearingly quirky chapter book"

The Dark Is Rising

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Random House have reissued Susan Cooper's classic The Dark Is Rising sequence...

Anne Fine, author - Telegraph

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Obama Children's Book

"Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters" is a tribute to 13 groundbreaking Americans, from the first president, George Washington, to baseball great Jackie Robinson to artist Georgia O'Keeffe. It will be released Nov. 16 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, which will officially announce the new work today

The president will donate any author proceeds to "a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled soldiers serving our nation," the publisher said in a statement..

Philip Pullman and The Wretched Fad


Philip Pullman and the Wretched Fad

Pullman, the best-selling children's author, was scathing over its use. He said: "This wretched fad has been spreading more and more widely. I can't see the appeal at all. To my mind it drastically narrows the options available to the writer. When a language has a range of tenses such as the perfect, the imperfect, the pluperfect, each of which makes other kinds of statement possible, why on earth not use them?" He added: "I just don't read present-tense novels any more. It's a silly affectation, in my view, and it does nothing but annoy."

Sharon Dogar's Annexed

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The link is to a Guardian news story printed in June, when proof copies of this novel drew an angry response from the Anne Frank Trust.

The novel is now out and was launched with a Q&A session between the author, Sharon Dogar and Julia Eccleshare.

Photos courtesy of the publisher:

It's Roald Dahl Day Today

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New Mailing List

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The ACHUKA Mailing List has not been active for quite a while. In the era of Twitter, Facebook and blogging, the need for an eLetter to provide people with updates seemed to me to have become redundant. But I regularly meet people who regret the demise of the weekly ACHUKA eLetter.
So, for those who prefer updates and alerts to come via email, rather than Twitter or Facebook, or by checking the blog, here's an invitation to subscribe to the new mailing list. Please note I am NOT going to import email addresses from the old mailing list. Old subscribers need to opt in again...

ACHUKA Mailing List
simpy add your email address into the box


M.T. Anderson - the website

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M. T. Anderson - the website

it's a good one...

Dahl Bihoraphy - Sunday telegraph review

"a hugely readable portrait that examines vividly and sympathetically the life and work of a difficult, complex author who was adored by millions of children, loathed by many adults, and was possibly a genius..." GRAHAM LORD

New Board Books - The Seattle Times

If you want a board book that's sure to be a hit with your little one, look for ones written and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli. In her latest board books, "Potty"and "Tubby" (Candlewick Press, $6.99 each, publication date Sept. 14), Patricelli demonstrates once again her ability to combine a few words with simple but comic illustrations to create a book that babies and toddlers will want to read again and again (and again!).

In fact, one of the best things about Patricelli's books is that adults don't mind reading them repeatedly; with her wry sense of humor, Patricelli has the "Sesame Street" knack for entertaining both kids and adults. In "Potty," for example, Patricelli portrays both the baby's exuberance and the parents' relief at a successful trip to the toilet, while in "Tubby," Patricelli concludes the bathtub scene by writing: "Mommy dries me. Daddy dries the bathroom." Don't forget to check out previously published Patricelli board books, including "Quiet Loud," "Yummy Yucky," "Binky"and Blankie" (all Candlewick Press, $6.99 each). (Ages birth through 2.)

Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
reviewed by Patrick Ness

Rarely have I read a book that felt so made up on the fly. The forward momentum isn't enough to disguise the fact that very little time seems to have been spent on the backstory. The science is laughable (everything from planetary sizes to evolution seems to have been written down as a best guess), until finally the writers just give up and call Lorien "magical". Why are these aliens with superpowers bound by amulets and charms? Because they are, that's why. I would certainly hope that this is a case of the authors being rushed rather than skimping because the book is "only" for teens. PATRICK NESS

Dahl Biography reviewed by Kathryn Hughes

Certainly by choosing Sturrock as their chronicler the Dahls have appointed someone whose fandom they can count on - as a young BBC producer in the 1980s Sturrock worked on a documentary about Dahl and managed to remain friends with him - and who can be guaranteed to tell the story of his difficult personality as gently as possible. The result is by no means a whitewash, but it is an attempt to nudge the picture in favour of a man who, despite so many reasons to dislike him, remains one of the greatest forces for good in children's literature of the past 50 years. KATHRYN HUGHES

Flipped - Movie Review

The movie mostly fails to gain traction due to the lack of solid direction by Reiner. For one, the film is set in the '50s/'60s for no discernible reason other than nostalgia, which doesn't play that big of a part in the plot anyway. Also, aside from half of the voiceovers not really working, the back-and-forth between the two main characters is just not compelling. Even when you know where things are headed, there needs to be that certain something that keeps the audience wanting more, and Reiner never infuses the story with that extra oomph.

A popular children's book (albeit one that's nine years old), Flipped should have no problem drawing a decent number of moviegoers. But with a flawed structure and so-so overall storyline, the film is just more evidence that Reiner ain't what he used to be.

David Almond - A BfK Interview

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DAVID ALMOND interviewed by Books for Keeps

Children's Books You (Might) Hate

with special consideration given to The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Monideepa Sahu, author of the fantasy novel Riddle of the Seventh Stone, sees a phenomenal growth in the young adult literature in English segment in the past few years.

"New authors like me are being encouraged and efforts are being made by the Children's Book Trust, and events such as Jumpstart and Bookaroo, an annual children's book festival held every November in New Delhi, are also drumming up more interest in books for young readers. As for writers, we always took young adult fiction most seriously," she says.

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Five Reasons Why Best-Selling Authors Are Going Direct

Exactly why we've started up our new section for self-published books and eWorks:

Booktrust Teenage Prize 2010 - Shortlist

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The judging panel for the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2010 shortlist comprised the following judges: chartered librarian Barbara Band, author Tony Bradman (Chair), journalist Barbara Ellen, 2009 young judge Claudia Freemantle and author Mary Hoffman.
Four winners from a short-story writing competition join them to choose the winning book from the shortlist. They are: Chelsea Jane Brown (fifteen) from Birmingham; Poppy Freeman-Cuerden (thirteen) from Coventry; Hannah Jenkins (fourteen) from Leeds; Theo Lezerri (thirteen) from Exeter.
The Booktrust Teenage Prize was launched in 2003 to recognise and celebrate the best contemporary writing for teenagers. Booktrust manages the prize with the support of writers, publishers, teachers, parents and libraries. Publishers may enter works of fiction, including novels, short stories collections and graphic novels, and non-fiction and poetry. The Reading Agency is promoting the Booktrust Teenage Prize in libraries across the UK primarily through coordination with public and school library services.
The 2009 Prize was won by Neil Gaiman for The Graveyard Book. Previous winners also include Mark Haddon for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003) and Anthony McGowan for Henry Tumour (2006).
The Booktrust website has a teenage section which promotes the prize and books for teenagers, including a list of six books that this year's judges felt deserved special recognition, as well as carrying comments and reviews from young people.

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Booktime Prize Draw

Nominate your primary school or local library for an amazing Eric Carle signed artist's proof from the book "Slowly, Slowly, Slowly", 680,000 copies of which are currently being given away to children just entering schools' reception classes. It means the Booktime scheme will have given away more than 5 million books over the last four years.

Every eligible nomination will be entered into a prize draw and the winners selected at random. So the more nominations your school or library gets, the better their chance is of being drawn as a winner.

Download the flier...

Dahl's Rudeness

In a long review of the new biography of Roald Dahl, John Walsh also touches on the character flaws of other notable children's authors, and concludes:

In a week in which Ms Rowling handed over £10m to fund a multiple-sclerosis clinic at Edinburgh University, British children's writers today seem closer to sainthood than the kind of raging egomania we associate with Roald Dahl and his literary ancestors. But it's interesting to be reminded of how much of the enchanted forest - of Tigger and Tinkerbell and Toad, of Mole and Mam'zelle and Matilda, of Big Ears and The Minpins, Heffalumps and the Finder-Outers, Mr Smee and the Piper at the Gates of Dawn - all owe their genesis to childhood heartbreak and grown-up tyranny.

And on Dahl himself:

[It was his] overweening rudeness to people that's most striking. "He felt himself to be the self-righteous, dominant paterfamilias," writes Sturrock, "who criticised others but was himself beyond reproach." Dahl was wary of English literary intellectuals, by whom he felt intimidated, because of his lack of university education. Kingsley Amis devoted a bilious chapter to Dahl in his Memoirs, recalling how, at a party, Dahl recommended that Amis should knock out some children's books to make money, and remarked, encouragingly, "The little bastards'd swallow it."

The saga of his complaints to his Random House publishers, about everything from his four-book contract ("I have felt that fucking contract clutching at my throat like a bloodsucking vampire ever since it was written") to the size of his name on the cover of The Twits is a long, petulant tantrum. When he threatened to leave the publishing house for good, the firm's managing director Bob Gottlieb could not conceal his delight. "Let me reverse the threat," he wrote to Dahl. "Unless you start acting civilly to us, there is no possibility of our agreeing to publish you. Nor will I - or any of us - answer any future letter that we consider to be as rude as those we've been receiving."

So Frustrating


So frustrating not to be able to blog you links to matters relating to children's books from The Times any more...

Yesterday there was:

  • a feature on Raymond Briggs by Nick Tucker

  • a Weekend Roald Dahl special, including Why I Love Roald... and of course Quentin by David Walliams, whose latest book Billionaire Boy is illustrated by Quentin Blake

  • a Celebrate Roald Dahl Day (Sep 13th) What's On listing

  • an interview with Quentin Blake by Amanda Craig

  • a How to Draw Willy Wonka page by Quentin Blake himself

  • a review of The Hunger Games: Mockinjay by Suzanne Collins

and on Friday:
a two-page feature by Amanda Craig called "Kindly witches, veggie vampires; it's a revolution in fairyland"

Craig's reviews eventually appear on her website, but it's not the same as citing them on or near the date of publication...

Guardian Review

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Guardian review

My Name Is Mina by David Almond
reviewed by Marcus Sedgwick

"I cannot remember when a book last filled me with such claminosity." MARCUS SEDGWICK

Er, thanks for that Marcus!

Whatever it means (go on, Google it, I had to), what a horrible word!

Report about The Times paywall - The Independent

Interesting report about the way things are going with The Times paywall - of interest to ACHUKA since we are no longer able to point to reviews, articles or obituaries published by The Times:

Two months after Rupert Murdoch's decision to erect a subscription paywall around the websites of The Times and The Sunday Times, thus removing their content from search engines, the bold experiment is having a marked effect on the rest of British media. There are many who still wish the 79-year-old mogul well, hopeful that he is at the vanguard of a cultural shift that will save newspapers. Yet elsewhere there is dismay among analysts, advertisers, publicists and even some reporters on the papers.

Faced with a collapse in traffic to, some advertisers have simply abandoned the site. Rob Lynam, head of press trading at the media agency MEC, whose clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Orange, Morrisons and Chanel, says, "We are just not advertising on it. If there's no traffic on there, there's no point in advertising on there." Lynam says he has been told by News International insiders that traffic to The Times site has fallen by 90 per cent since the introduction of charges.

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Penguin, Puffin and the Paperback Revolution

Missed this yesterday. Thank heavens for Listen now...

In this programme, Michael Morpurgo delves into the Penguin archives and meets with family members and historians to uncover how Allen - who was not a literary man and left school at 16 - went on to revolutionise the publishing industry and change the way the nation reads. He explores the impact of Puffins, launched in 1940, on children's relationships with books and he reflects on what Lane felt about the infamous 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' trial in 1960.

He also hears from Penguin authors Nick Hornby and Sue Townsend about what it feels like to be part of publishing history.

Listen now (30 minutes)


6 days left to listen

Last broadcast yesterday11:30 on BBC Radio 4.

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Nonsense, Sensibly

The Chennai-based author of children's books, poet and playwright, tries to tweak theatre techniques with her new work. Of course, the writer known for her penchant for "nonsense" has not abandoned it in "Coat Tales."

Though her books are for children, her plays, about 10 of them, have been largely for an adult audience, though a few were definitely aimed at children. "Coat Tales" too is directed at spectators of all age-group. "Folk tales are for everybody," she adds.

"Coat Tales" will open at 7.30 p.m., Sept. 10 at Epicentre, Gurgaon, and at Akshara Theatre from Sept. 17-19.

Theresa Breslin: bringing the past to life

The fourth in The Guardian's series of interviews with authors longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize: Michelle Pauli talks to Theresa Breslin about writing historical fiction for a modern audience...

The exhibition Contemporary Picture Book Illustration in Germany offers an intriguing insight into the work of 13 well-known German illustrators viewed from their individual perspectives. Children's book illustration in Germany is known for its great diversity, one of the features that has contributed to its growing success and recognition on an international scale.

Fri 03 Sep '10, 09:00 am To Sat 25 Sep '10. 12:00 am

Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan

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New Kindle Best-Seller

The Independent reports:

For the first time since April, a new title has replaced Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo at the top of Amazon's list of best-selling Kindle e-books. For the week ending August 29, Suzanne Collins's Mockingjay, the final title in her trilogy The Hunger Games, is the top-selling e-book among Kindle users.

PW Launches Select - a listing of self-published titles

In launching its new listing service, Select, Publishers Weekly (US) writes:

The rise in self-publishing, DIY, subsidy or vanity publishing--whichever term you prefer--is probably one of the most significant changes in the publishing industry in recent years. Since Publishers Weekly was founded in 1872, the magazine has strived to cover the entire publishing industry and this new supplement is simply our latest effort to fulfill our historic mandate. Over the last 20 years, self-publishing has produced an explosion of new authors and new books. Nearly 800,000 books were produced in the U.S. last year and were characterized by Bowker as "nontraditional"; much of this was self-published and POD.

The fee to be included in the "inaugural listing" will be $149, with no guarantee of a review. The new supplement will be released quarterly, with the first one in PW's year-end issue in December.

In the meantime, new authors can suggest their titles for inclusion in ACHUKA's own self-published selection: [currently for free!]

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Summer Reading Challenge

from a Guardian report:

Ahead of the massive spending cuts to be set out by the coalition government in October, McKearney is hopeful the scheme will survive. "This project is so important for children, and for libraries: the number of books issued as a result of the SRC now represents 20% of the total books issued every year.

"The scheme has built up really strong momentum. Although we're a tiny team - just one director and a few part-time staff - we have a huge impact on children. With all the talk of a 'big society', this is a very interesting model of how you can support local innovation through national charity co-ordination," she adds.

Miranda McKearney (director of the Reading Challenge) believes that schools and parents shouldn't be left alone to support children's reading. "It should be whole community effort. Through the SRC, libraries encourage children to become enthusiastic readers when schools aren't in action. They add value to a child's reading growth in a unique way that combines so beautifully with what schools are doing." And, McKearney adds with a nod to the fears of library cuts, "long may it continue."

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Lane Smith Interviewed

Wall Street Journal / Speakeasy

Recommended link


But you're not anti-technology. You're constantly updating your Curious Pages blog, which highlights fun children's books you enjoy.

Yes, that was an antidote of mine to all of those overly earnest "guardian" blogs out there that state what children should be reading. I thought, those weren't the books that I enjoyed reading when I was a kid, so I decided to just blog about odd books I loved. As for the other stuff, I don't Twitter and I'm not on Facebook, but I'm dying to get an iPad. And I love all my other stuff -- my iPod and iPhone. But i don't Twitter because there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day.

Children's Books | Mail Online

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Children's Books - Daily Mail

Sally Morris reviewed three titles yesterday:

WHISPER MY NAME by Jane Eagland
"The Victorian fascination with spiritualism is at the heart of this atmospheric, dramatic novel led by a suitably feisty heroine."

THE 10PM QUESTION by Kate De Goldi
"A highly original, poignant and funny story that should appeal to adults as well as teens."

DEAD MAN'S COVE by Lauren St John
"Orphans, Cornwall, detectives and dogs - this simply ticks all the right boxes. The first in a warmly-awaited series."

Headmasters Study - Guardian Report

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Headmasters Study

a study suggests that the savage portrayal of headteachers in children's literature possesses a grain of truth and may even be helpful when it comes to training teachers who aspire to lead schools...

In a study to be presented to the British Educational Research Association's annual conference at Warwick University today, Thomson says the books' willingness to encourage children to think about power may help to make the stories more truthful than many adult discussions about school leadership. The books encouraged children to take responsibility and overturn unreasonable social conventions. The stories also acted as cautionary tales, warning that children who made the wrong choices must learn to be responsible.

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