June 2011 Archives

Rowling Splits From Christopher Little

from The Bookseller:

J K Rowling's agent Neil Blair has left the Christopher Little Literary Agency, setting up a new company, The Blair Partnership. Rowling is moving with Blair, having "terminated her association" with the Christopher Little Agency...

ACHUKA's Look Out For

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ACHUKA Teen Table

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ACHUKA Teen Table

updated selection of new books for 12+

Keith Gray Interviewed

for Inis Magazine

Puffin Party Photo Gallery

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Puffin Party Photo Gallery

Anna Perera, at Puffin's Summer Party earlier in the week...

Click the top link to see the full gallery.

No Booktrust Early Years Awards Or Teeanage Prize This Year

From the Booktrust announcement:

As you will be aware, the last few months have been particularly challenging for Booktrust. Our new funding settlement with the Department for Education has allowed us to protect the universal offer of the national bookgifting programmes, but it has nonetheless forced us to undertake a thorough review of all of the prizes and projects in the Booktrust portfolio.

As a result of this review, we have taken the difficult decision not to run the Booktrust Early Years Awards or the Booktrust Teenage Prize in autumn 2011. Both of these prizes are incredibly important, highlighting and celebrating the best books for babies and toddlers and for teens, as well as being very dear to Booktrust. We have not taken these decisions lightly and we strongly intend to bring back both with a bang in the very near future.

Puffin Party 2011

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This year's Puffin Summer Party was held in the grand setting of Banqueting House.

Lots more photos to follow (this evening).

Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet

Loved it - with a couple of provisos...

ACHUKA Fiction Table

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ACHUKA's Children's Fiction Table

New mix of suggested reading for the pre-teen audience...

Guardian Review

Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys, reviewed by Linda Buckley-Archer

Dr Johnson wrote that the only end of writing is to enable readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it. Hard to read but even harder to stop reading, there is no doubt into which category this tremendous first novel belongs. LINDA BUCKLEY-ARCHER

Greenaway Winner

Grahame Baker-Smith has won the 2011 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the UK's most prestigious children's illustration award for FArTHER.

Carnegie Winner Speaks Out In defence of Libraries

Patrick Ness, who yesterday won the Carnegie Medal for Monsters of Men, hit out against library cuts in his acceptance speech...

Waterstone's Back's Evening Standard Campaign

Waterstone's has backed the Evening Standard's drive to tackle illiteracy in the capital with the promise of at least £10,000.

The store has pledged to donate all profits it makes today from the sale of children's books in its 52 stores within the M25, underwritten £10,000 as a minimum.

The company has transformed its flagship Piccadilly branch into an advertisement for the Get London Reading campaign, with a giant banner in the window and another in the store, and there are tables promoting the literacy drive on each of the five floors.

An Inter view Without Words

Shaun Tan responds to questions with illustrations...

[Thanks to David Maybury for bringing this interview to my attention...]

A Stupid Luddite

Terry Deary berates children's publishers and the new Laureate....

Insisting that his days of writing children's books are behind him, he urges the industry to follow suit. "Publishers are just idiots that don't know what they're doing. No wonder children's books are falling off a cliff," he says. "I have 210 books published, but only eight are available on the Kindle. Publishers are never going to recover unless they step up the pace. They need to start making deals with Kindle and other eBook providers. But instead, there is a very strong Luddite tendency running through the industry."

His greatest indignation is reserved for Julia Donaldson, the recently appointed Children's Laureate, who has claimed that children should be researching their projects in the library, rather than relying on the internet to do the work. "She's a stupid Luddite. Subjecting children to library research is hard work, ineffectual and a total waste of time. Internet research is where the future is headed. To send children back to library books in the 21st century is like a modern-day King Canute begging his men to turn back the tide."

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Guardian Review

Moon Pie by Simon Mason, reviewed by Marcus Sedgwick

Simon Mason has written a brave novel about a troubled father...

Not Just For Teens

Why are adult readers making the YA collection the hottest in the library, and what's the best way to get more adult readers involved?

Recommended reading from Library Jornal

Canadian Award Shortlists

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Canadian Award Shortlists

TD Canadian Children's Literature Award:

  • Alma Fullerton: Burn: Dancing Cat Books

  • Gordon Lightfoot: Illustrated Ian Wallace: Canadian Railroad Trilogy: Groundwood Books

  • Valerie Sherrard : The Glory Wind : Fitzhenry and Whiteside

  • Laurel Croza: Illustrated Matt James : I Know Here : Grounmdwood

  • Erin Bow: Plain Kate : Scholastic

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award

  • Illustrated Matt James: Laurel Croza : I Know Here: Groundwood

  • Marianne Dubac: Translated Yvette Ghione : In Front Of My House : Kids Can Press

  • Illustrated Julie Morstad: Caroline Woodward: Singing Away the Dark: Simply REad BookIllustrated Isabelle Arsenault: Kyo MacLear : Spork : Kids Can Press

  • Illustrated Bill Slavin: Linda Bailey: Stanley's Little Sister: Kids Can Press

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

  • Susan Hughes: Illustrated Michael Wandelmaier : Case Closed! Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science: Kids Can Press

  • Daniel Loxton: Evolution: How We and all Living Things Came to Be: Kids Can Press

  • Elin Kelsey: illustrated Clayton Hammer: Not Your Typical Book About the Environment: Owlkids

  • Jody Nyasha Warner: Illustrated Richard Rudnicki: Viola Desmond won't be Budged : Groundwood

  • Hadley Dyer: Illustrated Marc Ngui : Watch this Space: Designing, Defending and Sharing Public Spaces: Kids Can Press

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction

  • Jean Little : Exiles from the War: The War Guests of Charlotte Mary Twiss: Scholasti

  • Marthe Jocelyn: Folly : Tundra Books

  • Valerie Sherrard: The Glory Wind: Fitzhenry and Whiteside

  • Martha Brooks: Queen of Hearts: Groundwood Books

  • Caroline Pignat: Wild Geese: Red Deer Press

John Spray Mystery Award

  • Allan Stratton: Borderline: Harper Trophy

  • Jan Markley: Dead Bird Through the Cat Door: Gumboot Books

  • Marty Chan: The Mystery of the Cyber Bully : Thistledown Press

  • Y.S.Lee: A Spy in the House (The Agency) Candlewick Press

  • Norah McClintock: Victim Rights: Red Deer Press

Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards

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Boston Golobe Horn Book Award Winners


Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones (Candlewick)


The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin (Flash Point/Roaring Brook)

Picture Book

Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes by Salley Mavor (Houghton)

he 2011 Honor Books are:

Chime by Franny Billingsley (Dial)
Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke (Kane Miller)

Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers Found Their Way by Land, Sea, and Air by Stewart Ross, illustrated by Stephen Biesty (Candlewick)
Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Vicky White (Candlewick)

Picture Book
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen (Houghton)
Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Sophie Blackall (Putnam)

Tomi Ungerer: The Comeback Kid

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Tomi Ungerer At 80

from School Library Journal:

Tomi Ungerer, best known for his children's books--and his erotic and political illustrations--is back in the United States after a nearly 15 year absence. The French illustrator has a few good reasons to return: Phaidon is republishing eight of his books and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Massachusetts is celebrating his upcoming 80th birthday with a retrospective exhibition of his works, which opens on June 18.

Morpurgo Wins Red House Children's Book Award

... again.

Apologies - a bit tardy with this news.

Jay Asher Interview

Interview with Thirteen Reasons Why author, from Entertainment Weekly's Shelf Life...

Melvin & Money

a Telegraph featurette:

HAVE YOU BEEN NEGATIVELY AFFECTED BY THE RECESSION? Yes - advances on books aren't so good. When I talk to publishers I hear some very hard luck stories about sales and I notice they tend to respond by focusing mainly on the big sellers. So among children's books it's all about vampire stories and American imprints at the moment.

Guardian Review

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Guardian Review

Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet, reviewed by Meg Rosoff

Life: An Exploded Diagram is a real book, a rare treat for thoughtful readers of any age. Read it yourself. Then, if you can think of a young person with the wit to appreciate it, pass it along. MEG ROSOFF

Q & A with Tomi Ungerer

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Q & A with Tomi Ungerer

from Publishers Weekly

Megan McDonald Interviewed

by Deseret News

Armadillo Magazine

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Armadiloo Magazine

Particulalrly recommended: the teenage review section

Read-Aloud Feature for Children's Books

Version 1.3 of iBooks adds a couple of new features, including a read-aloud feature for some children's books that [according to Macworld] isn't working yet...

Julia Donaldson

long feature interview with the new Children's Laureate, from The Scotsman

CLPE Poetry Award 2011 Shortlist

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The shortlist for the 2011 CLPE Poetry Award is as follows:

Allan Ahlberg: Everybody Was a Baby Once and other poems, illustrated by Bruce Ingman, Walker Books

Phil Bowen: Cuckoo Rock, illustrated by Fred James, Salt Publishing

Mandy Coe: If You Could See Laughter, Salt Publishing

Philip Gross: Off Road to Everywhere, illustrated by Jonathan Gross, Salt Publishing

Roger Stevens (compiler): A Million Brilliant Poems (part one), illustrated by Jessie Ford, A & C Black

The judges are Carol Ann Duffy, Andrew Lambirth and Fiona Waters and the judging panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare.

Troubadour [ss Travelling Books one of the largest providers of Book Fairs to UK schools] is once again sponsoring the CLPE Poetry Award.

The winner of the 2011 Award will be announced at a ceremony at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education on Tuesday, July 5th 2011.

The CLPE Poetry Award for a book of poetry for children was launched by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education in 2003.

Authors react with anger...

another good piece of reporting by Alison Flood (appeared yesterday, but I missed it at the time)

Laureate's First Snipe

The new Children's Laureate for the UK - Scottish-based best-selling author Julia Donaldson - has raised concerns over the profusion of computers in libraries....

links to article from The Herald (Scotland)

The new Children's Laureate...

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Kate Wilson Interview

Intoerview with Kate Wilson of Nosy Crow, from Huffington Post Books

Suzanne Collins In Kindle Top Five

Children's book author Suzanne Collins has joined five other authors who have sold more than 1 million books on Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle product. Collins is the first children's book author to break the 1 million mark...

Darkness Isn't The Enemy

Recommended piece in Salon, defending YA themes:

in the name of protecting teens, we can't shut them off from the outlet of experiencing difficult events and feelings in the relative safety and profound comfort of literature. Darkness isn't the enemy. But ignorance always is.

Chris Van Allsburg talks about his new book

from The Providence Journal....

"Queen of the Falls," his first nonfiction book, tells the story of Annie Edson Taylor. In 1901, the 63-year-old retired charm school teacher became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel...

A response to the WSJ piece from Not Just for Kids

a lot of online talk about this...

f--ing gatekeepers

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f--ing gatekeepers

Contemporary fiction for teens is rife with explicit abuse, violence and depravity [apparently]. Why is this considered a good idea?

from the Wall Street Journal

Anthony Browne Advises Successor

from The Indpendent

Outgoing Children's Laureate Anthony Browne warned last night that we will "pay the price in the long term" for closing public and school libraries as he urged his successor to do everything to support them.

The author and illustrator, whose tenure ends on Tuesday when his replacement is announced at a ceremony in London, said he found it "incredible and outrageous" that libraries were being forced to close.

In an open letter to the Waterstone's Children's Laureate 2011-13, he urged: "Do everything you can to support libraries - God knows, they need every bit of help they can get nowadays."

Guardian Prize Longlist

Delighted to see Small Change for Stuart here, and hope it makes the cut.
There will be a number of authors who write for the Young Adult audience who will be disappointed that their books have not even been longlisted.

My Name is Mina by David Almond
Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans
Twilight Robbery by Frances Hardinge
Momentum by Sacci Lloyd
Moon Pie by Simon Mason
Return to Ribblestrop by Andy Mulligan
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout by Andy Stanton, illustrated by David Tazzyman

Anthony Horowitz Criticises Government Young Offenders Policy

and berates the narrrowness of the school curriculum and its lack of room for reading for pleasure:

"Reading books doesn't make you a good person," he said. "But it does mean that you're in an environment that will let you discuss things. I believe that books do have a part to play in preventing criminality."

The author also said pupils did not have time to read away from the curriculum and that school libraries were under-resourced.

"There's no time to give children to read just for pleasure," Horowitz said.

"Reading not only to understand punctuation or what the writer is intending, but for the pleasure of the story is clearly important. But the curriculum doesn't allow for that."

Posse Assisted Launch

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A posse of cowboys helped Caroline Lawrence promote the debut book in her new WESTERN MYSTERIES series: THE CASE OF THE DEADLY DESPERADOS...

The promotion continues online, with a blog tour throughout the first half of June:

Babyboo - A Peekaboo App For Babies

Shoo Rayner's latest online venture...

New Zealand Book Award Finalists Announced

LIANZA (The Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) received over 100 nominations for their 2011 Children's Book Awards with the prestigious LIANZA Esther Glen award receiving the highest number of submissions by publishers.

The LIANZA Esther Glen Medal, New Zealand's longest running book prize, is awarded for a distinguished work of fiction for children. 

The LIANZA awards, which are given by Librarians for outstanding children's literature are for excellence in junior fiction, young adult fiction, illustration, non-fiction and te reo Maori. 

The full list of the LIANZA Children's Book Award 2011 Finalists:
LIANZA Esther Glen Award (Junior Fiction)
The Haystack by Jack Lasenby, (HarperCollins Publishers (NZ) Ltd)
Dreams of Warriors by Susan Brocker (HarperCollins Publishers (NZ) Ltd)
Sheep on the Fourth Floor by Leonie Thorpe (HarperCollins Publishers (NZ) Ltd)
Boy Zero Wannabe Hero by Peter Millet (Faber & Faber)
Shadow of the Boyd by Diana Menefy (HarperCollins Publishers (NZ) Ltd)
LIANZA Young Adult Award (Fiction)
Smiling Jack by Ken Catran (HarperCollins Publishers (NZ) Ltd)
Fierce September by Fleur Beale (Random House New Zealand)
Ebony Hill by Anna Mackenzie (Longacre Press)
Blood Lines by TK Roxborogh (Penguin NZ)
Lethal Deliveries by Ken Benn (Penguin NZ)
The Limping Man by Maurice Gee (Puffin)
LIANZA Russell Clark Award (Illustration)
The Moon and Farmer McPhee by Margaret Mahy and David Elliot (Random House New Zealand)
Quaky Cat by Diana Noonan and Gavin Bishop (Scholastic)
Hill and Hole by Kyle Mewburn and Vasanti Unka (Puffin)
The Fierce Little Woman and the Wicked Pirate by Joy Cowley and Sarah Davis (Gecko Press)  
A Dog Like That! by Janene Cooper and Evie Kemp (Duck Creek Press)
LIANZA Elsie Locke (Non Fiction)
Weird Wabbit & Friends/ Star Boy and Friends Series by Vasanti Unka (Penguin NZ)
The Life Cycle of the Pukeko by Betty Brownlie (Scholastic)
Sensational Survivors by Sandra Morris (Walker Books Australia)
The Kiwi Fossil Hunters Handbook by James Campton and Marianna Terezow (Random House New Zealand)
The Tui NZ Kids Garden by Diana Noonan and Keith Olsen (Penguin NZ)
Te Kura Pounamu (te reo Maori)
Mahiara by Sally Sutton, Illustrated by Brian Lovelock, Translated by Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira (Walker Books Australia)
Ngarimu: Te Tohu Toa by Andrew Burdan (Huia Publishers)
Rāwiri, Matiu, He Kura Te Tangata, He Ora Kai Te Kupu Series by Peti Nohotima (He Kupenga Hao i te Reo)
Manu Haututū by June Peka. Illustrated by Jo Thapa. Translated by Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira (Scholastic)
Kapa, Te Niu Series by Hana Pōmare and Heni Jacob (HANA Limited/ Te Tāuhuhu o te Mātauranga - Ministry of Education)
Te Mata o Tuna, a Hina rāua ko Mo'o Kuna by Hana Pōmare, Ellie-May Logan and Hēni Jacob (HANA Limited/ Te Tāuhuhu o te Mātauranga - Ministry of Education)

The 2011 Award Ceremony will take place in Wellington on Monday August 8th at Caffe L'affare, College Street. 

Research Into Book Ownership

"It is not a case of books being irrelevant now technology has superseded printed matter," wrote the National Literacy Trust's researchers Christina Clark and Lizzie Poulton. "Children with no books of their own are less likely to be sending emails, reading websites or engaging with their peers through the written word on social networking sites. Children who grow up without books and without positive associations around reading are at a disadvantage in the modern world."

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