Thursday, 24 June 2010

Carnegie / Greenaway winners

And the winners are:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Harry & Hopper Illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Read more about them and see video from today's ceremony on the award's website - and read the Guardian article and BBC page.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Terry Pratchett

A tsunami leaves a boy dealing with the trauma of burying his people in Nation, Terry Pratchett's latest Carnegie-shortlisted novel – a book he says he's been preparing to write all his life. Here he is discussing it in Andrew Johnson's article in The Independent. In addition, Pratchett has set up a new prize Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now for debut novelists resident in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth. It's an odd title, but he gives a long explanation which begins: "Anywhere but here, anywhen but now. Which means we are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory)."

We have Nation and other Terry Pratchett books in our catalogue.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Cast announced for Morpurgo's War Horse

"Steven Spielberg has rounded up a clutch of quality British acting talent to head up the cast of War Horse, his first film to reach the screens since 2008’s Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, David Thewlis and Benedict Cumberbatch have all signed on the dotted line, but taking the lead (or the reigns) is young actor Jeremy Irvine, who has earned his stripes with both the National Youth Theatre and the RSC." From Empire Online.

War Horse is by Michael Morpurgo who today took part in a Scottish Book Trust Authors Live session - read about it and download teaching resources here. We have the book and a CD version in stock - check the catalogue for a full list of our Morpurgo holdings.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

What would you do if you were invisible? Teenage writing competition

The Booktrust Teenage Prize writing competition has launched. Tell all the 12-16 year olds you know! Here's the brief:
"Bod, the main character in Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, the winner of the 2009 Booktrust Teenage Prize, can become invisible to living people, when the situation calls for it – he can ‘fade’. What would you do if you could ‘fade’? How would it work? Where would you go? Think about the different interpretations of invisibility, not just the literal meaning. Would you feel powerful or lonely? In no more than 500 words, write a short story that is original and creative. You might like to read The Graveyard Book for background and inspiration."
There are details about prizes on Booktrust's website and the deadline is 5th July. If you want to borrow Gaiman's book, we have it in stock. Other relevant titles you might consider borrowing from us are Robert Cormier's Fade and HG Wells' Invisible Man, both excellent.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

World Cup Resources

Ok, I know Scotland's not in it but loads of people will still be watching. The National Literacy Trust has a great page of World Cup resources for teachers and librarians to help encourage young people's reading through the power of football. It includes, amongst other things, a daily episodic story, book reviews, word searches and crosswords. Find more resources on the LTS Global Citizenship blog,Walker Books'  World Cup page with booklists and activities, and Teachers TV which has a Summer of Football page. And don't forget our own page listing football-themed novels, and a few poems, for children (part of our larger, Books for Boys list which is currently being updated - watch this space). See a selection below.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Additions to our list of children's literature internet sites

The House of Illustration - the world’s first centre dedicated to the art of illustration in all its forms. It is the brainchild of Quentin Blake, though not restricted to children’s book illustrations.

Storylineonline - Screen Actors Guild members read children’s books aloud (US).

Storybird - short, visual stories that you make with family and friends to share and (soon) print.
Modern language versions are also available.

For more sites, see the full list on our web pages.

Monday, 7 June 2010

New author links

A mixed bag of links which have dropped into my RSS/Twitter feeds recently:

Philip Ardagh's Grubtown site.

Lots on J M Barrie because of the 150th anniversary of his birth: the official site; Books from Scotland; and the NTS.

A Theresa Breslin podcast from Scottish Booktrust.

A Booktrust interview with Lucy Cousins to celebrate Maisy's 20th birthday.

A YouTube trailer for Michelle Harrison's 13 Treasures.

A Telegraph Book Club piece about Clive King's Stig of the Dump.

Two blog posts about Nicola Morgan, one from Scribble City Central and the other from Absolute Vanilla.

Finally, some film news. Films are definitely on the way about Judy Moody, Diary of a wimpy kid and, possibly, Mr Gum. I couldn't find any links about the latter apart from this tweet from its author on 20th May:
@AndyStantonTM EXCITING INDUSTRY GOSSIP: I am meeting with a film company today to discuss possible 'Mr Gum' movie.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Shaping readers through choices

How can teachers, parents and other interested adults help children to become avid readers? A number of theories have been aired recently. For example, the TES reported that Teachers' book club helps boost boys' reading ability. Giving teachers contemporary children's books to read for themselves has apparently helped them to narrow the gap between boys' and girls' achievement in literacy.

What goes on in the home is also important. Vanessa Thorpe wrote in The Observer that Parents 'must let children choose what they read'. In The Guardian, Rachel Williams bemoaned the fact that Many parents failing to read to children, survey shows. According to this survey, more than half of primary teachers say they have seen at least one child with no experience of being told stories at home - but, as the Telegraph tells us, Books in the home 'boost children's education' . Keeping just 20 books in the home can boost children’s chances of doing well at school, according to a major study. Sharing stories and reading together as a family are vital to the development of a child’s literacy skills - forthcoming National Literacy Trust research will show how that children who are encouraged to read by their parents are more likely to have above average reading levels. Without adequate literacy skills a child is less likely to succeed at school and to become a happy and confident young person. They therefore launched their Tell Me a Story campaign on 2 June to raise awareness that every child has the right to share stories and develop the skills they need for their future. Book Dads is another site which encourages reading in the home by providing advice and resources for dads.

Other recent help on choosing books for young readers comes from Lucy Mangan's article How do you choose books for children? in which she asks questions such as "does The Railway Children's happy ending inspire false hope or a welcome dose of escapism for children with absent parents?" The Guardian has its guide to Best children's books ever (Lucy Mangan again) and you can find other people listing their Top 100 books, such as Trevor Cairney, who groups some of his by theme, topic and genre, while others are grouped by age, author or gender, and Maggi Idzikowski who has created a fabulous Animoto presentation of hers.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Children's book awards

As the Guardian announced the shortlist for its 2010 Children's Fiction Prize at the weekend, this seems a good time to catch up with some other snippets of recent award news. These include Red House Children's Book Award Winners and the 2010 English 4-11 Book Awards for the best children's illustrated books of 2009. On a slightly different tack, Ireland has awarded its first Children's Laureateship to Siobhán Parkinson, as detailed in the Guardian and the Usborne's Young Writers' Award offers children up to 14 the opportunity to finish a story started by a famous authors (Sophie McKenzie, Diana Kimpton, Anne-Marie Conway, Keith Brumpton, Steve Skidmore & Steve Barlow). Prizes include the winning story published as an iphone App, a trip to Usborne in London to meet all the authors and find out how a book is made and £100 worth of Usborne books. The closing date for entries is Wednesday 20th October 2010.