30 September 2011

Cheltenham 2011

My children's/teen events for Cheltenham have been confirmed.

I'll be talking books for teens with Melvin Burgess, Kevin Brooks and Sophie McKenzie on Sunday October 9th at 2:30pm (Mad, Bad and Dangerous); discussing Tintin with Raphaƫl Taylor and Michael Farr on Saturday 15th at 5pm (Tintin); and exploring the appeal of Vikings with Kevin Crossley-Holland and Katherine Langrish on Sunday 16th at 5pm (Vikings!).

Really looking forward to them - and hope to see you there!



Ah, a new door-stopper volume from the incomparable Brian Selznick. It's called Wonderstruck and it's gorgeous. (Obviously.) Review to follow in the coming days.


26 September 2011

UKLA longlists - here they are!

So, after wading through over three hundred submissions, we met last week to come up with our three longlists for the 2012 UKLA award. And they're announced today! The award is given for books for children and teenagers in which the writing uses language in ways that's particularly powerful/interesting/effective.

The longlists (one for each age range covered by the award) are as follows:

Longlist for 3-6 category
A Splendid Friend, Indeed (Suzanne Bloom)
Mine (Rachel Bright)
When Titus Took the Train (Anne Cottringer)
A Place to Call Home (Alexis Deacon)
I Want a Mini Tiger (Joyce Dunbar)
Just Because (Rebecca Elliott)
Eddie's Toolbox (Sarah Garland)
Wolf Won't Bite (Emily Gravett)
A Bit Lost (Chris Haughton)
Rollo and Ruff and the Little Fluffy Bird (Mick Inkpen)
Up and Down (Oliver Jeffers)
The Boy Who Cried Ninja (Alex Latimer)
Little Red Hood (Marjolaine Leray, tr. Sarah Ardizzone)
Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School (David Mackintosh)
One Two That's My Shoe (Alison Murray)
Iris and Isaac (Catherine Rayner)
Busy Boats (Susan Steggall)
Chill (Carol Thompson)
Mole's Sunrise (Jeanne Willis)
Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice (Chris Wormell)
Frank and Teddy Make Friends (Louise Yates)

Longlist for 7-11 category
Farther (Grahame Baker-Smith)
Noah Barleywater Runs Away (John Boyne)
A Girl Called Dog (Nicola Davies)
The Memory Cage (Ruth Eastham)
Small Change for Stewart (Lissa Evans)
Grace (Morris Gleitzman)
Three By the Sea (Mini Grey)
The Young Chieftain (Ken Howard)
One Dog and His Boy (Eva Ibbotson)
Animal Tales (Terry Jones)
Sky Hawk (Gill Lewis)
Moon Pie (Simon Mason)
Caddy's World (Hilary McKay)
Scrivener's Moon (Philip Reeve)
The Girl Savage (Katherine Rundell)
Nobody's Horse (Jane Smiley)
When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead)

Longlist for 12-16 category
My Name Is Mina (David Almond)
Long Lankin (Lindsey Barraclough)
Flip (Martyn Bedford)
Buried Thunder (Tim Bowler)
iBoy (Kevin Brooks)
Tyme's End (B.R. Collins)
Bracelet of Bones (Kevin Crossley-Holland)
The 10pm Question (Kate de Goldi)
Annexed (Sharon Dogar)
You Against Me (Jenny Downham)
Being Billy (Phil Earle)
Quarry (Ally Kennen)
Everybody Jam (Ali Lewis)
Pull Out All the Stops (Geraldine McCaughrean)
Trash (Andy Mulligan)
A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness)
Half Brother (Kenneth Oppel)
Bruised (Siobhan Parkinson)
My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece (Annabel Pitcher)
The Dead of Winter (Chris Priestley)
White Crow (Marcus Sedgwick)
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors (Francisco X. Stork)

We're all really happy with our choices. Do give them a try!


(P.S. You'll have to wait till the New Year for the shortlists, I'm afraid...)

19 September 2011

UKLA longlist

This post is not to tell you what's on the UKLA longlist, because I can't do that. It's only to tell you that we do now have a longlist (chosen today), and that it's great, and that you'll know what it is on the 26th. Which isn't very interesting information for you, I grant you, and is really just a bit of a tease, but *I'm* very pleased with it so wanted to say something. So there.

Details this time next week.


13 September 2011

A very general update...

Even though we're not currently at work on an edition of The Ultimate Book Guide, there's been plenty of children's books activity in my summer, some of which I've mentioned here already and some not. But here's a little run-down...
  • In mid-May, Leonie and I were in Qatar, running a two-day workshop for local teachers and teacher-trainers on 'Getting Children Reading'. Also in May we concluded our Books of the Week series with our 100th recommendation, for Hilary McKay's delightful Caddy's World, and I wrote a couple of YA reviews for the Indy.
  • June then began with the Hay festival (I chaired an event with Jason Wallace, Jim Carrington and Irfan Master); and the following day saw the start of the Pop Up schools programme, which ran right through the month (I'm proud to be on the board of Pop Up, and it was lovely to see it become a reality after all the planning!), culminating in the Pop Up public festival in Coram's Fields in July. Which was wonderful. (Plans afoot for the next already...)
  • Then there was August with Edinburgh, and early September in which I - sort of by accident - wrote my first picture book... Of which I'm rather proud. But more of that in another post...
  • And throughout the summer, I've also been working on a number of ideas for promoting more translated children's books in the UK; and reading reading reading for the UKLA award (over three hundred books submitted! Help! Drowning!...) - I'm on the selection panel and we meet to longlist on Monday 19th; I've been going through about seventy abstracts sent in by people who want to speak at our IBBY congress next year; and meantime attempting to make progress on the rather massive undertaking which is my new Oxford Companion to Children's Literature.
So: busy-busy. But that's all in the past; so what's next on the blog for this month coming up?

Well, we'll have the announcement of the UKLA longlist, just as soon as we've made our final selection; I'll be reviewing Wonderstruck, the beautiful new book from Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret (a particular favourite of mine); and I'll be telling you all about that surprising new picture book I've been working on (publishing in the New Year). And then going into October there will be some lovely events at Cheltenham, as usual.

But before all that, we're going to be announcing a very exciting special guest who's going to be visiting us on this blog in just a couple of weeks... Watch this space...