Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Diversity Award from Frances Lincoln.

The Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children's Book Award is a new award for a story by an unpublished author. Either the story or the cultural origins of the author need to reflect cultural diversity. The prize is £1,500 plus the option for Frances Lincoln to publish the novel. The work must be aimed at children aged eight to 12 years, and the writer must be previously unpublished. The closing date is 30th January 2009, with the winner to be announced in April 2009. The Bookseller has more details.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Books for Keeps

The July 2008 edition of Books for Keeps is now available. Contents include:

  • James Mayhew on his "Katie" picture books which aim to introduce children to art through stories.
  • A contribution by Caroline Horn to the debate on publishing age guidance on books.
  • An article by Joanna Carey on the Booktrust's campaign, The Big Picture, to promote picture books. As part of this, it has named the top 10 rising talents in illustration - these include Oliver Jeffers, Polly Dunbar and Emily Gravett.
  • A discussion of children's literature in the Second World War.
  • An interview with Jerry Spinelli, author of the Stargirl books.
  • "Classics in short" - Just William.

There are also lots of shorter articles and reviews of the latest titles for children.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Highland Children's Book Awards

The Highland Children's Book Awards have been won by:

Picture Book: Jackie Morris for The snow leopard

8+ category: Chris Riddell for Ottoline and the yellow cat

12+ category: Pauline Francis for The raven queen

We have the first two in the Library and I've ordered The raven queen.

National Year of Reading - July and August

The National Year of Reading theme for July is Rhythm and Rhyme. As we already have a poetry page on the library website, I've linked to that. It features our lists of poetry books for younger children (Funny poems; Scottish poems; Spooky poems; Weather and seasons) and a list of teenage poetry. There are also links to other sites for finding, reading and teaching poetry.

August's theme is Read the Game. The influence of sport can help promote reading, so I've used this theme to draw attention to some collection of sports stories and, because it's an Olympic year, have included some titles on the Games and on China, especially Beijing where they will be held.

Carnegie and Greenaway Medals

CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) awards the Carnegie Medal for an outstanding book for children and young people, and the Kate Greenaway Medal for an outstanding book in terms of illustration. Every year, thousands of schools shadow the medals and use the shadowing website to post reviews and share their views. Last year, a special site was added to celebrate 70 years of the medals with a living archive of information about all the past winners. This year's winners have just been announced: they are Philip Reeve and Emily Gravett.

Reeve won the Carnegie for his novel Here lies Arthur, a dark retelling of the Arthurian legend which portrays the king as more of a gangster than a hero, and Merlin (or Myrddin) as a hard nosed Alastair Campbell type who tries to build him up into a leader who can unite the British against the Saxons. The Telegraph published an article about the award last week. Reeve has already won three other major prizes, the Nestle Children's Gold Award (2002) and the Blue Peter Book of the Year (2003) for his first book, Mortal engines , and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 2006 for A darkling plain. He has also entered the debate on age-ranging, which I have covered a couple of times. According to the Bookseller, he supports putting age guidance on books, which he feels will give him some say over where his titles are stocked in bookshops. Click here for those in stock at Jordanhill Library.

Gravett's award winning title is Little Mouse's big book of fears. The Guardian covered her on both June 27th and June 28th. One of the points of interest is that she used rat pee to discolour the pages of this book about a phobic mouse who eventually, after much nervous nibbling, feels better when he realises that even humans can be cowardy custards too. This is Gravett's fourth title - she also won the Greenaway medal for her debut picture book, Wolves. Again, check here for our holdings.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Keith Gray

Check out the article by Sam Phipps in The Herald last week about Keith Gray. It describes a creative writing workshop he is running in his role as "virtual writer-in- residence" for Scottish Book Trust. However, this is a workshop with a difference. The participants are S2 pupils from a school in Castle Douglas, and he has taken them to Ross Bay, about seven miles away, which is one of the settings in Gray's latest book, Ostrich Boys. This is about some friends who kidnap their dead pal's ashes and bring them all the way from Cleethorpes for a final send-off. (It's not in our library yet, but you can check what else Jordanhill has on the catalogue here.)

Although Gray's role does involve school visits like this one, he also interacts with young readers and writers via Scottish Book Trust's website, giving tips via podcasts and blogs. There is also a creative writing competition for 12-16s and an opportunity to receive new stories via email.