Here's a round up of items that have caught my eye in the last few days:
Crime Central is a new blog for teens, set up by authors Keren David, Anne Cassidy, Gillian Philip and Linda Strachan. It's stated aims are "to celebrate crime fiction for teen readers. Find out about new books, leave your comments and reviews, read interviews with authors." There's not much there at the moment, it's one to watch, but there is a competition to win a signed copy of one of Anne Cassidy's books.
The Bookseller tells us that Richard and Judy will launch a new children's book club with W H Smith on the 27th January. The Children's Book Club will involve real families, with the books selected by a variety of children, and will have three categories: Reading Together (from pre-school to year 1), Developing Reader (7–9 years) and Fluent (any age from 8 years on).
Jill R Bennett has started a new review site, Red Reading Hub. Jill is an Early Years specialist and says "In these pages, I hope to be able to highlight books, both those recently published as well as ones that have been well and truly tried and tested, that ‘work’ with children either at home, playgroups, nurseries or schools. In some instances, there will be ideas for working with the books."
The latest winner of the Costa Children's Book prize is Jason Wallace for Out of the Shadows, a story set in Zimbabwe just after independence. Oops, I seem to have missed that one so I've ordered it for the Library now. You can read an interview with Jason Wallace on the Books for Keeps site and Booktrust has a reading guide to download.
Finally, it's time to elect a new Children's Laureate. Anthony Browne's tenure is coming to an end and suggestions for the next one are invited - previous Laureates have been Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Rosen so there are some hard acts to follow. There's also a competition for children to win tickets to the award ceremony in June. The closing date is 28th February.