Thursday, 23 February 2012

Google ate my blog post!

I was very excited this year to get an advance press-release of the winners of the Scottish Children's Book Awards, with strict instructions to keep their names under wraps till 3pm on the 23rd. I prepared a lovely blog post in advance and, because I was in meetings all day yesterday, scheduled it to publish at exactly the right time, closely followed by a scheduled tweet. Imagine my horror when I came out of my meeting to find the tweet linked to the blog's previous entry and, even worse, when I tried to publish it manually, it went phut! and disappeared. Thanks, Google. The best thing now is to link you direct to Scottish Book Trust's news page about the awards and to assure you that all the books are in the Library for you to borrow. Here are the happy winners, Ross Mackenzie, Ross Collins and Nicola Morgan.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Red House Children's Book Awards

The Red House Children's Book Awards were announced on Saturday. These awards are unique in that it is the children themselves who vote for them (from a shortlist drawn up by children's book groups across the country.) The winners were:

Younger children: Chris Wormell for Scruffy bear and the six white mice (Jonathan Cape)

Younger readers: Liz Pichon for The brilliant world of Tom Gates (Scholastic)

Older readers and overall winner: Patrick Ness for A monster calls (Walker)

All 3 books are in stock here. There's a nice write-up in the Guardian with a bit more information.

Another award, the Branford Boase, which won't be announced till the summer, currently has a children's writing competition attached to it. Find more information here.

Friday, 17 February 2012

World Book Day UK is coming soon!

World Book Day UK 2012 is on Thursday, 1st March. Its main aim is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own. Look at the official site and it's related Facebook page for news, resources, competitons, free books (via tokens) and The biggest book show on earth online festival.

The latest in Scottish Book Trust's Authors Live events also takes place on World Book Day - it's with Francesca Simon, author of the Horrid Henry books. Find out about it here - the page also includes information about how to register and downloadable teaching resources. If you want to borrow some of Francesca's books, there are loads listed in our catalogue.

We also have a book list called Read around the world which might be useful for World Book Day.

The slideshow below shows the titles children can choose to spend their World Book Day tokens on.


Friday, 10 February 2012

Boosting boys' reading

The Guardian's children's books pages had an article this week by a former librarian, Ellen Ainsworth, entitled 10 books to help boost young boys' reading. They are good suggestions, and we have them all, but perhaps they are a little obvious (Harry Potter, Alex Rider etc)? Bev Humphrey, a Literacy, School Libraries and Technology Consultant, certainly thinks so and has countered with her own post My 10 books to help boost young people's reading. (As you can guess from the title, she also takes issue with the restriction to boys.)

What do you think? I'll certainly be using Bev's post and the very useful comments (some of them!) below the Guardian article to enhance our own lists, particularly Books for Boys.

The slideshow below is of the 10 titles, or series, recommended by the Guardian.


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Reading for pleasure, writing for pleasure

Three opportunities to get kids reading and writing for pleasure:

The Wicked Young Writers' Awards have launched - there are competitions for various age ranges from 5 to 25. Entries should be no more than 750 words and can be in any genre. The awards are supported by former Children's Laureate, Michael Morpurgo, who has provided some writing tips on the site.

Scottish Book Trust's Book of the Month page currently has the chance to win the 12-16 category winner in the Scottish Children's Book Awards. You won't know what that is until 23rd February, but it's one of:
  • The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin
  • Prisoner of the Inquisition by Theresa Breslin
  • Wasted by Nicola Morgan. 
We have them all in the Library so you could borrow them now.

Richard and Judy's Children's Reads for Spring 2012 have been launched by WH Smith. There are 10 titles, of which the Library has the 3 below. Click the link above to see the rest - they'll be arriving here soon.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Best children's book of the last 10 years?

Blue Peter is running a vote to find the best children's book of the last 10 years. Children have to have a CBBC iD to sign in and see the list to vote from, but some of them are:

Charlie Higson - Silverfin
Anthony Horowitz - Skeleton key
Jeff Kinney - Diary of a wimpy kid
Michael Morpurgo - Private Peaceful
JK Rowling - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Francesca Simon - Horrid Henry and the football fiend 
Lemony Snicket - The austere academy
David Walliams - Mr Stink
Jacqueline Wilson - Candyfloss

All of the above are in the library - why not read them with your class and get them to vote? Closing date
February 23rd.

Children's authors amongst the most borrowed

Every year, authors are paid "Public Lending Right" - a fee based on how many times their books are borrowed from libraries. This year's statistics have just been released and 5 children's authors are in the top ten. They are Daisy Meadows, Jacqueline Wilson, Francesca Simon, Julia Donaldson and Mick Inkpen. Read the press release here. The most borrowed author overall in the last ten years is Jacqueline Wilson who commented: “The PLR data clearly shows that many children still love borrowing books. That’s why we need our excellent libraries, so that all children can have free access to a huge variety of books.”

The press release goes on to say: "The crucial role libraries play in encouraging children to read is also confirmed by the latest figures from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) which show that children’s borrowing from UK libraries has risen for the past seven years. 96.8 million children’s books were borrowed during 2010/11, up from 89.9 million in 2005/6. Children’s books now represent 35.9% of all books borrowed, up from 33.9% last year."

This is excellent timing for National Libraries Day which takes place tomorrow. Support it by visiting your local library and borrowing as many books as you can!

Big Book Babble 2

The next Big Book Babble streams live at 11am on Tuesday 7th and will later be available to watch on demand. This time, the featured author is Jacqueline Wilson who will talk about her latest book, The worst thing about my sister, and watch her favourite author, Nick Sharratt, draw live on stage.You can send in questions in advance and download a resource pack here.

We have the latest book on order, and of course already have most, if not all, of Jacqueline's books here, as well as books about her including her own autobiographies. You might also be interested in this recent Independent article in which Jacqueline and Nick talk about their working relationship.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

National Libraries Day

National Libraries Day this year is Saturday, 4th February. National Libraries Day is devoted to all types of libraries, library users, staff and supporters across the UK. Join in by organising a celebratory event, contributing to the NLD forums, tweeting with the #NLD12 hashtag or visiting your local library on the 4 February or the days leading up to it. I'm getting involved personally by organising a library crawl using the Glasgow Subway, but I thought I'd like to do something at Jordanhill too.

 I quite often win books for the library through Twitter, blogs or by email from publishers. Sometimes when the books arrive they aren't quite suitable and I give them away again. I thought, therefore, I'd have a draw for library members for the ones I have at the moment:

For primary age children, The bumper book of Bob by Simon Bartram. This has stickers, puzzles and games so once the first person had done them it wouldn't be much use to the library!

For secondary age children, I have four teenage novels which are uncorrected proofs. These are:
Fracture by Megan Miranda, a thriller which starts with a near-death experience.
Mockingbird  by Kathryn Erskine about the grief caused by a school shooting.
The prince who walked with lions by Elizabeth Laird about an African prince at boarding school in Victorian England.
The weight of water by Sarah Crossan, a novel composed of poems about Kasienka who arrives in London from Gdansk.

How to win? Email your name and library barcode number to, stating whether you would like the primary or secondary age prize, or fill a form in at the Library counter.