Showing posts from December, 2016

My Favourite Books of 2016

It has been quite a year! So, the books published for young people have been in the position of having an enormous impact on their lives. They help make sense of things, and give voice to the issues that they are dealing with, while the world goes on turning and the adult world goes on doing whatever it does. This year, the books published have been outstanding at doing just that, and with providing the outlet for the imagination. Here are a few of my favourites of 2016.
I'll get stuck right in and shout loudly that my book of the year choice for young people has to be GOLD by Geraldine Mills.This is a classic adventure story set in a future landscape scarred by volcanic ash and tightly controlled by the official bodies governing it. Two young boys show great courage, imagination and integrity by building a glider styled after Leonardo DaVinci's instructions and sail away to a forbidden sector. It contains elements of nearly every issue we ponder in these times; governmental co…

R.I.P Richard Adams 1920-2016

It was with great sadness today that the death of childrens' novelist, Richard Adams has passed away at the age of 96.
Adams is, of course, best known for the beloved story, Watership Down. This was the first of his  writings, published in 1972. It was originally a story told to his daughters, who insisted he write it down and publish it. It took two years to write, and was turned down by four publishers and three writers' agencies before Rex Collings agree to publish what became one of the most iconic books of all time. Almost immediately, Watership Down received international acclaim. Within a few years, it sold over a million copies worldwide and went on to win some of the most prestigious childrens literature awards, including the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Prize.

 "The statement announcing his death quoted a passage from the end of his best-known work. It read: “It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge …

Tracking Santa

We have 3 days, 22 hours and 28 minutes (at the time of this posting) and then Santa will be on his way from the North Pole! One of my traditions (a new one, albeit) is to track Santa on his rounds on Christmas Eve and NORAD has been making this easy for the last 55 years.
You can follow the link to the NORAD Santa Tracker and receive updates throughout his journey as to where he is, how many presents have been delivered, etc. There's also some games and a library and the history of tracking Santa.
Just a bit of fun for the evening...and incentive to get those little ones off to bed before the Big Man appears.

So, here's the link:

Four Gifts for Christmas

We are in the thick of it, now. The Christmas shopping craziness....
So, I am posting this little reminder for all the Santas' helpers out there, rushing around and trying to grab the perfect gifts for everyone on their list. Remember, it's not about how much you spend. That's not how you show your love. It's about selecting the things you choose to give. Too much stress? Still need help? Now, take a deep breath. Clear the noise in your head and ignore the noise all around in the shops, the street, over the TV...wherever it's coming from.
Have a look at this. I know it's helped me enormously:
Better? I really hope so.

Joyous Jolabokaflod!!!!

For a book lover, Iceland has a very special tradition. Each year, in the few months before Christmas, Icelandic publishers release the majority of their books. This is "Jolabokaflod", or the Christmas Book Flood. Hundreds of books are published each year at this time, revealing just how strong a literary tradition exists in this small Northern island, dating back to medieval times.
During World War II, there were strict currency restrictions, which limited the amount of imported giftware Iceland could take in. But paper itself was less restricted than other items, so this really led to books being seen as an ideal gift. Add that to the traditionally strong literary sector in Iceland, and the annual Book Flood really began in earnest.
As Christmas nears, sometime around the end of October-beginning of November, a catalog is delivered to every house in Iceland, detailing the books available for that year.
Iceland now represents one of the strongest book publishing countries …

'Tis The Season for the Bookelves!

Hi there!
Just a quick post to alert you all to the seasonal work of the Bookelves.
Everyday in the run-up to Christmas, our the busy, busy Bookelves will be posting the best book recommendations for all the young people out there, from the youngest children through to YA readers. If you want some help with a specific young person in your life, you can ask them and they will accommodate! Or, if you just want to have a look and see what they are up to, just look us up!
The Bookelves are on Facebook and Twitter (NOW!) and can be accessed by the hashtag #bookelves16.
Tonight, during the Late, Late Toy Show here in Ireland (on RTE), the Bookelves will be recommending non-stop on both Facebook and Twitter. The Late, Late Toy Show starts at 9:30pm here.
So, be sure to check the Bookelves out of Facebook and Twitter. We are here to help.

Happy December!

Happy December, everyone!
It's time for my annual Advent Calendar of Books. Every year at this time, I post a different book on the page (Mary's Advent Calendar of Books) for you to consider. These are all about winter, Christmas, the holiday season. It gives me a lot of joy to see all the wonderful books out there, old and new, ready to bring that special magic into a month that can become far too hurried and hectic. And it's my way of reminding you to take a a moment and relax. Enjoy the season. That's what it's there for.
Check the page each day for a new, wonderful seasonal read. They may be new, old, for small children, for teens...who knows? (I do have a difficult time choosing...there are so many wonderful books!)
Also, if you're on Facebook and/or Twitter, look out for the Bookelves! We'll all be bringing you great recommendations throughout the season. Look for #bookelves16. You'll love it!