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Showing posts from June, 2018

Great Escapes: Summer Reads for Teens/YA

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Summer is the perfect time for some great escapes. And what better way to escape than through some fantastic reading material. You can dip yourself in to someone elses' life, fast-forward into a future that may or may not be or take a roller-coaster ride into a great mystery or crime novel. Need a few suggestions to get you started? Here we go!
In The Angelica Touch by LJ Sedgewick (Janey Mac Books ISBN: 9780995702721), we meet 14-year-old Angelica, who has decided that before she can have a boyfriend, she must find one for her hotel manager mum, Molly. Her solution is to create an online dating website and set up a profile for Molly herself. What could possibly go wrong? A hilarious and poignant story that involves the internet world, a small dreary Donegal town, a match-making festival to rival all others and some really big surprises for Angelica.
Who hasn't dreamed of running away to join the circus? Flying Tips for Flightless Birds by Kelly McCaughrain (Walker Books ISBN…

Time For Some Summer Adventure

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Looking for some great recommendations for summer reading? You are not alone. This is the time of year when kids everywhere can put down the 'required reading' and reach for some excitement and imagination.  No one wants to hear 'I'm bored!' or 'There's nothing to do!' and of course, as long as you have a really good book, that isn't going to happen. You can read what you want and meet new people; go to new places, even if you aren't traveling far. Anyway, here are some of my very best recommendations of the 'middle grade' variety that are bound to keep everyone happy.
If you think you need more witches in your life, you can't do better than Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Kiernan (Walker Books, ISBN 9781406366020). It's the first in what promises to be the very best magical trilogy (The Wild Magic trilogy) I have seen in a long, long time. And it is an adventure of a lifetime! Mup notices there are witches following her fam…

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards 2018

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The winners of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals for 2018 were announced earlier today at a ceremony in The British Library in London. Widely regarded as being the most prestigious awards to be given to writers and illustrators working in children's' literature, this award is unique in that they are judged by librarians.
Geraldine McCaughrean has won her second CILIP Carnegie Medal, thirty years after her first. Where the World Ends, her winning title, dramatically explores the destiny of a collection men and boys stranded on a remote and inhospitable sea stac when their rescue boat fails to collect them and was inspired by an 18th century historical record from St Kilda. In her acceptance speech, McCaughrean voiced concerns about the 'dumming down' of children's literature and petitioned writers to challenge their young readers by presenting them with a vocabulary (in their writing) that demands exploration and allows children to think for themselves.
T…

Empathy Day

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What is Empathy Day, you may well ask?
Empathy Day was founded by EmpathyLab as an annual event after a very successful pilot programme in 2017. It's focus is to use reading as a tool to promote empathy and build understanding toward other people, as scientific research as proven that reading books causes us to think more deeply and considerately about others. Books have a unique property. They allow the reader to step into another life and view the world from a different perspective, perhaps even a perspective that they would not experience apart from reading. They can challenge prejudice and help create understanding. In a world so filled with division and suspicion, the ability to step outside our own experience, even for a moment can make a world of difference in the lives of so many children, wherever they may be.
EmpathyLab has created events, programmes and, most importantly a reading list to help you...ALL OF YOU...take part.

"EmpathyLab is a new organisation. We are …

The Children's Book Award 2018

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The Children's Book Award is the only award given in children's literature voted on entirely by children. Running since 1980, the award has been given in the past to such wonderful and now familiar voices in kids books as Roald Dahl, JK Rowling, Malorie Blackman, Rick Riordan, and Jacqueline Wilson. Over 1100 books are read by the testing groups and over 150,000 cast each year. The testing groups are comprised of children over three categories; younger children (picture books),  younger readers (6-11) and older readers (10-18). From these groups, each year category winners and an overall winner are chosen.... again, and I can't stress this enough, BY CHILDREN! This, I feel gives the most accurate representation of which books, out of the thousands published every year, are the best reads for kids of all ages. So, after this introduction (also called the boring, but essential to understand bit) let's get on with this years' winners.
The Overall Winner and Winner of …

Marguerite Tonery on the World of Kapheus

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I first met Marguerite Tonery late in 2014 when she published her first book, Kapheus Earth. This marvelous story instantly transported me to another world; a world of enchantment and legend, of dragons and talking woodland creatures, of Grandmother Oak who imparts her wisdom and protection on all she surveys...the world of two ordinary children, Elisa and Jamie, whose lives are transformed forever by a magical drawing that takes them to face their true destinies. It was followed by Kapheus Air in 2015 and Kapheus Water in 2016. Later this year, Kapheus Fire will join the series and this journey will take a different turn. (Yes, I've read the manuscript...no, no spoilers!) Off the back of Kapheus, Marguerite has launched Tribes Press, an independent self-publishing company with the aim of helping indie writers to realise their potential and self-publish their books. I had the opportunity to ask Marguerite a few questions about Kapheus. I think you'll find the answers fascinatin…