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Showing posts from June, 2019

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS- Mental Health, Homelessness & Young People On The Edge

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In July 2018, a truly moving book hit the YA market. Behind Closed Doors deals with young people living under the threat of homelessness due to the action, or inaction of the adults in their world that are supposed to protect them. The characters and their lives are laid out on the page with openness; frankness. Realistically written, it is compelling, riveting and unique in its' content. Far from being dismal or depressing, while it is hard-hitting in its' revelations, it is also filled with humour and kindness.


I had the opportunity to interview author, Miriam Halamhy about her choices in the issues portrayed in Behind Closed Doors and the development of the friendship between two unlikely girls. Her answers, like the book itself, give much pause for thought. Let's see what she has to say....




1.What inspired you to write a book about young people facing the possibility/reality of homelessness? In 1966 as a teenager I saw the film, Cathy Come Home, by Ken Loach on British TV…

WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS SUMMER? Space Dragons by Robin Bennett

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Welcome to my spot celebrating another fantastic book; Space Dragons by Robin Bennett. It seems particularly appropriate that today is also the summer solstice; the longest day of the year because our hero, Stan Pollux is about to have a very long day, indeed. But time doesn't really mean anything where he's going....
SPACE DRAGONS
author: Robin Bennett
Monster Books (19 June 2019)
ISBN: 9781999884420
Stan Pollux was looking forward to a normal, average summer holiday. If he had known what was about to happen, Stan would have definitely put on different underpants. It all started with Stan staring at the pieces of his broken telescope; evidence that his little sister Poppy had been in his room again, messing with his stuff. How many times....!!! He manages to get the telescope back together, although it can't be working right...not when he's sure what he's looking at is an enormous evil-looking eye staring at him from what should be the depths of space. The next thing…

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2019

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Today, Tuesday 18 June, the winners of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2019 were announced at a ceremony at The British Library.
The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children. This years' winner, selected by the judging panel from a very competitive shortlist goes to Elizabeth Acevedo for her book The Poet X (Electric Monkey publishers). The Poet X explores themes of identity, freedom and finding your voice. A young girl in Harlem (New York City) discovers slam poetry and uses it as a way to understand her  mothers' religion and what her role in the world is. As she joins a slam poetry club at school, she must keep it a secret from her mother and doubts whether she will be able to even speak her own words aloud. This beautiful, evocative story will echo in your heart and haunt your mind. And it may just lead you to speak with your own voice.

The Kate Greenaway Medal is given for distinguished illustration in a book for ch…

FAVOURITES OF THE YEAR...the last few months

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In April, I offered you a glimpse of my favourite books of the year so far. (This was on 16 April, if you want to have a look back...and please do!) We're half-way through June now. The books have been coming out fast and furious. So, I thought it was time to show you all a few more of my favourite childrens' books....just a few, mind.  Let's look at the Picture Books, first: MOUSE and MOLE; author: Joyce Dunbar and illustrator: James Mayhew
Graffeg Press (16 May 2019)      ISBN: 9781912050406 When dear Mouse and Mole was re-issued by Graffeg Press on 16 May, I was beside myself with joy. The stories are quiet, funny and positively delightful. The illustrations provide a beautiful, warm setting for Mouse and Mole to get up to all sorts of adventures. This is classic, timeless and deserves a place on your shelf for all time. HOW TO BE ON THE MOON; author/illustrator: Viviane Schwarz
Walker Books (6 June 2019)   ISBN: 9781406379921 Clever, warm-hearted and filled with friendship …

Read For Empathy - Empathy Day 2019

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Welcome to Empathy Day 2019.
Empathy Day is an incentive founded by EmpathyLab UK to address the increasing divisiveness and limited experience we have of other cultures, other people in our world. Seems strange, doesn't it, that in a world where we are spending so much time online, on social media that our experiences of the world would be considered limited. After all, online we have access to the entire planet quite easily. But social media is rife with algorithms that funnel us into what it perceives to be 'people like us' and areas that match our most common interests. This does not allow us to build understanding and development; to learn that most important quality we need in the world today with all its' conflict and divisiveness....empathy; the understanding of what others feel, how other cultures do things, what is happening in the world outside our circle, be it our immediate area of our online circle, which we believe to be vast. And, of course, it is the …

Here Come The Tooth Fairies In Training!

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Today we welcome to the book world another fabulous picture book to help us understand the life and work of a tooth fairy; Tooth Fairy In Training by Michelle Robinson and Briony May Smith!I just had to celebrate this event, so I packed up my bag and took off (with LB Koala sneaking into the bag) to one of my favourite schools in the entire world, St Nicholas' Primary School. It was a busy day there, so I was delighted they could fit me in....there was a Bake Sale and Mr Whippy turned up with ice cream for everyone!
I spent some time with the amazing Jr/Sr Infants Class; including some brand new children joining the school for their first day; and the equally amazing 1st/2nd Class. We read the book and then decided it was time to become tooth fairies in training ourselves. All of the children had great knowledge of the job and interesting tooth fairy encounters to share. But, the one thing they didn't have was a tooth fairy wand. We set to our happy work immediately and the res…