Showing posts from November, 2011

Out Now ......

Yes, dear friends! It's out now and in hard copy... and very green! The new Inis Magazine 36 is out today! So, if you prefer your children's books commentary in actual paper and ink, get your NOW!!!! Inis Magazine... THE Irish children's books magazine published through those fantastic advocates of children's literature for all ages.....Children's Books Ireland.

Eleanor Farjeon Award 2011

This just in courtesy of our dear friend, Book Sniffer (see Facebook); The winner of this years Eleanor Farjeon Award is: The Federation of Children’s Book Groups –  This is a voluntary, grass-roots reading charity based in the United Kingdom with children and books at its heart. Made up of numerous groups across the length and breadth of the country, the Federation works with tens of thousands of children and young people each year.The FCBG was first set into motion over forty years ago as a parenting group whose aim was to encourage children to read and to support families. Over the years FCBG has grown into a nationwide network in the UK, but at it's core remains one simple directive: encourage a love of reading in children and you enrich their lives forever... Many heart felt congratulations to the Federation of Children's Book Groups. What a great ethic to have !!! Now, if you're wondering what the Eleanor Farjeon Award is, here's the explanation directly fro

Puffin Ireland...gone????

No...well, yes...but no. I'm sharing this link with David Maybury's blog. David has a truly good explanation of what has been happening at Puffin Ireland. A few weeks back, the news came through that Puffin Ireland was to lose it's appointed children's editor, the absolutely wonderful Paddy O'Doherty. It seems that Penguin Ireland had decided they no longer needed an in-house children's editor. (Yet another victim of the current recessionary climate and it's effects on the publishing industry.) But, they still insist that Puffin Ireland has not closed. Michael McLoughlin (Penguin Ireland MD) says that manuscript submissions are still very welcome, and that he and Shannon Park from Puffin Uk will continue to work with assigned authors and illustrators. I'm just going to quote David here... as he said it so very well: "Removing the Puffin Ireland editorial position may make good sense if you crunch numbers – but the investment in children’s fiction

Galway Christmas Market Village

The Galway Christmas Market Village is back, and I have to say it looks fantastic! But what I really wanted to post about is the wonderful, beautiful carousel! Warringtons have set up a 'proper' old style carousel that I can't wait to have a go on (big kid that I am!) So I just wanted to share a few photos of it. If you're in Galway, take this opportunity for children and adults both to have a little taste of nostalgia.

R.I.P. Anne McCaffrey

It is with great sadness that I report the death of the amazing fantasy writer Anne McCaffrey. She had suffered a stroke at her home in Ireland on Monday, 21st November and passed away a short time later. Anne McCaffrey was 85 years of age. She is survived by her two sons and a daughter. One of the pioneers of fantasy writing, McCaffrey was best known for her 'Dragonriders of Pern' series, great adventure stories populated by characters with nearly unpronounceable names and heavily focused on the political and social issues of the time. But the book of which she herself was most proud was 'The Ship Who Sang', about the use of people with disabled bodies as intelligence workers for mechanical ships. She receives much of the credit for paving the way for female fantasy writers. Personally, Anne McCaffrey gave me many hours of pure fantasy escape and delight. She will be sorely missed.

Spirit of the Titanic review

I'm just taking a moment to point out my review of Nicola Pierce's wonderful novel (ages 10+) 'Spirit of the  Titanic. It's up on The Bookbag now. This is a truly wonderful novel for young people that will take you right back to the early 20th century and the construction and ill-fated maiden voyage of the ship they all thought was 'unsinkable'. A unique plot line and remarkable characterisations make this book as unforgettable as the Titanic itself. And with 2012 marking 100 years since the Titanic disaster, it's one I strongly recommend we all read. Spirit of the Titanic author: Nicola Pierce published by O'Brien Press, 2011

HUGO is Coming!

I am so excited about seeing this film! Based on the exceptional, elegant book 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' by Brian Selznick (an incredible story told in words and pictures...all 526 pages of it!), the film is directed by Martin Scorsese and has a cast that is just unbelievable!Coming very, very soon! This is one film you will not want to miss.

Irish Book Awards... and the winners are....

Of course, we are talking about the winners of the children's categories, just announced this evening. For the senior category, the winner is : Anna Carey for her wonderful, funny, fresh novel 'The Real Rebecca'! Congratulations, Anna!!!! And in the junior category, the winner is:  that lively, colourful and delightfully expressive picturebook, 'The Lonely Beast' by Chris Judge. Congratulations, Chris!!!!

And Now....Costa Children's Book Awards Shortlist

The shortlist for this year's Costa Book Awards are out, so I wanted to give a quick shout out for their Children's category shortlist. Four books, all completely diverse in their focus, and all superb selections: The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce Small Change For Stuart by Lissa Evans Flip by Martin Bedford Blood Red Road by Moira Young The category winners will be announced on Wednesday, January 4, 2012. Best of luck to all the nominees... and to the judges. This will be a difficult choice for them!

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2012

There has been an increase in the number of candidates nominated for the 2012 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. One of the most prestigious awards in children's literature, there are now 184 candidates representing 66 countries around the globe. While the jury will well and truly have their work cut out for them with so many candidates, Larry Lempert, chairman of the jury has said; "It’s very gratifying that the number of nominated candidates and countries represented continue to increase ..... The jury is full of enthusiasm for the exciting and difficult task to consider the work of so many qualified candidates." And perhaps most exciting of all for us, three candidates from Ireland have joined a list of eminent names from all over the world. Conor Kostick, author of the brilliant, exciting and unique Avatar Chronicles (among others), Siobhan Parkinson, whose works include Bruised, Something Invisible, Four Kids Three Cats Two Cows and One Witch (Maybe); as well as be

Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011

And while we are talking about winners; the winners of this year's Roald Dahl Funny Prize are also currently celebrating. For the age seven to fourteen category, the winner is: Liz Pichon for  The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (truly laugh out loud funny!) and winning in the six and under category : Cat's Ahoy by Peter Bently and illustrated by Jim Field (and a personal favourite of mine!) Big congratulations to all!

And The Winner Is......

Just announced; the winner of this year's Guardian Children's Fiction Prize is Return To Ribblestrop by Andy Mulligan. "Andy Mulligan's Return to Ribblestrop , about a school filled with pupils including Colombian gangster's son Sanchez, self-harming Miles, wild Millie and a motley crew of orphans, is no Malory Towers (even the school motto is "Life is Dangerous"). A travelling zoo is adopted by the children before term has started, with a sinister policeman, hidden treasure, football and friendship all to be tackled before the year is up."  Beating out the worthy competition in the only children's award judged only by writers, Mulligan receives £1,500 and the honour of following in such footsteps as Philip Pullman, Anne Fine, Jacqueline Wilson and Michelle Paver (to name a few). Many hearty congratulations to Andy Mulligan and Return To Ribblestrop !

Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

The Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2011 will be announced tomorrow! So, let's have another quick look at the shortlist to remind ourselves: My Name Is Mina by David Almond                                    Return to Ribblestrop by Andy Mulligan Moon Pie by Simon Mason                            Twilight Robbery by Frances Hardinge

'Inheritance' Cycle... the beginning of the end

Christopher Paolini fans everywhere now know that his incredible series which began with 'Eragon' is about to come to a close. Tomorrow, the final book 'Inheritance' will hit the shelves. And while it has taken some time (as any fan will tell you), it will be worth the wait. "Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances. The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaƫsia? And if so, at what cost?"

One Book One Galway

Tomorrow marks the launch of the One Book One Galway reading project. This launch is taking place in the Galway Museum at 11am. Thoroughout November, there will be a number of activities taking place at various libraries in Galway; workshops with the wonderful Rab Fulton, local writer and famed storyteller of spooky (and other) tales; the Intergenerational Book Club will meet at the Westside Library... well, just have a look at the website and you'll see for yourself! The aim of this incentive, promoted by the Home School and Community Liaison officers, is to get all of Galway city reading one particular book over one month. And the book selected is Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo. This is a truly wonderful book that will be thoroughly enjoyed by children and adults alike. So, it's time to show your support and enthusiasm for reading. Visit your local libraries, your favourite bookshop.... and get your hands on a copy of Kensuke's Kingdom ! http://onebookonega

Jeff Kinney Coming To Dublin

For all you Wimpy Kid fans out there (and who isn't these days).... Jeff Kinney will be coming to Dublin to celebrate the publication of the latest exciting adventure... Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever!!! Jeff will be appearing at the Liberty Hall Theatre, Eden Quay on the 28th November at 7pm.  And he'll also have two very special guest appearances by actors the Wimpy Kid movie actors: Zachary Gordon (Greg) and Robert Capron (Rowley). This is a ticketed event, so you'll need to get in there and get your tickets NOW. To book your tickets, please contact the box office on 0818205205 or . Cost per ticket:€5.00.... what a bargain!!!! Incidentally, the new book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever is due to be released on 16 November. Much excitement!

Very Longlists for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2012

Attached are the links for the just announced longlists for the extremely prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. I won't go into huge detail at this time. Both longlists are very long... and all of the listed books are truly incredible books. On the CILIP Carnegie list are such worthy titles as A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, The Devil Walks by Anne Fine, David Almond's My Name Is Mina , Twilight Robbery by Frances Hardinge..... please click on the link below and have a look for yourself! It is amazing! On the Kate Greenaway longlist, we have such beauties as A Monster Calls illustrated by Jim Kay, Cat's Ahoy illustrated by Jim Field, Wolf Won't Bite by Emily Gravett, Tiny Little Fly illustrated by Kevin Waldron... the list goes on and on. Here's the link FYI:

Another Award for the Fantastic Patrick Ness, and more great news.

Last night (November 4th) Patrick Ness won yet another award for his fantastic and amazing work. This time, the book honoured was A Monster Calls , which won the Galaxy National Book Award. As such... Patrick will be featured on Booked, their six-part television series on More4, which will begin on November 13th.... and... you can now vote for A Monster Calls to win the overall Book of the Year award. A Monster Calls has also been shortlisted for the Red House Book Awards, the only UK book award voted on exclusively by young readers. And, if that isn't enough for you... A Monster Calls has been longlisted for the extremely prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. Yes, that's right...both of them! My very serious advice to you at this time is... if you haven't yet read A Monster Calls , this is one book you really must read. It is no exaggeration for me to say, it will change you. Riveting and deeply affective, this is perhaps the most beautiful book I

New Release: The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner

One of the fantastic new books out now for young adults is 'The Double Shadow' by Sally Gardner. Gardner has written such wonderful books as 'I, Coriander', 'The Red Necklace' and for younger readers 'Lucy Willow'. Her latest offering is a compelling, riveting read about a 17 year old girl, Amaryllis, living just prior to World War II who becomes trapped with her own memories inside a 'picture palace' designed by her father to keep her safe. Truly superb!