Welcome Back Man!

Looking for a quick and dirty poster welcoming students back to school? Why not use this one because deep down all students super heroes.

welcomebat

At the very least it may get a laugh and can be used with a display of new graphic novels.

A Dark Inheritance by Chris D’Lacey

uk-cover-for- Chris D'Lacey
When Michael saves a dog in a cliff top rescue, he comes to the attention of his schoolmates, the police and a strange organisation called UNICORNE.

What UNICORNE reveal is extraordinary.

They claim they can tell him what happened to his father, who disappeared three years ago, but what they want in return is dangerous.

Something supernatural that’s hidden in Michael’s very bones…

Michael is an excellent and likeable protagonist thrust into a strange, dark new world after his seemingly impossible rescue of Trace (the dog) becomes front-page news. His discovery of the differences he has compared to normal humans is mirrored in the changing relationships with his mother, sister and friends. The intrusion of UNICORNE into his life changes him and the demands they make of him seem confusing and only slowly begin to make sense as you progress through the story.

There are many mysteries contained within A Dark Inheritance and only a few of them are answered within its pages – as a number of great entertainers have said over the years: “Always leave them wanting more!” and A Dark Inheritance does not disappoint.

I love arc-driven series, it started with Babylon 5 back in the ‘90’s and that love then spun off into books, don’t get me wrong – I love stand-alone novels, duologies and trilogies but I what I really enjoy is finding a series that has action, adventure, scares and excitement and can unfurl its mysteries slowly and organically as the story demands. Obviously to get into such a series a gripping opening book is needed; fortunately A Dark Inheritance is such a book!
A Dark Inheritance is a brilliant and gripping supernatural mystery mixed up with a who (&how) dunnit and a secret agent vibe. I read it in in two massive gulps in one day.

It put me in mind of Necroscope by Brian Lumley but aimed firmly at YA readers.

Teenage Kicks at the BFI

The sweet pains and explosive joys of youth are celebrated in our selection of films about those in-between years.

Ticket offer: £6 for 15-25 year-olds, or bring a friend and get two tickets for £10 (excluding special events and talks)

Join us for Teenage Kicks Socials in the Atrium after the screenings on Thursday afternoons during August (If…, Show Me Love, Thirteen, and Welcome to the Dollhouse), which will include refreshments and discussion with special invited guests.

Teenage Kicks season allows us – whether we’re young or not so young – to reflect upon ‘teenage’ not so much as a life stage, but as a unique and powerful attitude, one that allows us to approach the world with a radical new energy.

Full details here

Punctuation..? a Review

This is not a review of punctuation – how could it be possible to review The practice, action, or system of inserting points or other small marks into texts, in order to aid interpretation; division of text into sentences, clauses, etc., by means of such marks (OED).

Rather it is a review of Punctuation..? a book that explains the functions and correct uses of 21 of the most used punctuation marks.

punc

Punctuation is necessary, useful, and can be more than occasionally confusing, which is why this book is so useful.

Apart from the Interpunct, Pilcrow and Guillemet the history of punctuation marks is not mentioned which cuts down on extraneous information leaving the text to focus on how punctuation marks are used, giving multiple examples (when required) for each.

This is a book that would have been incredibly useful for me in my student days as I was “inordinately fond of the comma” according to a lecturer, which cost me marks in my dissertation.

Punctuation..? focuses on the use of punctuation marks using concise, easy to understand language which can be used with students studying English as a foreign language as well as those for whom English is their first language.

With a word count of 3000 spread over 36 pages, Punctuation..? is concise enough to hold a reader’s attention while containing enough information to be useful and informative.

To find out more information or to order a copy follow this link: http://www.userdesign.co.uk/books/punctuation/

Free Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons

Are you considering starting a D&D Group in your Library but do not want to start buying the required gear until you are sure that you know what you are doing?

Well good news!

The Wizards who live on the Coast have made the Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons free to download as a PDF (over 100 pages, in fact) that covers the core of the game. It runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options; in addition, the rules contain 120 spells, 5 backgrounds, and character sheets.

USING THESE RULES
The Basic Rules document is divided into three parts.

Part 1 is about creating a character, providing the rules and guidance you need to make the character you’ll play in the game. It includes information on the various races, classes, backgrounds, equipment, and other customization options that you can choose from. Many of the rules in part 1 rely on material in parts 2 and 3.

Part 2 details the rules of how to play the game, beyond the basics described in this introduction. That part covers the kinds of die rolls you make to determine success or failure at the tasks your character attempts, and describes the three broad categories of activity in the game: exploration, interaction, and combat.

Part 3 is all about magic. It covers the nature of magic in the worlds of D&D, the rules for spellcasting, and a selection of typical spells available to magic-using characters (and monsters) in the game.

Grab them here: http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules

Inside the Teenager’s Brain: CPD on stress and teens’ well-being

NICOLA MORGAN EVENT POSTER

YALSA’s Teen Book Finder

Find the best books and media for teens, as selected by library staff and educators across the United States! The Teen Book Finder, generously funded by a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, offers easy access to the titles honored each year by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. The Teen Book Finder allows users to search for books by title, author, genre, award, or list; create a reading list with the favorites button; share what you’re reading on Facebook and Twitter; and find a copy of the book in your local library, all from one screen! Not sure where to start? YALSA offers three different book titles as hot picks on the homepage each day.

For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.ala.yalsa&hl=en

For Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/yalsas-teen-book-finder/id527674308?mt=8

THE ELUSIVE #2: Knightley & Son K9

Rohan GavinFor the sequel to Knightley & Son, the theme was simple: dogs. I’ve often loved the second instalment in a series because the main characters are already established and the story has freedom to go in new directions. There’s an unwritten law in Hollywood that the second in a series is often the best. From The Empire Strikes Back in the original Star Wars trilogy to The Dark Knight in the Batman series. Good sequels deepen the relationships between the characters and heighten the conflicts–and often leave you hanging at the end, waiting for episode three to resolve matters. In Knightley & Son: K-9 I tried to turn everything up to eleven: the suspense, the comedy, and the horror. At the beginning of the second book, thirteen-year-old detective hero Darkus Knightley finds himself alone again, but not because his private eye dad is in a coma as he began the first book. This time Knightley Senior is alive and well, but has gone off the radar on a bizarre investigation of his own, leaving Darkus at the mercy of school, unobtainable female classmates and playground bullies. Little does Darkus realise his dad will soon be needing his help again, and on a more sinister case than ever. The problem this time is of the four-legged kind. Strangely aggressive dogs are attacking senior police officers, a werewolf is rumoured to be stalking one of London’s largest parks, and curiously alert hounds are watching Darkus’s house.

Knightley and SonAnd who better to become Darkus’s new partner, than a four-legged friend. My inspiration for Wilbur the former bomb disposal dog, was the long tradition of “war dogs” who fight side by side with soldiers and use their exceptional sense of smell to detect the enemy. War dogs are trained to pick up the scent of explosives and even the gun oil of a sniper rifle. And they’re known to breed a sense of loyalty and friendship that soldiers repeatedly said was stronger than any other relationship in their lives. I won’t deny there was also some inspiration from my favourite fictional dogs: Lassie, Zeus and Apollo from Magnum P.I., and the robot K-9 from Doctor Who. (Incredibly, my dad, who worked at the BBC in the late 1970’s, once took me to the set of Doctor Who and I met K-9. This was in the days when I wore a handmade (by my mum) Tom Baker-style multi-coloured twelve-foot scarf.)

The villain is a vital part of any crime story, and being a big fan of Sherlock Holmes I wanted to reference The Hound of the Baskervilles. But I also knew that in order to feel modern, the villain had to be more than simply a hound. And instead of this creature lurking on a desolate moor in Devon, perhaps a wild, untamed park near the centre of London was even scarier. And so Alan and Darkus Knightley’s paths converge on London’s Hampstead Heath, and along with Wilbur, they must solve a canine conspiracy that appears to be spreading across the capital. Dogs can be your best friend, but what if they’re also your worst enemy? You’ll have to read Knightley & Son: K-9 to find out.
Knightley and Son K-9
Knightley & Son: K-9 is published 14th August 2014

Rohan Gavin

Huey, Louie & Melvil Dewey in: the Quest for the Missing Duck an Introduction to Using the Library

Many of you may recognize this slide presentation as it was originally an introduction to using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, but owing to a lot of feedback I received I decided to redo it as a general introduction to using the library as it was too cumbersome and complicated in it’s original form.

So with a few tweaks, language and slide changes may I present:

An Intro-duck-tion to Using the Library

Diary of a (soon to be) Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medal Judge

ckg

It is official

I received my call-up e-mail today!

I will be attending CKG Judge training on the 16th October at Seven Stories in Newcastle.

After which I will be able to call myself a CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Judge

I have been reading towards the Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals since September last year. My reading has ramped up a bit over the past couple of months as there are so many good books that I missed (and that are still being published).

I have no idea which titles will be nominated, I know that some of the books I have read so far will be on the nominations list

I fear that the nominations list will be longer than last year which is one of the main reasons for starting to read early. I have heard that the nominations date is being brought forward to give judges enough time to read all the nominations and give due consideration to each; but by how much I do not know.