Monthly Archives: March 2011

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New York Times Bestselling Author Becca Fitzpatrick inks Graphic Novel Deal with Sea Lion Books

Sea Lion Books to publish Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush as a graphic novel.

ATLANTA, GA – March 31, 2011 – Sea Lion Books announced today the acquisition of the comic book and graphic novel rights to Becca Fitzpatrick’s New York Times bestselling Young Adult novel Hush, Hush. A romance laced with intrigue, it is the story of a young girl torn between desire and suspicion in her love for a fallen angel. A true psychological thriller, Hush, Hush was the first book in a trilogy, with the story continuing in Crescendo and concluding with the forthcoming Silence, which is scheduled for release in October 2011. The series has a worldwide following, with sales of more than 1 million books in 35 countries.
“Becca Fitzpatrick is a huge bestselling author,” said Kuo-Yu Liang VP Sales & Marketing for Diamond Book Distributors. “I think this series is a great addition to Sea Lion Books line up of projects and should be a major hit for them”.

Hush, Hush is the story of Nora Grey, a studious sixteen-year-old girl from Coldwater, Maine. It has been a year since her father’s murder and she is not interested in much other than her schoolwork. Then she meets Patch, a bad boy—and fallen angel. Though unwisely attracted to him, Nora finds herself caught in a battle between the fallen and the immortal. Choosing the wrong side could cost Nora her life.

Becca Fitzpatrick is delighted to have her book brought to graphic novel form. “Hush, Hush was my first book, and it’s so thrilling that it has been embraced by so many readers. I’m delighted to be working with Sea Lion to tell Patch and Nora’s story through graphic novel format!”
Sea Lion Books shares the delight in working alongside the bestselling author on the adaptation, and feels that Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series is a fantastic addition to its graphic novel line.
Hush, Hush #1 is scheduled to debut in winter 2011. The creative team on the project will be announced at a later date.

March 26 March for the Alternative

On the 26th March I and over 250 000 other concerned public sector workers and members of the public participated in the March for the Alternative to the public sector cuts that are ravaging the UK.

As a librarian I freely admit that my reasons for attending the march were not completely altruistic but I believe in the public sector services that we offer. As a teen and youth services librarian I have worked, and do work with teenagers and young adults that not only need our services but thrive on the work we do with them. The cuts do not just affect libraries although it often does seem as if our part of the public sector is being harder hit than others.

The March was fantastic, standing in solidarity with colleagues from across the country it was a first step in showing the powers that be that we are prepared to stand up for what we believe in and to offer a united front against the cuts that are happening. I was unable to meet up with any librarians on the march but I did bump into a number of library supporters from Gloucestershire and other parts of the country. I also spoke to as many of the marchers as I could and it was fantastic! I have added in the photos I took on the march below.

More protests coming

Richelle Mead discusses Dark Swan: Storm live online tonight!

Join New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Richelle Mead on Behind the Mask (Radio for Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga), a live internet radio show hosted by Ed English with over 80,000 listenership.

Richelle will be talking about her new comic and graphic novel series Dark Swan: Storm Born debuting May 18th from Sea Lion Books. Dark Swan: Storm Born follows Eugenie Markham, a free-lance shaman who battles ghosts and fey that sneak into our world from the Otherworld. When an alarming prophecy suddenly makes her every Otherworldly creature’s object of desire, Eugenie must dodge their advances while also fighting a dark power rising within her.

The show will take place Thursday, March, 24 at 6pm Eastern Standard Time/3pm Pacific Standard Time 10pm UK time. Fans can follow the show via the show’s website:

How do you get teenagers interested in sustainability? Answer: ZOMBIES!

Guest Post with Sean T Page
Author – The Official Zombie Handbook UK (Severed Press 2010) and War against the Walking Dead (Severed Press 2011)

You know the quote – zombies, zombies everywhere and not a drop to…. you get the idea.

They’re on the big screen, TV screen, book shelves – everywhere. So, what does it all mean?
Is this just a fad or is something deeper happening here? And, what the hell have they got to do with sustainability?

Well, as a zombie-author, that is an author who writes horror and zombie stories, not someone from the realms of the undead, my short guest blog is about putting some perspective around the vast number of zombies who seem to be dribbling across library shelves as we speak.

My first point is about zombie fans. The people who buy these books are much younger than you think. At a recent book signing I was at in Sheffield, fans as young as 11 or 12 were buying my UK zombie survival handbook. Saying that, there was also quite a range of folks interested in the genre – you really couldn’t stereotype it. Don’t equate zombie fans with comic book guy from The Simpsons.

Secondly, zombies have always been around – there has been a steady stream of stories and if anything, at least in book shops, they have more recently been trounced, as romantic-vampire knows dominate them in an endless battle for shelf space.

So, I don’t really think there is anything wider at work here. Readers have always been intrigued by zombies and for the writer; they are really a blank canvas on which to work. They always say that a good zombie novel is more about the human survivors than the monsters – zombies are not good or evil, they don’t have a plan, they just are and also have an uncanny ability to reveal us in our true form….

Sure, the wave of mash ups could get tiresome, with every classic being attacked by authors who you may think should be coming up with new stuff but for every ten readers who picks up one of these mash ups, I’m sure at least one of them goes on to look at the real thing….

Anyway, back to the opening question.

Just like Quaker oats, there’s some goodness in them there zombie books.
I look at mine, The Official Zombie Handbook UK, course the ghouls are there, but then so is sustainability and wider green issues – to survive, you need to start thinking about the energy you use, where your water comes from, how far your apples have flown to get to you… get the picture.

I’m not going to pretend there is any deep meaning in my or other zombie books but if it gets people thinking about these kinds of issues, as well as the menace of the walking dead, it can’t be all bad…

In the Bag by Jim Carrington

Jim Carrington’s In The Bag tells the story of best mates devil-may-care Ash and worrier Joe who find £20,000 in used notes dumped in a holdall in their local woods. Rather than hand it in to the police Ash and Joe keep the money, and as it becomes clear to them that the cash is part of something much larger and more dangerous than either of them could have imagined, their lack of sense and maturity leads them into serious danger.

In The Bag is Jim Carrington’s second novel for young adults. Like his first book Inside My Head, the characters are teenagers living in run-down market-town communities with nothing to do and no cash in their pockets to do it with anyway. Ash and Joe are both frustrated with their lack of freedom and independence with the highlight their week being getting smashed on cheap cider on the local rec ground.

In the Bag is a gritty, real story and the choices that Ash and Joe make although extreme, are sadly all too possible, as they feel they cannot trust any of the adults around them and must take matters into their own hands. ‘In the Bag’ is a gripping, challenging read and perhaps an all too real exploration of life in the UK for young people today.

0.4 by Mike Lancaster

When Danny Birnie told us that he had hypnotised his sister we all thought he was mad.

Or lying.

Or both.

The first word that came to mind once I had finished reading was: Wyndhamesque.

It is creepy British sci-fi that belongs on a shelf with Chocky, The Midwich Cuckoos and my Quatermass DVDs.

It’s a brave new world. Not for Kyle Straker though, he no longer exists, or never did, or does he?

0.4 is a meta-tale, made up of two stories the first story begins with an excellent definition of “reading” and the forward that explains why the story is transmitted in such an old-fashioned manner (via printed word). Kyle’s story is the second (and main) tale and is told via the transcripts of cassette tapes found in an old house. The tapes convey an eye-witness account of how and when the world changed, only no-one remembers the world ever being different.

The editors notes explaining archaic terms and concepts scattered throughout the story are brilliant! I particularly enjoyed the Coldplay and Teletubies definitions!

Note – ‘Coldplay’
O’Brien makes a persuasive case for a ‘Coldplay’ referring t a kind of dramatic or musical presentation characterised by being utterly bereft of any signs of genuine emotion.

Kyle, Lilly, Mr Peterson and Mrs Peebles are all hypnotised during a talent show by Kyle’s friend Danny. Out of a village of 2000 souls they make up 0.4 % but that is not it, not all of it. Is it an invasion? Drugs? Mind control? Or something worse – something more insidious?

0.4 is a relatively quick read, gripping and tautly told. The endings are both chilling, leaving more questions than answers, if I did not know that a sequel has already been planned I would have been very upset as this book has left me wanting more!

Grace by Morris Gleitzman

In the beginning there was me and mum and dad and the twins.
And good luck was upon us and things were great and talk about happy families, we were bountiful.
But it came to pass that I started doin gsins. And lo, that’s when all our problems began…

So begins Grace by Morris Gleitzman. A family epic of biblical proportions, about religion, love, separation, loss and religious persecution as seen through the eyes of a child.
Never has life in a fundamental Christian community seemed so funny and tragic at the same time, Morris Gleitzman handles a topic that, if told through the eyes of an adult, would be tragic and heartbreaking, with his usual style and humour. Grace is a precocious child, with an open and questioning outlook on life that draws the ire of her Grandpop and other elders of their community as she is branded sinful and mocking of the Lord.
Being sinful is confusing to Grace as she has never before considered herself to be a sinner. Throughout the book her best friend Delilah forms a one-child Greek chorus pronouncing damnation and sinfulness upon her “What if an ungodly sinner neighbour wants to borrow your lawnmower?” The pronouncements and dununciations that would be crushing and hurtful from a grown up take on a humour that is both mirth-inducing and heartbreaking.
Things come to a head when her family is split up by the community and her dad is excommunicated, from then on there is a dark undercurrent of fear and tension that runs alongside the humour of Grace’s view of what is happening. Although the style of writing is fairly biblical from Grace’s internal monologues, the foreshadowing of children playing Daniel in the Lion’s (and penguin’s) Den and the parable of the Good Samaritan this is not a story is not about Christianity, it is a novel of love, acceptance, family and belief in yourself and others.

Grace is a brief novel, easily read in one sitting, but it is beautifully written and will stay with the reader long after it has been put down!

I loved it!

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

This moving account of one boy’s escape from the Sudanese war and subsequent survival begins in 1985 and is based on a true story. Intertwined with a second story set in 2008-9 where young Nya is unable to attend school as it is her daily task to collect water for the family, Salva’s story begins in 1985 and ends with meeting and helping Nya and her whole community.

An incredible 11 year journey of survival ensues as Salva flees from both rebels and government forces waging war on the largest African country. Frightened and alone, will Salva ever see his family again? Crossing three countries on foot, Salva’s resilience and strength grows as he does, from a frightened 11 year old boy, to a man who becomes a leader and a visionary.

Although simply told, A long walk to water is a powerful book: a high interest but easy to read story that will resonate with readers and stay with them long after the last page has been turned.

Although recommended for ages 9+, A long walk to water is a harrowing but engaging read that I believe would be more fruitful for readers aged 12-13. What readers will find most amazing is that Salva’s story is true. Their empathy for someone of their own age facing such a disaster will assure engagement with the text.

Author Linda Sue Park is a Newbery medalist. Her website is

See also:


Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of A long walk to water by Linda Sue Park free of charge by the publishers.

Prom and prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

Prom and prejudice is a contemporary take on the classic Jane Austen  romance.


The updated story is clever, funny and a real pageturner. The action takes place at, you guessed it, Longbourn. But this time Longbourn is a private girls’ school in New York.  Scholarship student Lizzie Bennet and sweet Jane Netherfield have lately met a certain Charles Bingley and his friend Will Darcy, students at the neighbouring elite Pemberley Academy.

The focus of much of the story is the upcoming school prom and will Jane be asked to go by Charles Bingley? Jane’s younger sister Lydia is a totally modern reinvention of the original, but with the added aid of YouTube to record some of her more embarrassing moments.

As per Pride and prejudice, Lizzie and Darcy come to verbal blows over money and position in society while teen Caroline Bingley is quite as vile as the original. Once again, Lydia brings the family name into disrepute with George Wickham (it appears that getting drunk is the worst of it) and yes, it’s Darcy to the rescue again, but this time he couldn’t do without Lizzie’s assistance.

Although advertised to be a romance and yes, the story is generally a love story with a happy ending, there is much more to Prom and prejudice than just romance. Lizzie is a talented pianist and performs a challenging piece,  Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini at the spring recital. She is a hard working and likeable student who, unlike the original Lizzie Bennet, has the opportunity to remain financially independent in the future. There is much to discuss for the reader as the decidedly strong, independent females characters who feature in Prom and prejudice are the authors of their own future, unlike the original story where young ladies had to rely on husbands, fathers or brothers for survival.

Prom and prejudice has a number of themes including bullying, superficial social lives, consumerism, prejudices, wealth, the GFC and of course, friendship and love.

This is a charming version of the classic and popular love story. Elizabeth Bennet, Will Darcy and Jane Netherfield are well drawn and strong characters and the way the author has reinterpreted the characters, circumstances, events and setting of Pride and prejudice is quite inspired.

An appealing book for girls aged 12+, I wouldn’t be surprised if once finished Prom and prejudice, they seek out Austen’s Pride and prejudice.