Author Archives: Mattlibrarian

30 Days of Wild

This June the UK Wildlife Trusts are encouraging people to make room for nature, if you register they will send you a pack full of ideas, encouragement and Random Acts of Wildness. You’ll also receive a funky wallchart to track your progress, a wild badge, and regular blasts of inspiration throughout June to help you make nature part of your life.
Now for many librarians during the day at work the closest we get to nature is shooing out wasps, bumblebees and the occasional panicked pigeon that fly in to the library.
However we can participate by signing up and encouraging the people that use the library to do random acts of wildness and enjoy the nature that surrounds us.
I have a number of books on ecology and being a nature detective that I will be using for a display, and of course I will take my daughter out to wander in the woods and discover the wondrous creatures that we live next door to!
To find out more and sign up, visit: www.mywildlife.org.uk/30dayswild/

Supergirl: Being Super

supergirl1

Kara Danvers isn’t any different than any other teenager in her hometown. Problems with school. Problems with boys. Problems with friends. But while growing pains shake up Kara’s world, a series of earth-shaking events hits her hometown, leaving her with with the choice of blending in with the crowd or being different. Being an outcast. Being super. This reimagining of Supergirl will appeal to fans of all ages and readers new and old, as the Girl of Steel flies face-first into the struggles that every teenager faces. Collects SUPERGIRL: BEING SUPER #1-4.

Let me just start by admitting that I am an unabashed fanboy when it comes to Mariko Tamaki‘s writing! She hooked me with the magnificent Skim years ago and her work has just gotten better and better.

Supergirl: Being Super is the first superhero work of hers that I have read and once again she does not disappoint (not that I had any doubts). Tamaki takes the standard origin tropes (baby, sent to earth from a dying planet etc.) and makes them sing. This is not a superhero story, rather it is the story of a young woman growing up in a small rural town in America, attending high school, eating dinner with family, hanging out with her best friends and coming to terms with who she is and her place in the world.

Stories involving superpowers usually present their protagonists as remote, godlike beings, or flawed almost monstrous characters that readers can thrill to but often not identify with. It is the sheer humanity of the characters that lifts this story above other, similar tales; their doubts, fears and the love they have for one another brings them to life and makes them more relatable to the reader.

The story is wonderfully complemented by the illustrations by Joëlle Jones, a brilliant artist whose style fits the story perfectly!

Highly recommended for comic readers of all ages!

BookTrust announces new books for Bookbuzz 2018 programme

Bookbuzz is a reading programme that supports schools to encourage reading for pleasure. The programme is suitable for schoolchildren aged 11 – 13, regardless of their reading ability or learning needs.

The 17 books, carefully selected by our panel of experts, ensures the programme is fully inclusive and offers something for every student. It is designed to be flexible and work alongside the English Department’s existing reading strategy. Bookbuzz offers students the element of choice, allowing them to find the right book for them and get excited about books and reading.

In Bookbuzz 2018, the award-winning Ross Mackenzie brings you his new book Shadowsmith (Floris Books), the amazing Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell feature with Fortunately, the Milk (Bloomsbury,) the 2010 Blue Peter Book Award winner Ali Sparkes with Car-Jacked (Oxford University Press) and Bus Stop Baby (Piccadilly Press) by Fleur Hitchcock whose title Murder in Midwinter was last year’s top choice.

Laura Kinsella, Director of English, Kingsthorpe College said: For us, Bookbuzz really does help create that “buzz” about reading. From the moment we tell year 7 students that they will get to choose their very own book to keep, excitement fills the air. As an English department, we want nothing more than to see our students become enthusiastic readers and what better way to do that than for them to take ownership of their reading journey.

Diana Gerald, CEO, BookTrust said: Choice is a key element to reading, but sometimes finding the right book can be overwhelming with so many options. Bookbuzz is a wonderful way to help boost reading for pleasure in your school, offering students a list of fantastic books and tools that help them make that most important decision on what they actually want to read.

Author Fleur Hitchcock who features in the 2018 programme said: I think Bookbuzz is brilliant because it’s about choice, about pleasure, about having fun around books. It’s about getting a book into the ownership of children who don’t own books, and about introducing confirmed readers to new texts. It’s about encouragement and joy – like an enormous book group for thousands of children. I feel honoured to have a book as part of this fantastic selection. Long live Bookbuzz.

Bookbuzz titles to choose from:

Amazing Animals by Guinness World Records
Shadowsmith by Ross MacKenzie
Accidental Superstar by Marianne Levy
Bus Stop Baby by Fleur Hitchcock
Defenders: Killing Ground by Tom Palmer
Boris Babysits by Sam Lloyd
The Mystery of Me by Karen McCombie
Sky Dancer by Gill Lewis
Car-Jacked by Ali Sparkes
Zebra Crossing Soul Song by Sita Brahmachari
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Chris Riddell
The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
Chasing Danger by Sara Grant
The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan
The Guggenheim Mystery by Robin Stevens
Haunt: Dead Scared by Curtis Jobling
Oi Frog! by Kes Gray & Jim Field

Anti Knife Crime Fiction and Resources Lists

Knife crime soared by almost a quarter last year in Britain amid warnings that the reduction in stop and search is fuelling violence on the streets…the police recorded just under 40,000 offences involving a knife in the year ending December 2017 – which was up 22 per cent on the previous year.
~https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/26/latest-crime-statistics-reveal-knife-crime-soaring-stop-search/

Violent crime in England and Wales is rising at an accelerating pace, according to police figures showing a 22% increase in knife crime 
~https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/26/surge-in-knife-offences-fuels-rise-in-violent

The news about knife crime in the UK has been on my mind for a while now, Libraries (both school and public) are well-placed to offer links to information and resources for library uses of all ages. The lists I have compiled are a beginning so if anyone knows of other books or has links to resources not listed below, please leave a message in the comments.

Below is a list of YA fiction titles that about crime and violence involving bladed weapons.

When I Was Joe Keren David
When Ty witnesses a stabbing, his own life is in danger from the criminals he’s named, and he and his mum have to go into police protection. Ty has a new name, a new look and a cool new image – life as Joe is good, especially when he gets talent spotted as a potential athletics star, special training from an attractive local celebrity and a lot of female attention. But his mum can’t cope with her new life, and the gangsters will stop at nothing to flush them from hiding. Joe’s cracking under extreme pressure, and then he meets a girl with dark secrets of her own.

Hello Mum Bernardine Evaristo
“It’s a hot summer afternoon. Tension is in the air. A gang of youths on bikes gathers outside a chip shop. A teenage boy is stabbed and left bleeding on the street. The boy’s mother wonders how this could have happened to her son. She is full of questions, but when the answers lie so close to home, are they really what she wants to hear?”

The Deepest Cut Natalie Flynn
Adam blames himself for his best friend’s death. After attempting suicide, he is put in the care of a local mental health facility. There, too traumatized to speak, he begins to write notebooks detailing the events leading up to Jake’s murder, trying to understand who is really responsible and cope with how needless it was as a petty argument spiralled out of control and peer pressure took ho

The Knife that Killed Me Anthony McGowan
Paul Varderman could be at any normal school – bullies, girls and annoying teachers are just a part of life. Unfortunately ‘normal’ doesn’t apply when it comes to the school’s most evil bully, Roth, a twisted and threatening thug with an agenda quite unlike anyone else. When Paul ends up delivering a message from Roth to the leader of a gang at a nearby school, it fuels a rivalry with immediate consequences. Paul attempts to distance himself from the feud, but when Roth hands him a knife it both empowers him and scares him at the same time .

The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness
Imagine you’re the only boy in a town of men. And you can hear everything they think. And they can hear everything you think. Imagine you don’t fit in with their plans…
Todd Hewitt is just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man. But his town has been keeping secrets from him. Secrets that are going to force him to run…

Crossing the Line Gillian Phillip
Nick Geddes’s life is a mess. His sister’s boyfriend was killed in a school stabbing. His grandmother is descending into a world of her own, his mother has a ‘god-slot’ on local radio, and his father is drinking way too much. But that is nothing, because he is also crazy in love with Orla, the sister of the boy who has been killed.

Dead Boy Talking Linda Strachan
Josh has 25 minutes left to live.Lying alone in a pool of blood, Josh hasn’t much time to think.Yesterday he stabbed his best mate, and now it’s happened to him.But there are questions he can’t get out of his head. Like how did he get into this mess? Will anyone find him in time? Will his girlfriend forgive him, and what really happened to his older brother?As his life slips away, the events of the last 24 hours start to look very different…

The Passenger Dan Tunstall
Mikey’s trainers are box-fresh Nikes. They’re as white as new snow. White leather, white laces, white soles. But something on the right shoe catches my eye. It’s a tiny circle. The size of a five-pence piece. It’s bright, bright red. Blood.

Teacher’s Dead Benjamin Zephaniah
A teacher is dead, murdered by two of his students in front of the whole school. Right in front of Jackson Jones.
But Mr Joseph was a good man people liked him, respected him. How could those boys stab him and jog away like nothing had happened’
Unable to process what he has seen, Jackson begins his own investigation- everyone knows who did it, but as Jackson uncovers more about the boys, he becomes convinced that people need to understand why.

Knife Crime Resource Links

Safety Box Knife Prevention

The Ben Kinsella Trust

Red Cross Knife Crime Teaching Resources

Teen Knife Crime booklet

Say No 2 Knives

No Knives Better Lives Resources

Knife Crimes Young People & Teachers’ Resources

First Aid

Red Cross: how do you help a stabbing victim?

How to help someone who has been stabbed or is seriously bleeding

Competition: Win a Copy of Boying Up by Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory and author of the #1 bestseller Girling Up, puts her Ph.D. to work to talk to teen boys about the science and pressures of growing up male in today’s world. A must-have book for all teenage boys!

Why does my voice crack like that? What should I eat to build muscle? How do I talk to someone I have a crush on? What do I do if someone calls me names or bullies me?

Growing from a boy to a man is no easy task. Bodies are changing, social circles are evolving, hair is appearing in places it never was before — and on top of it all, there’s the ever-present pressure to conform to the typical idea of what it means to be “manly” and masculine. But it’s easier to do if you’re armed with facts.

Using personal anecdotes as an overly observant mother of two boys and plenty of scientific information from her life as a neuroscientist, Mayim Bialik, PhD, star of The Big Bang Theory, talks directly to teen boys about what it means to grow from a boy to a man biologically, psychologically, and sociologically. Using the same cool, fun, and friendly tone that she took in Girling Up, Mayim takes boys–and their parents!–through the challenges and triumphs of Boying Up today.

In six sections (How Boys Bodies Work; How Boys Grow; How Boys Learn; How Boys Cope; How Boys Love; and How Boys Make a Difference), she takes a look at what it means for boys to come of age in today’s world, how can they take control of their paths, and what can they do to help shape the types of futures they want for themselves.

COMPETITION:

To win a copy of Boying Up answer this simple question:

For what branch of science did Mayim Bialik receive her Ph.d?
a) Neuroscience
b) Toxicology
c) Sociobiology
d) Human Biology

Email your answer to editor@teenlibrarian.co.uk by 1pm (GMT) on the 23rd May

The winner will be announced on the 24th May.

12 Years of #TeenLibrarian Monthly

Download (PDF, 840KB)

My library teen reading group’s favourite reads ~ Savita Kalhan

Hi Matt, thanks for inviting me on your blog today and for being part of the amazing blog tour for THE GIRL IN THE BROKEN MIRROR!

So for my guest post today, I wanted to tell your readers about my teen library group’s favourite reads. I started the group because as a teenager I spent hours in the library and if there had been a group like this I would have joined it in a heartbeat!

The kids in my group range from 10 to 16 years old, it’s a diverse group and it’s half boys and half girls, so the huge range of books we read are reflected in the dynamics of the group. Also, because it’s a library group and we only have access to books on the library catalogue, we don’t get all the books that are published for middle grade, teen or YA readers, which is a real shame. It would be brilliant if all public libraries would stock at least one book of every title published, wouldn’t it?

So here’s the list, which comes highly recommended by my teen library group:

Rooftoppers and The Explorer by Katherine Rundell – both of these books have been loved by my teen reading group – the older teens and younger teens alike, which tells you that Rundell’s writing can be enjoyed whatever age you are.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13b by Teresa Toten – this book is about a group of teenagers with various problems/issues such as OCD and ADHD, who meet with a counsellor once a week. It’s the characters that my teens fell in love with, and the book opened their eyes to the types of problems some teenagers face.

The Last Leaves Falling by Fox Benwell – this book made them cry pretty much without exception. The book is set in Japan and the main character has a rare terminal illness that makes him age too quickly.

I’m not going to tell you all about every book on the list – but I hope you will go and look them up, find the right book for you and read it.

  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

  • Booked by Kwame Alexander

  • The Book Thief by Marcus Suzak

  • The Harder They Fall by Bali Rai

  • Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

  • The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cotterell Boyce

  • Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis

  • Phoenix by S F Said

  • Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

  • Beetle Boy by M G Leonard

  • Wonder by R J Palacio

  • The Stars of Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard

  • Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman

  • Hidden by Miriam Halahmy,
  • A Library of Lemons by Jo Cotterill

  • The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Milwood-Hargrave

  • The Last Wild trilogy by Piers Torday

  • The Child’s Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston

  • Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness

  • Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

  • Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sacher

  • She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

  • Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence

  • The Fault in our Stars by John Green

  • Harry Potter books by JK Rowling

  • The CHERUB books Robert Muchamore

I could go on – my library group read four or five books a month – but I think your readers have enough there to be going on with there, Matt!

It’s been great fun looking at all the books my teens have been reading. I think it’s a great list – wide in range, subject matter, scope, from poetry to prose, from stand alone novels to series fiction, from fantasy to contemporary to historical!

Thank you so much for hosting me on the blog tour for THE GIRL IN THE BROKEN MIRROR. My book is not an easy read for younger readers, so I would recommend it for 14+ readers.It’s the story of a fifteen year old British Asian girl and her journey after a terrible trauma. It’s also a story about negotiating your way between two very different cultures – the world at home and the world outside. If your readers want to find out more about me, here’s my website www.savitakalhan.com, or they can chat to me on twitter @savitakalhan. I love to hear from my readers!

Star Wars Day Posters for Your Library

vaderhatesthatyoudontread

rebellion poster1.png

sith poster1.png

The Brandford Boase Award 2018 Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2018 Branford Boase Award is announced today (Wednesday 2nd May 2018). The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

Now in its nineteenth year the Branford Boase Award is recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books with a hugely impressive record in identifying authors with special talent at the start of their careers. Previous winners and shortlisted authors include Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Philip Reeve, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness; Costa Book Award winner Frances Hardinge won with her debut novel Fly By Night in 2006. The shortlist for the 2018 award is as follows:

  • A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Head of Zeus: Zephyr)
  • The Starman and Me by Sharon Cohen, edited by Sarah Lambert (Quercus Children’s Books)
  • Fish Boy by Chloe Daykin, edited by Leah Thaxton (Faber)
  • Knighthood for Beginners by Elys Dolan, edited by Clare Whitston and Elv Moody (Oxford)
  • Kick by Mitch Johnson, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)
  • Potter’s Boy by Tony Mitton, edited by Anthony Hinton (David Fickling Books)
  • The City of Secret Rivers by Jacob Sager Weinstein, edited by Gill Evans (Walker Books)
  •  
    This year the judges are Urmi Merchant of children’s bookshop Pickled Pepper Books; Helen Swinyard, librarian at Heartlands High School and founder of the Haringey Children’s Book Award; author and reviewer Philip Womack; and M.G. (Maya) Leonard, author of Beetle Boy, winner of the 2017 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival.

    Julia Eccleshare says: Each year the Branford Boase Award discovers authors with outstanding talent and promise: this year is no exception. The BBA also celebrates the lively state of children’s publishing in the UK and we were excited that no less than 26 different publishers entered books with seven making the shortlist. By concentrating on the most exciting new voices, the Branford Boase consistently highlights trends in contemporary children’s fiction: our 2018 judges were struck by the huge predominance on the longlist of domestic dramas. Children’s adventure it seems has become internal, the setting no longer the outside world but frequently the family, with narrative tension and action arising from issues such as mental health and individual trauma. Nonetheless, our seven shortlisted books have new stories to tell and vibrant new voices to tell them.

    The winner of the 2018 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Wednesday 4th July at a ceremony in London. The winning author receives a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.

    For more information about the award, including a full list of past winners, and the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition visit www.branfordboaseaward.org.uk

    Cape Librarian Magazine

    Download (PDF, 7.42MB)