Author Archives: Mattlibrarian

How to Raise a Reader

From the moment you’re expecting your first child, you are bombarded with messages about the importance of reading. For good reason: The benefits of reading at every stage of a child’s development are well documented. Happily, raising a reader is fun, rewarding and relatively easy.

A guide from The New York Times by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo:

How to Raise a Reader

QUIRK BOOKS PRESENTS BOOK POP!

In honour of its 15 year anniversary, Quirk Books is launching a year-long celebration of books and pop culture, called Book Pop!

Quirk has not forgotten their many fans in Britain and have launched UK versions of their reading guides! Also on offer are downloadable posters and other resources to celebrate their amazing and quirky books!

So if you are searching for activities to run with your teen groups or classes in the coming months drop by Quirk Books Book Pop! and see what is on offer!

Fever: the Deon Meyer Interview


Hi Deon, welcome to the TeenLibrarian interview and thank you for giving up your time to answer a few questions!

Before we begin I would just like to say as a SA expat I am a major fan of your work and love seeing South African authors making waves in the international book world!

Hi Matt

Thank you very much for the kind comments. Much appreciated!

Even though it has a laaitie with a gun, Fever is not a novel aimed at the teen or YA market (but the best books are for all ages) and I know that it will appeal to a number of the older kids I work with! Have you ever considered writing a book aimed specifically at a teen audience?

My basic philosophy is to write the story I am most passionate about ( I usually have a few brewing), and I write for the only reader I know – me. So if such a story comes around and the reader within gets excited, I would certainly try …

You are a superstar in the crime fiction world – what inspired you to write a post-apocalyptic novel?

I’m not quite sure about the ‘superstar’ status, and I must admit that I don’t believe in inspiration, but perspiration. You have to work at finding and developing story ideas. FEVER’s origins are in multiple places; non-fiction books on what would really happen in a world without us, all the great post-apocalyptic novels (and a few short stories) I’ve read in my life, my concern for our planet, and my hope that we can transform our South African society into a country of liberty and equality.

Fever, like your earlier works was originally written in Afrikaans, when your works are translated do you work with the translator or do you just let them get on with the work?

I work closely with my exceptional translator Laura Seegers. We’ve been working together for almost 15 years, and have a great understanding.

I am aware that several of your books have been optioned for film and television over the years, if you had the choice what format you prefer for Fever?

I think FEVER is best suited for a TV series.

I am about two thirds of the way through Fever (and may have finished it by the time you answer these questions) – it is so outstandingly good! How long did it take for the Fever to burn through you from initial infection to completion?

Thank you! It took four years from initial concept to final chapter.

Most authors I know hate the question “what are you working at the moment?” so instead I will ask what are you currently reading?

I don’t mind telling you that I’m writing a new Bennie Griessel crime thriller. And I’m reading the superlative Ken Follet’s FALL OF GIANTS.

Can you recommend the works of other South African authors for an international audience?

Absolutely. In no particular order, and to name but a few, there’s Karin Brynard, Mike Nicol, Margie Orford, Michael Stanley, Angela Makholwa, Andrew Brown, Chris Marnewick, Paul Mendelson, MD de Villiers

Amnesty International UK: CHILDREN’S BOOKS HIGHLIGHTING GLOBAL REFUGEE CRISIS WIN AMNESTY CILIP HONOURS

Two books that address the global refugee crisis have won the Amnesty CILIP Honour, an additional commendation attached to the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals for outstanding children’s writing and illustration.

Zana Fraillon’s powerful ‘The Bone Sparrow’ – which highlights the plight of Burma’s Rohingya people and life inside a detention centre in Australia – has won the Honour in the CILIP Carnegie Medal category.

And Francesca Sanna’s ‘The Journey’ – which tells the story of a family forced to flee their home because of war – has won the Honour in the CILIP Kate Greenaway category.

Both books tell the stories of families displaced from their homes and detail their struggles with their new lives in a troubled and fractured world.

Today also marks the start of Refugee Week in the UK, which encourages people in communities across the country to celebrate the contribution that refugees make to life in the UK.

Zana Fraillon said:

“I wrote ‘The Bone Sparrow’ so we wouldn’t forget the people and the stories behind the statistics and asylum seeker policies. I wrote it so that we would listen to, and really hear, all those silenced voices. This is something that Amnesty International does every single day. They hear the voices of those who have been silenced and they listen. I am so very proud to have been given this honour, and to have my book recognised by such an inspiring organisation.”

Francesca Sanna said:

“I think that books are a powerful tool to raise awareness for human rights, to encourage empathy for those stories that feel very different and far away from our reality. Stories take us to unexpected places, they make us feel what it might be like to walk in somebody else’s shoes. Amnesty International stands for justice, equality and respect for human rights, and knowing that ‘The Journey’ has been awarded makes me feel particularly overwhelmed and honoured.”

The Amnesty Honour commendations are awarded to the two books on the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlists that best illuminate, uphold and celebrate human rights.

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty UK, said:

“These books are vital at a time when we are facing a global human rights crisis on an unimaginable scale, highlighting the realities faced by millions living as refugees. The power of children’s literature to shine a light humanely can have a lasting and significant impact on young readers and help develop compassion for those affected. I’d like to offer my congratulations to both authors from all at Amnesty for their moving and inspirational work in raising vital human rights issues.”

Bali Rai, author and one of the Honour judges in the Carnegie category, said of ‘The Bone Sparrow’:

“The book makes you cry, it makes you think, it makes you angry. It has great potential for doing good in promoting and illuminating human rights. It’s an important story in bringing to the fore issues we’re not aware of, such as detention camps and the treatment of the Rohingya people.”

Ross Collins, Honour judge and winner of last year’s first Amnesty CILIP Honour for his book ‘There’s A Bear on My Chair’, said of ‘The Journey’:

“What Francesca Sanna has achieved with ‘The Journey’ is really quite extraordinary. Francesca brings light, colour and style to the most difficult of imagery, and shows us the family’s plight with warmth and subtlety. Ultimately it is a tale of hope over adversity which will not only open new doors for young readers, but enchant them with its beauty.”

The Amnesty CILIP Honour is the result of a major human rights partnership between Amnesty and CILIP, the libraries and information association. The Amnesty CILIP Honour is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

The winners of the 2017 medals were Ruta Sepetys with ‘Salt to the Sea’ (CILIP Carnegie Medal) and Lane Smith with ‘There is A Tribe of Kids’ (CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal). The winners were announced today at a gala event in London’s Royal Institute of British Architects.

Amnesty International is the world’s leading human rights organisation with more than seven million supporters worldwide

 

About the CILIP Carnegie Medal

The Carnegie Medal, awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children, was established in 1936 in memory of the Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). A self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA, Carnegie’s experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that “If ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries.” He set up more than 2,800 libraries across the English-speaking world and by the time of his death over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.

About the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

The Kate Greenaway Medal was established in 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children. Named after the popular nineteenth century artist, known for her beautiful children’s illustrations and designs, the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded annually for an outstanding book in terms of illustration for children and young people.

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards


 

#YATakeover Neil Gaiman Interview

Early last week I received a cryptic e- mail from Jake Hope asking if I was free on Saturday from 4 – 5pm. I said of course and he revealed that Neil Gaiman had agreed to participate Anthe FAFictionado’s #YATakeover and they wanted me to host the chat.

Once I had managed to stop dancing round the library I agreed and then started fretting that something terrible would happen (spoiler: it didn’t)

The interview took place yesterday on twitter and the storify is below:

#TeenLibrarianMonthly June 2017

Download (PDF, Unknown)

My Name is Not Refugee by Kate Milner

Our town is not safe for us any more.
Leaving will be sad, but quite exciting too.
The journey will be long, but Mum will be there every step of the way.
How would you feel if you had to leave your home behind?

My Name is Not Refugee is an interactive picture book told from the perspective of a young boy that has become a refugee with his mother. This is perfect for introducing why people become refugees to children of all ages, it asks the reader to consider what they would do if they became a refugee and is perfect for sparking group and individual conversations. This book is not just for onlookers it has been designed with young refugees in mind and reinforces that while they may be refugees – they should not let this define who they are.

Kate Milner has created a book that is both heartbreaking and hopeful; in this current climate of multiple global crises it is an essential book for all libraries and collections.

My Name is Not Refugee written by Kate Milner and published by The Bucket List imprint of Barrington Stoke is out now.

LAUREN CHILD ANNOUNCED AS 10th WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S LAUREATE


Charlie and Lola author says, “children today need more freedom to dream and imagine”

Lauren Child, artist and highly-acclaimed author and illustrator of the bestselling and award-winning Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean picture books and Ruby Redfort novels, has today (Wednesday 7 June) been crowned the 10th Waterstones Children’s Laureate. Child was presented with her medal from outgoing Waterstones Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell at an afternoon ceremony at City Hall in Hull, which is UK City of Culture 2017.

The role of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate is awarded every two years to an eminent author or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field and recognise the important contribution children’s literature makes to cultural life.

Child, a former artist’s assistant to Damien Hirst, is celebrated not only for creating her own books, but translating them into other media – most significantly in her role as associate producer of global hit television series Charlie and Lola. Launching her laureateship by championing creativity, she said: “I want to inspire children to believe in their own creative potential, to make their own stories and drawings and ignite in them the delight of reading for pleasure. In an increasingly fast paced world, children need the freedom to dream and imagine; to enjoy reading, drawing and telling their own stories without value judgement or restraint”. She intends to encourage individuality and creativity in children by seeding ideas throughout her tenure that spark stories and drawings and to “celebrate random acts of imagination”.

Recognising the legacy of the role she is inheriting, Child said: I am honoured to be chosen as the Waterstones Children’s Laureate and proud to be following in the illustrious footsteps of such giants of literature as Sir Quentin Blake, continuing the League of Laureates’ great work in elevating the status of children’s books in the UK’s cultural landscape. She revealed plans to forge alliances with other expressive mediums during her term in office, saying: My books have taken inspiration from many different art forms – from the illustrations of E.H. Shepard through Scandinavian Design, dolls houses and miniatures as well as the films of Woody Allen and Alfred Hitchcock. Now I would like to focus on building stronger links between the world of children’s literature and other art forms such as fine art, film, music, television and design.

Child was presented with the specially commissioned solid silver Waterstones Children’s Laureate medal and a £15,000 bursary cheque by outgoing Laureate, Chris Riddell. Ceremony host was CBBC Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya, one of the selection committee of the 2017 – 2019 Laureate, alongside Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Children’s Buyer at Waterstones Florentyna Martin and all members of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate Steering Group.

Chair of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate Steering Group, Abigail Campbell said: Lauren Child is utterly brilliant. Loved by adults as well as children, her work is witty, innovative and absolutely unique. We’re thrilled to announce her as the 10th Waterstones Children’s Laureate.

The post of Children’s Laureate was established in 1999. Previous Laureates are: Quentin Blake 1999 – 2001, Anne Fine 2001 – 2003, Michael Morpurgo 2003 – 2005, Jacqueline Wilson 2005 – 2007, Michael Rosen 2007 – 2009, Anthony Browne 2009 – 2011, Julia Donaldson 2011 – 2013, Malorie Blackman 2013 – 2015, Chris Riddell 2015 – 2017. Lauren Child is the 2017-2019 incumbent, with her tenure ending in June 2019, the 20th anniversary year of the post.

Waterstones is the lead sponsor of the Children’s Laureate post, with other sponsorship and funding coming from children’s publishers and Arts Council England. Independent literature charity BookTrust continues to manage the award.

Waterstones MD James Daunt comments on Child’s appointment: Children’s books are in the rudest of health, with sales charging ahead and children’s sections annexing ever greater parts of bookshops. Vital to our industry, there is a wave of creativity, spurred by exceptionally talented and generous authors with the Waterstones Children’s Laureate playing a huge part as a catalyst and inspiration. We could not be more delighted and grateful than to have Lauren Child pick up this baton.

BookTrust’s Chief Executive Diana Gerald said: Managing the Waterstones Children’s Laureate is an honour for BookTrust and we are delighted to be working with Lauren Child as Chris Riddell’s successor. Each of the Laureates has been wonderfully different from each other, but they share a core belief, one that underpins BookTrust’s own reason for being, and that is the power of reading, and its capacity to change children’s lives for the better. We want to inspire and unleash the love of reading for pleasure in children everywhere, whatever their background and I am delighted that our new Laureate is someone whose wonderful books and characters have already got so many children excited about reading. I can’t wait to experience the treasures that Lauren will no doubt bring to this role over the next couple of years.

Child will be returning to Hull later in the month for the opening day of The Big Malarkey, the city’s first children’s literature festival, as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017. She will be in the Big Malarkey Tent on Monday 26 June between 4pm and 5pm to answer questions and sign books.

The Inspiration Behind When Dimple Met Rishi By Sandhya Menon


I firmly believe that marginalised teens need more books where they’re allowed to be happy, to make friends, to fall in love, to chase their dreams, and to have that perfect ending. When the opportunity to write When Dimple Met Rishi, a light YA rom-com, presented itself, I couldn’t believe my luck!

I’ve always been a huge fan of writers like Sophie Kinsella and Jenny Han, and although I’d never written a light YA before, I knew that that reading experience would help immensely. While I wanted to show that Indian-American teens have many of the same hopes and fears as the rest of the population—and to make people laugh and swoon, of course!—I also wanted to give the culture the space and respect it deserved on the page. That’s why I put in nuances and experiences that would (hopefully!) ring true for other teens living in the diaspora.

But above all, I wanted When Dimple Met Rishi to resonate with teens who’ve ever felt like they don’t belong or that their families simply don’t get them. That’s a very universal experience, I think, and you don’t have to be Indian-American to experience it!

Free access to FT.com for Sixth Formers and their Teachers

The Financial Times and Lloyds Bank are offering free access to the FT.com to UK-based sixth formers and their teachers.

To register interest and for more information, follow this link:

https://enterprise.ft.com/en-gb/secondary-schools/