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Teen Librarian Monthly July 2009

This month’s edition of TLM is available to download here

The Book Smugglers present:

smuggler_YA_final

Young Adult novels rule, and are currently experiencing something of a boom in the troubled publishing world. And, we Book Smugglers have totally jumped on the increasingly crowded YA bandwagon. It is a genre that we love, and because of that love we are organizing a celebration of the genre: our first ever YA Appreciation Month, from July 19th to August 16th.
For the duration of the month, we will be discussing the merits of the genre, the apparent boom of YA literature, and the crossover appeal of YA novels. Guest authors and bloggers will be talking about their reasons for writing and reading YA and how the genre differs from books written for an adult audience.

Scatterheart by Lili Wilkinson

scatterheart1
Hannah Cheshire is rich and spoiled with servants to wait on her hand and foot, even a handsome young tutor to teach her.

Then it is all taken away. Alone and penniless and starving, Hannah is sentenced to transportation.

Life on the convict ship is hard and brutal, Hannah loses her innocence but comes to understand herself.

Full review will be up soon.

ToshoCON

In Japanese the word for ‘Library’ is Toshokan.

In the UK over the past few years interest in manga and anime has grown (and grown and grown). The number of events and conventions around the country, including Kitacon, the MCM Expos in London and the Midlands, Auchinawa, EirtaKon and Fuyucon. This list is not exhaustive but just to illustrate that there are Conventions occurring all over the UK and now is the perfect time for Libraries to start thinking about staging an event or series of events.

Due to the fact that we are dispersed across the country it will be next to impossible to gather us all in one or two locations my idea is for as many libraries as possible to run events over several days and hopefully link up over the internet with videocasting of events and online chats. This can raise the profile of Libraries as places that run events that appeal to young people (and not so young people judging by the wide range of ages I have seen at other conventions).

All ideas welcome via e-mail or comments

SelfMadeHero Press Catalogue

Myebook - SelfMadeHero catalogue 2009 - click here to open my ebook

Manga Jiman 2009 Competition

manga jiman
The Embassy of Japan is once again launching another major manga-writing competition, MANGA JIMAN 2009, with fantastic prizes. This year the competition is open to anyone fourteen (14)* years of age or over.

The amazing First Prize is two (2) return air tickets to Japan, courtesy of All Nippon Airways!**
The Second Prize is a fabulous TOSHIBA laptop computer.
Third Prize is a superb RICOH digital camera.
Runners-up will receive and a selection of manga publications, available in the UK from various UK manga publishers and Japan Centre gift vouchers amongst others prizes.
The winners’ works will also be displayed in a special MANGA JIMAN EXHIBITION at the Embassy of Japan.
Manga Jiman 2009 Mascot: Sorano-chan
This competition is open to all UK residents. All creations should be original and between six (6) to eight (8) A4-sized pages in length and although entrants are free to choose their own theme, restrictions do apply, and importantly the manga should in some way make reference to the ‘sun’. The closing date for the competition is Friday, 25 September 2009.

You can now view examples of the winning entries from previous years on our Myebook page

How to enter:
The full MANGA JIMAN COMPETITION 2009 RULES & REGULATIONS can be found here. (PDF file)

All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form which can be downloaded here. (Word file)

Please contact manga@jpembassy.org.uk with any queries about the competition.

*Entrants must be fourteen (14) by the time of the competition prizes are awarded (January 2010).
**Terms and conditions apply.

Siobhan Dowd

Siobhan Dowd

Siobhan Dowd received the Carnegie Medal for her novel Bog Child and is the first author to have won it posthumously.

I first became aware of Siobhan Dowd after having a colleague force a copy of The London Eye Mystery into my hands and tell me to read it or else. I only found out later that she had passed away, but not before writing several other truly amazing books.

London Eye Mystery pbblankSwift Pure Cry hi resBog Child pbblankSolace

TheSiobhan Dowd Trust is the dying bequest of the celebrated children’s author Siobhan Dowd. Just before her tragic death from cancer in August 2007 she personally and energetically supervised its foundation, to support, in all ways possible, disadvantaged young readers in the UK and Ireland. It was one of the very last things on Siobhan’s mind and clearly for her the most pressing cause in our society today.

The aims of the trust are simple and direct:

To take stories to our children without stories.
To bring the joy of reading to our children deprived of reading.
To bring books to our children deprived of books.
To fund disadvantaged readers where there is no funding, and to support disadvantaged readers where there is no support.
To fund and support any persons or organizations who help disadvantaged young readers.

The Trustees believe that the best and truest way faithfully to observe Siobhan’s last wish is to invite applications from persons or organizations in the UK or Ireland who need funding to directly help disadvantaged young readers. The Trustees will take a few months to consider and evaluate applications and then begin to disburse awards in the way that best seems to follow Siobhan’s wishes.

By the terms of Siobhan’s will, all royalty income derived from her published novels and any posthumously published work will go to the Trust.

The Trustees believe that Siobhan’s generosity will be the seed of something much larger, and so the Trust also welcomes donations from the public. The aspiration is to help as many disadvantaged young people as possible.

The Trustees are in no doubt of the importance of this bequest and its fundamental urgency for our children and for the future culture of the British Isles and Ireland. We may think we live in a literate society but, as Siobhan was well aware, there are too many places in our own ‘house’ where children are denied the opportunity to read. This is a charity that must begin at home, a home that, like Siobhan’s life, spans both sides of the Irish Sea.


A brief note on Siobhan:

Siobhan spent most of her career looking after writers. Working for PEN she fought to help writers silenced by oppressive regimes around the world. Closer to home, she did all she could to get reading material into the hands of disadvantaged young people from all walks of life, Siobhan co-founded and then ran the Readers & Writers Programme for English PEN which encouraged disadvantaged children to read by sending books and writers into schools as well as working with other institutions such as prisons. Siobhan also encouraged youngsters from the Romany culture to record their history. Her support for, and encouragement of, her fellow-writers was inexhaustible.

In some ways perhaps she sacrificed her own brimming talent for the benefit of other authors. And then, just as she discovered she was fatally ill, she put pen to paper and produced four of the most remarkable novels for children you could wish for. She was a writing phenomenon. The overriding thought of all those who knew her work is that her loss to the world of children’s writing is a tragedy. It is utterly characteristic that Siobhan should, at the end, put her mind unerringly to the most deserving group of all: the young reader. Siobhan realized that our literary culture – critics, bookshops, agents, publishing, libraries, schools – depends ultimately on the reader. And, of readers, the young reader is the most vulnerable. And amongst young readers, the disadvantaged young reader is the most deprived of all. Siobhan, at the last, and with all her usual clarity, decided to help them. And you can help them too.

The Siobhan Dowd Trust Books
A Swift Pure Cry
The London Eye Mystery
Bog Child
Solace of the Road

The Trustees
Tony Bradman
Rachel Billington
Polly Nolan
David Fickling

Rachel Billington
Siobhan has the number one gift of gripping you from the first page and not
letting you go till the final, always satisfying, last page. Her gift for
fabulous characterisation, however small the role, combines brilliantly with
original and carefully constructed plot-lines. Always believable, she yet
raises the drama to a frighteningly intense level. Hardest act of all, she
manages to keep up the humour even when the going gets tough. Solace with all
her gripes and bravery, is a fitting heroine for our times. Yet again, hooray
for another Siobhan Dowd masterwork!

Fiona Dunbar
Siobhan inhabits her characters so completely, you feel you know them. In
Holly, she has done it again; here is someone whose wit and humour carries
her through the hardest of times, and whose journey of self-discovery is both
poignant and heart-warming. A delight.

Jonathan Heawood, Director, English PEN
‘Siobhan Dowd believed passionately in the power of writing to change
people’s lives. She brought this passion to her work for PEN over many years,
whether defending writers in prison or promoting literature in schools. It’s
inspiring and moving to see her work continuing even now.’

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

fohatIn Mary’s world there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.

The Guardians will protect and serve.

The Unconsecrated will never relent.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is the best zombie novel I have read in a long time! Set in a post zombie apocalypse world and narrated by Mary a young woman who is starting to question her place in the limited world of the village and the choices being made for her.

Every zombie-novel and film I have read or seen opens with the world in the throes of a zombie attack. This is the first novel I have read that takes place after the fact (or The Return as it is known in the world of The Forest of Hands and Teeth), where a group of survivors have built a village and thrived in their closed environment. The village life is run on theocratic lines by the Sisterhood who make up the ruling body and the Guardians who protect the village and maintain the fences. The villagers themselves do as they are told and on the whole are content. The portion of the novel set inthe village reminded me of M. Night Shyamalan’s film The Village with its inhabitants living with strict rules to keep them safe, with the one difference being that in this book the villagers often come face to face with the Unconsecrated at the fence, and sometimes they are the people that they have loved and lost.

The village has been protected and kept safe for generations, but as any lover of the zombie genre will know – no location is safe forever against the undead. Mary discovers that an outsider entered the village through the fenced pathways and is being sequestered by the Sisterhood. She later comes face to face with the woman and that is where everything changes. Forced to flee with her fiancee, the man she loves and his girlfriend plus her brother and sister in law, Mary hopes to reach the ocean and to finally be safe.

I loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and particularly enjoyed nods to other books and films contained within the pages – specifically the shambling zombies of the original Romero films and the running zombie from the remake. The world creation was fascinating, the tale hinted of other groups of survivors who for some time at least were in contact. Reference was made to The Return and I am hoping to find out more about this world when The Dead-Tossed Waves is released next year.

Hacking Timbuktu – trailer