Author Archives: Mattlibrarian

Teen Librarian Monthly June 2009

The June edition of TLM is available to download here.

Bond… James Bond @ Plymouth Headspace

Plymouth HeadSpace project – a place where young people 11-19 can read/listen/surf/chill every Tuesday night.

A group of 15-19s HeadSpace at Efford Library recently hosted their own James Bond themed night called Bond James Bond. The library became the Casino Royale for the evening! The group were made over by professionals and took part in a glamorous photo shoot for the local Evening Herald newspaper. After the photo shoot we took part in a quiz hosted by Q, played Poker and chocolate roulette. This is a link to the article on the Evening Herald website and there are more photos on the Plymouth Libraries Flickr account.

HeadSpace Efford also have their own blog and Twitter account, which young people and teen librarians can follow.

Vermonia: Quest for the Silver Tiger by Studio YOYO

At the centre of the universe, at the beginning and end of all creation, sits the planet of Vermonia, ruled by Queen Fransinella. All worlds including the fragile Blue Star, orbit around her, following pathways of the net between galaxies, wherein the Turtle Realm also lies.

Queen Frasinella’s reign of harmony is ending in civil war due to the betrayal of the commander of her army, General Uro. Hungry for personal power, he seeks the Queen’s sacred Bolirium, fighting his own twin brother, the Lord Boros to obtain it.

As the final battle rages and Lord Boros suffers defeat at the hands of his brother, Queen Frasinella gathers her four most trusted ministers. She uses her magic to transform them, then bids them to flee in order to safeguard the wisdom of her world and to work for its rebirth.

As her final sovereign act, Queen Frasinella summons from deep within her the four Veras of her Spirit; these four will be reborn on a distant planet as four warriors who will one day restore her reign of harmony

So begins Vermonia: Quest for the Silver Tiger a new manga title by Studio YoYo, published in the UK by Walker Books. It is the first in a series, for all ages and illustrated in the shonen style. Nevertheless Vermonia will have a broad appeal amongst girls as well as boys.

The heroes of this tale are four friends (Mel, Doug, Kim and Naomi), who after falling out at their skating hangout each have an identical dream about a boy being strangled by snakes and pleading for help. The next day Mel is kidnapped by Gazso an agent of the evil General Uro. The group leave earth with the aid of the magical Satorin, a Squelp (the obligatory cute manga mascot), and waste no time in trying to track Mel down to free her, and also, they learn, the planet of Vermonia.

I was thrilled (and surprised) to receive a copy of this book in the post. I had been shown some early proofs of Vermonia when I visited Walker Books late last year. From a purely aesthetic point of view the book is beautiful, published in the traditional Japanese style to be read from right to left, Walker Books has also followed the Japanese habit of giving it a dust jacket and a semi-rigid cover. The contents do not disappoint either, the artwork by artist Saki Uchida who was discovered by Akihuro Miyata, the editor and publisher who nurtured the talent of the extraordinary Haruki Murakami, is stunning. The story is gripping and provides a perfect set up to the future volumes that will follow. The only downside is that the book ends on a cliff-hanger and I want to know what happens next but volume two is still a few months away.

Strange Angels by Lili Saintcrow

strange angels

Dru Anderson has been “strange” for as long as she can remember. She travels from town to town with her father, hunting the things that go bump in the night and eat the unwary. It’s a weird life, but a good one–until it all explodes and a zombie busts into her new house.

Strange Angels is Lilith Saint Crow‘s first young adult novel, and tells the story of Dru Anderson, the daughter of a (monster) hunter. When her dad ends up dead she has to use hard-learned lessons and smarts to stay alive long enough to find out who killed him and who wants her dead.

Throwing werewolves and vampires into the mix with her preternaturally gifted heroine, Lilith hits most of the paranormal urban fantasy genre’s stererotypes There is nothing wrong with this as she has managed to craft an excellent story. Her teen characters are well written and believable (within the bounds of the story) and she weaves suspense and horror together well to tell a tale that will keep her YA readers attention throughout the story. The book is the first title in a series about Dru that will appeal primarily to teen girls although boys should also find it gripping. I am a bit out of her target market but I do love paranormal urban fantasy – the more adventure-oriented style, not really the para-romance that is so popular these days and Lili hit the nail on the head with this one (for me anyway). I am currently eagerly awaiting the second volume Betrayal – due out later this year.

The Reformed Vampire Support group by Catherine Jinks

rvsg
People often think that vampires live in decrepit old castles, or mausoleums, or sprawling mansions full of stained glass and wood panelling. Unfortunately that is not the case.

Nina is 15 years old (and has been since 1973) when she was attacked by a vampire.Her life since then has been one of suffering from the effects of vampirism, living with her mother, fanging guinea pigs and every Tuesday attending the Reformed Vampire Support Group meetings. The group is composed of all the surviving vampires in Australia – including the vampire that originally brought the infection from Europe.

The Groups’ carefully ordered lifestyle is thrown into disarray by the staking of the oldest vampire among them. What follows is a desperate search by committee that will bring them face to face with a terrified slayer; into contact with the brutal world of werewolf fighting as well as Nina’s acceptance of being a vampire as well as finding a greater meaning to life (and love) after death.

I love monster stories and have a particular fondness for urban paranormal tales by authors like Jim Butcher and Lilith St. Crow (and the early Laurell K. Hamilton). Catherine Jinks’ creations takes the vampire myth in a (humourous at times) direction that I do not see often. They have all the weaknesses that traditional vampires have – burning in the sun, only able to feed of blood, death by staking and none of the strengths. So no transforming in to bats, no super strength none of the sexy vamp. lifestyle popularised by Twilight and the Underworld series – both referenced in this novel. The closest Nina comes to this `way of life is in the novels she writes (under an assumed name) about Zadia Bloodstone. Jinks’ vampires live the lives of junkies desperate for a fix but terrified of spreading their infection and of being discovered and being slaughtered by a population that is unaware of them living in their midst.

Feeling Good: Health information for children and young people

Feeling Good: Health information for children and young people
Chester, UK

23rd & 24th June 2009

The conference will be a mix of practical sessions, academic papers and reports
of projects from speakers from the UK and overseas. There will be talks by:

· Storyteller Rona Barbour who’s done a lot of work with disaffected youngsters
using storytelling as emotional therapy

· Aidan Macfarlane, the author of the Teenage Health Freak books and websites, and International Consultant in Strategic Planning Child & Adolescent Health Services

· Elizabeth Schlenter, who manages healthybooks.org.uk an invaluable website for anyone working with children, especially those with emotional and physical problems

Other sessions will include:

· The censorship of sex education materials in libraries

· HIV/AIDS in young adult novels

· The role of school/college libraries in promoting health and well-being

· Health information literacy

· Transformation through arts therapy

Who should attend?

Library and information workers, health professionals, researchers, students and those from the voluntary sector with an interest in the effective and innovative provision of health information for children
and young people.

More about the conference.

Download a draft programme.

Download a booking form.

May 2009 TLM

The May edition of Teen Librarian Monthly is available to download here.

who is charlie keeper?

The shortlist for the tenth annual Branford Boase Award

· The Traitor Game by B R Collins, edited by Emma Matthewson (Bloomsbury).

· The Toymaker by Jeremy De Quidt, edited by Bella Pearson (David Fickling Books)

· Flood Child by Emily Diamand, edited by Imogen Cooper (published originally as Reavers Ransom by Chicken House)

· Between Two Seas by Marie-Louise Jensen, edited by Liz Cross (OUP)

· Bloodline by Katy Moran, edited by Denise Johnstone-Burt, (Walker Books)

· The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, edited by Denise Johnstone-Burt (Walker Books)

· Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls, edited by Marian Lloyd (Marian Lloyd Books)

The judging panel, chaired by Julia Eccleshare, included Jenny Downham, author of last year’s winner, Before I Die, as well as Jane Churchill of the Cheltenham Literary Festival, influential librarian John Dunne and Caroline Horn of Readingzone and the Bookseller.

The Branford Boase Award was set up to reward the most promising new writers, as well as to reward excellence in writing and in publishing. All the judges were impressed with the high standard of this year’s submissions and were satisfied that they had arrived at a shortlist which meets the criteria on which the prize is based.

The winner of the tenth Branford Boase Award will be announced on 9th July 2009 at an award ceremony to be held at Walker Books in London.

Teenage Judges Competition 2009

Enter the Teenage Judges Competition and you could win the chance to join the judging panel for the Booktrust Teenage Prize!

When Barack Obama became the first African-American President of the United States it inspired millions of people in America and across the world.

What would you do if you were president or prime minister for a day?

Write a short story about how you would spend your day and you could win the chance to join the judging panel for the UK’s biggest teenage book prize!

You could help decide this year’s best book for young adults and attend the award ceremony in London in November, where you will be able to meet the 2009 shortlisted authors.

Download the entry form here