Category Archives: Authors

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.

YLG AGM @ Scholastic 19/03/2009

On Thursday I attended the Youth Library Group London AGM, which was a relatively quick affair with Karen Robinson taking the reins as YLG:London Chair for 2009/10.

Scholastic provided a room for the AGM and afterwards all members of YLG were invited to attend an incredibly enjoyable informal discussion (with wine and snacks) between Damian Kelleher and authors Rachel Ward, Josh Lacey, M.G. Harris and Sharon Dogar. They discussed their new and forthcoming books as well as what inspired their creation. We were also treated to a brief reading from each of the authors.

After the Q&A session the authors mingled with the Librarians and signed books and chatted about writing and Libraries until the end of the evening.

From teenlib

Rachel Ward + Numbers, Josh Lacey + Bearkeeper, MG Harris + Ice Shock, Sharon Dogar + Falling

Teen Librarian Monthly: March 2009

The March edition of TLM is available to download here

You can also get it delivered to your inbox on a monthly basis free of charge by subscribing – full details at the end of every TLM.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Read the full-text of Coraline online (including Dave McKean’s illustrations).

A discussion guide for Coraline is available here if you would like to discuss it in a reading group.

Tintin at 80

Tintin & Snowy

Tintin & Snowy

This Saturday the 10th January marks the 80th anniversary of Tintin‘s first appearance in Le Petit Vingtième.

Tintin has remained consistently popular with children, teens and adults for the past 80 years. The 80th anniversary comes amidst news that the long-awaited Tintin film (to be directed by Steven Spielberg and a script written by Doctor Who scribe Steven Moffat) is due to be released in 2010.

While the filming is only due to start in February, the film once released may be used as a taster of Tintin to get reluctant readers interested in trying the books themselves.

Malorie Blackman awarded OBE

Congratulations to Malorie Blackman who is to be awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthdays Honours List.

Malorie says of the honour:

“I have been a professional writer for almost two decades now, so I am thrilled and honoured to receive an OBE for services to children’s literature.”

Malorie Blackman is one of the country’s most well loved and acclaimed authors for young adults. She worked as a Database Manager and Systems Programmer before becoming a full-time writer. After receiving 82 rejection letters for her first eight to ten books, her first book, Not So Stupid! was published in 1990 and was a selected title for the 1991 Feminist Book Fortnight, and Malorie participated in the first BBC TV Black Women’s Screenwriting Workshop in 1991. She has written a number of books for young readers which have been dramatised successfully for children’s television including the Whizziwig series and has worked on other TV projects such as Byker Grove and Pig Heart Boy which won a BAFTA for best children’s drama 2000.

Malorie’s titles for Random House Children’s Books include Cloud Busting (selected for the first Booked Up Scheme in 2007), Hacker, Thief and Pig Heart Boy. For older readers her name has become famed for the Noughts & Crosses sequence, where set ideas of race, heritage, belief, power, money and love are challenged – the first book was recently adapted for the stage and directed by Dominic Cooke for the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing to critical acclaim in the Winter Season 2007/8, in Stratford upon Avon and on tour around the UK. A fourth book is to be published in November 2008, moving on the story in Double Cross, which is set to be one of the most highly anticipated books of the year.

Malorie’s reputation has steadily grown and she has been awarded a number of prizes, and has been involved in countless projects enabling children and young adults to access her work, and get interested in reading. She lives in Kent with her husband and daughter – and a collection of around 15,000 books!

(taken from Randon House Press Release

Author Profiles Section

A new author profile section has just been set up on the Teen Librarian site. The first author to be featured is Jenny Downham

View her blog site http://www.beforeidiebook.blogspot.com/