Category Archives: News

The Marcus Chown Blog Tour: stop 8

I would like to welcome eminent scientist and author Marcus Chown to the Teen Librarian site.

For the two or three people who are not too sure who he is, here is a brief biography (and photograph in case you meet him in your Library).

Marcus Chown - Auckland Writers Festival, 16 May 2009 (2) (image via Flickr courtesy irkstyle)Marcus Chown is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. Fomerly a radio astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, he is currently cosmology consultant of the weekly science magazine New Scientist. His books include The Universe Next Door, Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You and Felicity Frobisher and the Three-Headed Aldebaran Dust Devil, which the UK’s The Sunday Times called “One of the books most likely to fire children’s imaginations”.
Although Marcus’s wife is a nurse and does a very socially useful job, Marcus tends to write about things that are of absolutely no use to man or beast! Can time run backwards? Are there an infinity of universes playing out all possible histories? Was our Universe made as a DIY experiment by extraterrestrials in another universe?

There will be more from Marcus going online at various times throughout the day so be sure to check back later!

Best librarian / library Edublog 2009

There is currently voting for the 2009 Edublog Awards (the Eddies)— this makes 6 years of Edublog Awards!

One of the finalists in the best Librarian/Library category is the brilliant Bright Ideas Blog run by the School Library Association of Victoria.

They have promoted Teen Librarian in the past and even ran a feature on Library Myth Busters.

If you have not had a look at the Bright Ideas site I urge you to follow the link above now and then go onto vote for them in the awards – it is something they richly deserve!

Voting is open to everyone and you can cast your vote here: Best Librarian/Library Edublog 2009.

Booktrust Teenage Prize

graveyardbook

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is the winner of this years Teenage Book Prize.

Congratulations Mr Gaiman!

Neil Gaiman, commonly known as the ‘rock star’ of the literary world, is revealed as the winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2009.

His book The Graveyard Book saw off competition from five other authors including Patrick Ness who was nominated for a second year. Ness won the prize last year with The Knife of Never Letting Go.

The Graveyard Book tells the story of Nobody ‘Bod’ Owens, a child abandoned in a graveyard after the vicious murder of his parents and sister by The Man Jack. Raised and educated by the ghosts that live there, Bod encounters terrible and unexpected menaces in the horror of the pit of the Sleer and the city of Ghouls. It is in the land of the living that the real danger lies as The Man Jack is determined to find Bod and finish him off.

Neil Gaiman is listed as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama. He is the creator of the iconic DC comic series The Sandman, the only comic to ever make the New York Times Bestseller list.

His books have been adapted for a number of successful films, most recently the animated adventure Coraline. His screenplay Beowulf starred Angelina Jolie and Ray Winstone, and his book Stardust was adapted for a film starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer.

In his acceptance speech, Neil paid credit to the authors that had inspired him:

‘Sometimes when we look big, and seem to see further, it’s because we are standing on the shoulders of giants. The field of children’s literature has seen many giants, and those of us who toil in the field make our contributions using what we’ve learned from those who came first.

‘I’m proud of The Graveyard Book. But I know I got to stand on the shoulders of giants in order to write it. There were two writers of children’s fiction who influenced The Graveyard Book. Foremost, obviously, Rudyard Kipling, and his short story collection The Jungle Book; less obviously Pamela “P.L” Travers, and her Mary Poppins stories. And everyone else: the writers I learned from as a young reader, and the writers I’ve learned from as a writer: a host of other craftsmen and women I learned, or borrowed, or stole from, to build The Graveyard Book. ‘

Neil was awarded a cheque for £2,500 and a trophy at a ceremony in London at lunchtime today (Wednesday 18 November).

Judi James, Chair of Judges commented:

“The six shortlisted books for the Booktrust Teenage Prize Award 2009, were chosen by the judges, for their exceptional quality of writing and storytelling, ranging from Helen Grant’s superb first novel, to the highly acclaimed Neil Gaiman whose novel, The Graveyard Book was unanimously chosen the winner. ‘Nobody Owens’, won the hearts of all the judges, young and old as did the delightfully sinister, generous, eccentric and heart-warming characters that inhabit the old graveyard. Gaiman’s writing is gentle, fluid and humorous, and fundamentally uplifting.”

This year’s shortlist was:

Auslander by Paul Dowswell (Bloomsbury)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury)

Ostrich Boy by Keith Gray (Definitions)

The Ant Colony by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant (Puffin)

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Walker)

The Booktrust Teenage Prize was launched in 2003 to recognise and celebrate the best contemporary writing for teenagers. Booktrust administers the prize with the support of writers, publishers, teachers, parents and libraries. Publishers may enter works of fiction, including novels, collections of short stories and graphic novels, and non-fiction. The Reading Agency is promoting the Booktrust Teenage Prize in libraries across the UK primarily through coordination with public and school library services.

Previous winners include Mark Haddon for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003) and Anthony McGowan for Henry Tumour (2006).

Do schools need libraries and librarians?

Take it away Lucy Bakewell from Hill West Primary School in Sutton Coldfield.

“Today, when schools are striving to raise standards in reading and writing, we need champions to place themselves at the heart of school strategies. Their aim – to engage pupils in and enthuse them about books.”

Am amazing article by the School Librarian of the Year 2009.

CILIP supports the call for statutory school libraries

CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals is supporting the campaign to make school libraries statutory. CILIP’s Vice President Biddy Fisher welcomed the support for Alan Gibbon‘s Campaign for the Book:

“I’m delighted that CILIP is supporting the Campaign for the Book’s call to make school libraries statutory. I’d urge everyone who believes that all children in this country need access to a properly resourced school library and the skills of a qualified librarian to sign the petition.”

Sue Shaper, Chair of CILIP’s School Libraries Group commented:

“Statutory status for school libraries and librarians is essential to sustain and develop the vital role that libraries play in enhancing teaching and learning. It’s important that children are able to access inspiring works of fiction and accurate factual information in their school library. The role professional and knowledgeable staff play in guiding their choices and making sense of the library resources cannot be understated.”

The Campaign for the Book is led by acclaimed children’s author Alan Gibbons. The Campaign has gathered support from many authors, publishers, members of the library profession, Unions and organisations that promote reading and literacy. CILIP looks forward to working in partnership with Campaign for the Book and the organisations and individuals that have given their support. The petition to make school libraries statutory is available to sign online until 11 December 2009.

Are you a fan of Goth Froth?!

ravensite
THE RAVEN MYSTERIES website launches on October 1st to coincide with the publication of GHOSTS AND GADGETS, the second book in Marcus Sedgwick’s THE RAVEN MYSTERIES series. Guided by Edgar the raven, the unofficial guardian of Castle Otherhand, visitors to the new site can take a tour of the castle, meet the spooky and strange Valevine family and download all sorts of goodies!

Designed by Hyperlaunchdmg, the website is full of brand new images of the Castle and its inhabitants drawn exclusively for the website by Pete Williamson: each visit allows something new to be discovered.

BECOME A ‘GOTH-FROTH’ FAN CLUB MEMBER and you can…
Play the Feathers game (where Fellah the monkey tries to pull out Edgar’s feathers).
Gain access to all the extras such as posters, wallpapers and ringtones.
Read the blog from Edgar the raven, (regularly updated by Marcus Sedgwick!)

bordersOrion Children’s Books has joined forces with Borders for the launch of this new website: a bespoke Raven Mysteries page will become a part of the Borders site and will host an exclusive competition which will run until 31 December 2009.

The answer to the Borders competition question is also the secret code that opens the RED ROOM on the RAVEN MYSTERIES website for all who guess correctly, while the prize-winner will receive an invitation to the next recording of a Raven Mysteries audiobook, meeting author Marcus Sedgwick and actor Martin Jarvis, and having the opportunity to take an active role in the recording studio.

Martin’s lively reading of FLOOD AND FANG, the first book in the series, brings the goings-on of the oddballs and fruitcakes who live at Castle Otherhand to life. The recording has been used to great effect in the new website, as has the music by audiobook producer Peter Rinne.

A day in the life

I make a guest appearance on the excellent The Book Smugglers review blog in support of their YA Appreciation Month.

You can read about a day in the glamorous life of a Teen Librarian here.

Whatever! The Science of Teens

Why do perfectly loveable children seemingly turn into grunting aliens overnight?
At last science may have the answer to every parent’s greatest mystery…

A five-part documentary broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Whatever! the Science of Teens is well worth watching. It is available to view online here

From the press kit:

Teenagers are a uniquely human phenomenon. Other animals skip this phase altogether, developing rapidly from infancy to adulthood. And at no other time in our lives do our physical and social attributes change so dramatically.

If you believe what you read the current generation of Aussie adolescents are the wildest yet. It seems they’re having more sex than ever before, they’re taking bigger risks, their emotions are frazzled, they binge drink at every given opportunity, they sleep all day or are otherwise glued to their mobile phones or video games.

‘Whatever! The Science of Teens’ explores the latest science that’s shedding light on why our cute and cuddly kids transform into these teen terrors.

In each episode we meet actual Australian teenagers. By dissecting their lives we attempt to illustrate the biology behind the bad behaviour. And it’s NOT simply a matter of raging hormones. Our teens also act as ‘lab rats’ for regular experiments that bring the science to life.

Along the way, Australia’s leading scientific and behavioural experts comment, and presenter Steve Cannane documents the teens in their natural habitats – the beach, the mall, the skate park or at wild parties.

For years we’ve just put adolescent attitude down to surging hormones. But not anymore. The most recent research is proving that teen behaviour is actually a product of intricate and complex biological processes, that all serve a purpose in the ‘bigger picture’.

It may be a difficult time of life, but it really is a matter of ‘no pain, no gain’.

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

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.