#TeenLibrarian Monthly April 2018

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Coram Voice’s #Voices2018 Competition winners announced!

Peter Capaldi hosts national writing competition awards celebrating creative talents of children and young people in care

On Monday 9 April, Coram Voice announced the winners of Voices 2018, its national writing competition for care-experienced young people, at a ceremony held at the headquarters of its corporate partner Coutts and hosted for the second year running by actor and former Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi.

Coram Voice, which is part of the Coram group of charities, launched the competition in 2016 as a positive platform for children in care and young care leavers to share their stories and celebrate their talents.

Peter Capaldi said: It was an honour to host the Voices awards ceremony again this year and meet the talented young writers. The entries provide a diverse and moving collection of stories, and I am immensely impressed by the writers’ ability to convey their emotions and experiences through the power of the written word.

23 entrants were shortlisted in the competition across four categories: primary, lower secondary (ages 11-14), upper secondary (ages 15-18) and care leavers.

The competition judges included writers, authors, poets and journalists, with a special interest in, or personal experience of the care system, They praised the entrants on the powerful and creative ways they met the competition theme of ‘Who or What Makes You Proud’.

The Voices 2018 winners are:

Primary School Winner – To My Sister! by Aminah, aged 11

Author Lisa Cherry and poet Dreadlock Alien, judges of the Primary School category said: This is a poem with meaning and purpose well beyond a competition. Good poetry says the most things with the fewest words and this poem does that. Great poetry prompts reactions from the listener or reader and this poem does that.

Lower Secondary School Winner – Shout it Loud, it’s Time to Find Proud by Charlotte, aged 13

Authors Jenny Molloy and Lola Jaye said: This piece comes from a very talent lyricist, and matches the theme beautifully whilst exploring it in such an interesting way. The reader feels more uplifted with each verse, so much so you can almost see the stars and sparkles leaping out of the page!

Upper Secondary School Winner – Never Said Enough by Charde, aged 16

Judges Jackie Long, Social Affairs Editor for Channel 4 News and poet Mr Gee said: From the first line we were hooked. A background story of real pain but ultimately the huge power of love and gratitude. The storytelling is superb – it is a wrenching, heartbreaking piece but the intensity of pride and love spoke to us with every line.

Care Leavers Winner – Let Me Just Check That With Mike by Nathan, aged 20

Singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggan and reporter Ashley John-Baptiste said: The poem is written in a very clever way, and really spoke to us. The title of the poem used as the ‘punchline’ of the piece is what we loved most. The writer has great capability to project their experiences onto paper.

Brigid Robinson, Managing Director at Coram Voice said: We are delighted with the fantastic response we’ve had to this year’s competition, receiving more than double the number of entries compared to last year. We want to thank all the children and young people for sharing their stories with us and embracing the theme in powerful and creative ways.

The winning entries are available to read at coramvoice.org.uk/voices-2018. They are also currently on display to the public in the windows of Coutts headquarters on Strand, London. The bank supported the Voices 2018 competition as part of its partnership with Coram, chosen as its current charity of the year.

To find out more about Voices 2018 and to read the shortlisted and winning entries, please visit coramvoice.org.uk/voices-2018.

There is a Rumer going round…

Rumer Cross is cursed. Scraping by working for a dingy London detective agency, she lives in the shadow of her mother, a violent criminal dubbed the ‘Witch Assassin’ whose bloodthirsty rampage terrorised London for over a decade.

Raised by foster families who never understood her and terrified she could one day turn into her mother, Rumer has become detached and self-reliant. But when she’s targeted by a vicious mobster who believes she’s hiding an occult relic, she’s drawn into the very world she’s been fighting to avoid.

Hunted by assassins and haunted by her mother’s dark legacy, Rumer must also confront a terrible truth: that she’s cursed, because no matter what she does, everybody she’s ever grown close to has died screaming.

Bloody good and at times just plain bloody… Vicious Rumer is a book that I refuse to call a guilty secret – because no-one should feel guilty about what they read! There are times I just want a good knock-down, curb-stomp novel that grabs me by the eyes and drags me through a city’s dark underbelly leaving me wanting a cigarette and a stiff drink!

Billed as a thriller for fans of Jessica Jones, Lisbeth Salander and films like The Craft I came to this book with high expectations and Josh not only met those expectations he exceeded them in ways too bloody to mention in a family-friendly library blog like this one!

Key-words: anti-hero, blood, violence, gore, bad guys, worse guys, make it stop, please make it stop!

Vicious Rumer is out soon from those stout-hearted folk at Unbound – order it in print or pixels here: https://unbound.com/books/vicious-rumer/

Changes

So there is no easy to say it so I will just come out with it: in July this year my family and I will be moving to America to be closer to her family. We both live thousands of miles away from our homes (I come from South Africa originally) and after a protracted discussion we decided on the US of A.

I will be handing in my notice at school for the end of the school year and, well we are already mostly packed up and just need to organise shipping of treasured possessions (books mostly) and in July we will be shipping up to Boston (and thence to Kansas).

What does this mean for TeenLibrarian?

Well I plan to keep blogging about Libraries and Books but this may take on a more international flavour (I will refuse to drop my ‘u’s as that is just wrong), Teen Librarian Monthly may take a brief hiatus during the move and getting settled but I want disruption to be as minimal as possible.

If anyone is keen to submit articles for TLM and TL the blog please do get in touch.

What will I be doing over there?

I hope to continue my career in Libraries as I have not spent over half my life as a Librarian to just start doing something else, plus I love the work. That being said… I will not be precious about it and am fairly talented at a few things so will turn my hand at anything that comes my way!

Any American Library folk looking at this I would appreciate any advice on getting into Libraries over there…

Thank you!

Kurt Cobain Poster on Reading

Click on image below to download poster

Reading for Pleasure: a primer

What is ‘Reading for Pleasure’?

The act of picking up and reading a book (fiction or non-fiction), magazine, comic, screenplay, gaming manual, e-reader or any other item consisting of text, images or a combination thereof for the purpose of reading it for the prime reason of enjoying it!

DID YOU KNOW: that reading for pleasure can also be a learning experience? Yes, while many people think that reading for pleasure is a throwaway activity, usually reserved for ingesting fiction or similar; many readers find reading non-fiction works pleasurable and learning as they go.

How do you encourage Reading for Pleasure?

If you run a Library, make sure that it stocks a wide variety of resources and listen to requests and suggestions from the people that use it to make sure that you are carrying what they want as well as what they need.

When a class comes in to borrow books give them space to choose and make yourself available to help them find something if they are not sure what they want. Do not get offended if they decline what you suggest (even if it is one of your favourite books)

If you see a student pick up a book that you think is too easy for them – bite your tongue! It is not up to you to police their reading habits, by all means recommend something else for them once they have read it but do not make them feel judged for what they choose to read. What may be a momentary comment that you forget soon after you have made may stay with them for a lot longer and colour their future interactions with you and the library.

DID YOU KNOW: that for many young people, shared reading is a pleasurable experience – have you ever seen children crowded round the Guinness Book of Records excitedly reading some of the records to each other – if that does not look like they are enjoying themselves then nothing does!

Seriously I know that in some lessons solitary reading is recommended but if you have a group enjoying a book why not let them get on with it or say half the lesson group reading, the other half solo reading.

If you have a teacher or teachers that demand the students read age-appropriate texts in library lessons maybe have a quiet word with them and see if they are willing to compromise.

Listening to audiobooks is also reading – the words just take a different route to the brain; if a student wants to plug in their earphones to listen to a book they love – let them!

Libraries Need Librarians a poem

I wrote a two verse poem yesterday over on twitter, John Dougherty contributed a further two verses and then Eve Ainsworth got involved.

The poem is available below, to download a copy click on the image

Ⓒ remains with the original authors

Poster: All you Want is the Internet

Poster: #LibrariansareNinja

Poster: Exams are Coming

Download a pdf copy of the Exams are Coming by clicking on the image below: