Kelly Osbourne: Fierce – new book and website

You think you know Kelly Osbourne?

Find out her story in her own words and online with her new biography and a website for teens & Young Women on advice and her life:

Log on to Kelly’s website live from today at: www.kellyosbourne.com where you can sneak peek at some of Kelly’s personal pictures, and keep up to date with what she’s up to and where she’s going to be appearing. You can also post the best piece of advice you’ve ever had and share it with others. It can be something that comforted you, inspired you, made you feel happier, made you laugh, or something you just want to share with the world. And if you’ve had your own embarrassing moments, just log on to the forum to discover you’re not alone!

fierceWhen you’re little, you think your family is just the same as everybody else’s.

Doesn’t everyone’s mum plan secret exits for when things get tough?
Surely all dads embarrass their daughters at their birthday parties?
But as you get older, you begin to notice that what’s normal to you is completely f***ed up to the outside world, and that sometimes you just can’t explain that what other people think of as weird is actually all about love.

Who is Kelly Osbourne? I’m still not totally sure. But I do know who I’m not, and I want to help other people make the right decisions with the difficult choices we all face when growing up.

So I’ve gone out and got the best advice I can find from people I love, respect and always listen to. I’ve included Louis Walsh’s advice on making it in the music industry, tips from Neil, my sought-after make-up artist at MAC and many others. And for when things get really serious I’ve gone to the organisations that really can help.

In this book I’m sharing my advice and my embarrassing moments, but it isn’t just about me, it’s about you. And I’d love to hear your stories too!

Meet Kelly at an exclusive London book signing on Tuesday 8th September at Selfridges London at 6pm.

Rachel Riley: Back to Life by Joanna Nadin and the winners are…

A week late.

I do apologise.

The winners of The Rachel Riley: Back to Life competition (in no particular order) are:

Deirdre Steain

Gaby Koenig

Jo Stapley

Liz Rose

Carol Lavery

Your prizes will be posted out next week!

Teen Librarian Monthly: August 2009

The August edition of TLM is now available to download here

Stained by Joanne Hichens

Stained
stain: v.1 mark or discolour with something that is not easily removed. 2 damage (someone’s or something’s reputation). 3 colour with a penetrative dye or chemical.
n. 1 stubborn discoloured patch or dirty mark. 2 a thing that damages a reputation. 3 a dye or chemical used to colour materials.
South African Concise
Oxford Dictionary

Stained is a YA novel set in Cape Town in areas where I have friends and spent many hours visiting. It meant more to me than a number of other issue novels that I have read in the past because I know the area and have known and do know people like Grace, Crystal and their friends and families. The best description of the area (which is of high social & economic deprivation) in which they live is in this excerpt:

The highway, Prince George’s Drive, separates the rich from the poor like a line drawn. On our side are council houses and duplexes and block on block of dreary council flats. Beyond that is shackland…
Hardly any green on this side of the highway. No trees, no grass. On the mountain are the mansions with gardens and views of the sea.

The story is told from two viewpoints – the good girl Grace (through whom we experience most of the story) is working on a project on pregnancy and longing to break free from her overprotective foster mother Martha who has raised her. She dreams of finding her birth mother and cutting loose to be a bad girl; and Crystal a beautiful young woman who ended up pregnant and was forced to keep baby. Crystal isn’t coping and hides a dreadful secret that is gradually revealed over the course of the novel, at the same time we witness her slow disintegration to the inevitable tragic conclusion. They are linked by Shardonnay, Crystals sister and Grace’s friend a Pop Idols hopeful and bad girl at her secondary school, she is going through life her way, immune to the rumours & accusations and willing to do anything to get to the top.

Stained is not a happy story, it is about choices, identity and knowing who you are! Ultimately it is also about love, acceptance and hope.

Although set in South Africa Stained has universal appeal as the choices and situations Grace and her friends find themselves in can and do happen anywhere in the world.

I literally could not put this book down and read it in one sitting.

Rated E+H for Excellent & Heartrending

Goth Girl Rising by Barry Lyga

The brilliant Barry Lyga is running a competition ahead of the release of his new book Goth Girl Rising. You have to create a video trailer for one of his books, upload it onto Youtube, Myspace Video or anywhere you can host a video and send him the link.

Full competition details are here

This is worth promoting to any Teens who frequent the Library where you work, it could even be good for a Teen Group Library Project! Be quick you only have until the end of August!

It is easy – and to prove this I have entered the competition. My trailer is below!

BBC Audiobooks: Playaways

playaway
Frequently Asked Questions about Playaways
Playaway: Grab and go audio by Mary Burkey
The Future of Audio Formats by Mary Burkey
Find out more about BBC Audiobooks services to libraries here

Contact the BBC Audiobooks Customer Service team with any questions here: library.sales@bbc.com

The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson

The Nargun and the StarsWhen Simon Brent’s parents are killed he is taken to live with his mother’s cousins on Wongadilla, their 5000 acresheep station. Simon feels like an outisder. But he’s not the only thing that doesn’t belong. The arrival of machines to clear the land brings to life the Nargun, a great rock, older than time itself, that has slowly dragged itself into the valley – and with, it a simmering rage that drives it to kill.
I do not often get the chance to read YA books older than I am, but at a recent Catnip event I was given a copy of The Nargun and the Stars written by Patricia Wrightson.

The creatures in the story are actual figures from Aboriginal myth the water-spirit Potkoorok, the tree-dwelling Turongs, the subterranean Nyols even the Nargun a fearsome creature is present in their tales. The land on which the story is set plays an important role – from the rivers and creeks to the mountains, forests and swamps. It is an isolated area that, until the beginning of the story, is relatively untouched. Into this wild and beautiful land Simon Brent is sent – to live with his late mother’s cousins. His arrival coincides with the beginning of deforestation on the other side of the valley The story mixes Simon’s personal quest for identity and sense of belonging, with a quest to remove a destructive presence from the land – both the Nargun and the Grader & Bulldozer are unwanted intruders in Wongadilla. Environmental themes are present throughout the book – with the destruction of the Turongs environment, the sound and vibrations of the machines driving the Nargun into a frenzy even the concept of land ownership with Charlie seeing himself as the man in charge of the land – a steward rather than owner.

“But you’re not the man in charge! You own it!”
“Do I? For sixty years or so, maybe; but how long do you think the Potkoorok’s owned it?”

Patricia Wrightson’s writing is lyrical and beautiful, her descriptions of the land and its surrounds as well as the interaction between Simon and the other characters is believable and the story drew me in completely – I loved it and did not want it to end!

Rated A for Awesome!

Hush, Hush competition over at Bella and Edwards

hushhushcoverThe lovely people at Simon & Schuster are giving away 3 signed proof copies of upcoming book Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick on the Bella and Edward site . It’s not published until October, so this really is an opportunity to read the next big thing now.

Falling for the fallen…

Hush, Hush features our heroine, Nora Grey, a seemingly normal teenage girl with her own shadowy connection to the Nephilim, and super-alluring bad boy, Patch. Together they find themselves at the centre of a centuries-old feud between a fallen angel and a Nephilim…

Forced to sit next to Patch in science class, Nora attempts to resist his flirting, though gradually falls for him against her better judgment. Meanwhile creepy things are going on with a mysterious stalker following her car, breaking into her house and attacking her best friend, Vi. Nora suspects Patch, but there are other suspects too – not least a new boy who has transferred from a different college after being wrongly accused of murdering his girlfriend. And he seems to have taken a shine to Nora…

Love certainly is dangerous… and someone is going to have to make the ultimate sacrifice for it.

Enter the competition here

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’.