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!

Fallen by Lauren Kate

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.

My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey

loveliesb
Looking for something to sink your teeth into? Need a new hero to get your pulse racing? Waiting in ‘vein’ for another Twilight book? Look no further – the Drakes have arrived . . .

Solange Drake has always known she is a vampire, but she’s not just any vampire. She is the only female vampire ever born; she is destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy and become queen. The trouble is, a lot of people and vampires want to kill her because of this, and those that don’t just keep falling in love with her. To top it all off, Solange doesn’t really want to be queen and would rather concentrate on surviving the excruciating, and possibly fatal, change from human to vampire that occurs on her 16th birthday. Right now, life sucks for Solange.

Lucy is Solange’s human best friend. So when Solange is kidnapped Lucy is determined to come to the rescue with the help of Nicholas, Solange’s sexy older brother. Can Lucy save the day and resist the charms of Nicholas?

Try the prologue and first chapter here

Bloomsbury has created a Facebook fan page for ‘fang-tastic’ My Love Lies Bleeding this will be regularly updated with news, competitions and more. Access the fan page here.

Strange Angels: Betrayals by Lili St.Crow

BetrayalsPicking up immediately after Strange Angels ended, Dru is thrust into yet another dangerous situation.

Placed in a Schola for her own protection, she does not know who to trust or who is trying to kill her. The Schola is riven by factions, the Wulfen who welcome Graves, her loup-garou friend and look upon him as a prince of their kind, and the Djamphir, part-Vampires, whose disdain for the Wulfen is almost palpable. The Wulfen mistrust her and the Djamphir see her more as a tasty snack than a potential saviour.

Surrounded by secrets and lies, Dru learns that she does not know everything she thought she did, and must rely on her own instincts and skills to stay alive.

What are Christophe’s true intentions, and to whom does he owe his loyalties? Why is she being kept sequestered in a reform school for the supernatural? Who are her friends? Who is the traitor in the Order and why has she been lied to and misled? What is her full name?

We start finding answers to some of these questions in Strange Angels: Betrayals, the second book in the Strange Angels series by Lili Saintcrow.

One thing is for sure – she is not at Hogwarts, and no-one can be relied on to protect her.

Betrayals is an excellent follow up to Strange Angels, a kick-arse heroine, supernatural politics, more mystery than you can shake a stick at and just enough information is dropped during the book to make me want the third book NOW! I loved it – even more than Strange Angels, and can see this series going far

Lili Saintcrow captures the high school atmosphere and transfers it to a setting where the characters can sprout fur (natural for teens) and fngs (slightly less natural) and are expected to draw blood in their lessons. It gives new meaning to high school being a warzone.

Betrayals can be read on its own but will be more enjoyable if read in sequence.

The Making Of ‘Grandville’ And The Anthropomorphic Tradition – a talk by Bryan Talbot

Bryan Talbot is the award-winning creator of The Tale of One Bad Rat, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, Alice in Sunderland and more recently Grandville – a graphic novel which is a Victoriana/Art Nouveau steampunk tale of murder and intrigue (with added badger). He has also illustrated many other graphic novels including Slaine, Nemesis the Warlock, Sandman, Hellblazer and Teknophage.

Mr Talbot has a talk he can give for older audiences, called ‘The Making Of ‘Grandville’ And The Anthropomorphic Tradition’.

Bryan can be contacted for more info via… bryantalbot at btinternet dot com

Free eBook offer from YA author Jonathan Zemsky


YA author and all-round excellent bloke Jonathan Zemsky has released his first novel Beyond the Shadows of Summer into the wilds as an eBook.

Download the book here: Beyond the Shadows of Summer

It is one of the first books I reviewed, you can read the review here.

Did I mention that it is free? Get downloading! It is a fantastic read and an excellent introduction to a brilliant writer!

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).

Beautiful Dead: Arizona Competition Winners

The winners of the Beautiful Dead: Arizona competition are (in no particular order):

Maxine Grant

Milka

Jenny N

Bianca Flatman

I added a fourth book (my review copy read only once and still in near perfect condition)

The winners were chosen using Random.org

RANDOM.ORG is a true random number service that generates randomness via atmospheric noise.

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.