Monthly Archives: July 2011

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Scott Westerfeld's Uglies has been given the Graphic Novel treatment

Hey wow!

I just found out the Dystopian novel Uglies by the always awesome Scott Westerfeld has been turned into a graphic novel!

Del Rey will be publishing four manga-inspired Uglies graphic novels, outlined by Westerfeld and adapted by artist Steven Cumming.

This story will be told from Shay’s perspective.

The Stan Lee Excelsior Award has a brand new website!


You do not know what the Stan Lee Excelsior Award is?

That is (as the French say) Incroyable!

Not to mention totally beyond the pale!

To remedy this sad lack of knowledge I have shamelessly taken this text explaining the award from their website:

The Stan Lee Excelsior Award is an exciting new book award for graphic novels and manga – where kids aged 11-16 choose the winner by rating each book as they read it!

In 2011, 8 graphic novels were on the shortlist, 17 UK secondary schools took part and 842 ‘Rating Forms’ were returned! The overall goal of this scheme is to encourage reading amongst teenagers. However, its secondary target is to raise the profile of graphic novels and manga amongst school librarians and teachers. This storytelling medium has been a largely underused resource within education for many years. The Stan Lee Excelsior Award attempts to highlight some of the amazing books that are out there – books that fully deserve to be in our school libraries alongside regular fiction!

The award was founded and is organised by the excellent Paul Register – who I may actually have met at a SLA conference in 2010 (but I could be wrong).

To find out more about the Award and Stan Lee himself co-creator of Spiderman and other eX(-Men)cellent super heroes click on the massive logo above or follow this link: Excelsior!

Soul Beach Trailer

Teen Librarian Monthly July

You can now download Teen Librarian Monthly July

Indigo Evening at Orion Publishers

I was fortunate enough to be one of the book bloggers invited to attend the Indigo preview evening at Orion Publishers. Indigo is the latest (and greatest?) Teen Fiction imprint that will be hitting the market in September.

We were given a glimpse of the titles that will be released from September. These included:

Soul Beach by Kate Harrison

Kate reading from Soul Beach

When Alice Forster receives an email from her dead sister she assumes it must be a sick practical joke. Then an invitation arrives to the virtual world of Soul Beach, an idyllic online paradise of sun, sea and sand where Alice can finally talk to her sister again – and discover a new world of friendships, secrets and maybe even love . . . . But why is Soul Beach only inhabited by the young, the beautiful and the dead? Who really murdered Megan Forster? And could Alice be next? The first book in an intriguing and compelling trilogy centred around the mystery of Megan Forster’s death.




Darkness Falls by Mia James

Shelter by Harlan Coben – starring the nephew of his best-selling hero Myron Bolitar

Dark Parties by Sara Grant
Neva keeps a list of The Missing – the people like her grandmother who were part of her life but who have now vanished. The people that everyone else pretends never existed. In a nation isolated beneath the dome of the Protectosphere – which is supposed to protect, but also imprisons – Neva and her friends dream of freedom. But life is becoming complicated for Neva. She’s falling for her best friend’s boyfriend – and she’s learning more than she ever wanted to know about what might be happening to The Missing…

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you’ve never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens. In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visiting journalist, Eric Seven, and a young local woman known as Merle are ritually slain. Their deaths echo a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire they come close to finding what they’ve lost. In a novel comprising seven parts, each influenced by a moon – the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter’s moon, the blood moon – this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting.

The Double Shadow by Sally Gardner

Arnold Ruben has created a memory machine, a utopia housed in a picture palace, where the happiest memories replay forever, a haven in which he and his precious daughter can shelter from the war-clouds gathering over 1937 Britain. But on the day of her seventeenth birthday Amaryllis leaves Warlock Hall and the world she has known and wakes to find herself in a desolate and disturbing place. Something has gone terribly wrong with her father’s plan. Against the tense backdrop of the second World War Sally Gardner explores families and what binds them.

The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

In 2012 there is more to look forward to – which will almost make up for the end of the world (if the Mayans are to be believed)

The Hunting Ground by Cliff McNish
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
Crossing Over by Anna Kendal.
The Double Edged Sword by Sarah Silverwood
Hollow Pike by James Dawson
An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons
Dark Mist Rising by Anna Kendall
Firespell by Chloe Neill
Darkness Falls by Mia James
Raining Fire by Alan Gibbons
The Traitor’s Gate by Sarah Silverwood
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
A Bright and Terrible Sword by Anna Kendall

After the official presentations and author talks we were invited out onto the Orion patio where we ate snacks, drank our way through the wines and juices on offer and chatted to the authors and Orion’s Fierce Fiction team.

Sally Gardner is fantastic, very forthright about her views on children’s literature and a total pleasure to chat to. She is one of the (many) authors I think will go down a treat at my school. The cover to The Double Shadow is an image taken from a 1930’s German film, the premise sounds amazing and I am looking forward to reading it!

I met Sara Grant while waiting to be let in to the Orion Offices at the beginning of the evening, and afterwards we chatted for ages about the importance of good libraries, reading and networking. She is currently in my top 10 list of nicest authors I know, she was so lovely that I had to hug her. Dark Parties is her first novel.

This event is the first time I have had the opportunity to meet Marcus Sedgwick he looks the part of a rock star author and everything said about him by the people I know that have met him is true (very relaxed and easy to talk to).

I did not have much of a chance to chat to Kate Harrison except to get my proof copy of Soul Beach signed as she was surrounded constantly by a group of eager bloggers.

I would like to say a BIG thank you to Nina and Orion for the invitation (and ARCs), getting an idea of what is coming soon is exciting and getting to meet authors as well as the Indigo team was fantastic! I am looking forward to reviewing the titles that I have received.

A slideshow of photos from the evening follows below and a group photo of the authors and bloggers..

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

Bloggers & Authors in no particular order: Liz Bankes Carly Bennett Jenny Davies Liz de Jager Mark de Jager Louise Ellis Barrett Suzi Feay Caroline Fielding Sarah Gibson Darren Hartwell Matthew Imrie Neil Jackson Beth Kemp Karen Meek Amanda Rutter Becky Scott Jeanette Towey Keith Walters Vivienne Dacosta Michael Thorn Andrew Hall Marcus Sedgwick Sara Grant Kate Harrison Sally Gardner

Angel's Fury by Bryony Pearce

Every atrocity. Every war. Every act of vengeance. Will come back to haunt her.

One fallen angel walks the earth to bring mankind to its destruction…Turning love into hate, forgiveness into blame, hope into despair. Through the fires of hell he will come to haunt one girl’s dreams.

But what if everything she ever dreamed was true?

Every time Cassie Smith tries to sleep, she is plagued by visions of a death: A little girl called Zillah. A victim of the holocaust. In desperation Cassie is sent for treatment in an old manor house. There she meets other children just like her. Including Seth…Seth who looks so familiar. Her dream becomes nightmare. And then reality.

A word of warning: this book is like no other YA paranormal fantasy I have read recently in that it has no grand love triangle, rectangle or rhombus.

Cassie’s nightmares are destroying her life, every night Zilalh’s short life haunts her dreams, and when she discovers that her dreams are more than just nightmares things get really scary. Brave and resourceful, Cassie is also totally out of her depth she is also in denial about what may be happening to her and wants nothing more than to return to a quiet life free of her night terrors.

Angel’s fury is rich in paranoia, fear and runs along at a frantic pace. From the beginning we get the picture of Cassie as an outsider in her school preferring to be alone rather than to face the pity and scorn of her classmates to a closed environment where she is cloistered with others who know what she is going through her mind, but even her memories may not be as accurate as she remembers!

I was kept guessing at what was going on with the story until the final third of the book when everything started to fall into place. Reading Angel’s Fury was like falling into a fast current in a river and being dragged along.

Angel’s Fury is confusing, creepy and utterly compelling! It may well be the best YA paranormal fantasy book I read this year!

Under 14's Only @ My Favourite Books

This is the second year My Favourite Books blog will be hosting Under 14’s Only Month. We were approached by some of our local librarians last year and told – confidentially – that a lot of younger readers are feeling very left out when it comes to books for the younger age group, as everyone seemed so focussed on all the teen novels coming out. Which they of course could not read as these were in some cases too mature for them.

This really worried us and as we are always happy to fight for a cause, we established Under 14’s Only Month to review both old and brand new books that are out there for this large age-group. The publishers have been amazing and have inundated us with a variety of books for all ages within this broad spectrum we’ve chosen to showcase. Between the three of us – Mark, Sarah and myself – we are hoping to highlight some great books and authors in July. I have roped in fellow bloggers and reviewers to make their case for their favourite books for younger readers and I’ve got interviews with authors set up to talk about inspirations, monsters and other shenanigans.

We know how hard librarians, parents and teacher work to get kids reading and to keep them reading – if we can hook readers young, we stand a great chance that they remain readers, especially the reluctant readers, be they boys or girls. We have received some great titles from Barrington Stoke, Macmillan Kids, Walker Books, Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster, Random House Kids, Templar to name but a handful of publishers taking part in this. Their enthusiasm blew my mind and now all we ask for is an audience to share these amazing books with. Please come and visit the blog and comment and recommend us to everyone you know who may benefit from reading the reviews. And remember there is a chance to win two boxes full of books at the end of July. We are always hungry to hear about more titles and new authors we’ve overlooked. Come visit us for the month of July and enjoy our Under 14’s Only Month celebration of fiction for younger readers.

Liz, Mark and Sarah of My Favourite Books Blog