Monthly Archives: August 2011

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Teen Librarian Monthly: August

The August edition of Teen Librarian Monthly is now available to download here:

TLM August

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick UK trailer revealed

The third novel in Becca Fitzpatrick’s bestselling Hush, Hush saga is published globally on 4th October 2011, and under strict embargo until then, but here is an exclusive taster to keep fans going until the book is available!

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

Rosalinda Fitzroy had been asleep for 62 years when she was woken by a kiss.

Locked away in the chemically-induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten sub-basement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew. Now, her parents and her first love are long dead, and Rose – hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire – is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat.

Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh. But when a deadly danger jeopardise her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes – or be left without any future at all.

This book… just wow! I utterly adored it!

Rosalinda (Rose) is literally a girl out of time, discovered locked in a stasis chamber in a hidden room she is awakened by a kiss – so far so sleeping beauty I thought but then I was taken on a tour through a future not far removed from our own present. A world ravaged by catastrophe in the not too distant past, but still an event that lay between Rose’s past and the present (future) that she finds herself in.

A Long, Long Sleep is an epic multi-layered tale about a girl who is as much an outsider in the time she finds herself in as she was when she was in the past. At its heart, the book is about a journey of discovery and self-realisation, as well as love, loss adventure and coming to terms with abuse. I was blown away – I love science-fiction, and this book like all the best sci-fi novels I have read over the years has the science-y parts round the edges of the story just visible to the naked eye but not intruding enough to take over the tale. I found the story of Rose’s childhood as heart-breaking and compelling as her story in her future was thrilling! Her developing friendship and infatuation with the gorgeous Bren as well as meeting Otto, someone else who was as much an outsider as her was fantastically captured. The lack of a love triangle was also appreciated as these seem to have become a staple of a large number YA titles of late.

Rose may have needed rescuing in the beginning but she grows through the tale from a frightened, confused girl into a young woman with a purpose and deeper understanding of who she is and what she needs to accomplish.

Anna Sheehan knows how to drop hints and leave plot-points trailing for future novels I want to see more of this world and travel to the colonies in the solar system, learn more about the blue-skinned human/alien hybrids, hear more of the slang and just find out what happens next!

Mark Walden’s top villains from children’s books

As anyone who’s read any of the book in the HIVE series has probably figured out, I have a bit of an obsession with villains. I don’t really know what it is but, there’s just something about them that always makes them the most memorable characters for me. The hero always seems a bit bland in comparison and there have been a few occasions when I would find myself rushing through the sections about the do-gooder in my impatience to get to the next bit of delicious villainy. Having said that, there are a few villains from children’s books that I particularly love and today I thought I’d share three of my absolute favourites with you.

Cruella de Vil

When my daughter first saw the animated version of One Hundred and One Dalmatians she told me that her favourite character was “the nasty lady”. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud. This fur-loving monster is one of the all time greats. How can you fail to love anyone whose first thought upon seeing a dalmatian puppy is how lovely it would look as a coat? Made truly infamous by Disney’s adaptation of Dodie Smith’s Novel she has terrorised children and dog lovers for over fifty years

The White Witch

Bad enough that she’s the ruthless, self-proclaimed queen of Narnia but, only someone truly, spectacularly evil could force children to eat the world’s most revolting substance, which is, of course, Turkish Delight. I’m sorry, my personal tastes might have influenced things slightly there… Honestly though, I’m prepared to admit that you might see turning people to stone and plunging an entire world into a magical endless winter as somewhat more unpleasant, but, really, have you ever actually tasted the stuff? I could even forgive the whole Aslan sacrificing thing but, there’s simply no excuse for Turkish Delight under any circumstances.

Willy Wonka

Wait! Come back! I’ve not completely lost the plot, honestly! I know what you’re thinking, Willy Wonka’s not a villain. Oh really? Here’s a man who invites a group of unsuspecting children to his factory whereupon they all suffer a series of mysterious “accidents”. All the while he seems strangely unconcerned by these “accidents”, almost as if he might have planned the all along…. You might think he’s a good guy but I would argue that, in fact, he’s one of the most brilliant and subtly wriiten villains in all of children’s literature. Roald Dahl is, without doubt, my favourite children’s author of all time and he produced some of the most fantastic villains ever created. Whether it’s the Grand High Witch, Miss Trunchbull or Boggies, Bunce and Bean they are all spectacular examples of the art of creating truly loathsome bad guys. Wonka’s still the greatest though….


Three sets of the HIVE series plus rucksack, t-shirt & wristbands

  • To enter leave a comment about who your favourite children’s/YA villain.
  • Three names will be chosen at random (drawn on the 30th August)
  • UK only
  • The kids will be alright!

    So there I was, poking around the Live Magazine website when I came across this amazing article about the riots:

    The rioters have misrepresented the young community by attacking pointlessly and gaining goods that aren’t going to help them. A valid cause for protest has become a mass free for all shopping spree.

    Elias Wachenje, 12 Years Old

    You know – I think the kids will be alright! This should be read by everybody, please share the links.

    The blaming begins today (maybe we can stop it here today too)

    I must say that I did not expect it to start so soon. One lovely letter refererd to ‘teenage morons’, with views like that sometimes I begin to despair!

    Meanwhile in other news today:

    London riots: Teacher, 31, pleads guilty to looting as court cases start (link)

    Wow – an adult teacher, not a teenager.

    Just goes to show that all ages were involved. Children, teenagers, adults.

    It is not important trying to figure out which age group had the most involvement, what we should do is try and work out how we can stop this from happening again. We are all capable of reaching out to people outside our comfort zones, start small – try saying hello, strike up a conversation. I think that libraries are perfectly placed to help begin the healing. They are one of the few places where everyone is welcome and libraries actually encourage loitering without making people passing through feel uncomfortable. It also makes talking to strangers less uncomfortable, books, DVDs and magazines are pretty innocuous topics to begin a conversation with.

    Strike up a conversation in a library! At the very least you may find a new author to enjoy and you could also start seeing things from someone else’s perspective or maybe even make a new friend.

    Riot! The kids aren't alright!

    So Tuesday evening and bits of London are burning, Manchester is the latest urban centre to be hit with Birmingham and Liverpool having gone before that. On Twitter there are reports and rumours of riotous behaviour.

    The word “youth” has been used a lot. This is not and has never been a political blog, I do not rant about the unfairness of how young people are looked upon and treated in the UK. I have heard people I know and in some cases have worked with refer to young people, as hoodies, rugrats, chavs and even worse. Now after the past few days of rampant vandalism and theft I fear that all young people are going to be tarred with the same brush and have more epithets added to the already large pool of slurs against them vandals, thieves, anarchists.

    I have seen pictures and videos of children and teens taking part in the riots, disturbances wholesale theft and vandalism. What may be overlooked is the fact that these violent kids are in the minority, once the smoke clears and the rubble is cleared away and all the right noises have been made by the powers that be and various civic and community leaders the lasting legacy will be a memory of youth led violence which will lead to even more demonising of young people than ever before.

    I could be wrong, money could be pumped into youth services and into libraries to offer young people an alternative. What are the chances?

    Here is a bittersweet story that I will share with you:

    When I worked in Edmonton Green Library I ran a monthly manga group, it ran on the first Thursday of every month without fail for nearly four years, from 3:30 – 7pm over 20 teens gathered in the library to share their passion for manga, anime and just to hang out in a safe location. I left Enfield Libraries a year ago to work for Brent, and within six or so months the manga group had been wound up due to staff lacking the knowledge and confidence to run it. Not everyone can work with teens and you do need a working knowledge of manga to be able to talk about it.

    I dropped into Edmonton Green Library last Thursday to say hi to my ex-colleagues, and in the (reduced) Teen area were half a dozen of the original members of the manga group – they had enjoyed it so much that they had taken it upon themselves to keep it going at the same time and place each month.

    They were relaxed and enjoying themselves and, as teens do, they got a bit noisy and I heard some staff tell them to keep it down or they would have to leave as they had been there all afternoon. From what I could ascertain no-one had complained and I had heard them make an even bigger noise when I used to be there. The kids did run a massive guilt trip on me for leaving and said they missed me and the library was not the same.

    They are also feeling side-lined by the service. This is a group of young adults 16/17 years of age that want to run a group in the library, they do not cause more trouble than the average library user and are generally self-reliant and they are ignored! Why? Because working with teens makes some people feel uncomfortable and unless they are ordered to do it they will get away with not doing it. BAM! an entire segment of the community is sidelined – and people wonder why some teens say they feel like there is a conspiracy against them.

    After this week it will be worse. I do not advocate hugging a hoodie like D-Cam did, actual physical contact between adults and teens is not advised, mainly to keep things simple.

    Remember Matthew’s First Rule: no touchy the librarian!

    All I am saying is that Teens are good people they are and have been affected by the rioting.

    Next time you think something negative about a teenager try replacing the word “teenager” with “”black”, “gay” “disabled” and it may sink in that discriminating against someone on the basis of their youth is just that – discrimination.

    The kids are not alright and we need to look after them and we can start by treating them like we treat everyone else, and it doesn’t hurt to smile either!

    The Graveyard Book silent movie

    A silent film adaptation of the Carnegie & Newbery Prize award winning children’s novel, The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman.

    Becca Fitzpatrick October Tour of the UK

    Tues 18th

    LONDON 6:30pm
    Talk & Signing at Foyles Bookshop
    The Gallery space
    Charing Cross Road
    WC2H 0EB

    Talk & signing.
    FREE. Reserve a place online at Foyles or phone the store on 020 7437 5660

    Weds 19th

    BOSTON 7pm

    Talk & Signing with Waterstones Boston
    Blackfriars Theatre
    Spain Lane
    PE21 6HP

    Entry by ticket only. Tickets £3, available in-store or tel:
    01205 360002

    Thurs 20th

    IRELAND 6pm
    Talk & Signing: Eason
    40 Lower O’Connell Street

    To reserve a place tel: 00 353 (0) 1 858 3800

    Sat 22nd



    Signing at Eternal Twilight 6
    Hilton Metropole, Birmingham NEC

    Full details and tickets available from

    Signing at Waterstones Birmingham24-26 High Street
    B4 7SL

    To reserve a signed copy (subject to availability. Reserved copies may not carry a dedication) phone the store on 0843 290 8149

    Sun 23rd



    Signing at Eternal Twilight 6
    Hilton Metropole, Birmingham NEC

    Full details and tickets available from

    Mon 24th


    Talk & signing at Waterstones Windsor Windsor Library
    Memorial Hall
    Straight Road
    Old Windsor
    SL4 2RN

    Entry by ticket only. Tickets available from Waterstones, 20-21 Peascod Street, Windsor, SL4 1DU, tel: 01753 856456

    Signing at Waterstones Bromley 100 The Glades
    BR1 1DJ

    To reserve a signed copy (subject to availability. Reserved copies may not carry a dedication) phone the store on 020 8460 6037

    Talk & signing with Waterstones Crawley
    Crawley Library
    Southgate Avenue
    RH10 6HG

    Entry by ticket only. Tickets £3 available from the library tel: 01293 651751, or in-store at Waterstones, 83-84 County Mall, RH10 1FD, tel: 01293 533471

    Tues 25th



    Signing at Waterstones Bluewater
    West Village
    DA9 9SE

    To reserve a signed copy (subject to availability. Reserved copies may not carry a dedication) phone the store on
    0843 290 8159

    Writing Children’s Books While Black and Feminist

    I received an e-mail from the wonderful Kerensa at Ms.Magazine about an interview they are running on their blog with Jacqueline Woodson–one of the few queer, Black or feminist writers of bestselling contemporary children’s books.

    Rather than grab the interview and post it here which would be illegal (read this to find out more) you can find links below and a video of the first part of the interview.

    You can read the interview here:

    Writing Children’s Books While Black and Feminist

    Or watch the first part of the interview here:

    You can watch the entire interview on Zetta Elliott‘s youtube channel