Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Berkshire Book Award

Awards come through thick and fast. Here is news of the latest. In first place a non-fiction title The Dangerous Book for Boys followed by Candyfloss and then The Boy in Striped Pyjamas.

The organisers say:
This is the third winner of the Berkshire Book Award and the first non-fiction book to receive the overwhelming approval of Berkshire’s young people. The winners will be invited to the 2007 Launch in the Autumn.

Since the announcement of the shortlist in December 2006, over 50 schools across the county have involved pupils aged between 11 and 14 in reading and reviewing the six short-listed titles. Their reviews can now be read on the award website –

The inclusion of The Dangerous Book for Boys on the shortlist brought a new dimension to the Award this year. Many more boys have taken part than in previous years and this has encouraged them to read the other books on the shortlist.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007



Calling readers of all ages, parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians: in fact anyone who loves children’s books.

CILIP is giving you the chance to have your say in the search to find the nation’s favourite Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal winning books of all time.

CILIP’s online poll to find the top winner for each Medal will be launched on Friday April 20th 2007 at Seven Stories in Newcastle, kicking off a season of celebration to mark the 70th birthday of the Carnegie Medal and the 50th birthday of the Kate Greenaway Medal.
A panel of children’s book experts, including three former chairs of the Carnegie & Kate Greenaway judging panel has selected a Top 10 of winning titles for both Medals, from the 120 marvellous books which have won these two prestigious awards since they were first awarded in 1937 and 1957 respectively.

Will you agree with the judges? Have they included your own favourites? Which books will you vote for?

Find out which books have made the Top 10s, and write a review of any of the past winners for each Medal at Re-read your favourites, share them with your family and cast your votes online before 12 noon, Thursday, 14 June.

On that Midsummer’s Night, the results of the vote will be announced at a huge celebration party at the British Library in London.

Don’t forget to have your say!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Henrietta Branford Writing Competition

Calling all young writers....Henrietta Branford Writing Competition

If you enjoy writing and are aged 18 or under, why not enter the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition? The prize includes a trip to London to meet the authors shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award which celebrates new children's writers, at a party to be held at Walker Books.
One of the winners will also have the chance to choose £500 worth of books for their school library, to be provided by Peters Bookselling Services.

To enter, you need to log on to to finish thestory that Frances Hardinge, last year's Branford Boase Award winner, has started on the website.Your story must be no more than 1500 words. Full details are on the website. The closing date for entries is 25 May 2007.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Portsmouth Library service is pleased to announce the shortlists for the 2007

The Portsmouth Book Award allows young people the opportunity to decide their book of the year. Pupil judges decide the winner in three categories following extensive reading and debating.
In 2007 the process involves 2,923 young people.
Longer Novel Judged by 142 Year 8 / 9 pupils from 11 schools
Fathallah, Judith, Monkey Taming, Random House
Glover, Sandra, Don’t Tell, Andersen Press
Higson, Charlie, Blood Fever, Puffin
Rose, Malcolm, Double Check, Kingfisher
Sage, Angie, Magyk, Bloomsbury
Sedgwick, Marcus, The Foreshadowing ,Orion Books
The winner will be notified after the discussion and voting event on 5th July 2007 and will be invited to attend an Award Celebration on a date to be agreed in September / October 2007.

Shorter Novel Judged by 1,522 Year 5 pupils from 24 schools
Cornwell, Nicki, Christophe’s Story, Frances Lincoln
Gardner, Sally, The Boy with Lightning Feet, Orion Books
Lawrence, Michael, The Griffin and Oliver Pie, Orchard Books
Shadow, Jak, The F.E.A.R Agency, Wizard Books
Willis, Jeanne, Rat Heaven, Macmillan
The winner will be notified when voting is completed in the last week of May 2007.
The winner will be invited to attend the Award Celebration 11th July 2007 at The Plaza Suite in Southsea.

Picture Book Judged by 1,259 Year 1 pupils from 22 schools
Andrae, Giles, Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, Puffin
Durant, Alan, Burger Boy, Andersen Press
Moss, Miriam, Bare Bear, Hodder
Willans, Tom, Wait! I want to Tell You a Story, Boxer Books
The winner will be notified when voting is completed in the last week of May 2007.
The winner will be invited to attend a Award Celebration in July 2007 in a Portsmouth location to be decided.

The Award is administered by Portsmouth City Library Service,
which works closely with school staff.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Chemotherapy, Cake and Cancer

Megan Blunt has written a very good guide to the disease, published this week by the children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent, called Chemotherapy, Cake and Cancer. It's a practical manual to help children cope during cancer treatment. And though cancer information booklets are ten-a-penny, Megan's is special because it compiles all the accoumulated knowledge and survival tips of the children on the ward; stuff you won't find anywhere else. It is also very funny, dedicated to Nat Burke, and is illustrated by Nat's father, Chris Burke, a professional cartoonist.

It can be ordered through the CLIC Sargent Child Cancer Helpline on 0800 1970068 and is available to download from

For further details read the excellent article by Simon Crompton in The Times March 3 2007 in the Body and Soul section of the paper from which the above information is extracted.

19 April, Rainbow Trust

Journalist and television presenter, Mariella Frostrup will be chairing a discussion panel of contemporary children's authors. The event, Writing the Right Things will be held at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 19 April, 2007 with all funds raised to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity. The charity support families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness.
Authors taking part in the discussion include; Malorie Blackman (Noughts and Crosses, Pig Heart Boy, Hacker soon to be published Unheard Voices), Kevin Brooks (Martyn Pig, Lucas and soon to be published, Being), Cathy Cassidy (Driftwood, Scarlett, Indigo Blue and Dizzy) and Nick Tucker (The Rough Guide to Children’s Books, The Child and the Book and Family Fictions).
Each writer will talk about what inspires them to write for children and how they approach sensitive topics in their work. The panel will also discuss changes in children’s literature over the last ten years and the audience will have the opportunity to put forward their questions too.

The invited authors were chosen as they tackle sensitive issues in their work. Rainbow Trust’s own Family Support Workers often use books as a means of engaging with a child to encourage them to express their feelings about the death of their sibling in a secure and supportive way.

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity has been providing practical and emotional support to families who have a seriously ill child for over twenty years now. The charity does this in two ways; Family Support Workers can provide non-medical 24 hour care in a family's own home by helping out with daily household tasks as well as providing emotional support.

Families can also spend time at the charity’s respite houses is Surrey and in Northumberland where families can enjoy a much needed break where all the daily practicalities are taken care of, allowing families to spend quality time together.

Mariella Frostrup, who will be chairing this discussion, said:
"I’m delighted to be chairing this very special event and supporting Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity. I’m very much looking forward to discussing these topics with such a well respected panel of children’s authors."
"Once you’ve discovered the joy of reading, it’s a pleasure that never leaves you. As well as it being an enjoyable pastime, literature can help children address a wide variety of topics that may be taboo in their everyday lives including death. Books can be a marvellous tool in which to initiate discussion and help children process some very difficult feelings."
"I hope to see many young faces in the audience asking lots of questions in what promises to be a lively and interesting debate."
To purchase tickets (£15.00 per person) or for further information, please contact Judith on 01372 220042 or email;