The second poster in the Gandalf’s Exam Tips series
The record skips, there is a screech as the needle runs across the surface… Peppa Pig appearing in Teen Librarian?
Surely Peppa is more suited to a younger readership? Yes – yes she is!
However… Peppa Goes to London is one of my daughter’s current favourite books of the moment.
I know that if I wish to attract her attention then all I have to do is pick it up and concentrate furiously on the story and ignore her; moments later as if by magic I will see her smiling, cherubic face peer round the side of the book before she pushes it aside to sit in my lap and wait for me to read the story, sometimes she will grab the book and tell me all about it – I may not be able to understand what she is saying, but she is emphatic in her love for this book.
Featuring recognisable London landmarks from Buckingham Palace to Tower Bridge and ending up at Trafalgar Square with Her Majesty the Queen acting as a daredevil bus driving tour guide. Any story that ends with the Queen, Peppa and all her friends joyfully jumping in muddy puddles is great for all ages!
Look – Peppa Pig is phenomenally popular, appearing as she does on TV, in books, as plush toys and stickers and more! All the books that feature her are exceptionally popular as small children around the world love her and her family. I know too that much like Tellytubbies and other popular child-centric characters that appeared in pop culture before her that some adults are not massive fans but my daughter loves reading and watching her.
But don’t just take my word for it. Check out my daughter below:
Daddy Pig is also the ‘face’ of The Book Trust’s Bath Book Bed programme to help weary parents get their children to sleep at night.
Research finds sleep deprivation is the most stressful challenge about becoming a parent
Research out today by children’s reading charity BookTrust reveals new parents are completely sleep deprived in the child’s first few years, losing out on a whopping 657 hours per year, which equates to almost four weeks of less sleep a year.
BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity also found:
The survey polled over 1,000 families on bedtime routines and sleeping habits and revealed that half of parents who don’t follow a Bath, Book, Bed routine would favour a night of uninterrupted sleep over romantic weekends and nights out with friends. Health, productivity and sense of humour also suffer in those who aren’t following the nightly routine with 34% eating poorly, 24% nodding off during the day and 34% taking a knock to their sense of humour.
BookTrust’s annual Bath, Book, Bed campaign aims to solve these problems in three easy steps, encouraging parents to stick to a simple bedtime routine and asking families to share stories as a regular part of bedtime to help their little ones sleep soundly.
Jo Frost, worldwide parenting expert and BookTrust Ambassador said:
BookTrust’s Bath, Book, Bed campaign is a really straightforward approach to tackling a problem that most parents with young children face – the bedtime battle. Bedtime routines do not need to be complicated for especially-tired parents on their last legs. Implementing healthy sleeping habits, and a consistent bedtime routine will not only calm down the child and parents but, provide an environment so that both child and parent can read together helping them both relax and wind down. Meaning everyone will be well-rested, happier and healthier.
Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust said:
BookTrust understands how troublesome it can be for parents to get young children to sleep and we know that sometimes it can feel like a never-ending struggle, so we’re sending out 450,000 copies of our Bath, Book, Bed booklet filled with advice and tips to help families tackle bedtime head on and ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep.
Sweet dreams start with a simple routine. Families can get involved by attending events or visiting www.bathbookbed.org.uk to register for tips, advice and recommended bedtime books. Get involved on social media @booktrust #bathbookbed
Hi Michael, welcome to TeenLibrarian. Thank you for giving up your time to answer a few questions about The White Hare.
Before we begin would you please introduce yourself to the audience?
I am a publishing director at Bloomsbury, where I have authors like Peter Frankopan (whose book The Silk Roads was on the bestseller lists for thirty-one weeks last year, William Dalrymple, Frank Dikotter, Adam Sisman, John Simpson, Anna Pavord and many others. Lots of biography, history, memoir. I live in south London, and have a family that includes three now rather tall sons.
I think that I am right in saying that The White Hare is your first novel for young readers?
It is. I’ve written two other, adult novels; Smashing People and Sacrifices.
What inspired you to begin writing for a teen audience?
About fourteen years ago I went with a New Zealand friend to see the film ‘Whale Rider’, where a young girl has to win the trust of her grandfather by proving herself the natural leader of their tribe; she forms a bond with a whale and is ridden out to sea, and indeed under the sea. It made me want to write something that combined human relationships with a magicality that perhaps transcends and heals the fractures in the real world. I think Robbie’s encounter with Mags’s world helps him reconcile himself to the world he finds himself in, and ultimately to forgiveness towards his father.
What feeling did you have when you saw the first finished copy of The White Hare?
As a book comes together you see all sorts of aspects of it; cover ideas, proofs, book proofs, bits of flap copy, the look of the pages, and you know the text back to front from working on it so long. So in a way there’s no surprise when you see the final thing; but it is just amazing anyway, especially when your publisher has taken such care and paid such attention as Zephyr has. And detail such as the light blue silk ribbon and the way in which they have used the cover on the pages within the book, which I didn’t know about, were a source of lovely surprise and delight.
What is the most satisfying part of the writing process for you?
To be honest, it’s simply the writing; making something up on the pages, especially when you have an idea you are confident with and are just working it through. I write in ink in a rather lovely library, so there’s a very pleasurable feeling of seclusion and communing with one’s own thoughts and ideas; I’m always rather astonished that I have any.
TWH is also the first novel published under the Zephyr imprint – do you feel any pressure being their headline author?
I’m very proud to be their launch title, and I so hope it works for them (and me). They’ve done a terrific job, and I feel just the ordinary anxiety about what’s going to happen to my poor little brainchild, whom I hope many will love as I do.
Is any part of the story based on personal experiences?
That’s tricky. Lots of little bits and pieces along the way. Generally, I grew up in south London, as did Robbie, and we’ve been going down to a cottage between Arthur’s Seat on the Stourhead estate and Cadbury Castly, King Arthur’s castle, as Mags tells Robbie for twenty-five years, which I always felt was a deeply magical place (the cottage overlooks the Somerset Levels, which feature in the book).
Do you ever read the works of other Teen/MG authors? If yes what can you recommend?
Apart from Rowling and Patrick Ness, I drew upon my own favourites: Alan Garner, John Masefield and Barry Hines’s A Kestrel for a Knave (a friend of mine spotted a bit of Jez Butterworth in there, too).
How would you describe The White Hare to pique the interest of a potential reader?
That’s a hard question and something I am still working on! To any readers out there I would say that The White Hare is, at its core, a coming-of-age story. I would love the reader to join me on Robbie and Mags’ journey as they learn about what it means to love in a world where this is the bravest thing a person can do. And if you enjoy my story as I tell it, then I have succeeded in all I set out to do.
Do you ever visit reading groups in schools and libraries? If yes what is the best way to get hold of you?
Not so far, but very happy to do so. You can get in touch with the Publicity Director at Head of Zeus, Suzanne Sangster.
London, 13th March 2017: Sophia Bennett triumphed over fellow competing authors to win the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s highest accolade, The Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year, with Love Song, published by Chicken House. This is only the second time in the award’s 57 year history that the RNA’s most prestigious prize has been awarded to a Young Adult title, reflecting the increasing popularity of this sub-genre. Prue Leith presented Sophia with her trophies and a cheque for £5,000 at a star-studded event, compèred by author and broadcaster Jane Wenham-Jones.
Sophia Bennett was the winner of the Young Adult Novel of the Year category. Her book then went forward, along with those of the six other category winners – Contemporary, Epic, Historical Romantic Novel, Paranormal or Speculative Romantic Novel, Romantic Comedy and RoNA Rose – to contest the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) most coveted award, the Goldsboro Books Romantic Novel of the Year. For the first time in the awards’ history the shortlist included both traditionally and independently published authors.
It was a double first for novelist Kate Johnson, who was named winner of the first Paranormal or Speculative Romantic Novel Award for Max Seventeen, and was also the first self-published author in the award’s 57 year history to win one of the prestigious RoNAs.
A panel of independent judges read the seven category winners’ novels before meeting to debate the finer points of each book. The panel included Matt Bates, Fiction Buyer for WHSmith Travel; journalist and novelist Fanny Blake; Ron Johns, bookseller and publisher; and Caroline Sanderson, Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Worcester and Associate Editor for The Bookseller.
Romantic Novel of the Year Category Winners
Prior to announcing the overall award winner, Prue Leith revealed the winners of the individual categories and presented them with star-shaped crystal trophies.
The winners were:
Debbie Johnson, Summer at the Comfort Food Café, HarperImpulse
Winner Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year
(for mainstream romantic novels set post-1960)
Janet Gover, Little Girl Lost, Choc Lit
Winner Epic Romantic Novel of the Year
(for novels containing serious issues or themes, including gritty, multi-generational stories)
Kate Kerrigan, It Was Only Ever You, Head of Zeus
Winner Historical Romantic Novel of the Year
(for novels set in a period before 1960)
Kate Johnson, Max Seventeen, independently published
Winner Paranormal or Speculative Romantic Novel
(for novels that include elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, whether paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, time slip or worlds that include ghosts, vampires or creatures of legend.)
Penny Parkes, Out of Practice, Simon & Schuster
Winner Romantic Comedy Romantic Novel of the Year
(for consistently humorous or amusing novels)
Scarlet Wilson, Christmas in the Boss’s Castle, Mills & Boon Cherish
Winner RoNA Rose Award
(for category/series and shorter romance)
Sophia Bennett, Love Song, Chicken House
Winner Young Adult Romantic Novel of the Year
(featuring protagonists who are teenagers or young adults)
Sophia Bennett’s Love Song was a unanimous choice among the judges, who were impressed by the strength and authenticity of the main character’s voice. They felt the book was well-written with plenty of detail, and great sensitivity in some of the scenes. The judges commented “Love Song is an intelligent and thoughtful read which handles the all-consuming emotion of a first crush rather beautifully.”
Eileen Ramsay, Chairman of the RNA, said, “”This is the second year that a Young Adult novel has won the overall award, demonstrating the growing appeal of YA fiction. This wonderful story celebrates the sensitive treatment of first love. Huge congratulations to a very deserving winner!”
David Headley, Managing Director of Goldsboro Books, commented, “The diversity of this year’s winners, including for the first time, a self-published author, confirms romantic fiction as an exciting and still innovative genre, which continues to delight readers.”
Outstanding Achievement Awards
Barbara Erskine is the author of thirteen bestselling novels and three collections of short stories that demonstrate her interest in both history and the supernatural. It is thirty years since the publication of her first novel, Lady of Hay, which has been in continuous publication since 1986 and sold over three million copies worldwide.
Adele Parks has sold over three million UK edition copies of her novels and her books have been translated into over 26 languages. Every one of her 15 novels has been a bestseller in the UK. Both Barbara and Adele were presented with outstanding achievement awards for their continued championing of the RNA and romantic fiction.
For me The Hate U Give is that book!
It had me openly weeping on a train by page 26.
It stoked anger within me – against the systems that keep people down, that normalise the murder of children at the same time as denying them fair and equal choices, freedoms and education.
I am a child (and adult) of privilege; growing up white and male insulated me from what most of the world experiences. Having a conscience and sense of social justice I naturally gravitate left and believe that the inequalities of the world have to be fought and the systemic racism and patriarchialism of the world as it is need to be challenged and dismantled. What I do not have are the experiences of those that are not white and male.
The Hate U Give has been my first experience of seeing the world through the eyes of a person that lives in a world that judges her and her friends and family by the colour of her skin and gender.
It has been said that writing is a political act, and it cannot be more true with The Hate U Give, reading this novel is activism. But it is more than that, to merely describe it as a political novel or an ‘issues book’ would be to diminish it. This is a story about life, love, family, community and loss. For people who daily experience the acts contained within its pages, this book is a mirror showing themselves and their lives; for communities disconnected from these experiences it can act as bridge to understanding and building empathy.
To Angie Thomas I say want to say thank you! With this book you have strengthened my resolve to fight for and with my friends and colleagues for a better world.
To everyone else I say – read this book!
If you know people that say things like “All lives matter!” in the face of the Black Lives Matter movement and the institutionalised oppression and murder of those whose skin colour does not resemble their own, or they believe that we live, love, work and play on a level playing field then buy then a copy. While you are doing that, buy yourself a copy, The Hate U Give is a book for everyone.
Thug Life: TuPac Shakur:
CILIP announces independently chaired review of Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals as part of its wider Equality and Diversity Plan
CILIP, the library and information association, has announced plans to include an independently chaired review of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals as part of the organisation’s wider Equality and Diversity Action Plan.
CILIP is due to publish its Equality and Diversity Action Plan, led by the CILIP Ethics Committee and the Board of Trustees, in the summer of 2017. The Plan is as a result of on-going work, following previously published research commissioned in 2015 by CILIP and the Archives and Records Association, which outlined diversity issues in the library, archives, records, information management and knowledge management sector, including a gender split in the workforce of 78.1% female to 21.9% male (UK workforce 50.1% female and 49.9% male) and 96.7% of the workforce identify as ‘white’ (UK workforce 87.5% identify as ‘white’).
CILIP’s Action Plan will identify steps in both the short and long-term to improve and champion equality and diversity within CILIP, its governance, membership and the wider library and information sector. It will now include details of the review process for the Medals.
Nick Poole, CILIP Chief Executive, said:
We are committed to championing diversity, equality and inclusion through all of CILIP’s activities, from the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals to the wider library and information sector, while also confronting and challenging structures of inequality. We know there are long-standing and embedded challenges and we see this as a tremendous opportunity to promote positive change for ourselves and the sector. For this reason, we are announcing the publication of our Equality and Diversity Action Plan and an independently chaired review into the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.
The decision to hold an independently chaired review of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals was taken by CILIP and the Working Party who plan and develop the Medals, following concerns raised about the lack of BAME representation on the 2017 Carnegie Medal longlist announced in February. The review will inform the annual evaluation process and long-term planning around the Medals and accompanying shadowing scheme. The review process – which will provide recommendations about how diversity, equality and inclusion can best be championed and embedded into its work – will be open, transparent and accountable and will proactively seek views and contributions from the widest possible range of stakeholders. The review will begin following the announcement of the 2017 winners in June and follow the 2018 prize cycle.
Tricia Adams, Chair of the Youth Libraries Group National Committee and Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards judging panel, commented: We are completely committed, as Medals judges and librarians, to championing diversity, equality and inclusion and challenging issues of structural inequality in a positive and constructive way.
The shortlist for the 2017 CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals will be announced on Thursday 16 March 2017. The winners of the Medals, and the Amnesty CILIP Honour (which commends human rights in children’s literature), will be announced on 19 June 2017.