The Corbyn Comic Book

Politics and Cartoons have gone together since man first put pen to paper to pillory politicians for perfidy in print and picture.

It is far rarer I think that our ruling classes are celebrated in cartoon form, Barack Obama was one such leader and now (thanks to the folks at SelfMadeHero) Jeremy Corbyn is another.

A few years ago Mr Corbyn seemed like an archaic left-over from Labour’s more left-wing militant past; a reminder that politicians were not all slick carbon copies with PPE degrees from prestigious universities.

Then one day he was chosen to run against his more centrist colleagues in a leadership contest…

and he won.

The words “Labour will be unelectable for a generation” were bandied around, murmurs of mutiny from the Parliamentary Labour Party became louder, votes of no confidence to remove him happened; attempts to undermine him became an almost daily occurrence, with briefings to the press and high-profile resignations happening with tiresome regularity.

Throughout all of this he became more and more popular with the electorate; not that you would believe this considering the vituperative attacks by Britains right-wing press.

Theresa May, believing what she read & heard from the news about Labour being fatally weakened by an unelectable Corbyn; saw her chance to destroy all meaningful opposition to her Brexit plans and called a snap election.

She did not win.

Labour under Corbyn pulled them back enough to prevent a Conservative parliamentary majority, wiping out the Tories’ electoral lead and forcing them to go hat in hand to smaller parties to prop up their failing government.

Written and drawn in a variety of styles The Corbyn Comic Book is a collection of over 30 one to three page comic strips celebrating Corbyn the man, the jam lover, the Prime Minister?

Yes this comic is an indulgence, but it is wonderful and a window into how Jeremy Corbyn is seen in the minds of some wonderful comic artists.

I am a fan*!

Get it today!

*Of both Corbyn and this comic

#TeenLibrarian Monthly September 2017

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Unspooling The Red Ribbon… an Interview with Lucy Adlington


Hi Lucy, welcome to Teen Librarian and thank you for giving up your time to answer a few questions about The Red Ribbon.

Can you please introduce yourself to the audience?

Hello, I’m Lucy Adlington. I’m a writer and costume historian (which means I get to find out fantastic stories about people’s lives in the past, using clothes as clues). I live on a farm in Yorkshire and I love my work.

How would you describe The Red Ribbon to catch the attention of a potential reader?

The Red Ribbon is a story of four girls, each looking to survive in extreme circumstances. It’s also about love, courage, hope… and the power of clothes to transform our lives.

What inspired you to write the story?

The story of The Red Ribbon is based on real events in history. During World War Two, in the middle of Auschwitz – the Nazi concentration camp – there really was a dressmaking studio where prisoners could literally sew to save their lives. I was so staggered to discover this I just knew I had to share it with readers.

If readers would like to find out more information about the true story behind The Red Ribbon where would you recommend they look?

I’m working on a non-fiction book about the Auschwitz dressmakers. In the meanwhile, readers might like to read testimonies of Auschwitz survivors. I recommend Eva’s Story by Eva Schloss. She was Anne Frank’s stepsister. She survived Auschwitz as a teenager and still tours the UK speaking on behalf of refugees, and against discrimination.

Writing about historical events such as the Holocaust can be harrowing – did you find any parts of writing The Red Ribbon difficult?

The greatest challenge was daring to create fiction out of such a significant era of history, all the while remembering that while it’s history for us, it was people’s lives. I wanted to respect the truth even while weaving the fates of my own characters. I never, ever feel dulled to the horrors of warfare or genocide while reading or writing about them. They fed my anger against injustice and violent tribalism.

Can you recommend any other books based on the same time period to fans of your book?

My To Read pile is vast, and topping it are Elizabeth Wein’s books Codename Verity and Rose Under Fire. I loved Judith Kerr’s memoirs Bombs on Aunt Daisy (also When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit) And of course, Michelle Magorian’s Goodnight Mr Tom.

At the end of the Second World War world leaders started working towards a world where such atrocities could never take place again, now with the resurgence of the neo-Nazi movement and growth in hate crimes do you think the world is at risk at tipping towards fascism again?

There have always been extremists who seek to impose their constrictions on all levels of society. No matter how many times we say Never Again there are countries and cultures that promote right-wing doctrines. If we have the luxury of freedom we must use our voices against hate-speech. If we enjoy the luxury of living in a free society we must, in our daily lives and daily acts, promote community and connectedness.

Lastly will you be visiting libraries and schools once The Red Ribbon is published? If yes what is the best way to contact you?

I LOVE visiting libraries most of all – in schools, or in towns. As a child I would have lived in a library if I could (next best thing – being allowed to take home 12 library books a week). Librarians throughout my life have inspired me to read more, and to read more widely – I thank them all. You can see where I’ll be presenting talks about The Red Ribbon on my website www.historywardrobe.com There’s an online events diary.

#BAME authored books currently eligible to be nominated for the 2018 CILIP Carnegie Medal

The CILIP Carnegie Medal was rocked by controversy this year as the long and short lists for 2017 featured no books by Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) authors. At the time as a former judge and observer of the CKG Medals I made my views publicly known and am not going to go through most of them here.

I believe that it is possible for books to slip past fairly easily, due to the sheer volume of books published for children and young readers and the limits that publishers publicity departments face with regard to budget, many books are released with little or no official fanfare at all.

I also know that BAME authors do not face a level playing-field when it comes to being published, although the initiatives that have been springing up recently to remedy this is a step in the right direction.

In the interests of trying to help make sure that no authors are left behind, I am promoting all the BAME authors I can find that are eligible for nomination for 2018.

SO! If you are a Librarian and a member of CILIP then good news! You are eligible to nominate two books for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as two books for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal – I hope to put together a list of Greenaway eligible titles soon. I am not telling you to nominate books from the list below, but if you have read one or more (as I have) and you think that they deserve a chance at going for gold then nominate them!

  • Randa Abdel-Fatteh – The Lines We Cross
  • S.K. Ali – Saints and Misfits
  • Amy Alward – Potion Diaries Going Viral
  • Sita Brahmachari – Tender Earth
  • Jack Chen – See You in the Cosmos
  • Michaela DePrince – Ballerina Dreams (illus Ella Okstad)
  • Lorraine Gregory – Mold and the Poison Plot
  • Swapna Haddow – Dave Pigeon Nuggets (illus Sheena Dempsey)
  • Polly Ho-Yen – Fly Me Home
  • Catherine Johnson – Blade and Bone
  • Patrice Lawrence – Indigo Donut
  • Irfan Master – Out of Heart
  • Taran Matharu – Battlemage
  • Sandhya Menon – When Dimple Met Rishi
  • Kiran Milwood Hargrave – The Island at the End of Everything
  • Nick Mohamed – Young Magicians
  • Pooja Puri – The Jungle
  • Bali Rai – The Harder they Fall
  • Chitra Soundar – A Jar of Pickles and a Pinch of Justice (illus Uma Krishnaswamy)
  • Chitra Soundar – Pattan’s Pumpkin (illus Frane Lessac)
  • Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give
  • Alex Wheatle – Straight Outta Crongton
  • Nicola Yoon – The Sunis Also a Star
  •  
    If you have already made your choices then speak to colleagues that have not yet nominated! ALL members of CILIP are able to nominate – not just the ones working in Children’s & Young Peoples Librarianship.

    I will add more authors and titles as they pop up on my radar. If you know ones that are eligible please leave a comment and I will add them!

    l’bibliothèque, ç’est moi

    Paraphrasing the Sun King there although there is a bit of a dispute as to whether or not he actually said L’Etat, ç’est moi! (I am the State)

    I am stealing it and re-purposing it for the 21st century and for Librarians.

    So L’Bibliothèque, ç’est moi! – I am the Library!

    While a Librarian without a Library is still a Librarian, the opposite is not true – a Library without a Librarian becomes a room or building full of books and other resources that people without the requisite know-how are unable to access fully. So yes the Librarian makes the Library and can be said to actually be the Library.; at the very least the Librarian is the interface through which many people can access the services on offer.

    This train of thought led me to consider why so many schools have re-branded their Libraries as ‘Learning Resource Centres’, many are still run by Librarians, some are managed by Resource Centre Managers and still others are unstaffed; after all who needs a Librarian if you no longer have a Library?

    Use the Damn Library!

    Dear Teachers

    Now that the summer holidays are fading into a dim and distant memory and you are facing a school year full of students, teaching, marking and meetings. You probably feel a faint dread deep in your gut that you may be on your own in this! Sure you have fellow teachers, but they are facing challenges identical to yours!

    You know that you have to provide information to your students and find resources to use in your lessons, if you are a new teacher you may have to create these from scratch and if you are an old hand you may feel that what you have already may need refreshing or updating.

    If you feel overwhelmed or are not sure where to turn then may I make a suggestion?

    Many schools still have Librarians on either a full or part-time basis! Apart from shelving books, cataloguing and making sure that students do not destroy the place during break times the Librarian can:

  • Offer you resources to support your lesson plans – all you have to do is let the Librarian know what your information needs are for the year
  • Make space available for a break-out lesson in the Library, not just providing space but also assisting students in researching using books and online resources too
  • If you do not have the time or opportunity to bring your class to the Library, the he Librarian will happily put together a box (or more) of books and other resources and deliver them to your classroom ahead of the lesson (it does help to give advance notification and not five minutes
    before the lesson starts)

  • Provide a quiet place if you are feeling overwhelmed; while Librarians no longer do the shushing thing we do keep raucous behaviour to a minimum.
     
    Libraries offer all these services and more! We are also able to customise the library offer to your needs, all it takes is a quick visit and chat to let us know your requirements.

    To those of you that do use the Library thank you and please introduce your colleagues to this fantastic service and to everyone else what are you waiting for? Join hundreds… nay thousands of your colleagues that are already in on this awesome offer and USE THE DAMN LIBRARY!

    All the best

    Your Librarian

  • Pick up a banned book and celebrate the freedom to read with Banned Books Week 24-30 September 2017

    A coalition of UK-based organisations will host a variety of panels, events and discussions this month to explore the freedom to read as part of the internationally-celebrated Banned Books Week.

    Beginning with a workshop on 16 September hosted by Spread the Word and Islington Libraries and running until 30 September, the goal is to raise awareness about the many ways literature and ideas are censored – and celebrate our freedom to read.

    Censorship isn’t something that happens far away. It has happened in the UK. In every library there are books that British citizens have been blocked from reading at various times. As citizens and literature lovers we must be constantly vigilant to guard against the erosion of our freedom to read, Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship said.

    Events include an evening of discussion with Melvyn Bragg and guests on The Satanic Verses controversy at the British Library; a discussion on the “unsayable” with cartoonist Martin Rowson; authors Patrice Lawrence and Alex Wheatle on writing for young people; and David Aaronovitch and guests exploring tactics used to censor voices around the world at Free Word.

    Lisa Appignanesi, chair of the RSL, said: It’s an irony that the list of books banned over the last centuries, whether by religious or political authorities jealous of their power, constitutes the very best of our literatures. From the Bible to Thomas Paine, Flaubert, G.B. Shaw to Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex and Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, some of the greatest of our books have been banned somewhere. Luckily humans have a way of valuing the prohibited and cherishing liberty; and this as George Orwell reminded us, ‘means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’

    Islington Libraries has produced a list of some of the world’s best-known banned books for the occasion and is encouraging everyone to pick up a banned book.

    Islington Council’s executive member for economic development, Cllr Asima Shaikh, said: Islington – one-time home of George Orwell, Douglas Adams and Salman Rushdie himself – has a rich history of radical thought and creative expression and innovation, making it a natural fit with Banned Books Week.

    Our libraries are places which celebrate diversity of opinion and encourage new and interesting ideas. As a borough we continue to challenge censorship and encourage free speech, and we are very proud to be involved in such a great celebration.

    Celebrated works of literature that have experienced bans or censorship include Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

    For more information, please contact Sean Gallagher, Index on Censorship, on sean@indexoncensorship.org.

    Full schedule of Banned Books Week events

  • 16 September: Research for fiction writers with Kerry Young
    Presented by Spread the Word
    Award-winning author, Kerry Young, is running a workshop for writers who want to research and write characters from a range of backgrounds.

  • 22 September: Patrice Lawrence and Alex Wheatle in conversation
    Presented by Archway With Words
    ArchWay With Words presents a thrilling event with two of Britain’s most exciting, prize-winning writers who tell stories about young people.

  • 24 September: How far can you go in speaking the unspeakable?
    Presented by Index on Censorship and Pembroke College
    What is the place of the satirist in our age of controversies? The irreverent cartoonist Martin Rowson, of The Guardian and Index on Censorship magazine, joins publisher Joanna Prior of Penguin Random House for what promises to be a coruscating conversation.

  • 26 September: Censored: A Literary History of Subversion and Control
    Presented by the British Library
    Katherine Inglis and Matthew Fellion, authors of a fascinating new book on suppressed literature, explore the methods and consequences of censorship and some of the most contentious and fascinating cases.

  • 27 September: What happens when ideas are silenced?
    Presented by Index on Censorship and Free Word
    Join award-winning journalist David Aaronovitch in conversation with Irish author Claire Hennessy and publisher Lynn Gaspard, as they explore what happens when ideas are silenced. With readings by Moris Farhi and Bidisha.

  • 27 September: Censored at The Book Hive, Norwich
    Presented by Index on Censorship
    Join Index on Censorship magazine Deputy Editor Jemimah Steinfeld in conversation with Matthew Fellion and Katherine Inglis, authors of the new book Censored: A Literary History of Subversion and Control.

  • 28 September: How censorship stifles debate
    Presented by the Limerick City Trust
    Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg will speak about how censorship stifles debate and undermines the tenets of free and democratic societies.

  • 28 September: Standing with Salman
    Presented by the British Library and the Royal Society of Literature
    Nearly 20 years after Salman Rushdie was forced into hiding following the publication of The Satanic Verses, members of the Salman Rushdie Campaign Group re-unite to talk about their fight for freedom of expression.

  • 30 September: J G Ballard’s Crash: On Page and Screen
    Presented by the British Library
    Revisit the shock of symphorophilia with Will Self and Chris Beckett, editor of a new edition of Crash. Their discussion is followed by a rare chance to see the uncut version of David Cronenberg’s 1996 film adaptation on the big screen.

  • Hay Levels series 3 launches: Free video resources for A Level students

    World-leading writers and thinkers have joined together to launch the third series of Hay Levels: an inspiring, free series of educational videos from Hay Festival in which experts from a range of disciplines offer inspiration for A Level students, including Michael Rosen, Marcus du Sautoy, Laura Bates, Sarah Churchwell, Lawrence Krauss, Sir Nicholas Hytner, Colm Toíbín, Philippe Sands, Janina Ramirez, Anne-Marie Imafiddon, Robbert Dijkgraaf, Dr Kourosh Saeb Parsy, James Holland, Dr Helen Rappaport, Dr Gabrielle Walker, Dr Oscar Guardioula-Rievera, Gilliant Tett, Jerry Brotton, Alexander Todorov, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, Carlo Rovelli, Dame Nemat Shafik, Dame Athene Donald and Catherine Barnard.

    Matched to current A Level subject curricula, Hay Levels are video masterclasses given by the world’s greatest teachers, thinkers and writers. From the black holes to the Great War to the big thaw, from Frankenstein to immunity to globalisation, and from sex to cosmology to crime; Hay Levels offer bite-size inspiration for curious students.

    Videos will be released fortnightly throughout the school year on the Hay Levels YouTube channel (subscribe here) and shared across social media (#HayLevels), supplementing the growing bank of content already available online.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/HayLevels
    Hay Levels is a joint collaboration between Hay Festival and Hereford Sixth Form College, in partnership with the Tata group, giving students open access to some of the most renowned experts in their fields.

    The first release of videos this academic year features:

  • Rosalind Rickaby on chemical equilibrium
  • Lawrence Krauss on cosmology
  • Marcus du Sautoy on algebra
  • Sarah Churchwell on Edith Wharton
  • Sir Nicholas Hytner on Hamlet
  • Michael Rosen on Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Pardoner’s Tale
  • Lord Digby Jones on profit
  • Catherine Barnard on Brexit
  • Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE on binary numbers
  • Philippe Sands on international crime
  • Peter Singer on utilitarianism
  •  Now in its third year, the Hay Levels project was inspired after mathematician Marcus du Sautoy gave an impromptu masterclass to a group of A Level students on his way to speak at Hay Festival. Since then, speakers appearing at Hay Festival events in Wales and around the world have been invited to contribute to the growing bank of free resources online.

    Peter Florence, Director of Hay Festival, said: Our work to bring writers and readers together in conversations and debate continues to develop digitally. Hay Levels extend the great breadth of knowledge of Hay Festival experts to A Level students across the country. We hope they will be widely used and shared and are deeply grateful to these fabulous academics that have supported us so far. And, of course, while these resources have been designed with A Level students in mind, it’s not to say everyone can’t learn something from them.

    Dr David Landsman OBE, Executive Director of the Tata group, said: “Tata shares Hay Festival’s commitment to education and skills and we are proud to partner with the Hay Levels for the third time this year. Education is key to success in everything Tata does, which is why we are continuously investing in skills, not only for our companies, but also in the communities we work in. We hope that that this year’s videos will help to inspire and educate the engineers, business leaders, academics and creative thinkers of the future.”

    Highlights from the first two series of Hay Levels include: Sarah Churchwell on Gatsby; David Crystal on Pragmatics; Richard Dawkins on Irreducible Complexity; Stephen Fry on Exam Tips; Angie Hobbs on Platonic Ethics and Laura Bates on Rape.

    Hay Levels is part of the wider Hay Festival education work, which includes free Schools Days programming, Hay Academy, and Hay Compass.

    For more information on Hay Levels or Hay Festival, please visit hayfestival.org.

    Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina


    Riot Days is written in a style that you almost expect to hear screamed into a microphone at a gig or whispered at an intimate performance poetry event. It tells of the events leading up to the infamous Pussy Riot protest performance in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral and the group’s subsequent arrest, imprisonment and transport to a penal colony from the point of view of Maria Alyokhina, activist, musician, founding member of the Pussy Riot Collective and a former political prisoner.

    Riot Days makes for compelling reading, it is a report from a modern day neo-dicatorship and a warning to everyone who takes their freedoms and democratic rights for granted that freedom can be a transitory thing and we need to fight for it in thousands of little ways or we will wake up and find that it is lost.

    At its core, Riot Days is about the a little freedom that can never be taken away – the freedom of Choice to stand against the wrongs you see and experience, instead of just putting your head down and accepting them.

    It is a blueprint for protest, a step by step guide to standing up to fascism and surviving against the bullying tactics of a police state.

    riot days

    Riot Days is published by Allen Lane Books and will be available from the 14th September

    #DadLife: Gendered Clothing

    Having been male for my whole life I honestly had no idea how privileged I have been (for just about everything) but in this particular instance I wish to take a quick look at clothing. I admit to having been selfish in the past and not being too perturbed when female friends have waxed wroth on the lack of pockets in their clothing or tight, tailored jeans and many other items of clothing that force women to display their figures.

    It all hit home to me fairly recently when during a daddy/daughter day I took my little gingersnap clothes shopping at a local department store (that shall remain nameless). Diving in to the toddler section and making my way to the girls section I was confronted by a wall of glitter, pinks, pastels and cloyingly banal sayings like “Too Pretty to Care”, “I’m a Little Princess!” and so on – now if these were part of a larger range that included blacks, navy blues and t-shirts with sharks saying “I’m Jawsome!” (I actually grabbed that from the boys section for her as well as a Nirvana band t-shirt*) then it would not be much of an issue, but sadly going solely by clothing currently on offer in all major stores, little girls are precious, fragile and obsessed over their looks as opposed to the boys who are supposed to be rambunctious (fantastic word) and preparing to conquer the world.

    I will not lie – it made me angry! I tweeted about it and a mini tweetstorm over gendered clothing took place

    The responses I received makes for some interesting reading.

    Why have I written this now you may ask – well mainly because I saw news that John Lewis is introducing a gender neutral range of clothing for children in its stores – and anything that has raised the ire of Piers Morgan is more than likely something positive and good! Frankly if he is so scandalised by the thought of a store offering gender-neutral clothing then, whenever he gets on his high horse about fragile snowflakes he needs to take a look in the mirror first!

    I have thought about designing my own range of clothes for my girl celebrating powerful women of history (seriously there are loads)

    * I did pick up a light pink t-shirt dotted with pegasi from the girls section because it looks awesome and I am not against pinks and pastels