A Half Term Recap and Our 9th Friday Read…

Well, after the box-tastic Friday we had last week (read all about it here), we’ve been keeping ourselves busy in the build up toward half term- packing and sending projects, dealing with lots of enquiries, and even finding time to host an INSET course!

As some readers may know, as a department we’ve been working with several schools across the county to host Author visit sessions with two brilliant local writers, Steve Parker and Alexander Gordon Smith. Several of our team have been on hand to attend some of these events and one of our Librarians offers a little insight into the morning she spent at a High School last week:

 ‘Alexander Gordon Smith’s visit to Long Stratton High School last week was a great success! Gordon (as he likes to be called) joked that writing was the best job ever as it involved lots of watching films and playing computer games in order to get ideas. He inspired the Y8 & Y9’s to start writing their own horror stories and students were very animated as they thought up their most terrifying fears which included clowns, spiders, lifts and slugs! They then went on to develop ideas for plots and characters and by the time I went to bed that night they had instilled such a sense of foreboding in me that I was I was looking under my own bed to check there were no candymen!’

 Several more visits are in the pipeline but if this is something that your school is interested in, then please get in touch for more information- we’d love you to work with us!

In other exciting news: we’re always interested in the outcomes of book prizes and awards and this week saw the announcement of The Guardian’s Children’s Fiction Prize 2013, the winner of which was Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead, a title we recently finished, loved, and championed on twitter.

 liar and spySet in Brooklyn, the book follows Georges whose family moves into an apartment block in the wake of his Father’s redundancy. Responding to a sign in his building’s shared basement, he joins a spy club and befriends two unusual children who live upstairs. Rebecca Stead not only creates a compelling story with several twists and turns but also manages to capture how difficult it can be for children to deal with disruption and accept change.

 (Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead, Andersen Press, £6.99, 9781849395427)

…and from one book we’ve been discussing to the next: Friday Read!

ketchup clouds A book which has divided the office this week has been Annabel Pitcher’s Ketchup Clouds, a title aimed at teenage readers.

This is a powerful and very poignant story about growing up and how one girl’s feelings for two brothers led to tragedy. Told in the form of confessional letters, it if full of warmth, sincerity and humour.

 (Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher, Indigo, £6.99, 9781780620312)


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