This time next week, Christmas will be over! *pause for contemplative sigh at the prospect of mince pies disappearing from the shelves*. 2014 has certainly whizzed past and by the time you read this, schools across Norfolk will have finished for the holidays- we can only begin to imagine how much excitement was felt across the county at 3pm today!
The end of another 12 calendar months means one thing: end of year lists and book awards, and one we always look forward to is the book of the year prize awarded by Peters Books and Furniture. Last year we held a picture book party at a local school in honour of this section of the shortlist and in 2015 we’ll be doing the same as Champions! We are SO excited already; the picture book short list is particularly strong this year, so we’re interested to see what comes out on top- we can’t possibly choose (yet).
Voting for the award is now open, and the official website has lots of resources for schools to use if you’re interested in shadowing the event; there are also prizes for Junior and Teen fiction, so the possibilities are endless! For more information, including the shortlists and voting information, why not take a look at http://petersbooks.co.uk/pboty/ .
Now, onto week 3 of our Advent Book Doors, and make sure you check back next week for our CHRISTMAS EVE SPECIAL!
Non-fiction: Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
A gorgeous picture book about how animals survive in the snow. Unfortunately, the habitat is American so a few of the animals featured would not be found in this country, but most are, and there are more details about the individual creatures at the back of the book. The text is lyrical and it will read nicely just as a KS1 level story.
Picture book: Use Your Imagination by Nicola O’Byrne
Need your children to use their imaginations? This could help – maybe! Rabbit is bored, and Wolf offers to help, but immediately our suspicions are roused of course, and as Rabbit seems more and more likely to end up as Wolf’s dinner, we get more and more anxious about the outcome…
Lots for children to anticipate and ‘use their imaginations’ with.
Novel: Blue Moon Day by Anne Fine
A boy, feigning illness to get off school for the day, staves off boredom while having to accompany his mum at work, by reading a book of short stories. They are all about coping with different types of school experience. At the same time as gaining insight into other children’s experiences, he learns more about the adult world he is part of, including the difficulties his dad must go through every time he returns to family life after a spell as a soldier on duty.
This sounds much heavier than it is, as Fine is such a skilled story teller.
Teen: Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
We LOVE Marcus in our office and several of our team were utterly captivated by She is Not Invisible when they finally got round to reading it this year. Ghosts of Heaven, however, is more evocative of the Carnegie-nominated Midwinterblood which we also loved ; his newest book sees four interwoven and connected stories, beautifully written and taking us from the dawn of time to a place in the future. A wonderful concept and one of the most interesting reads we’ve had this year!
You can see weeks 1 and 2 of our countdown here.