Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Carnegie Medal 2012 - Shortlist

The Carnegie Medal 2012 shortlist has been announced today. The books in the running are:

David Almond
Hodder (9+) ISBN: 9780340997253

Lissa Evans
Doubleday (8+) ISBN: 9780385618007

Sonya Hartnett
Walker (9+) ISBN: 9781406331493

Ali Lewis
Andersen (12+) ISBN: 9781849392488

Andy Mulligan
David Fickling (12+) ISBN: 9780385619011

Patrick Ness
Walker (9+) ISBN: 9781406311525

Annabel Pitcher
Orion (10+) ISBN: 9781444001839

Ruta Septys
Puffin (12+) ISBN: 9780141335889

Commenting on this year's shortlist, Rachel Levy, Children's Library Services Manager for Sutton Libraries and chair of the CILIP Carnegie judging panel says:

"Choosing the CILIP Carnegie shortlist is always a tough call but the strength of this year's field was exceptional. Readers of the final eight books will meet some outstanding characters who will make them laugh like Stuart; cry like Conor and think outside the box like Mina. Their Carnegie reading journey will take them to some dark and difficult places, but all the books are ultimately about the beauty and hopefulness of life and all are beautifully written".
The winner will be announced on 14 June.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Publishing Deal - Claire McFall

A publishing deal for debut YA author, Claire McFall has been announced in today's Bookseller:

Templar has signed a three-book deal with debut YA author Claire McFall, likened by the publisher to Malorie Blackman and Melvin Burgess.

The first title, Ferryman, will be published in Summer 2013 and is described as "an epic existential love story set in the afterlife".

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (February 2012, Electric Monkey, ISBN: 1405258217)

Notes: The following review is written by Sarah Hilary (mother of fellow guest reviewer Milly) who reviews crime fiction on my Euro Crime website. You can read her crime reviews here.

Review: I love stories told in two parts, from different narrative viewpoints, and that is just one of many many things to love about this book. The first half is told by 'Verity', a captured female spy being interrogated by the Gestapo in a former hotel in France. She begins her story with the words, 'I am a coward', but you don't have to read much further before you realise this simply isn't true.

Tortured, threatened and terrified, Verity proves her courage again and again. Under the cover of writing a confession for her captors, she tells the story of how she came to be a spy, how she met her best friend, Maddie ('It's like falling in love, finding your best friend') and how the pair of them came to be in France.

'We're a sensational team', Verity tells us. It's this friendship that drives the story, as we try to piece together the clues in Verity's confession - being made in extremis - to get at the exact truth of what happened to the sensational team.

Elizabeth Wein lays many excellent traps for the reader along the way; expect to have your heart in your mouth a lot of the time. Is Verity really betraying her country (Scotland, not England)? Is she going to die? Is her best friend already dead, or in terrible danger? Will the two young women ever see one another again?

Midway through, the story switches to Maddie's voice. This is the tricky point at which an author can lose a reader, especially one who's fallen in love, the way she helps us fall in love with Verity. But it only takes a couple of pages for us to love Maddie, too, and to marvel at how distinctly different her voice is to Verity's.

These women are alive. They leap off the page and grip you by the hand, and then the heart. You desperately want them to have a happy ending, but at the same time you sense it would be cheating, or lying, to arrive at this after the harrowing and entirely believable scenes which have unfolded.

To move the reader without resorting to sentiment. To arrive at an ending that is both honest and uplifting. To make you think afresh about a part of history you thought you knew. To transport you, for the time it takes to read the book, to a different time and another world, while showing you so clearly why these stories matter and how they can resonate. These are proofs positive of a gifted, compassionate and generous author.

I doubt I'll read a better book this year.

Sarah Hilary

Sarah blogs at Crawl Space.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: A Midsummer Tights Dream by Louise Rennison

A Midsummer Tights Dream by Louise Rennison (February 2012, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, ISBN: 0007156847)

Notes: The following review is written by Milly aged eleven, she is the daughter of one of my Euro Crime reviewers. You can read more of Milly's reviews here.

Review: A Midsummer Tights Dream is very good. It's about this child actress called Tallulah Casey. She goes back to Grimbottom, to revisit Dother Hall, her old acting college.

She sees her friends again and has a really good time. Unfortunately, it also means she sees old enemies like the Bottomley sisters and Cain the Bad.

This is a very gripping book. You can't put it down. It's one of my favourite books. My favourite part is when Tallulah throws the tambourine in the air and it hits mean Doctor Lightowler on the head!

Don't worry if you haven’t read the first book, Withering Tights*, because you can still follow the storyline.

I recommend this book for young adults and teenage audiences.

Milly aged 11

*see my review of Withering Tights.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Publishing Deals - Picoult, Lane

Two announcements about publishing deals, both from today's The Bookseller.

A publishing deal for Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samatha Van Leer:

Hodder & Stoughton has acquired a YA title by bestselling author Jodi Picoult and her teenage daughter Samantha Van Leer.

[Hodder will]... publish the title, Between the Lines, at the end of June 2012 alongside the US publisher.

The book is described by the publisher as being "about what happens when happily ever after isn't so happy, and when the barriers between books and life begin to crumble". It will have full colour illustrations and silhouettes throughout.

And a new series from Andrew Lane:

Macmillan Children’s Books has acquired three titles from its Young Sherlock Holmes author Andrew Lane, which focus on the hunt for valuable endangered creatures.

MCB associate publishing director Polly Nolan bought world rights from Robert Kirby at United Agents to the three novels in The Lost World series.

MCB will publish a title a year from May 2013 as £5.99 paperback originals and as e-books. It is planning a “major marketing and publicity campaign”.

The Lost World books follow 15-year-old Calum Challenger, who is coordinating a search from his London bedroom to find creatures considered so rare that many do not believe they exist. Calum’s intention is to use the creatures’ DNA to help protect the species, but also to search for a cure for his paralysis. His team comprises a computer hacker, a free runner, an ex-marine and a pathological liar.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Review: The Broken Road by B R Collins

The Broken Road by B R Collins (February 2012, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, ISBN: 1408806495)

Notes: The following review is written by Amanda Gillies who reviews crime fiction on my Euro Crime website. You can read her crime reviews here and her YA reviews here.

Review: This is a heart-breakingly beautiful story that leaves you with tears in your eyes.

This latest book by B R Collins touches on the very moving topic of the Children’s Crusades that took place some 800 years ago, after the failure of the Fourth Crusade to liberate Jerusalem from the Infidel and return it to Christian rule. Two separate groups of children started marching at this time – one from France and another from Germany – determined to win the day with their purity and innocence. Both of these Children's Crusades are shrouded in mystery and tragedy. It is moving to see such young people convinced that they can succeed where the adults have failed before them.

The Broken Road concerns the German crusade and starts when Nick, a charismatic but flawed young peasant lad, enters Cologne and preaches in the cathedral. It isn't long before huge crowds of teenagers and young adults are flocking after him and they start out on their way south. The story is told from the viewpoint of Rufus, a young red-haired boy who is won over by Nick’s passionate words and decides to join the crusade. Evading his furious father, who is devastated and adamant that his only son won't go, Nick sets out, firm in his belief that he is doing what God wants. The most moving aspect of the book is that God is a central character. Or, rather, Rufus's comments and pleading prayers to God are central to his thoughts. He seems to yearn for a more personal relationship with God, doubts God's feeling towards him but has no doubt at all that God is real and watching him. Nick could very well be a young person in today's society, confused and anxious to do what is right, questioning his motives for his actions and asking for confirmation that he is accepted and loved by God in the place of his biological father who, he believes, doesn’t love him.

The crusade ends in tragedy, as we know before we even start to read the story, but the end of The Broken Road will have you weeping. The characters are so real and contemporary that the book could almost have a modern setting and be dealing with modern issues.

Absolutely fantastic and very highly recommended.

Amanda Gillies

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Published in March (2012)

Here are some of the teenage/YA titles that are being published in the UK in March 2012. I will put a link to this post and previous and subsequent "monthly" lists in my sidebar. January's list is here and February's is here.

I have tried to identify all the British authors which I hope will be useful to those doing Kirsty's British Books Challenge at The Overflowing Library (please let me know of any errors or omissions).

Sufiya Ahmed - Secrets of the Henna Girl (1st, Puffin, pb) British Author
Holly Black - White Cat (Curse Workers 1) (1st, Indigo, pb)
Chris Bradford - Young Samurai: The Ring of Wind (1st, Puffin, pb) British Author
Aidan Chambers - The Kissing Game (1st, Definitions, pb) British Author
Elizabeth Chandler - Everlasting (29th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Lauren Conrad - The Fame Game (30th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, HB)
Kevin Crossley-Holland - Bracelet of Bones (1st, Quercus, pb) British Author
Kimberley Derting - The Pledge (26th, Allison & Busby, pb)
Kimberley Derting - The Last Echo (29th, Headline, pb)
Natasha Ferrant - Things We Did for Love (1st, Faber, pb) British Author
Sophie Flack - Bunheads (1st, ATOM, pb)
Alex Flinn - Bewitching (5th, HarperCollins Childrens Book Group, pb)
Alan Gibbons - Raining Fire (1st, Orion Childrens, HB) British Author
Claudia Gray - Fateful (29th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Andrew Hammond - CRYPT: Traitor's Revenge (1st, Headline, pb) British Author
Frances Hardinge - Twilight Robbery (1st, Macmillan Children's Books, pb) British Author
Janice Hardy - The Healing Wars (3) - Darkfall (29th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Jill Hathaway - Slide (1st, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Rachel Hawkins - Spellbound (29th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Sam Hawksmoor - The Repossession (1st, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
S B Hayes - Poison Heart (1st, Quercus, pb) British Author
Will Hill - Department 19: The Rising (29th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, HB) British Author
Amanda Hocking - Torn (1st, Tor, pb)
Michelle Hodkin - The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (1st, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Barry Hutchinson - The 13th Horseman (1st, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb) British Author
Mia James - Darkness Falls (1st, Indigo, pb) British Author
Marie-Louise Jensen - The Girl in the Mask (1st, OUP Oxford, pb) BA
Sherrilyn Kenyon - Infamous: Chronicles of Nick: Book 3 (13th, ATOM, tpb)
Sherrilyn Kenyon - Invincible: Chronicles of Nick: Book 2 (13th, ATOM, pb)
Phoebe Kitanidis - Whisper (13th, HarperCollins Childrens Book Group, pb)
Elizabeth Laird - The Prince Who Walked With Lions (1st, Macmillan Children's Books, HB) British Author
Derek Landy - Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 6) (29th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Jillian Larkin - The Flappers: Vixen (1st, Corgi Children, pb)
Rebecca Lim - Mercy (4) - Fury (29th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
James Lovegrove - Warsuit 1.0 (1st, A & C Black Publishers Ltd, pb) British Author
Oisinn McGann - Merciless Reason (1st, Corgi Childrens, pb)
Sophie McKenzie - Falling Fast (1st, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb) British Author
Gemma Malley - The Killables (29th, Hodder & Stoughton, pb) British Author
Conrad Mason - The Demon's Watch (1st, David Fickling Books, HB) British Author
Simon Mayo - Itch (1st, Doubleday Childrens, HB) British Author
Kai Meyer - Arcadia Awakens (1st, Templar, pb)
Elizabeth Miles - Fury (29th, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Michael Morpurgo - Sparrow: The Story of Joan of Arc (29th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb) British Author
Chloe Neill - Firespell: The Dark Elite (1st, Indigo, pb)
Jana Oliver - The Demon Trappers: Forgiven (1st, Macmillan Children's Books, pb)
Lauren Oliver - Pandemonium (1st, Hodder & Stoughton, HB)
R J Palacio - Wonder (1st, Bodley Head, HB)
Chris Priestley - Mister Creecher (1st, Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, pb) British Author
R S Russell - Dead Rules (29th, Quercus, pb)
Chris Ryan - Agent 21: Reloaded (1st, Red Fox, pb) British Author
Joe Schreiber - Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick (5th, Electric Monkey, pb)
Sara Shepard - Two Truths and a Lie (29th, Harper, pb)
Sarah Silverwood - The Traitor's Gate: The Nowhere Chronicles Book Two (1st, Indigo, pb) British Author
Kristen Simmons - Article 5 (12th, Tor Teen, HB)
L J Smith - Moonsong (The Vampire Diaries) (1st, Hodder Children's Books, pb)
Ali Sparkes - Unleashed 2: Mind Over Matter (5th, OUP Oxford, pb) British Author
Jessica Spotswood - Born Wicked (1st, Puffin, tpb)
Lauren St John - The One Dollar Horse (1st, Orion Childrens, HB) British Author
Todd Strasser - Kill You Last (1st, Walker, pb)
Dan Wells - Partials (29th, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, pb)
Elizabeth Woods - Choker (1st, Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, pb)
Gabrielle Zevin - All These Things I've Done (29th, Macmillan Children's Books, pb)