Monday 27 August 2018

This blog has been silent for a long time, while I was preoccupied with Bea's arrival & then being the London CKG Judge for 2017 & 2018. Instead of starting it back up again though, my mate Matt asked me if I'd come on board with &, of course, I agreed! I've contributed the occasional article to the Teen Librarian Monthly newsletter but from now on I'm going to attempt to be a more regular blogger over there, so please do follow me over...

Sunday 13 March 2016

Carnegie 2016 - my personal shortlist

The official CKG shortlists will be announced on Tuesday 15th March, when shadowing groups around the country will suddenly burst into life and twitter will be abuzz with opinions and reviews.  Next year I wont be allowed to tell you my shortlist because I will be one of the real judges (woo), having to look carefully at the criteria instead of just saying whether I enjoyed it or not!  Normally I would have read all the choices before making my list but there were 4* I didn't get to (trying to keep up with things eligible for next year!) so they had no chance of making my shortlist, but those that have are a fabulously diverse range of titles.  I look forward to seeing how many make the real list:

One by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan)
The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold (Bloomsbury)
Jessica's Ghost by Andrew Norriss (David Fickling Books)
The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett (Penguin Random House)
Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders (Faber)
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (MiraInk, HarperCollins)
Liccle Bit by Alex Wheatle (Atom Books)

There are a couple there that I think could be winners, the one winner is announced on Monday 20th June!

*I haven't had the chance to read these:
Book by John Agard (Walker Books)
The Earth Is Singing by Vanessa Curtis (Usborne)
Panther by David Owen (Little, Brown Book Group)
My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter (David Fickling Books)
so who knows if they're shortlist-worthy?!

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Carnegie Kate Greenaway 2016!

This blog was scheduled to 'go live' on Sunday but obviously didn't & I forgot about it! Never mind, means I can add a link to the real list plus BfK reviews which is slightly different to my own...

Dusting off my blog (regular twitter followers will know I have a better excuse than usual for not blogging: I called her Bea) to share my personal longlist for #Carnegie16.  The CKG nominations were announced in October and I had already read about half of the Carnegie, far fewer of the Greenaway, but decided not to read any more before the shortlists as my reading time has been pretty limited lately!  So of those that I'd read, these are my top 20.  Hopefully the official list (announced on the 16th February) includes a few of them...
Benwell, Sarah. The Last Leaves Falling
Crossan, Sarah. 
David, Keren. 
This Is Not A Love Story
Elson, Jane. 
How To Fly With Broken Wings
Fowley- Doyle, Moira. 
The Accident Season
Gayton, Sam (author) Cottrill, Peter (illustrator). 
Hardinge, Frances. 
The Lie Tree
Lake, Nick.
There Will Be Lies
Nadin, Joanna. 
Joe All Alone
Nielsen, Susin. 
We Are All Made Of Molecules
Ness, Patrick. 
The Rest Of Us Just Live Here
Nix, Garth. 
Norriss, Andrew. 
Jessica's Ghost
Pratchett, Terry (author) Kidby, Paul (illustrator)
The Shepherd's Crown
Saunders, Kate. 
Five Children on the Western Front
Stratton, Allan. 
The Dogs
Talley, Robin. 
Lies We Tell Ourselves
Wein, Elizabeth. 
Black Dove, White Raven
Wheatle, Alex. 
Liccle Bit
Williamson, Lisa. 
The Art Of Being Normal

Sunday 15 March 2015

My #CKG15 shortlist!

The official shortlist comes out on Tuesday, & having read all the longlist I thought I'd share my favourites:

My Brother's Shadow by Tom Avery (Andersen Press)
When Mr. Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan (Bloomsbury)
Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)
Tinder by Sally Gardner (author) and David Roberts (illustrator) (Orion Children's Books)
More Than This by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)
Trouble by Non Pratt (Walker Books)
Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff (Penguin Books)
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (Electric Monkey)

There have been 8 on the list in recent years so I picked my top 8, I'm sure they won't all make the cut but I'm really looking forward to seeing how much overlap there is with the real one!

I honestly can't say which is my favourite to win, the judges have a difficult decision to make...

Saturday 7 February 2015

#CKG15 personal longlist

Tuesday February 10th will see the announcement of the official longlist for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway 2015 medals, woo!  It will also mean schools around the country start shadowing the award in earnest, something I'm not going to be involved in much this year because my maternity leave will begin shortly after the shortlist year I imagine I'll focus more on the Greenaway :-)

Have a look at my post a couple of months ago about the nominations.  I've not done too badly with the reading list but there are still 33 of them that I haven't got to.  Of those there are a few that I think potentially could end up on the longlist, and of course there are some that I've read that will be on the real one, but these are my top 20:

Avery, Tom. My Brother's Shadow
Bedford, Martyn. Never Ending
Booth, Anne. Girl With A White Dog
Conaghan, Brian. When Mr. Dog Bites
Creech, Sharon. The Boy On The Porch
Crossan, Sarah. Apple and Rain
Crowe, Sara. Bone Jack
Dawson, James. Say Her Name
Doherty, Berlie. The Company of Ghosts
Doyle, Roddy. Brilliant
Earle, Phil. The Bubble Wrap Boy
Easton, T.S. Boys Don't Knit
Gardner, Sally (author) Roberts, David ( illustrator) Tinder
Furniss, Clare. The Year of the Rat
Hall, Tim. Shadow of the Wolf
Hardinge, Frances. Cuckoo Song
Ness, Patrick. More Than This
Pratt, Non. Trouble
Rosoff, Meg. Picture Me Gone

Slater, Kim. Smart: A Mysterious Crime, A Different Detective
Of the 60 or so that I read there are only two that I didn't think were really good books so I really struggled to make this list.  I can't wait til Tuesday to see how close to the real list I am!

Monday 20 October 2014

#CKG15 nominations!

It is that time of year again, and I realise I haven't posted anything since last April!  The longlists are insanely long, 91 on the Carnegie, so I'm probably not going to see my good friend Matt for a few months as he gets through them in his official capacity of a judge.  So really quickly, I'm highlighting the ones I've read in red and the ones on my tbr pile in green, and at the end are my top picks from what I know of the list.  I've only read just over a third of them though, and some I know nothing about so my longlist is bound to change by February!
Angus, Sam. Captain
Avery, Tom. My Brother's Shadow
Baldacci, David. The Finisher
Barraclough, Lindsey. The Mark of Cain
Bedford, Martyn. Never Ending
Bergin, Virginia. The Rain
Black, Holly. The Coldest Girl In Coldtown
Blaxill, Gina. Saving Silence
Booth, Anne. Girl With A White Dog
Bowler, Tim. Night Runner
Boyne, John. Stay Where You Are And Then Leave
Breslin, Theresa. Ghost Soldier
Brooks, Kevin. The Ultimate Truth: Travis Delaney Investigates
Butler, Heather. Us Minus Mum
Buxton, Jamie. Temple Boys
Cain, Cate. The Jade Boy
Camden, Steve. Tape
Cantor, Jillian. Searching For Sky
Carroll. Emma. The Girl Who Walked On Air
Cassidy, Anne. Finding Jennifer Jones
Chan, Crystal. Bird
Christopher, Lucy. The Killing Woods
Conaghan, Brian. When Mr. Dog Bites
Cotterill, Jo. Looking At The Stars
Creech, Sharon. The Boy On The Porch
Crossan, Sarah. Apple and Rain
Crow, Matthew. In Bloom
Crowe, Sara. Bone Jack
David, Keren. Salvage
Dawson, James. Say Her Name
Day, Susie. Pea's Book of Holidays
Dickinson, Matt. The Everest Files
Doherty, Berlie. The Company of Ghosts
Don, Lari. Mind Blind
Doyle, Roddy. Brilliant
Earle, Phil. The Bubble Wrap Boy
Easton, T.S. Boys Don't Knit
Elson, Jane. A Room Full Of Chocolate
Furniss, Clare. The Year of the Rat
Gaiman, Neil. Fortunately, The Milk
Gardner, Sally. Tinder
Gavin, Jamila. Blackberry Blue: And Other Fairy Tales
Gemin, Giancarlo. Cowgirl
Gibbons, Alan. Hate
Gilman, David. Monkey and Me
Gleitzman, Morris. Loyal Creatures
Green, Sally. Half Bad
Haig, Matt. Echo Boy
Hall, Tim. Shadow of the Wolf
Hardinge, Frances. Cuckoo Song
Haughton, Emma. Now You See Me
Hearn, Julia. Dance Of The Dark Heart
Helsby, Genevieve. My First Orchestra Book
Howes, M.J. Feed
Ho-Yen, Polly. Boy In The Tower
Inglis, Lucy. City of Halves
Johnson, Catherine. Sawbones
Laird, Elizabeth. The Fastest Boy In The World
Landman, Tanya. Buffalo Soldier
Lewis, Gill. Scarlet Ibis
Lockhart, E. We Were Liars
Mason, Simon. Running Girl
Massey, David. Taken
McCaughrean, Geraldine. The Middle Of Nowhere
McGovern, Cammie. Amy and Matthew
McGowan, Anthony. Hello Darkness
McKenzie, Sophie. Every Second Counts
Mitton, Tony. Wayland
Moorhouse, Tom. The River Singers
Ness, Patrick. More Than This
Nicholls, Sally. Close Your Pretty Eyes
Pass, Emma. The Fearless
Pratt, Non. Trouble
Rai, Bali. Web of Darkness
Reeve, Phillip. Oliver and the Seawigs
Riddell, Chris. Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse
Rix, Megan. A Soldier's Friend
Robinson, Hilary. Where the Poppies Now Grow
Rosoff, Meg. Picture Me Gone
Sales, Leila. This Song Will Save Your Life
Sedgwick, Marcus. She Is Not Invisible
Sharpe, Tess. Far From You
Slater, Kim. Smart: A Mysterious Crime, A Different Detective
Smith, Alex. Devilskein and Dearlove
Smith, Andrew. Grasshopper Jungle
Stevens, Robin. Murder Most Unladylike: A Wells and Wong Mystery
Sutcliffe, William. Circus of Thieves and the Raffle of Doom
Suzuma, Tabitha. Hurt
Symon, Andrew. Jack Shian and the Mapa Mundi
Walter, Jon. Close To The Wind

Westcott, Rebecca. Dandelion Clocks
I will have definitely read more than half of them before the longlist is announced on February 10th, but at the moment my top 20 (that was how long the longlist was last time) are:
  1. Bedford, Martyn. Never Ending
  2. Bergin, Virginia. The Rain
  3. Black, Holly. The Coldest Girl In Coldtown
  4. Booth, Anne. Girl With A White Dog
  5. Boyne, John. Stay Where You Are And Then Leave
  6. Cassidy, Anne. Finding Jennifer Jones
  7. Conaghan, Brian. When Mr. Dog Bites
  8. Crossan, Sarah. Apple and Rain
  9. Crowe, Sara. Bone Jack
  10. Dawson, James. Say Her Name
  11. Doyle, Roddy. Brilliant
  12. Earle, Phil. The Bubble Wrap Boy
  13. Easton, T.S. Boys Don't Knit
  14. Gardner, Sally. Tinder
  15. Hardinge, Frances. Cuckoo Song
  16. Ness, Patrick. More Than This
  17. Pratt, Non. Trouble
  18. Rosoff, Meg. Picture Me Gone
  19. Slater, Kim. Smart: A Mysterious Crime, A Different Detective
  20. Smith, Andrew. Grasshopper Jungle

It was really difficult to get the list down as there are so many great books this year!

So many questions: can Tinder do the double - nominated for the Carnegie and the Greenaway?  Might we have a "middle grade" funny winner that no one will complain about? Will Patrick Ness win again? Take a look at all the details, including the fabulous Greenaway nominations, on the official CKG site.

Wednesday 30 April 2014

#papervspixels April Challenge: thoughts

I have a Nook that I bought in order to use Netgalley.  I read far too much to buy every book so rely on libraries a lot and, if I were to ever pay money to read a book, I would always rather buy a 'real' copy so that it could live on my shelves at home rather than only exist for as long as the technology does...perhaps that is silly but when the power goes out who'll be laughing eh?  I've only read a few dozen books on the Nook in the year or so since buying it so when I saw the #papervspixels challenge on twitter I decided it would do me good to try and use it more!  So for the month of April I only read electronically...

Expecting to really struggle and be tempted to my massive TBR pile at home, I had a look on Netgalley  and requsted some titles.  I was pleased to see a couple of titles I had on my shelves so that I could kill 2 birds with one stone: 'Smart' by Kim Slater, 'Vango: Between Sky and Earth' by Timothee de Fombelle and Roddy Doyle's 'Brilliant'.  Some, 'Cuckoo Song' by Francess Hardinge, 'The Finisher' by David Baldacci and 'Echo Boy' by Matt Haig, I wanted to read anyway and others, 'Don't Even Think About It' by Sarah Mlynowski and 'Half my Facebook Friends are Ferrets' by J.A. Buckle I just liked the look of.  I also read a book that I'd bought in a K*ndle sale months ago on the app on our iPad, the wonderful 'Mr Penumbra's 24hour Bookstore' by Robin Sloan.

  • I didn't miss the feel of books as much as I thought I would because the convenience of having it lying on the table made it really easy to read at the same time as eating
  • much lighter bag to carry around
  • easier to hold on a busy train or while waiting for one
  • no panic about having a second book in case I finish the one I'm reading when nowhere near home or a library!
  • I actually found it easier to decide what to read - in fact I just read them in the order in which I downloaded them
  •  It was great to get round to reading things I'd intended to read for ages but because they're not physically in front of me other books kept taking precedence!

  • constant fretting that the battery might die or the book corrupt (it has only happened a couple of times, but never happens with paper!)
  • because they were proofs in some instances the formatting was wonky which could be distracting
  • pictures never look as good electronically as they do on a real page
  • I missed looking at the cover and reading the blurb before beginning reading (but often with proofs you miss that anyway)
  • I might have skim read a little more than usual, and frustratingly often accidentally tapped the screen to turn the page before I'd actually finished reading the page...
  • I can't pass it on to another reader (or wave the library copy under someone's nose)
  • If I hadn't had access to Netgalley, i.e. I were any normal non-library/publishing/blogging person, it would have been a far greater struggle to find something worth reading because the library selection of eBooks is currently rubbish and I have a long term book buying ban that I will only break in extreme circumstances (e.g. when a new Pratchett is available for pre-order...)
I don't think the process of reading these books electronically affected my enjoyment of them although I definitely didn't prefer it to reading hardcopy books.  I actually preferred reading on the iPad to the Nook when sitting eating breakfast but when travelling the Nook was far easier.  I guess the point is that no one format is perfect for every occasion.  From a purely practical point of view eReading is easier but from a purely aesthetic point of view 'real' books are far superior.

What I liked best about the challenge was that I had a set list of things I would read that month so I'm thinking I'll do that again.  The books in my bedroom are always library books + those given to me that I want to read asap, but I often get distracted by the bigger pile downstairs or by new arrivals.  So for the next few weeks that pile is only going to shrink as I am not going to let myself look further than the bedroom set when choosing the next read until it is empty, then I can enjoy refilling it!  What should I pick first though?