Reading Matters – children’s book news

The big news this week has been the announcement of the winners of the Carnegie and Kate Greenway Medals. It was a treat to be able to watch the event live so cheerfully hosted by libraries champion Bobby Seagull. You can read all about the awards in the links below.

What I’m reading…

Over the last few days I have reviewed some new illustrated fiction titles that would be great for children who are just becoming independent readers.

My latest batch of books to review for The School Librarian, the quarterly magazine for School Library Association members, arrived this week so I have added yet more to my tottering to read piles. First up was The Secret Detectives by Ella Risbriger, a thoroughly enjoyable mystery which I think would appeal to fans of Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike series. Inspired by The Secret Garden the author asks questions of the attitudes displayed and criticised in the classic story.

News, articles and resources…

Winners of 2021 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals Announced – Poet and novelist Jason Reynolds secures first Carnegie Medal win for Look Both Ways (Knights Of) Author and illustrator Sydney Smith wins second Kate Greenaway Medal for Small in the City (Walker Books) Manjeet Mann’s debut novel Run, Rebel (Penguin Random House Children’s) and Sharon King-Chai’s Starbird (Two Hoots) take home the Shadowers’ Choice Awards from the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal shortlists respectively. I found the acceptance speeches moving and inspiring. A lovely ceremony, well done and thank you to everyone involved.

An interview with Carnegie Medal Winner Jason Reynolds – Hear from CILIP Carnegie Medal Winner Jason Reynolds as he talks about and reads aloud from his winning book Look Both Ways

Review of Small in the City by Sydney Smith – this wonderful review by Jake Hayes on the TygerTale blog beautifully conveys what makes this award winning picturebook so special.

Between the Cracks: An interview with Kate Greenaway Medal winner Sydney Smith – Jake Hope talks to Sydney Smith about Small in the City and winning the Kate Greenaway Medal for the second time in Books for Keeps magazine.

How I made the school library the heart of our school – an article by Jenny Howe of Queensbridge School in Birmingham for the Books2All website providing helpful advice and tips on how to maximise your school library’s potential and create a reading ethos in school.

True to nature: Robert Macfarlane, Helen Macdonald and more on the children’s books that inspired them – this is a lovely article by Melissa Harrison author of the new nature novel By Ash, Oak and Thorn with mentions for many wonderful books both old and new.

Reading and Recuperation: 2021 Teachers’ Reading Challenge Launch – The Teachers’ Reading Challenge, which will run from 10 July to 19 September 2021, is an opportunity for school and library staff to expand their knowledge of children’s books and develop their understanding of reading for pleasure pedagogy. This free event on 6th July sees a panel discuss this year’s theme’s links to well being and the impact the challenge can make.

Run a Booknic: A Reading Picnic! – included in the recent newsletter from Open University Reading for Pleasure this is a brilliant idea. A chance to read, relax, eat and discuss books together, to build reading together memories and offer support for holiday reading. Download the Booknic guide and join in the fun.

School Librarian of the Year 2021/21 Announced – Kristabelle Williams of Addey & Stanhope School has been awarded the honour of School Librarian of the Year 2020/21 by the School Library Association. Find out more about Kristabelle and the award in this Books for Keeps article. There is also a link to a great piece where she discusses her many initiatives for building a reading culture.

Dara McAnulty and Steve Backshall Revealed as Ambassadors for the Summer Reading Challenge 2021 – amongst the announcements from #SummerofReading this week was the news that teenage naturalist, award-winning writer and broadcaster Dara McAnulty and award-winning explorer, presenter, and writer Steve Backshall, are ambassadors for Wild World Heroes this summer. You can read about all the plans for this year’s Reading Challenge via the link.

In The Reading Corner with A M Dassu – Nikki Gamble interviews A M Dassu, author of Boy, Everywhere about her book, her research and the experience of Syrian families seeking refuge. Perfectly timed for Refugees Week.

The Astonishing Future of Alex Nobody by Kate Gilby Smith – blog tour – time travel and time slip novels are amongst my favourite books and this guest post on Jon Biddle’s blog by debut author Kate Gilby Smith is a lovely read as she writes a letter from the future to her younger self.

dPictus 100 Outstanding Picture Books Summer 2021 Selection – this is a beautiful selection and well worth a browse. The ongoing 100 Outstanding Picturebooks showcase features the titles which have been highlighted by the most guest curators, and includes an eclectic mix of new-and-soon-to-be-released picturebooks, as well as classic backlist titles. Thank you to Twitter chums Melanie and Karen for bringing this to my attention.

Author Interview: Maisie Chan Interviewed By Sarah Broadley – last week I shared a review of Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths from the My Book Corner blog and this follow up interview with the author, Maisie Chan, touches on the inspiration for her characters and the theme of ‘belonging’.

Books for Topics Summer Reading Bingo – if you are making plans to encourage children to keep reading I read the summer holiday this is a great idea. The focus is on reading for pleasure experiences rather than specific texts, with activities like make a den and read inside, read in the dark using a torch and read to a pet or a soft toy. This year’s updated version includes a choice of two bingo boards plus a Recommended Reads sheet. All free to download via the link.

Miss Cleveland: Primary Suitable Books I Will Share With Pride – primary school librarian Nicki Cleveland has generously collated a selection of books suggested by others on Twitter this week in response to her request for recommendations of Primary suitable books featuring gay characters. Titles range from picture books for KS1 to fiction for Year 6.

Pop Up: 10 Stories to Make a Difference – 10 Stories to Make a Difference is a collection of original illustrated stories published by children’s literature non-profit development agency Pop Up. In the reviews below I have included one of the titles from this new collection, Swallows Kiss, and this comprehensive blog post by Jo Cummins provides information about the initiative and a summary of all the titles.

Finally, some book reviews that caught my eye this week…

Protest! How People Have Come Together to Change the World by Alice Hawarth-Booth and Emily Haworth-Booth – Books for Keeps Book of the Week and one that sounds like a must buy for school libraries. An excellent review of this timely information book and a link to a Q&A with the sisters who created it.

Antigua de Fortune of the High Seas by Anna Rainbow & Oli Hyatt – I really like the sound of “Tiggy” in this new book that blends pirates and folklore in an adventure for the middle years audience. Kate Heap says, “Readers will be swept away in this battle between good and evil, cheering on Tiggy and her friends while keeping one eye open for Sea Golems!”

Farther up, farther in: Review of From Spare Oom to War Drobe:
travels in Narnia with my nine year-old self by Katherine Langrish
– a thoughtful and interesting review by Chris Lovegrove of a book I am very much looking forward to reading. Yet again when reviewing Chris prompts questions and further research even if you are not a Narnia fan.

Swallows Kiss by Sita Brahmachari and Jane Ray – this book by a dream team partnership had already caught my eye but this review on the Mamma Filz blog has clinched it for me. The tempting peep at the illustrations and the details of the initiative behind the book’s production are definitely worth a look.

Good News by Rashmi Sirdeshpande Illustrated by Adam Hayes – Joy Court’s fantastic review on LoveReading4Schools should be enough to persuade many to get a copy of this new information book . In summary Joy says, “An invaluable and much needed resource from an author with a real facility for straight talking and not talking down to young people.”

That’s all the news for this week and I hope these links are helpful. I’m planning to do my bit to support Independent Bookshop Week over the coming days and hope you have a good week. Happy reading!

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8 Responses to Reading Matters – children’s book news

  1. Calmgrove says:

    There are definitely a couple of links I want to pursue here, Anne, such as the two sites discussing nature writers and books that inspired them and ones to read for the summer. And thank you for linking to my review, as I said in my review it’s my kind of book and I hope it will be yours too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • alibrarylady says:

      Your review reminded me so much of my childhood responses to the series, I enjoyed reading it and will refer to it when I get round to reading Katherine’s book. The Guardian article is interesting, I think and I hope you enjoy it too, Chris.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a brilliant week it has been in the world of children’s book news! Super round-up as always and many thanks indeed for including our Reading Bingo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Anne for your brilliant round-up! I have been super busy this week and have missed nearly all of this news; as always your post is invaluable 😊 Enjoy your bookshop browsing 😊📚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. busybusylearning says:

    My weekly digest of everything important in the world of children’s books – thoroughly enjoyed as always thank you. Off to read lots of links…

    Liked by 1 person

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