Sunday, 30 October 2011

Snuff by Terry Pratchett

I love Terry Pratchett, and every time a new book is announced I preorder it immediately and spend the follwing months alternately jumping up and down in excitement or worrying that it won't be as good as I expect...thankfully Snuff was worth looking forward to, hooray!

It is really dark...really dark...but it is a Vimes story and he does tend to attract violence, even when on holiday.  As usual he makes you think about the way the world is, and the way people can be, in fact it is a much more serious book than earlier Discworld.  It will still make you laugh though, and perhaps make you feel for the characters more than ever before.  I think you can't just class the Discworld as 'comic fantasy' any more because the issues Terry Pratchett tackles are so real you actually forget that Goblins don't really exist.

My favourite aspect of it was Vimes's relationship with his son.  I love that, as in Thud, he thinks that the most important thing in the world is to be home to read to Young Sam or listen to him read aloud, and really loved that everything he reads has led him to a passion for poo.  When I was telling my Dad that loads of kids books at the moment include poo he didn't believe me, but just put it into Amazon as a keyword and you'll see the range!  The Story of the Little Mole who knew it was none of his Business is my favourite for sheer 'ick'ness, there's even a plop-up version available.

The action scenes are exciting, the dialogue is witty, the relationships are cut a long story short, read it!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

YLG London CKG Nominations evening

This evening the Youth Libraries Group London is meeting to decide which books they will put forward as a group vote for the CILIP Carnegie Greenaway awards awards this year.  The committee has decided on a shortlist and each of us is going to tout one or two of them to the rest of the group.  The Kate Greenaway award is for an outstanding picture book, as I don't see many picture books nowadays I'll enjoy watching the others pitch them.  I'm nominating My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece by Annabel Pitcher  for the Carnegie, which is for an outstanding piece of literature for children or young people - here's my pitch:

Her first book, it is for a younger audience than many other Carnegie contenders or past winners, has a lovely simple and accessible style.
It is a story about a family coping, or not, with the death of Jamie's older sister Rose in a terrorist attach a few years before we meet them.  Mum deals with it by running off with a member of her support group, Rose's twin sister Jas deals by rebelling against their parents' image of her.  Dad deals with it by turning to drink, and turning against Muslims who he blames for his daughter's death.
Jamie, our protagonist, is too young really to remember Rose, and believes his Dad when he says that moving to the Lake District will be a fresh start, until Rose's urn goes straight on the mantlepiece and he finds empty vodka bottles in the recycling.
To make matters worse, in his new school he is sat next to <gasp> a Muslim girl who, shock horror, turns out to be lovely.  We follow his innur turmoil as he tries to reconcile his feelings for her with the opinions of his father, and as she turns into his best friend, trying to keep her a secret.
It is a very moving and well written book, a perfect candidate for the Carnegie!

The others being put forward for the Carnegie are:
My Name is Mina - David Almond
0.4 - Mike Lancaster 
Small Change for Stuart – Lissa Evans
Noah Barleywater Runs Away – John Boyne
One Dog and His Boy – Iva Ibbotson
I've read My Name is Mina and Noah Barleywater, have you read any yet?  I'll let you know whether I can persuade a room full of Librarians that my choice is the right choice!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Teen Librarian Competition and review

Teen Librarian competitions are always a lot more fun than the usual 'leave your name and e-mail addess', one time it was a picture of you as a zombie, another time thinking of your favourite baddies, but this time I found it really hard - to win a copy of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor write a rhyme to explain why you should win a copy.  Have a go!