Archive for February, 2018

Mark International Women’s Day with LoveReading4Kids!

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

What Is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day, or IWD for short, is on 8th March and has been marked around the world for more than 100 years and is seen as a day to feature the achievements of women across history while also looking ahead, and making sure that women and girls have the same opportunities to succeed now and in the future.

One of the main events that is often focused on is the Women’s Suffrage movement which 100 years ago this year succeeded in getting votes for women. As a suffragette (the more militant women in the women’s suffrage movement), one of the most important figures was Emmeline Pankhurst who is the main character for Megan Rix’s Emmeline and the Plucky Pup. You can also read more about Women’s Suffrage, by clicking here.

Why is it important that we mark International Women’s Day?

It is really important that we celebrate IWD to remember the work and sacrifice that has gone in to women’s education and the chances they have today. The work that has been carried out throughout history has changed the lives of women today, with the education they are allowed to have, and the jobs they can choose. In the past women weren’t able to own anything, all their possessions belonged to their fathers, then their husbands.

However, there is still room for improvement, so celebrating IWD every year offers a chance to educate the younger generation of girls and boys, and help them to understand the need for an equal society. There is a wide range of books available for children and teenagers that will encourage the next generation of women to think big, as well as to educate boys and girls about Suffrage. These books include Things A Bright Girl Can Do (13+) by Sally Nicholls which is set in the 19th century and tells the story of three young suffragettes who come together from three different backgrounds in order to join the fight for a fairer society. Mollie on the March (9+/11+) by Anna Carey is about Mollie Carberry and her best friend Nora and their work to be involved in the suffragette movement, overcoming obstacles in the urgency and excitement of the times.

Fantastically Great Women Who Made History (5+/7+) by Kate Pankhurst (a distant relation of Emmeline), the follow up from Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World is an inspiring picture book packed full of women’s stories that will get young readers inspired and excited about the remarkable achievements of pioneering women and the power that everyone has to change the world. Lucy Beevor’s Amazing Women: 101 Lives to Inspire You is another beautifully illustrated collection of amazing achievements of more than 100 inspirational women of our time who have become trailblazers, campaigners, pioneers and creators including Beyonce, JK Rowling and Serena Williams. Another great recommendation is Girls for the Vote (9+/11+) by Linda Newbery which tells the tale of thirteen year old Polly who becomes friends with two suffragettes and, with her new found understanding, starts to question the views of those around her.

Little girls with dreams become women with great vision so do share The Little People Big Dreams series with children aged 5+. From designers and artists to scientists and engineers, all of the people in this trailblazing series went on to achieve incredible things. Yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream…Little People, Big Dreams is the original biography picture book series for young change-makers – a first library showing the true breadth of women’s achievement. Each book tells the childhood story of one of the world’s female icons in an entertaining, conversational way that works well for even the youngest non-fiction readers, allowing them to identify with the characters in each story.

You can also check out our Blog post on LoveReading.co.uk which has a wide range of books written by fantastic female authors as well as suggestions that are perfect for perusal this International Women’s Day.

Call for entries: 2018 Henrietta Branford Writing Competition

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

Call for entries: 2018 Henrietta Branford Writing Competition

For young people who enjoy writing stories! – Finish a story started by 2017 Branford Boase Award winner, Beetle Boy author M. G. Leonard.

The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition, the annual competition for young people which runs in conjunction with the Branford Boase Award, is now open.

The Branford Boase Award recognises a debut children’s author and their editor and was set up in memory of the outstanding children’s writer Henrietta Branford and the gifted editor, Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books. They both died of cancer in 1999.

The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition aims to find and encourage writers of the future, something Henrietta Branford was always keen to do.

The 2018 competition is open now and anyone under the age of 19 can enter. Entrants are invited to complete this story begun by last year’s winner, author of Beetle Boy, M. G. Leonard:

‘The map had led us to an old wall covered with ivy. I reached through the leaves till I was touching the bricks and felt my way sideways. The wall continued three paces then changed from the rough touch of fired sand to the smooth damp texture of rotting wood. We pulled the evergreen curtain aside. Beneath it was a hidden door. I grabbed the heavy iron ring handle that was riveted to the ancient wood and twisted it with both hands, hoping the door would open.’

The story should be no longer than 1000 words, must follow on from the starter paragraph, and have a title. All entrants must live in the UK and be under 19 years of age. Entries will be judged by Prue Goodwin, consultant and lecturer in children’s literature. She says:

‘We are looking for stories that keep the reader wanting to know what is going to happen from beginning to end, are imaginative and unpredictable, and are written with a genuine reader in mind’.

Six winners will be invited to attend the Branford Boase Award celebration party in London in July.  There they will meet M. G. Leonard and the authors shortlisted for the 2018 award as well as editors, publishers, agents, and other professionals in this field. They will receive a copy of each of the books shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and be able to have their books signed.

The closing date for the competition is Saturday 21 April 2018.

Full details are available on the Branford Boase website:

 

 

A Q&A with the author Bea Davenport on her latest novel The Misper

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Bea’s first novel The Serpent House was written during her Creative Writing PhD at Newcastle University. Her tutors were Jackie Kay, the award-winning poet and writer, and Professor Kim Reynolds, an internationally-renowned expert in children’s literature.

In its early, unpublished form, The Serpent House was shortlisted for The Times/Chicken House award.

The Misper was longlisted in a Mslexia Writing for Children competition and is published by The Conrad Press.
Bea has also written two crime novels for adults, In Too Deep and This Little Piggy, and teaches journalism and creative writing.

She lives near Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland with her partner and children.

Describe The Misper in one sentence?
Anna and Zoe turn to magic to try to shake off their geeky friend Kerry – but they should’ve been careful what they wished for.

Who’s your favourite character in the novel?
Anna’s the nicest of the three. But I have a massive soft spot for troublesome Zoe. She’s so bright and so prickly.

Shakespeare or Dickens?
Both, of course! But if I have to choose, George Eliot.

Favourite author?
I can never answer this as I don’t have a single favourite. I have a huge long list and it changes from week to week. At the moment Neil Gaiman is very near the top of the list but it’s very often the last author I read.

Favourite character from a book?
I’ve always had a soft spot for Pippi Longstocking. I like a free spirit!

Prefer books or the film adaptations?
Always, always books! It’s not that there aren’t some fantastic film adaptations, as there are, but if I was on a desert island I’d rather it had a library than a cinema.

If you weren’t an author, you would be…
I was a journalist for many years and that was a fun job. And I’ve always liked the idea of playing a baddie character in a TV soap.

Favourite place/setting to read a book?
On holiday, anywhere in the sun. That way I don’t get the niggling feeling I should be working instead of reading.

What inspired you to write your book?
A couple of things: When I was very little, I remember the excitement of organising a Halloween party and that was the starting point for the story – but then it got darker and darker, so it needed to be for older readers than I first intended. But also, I’ve seen what it is like to feel on the outside edge of a friendship group and I also know what it’s like when someone tags onto you that you don’t really want around. So I wanted to explore friendship dynamics.

If you had a dinner party what three authors or characters from literature would you invite?
First would be Edith Nesbit, author of the first ever historical time fantasy for children (The Story of the Amulet). I’d love to ask her about the genre she started and the way it’s so popular today. I’d invite Dorothy Parker to make everyone laugh. Finally I’d invite Mary Poppins, so that she could magic us up a feast and clear it up at the end with a click of her fingers.

When did you start writing?
Like most writers, I scribbled stories from the age of about eight or nine. They were just bad versions of Enid Blyton’s adventure tales. I carried on writing while working as a journalist, but I only had the courage to show anyone my writing a few years ago.

How long does it take to write a book?
It depends on the book and a lot of other factors. My first crime novel for adults took a few years, because I only got the chance to write now and again while working and having young children. The second adult novel only took a few months! The Misper took about a year to write the first draft but it’s been through a zillion changes, so all in all, I guess it took three or four years.

Where do you get your ideas from?
Everywhere! I’m a typical journalist – I love listening to what people say and to what they don’t say, and I’m always on the spy for story ideas. There’s hardly a day goes by when I don’t find myself thinking, ‘Oooh! There’s a good story idea…’

Do you base your characters on people you know?
Not deliberately! But I think all writers use little bits of people they’ve met and weave them together to make a composite character. My partner spotted the character of Tom in The Serpent House doing something that he regularly does. Fortunately he didn’t mind me pinching his actions to use in the book!

To read an extract and to see what the Lovereading.co.uk editorial expert thought click here.

Designing a book cover for arresting debut novel: an Art Director’s view…

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

When a very special teen/YA debut novel, She, Myself  and I (#SheMyselfAndI) by Emma Young (@EmmaELYoung) came in to Little Tiger Press, the art director Paul Coomey (@MrCoomey) knew he needed a cover artist who was adept at combining a complex narrative in an arresting visual.  Levente Szabo (@briskartist) was the first person he and the team at Little Tiger thought of and luckily, Levente was available to take on the project.  We gave him free rein to apply his technique of overlapping and merging illustrations to the intertwined stories of Rosa and Sylvia. Levente’s initial ideas were promising and thought provoking:

The idea of Sylvia falling through the ice led us to further explore the relationship of what this evokes to Rosa’s journey to finding her identity. Levante pushed this idea in a further series of concepts:

He then built on these and explored different colourways:

Which led us to our final cover!

 

 

She, Myself and I is published on 8th March 2018.

It is a very special debut novel for teens/YAs and perfect for fans of  The Art of Being Normal, Extraordinary Means and Faceless

 


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