Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Take me to the beach!

Heather from the children's team takes over the blog to tell us a bit about what's coming up in the Children's Programme, and recommends some books to bring a little sunshine to our summer.

It’s been an odd few weeks for the children’s team here in the SBT office. With students off enjoying their rainy summer holidays we’ve been catching up on “house-keeping”, amongst other things – a big change from the usual routine of events, events and events!

It would be wrong to let you all think that we’d been lazing around though. We’ve been making improvements to the children and young people’s section of our website, starting with some fantastic recommended reads in our 'Hit List' section, and the introduction of a new weekly book quiz. Still to come is the 'Your Writing' section to display all your masterpieces, and a new and improved 'Authors and Illustrators' section where you can read Q&As or listen to interviews.

As well as that we’re all looking forward to our Outreach Programme at the end of the month. We’ll be taking six authors and illustrators to various schools in Scotland so that those who can’t make it to the Edinburgh International Book Festival get a taste of what it’s like.

I’m particularly looking forward to Lili Wilkinson’s Outreach events. I’m reading her novel Scatterheart at the moment and can’t put it down. The story centres on Hannah Cheshire a ‘young lady of Quality’ living in London in 1814, who has her riches taken from her and suddenly finds herself sentenced to transportation. It’s a tale of brutality, love and self-discovery, full of feisty females and dangerous sailors.
Sailing the seas with a group of salty seadogs would be an adventure but not the relaxation the summer calls for. If the journey were to end on a beautiful beach then that would be a different matter entirely. But what would we read when we got there? Jasmine from the children's team came up with a few books perfectly suited to sun, sea and sand...

Flush by Carl Hiaasen
Carl Hiaasen is very well known for his humorous adult crime novels, though his first children’s book, Hoot, has been made into a movie (as have some of his adult books). He has a new book out in September called Scat (I can’t wait to read it!). All of the author’s books are set in Florida, all of them contain some eco or wildlife issues and they are all very funny. Even just thinking about them makes me smile and feel the (phantom) Florida sun on my skin.
Flush tells the story of Noah’s dad who takes the illegal sewage dumping of the Coral Queen in his own hands – and lands in jail for it. With him out of the way, the practice goes on – but then Noah and his sister Shelly take it onto themselves to not only fight for their father’s justice, but also for the marine life of Florida. Brilliant, crazy and very funny.

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E L Konigsburg
A different kind of summer read – one without a beach. E L Konigsburg is one of my favourite American children’s writers, books like The View from Saturday and Silent to the Bone are my all-time favourites. The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place is about Margaret Rose who does politely ‘prefer not to’ and in an American summer camp that’s a position to make any camp councillor to have a nervous breakdown. Fortunately her favourite uncles decide to take her in while her parents are away and there, at 19 Schuyler Place, she finds something worth fighting for – with the most surprising help she can imagine. Outstanding characters and a powerful summer story.

And because picture books aren’t just for the wee ones...

To The Beach – Thomas Docherty
A little boy looks out of his window on a rainy day and imagines his journey to the beach, as well as his friendship with the camel he meets there. The book reminds us all to use our imaginations and gives us some beautiful illustrations to inspire.

If you can think of any other catergories of books which we should be reading and sharing with everyone else then tell us about them on our Hit List pages. Leave us a comment, or tell us your opinions of the books already listed.

Now back to more website tweeking. Keep watching this space...

Other news:
The Edinburgh International Book Festival kicks off on Saturday, with a list of events for you, your mum, your brother, your sister's boyfriend's uncle, the postman....you get the picture...see the website for listings.

Calling all Shan fans! Check out the trailer for The Vampire's Assistant, released in the autumn.

Twilight won 11 awards at America's Teen Choice Awards including choice movie drama, rumble and liplock!
Carmen Reid has been nominated for the Scottish Woman of the Year Award in the 'Wit' category. To vote for Carmen please click here.

1 comment:

The Scottish Book Trust said...

What about 'Dolphin Song' by Lauren St. John?