Book Awards · Book News

Booktrust’s 100 Best Books: 0-5 year olds.

Today I’m going to look at the 25 books for 0-5 year olds selected by Booktrust for their list of 100 books every child should read before they’re 14.

Here is the list in full, I’ve bolded all of the books I’ve read.

EachPeachPearPlumEach Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Gorilla by Anthony Browne
– Would You Rather? by John Burningham
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
IWillNotEverNeverI Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
– Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole
– Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
– Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
– Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett
Where’s Spot by Eric Hill
Dogger by Shirley Hughes
– Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
– Not Now, Bernard by David McKee
MegAndMogMeg and Mog by Helen McNicholl and Jan Pienkowski
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
I Want My Potty! by Tony Ross
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
– The Elephant and the Bad Boy by Elfrida Vipont and Raymond Briggs

I’ve read 17 out of the 25, which is actually a few more than I’d expected. I think this reflects the relatively broad nature of the list – there are plenty of books here that were around when I was younger so I either read them as a young child myself, or to younger family friends. Of the books I haven’t read I had heard of most of them, I just haven’t come across them on one of my visits to the picture book section of the local library.

What do you think of the list? Are there any surprise inclusions or omissions?

Book Awards · Book News

Booktrust’s 100 Best Books.

Today sees the start of Children’s Book Week 2013, the annual celebration of reading for pleasure for children. Booktrust have really kicked off the week well, they’ve announced their ultimate list of 100 books every child should read before they’re 14. They have split the books into four sections of 25 books, these are aimed at the age bands 0-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-11 years and 12-14 years.

This post about how they narrowed the list to 100 books is very interesting, and well worth reading. It puts the selection process into context and rightfully acknowledges that such a process is always a subjective one and any list is never going to garner universal agreement.

Booktrust are opening the debate to everyone, they’re inviting everyone to vote for their favourite book from the list for each of the four age bands. Voting closes on 15th November and they will announce “the nation’s top books” on 25th November.

For the rest of the week I’m going to focus on this list of 100 books. I will feature one section a day, listing the books in the section and my thoughts about them.

Book News

Humble eBook Bundle 2.

I was aware of the first Humble eBook Bundle last year, but I didn’t get round to buying it in time. When I saw today that they were doing a new eBook bundle I went straight to the site and liked what I saw.

The Humble eBook Bundle is a collection of eBooks that you can buy on a pay what you basis. The money that you pay can be split between the authors, three nominated charities and Humble Bundle themselves – it’s up to the individual to choose how their money is split (for the authors and charities you can even specify how much of the portion you allocate to that group goes to each one if you so wish). All of the books are DRM free and you can download them in a range of formats.

imageimageIn this second eBook bundle there are four automatically included books – Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, Spin by Robert Charles Wilson and Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold. If you pay more than the current average ($9.54 at the time of blogging) you get two additional books – The Last Unicorn (Deluxe Edition) by Peter Beagle and Just A Geek by Wil Wheaton. Three of these books were already on my mental list of books I’d like to read so it seemed like a really good buy for me.

I shall be reading these books over the next few weeks so expect a couple of Recent Reads posts dedicated to the second Humble eBook Bundle.

Edited to add:
Today (10th July) 4 additional books have been added to the Bundle; Machine of Death edited by Matthew Bennardo, Ryan North and David Malki, The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black, Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, and xkcd volume 1 by Randall Munroe. So that’s a total of 10 books, all DRM free, on a pay what you want basis.

Book News

Diary of a Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja.

Long time readers of my blog will know that I’ve been a huge fan of the interactive digital books being put out by Fiction Express. They started out by publishing YA novels, I reviewed them as the chapters went live – you can see my thoughts here. Since then they’ve gone on to publish books aimed at schools, and are continuing to tell wonderful stories interactively.

New publisher Curious Fox will be publishing four of the YA novels as complete books, they started last month with Sharon Gosling’s The Diamond Thief (previously Rémy Brunel and the Ocean of Light) and still to come are Soul Shadows by Alex Woolf in April, and The Soterion Mission by Stewart Ross in May.

Today however, the focus is entirely on Luisa Plaja’s brilliant Diary of a Mall Girl as it is published today.


From the back of the book:
The mall is the heart of the fifteen-year-old Molly’s suburban town. Most teens hang around with friends there, get their first job there, and experience their first kiss there. And Molly? She actually lives there, in the complex’s residential wing.

But living in a massive shopping centre isn’t as much fun as it sounds. That is, until mysterious twins Jewel and Jasper move into the flat upstairs. Suddenly life is a lot more exciting – and complicated. Will Molly get what she wants, or will it all come crashing down?

Find out the whole truth in Molly’s private diary!

I really enjoyed returning to Molly’s story, and spending time in the mall again with her. This book is so much fun, I found myself laughing lots as I read. There are also some truly brilliant cringey moments, the kind that make you remember your own similar experiences as a teen. One of the things I really love about Luisa’s books are the characters she creates, they’re wonderfully vivid – you really get the feeling that you’ve spent time with them. If you’re looking for a fun YA contemporary read then I’d say you would be fully satisfied by Diary of a Mall Girl.

To celebrate the publication of Diary of a Mall Girl there are a number of exciting things happening, you can see all of the details on Luisa’s website here.

Book News

You’ll Never Believe A Man Can Fly by Lee Barnett.

A slightly different post today, I’m not going to be reviewing a book but instead introducing you to an exciting story serialisation that’s currently taking place.

Lee “Budgie” Barnett is currently serialising his novella You’ll Never Believe A Man Can Fly with a new post every week day. He started this last Monday (7th January) so the first five parts are all now on his blog along with the first piece of artwork from the book posted on Saturday. On top of this he’s also offering the entire novella as an eBook (formatted for ePub and Kindle) for just £4.99.

I love Budgie’s writing, it was his Fast Fiction Challenge that first led me to discover him a few years ago. The wonders of the internet meant I got to know him more over time and I was able to finally meet him in person at the Thoughtbubble comic con a couple of years ago. We chatted about You’ll Never Believe A Man Can Fly then, and he showed me the wonderful artwork that some brilliant artists had contributed to its original form. I knew he was hoping to do something new with the story so I’m thrilled that it’s come to fruition.

I’ve really enjoyed being able to read a new bit of the story each day, I will definitely be buying the eBook but not until the serialisation is finished – I don’t trust myself to not read the whole thing in one sitting if I buy it now!

Budgie’s introductory post to the book can be found here, and part one can be found here. I really recommend giving it a go.

And of course you can find the man himself on Twitter as @budgie.

Book News

Booktrust’s Best Book Guide 2012.

Cover of Booktrust Best Book Guide 2012
Booktrust have just released their Best Book Guide 2012. It gives the details of what they consider the best books of the year in four age bands; 5 years and under, 5 – 8 years, 9 – 12 years, and teen and young adult. For each book along with the book details and a picture of the cover they give a description of the book and age ratings for both interest level and reading age. There are some wonderful books listed in each category, I’ve added a few to my wishlist and a few to my shopping list for young relatives this Christmas. If you’re interested in children’s books I’d say it’s well worth a look.

Book News

Strange Chemistry’s Open Door.

I said yesterday that I’d be posting about something a little different that Strange Chemistry were doing, and here I am. They have announced that they will be holding an Open Door period in conjunction with their parent company Angry Robot.

So what does this actually mean?
Between 16th and 30th April UNAGENTED AUTHORS can send their novels in to Strange Chemistry for their consideration. They will be reading all novels that are submitted (providing they follow all of the guidelines for submission) and may end up publishing some of them.

Angry Robot Books did this last year, and so far three authors have been signed as a result of it. If you’ve got a YA novel that falls anywhere in the SF/F genres this is a really great opportunity to get your work seen. Who knows, this time next year I might be writing a post about *your* debut novel with Strange Chemistry!

This page is vital reading for anyone who thinks that they might like to sumbit their novel. It contains all of the information about what they are and aren’t looking for, how you should format your submission and a really helpful FAQ. So get reading, and get fixing up that manuscript and good luck!