The Eagle of the Ninth : news round-up

A film adaptation of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth is just hitting the cinema and I’ve noticed a few newsworthy items about the story. The BBC have a look at what could have happened to the lost ninth legion here; the original Eagle which inspired Sutcliff lives in Reading (seriously, nothing surprises meContinue reading “The Eagle of the Ninth : news round-up”

Jacqueline Wilson to update Five Children and It?

According to this, Jacqueline (ignore the typo in the Tweet, it’s from the Grauniad) Wilson will be “updating” Five Children and It – the fabulous classic from E Nesbit. As I posted on Twitter, this news leaves me with very mixed feelings. E Nesbit’s work sparks of a very particular vintage and is just lovely.Continue reading “Jacqueline Wilson to update Five Children and It?”

The importance of reading aloud … to your younger sibling

Claire Armitstead in the Guardian this week writes about the importance of elder siblings reading aloud to their younger brother and sisters. It’s about behaviour modelling and it’s about competition. You see what the elder sister is doing and, particularly if you’re the youngest child (not that I’m over empathising at all here!), you wantContinue reading “The importance of reading aloud … to your younger sibling”

The UK’s top ten most borrowed authors from public libraries

Seven of them are children’s authors and that’s something to be massively proud about. Children are reading. And they are reading some damn good stuff. That’s my official point of view. My unofficial point of view is as follows: STICK THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT MARTIN AMIS!!!! List of all ten authors availableContinue reading “The UK’s top ten most borrowed authors from public libraries”

Ten children’s books about love

Booktrust recently published a list of ten kids books about love. The full list is available here. I’ve not read all of them but I was instantly intrigued. What’s love? How do we define love? How does a child perceive, experience and learn what love is? How is it represented in literature? Is love a necessaryContinue reading “Ten children’s books about love”

The influence of children’s literature on adult literature

Just got back from a really enjoyable evening at the University of Reading where I attended a lecture called The influence of children’s literature on adult literature. Delivered by the excellent Karin Lesnik-Oberstein, she talked about intertextuality and asked whether the dynamics of intertextuality between adult and children’s literature were subject to value judgements dependingContinue reading “The influence of children’s literature on adult literature”

Call for Chapter Proposals – Hermione Granger as Feminist Model

There’s been an interesting call for chapter proposals for a book entitled “Hermione Granger saves the world”. Whilst I have to confess that Harry Potter leaves me cold and bitter like a literary version of Gollum and that my contribution on the feminist aspects of Hermione would mainful consist of a doubtful “Hmmm” , theContinue reading “Call for Chapter Proposals – Hermione Granger as Feminist Model”

2011 Rainbow Project books announced

The Rainbow List is a collection of titles that explore issues around being GLBTQ and are suitable for readers from birth to age 18. It’s a joint initiative between the ALA and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table. It’s a really interesting, valid and useful list and deserves to get a lot of publicityContinue reading “2011 Rainbow Project books announced”

The Children’s Library : the cool Aunt of libraries

When I was growing up we lived very near to York in North Yorkshire. In the middle of York, just around the corner from the Jorvik, there was the most amazing bookshop. I still remember it with the sort of wide-eyed wonder I used to reserve just for witnessing ponies and christmas. The thing was,Continue reading “The Children’s Library : the cool Aunt of libraries”

Dick King-Smith has died

One of the defining authors of Children’s Literature has died. Dick King-Smith was one of the authors that  is, for me, indelibly linked with a very English style. Simple. Deceptively simple. He wrote stories that everyone thought they could write. But they couldn’t. Nowhere near. I remember trying to pastiche the style – choosing aContinue reading “Dick King-Smith has died”

“We want to make strong, helpful women of them – not spineless jellyfish!”

Jo returns to the Chalet School sees the beloved headmistress, Mademoiselle Leppâtre, discovered unconscious in her room and rushed to the Sonnalpe for an emergency operation. If it fails she’ll die. It’s not the first time that the reader of the Chalet School series has been presented with illness. In fact there are times when the early TyroleanContinue reading ““We want to make strong, helpful women of them – not spineless jellyfish!””

Elsie Oxenham, the Abbey Girls and talent vs marriage

Elsie Oxenham (EJO) and the Abbey books is one of those series I fell towards following my love-affair with Brent-Dyer. EJO is an odd writer; one who’s dated greatly and then, in some queer little moments, not at all. I’m reading my Abbey books at present with a view towards gaining research for my dissertationContinue reading “Elsie Oxenham, the Abbey Girls and talent vs marriage”

Gifted and Talented children in children’s literature

I’m working on my dissertation at present and am discussing the representation of Gifted and Talented Children in children’s literature. Following both a plea on Twitter (thanks Tweeps!) and Mailing Lists (thanks, er, Meeps?), I now have a fairly healthy list of G+T characters / titles which I thought I’d share. Anybody else you thinkContinue reading “Gifted and Talented children in children’s literature”

Book Review: The Tomorrow Code – Brian Falkner

The Tomorrow Code is a fairly solid environmental thriller based in New Zealand. Tane and Rebecca, two good friends, decipher messages sent to them from the future. Everything is about to go really rather horribly wrong – and they are the only people who know it. The story was good up to the point whenContinue reading “Book Review: The Tomorrow Code – Brian Falkner”

Libraries : an easy, but not especially wise, cut

Financially times are hard. We’re all having to make cuts. And one of the perennial public bodies which surfaces at such times are libraries. A library is an easy thing to cut. It drinks in money for very little obvious result. I’ve spoken before about the sad truth that the cliched old librarian still exists.Continue reading “Libraries : an easy, but not especially wise, cut”

Book Review – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

It’s taken me a while to get near a copy of this (sidebar : I love my university library at times) and finally I got my hot hands on a copy yesterday morning. And I’ve already finished it. First word: Wow. Second word: Wow. Third word: Cor (aka. wow). This book is brilliant. I genuinelyContinue reading “Book Review – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief”

“Gosh, odds bodkins!” expostulated Jemima : The very curious tale of the British Boarding School story

There’s something distinctly British about the boarding school story. It struck me the other day on my commute home. For some reason I had Sally from Malory Towers stuck in my head. Good old solid loyal steadfast Sally (poor sod!) was always doomed to be second fiddle to Darrell’s central role. And then I gotContinue reading ““Gosh, odds bodkins!” expostulated Jemima : The very curious tale of the British Boarding School story”

Children’s Literature and War

It’s the 11th November. On this day at 11am in 1918, the armistice was signed between Germany and the Allied forces and hostilities were ceased. Following a few signatures between a few men the war, which had changed lives and the world irrevocably, officially came to an end. So why am I writing about thisContinue reading “Children’s Literature and War”

A list : nerdy, technical and just plain bizarre books

Here’s a list of my current reads. Some are very specifically related to my dissertation, some are theoretically based and some are just a little bit odd 😉 Enjoy! Maria Nikolajeva – The Rhetorics of Character in Children’s Literature. Amazing. Sorry if you follow me on Twitter – my #fridayreads post has just been mainlyContinue reading “A list : nerdy, technical and just plain bizarre books”