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The Game of Love and Death

The Game of Love and Death

Martha Brockenbrough’s The Game of Love and Death lands on store shelves in April. I think you should read it, of course I do, but don’t take MY word for it.

Check out what Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly have to say:

Brockenbrough never sugarcoats the obstacles facing Henry and Flora’s love — whether human prejudices or supernatural manipulations — in this inventive and affecting novel, and the ending in which Flora, who has seen too many people die, realizes how love and death intertwine, is beautiful.

– Publisher’s Weekly STARRED REVIEW 
Race, class, fate and choice—they join Love and Death to play their parts in Brockenbrough’s  haunting and masterfully orchestrated narrative.




Does The Future of Libraries Have Little to Do with Books?

Does The Future of Libraries Have Little to Do with Books?

With all of the talk of library cuts and closures in the UK – where do you see libraries going?


In a digital age that has left book publishers reeling, libraries in the world’s major cities seem poised for a comeback, though it’s one that has very little to do with books. The Independent Library Report—published in December by the U.K.’s Department for Culture, Media, and Sport—found that libraries across the nation are re-inventing themselves by increasingly becoming “vibrant and attractive community hubs,” focusing on the “need to create digital literacy—and in an ideal world, digital fluency.”


Have a read!

The Independent’s Children’s Books Blog: Rebecca Davies signs off

The Independent’s Children’s Books Blog: Rebecca Davies signs off

Sad news from the world of The Independent (UK) – Rebecca is hanging up her blogging boots, for now:

I’m sorry to report that today will be my last post on the children’s book blog. I’ve had an absolute blast writing it over the past couple of years, but it’s always been a labour of love and real-life work sadly has to take precedence.


But she leaves on a high note with some great recommendations including … Dog on Stilts, Tom Gates, The Deadly 7, The Door that Led to Where and the new Patrick Ness: The rest of us just live here.

Go read what Rebecca is most excited about for 2015!

Now to try and tease her back to blogging … *sends cake*





(Pic via Getty Images)

Kids and Family Reading Report

Kids and Family Reading Report

It’s US based – but interesting none the less.

The annual Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report analyses data from 2,500+ parents and kids – asks questions and crunches the numbers to give an indication of where things are.

Only 51% of children said they love or like reading books for fun (That was 58% in 2012, and 60% in 2010.)

The report found that reading enjoyment drops after the age of eight.

And why the steep drop – particularly in boys? – sixty per cent who enjoyed reading more when they were younger put this down to there being “so many other things that I now enjoy more than reading”

What makes a ‘frequent reader’? 

The report found that a six to 11-year-old is more likely to be a frequent reader if they are currently read aloud to at home, if they were also read aloud to five to seven days a week before starting nursery, and if they are less likely to use a computer for fun.


I’m still reading the report, (sssh, it’s early), have a look here.

Robert Dunbar: January Blues

Robert Dunbar: January Blues

Catherine Doyle, Nick Lake and Steve Watkins go under the microscope of Robert Dunbar in the Irish Times – Teen/YA getting the first treatment of the year.

Vendetta – Doyle’s debut – takes the prize of most interesting review:

Doyle skilfully prepares her readers for a narrative that blends thriller and romance, building tension in the former and accelerating the physical intensity of the latter.

“What emerges ultimately is a tale of two interlinking families, their misdemeanours, their secrets and lies and, above all, their conflicting loyalties and urge for revenge: the Montagues and the Capulets come to mind. The plot’s numerous twists and turns are sometimes predictable, sometimes unexpected, but, in gener”l, this is a novel that will keep its readers turning the pages.”

And most importantly, a welcome to the ranks of Irish writing:

“Irish young-adult literature has, in the person of Doyle, a welcome addition to its ranks.”