Select Page
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.”

First books of 2015

First books of 2015

Ignoring the fact that it’s been well over six months since the last time I logged in (new city, new job and some INCREDIBLE projects to come over the next 18 months) …

Happy New Year!

First blood for the year … the genius Ali Smith’s Artful (adapted from four lectures), Cary Elwes light hearted As You Wish (every thing you need to know about being a dread pirate AND MORE) and the sequel to Sally Green’s Half Bad, Half Wild (and it’s good, better than book one and you have MUCH to look forward to.)

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 07.20.37 Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 07.20.44 tumblr_ngr19lbYhv1r05cn6o1_1280



And because it’s always easier to talk about the book you’re reading … just about to finish the unstoppable voice of Susin Nielsen:



In London? What is a boy to do?

In London? What is a boy to do?

What does a first week in London look like? THIS!

One EARLY flight on Sunday got me to Marylebone and the street fair… for lobster rolls, a fun fair, some pink gin and getting to see Nicola from Harpercollins.


10444532_10152536117546458_2036443492533460592_n 10262054_10152536119771458_1531901458735168079_n 10411765_10152536127851458_7768061172426277244_n 10417663_10152536128706458_7174358688276764887_n 10420248_10152536124241458_1187924378109169978_n

… followed VERY quickly by my first day at Scholastic:

Day one included mastering Barclay Bikes and realising that London is HUGE. Plus working at Scholastic… means Hunger Games swag!

TALL 10435101_10152540603051458_1400674723845223265_n 10482245_10152538711926458_6591664683787245946_n


What happened next was EPIC. I mean, seriously… EPIC. After a crazy day in the office I snuck into a secret screening of The Fault In Our Stars, in a private cinema beneath a fancy hotel, to meet some of the cast, as well as Dan and Phil.




10422241_10152541552946458_8061218124282764030_n 10397811_10152541553346458_971266935514104623_n  



Oh! And I did a little wandering on the way to the screening… and found this:

Wednesday started with some hipster coffee (it was a late night) and a lunch meeting at Byron in SoHo for some tasty, tasty burgers!

photo 2 photo 1

I found Mornington Crescent too (HUZZAH!), just not sure I could do it on my own… the Citimapper App has become my BEST friend.

photo 1

photo 2

And everyone in the Scholastic editorial team got busy:

photo 3

Thursday evening was my first Waterstones event (got to meet some awesome folks – including James Dawson, Kim Curran, Jim, Gemma, Belinda and MORE … but I have missed a name or three)



Friday started with a dino war in Scholastic towers… and now I’m on the hunt for desk dino of my own to be part of the team!

BqjzeVPCYAEamSm.jpg-large Bqj5QrWIAAAwF53

Bqj6IrsCMAAUmrB.jpg-large BqkCo-RIgAA7KvF

… then came the weekend. TIME TO EXPLORE!

Made it to the British Library for the Comics Unmasked (more on that later) and then onto Gosh Comics, stroll through Chinatown, Hamleys and generally messing about (including another trip to Byron for a burger before catching X-Men: Days of Future Past again… because it’s THAT good.)

photo 1 photo 2

photo 3 photo 4

photo 5 photo 2

photo 1 photo 3


Phew. Onto week two!