2010 Book Awards - Sheffield Children's Book Award and YoungMinds

Today (23/11/10), I was at the Sheffield Children's Book Award at the City Hall where the 2010 winners were announced. I am sure there will be an official announcement with all the winners, but here is a hint - Morris the Mankiest Monster by Giles Andeae and Sarah McIntyre did really well.

It was a superb event the City Hall was full of kids shouting and screaming and stamping their feet for books and reading! I have never done so much clapping in one hour.

I was at the Children's Book award with some of the volunteers I had trained as
Volunteers for the Summer Reading Challenge. Both project are organised by the Sheffield Library Service, who deserve a lot of credit.

Another award I have been involved in was also announced this week. The 2010 YoungMinds Book Award was won by Siobhan Curham, author of Dear Dylan.

There is a lovely post on Siobhan Curham's own blog about the award. She writes about how she struggled with a lack of confidence, and that 'I love being able to go into schools and tell the least confident of kids, ‘if I can do it then so can you.’ It is quite emotional and the blog post after she won is even more so.

I think our Reading Matters Mentors can also play a big part in boosting the self-esteem of struggling students, the comments on Siobham's blog show what a difference it can make.


Request - Books with a local connection.

I was in Cromford at the weekend. I notice an advert for Derbyshire Reading Detectives. I checked it out and it's a fantastic project, plotting books with a Derbyshire connection on an online map.

When writing about Meet Me by the Steel Men, I suggested books with a local connection are great for use in reading partnerships.

I have a little list of Sheffield and Rotherham ideas, but I would love to hear some more. I have set-up a Discussion on Reading Matters Facebook Page for people to add their suggestions. Please come and join in!


Twocking by Eric Brown - Barrington Stoke Book 36

Twocking by Eric Brown is quite a controversial book. A story about stealing cars with a stated reading age of 8 years, but crucially the Interest age is 14+.

There is death and tragedy from the very first paragraph, which sets the tone of the story to follow. With Chapter 2 dealing with sex, drugs, drink and violence. Joey is very simply lead astray by Emma, it could be lust or drink that is the cause, but probably just boredom. "Bradford Council closed the rec" says Joey, but it's no real excuse for what happens, as Joey and Emma begin
Twocking - T(aking) W(ithout) O(wner's) C(onsent), ie. nicking cars.

The Bradford setting makes it very close to home for me (
Reading Matters head office is in Bradford), as they speed out of the city and onto the moors.

Things escalate when Emma starts doing drug runs for local small-time gangster Skelly. The ending is simply horrific; heroin, and car accidents and more.

I can see why such a book isn't always going to be appropriate. It's such serious subject matter, for such a readable, accessible book. But the morals are right there are ramifications from all of Joey's actions.

There is a very smart review from what sounds like a, Reading Mentor, and her partner
over on Amazon that really backs up the fact that this is a challenging book, but that is just what makes it attractive, especially to read in a partnership.