Friday, December 16, 2011

Steve Smallman is coming to Sheffield

Children's author Steve Smallman - who picked up the Highly Commended prize for his picture book, Dragon Stew, at this year's cermony - is coming to shefffield again tomorrow (Sat 17th Dec)!

Steve will be popping into 5 local libraries throughout the day to meet young readers and sign copies of his brand new book Santa is coming to Sheffield. The event is completely free and there is no need to get a ticket, just visit any one of the five locations listed below, for the opportunity to meet the award-winning author and have the chance to buy a signed copy of Santa is coming to Sheffield; which, of course, would make a great christmas present!

Locations and times:

Totley Library                         10.00am-10.30am

Upperthorpe Zest                   11.00am-11.30am

Central Children's Library       12noon-12.30pm

Highfield Library                     2.00pm-2.30pm

Broomhill Library                    3.00pm-3.30pm

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 Winners Announced!

The winners of this year's Sheffield Children's Book Award were announced earlier today, at a fantastic ceremony at the City Hall.

The ceremony was attended by many of the shortlisted authors and illustrators as well as thousands of young readers from across Sheffield, who took part in the project this year.

The winners are chosen exclusively through the votes of these young readers, and those who weren't able to attend the ceremony are no doubt itching to find out which authors walked away with the without further delay here are this year's winners:

The Pig's Knickers, by Jonathan Emmett and Vanessa Cabban scooped the top prize.

This hilarious tale of a prancing pig and his polka dot knickers captured the hearts of local children, whose votes ensured it was not only voted the Picture Book Category Winner, but that it was also crowned Overall Winner!

Jonathan Emmett, who attended the ceremony and later provided a workshop for children from Meynell School, was absolutely delighted with the win, and thrilled all attending the ceremony, by taking to the stage for his acceptance speech in his very own pair of polka dot knickers!

The other books scooping prizes for the Picture Book category were: Steve Smallman and Lee Wildish's Dragon Stew, which won the Highly Commended prize, along with Mini Grey's Three by the Sea, which won the Commended prize.

In the Shorter Novel Category David Walliams scooped the top spot, winning the category with his book Billionaire Boy; the heart-warming tale of Joe Spud, the richest twelve-year old in the world, whose only wish is to have a friend.

Jim Eldridge won the Highly Commended prize for his book Disgusting Dave and the Flesh-Eating Maggots. While Katie Davies won the Commended prize for her shorter novel The Great Hamster Massacre.

In the Longer Novel Category, it was Malorie Blackman who was voted the category winner for her dramatic and emotional book, Boys don't Cry, which tells the story of a teenage boy who is just about to embark on adulthood when he discovers he is a father. Malorie attended the ceremony and was greatly in demand afterwards, with so many young readers all desperate for her to sign a copy of the winning book.

Sharon Dogar won the Highly Commended prize for her book Annexed, while Andy Mulligan scooped the Commended prize for his novel Trash.

The winner of the Teachers' Favourite Book was Terry Deary's Put out the Light; a shorter novel which tells the parallel stories of a brother and sister living in Sheffield and two boys growing up in Dachau, Germany, as all four struggle to survive the ravages of the Second World War.

Finally the winner of the Baby Book Award was Noisy Peekaboo! Roar! Roar! by Dorling Kindersley, which adds a new dimension to lift-the-flap books, with its accompanying wild animal noises.

So all that is left to do is say a HUGE thank you to all of you who took part in this year's Sheffield Children's Book Award and Baby Book Award: this year we had a record-breaking 222 schools from across Sheffield taking part in the project!

It was fantastic to see so many of you at the ceremony today. We really hope you enjoyed reading this year's titles, and here's a reminder to keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of our 2012 Book Award shortlist! If you'd like to make your own suggestion for the shortlist, click on the link at the top right of the page and let us know which book you think deserves a place!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Award ceremony only one week away!

In just one week's time, on 29 November, we will be crowning the winners of this year's Sheffield Children's Book Award! The ceremony, which is being held at the City Hall next Tuesday, will be attended by thousands of local school children who have taken part in the project this year.

These young readers have been busy over the past year, reading and voting for the titles on the shortlists, and they will finally find out the winners at next week's ceremony.

Many of the shortlisted authors and illustrators are set to attend the ceremony on tuesday, and will be available after the event to sign copies of their books; with many also staying on to lead workshops for selected schools (see the previous post!).

It's set to be a great day, and for those of you attending, we can't wait to see you there!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Carnegie Longlists Recognise Titles Featured on our own Shortlists

The 2012 longlists for the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards have been announced and, to our delight, they feature many of the books we chose for this year's Sheffield Children's Book Award shortlists.

Eight out of the eighteen books selected for our shortlists this year have also made it onto the prestigious Carnegie and Greenaway longlists. The eight books that feature on the lists are: Three by the Sea, Ottoline at Sea, Noah Barleywater Runs Away, Put out the Light, My Name is Mina, Annexed, Boys don't Cry, and Trash.

Those of you who have been invited to attend our award ceremony at the City Hall in less than two weeks, on 29 November, will have the chance to meet some of these authors in person! Malorie Blackman, John Boyne and Terry Deary will all be attending the ceremony and will be availabe to sign copies of their books at the end of the ceremony.

Other authors and illustrators attending the ceremony will be: Jonathan Emmett, Caryl Hart and Sarah Horne, David Melling, Steve Smallman, Alex T. Smith, Jim Eldridge, and Kevin Brooks. All these authors will be staying on after the ceremony to sign copies of their books and will also be leading workshops with selected young readers who have taken part in the Book Award.

For those of you attending the ceremony it offers you a great opportunity to meet your favourite authors in person, and perhaps even congratulate them on winning one of the Sheffield Children's Book Award prizes! We're really looking forward to seeing you there on the 29th!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Last Chance to Vote!

All voting for the Sheffield Children's Book Award will close on Friday 16th September, so if you still haven't got your vote in then there really is no time to lose!

Those taking part in the award through their schools will have already caste their votes before the summer holidays began. But if you're taking part through your local library then you can still vote online using this blog...but you only have until this Friday (16th Sept) before all voting is closed, so get your skates on to make your vote count!

Simply vote by clicking on the voting link at the bottom of your category's page, for example, if you have been taking part in the shorter novel category, click on the 'Shorter Novel' tab at the top of the home page and then scroll down to the bottom to find the link, which will open up the voting page.

Although online voting for this year's shortlists ends on the 16th September, you can continue recommending books for next year's shortlists using our online survey right up until 31st December; just click on the link at the top right of the home page.

    Happy Voting Everyone!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Become a Published Author!

Ever thought you've got what it takes to write your own children's book? Well ITV show, Daybreak, are running a fantastic competition, which could see you becoming a published author!

The competition, 'What's the Story', promoted by boy band The Wanted, is looking for young people, aged 7-12, to create a brand new picture book. Acclaimed children's author Lydia Monks has created two new characters, 'the bear' and 'the bee', especially for the project, which entrants must include in their stories. For more information about the competition, how to enter, and terms and conditions, click here to visit the 'What's the Story' section of the Daybreak website. Please note that a parent or guardian must be the one to complete your entry form.

The closing date for the competition is 25th July, so there really is no time to waste...get creative...get writing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Volunteer Project

Roll up! Roll up!

Do you love to read?... If so, would you like to inspire young children across Sheffield to read for pleasure, whilst also gaining valuable work experience and a nationally-recognised accreditation for your Record of Achievement....Then we may have just the volunteer project for you!

We're looking for enthusiastic 14-16 year olds who would like the opportunity to work in libraries over the summer, promoting the Summer Reading Challenge to young children. This is the second year that we have run the volunteer project, and we're looking for volunteers from across Sheffield to work in Central Children's LibraryFirth Park library and the brand new Parson Cross library.

Many of you will perhaps remember taking part in The Summer Reading Challenge when you were younger; it's a massive, national project which aims to keep young children reading over the summer holidays and we need your help to get as many kids as possible involved! This year's theme is Circus Stars, and the children who sign up for the project will be set the challenge of reading six books over the holidays, receiving rewards along the way.

We are looking for volunteers to help sign kids up for the Challenge, hand out rewards, and encourage kids a long the way - talking to them about the books they've read and helping them to choose more titles - there will also be opportunities to get involved in organising and running circus-themed craft activities.
2010 volunteers receiving their Reading      
Agency certificates from the Lord Mayor    
If you're aged 14-16 and interested in working in libraries, or with children, or simply on creative projects, then this summer's volunteer project offers you the perfect opprtunity to gain some valuable work experience! You will also have the chance to gain an OCN Level 2 accreditation which you can use in your Record of Achievement, a long with a reference from us detailing all your hard work.

Interested? Then simply click here and scroll down to fill out an application. The closing date for applications is 27 June, so there's no time to lose! If you have any questions about the project feel free to leave comments under this blog post and we'll get back to you...we're looking forward to hearing from you!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't Worry Douglas!

Children's author David Melling has released another title in his adorable 'Douglas' series!

Those young readers taking part in our Picture Book category this year may already have read David's first book in the series, Hugless Douglas, which won a place on our Picture Book shortlist this year. The book follows Douglas on his quest to find the perfect bear hug and is packed with all the humour and charming illustrations we have come to expect from David Melling's books.

 Children's author, David Melling       
David's new book in the series, Don't Worry Douglas!, was released in April and features another of Douglas' adventures. Douglas is given a fantastic red, woolly hat by his dad; Douglas is so excited with his new gift  that he races outside to show it off to his friends. But it isn't long before his excitement (and his hat!) unravels, leaving Douglas wondering what to do for the best. His friends have a variety of hilarious (and useless!) ideas and it is inevitably left to Douglas to decide how to put things right...

Fans of David Melling's wonderfully charming books will not be disappointed by his latest edition to the Douglas series... To find out more about the book click here, or to find out more about David and his other work click here to visit his interactive website!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Inspired to Read

Find reading inspiration from the best book awards in the country!

If you're enjoying reading this year's shortlisted books and you’re looking for some ideas as to what to read next then why not check out the shortlists of some of the country's other major children’s book awards. Their lists, like our own, reflect the very best of children's fiction and could help you when tyring to pick out a book at your next visit to the library! If you're not already a library member click here to join!

Photo courtesy of Maxim Lachmann

Some book awards have already announced their winners for this year, including the Costa Book Award, the Galaxy National Book Awards and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. One of our own shortlisted books, The Great Hamster Massacre by Katie Davies, featured on both the Galaxy and Waterstones shortlists, even scooping the winner's prize for best children's book in the Waterstones award. While one of our Longer Novels, Annexed by Sharon Dogar, won a place on this year’s Costa Shortlist.

To find out the other 2011 winners of these national book awards, as well as what other books made it on to their shortlists, visit their websites by clicking on the links toward the bottom of the column running down the right hand side of the screen. Hopefully they might give you some ideas as to what to read next! 

There are also still some book awards – like our own – which are yet to announce their winners for this year. The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Children’s Book Awards as well as the Lancashire Book of the Year Award are still waiting to announce their winners. The Greenaway Award focuses on younger children, while the Carnegie and Lancashire Book Awards concentrate on books for young adults.
You can check out their websites by clicking on the links on the right.

The Carnegie and Greenaway Award has a fantastic website with sections on the 2011 Awards as well as a ‘Living Archive’, featuring all the books to have won the award. The Carnegie Award has been going for more than 70 years, and the Greenaway for more than 50, so, with a book award that has been running for that long you’re sure to find a title that catches your eye! You will also find a link to their ‘Shadowing Site’ on the homepage where you can read reviews, download free resources and generally get involved in the award! The Lancashire Book Award also has a website featuring their 2011 shortlist as well as a comprehensive archive of the award’s previous shortlists.

We really hope that you’re enjoying reading the fantastic books on this year’s Sheffield Children’s Book Award shortlists and that this post might give you a few hints as to where to go to find further inspiration for your reading!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Trash to be turned into a movie!

One of this year's shortlisted books is to be made into a movie! Trash by Andy Mulligan - one of the six titles in our Longer Novel Category - has been picked up by Working Title and Peapie Films, and is set to be turned into a movie! Richard Curtis will write the screenplay, while Stephen Daldry, director of Billy Elliot, will direct.

Anyone who has read the gripping tale of three friends who make a mysterious and dangerous discovery amidst the dump site they call home, will not be surprised to hear film rights to the book have been snapped up; the description in the book is so rich and powerful that as you read you feel you could easily be sat in a cinema soaking up all the action as it unfolds!

To find out more about Trash click here to visit a website dedicated to the book!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Recommend a Book for Next Year's Shortlist!

Have you read a great book this year and think it deserves to make it onto next year's shortlist? Then let us know about it!

It couldn't be simpler to make your suggestion, just click on the 'click here to take survey' link at the top right of the screen and make your recommendation! Anyone, of any age, can suggest a book for next year's shortlist - young readers, teachers, parents, library staff. The only criteria is that the book was first published in the UK in 2011 and that it is suitable for one of our categories - Picture Book, Shorter Novel or Longer Novel.

So if you have read a book that has captured your imagination, and that you want to shout about, then what are you waiting for: get recommending! You may even see your suggested book being sent out to hundreds of schools and libraries as part of next year's shortlist!

To get you thinking, here are just a few examples of books that are already creating a buzz in 2011:

Ribbit Rabbit by Candace Ryan and Mike Lowery: A picture book about two best friends, Frog and Bunny, who have their squabbles, but soon remember why they were best friends in the first place.

The book cleverly uses rhyme and puns and would be great for getting young children to experiment with language; it is also wonderfully illustrated by Lowery, whose work has also appeared in the rather cheeky Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo.

The Emerald Atlas By John Stevens: This is the first in a new series of fantasy books by Stevens, and is being hailed as 'the most exciting children's fantasy series since Harry Potter'!

The story centres around three orphans, Kate, Michael and Emma, who lose their parents in mysterious circumstances. After many miserable years spent in orphanages, the three children come across a book that sets in motion an ancient and terrible magical prophecy that only they can stop.

If you're a fan of the Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket series' then you're sure to be hooked by this new offering from Stevens, which is released in only three days time (14th April)!

Plague by Michael Grant: The fourth book in Grant's Gone series was creating major hype weeks before it's UK release. Avid fans of the series were finally able to get their hands on the book last Monday (4th April), and it has not disappointed; keeping up all the pace and excitement of the previous three books.

Gone was last year's winner of the Sheffield Children's Book Award, Longer Novel Category, so if you were one of the readers who voted for it, then Grant's fourth book is definitely worth a look!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Books on the Move!

All the books selected for our 2011 Shortlist are now winging their way to over 200 local schools! Many of your schools will have already received their books, so it won't be long until you'll begin reading some of the very best books released over the past year!

If your school isn't taking part in the awards you can still get involved in the project through your local library! Copies of all the books on the shortlist are available in all of Sheffield's local libraries, and library staff will be very happy to guide you through the project. If you want to join in but don't have a library card, it couldn't be simpler to get one, just click here for step-by-step instructions. 

We really hope you enjoy reading the books on this year's shortlist. And remember that your votes - and only your votes! - will decide the winners! In the meantime we would love for you to leave your comments about the books you've read on the blog!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Your 2011 Shortlist!

We at the library service, as well as young readers and parents across sheffield, have been beavering away over the last few months, collecting and reading as many books as possible, in order to choose the very best titles for our 2011 shortilst!

In January we finally whittled down all the hundreds of books competing for a place on the shortlist to the final eighteen; with six titles for each of our three categories: Picture Book, Shorter Novel and Longer Novel, (you might notice that this year we have divided the shorter novel category into two sections, for our younger and older readers). We're confident that we have chosen the very best books on offer and that you will have great fun reading them and choosing your favourite!

So all that is left to do is announce your shortlist for 2011!

Picture Books
  • The Pig's Knickers by Jonathan Emmett and Vanessa Cabban
  • Three by the Sea by Mini Grey
  • Rhino? What Rhino? by Caryl Hart 
  • Hugless Douglas by David Melling
  • Dragon Stew by Steve Smallman and Lee Wildish
  • Egg by Alex T. Smith

Shorter Novels

Younger Readers
  • The Great Hamster Massacre by Katie Davies
  • Disgusting Dave and the Flesh-Eating Maggots by Jim Eldridge
  • Ottoline at Sea by Chris Riddell
Older Readers
  • Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne
  • Put Out the Light by Terry Deary
  • Billionaire Boy by David Walliams

Longer Novels
  • My Name is Mina by David Almond
  • Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman
  • I Boy by Kevin Brooks
  • No and Me by Delphine de Vigan
  • Annexed by Sharon Dogar
  • Trash by Andy Mulligan

To find out more about the shortlisted books you'll be reading this year click on the 'Picture Books', 'Shorter Novels' and 'Longer Novels' tabs at the top of the page. We would love for you to get involved and leave your comments on the blog - what you enjoyed (or didn't!) about the titles you'll be reading over the coming months. Good luck with the shortlist and happy reading!!!