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CONTENTS January 2013

2 2013: all change What will 2013 hold for the children’s book world?


5 An Awfully Interactive Adventure Author Fleur Hitchcock explains


6 Windows into Illustration Jackie Morris on how she created the illustrations for ‘East of the Sun, West of the Moon’.

8 Ten of the Best Books in Translation Deborah Hallford of Outside In World chooses her top ten.

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10 Literary Ventriloquism Daniel Hahn on the translator’s art.


12 There’s Something about Jane Caroline Sanderson asks how old do you have to be to read Jane Austen.


14 Authorgraph No.198 Costa Award winner Sally Gardner interviewed by Clive Barnes.

16 No Time for English in English Robert Hull on the draft National Curriculum for English.


17 Briefing Awards, news.


17 Hal’s Reading Diary Roger Mills looks back over eleven years of Hal’s reading.


18 BfK’s Brilliant Children’s Bookshops Katie Clapham on Storytellers Inc. Lancashire


20 I Wish I’d Written… Alex Shearer chooses a sci fi classic.


20 Good Reads Reviews from Monk Walk School, Welwyn Garden City.

21 REVIEWS Index of Titles and Star Ratings 21 Reviewers 21 Under 5s (Pre-School/Nursery/ Infant) 22 5–8 (Infant/Junior) 23 + Editor’s Choice 24 8–10 (Junior/Middle) 25 10–14 (Middle/Secondary) 25 14+ (Secondary/Adult) 29 + New Talent 31

___________________________________ COVER STORY

32 Classics in Short No. 97 Brian Alderson on Nils Holgersson’s Wonderful Journey.

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2013: all change

If there’s one thing everyone is certain of for 2013, it’s that it will be a year of change. What will it all mean to those in the children’s book world, what’s worrying people, and what are they looking forward to? Books for Keeps takes a new year snapshot.

Hard work, collaboration and impact: School libraries in 2013.

‘You could be excused for thinking that the world of school libraries and librarians is all doom and gloom’, says Adam Lancaster, School Librarian of the Year. ‘After all, in many cases you’d be completely and utterly correct. School Library Services across the country are being threatened with drastic cuts or even closure - a fate that has been very real in my area where Hertfordshire SLS, a beacon service not so long ago, was closed nearly a year ago.

‘But no matter how bad a position librarians find themselves in, we’ve never had such an opportunity to demonstrate our worth.

‘Literacy is the order of the day. Basic skills - reading, writing, speaking and listening - are not just on the government and Ofsted’s agendas, they are the glue holding everything together. With recent changes to professional teacher appraisal systems, Ofsted success criteria and the possible introduction of performance-related pay, anything linked to student attainment is going to have a school’s senior staff concerned.

___________________________________ Books for Keeps

January 2013 No.198 ISSN 0143-909X © Books for Keeps CIC 2013

Managing Editor: Andrea Reece Design: Richard Langford

Melling. Thanks to Hodder Children’s Books for their help with this January cover.

This issue’s cover illustration is from We Love You, Hugless Douglas by David

Editorial correspondence should be sent to Books for Keeps, c/o The Big Green Bookshop, Unit 1, Brampton Park Road, Wood Green, London N22 6BG

2 Books for Keeps No.198 January 2013

Books for Keeps is available online at A regular BfK Newsletter can also be sent by email. To sign up for the Newsletter, go to and follow the Newsletter link. If any difficulty is experienced, email addresses can also be sent to*


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Literacy is the bedrock of progress and schools are crying out for a saviour, someone to show how literacy is valued throughout the school, how reading skills are embedded in learning and that there is someone in the school focusing on those students who fall short.

‘”Hang on!” I hear you say. “Haven’t you just described a librarian?” Exactly! Schools needn’t look further than the only room in the school that has the ability to affect every single classroom and to impact on the learning of all students.

‘In libraries we have been doing all these things that schools are so desperate to see for a very long time. We are the saviours that schools are looking for.

‘That’s why 2013 is going to be both a hard year for school libraries, and one of unparalleled opportunity. And librarians are already beginning to show their colours. Communities of librarians are collaborating and sharing best

2013 is going to be both a hard

year for school libraries and one of unparalleled opportunity

practice. They are beginning to a make a difference on a whole school scale. Unfortunately this isn’t happening everywhere, but for every librarian that achieves this in their school it brings us one step closer, as a profession, to being recognised for what we can do.

‘2013 could actually be a very good year for school libraries and librarians.’

Sian Williams of The Children’s Bookshowis

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