Tag Archives: Simon Mayo

Catch Up

Illustrator Korky Paul celebrating 25 years of Winnie the Witch

Our conference came and now seems like ages ago!  Well,  it was over a week ago now!  There are comments, blogs and a wonderful storify all available on the website – and these will be added to, so do go have a look at what we discussed and learned. Lighting the Future proved to be a successful, lively, buzzy weekend.

My only regret about the weekend was that I came down with an awful cold and so really didn’t have the energy and clear head to get the most out of the whole thing, or to be able to catch up with as many friends as I would have liked to.  The cough is still hanging around so I am never without a bottle of water to hand!

Simon Mayo listening to Aidan Chambers in the panel discussion at Lighting the Future

Since then it’s been just as busy – and next week is catch up time on all the things I put off until after the conference – oh dear!  Had a fascinating meeting with publishing colleagues about taking a new campaign about information books for children to the public – wonder what will happen with that, but it will tie in with our Information Book Award and national non fiction day .

Also it was this years Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals celebration – at the Barbican which proved to be a super venue.  The winner of both medals, for the first time ever, was the same book!  A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Jim Kay was a worthy winner, with cheers all round and some super speeches and follow up pieces in the press about both men.  Daily Telegraph piece here .

Will is currently deep in rehearsal for the play at the Royal & Derngate (Northampton) at the end of the month, but we took an evening off to see The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: the Radio Show – it was fabulous!  Full website here. Such a joy to see all the exuberance from Douglas Adams back on stage.  This was made even more special by us having coffee with Simon Jones, Dirk Mags and Geoff McGiven in the morning and reminiscing about  all those years ago in Footlights at Cambridge!  Then drinks afterwards in the Mail Coach with the cast and crew rounded off a wonderful evening!  It’s a tough old life when you have a touring show on the road – and the tour buses looked good but not sure it would suit me!

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November Reading

An eclectic selection this month – mainly as I was reviewing for a promotion – but it made me read some books I may have missed otherwise…

Simon Mayo (yes the DJ) has written his first novel for teenagers – Itch.  It has an engaging young man as it’s hero and a complex but involving plot around radioactivity and elemental forces – a good thriller.

In contrast Frances Hardinge’s latest novel Twilight Robbery is set in  fantasy world where your name can dictate whether you get to live in daylight or night, and your time of birth may have been falsified to stack your chances either way.  The humour of Hardinge’s writing is gentle and stays in the mind for a long time after you have read the book.  The plot centres on Mosca Mye and Eponymous Clent and continues their odd but engaging adventures from Fly By Night.  Enjoy!

Wonder by P J Pelacio is yet to be published – but when it is – read it!  This is the story of a boy who has an awful facial disfigurement and how his starting school impacts on him, his family and his community.  It’s gripping, stays this side of syrupy sentimentality and actually makes you think – whilst still being involved in the reading of the book.  I do hope this gets taken up more widely as it tackles disability, bullying, families and school life in a very thought provoking manner.

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