Acclaimed British author Terry Pratchett has died aged 66, eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. A giant of Fantasy Literature his legacy will be felt for decades to come. A snapshot of his career from BBC article below.
Check out this bunch of great Terry Pratchett links below:
This week’s Website of the Week is amightygirl.com. A site devoted to book and movie reviews and author interviews of particular interest to girls. There are some really fantastic lists of books and authors that feature strong female characters and positive role models for girls and young women. Browse the sections below for more strong girl stories both fiction and non-fiction:
News this morning that Harper Lee will publish Go Set a Watchman, a sequel (of sorts) to her beloved 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, was met with thoroughgoing cheer and goodwill. It is certainly an unexpected development: it was long thought that the 88-year-old Lee would never produce another book, much less a continuation (of sorts) of the original story. Here is what we know about Go Set a Watchman so far:
OK, now less than a week till National Novel Writing Month kicks off for 2014. NaNoWriMo is a way of offering support and encouragement to start and complete a novel in 30 days.There is even a special website for younger writers keen to take up the challenge. I will offer $50 book vouchers for anyone who reaches the goal, that’s 50 000 words remember. I’ll also offer 3 prizes for the best effort, best individual chapter and best novel idea.
Flanagan joins compatriots Thomas Keneally and Peter Carey as the third Australian winner of arguably the world’s most prestigious literary award. Peter Carey, South African born Adelaide resident J.M. Coetzee and Hilary Mantel share the distinction of being the only novelists to have won the award twice. Mantel stands alone as the only author to have won Bookers with consecutive novels, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.
“[I]t’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” ― Judy Blume
This week is Banned Books Week. Initiated by the American Library Association, it is a chance to celebrate the freedom to read each September by drawing attention to the issue of censorship. Many public and school libraries in the US (and elsewhere) champion the vast range of literature that has been banned and/or challenged by over-eager legislators and officials.
The situation in Australia has thankfully been much more liberal with many fewer instances of this kind of attempted thought control. The last literary work to be actually banned in Australia was American Psycho, by Brett Easton Ellis way back in 1990. It is only available to over 18s in most states and still effectively banned in Queensland. Click on the links below for a story about the history of Literary Censorship in Australia and elsewhere.
In the U.S. Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2014 celebration will be held September 21-27.
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported. The 10 most challenged titles of 2013 were:
Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence
For more information on Banned Books Week, click here.
For some excellent quotes about Censorship click on the links below:
I read a really interesting article from AbeBooks.com recently about the strange, touching and sometimes valuable things booksellers have found wedged between the pages of books. These often mundane objects used as bookmarks, but long forgotten shed an eerie light on the lives and hopes of the book’s previous owners.
Adam Tobin, owner of Unnameable Books in Brooklyn, New York, has created a display inside his bookstore dedicated to objects discovered in books.
“It’s a motley assortment,” he said. “We’ve been doing it for about two years since opening the store. The display quickly took over the back wall and now it’s spreading to other places, and there’s a backlog of stuff that we haven’t put up yet. There are postcards, shopping lists, and concert tickets but my favorites are the cryptic notes. They are often deeply personal and can be very moving.”
As a school librarian this article prompted me to recall the strange (and sometimes gross) objects that I and my colleagues have found in books that have been returned to us. If anyone else has a story of strange objects found in books please let us know via the comments page below.
Checking out literary prize shortlists is a great way of introducing yourself to new, quality writing that you may not otherwise hear about. For more fantastic shortlists from worldwide literary prizes, click here