Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book Award Shortlist Announced Today!!!

The Bolton Book Award Shortlist was announced yesterday morning to over 100 pupils and teachers from local schools, in a ceremony at the University of Bolton. Those who were there were introduced to each of the seven shortlisted titles by members of the working group, took part in book quizzes and generally had a lot of fun getting enthused about this years titles!

The now-not-so-secret-seven shortlisted titles are as follows...

Alec Devlin: The Eye of the Serpent by Philip Caveney

EGYPT 1923. Fifteen-year-old Alec Devlin is on his way to the Valley of the Kings to spend the summer holidays working on his Uncle Will's archeological dig. It's not the first time he's spent his summer this way . . . but this year things are different

Uncle Will and his young assistant, Tom, have recently made an amazing discovery - an ancient tomb hidden deep below the earth. But only hours after opening it's doors, Uncle Will falls mysteriously ill and Tom seems to have disappeared without trace,

Alec sets about unravelling the tomb's mysteries - seemingly harmless animals have turned into rabid killers, long dead mummies are rising from their tombs, the spirit of a powerful High Priest is claiming people as living hosts . . .and Alec must confront a terror that has waited three thousand years to be reborn.

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls

"My name is Sam. I am eleven years old. I collect stories and fantastic facts. By the time you read this, I will probably be dead. "

Sam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl. And because he has leukaemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers to the questions nobody will answer.

Crash by J A Henderson

A day out with his dad Gordon turns into a nightmare for Bobby Berlin when something shocking happens that leaves Dad thinking it's 1977 and he's really 14. The only people Bobby can turn to for help are his best friend Mary and her gypsy grandmother. The problem is, they don't have a clue what to do either.

Gordon is irrationally convinced that if he can just get to Dundee, everything will be OK - but he couldn't be more wrong. The east coast of Scotland is about to be hit by a tsunami. As the population flees, Gordon journeys towards the heart of danger, followed by Bobby and Mary, hell-bent on trying to stop him...

A Beautiful Place for a Murder by Berlie Doherty

"It was the first time my mum had left me on my own. Five days of glorious freedom stretched in front of me. “Enjoy yourself,” I shouted, waving her off. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine!” I danced back into the house, whooping with delight. And half an hour after she’d gone, I was plunged into the worst experience of my life."

Shaun Parker is a suspect in a murder at a lonely cottage near his house – only Caroline, his girlfriend, believes in his innocence. Can they find the real murderer before the police charge Shaun?

Lee Raven Boy Thief by Zizou Corder

Lee Raven, boy thief, has stolen something he really didn't mean to. Now he faces a perilous flight through London (and the murky sewers below) as he tries to escape capture ; because Lee has stolen the Book of Nebo, a book that has existed for thousands of years and tells every story and legend known to man. It's priceless. Some will even kill to possess it.

The pressure mounts and the future of Nebo is in Lee's hands; can he prevent the most dangerous ending of them all?

Zal, Zara and the Great Race of Azamed by Kit Downes

It's time for the Great Race of Azamed - the most exciting magic carpet race in the world. Zal and Zara believe that only an enchanted rainbow carpetcould possibly win the prize, but perhaps such a thing is just the stuff of stories...

The race is on for the pair to discover the secret behind the legend and weave the winning carpet, but will their enemy Haragan beat them to their dream?

Young Samurai: The Way of the Warrior by Chris Bradford

August 1611. Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan – his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates. Rescued by the legendary sword master Masamoto Takeshi, Jack's only hope is to become a samurai warrior. And so his training begins.

But life at the samurai school is a constant fight for survival. Even with his friend Akiko by his side, Jack is singled out by bullies and treated as an outcast. With courage in his heart and his sword held high, can Jack prove himself and face his deadliest rival yet?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One day and counting...

I'm really excited about the shortlist launch tomorrow. We're going to be talking to over 100 teachers and pupils from over 20 different local schools, introducing them to each of the 7 shortlisted books, doing a quiz and generally having fun and getting everyone really excited and enthused about the process. The book i'm introducing is the one that's really captured my attention - although all of them are such strong contendors that it's hard to predict how things will turn out. However, that's a long way off yet.........!