The House on the Mountain by Ella Holcombe & David Cox

The House on the MOuntain - cover image
A wonderful read!

Atmospheric and immensely moving, this is the story of a family experiencing a bush fire in Australia. The aftermath is a harsh reality for a family whose home is in the middle of the woods. 

It is though, a story of healing and reconciliation. Lives are changed but not broken, there is a future through the devastation.

‘ We drive in silence, with the windows down. The hills are bald, with black spikes where the trees used to be. I don’t recognise any of the old familiar turns or corners. I don’t recognise anything’.

Before the fire this family in Australia have fun and do all the normal things that families do. After the  fire they eventually return and start all over again.

In real life it didn’t always work out so well.

A great picture book style story of a real life event with some changes. What an accolade to the author, Ella Holcombe and also to the illustrator David Cox, for setting the atmosphere so well.

Allen and Unwin, publishers have terrific books which are meaningful, good to read and so well produced. The House on the Mountain is well up there and especially as a reminder of Black Saturday.

Highly recommended for all ages.

Sue Martin

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Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

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Winner of the School Librarian of the Year 2019

The SLA School Librarian of the Year Award is the School Library Association’s highly valued award to recognize the excellent work carried out in school libraries across the country. 

In 2019, Alec Williams, who introduced the afternoon said, ” A room full of books is just that! But given the proper space and a librarian, the discovery, delight and magic happens.”

This year Ros Harding at The King’s School Chester has been awarded the honour of the School Librarian of the Year 2019. Sara Barnard, the 2019 YA Book Prize winner presented Ros Harding with her award at a special ceremony at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, Kensington, London Kensington on 27 June .

Ros is Head Librarian and Archivist at The King’s School Chester, which is an independent selective school for 3-18 year olds, Ros contributes in many ways to the life of the school and the wellbeing of its students and staff. She was described by others as“caring, for people but also for the library itself”, “inspiring curiosity” and a “tour de force”.

As well as establishing a School Book Award, Ros is an excellent ambassador of research skills and ensures all aspects of the school to have a place within the library. She empowers pupils and gives outstanding support and pastoral care.

A quote and under-statement from a pupil, ” She knows her library”!

Announcing the School Librarian of the Year 2019, Sara Barnard, whose novel Goodbye Perfect won the YA Book Prize 2019  said:
Libraries are essential to any school and community, and I’m delighted to pay tribute to them and the librarians who make them what they are.

The two other school librarians on the Honour List, were recognised for their outstanding work .Chantal Kelleher is the Learning Resource Centre Manager at Herne Bay High School, and  Helen Cleaves, Librarian/Learning Resources Manager at Kingston Grammar School.

The panel of judges was led by Sue Baston, who is also Vice Chair of SLA.

From bringing books to life in highly imaginative and engaging ways, to generous and bold outreach work each librarian on the Honour
List has made a huge difference to the lives of all they work with, igniting a passion for reading.

An interesting and inspirational event  recognising all the good work that continues in our school libraries.

Sue Martin

 

 

 

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Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

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Angel: Through My Eyes Series – Natural Disaster Zones

Angel, Through My Eyes Natural disaster ZOnes cover image and web link
Buy this great book here…

Angel’s family have seen many typhoons. For generations the violent storms have passed across the central Philippines around November. But Typhoon Haiyan is a super-typhoon and came across the Philippines in 2013, destroying everything in its path.

Angel lives in Tacloban with her family and when the news of the typhoon is announced the family take extra measures to keep safe.

But Typhoon Haiyan is stronger than anyone has ever seen before. Angel stays near the coast with her father whilst her mother, brothers and sisters go into the hills to their grandparents, but only just in time.

‘There’s an ear splitting crash as the first wave hurls itself at the little house, forcing open the door and gushing through the window. Angel screams. The ladder is torn away just as she jumps onto the roof beam. Water is up to her chin and she is fighting to keep her head above its churning mass. ‘ Papa! Papa!’ She searches desperately for any sign of her father as the water sweeps her away, but he’s vanished.’

An amazing book, written by Zoe Daniels, it is harrowing and full of anguish as Angel searches through the debris and disaster areas. Several days elapse before any help arrives by plane.

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Through My Eyes  is a stunning series, and highly recommended. They are published by Allen and Unwin, Australia and the series editor is Lyn White. As the reader you are immersed into a disaster zone of epic proportions.

We really love these books and Angel is a brilliantly depicted story of life when the super typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful ever to be recorded, hit the Central Philippines.

Recommended for ages 8- 15 and adults too!

Sue Martin

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Amundsen’s Way Race to the South Pole by Joanna Grochowicz

Amundsen's Way - The Race to the South Pole cover image
Buy this book here: available 5th Sept. 2019

Amundsens’ Way – Race to the South Pole, is Joanna’s second stunning book about the Antarctic explorers of the early 19 Century.  Roald Amundsen was  determined, heroic and courageous but not best liked but he did win the race to the South Pole in 1911.

Joanna’s skill shines through beyond the words as she writes with intrigue and knowledge about the stories and challenges on this epic but cruel journey.  Her understanding of Amundsen details his faults as well as his abilities, and although she admires his courage, his methods were often very hard.

Amundsen’s Way is Joanna’s second novel of narrative non-fiction, her first Into the White – Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey, is hugely successful and was a finalist for the New Zealand Book Awards 2018. The illustrator for both books is Sarah Lippett.

Buy this book here (Available 5th Sept 2019)

Amundsen’s Way is published by Allen and Unwin of Australia and will be released in the UK in  Autumn 2019.

Books Go Walkabout is planning Joanna’s next visit to the UK and currently talking with schools and organisations on bookings in November.

Her charismatic storytelling abilities will captivate any audience of young people, it’s a great story!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019

Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019

An outstanding Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2019.

The illustrator’s wall and contributions by new and amazingly talented illustrators from all over the world was an absolute highlight.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair – a small section of the  illustrators wall…

In fact after two days it became increasingly hypnotic with so many beautiful images collected together on the entrance walls.

Sometimes confusing too that cards, postcards, posters and information were scattered across the floor, just waiting to be picked up and gathered into people’s canvas bags.

Have certainly spotted some wonderful talent and a joy for years ahead of book reviews.

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is immensely large and awe-inspiring. My plans of looking carefully at the guide went out of the window as we walked around stand after stand, finding ones which appealed to the Books Go Walkabout team. We also spent time with colleagues we had planned to visit.

The Sea, illustrated by Jill Calder, on display at the event…

Highlights for BGW were the books for Ireland and also Vietnam, two more places in the vast world to engage with and bring authors and children together from all over the world.

And so we returned late at night via the last flight that day on Ryanair, ready and geared up to bring books, stories and illustrations to children across the planet.

Well done to Bologna Children’s Book Fair!

Sue Martin

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Authors & Illustrators around the world

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

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Peter in Peril – Courage and Hope in World War Two

Peter in Peril - cover image and web link
Peter in Peril – buy this book here…

A brilliant graphic novel of a boy trapped in the terrors of World War Two.

Peter lived in Budapest, Hungary where the book is based on a true story where the family are persecuted and torn apart as war strikes terror across the country.

Before the war Peter is an ordinary boy, who loves playing football with his friends  and eating cake. But as the pace of war increased, Peter’s life went to hiding in the cellar and being known as a ‘Jewish Boy’.

At the back of the book you will meet the real Peter, the picture of a smiling man with his family, it’s hard to think of the dreadful life he endured as a child.

…with free delivery

Helen Bate is an exciting author and illustrator, who has a number of books to her name, including Me and Mrs Moon. She has also established Pictures to Share, a Social Enterprise company publishing illustrated books for people with dementia.

Otter-Barry Books are the publishers of Peter in Peril and other books by Helen, they have a distinctive portfolio of excellent books.

A book we recommend highly for anyone interested in families and the effects of WW2. It’s a great read and as a graphic novel, has appeal and meaning extending beyond the words.

Sue Martin

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Corey’s Rock

Corey's Rock - cover image and web link
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Ten year old Isla has moved from Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands in North Scotland, with her parents, to start a new life after the sad loss of her brother.

Isla is finding life in the Orkneys hard, especially with her dual heritage.

But Isla finds the stories about Selkies, an ancient Orcadian legend, which shows them as half human and half seal.

This is the start of her journey of recovery.

Corey’s Rock is a beautiful book in a really appealing shape and format. The superb illustrations on every page are a joy to uncover and real depth and warmth to this deeply moving story.

Buy this book with free delivery here

Sita Brahmachari is a highly acclaimed award-winning author. Her books include Artichoke Hearts, winner of Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2011 and my favourite is Jasmine Skies, which was nominated for the Carnegie Prize 2013. Sita is also an Amnesty Ambassador and Writer in Residence at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants.

Illustrator Jane Ray has many wonderfully illustrated children’s books to her name and is a well renowned artist. Her books include Stories of Sun, Stone and Sea and Zeraffa Giraffa.

Otter- Barry Books has a reputation for publishing very talented  authors and illustrators who will make a difference to children’s lives and this book is a real highlight.

Highly recommended for all ages

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

The Skies Above My Eyes

Get your copy here…

The skies are full of so many things and this newly published book is packed full of all you could ever want to know about life above our eyes.

The Skies Above My Eyes is written by Charlotte Guillain and illustrated by Yuval Zommer, published by Words and Pictures, who have produced this beautiful book in an explosive style format.

You can lift out all the pages in one go. The bottom pages are the closest to the earth reaching high into the skies through the stratosphere,  thermo-sphere and crossing the Karman Line into space.

Buy this book with free delivery here

It’s a dream book for anyone interested in the skies and our planet.

Charlotte Guillain lives in the UK and writes fiction and non fiction for children. Her book, The Street Beneath My Feet was shortlisted for the UKLA 7-11 Book Award 2018. She writes in a style that appeals to all and enables bite size pieces of information to be presented in very easily digested chunks!

Yuval Zommer graduated from the Royal College of Art and after working in advertising is now successfully illustrating children’s books. His debut book was much acclaimed,called The Big Blue Thing on the Hill.

Words and Pictures are part of the Quarto group and have some amazing books, of which The Skies Above My Eyes is one of the best.

Recommend for all ages and especially for 6-9 years

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Mr Chicken Lands on London by Leigh Hobbs

Mr Chicken Lands on London - cover image and web link
Buy a Leigh Hobbs title here…

Mr Chicken arrives in London via parachute, without wasting any time on immigration control he sets off to see as many of the famous sights as he possibly could.

He sails over the Houses of Parliament, and lands in the River Thames.

Although no-one seemed to notice and heads off to the Savoy Hotel, which is THE place to stay in London.

Mr Chicken visits Buckingham Palace and has tea with the Queen before heading off across Piccadilly Circus and the London Eye.  Amazingly, Mr Chicken blends in well with the local people and other tourists before heading back home ‘down under’.

A brilliant picture book about a loveable character making his way across the centre of London.  Explore the city of London with Mr Chicken and find all the most famous sights. Leigh Hobbs is excellent at portraying characters in different places and Mr Chicken Arrives in London is part of a series of books about travels into European cities.

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…with free delivery!

Leigh Hobbs is an award-winning writer and illustrator of a whole range of books, including the Mr Chicken series, Old Tom, Horrible Harriet and my favourite, Mr Badger.

He was Australian Children’s Laureate in 2016-17 travelling and visiting schools as an advocate for children’s books. He has an amazing collection of titles. Leigh lives in Melbourne, Australia and is also an artist, a sculptor, and indeed a great traveller himself.

Leigh Hobbs studio - image and book purchase web link
Buy a Leigh Hobbs title on-line here…

Mr Chicken is published by Allen and Unwin, Australia and is available in the UK. Click the book image to buy.

Books Go Walkabout have planned a tour of schools and organisations in the UK for Leigh this autumn, October 2018. He is a great hit with the schools and children and instantly gets children interested in Mr Chicken and other characters, looking at; how to draw a character, how to add the text and best of all how to make the book fun.

We recommend Mr Chicken Lands on London for ages 4-9 and of course parents too.

Sue Martin

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Authors connected with audiences across the world…
Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Lyla Through My Eyes by Fleur Beale

Lyla Through My Eyes - cover image and web link
Buy this great book here…free delivery

Lyla is a gripping and personal story about one girl’s experience of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and its aftermath.

Lyla has just started her second year of high school when a magnitude 6.3 earthquake shakes Christchurch to pieces. Devastation is everywhere. While her police officer mother and trauma nurse father respond to the disaster, Lyla puts on a brave face, opening their home to neighbours and leading the community clean-up.

But soon she discovers that it’s not only familiar buildings and landscapes that have vanished – its friends and acquaintances too. As the earth keeps shaking day after day, can Lyla find a way to cope with her new reality?

This is a page turner of a book exceptionally well written by Fleur Beale. A young person’s life turned upside down with the major earthquake and then made even worse as the shakes continue and liquefaction of the soil makes moving around incredibly difficult.

Lyla - Buy this book button - image and web link
…with free delivery!

As she finds herself alone, with her parents helping others, Lyla establishes a friendship with Matt, who she has previously thought of as a real loser. She rescues her friend’s documents by entering a building about to collapse.

The book is great to read, with references to the 2011 Christchurch earthquake plus a timeline, and a glossary, the reader will be well-informed plus an understanding of life through this natural disaster.

Fleur Beale is author of many award-winning books for children and young adults – with 40 books published in New Zealand, plus books published in the United States and England. She is a former high-school teacher and lives in Wellington.

Fleur has won many awards including; the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book: with Slide the Corner in 2007, and I Am Not Esther in 2009, the Esther Glen Award for distinguished contribution to children’s literature for Juno Of Taris in the 2009 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards, Fierce September won the YA category in the 2011 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards and the LIANZA Young Adult Award in 2011.

In 2012 she won the Margaret Mahy Medal for her outstanding contribution to children’s writing, and in 2015 she was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature. In 1999, Fleur was Dunedin College of Education’s Writer in Residence Series editor and series creator

Allen and Unwin, Australia publish Through My Eyes series created and developed by Lyn White. Her work with refugee children motivated her to create the acclaimed Through My Eyes series of books set in contemporary war zones.

Lyn created and edited  Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones series to pay tribute to the courage and resilience of children, often the most vulnerable in post-disaster situations. Lyn continues to teach EAL and is an education consultant and conference presenter.

We loved reading Lyla, a captivating book about this recent disaster.We recommend for children from 9-10 years and all ages.

Sue Martin

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world

 

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.