Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Farewelling Literary Greats

Great article from Publishers Weekly on those influential, fabulous children's authors we have farewelled this year. I love this article, not only for the sentiment, but because it highlights some truly important children's authors and their works - including one of my personal favs, SF writer Ray Bradbury.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tiffiny Hall

Tiffiny Hall has been doing some promo with my bookstore (Book Bonding) for her new children's novel, White Ninja. I haven't read it yet but will defs have to check this one out. It is also part of the 2012 GET READING challenge and she will be touring nationally for it in the next month.

Tiff was great. As lovely as she is gorgeous. It was an absolute pleasure to meet her and sell her book to our school clients. I encourage everyone to buy a copy of White Ninja. It's a great story with a strong female character for girls, written by an awesome chick.

(That's us in the pic, btw)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Random House Bologna Children's Rights Guide 2012

Random House Bologna Book Fair Catalogue

The link is to a copy of the Random House Bologna Children's Rights Guide for 2012. I and my little book What the Raven Saw are featured on page 16. I love the Bologna Children's Book Fair and would love to one day attend, and so it's very exciting to be in the catalogue. Also featured are many other fantastic children's and YA authors, some of who I have met and can confirm that they are as awesome as their stories!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarky

First published in 2011 by Allen & Unwin

A strange novel that I can’t quite get my head around. Reading it feels like when you’re driving on a really hot day and the sun coming off the tarry road in front of you gives everything that hazy, slightly askew look, and it’s like you’re driving into a time warp.

The Golden Day is certainly immersive. The language, the world, the heat, the way Dubosarky writes of the girl-into-adult transition. If there’s one thing this book absolutely has, it is atmosphere. That sleepy, dreamy feeling when you sit in the classroom on a hot day – perfect. The excitement of young girls going on a slightly-naughty adventure – perfect. That feeling of dread and claustrophobia when things start to go wrong – perfect. It is exemplary when it comes to lulling you in. I’m just not sure what I felt when I was there – it really is like waking up from a nap on a hot afternoon – disconcerting.

The plot is thin. I had some understanding of the eleven schoolgirls, but only in passing. I couldn’t tell you much about them past their name, bar the main two – Cubby and Icara. Actually what I found interesting was Icara’s story – in fact even more so than the main mystery. Dubosarky does so well the moment when the truth about Icara is revealed and suddenly her whole characters fits together perfectly. A great piece of writing.

The disappearance of the girls’ schoolteacher is the main plot. But all the little by-stories leading into that feel kind of patchily put together. That being said, obviously The Golden Day is a book about growing up, and all the little things that slowly build into that transition. Throwaway lines from the girls, Cubby’s moments of revelation, the outside world fracturing the consciousness of a young girl just starting to learn about reality – all these things show us the sad and often fraught process of growing up. This is done well. I just couldn’t find the cohesion in the story. It kind of just did float away from me like a weird, sad dream.

But there is beauty to be found in it. Sad beauty. My favourite kind.