This month we look at
and an interview with children’s author Ian Johnstone
This month we look at
and an interview with children’s author Ian Johnstone
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains.
After the 2nd, only the lucky escape.
And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive.
After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
In this world only the paranoid are safe. To survive on the run you have to be prepared to run before you need to.
The first thing you need is a rucksack:
Remember the SMART rules!
Silent – staying quiet is essential to survival
Moving – don’t stay in one place for too long
Accidents – avoid them, a sprained ankle is bad, a broken one is fatal
Random– patterns will make you predictable
Tracks – stay off sand or ground where you leave tracks – do not leave a trail to where you are going to lay up. If you use soap make sure it is unscented and natural – you don’t want to leave scent markers.
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Today, Teen Librarian is proud to host an interview with Dorothy Dyer, one of the founders of YA Publisher Cover2Cover
1. Globally publishing seems to be in a crisis and companies are merging for survival – why did you decide to start an independent publishing company?
Cover2Cover didn’t start to compete with existing companies. Cover2Cover started in order to get young South Africans reading, teens who have never really read for pleasure before. So we were wanting to create a whole new market!
2. How have young adult readers responded to these books?
We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the responses of readers. We founded a literacy trust, FunDza, and as part of its work it distributes these books to schools and literacy organisations all over the country. Again and again we get rave reviews and accolades, with teachers saying they have never seen their students wanting to read like this before. I just have to quote some of our favourites, if you don’t mind..!
From a rural organisation in Kwa-Zulu Natal: The principal of Siyanda says the kids are so enthusiastic about the books that they are not even waiting to return them to the library before passing them on…She says she goes into the library now and finds kids sitting there in silence, engrossed in their reading – your books have started what we hope will be a revolution.
From a girls’ high school: I thought you would be interested to know that the books have been a huge ‘hit’ in our grade 9 bookclub . The girls are just so enjoying them. We just can’t keep up with the demand.
I think it’s incredibly powerful on all sorts of levels to recognise your life and world in a book, and for many of these students this is the first time it happens.When I do a reading aloud I can feel the ripples of excitement and recognition when there is local slang. It validates your world, to see it in a story, I think.
3. You currently publish Best Reads so far aimed at years 7,8 & 9 and The Harmony High series aimed at secondary school readers do you have plans for more series?
We are also publishing anthologies of short stories that were first published on FunDza Literacy Trust’s mobi-site – we’ve just brought out number 1. We are interested in creating new series – we have been discussing the idea of a series for 9 to 12, as we hear from literacy workers that there is a real gap here as well for contemporary local stories. Here though we would have to look at translation into local languages too to make the stories widely accessible.
Another project is trying to get our books much cheaper, and distributed in a different way. Currently books are expensive items available at bookstores. We dream to change that. We have seen that there are readers who enjoy the books. Now we need to get the books out there, possibly in a different format… watch this space!
4. The books published by Cover2Cover focus on South African youth issues – do you think they would find readership outside of SA?
We have heard that readers in Malawi and Zimbabwe have enjoyed them. They are easy and exciting reads, and although are local, the stories deal with challenges that many teens face, so yes, I think the books could find readership elsewhere. They might be interesting to people out of the country because they also do give a picture of SA that is not always reflected in the news – ordinary people making meaning out of their lives in difficult circumstances.
5. I have seen conversations recently about a lack of people of colour (POC) on the covers of YA books Cover2Cover seems to be bucking this trend are you aware of other publishers putting out YA novels featuring POC on the cover?
Our mission is overt in getting our readers to recognise themselves in books, so we think it is very important that our cover models reflect the characters in the book. I have seen various incidences in this country and overseas where the white models on the outside are no reflection of the darker skinned characters inside the covers, and I think it is distressing that some publishers are prepared to sacrifice the integrity of the novel to get more sales, and seem to think that for this white faces – or rather beautiful white faces – are necessary.
6. Harmony High is described as a soap opera read for teens – do the stories have to be read in order or are the stories self-contained?
The books are all follow characters who attend one fictional township high school, Harmony High, and there is a vague chronological order. Broken Promises and Jealous in Jozi, for example, follow one particular character, Ntombi, whereas the other books focus on other characters, such as Sugar Daddy, which follows the story of one of Ntombi’s friends. But each book is carefully written so it can be a satisfying read on its own.
7. How many authors are working on the series and how can writers get involved in writing for Cover2Cover?
There is a little team of us – five in total. Ros and I are the puppet masters, or rather the conductors, who make sure the stories fit together etc. We also always test the stories in manuscript form on young readers, to make sure we’re getting things right.
Because it is a bit like a soapie, and does have to be carefully managed, we aren’t looking for anyone to join the team at this stage.
8. Are the books available internationally and if yes how can one get hold of them?
Hard copies can be ordered from us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also available on Amazon now, digitally.
I have created the Teen Librarian calendar to highlight various dates throughout the year that may appeal to teens and young adults. It is a mix of serious and fun events that should hopefully appeal to a variety of library users and readers.
It is a work in progress and new dates will be added on an on-going basis. Please feel free to suggest future dates in the comments field.
These guidelines were created in 2011 -2012 by a task force of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) with feedback from the library community achieved through a public comment period in the fall of 2011.
This is a tool for evaluating a public library’s overall level of success in providing physical and virtual space dedicated to teens, aged 12-18. Potential users of these national guidelines include library administrators, library trustees, teen services librarians, community members and job-seekers hoping to assess a library’s commitment to teen services. Not every element of the guidelines may apply to every public library situation, but the guidelines can serve as a place to begin the conversation about what constitutes excellent public library space for teens.
Click here to read the full YALSA Teen Space guidelines.
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens, aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens.
So some Doctor Who fans have got their hands on thousands of Target Doctor Who novelizations and are offering them free of charge to UK School Libraries!
But then fans are fans because they are fanatical about their passion and sometimes people want to share the joy in their love because it is so damn good!
The books are all brand new Doctor Who books that feature novelisations of the TV adventures of the first seven Doctors. (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy)
The copies we have were printed during the later 1980s or early 1990s and have been waiting patiently to be read, in storage, for the last 20-25 years before being auctioned on eBay earlier this year.
The books are FREE. There is no charge. We hope to divide the books into small sets of 6-10 books for each school we can reach. If you are interested in books for your classroom or school library please establish contact with us via email. Please note however that it may not be possible to reach schools in every area, but we will do our best. We are scattered around the country, but not everywhere. We may initially have no way of reaching you but we will endeavour to find a way if at all possible. We are only a small collection of Doctor Who fans who are celebrating the shows 50th Anniversary by sharing the books we loved as children with the new generation of fans.
Find out more here:
Well it is only Monday morning and already I am thinking about the weekend!
Why this weekend amongst 52 others of the year you may ask!
As many people of the geeky persuasion already know Saturday is May the Fourth – also known as Star Wars Day and Sunday is the sequel – Revenge of the 5ith.
Apart from three excellent films, two Ewok spin-off movies, three prequels of varying quality, two Clone Wars animated series and cartoons there is an entire expanded universe of novels, comics, computer and table top role-playing games.
Admittedly the novels vary from excellent to um not so good actually.
My personal favourites being the Heir to the Empire trilogy (aka the Thrawn Trilogy) by Timothy Zahn and Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber which is Star Wars with Zombies!
Star Wars is instantly recognizable as a brand and the novels & comics may attract reluctant readers who prefer movies. Posters are fairly easy to get hold of (or you could create your own) and making a display of Star Wars related library materials can be eye-catching and if you run a teen group they could be inspired to try new books or even create Star Wars fan fiction and comics if you tie it in to creative writing.
Vader’s Little Princess is also being launched at Forbidden Planet on Saturday.
Not only that, but May 4th is also Free Comic Book Day.
What is “Free Comic Book Day?”
As the name implies, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book speciality shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops.
When is Free Comic Book Day?
Free Comic Book Day is held the first Saturday in May each year.
Are they really free?
Yep! Different shops have policies on how many free comics you can receive, but you will receive at least one free comic if you enter a participating shop location. Check with your retailer for their policies and plans for FCBD.
Find participating stores that may be near you here:
(be sure to click on the Locate shops outside of North America link underneath the search bar)
Staying with the whole geeky, comic vibe this week marks the launch of Sci-Fi London!
SCI-FI-LONDON (The London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film), is a UK based film festival, dedicated to the science fiction and fantasy genres. Now in its 12th year Sci-Fi London launches on Wednesday and runs until Monday 6th May.
Designed to be a festival that “takes a serious look at sci-fi and fantasy, bringing new, classic and rare movies from around the world to the UK”, Sci-Fi-London (SFL) annually screens world and UK Premieres, seminal cult classics, as well as documentaries, debates and talks.
Short films are also an important part of the festival programme, screening in front of every movie shown, as well as together in the Blink Of An Eye short film programme. Over its history Sci-Fi-London has also held a number of Short Film competitions, and in 2008 launched the Sci-Fi-London 48hr Film Challenge, in order to encourage filmmakers to create sci-fi short films over a very short space of time.
So if you love anime, science-fiction, fantasy and the weird (and can get to Stratford Picturehouse in East London) it is a phenomenal festival!