Teenage Kicks at the BFI

The sweet pains and explosive joys of youth are celebrated in our selection of films about those in-between years.

Ticket offer: £6 for 15-25 year-olds, or bring a friend and get two tickets for £10 (excluding special events and talks)

Join us for Teenage Kicks Socials in the Atrium after the screenings on Thursday afternoons during August (If…, Show Me Love, Thirteen, and Welcome to the Dollhouse), which will include refreshments and discussion with special invited guests.

Teenage Kicks season allows us – whether we’re young or not so young – to reflect upon ‘teenage’ not so much as a life stage, but as a unique and powerful attitude, one that allows us to approach the world with a radical new energy.

Full details here

Punctuation..? a Review

This is not a review of punctuation – how could it be possible to review The practice, action, or system of inserting points or other small marks into texts, in order to aid interpretation; division of text into sentences, clauses, etc., by means of such marks (OED).

Rather it is a review of Punctuation..? a book that explains the functions and correct uses of 21 of the most used punctuation marks.

punc

Punctuation is necessary, useful, and can be more than occasionally confusing, which is why this book is so useful.

Apart from the Interpunct, Pilcrow and Guillemet the history of punctuation marks is not mentioned which cuts down on extraneous information leaving the text to focus on how punctuation marks are used, giving multiple examples (when required) for each.

This is a book that would have been incredibly useful for me in my student days as I was “inordinately fond of the comma” according to a lecturer, which cost me marks in my dissertation.

Punctuation..? focuses on the use of punctuation marks using concise, easy to understand language which can be used with students studying English as a foreign language as well as those for whom English is their first language.

With a word count of 3000 spread over 36 pages, Punctuation..? is concise enough to hold a reader’s attention while containing enough information to be useful and informative.

To find out more information or to order a copy follow this link: http://www.userdesign.co.uk/books/punctuation/

Free Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons

Are you considering starting a D&D Group in your Library but do not want to start buying the required gear until you are sure that you know what you are doing?

Well good news!

The Wizards who live on the Coast have made the Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons free to download as a PDF (over 100 pages, in fact) that covers the core of the game. It runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options; in addition, the rules contain 120 spells, 5 backgrounds, and character sheets.

USING THESE RULES
The Basic Rules document is divided into three parts.

Part 1 is about creating a character, providing the rules and guidance you need to make the character you’ll play in the game. It includes information on the various races, classes, backgrounds, equipment, and other customization options that you can choose from. Many of the rules in part 1 rely on material in parts 2 and 3.

Part 2 details the rules of how to play the game, beyond the basics described in this introduction. That part covers the kinds of die rolls you make to determine success or failure at the tasks your character attempts, and describes the three broad categories of activity in the game: exploration, interaction, and combat.

Part 3 is all about magic. It covers the nature of magic in the worlds of D&D, the rules for spellcasting, and a selection of typical spells available to magic-using characters (and monsters) in the game.

Grab them here: http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules

Inside the Teenager’s Brain: CPD on stress and teens’ well-being

NICOLA MORGAN EVENT POSTER

YALSA’s Teen Book Finder

Find the best books and media for teens, as selected by library staff and educators across the United States! The Teen Book Finder, generously funded by a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, offers easy access to the titles honored each year by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. The Teen Book Finder allows users to search for books by title, author, genre, award, or list; create a reading list with the favorites button; share what you’re reading on Facebook and Twitter; and find a copy of the book in your local library, all from one screen! Not sure where to start? YALSA offers three different book titles as hot picks on the homepage each day.

For Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.ala.yalsa&hl=en

For Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/yalsas-teen-book-finder/id527674308?mt=8

THE ELUSIVE #2: Knightley & Son K9

Rohan GavinFor the sequel to Knightley & Son, the theme was simple: dogs. I’ve often loved the second instalment in a series because the main characters are already established and the story has freedom to go in new directions. There’s an unwritten law in Hollywood that the second in a series is often the best. From The Empire Strikes Back in the original Star Wars trilogy to The Dark Knight in the Batman series. Good sequels deepen the relationships between the characters and heighten the conflicts–and often leave you hanging at the end, waiting for episode three to resolve matters. In Knightley & Son: K-9 I tried to turn everything up to eleven: the suspense, the comedy, and the horror. At the beginning of the second book, thirteen-year-old detective hero Darkus Knightley finds himself alone again, but not because his private eye dad is in a coma as he began the first book. This time Knightley Senior is alive and well, but has gone off the radar on a bizarre investigation of his own, leaving Darkus at the mercy of school, unobtainable female classmates and playground bullies. Little does Darkus realise his dad will soon be needing his help again, and on a more sinister case than ever. The problem this time is of the four-legged kind. Strangely aggressive dogs are attacking senior police officers, a werewolf is rumoured to be stalking one of London’s largest parks, and curiously alert hounds are watching Darkus’s house.

Knightley and SonAnd who better to become Darkus’s new partner, than a four-legged friend. My inspiration for Wilbur the former bomb disposal dog, was the long tradition of “war dogs” who fight side by side with soldiers and use their exceptional sense of smell to detect the enemy. War dogs are trained to pick up the scent of explosives and even the gun oil of a sniper rifle. And they’re known to breed a sense of loyalty and friendship that soldiers repeatedly said was stronger than any other relationship in their lives. I won’t deny there was also some inspiration from my favourite fictional dogs: Lassie, Zeus and Apollo from Magnum P.I., and the robot K-9 from Doctor Who. (Incredibly, my dad, who worked at the BBC in the late 1970’s, once took me to the set of Doctor Who and I met K-9. This was in the days when I wore a handmade (by my mum) Tom Baker-style multi-coloured twelve-foot scarf.)

The villain is a vital part of any crime story, and being a big fan of Sherlock Holmes I wanted to reference The Hound of the Baskervilles. But I also knew that in order to feel modern, the villain had to be more than simply a hound. And instead of this creature lurking on a desolate moor in Devon, perhaps a wild, untamed park near the centre of London was even scarier. And so Alan and Darkus Knightley’s paths converge on London’s Hampstead Heath, and along with Wilbur, they must solve a canine conspiracy that appears to be spreading across the capital. Dogs can be your best friend, but what if they’re also your worst enemy? You’ll have to read Knightley & Son: K-9 to find out.
Knightley and Son K-9
Knightley & Son: K-9 is published 14th August 2014

Rohan Gavin

Huey, Louie & Melvil Dewey in: the Quest for the Missing Duck an Introduction to Using the Library

Many of you may recognize this slide presentation as it was originally an introduction to using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, but owing to a lot of feedback I received I decided to redo it as a general introduction to using the library as it was too cumbersome and complicated in it’s original form.

So with a few tweaks, language and slide changes may I present:

An Intro-duck-tion to Using the Library

Diary of a (soon to be) Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medal Judge

ckg

It is official

I received my call-up e-mail today!

I will be attending CKG Judge training on the 16th October at Seven Stories in Newcastle.

After which I will be able to call myself a CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Judge

I have been reading towards the Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals since September last year. My reading has ramped up a bit over the past couple of months as there are so many good books that I missed (and that are still being published).

I have no idea which titles will be nominated, I know that some of the books I have read so far will be on the nominations list

I fear that the nominations list will be longer than last year which is one of the main reasons for starting to read early. I have heard that the nominations date is being brought forward to give judges enough time to read all the nominations and give due consideration to each; but by how much I do not know.

Interview with Mario Routi Author of Rebecca Newton and the Sacred Flame

rebnewHi Mario, thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview. For those readers that may not have come across you or your work before would you please introduce yourself?

I am a 40+ year-old, slightly sloppy dude who, as a child, worked hard to persuade friends and teachers that I am just a normal guy who is indeed from this world and not some dangerous alien. Years later, I escaped from the business world in order to become an author. Soon, I created my own world, which lives inside my skull. I currently flow between the Earth and the Land of the White Sun, wandering in the deepest places of both worlds, bringing my readers back tales of the adventures of my heroes.

How would you describe Rebecca Newton and the Sacred Flame to hook a potential reader?

Rebecca Newton and the Sacred Flame is a tale of epic wars, grand passions, mythical creatures and ancient Gods. It is an unconventional and emotional fantasy adventure that unites ancient and modern, combining myths with atmospheric legendary battles, romance and mystery.

Rebecca Newton and the Sacred Flame has its base in Greek mythology, how much research did you do before you started writing?

I am Greek originally, so I have studied Greek mythology for my whole life. It has always fascinated me and hopefully this is reflected in my writing.

Are the Orizons based on characters like Hercules, Perseus and other demi-gods of Greek myth?

No, the Orizons are completely from my imagination. The inspiration came from discussions with several very interesting people that I have the honour to call my friends. These are scholars, writers, conspiracy theorists, artists and researchers; they are all lovers of Greek myths, alien life and legendary fantasy epic works, such as the works of Tolkien.

Have you ever read YA books by other authors based in Greek myth (e.g. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan) and if yes can you recommend any of them for YA readers?

I have read Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, which is very good indeed. I don’t know of any other YA book that is based on or influenced by Greek mythology. There are several movies, however, that I would recommend, including The 300, Clash of the Titans, Perseus and Andromeda, The Legendary Journeys of Hercules (TV series), Troy, Immortals, The Odyssey and others.

Moving on from the previous question, can you recommend any non-fiction titles on mythology and good and evil for those inspired by your book to read more?

The work of Homer is the ultimate read for any author, scholar, and readers of all ages. Many of Steven Pressfield’s books of historical fiction are also very interesting.

Rebecca Newton and the Sacred Flame is the first book in a planned series, do you know how many books will make up the series and do you know how it is going to end yet?

The saga is meant to be at least a trilogy and that’s what it’s designed for, but with such a project, you can never know when it will end, and so, I don’t really know how it will end either.

Will Rebecca’s future stories bring her into contact with other pantheons?

The Elysian Fields is the place of the Gods in my mythology. However, within the Elysian Fields, Rebecca might meet with more Gods, other than the Ancient Greek Gods, either from the Egyptian, Roman and Scandinavian mythologies.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!

Thanks for yours!

Eight Questions With… Simon David Eden

Hi Simon, welcome to Teen Librarian! Can I ask you to introduce yourself to the audience please?

Greetings and salutations from Sussex-on-toast (as Steve Martin once called it) it’s great to be ‘virtually’ joining you. As a former singer-songwriter turned artist turned screenwriter turned playwright turned novelist, it won’t surprise anyone to learn that I’m open to embracing new frontiers, and the whole blogging universe is totally new to me, so cool, let’s do this! Eh, do I need to wear special goggles? A safety harness of some kind? I get a little woozy in confined spaces (and in deep water, and on top of very, very tall buildings with low guard rails), you know, just so’s you know, in case this becomes one of those things I have to add to the list next time. Blogs, well, I’d love to but after the Teen Librarian experience …

The Savage Kingdom is your first novel; can you describe it in one sentence to hook a potential reader?

THE BEST BOOK YOU’LL READ ALL SUMMER BY FAR! Okay, fair enough, I would say that right. You want more. In one sentence? OK, what they call in Hollywood the elevator pitch:

MANKIND VS THE ANIMAL KINGDOM, WHICH SIDE ARE YOUR PETS ON?

You were originally self-published, how did you go from being an indie author to being picked up by Simon & Schuster?

I’m a great believer in ‘be the miracle’. If you have a dream, believe in it, go after it whatever it takes. It may take years. If it’s a dream that’s worth anything it’ll probably also be a really tough road full of rejection and disappointment and setbacks. And most likely it’ll lead you to a destination you didn’t expect. But the journey will be an experience all the same. And that’s the true reward. I didn’t get paid to write my novel originally. I wrote it because l had to. I had to get it and those characters out of my head, out of my system, and I wanted to share some stuff I felt about the world with my smart, feisty, inquisitive, beautiful daughter. I don’t know what my agent (the wonderful Zoe King of The Blair Partnership) would say, or the amazing team at Simon & Schuster, but I think they picked it up because it was written from the heart, because I completely ignored ‘the market’ and just wrote a story I was burning to tell, one that surprised and thrilled me and kept me awake at night. Chances are if it does that to you as a writer, it’ll do it to someone else too.

You are also a writer of stage and screenplays, do you find yourself having to think in different ways when writing a novel as opposed to a play?

Hmmm. Great question. The obvious difference is that novels are a marathon while plays/screenplays are a sprint (to this writer anyway). But actually, I think there are more similarities than differences between books and film/TV. Both, when they work well, are very visual. In the latter the creator makes the choice about exactly what it is you are seeing, just like comics and graphic novels, whereas in novels the author seeks to create a picture in the mind’s eye of the reader, and of course that film that’s playing inside your head is different from mine and for every other person reading it. That’s why dedicated fans of novels are often disappointed by adaptations of their favourite works/characters, but it would be impossible to put something on the screen that represented everyone’s idea of what it should be. Stage plays are a different challenge altogether, as with few exceptions, they rely much more heavily on dialogue to carry story and convey character. I love working across all the disciplines – songwriting too – and find it creatively stimulating to move between them. Right now though I’m thrilled to be writing The Savage Kingdom Book II and seeing where Drue and Will-C and the other main characters lead me and whether the survivors of Book I can find a way to live together. Some very big twists and turns in store!

What inspires you to write?

Originally it was Dan Dare (The Eagle comic circa 1964). Him and Spiderman and my dad. They fired my imagination and encouraged me to make stuff up and scribble it down when I was still a kid learning joined-up writing. Because we barely had two pennies to rub together, I had to get inventive about feeding my habit for comics as I couldn’t afford to buy them. So what I did, is I drew my own. Frame by frame. Page by page. Copying others at first, before branching out and inventing my own characters and stories. Below is a snap from a pencil rendition (with apologies to Stan Lee, I was 12 and knew nothing about copyright!) of the origin of Spidey. I drew the whole comic. Spent months on it. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a great tool for learning about the economy of storytelling. That’s why I love writing for YA and younger readers. You can’t get away with anything. The story either works or it doesn’t. The Pulitzer Prize winning playwright/novelist David Mamet said an interesting thing about story: All a reader/viewer really cares about is what happens next. What’s inspiring me to write TSK Book II today is exactly that. What happens next!

spidermannn

What is your favourite part in the writing process?

Typing The End! Always a moment of great satisfaction. But I also love all of the stuff that precedes the actual writing. First hand research is key to me and something I really enjoy. Not just trawling the web (though it’s a very useful tool) but hanging out in cafes listening to people, visiting far flung places, experiencing new cultures, discovering new things. What’s also magical, is that moment when you are so absorbed in the tale that the characters begin to lead you where you didn’t expect to go. You’re writing it, supposedly in charge, but they are demanding to take a different path than the one you had planned. That’s always thrilling and a sign to me that a piece is really flying.

Were you a reader as a child/teen and do you read works by other YA authors?

If I wasn’t kicking a ball or building a den in the woods, my nose was always in a comic or a book. I particularly loved stories that explored the wild and involved animals or animal/human relationships: Watership Down, The Call of the Wild and White Fang. I’m still an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction, and yes, there’s some brilliant YA on my shelves. I loved The Book Thief, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the Dark Materials Trilogy, and though I haven’t bought a copy yet, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park looks like a great read too.

What do you have planned next – after The Savage Kingdom?

The Savage Kingdom Book II! And I’m also thinking about revisiting that world with a third instalment, but I can’t say too much about that yet. If I promise not to drone on for too long, perhaps you’ll invite me back on Teen Librarian for an update down the line. It’s been great sharing some thoughts with you.

And remember, creative writers aren’t much use without creative readers!

With best wishes,

SDE
www.SimonDavidEden.com

www.TheSavageKingdom.com