The worst thing about a great story is that it has to end! Luckily here at Random House Children’s Publishers we have a nearly endless selection of amazing stories for you to read. If you’re looking to start something new this spring then why not try one of our brilliant series! The perfect way to make a great story last longer…
For those of you who like ghost stories we have Jonathan Stroud’s excellent Lockwood and Co. series. Start with The Screaming Staircase and you will be whisked away to a country overrun with ghosts! Follow the smallest and most ramshackle agency as they face the case of a lifetime. After this frighteningly good book you can follow Lockwood and Co. in The Whispering Skull and The Dagger in the Desk.
If you’d like to take a step back in time then look no further than Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather series. Start with Hetty Feather and learn about the life of a Victorian child abandoned at the Foundling Hospital through the fiery and spirited Hetty. Follow this with the equally brilliant Sapphire Battersea and Emerald Star.
Like a good old fashioned mystery? Why not try Robin Stevens’ outstanding series A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery. Start with Murder Most Unladylike and uncover a world of murder, mystery and mayhem at Deepdean School for Girls. Follow Daisy and Hazel as they hunt for evidence of a crime that no one else knows has happened. Once you’ve solved this case there are more lined up for you with Arsenic For Tea and First Class Murder.
Or if you fancy a little fantasy then you can’t get much littler than the tiny nomes who live under the floorboards of a large department store. Start Terry Pratchett’s magnificent The Bromeliad Trilogy with Truckers: The First Book of the Nomes and follow the nomes as they work to escape the soon to be demolished store. To follow the nomes on their other adventures read the equally exciting Diggers and Wings.
If you’ve already made your way through these incredible stories then why not take a look at our new books!
It’s Monday again! How did you spend your weekend? I spent most of mine on a train, going up and down the country. Luckily I had a bunch of good books in my bag to keep me occupied!
This week, we got to thinking about some of the stranger habits some of us have whenever we’re reading. For example, last week someone confided to me that she arranges the books on her shelf by colour. Or how about the woman who admitted she leaves scary books in the fridge overnight? I even once encountered a man who tore out pages from books after he’d read them so that whenever he opened the book again he’d be right where he left off before.
It turns out some of us have some pretty odd routines when it comes to books. Well, we asked around the office and some of the confessions we got were pretty bizarre! Here’s a few:
“If I’m reading a really exciting series of books, the final one has to be in hardback, because it looks so much more impressive.”
“All of my books are ordered by genre and are in alphabetical order.”
“I listen to Harry Potter every night before I go to sleep and listen to it in theme: for example, Christmas scenes in the run up to Christmas.”
“I have forty-seven copies of Wuthering Heights.”
“After reading a book I really enjoy, I hunt down all the other books the author has written and have to read them all before I move on to a new author.”
“I read the same three books whenever I am ill.”
“I sometimes walk the dog and read at the same time. Once the dog pulled on the lead and I dropped my book in a puddle.”
“I have been known to drive and read.”
“Sometimes I sit in the car after work and I don’t drive home (it can get dark) until I’ve reached the end of the book.”
What do you reckon? Think those are pretty weird, or can you match them with any strange habits of your own? Don’t be shy – comment below and let us know!
Today to celebrate Take Your Dog To Work Day® we have a very special visitor joining us in the Design team – Mr Scampi the Pug. As you can see Scampi is rather pleased to be here!
Take Your Dog To Work Day® is celebrated annually to promote pet adoption and encourage dog lovers to share their pets in theworkplace. Click here to find out more… www.takeyourdog.com
Scampi has been getting stuck into a great selection of books based around the adventures of our four legged friends! Odd Dog by Claudia Boldt, Dogs Loves Books by Louise Yates, and Snow Dog by Malorie Blackman have all been given a big puggy paws up!
Helmut is an odd dog. He doesn’t like bones, he likes apples. In fact, he LOVES apples, and he can’t bear the thought that his next-door neighbour Igor might be stealing them from his tree. Helmut lies awake at night, thinking of how he can protect his favourite food, but he has a big lesson to learn about Igor, and about himself…
There is nothing Nicky wants more in the world than a dog to play with. But Mum and Dad don’t want a dog. Then Grandad has an idea – he and Nicky can make a dog: a snow-dome dog. Even better, he has some special clay, found at the end of a rainbow, so that the dog will be extra-special. Maybe even magic . . .
Dog loves books! Dog loves books about dinosaurs and Dog loves books about aliens: in fact Dog loves all books! Dog has his very own bookshop, although he doesn’t have many customers. But that’s all right, because when Dog is surrounded by books, he is never short of friends or fun. And when someone does come into the shop, Dog knows just which books to recommend…
Our latest author to blog about the benefits of exercise is TURF author John Lucas:
Feel the burn
I once heard that certain chess grand masters, in the heat of competition, can burn up to 6-7,000 calories a day just by thinking. That seems outlandish, but it made me think: I clearly don’t work hard enough. The only way I can burn off calories is by going to the gym, or playing squash – one of which I try and do every other day. If I spend all my time sitting down writing… I get fat. I do get up occasionally and walk around, mulling over ideas, but those walks lead inevitably to the fridge and to scoffing lumps of cheese, which doesn’t help. Neither does drinking alcohol, which as a dampener for overheating brain cells is very effective, but a bit too effective, as I find writing any kind of decent prose with a hangover is pretty much impossible. I also love the release of endorphins that comes after intense exercise – that clarity of thought, that innate confidence, and the sense of being together, fluid and focused. I’m by no means a health nut, but I need to keep my brain and my body in check, and for me running around a lot seems to be the only way to do it!
You can read an interview with John Lucas about his latest book TURF on the Sugarscape website: http://www.sugarscape.com/tags/interview/746656/interview-turf-author-john-lucas
Welcome to our new feature, On The ‘Write’ Track, where we ask our authors how they use sport to help with the writing process.
First up is Damian Dibben, author of The History Keepers:
Exercise is tremendously important to my life as a writer and I would suffer without it. I’m sure it hardly needs saying, that sitting at a desk all day, communicating only with fictional characters can take its toll on your mind. If I spend too much time in my head, I start to go a little insane. (More insane that is) Exercising breaks up the mental knots, it calms the torrents of the mind and best equips you to carry on fresh the next day. I love walking and have a dog, a Jack Russell called Dudley, who likes it almost as much as me. Every morning we walk up the South Bank where I live, have a jaunt through St James’s and Green Parks and on to my office. Late afternoon, I will push myself into the gym – and suddenly all my tired synapses start to fire up again, ready for the next instalment.
Here is a photo of Damian with Dudley in the background (sorry I couldn’t resist!)
The second book in The History Keepers series, Circus Maximus is out this week, below are links to two readings from Damian from books 1 and 2 – he does a great Jupitus Cole impression!
Extract one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWLG1n0KRh8
This week, it’s the 12th annual National Storytelling Week. Organised by The Society for Storytelling (http://www.sfs.org.uk/nsw), NSW aims to encourage people to create and enjoy storytelling. Storytelling is a unique art form which is very different from story writing. However, the idea of communicating through a narrative is obviously something close to our publishing hearts.
To show our support for the oldest art form in the world, we’re giving away a different audio book each day. Today is the beautiful Passion by Lauren Kate.
Find out more information here: http://www.rbooks.co.uk/product.aspx?id=1846577446 To win, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line PASSION.
As an extra treat, we’re also releasing a video each day featuring a different RHCB author telling one of their stories. Today, we’re kicking off with the brilliant John Dougherty reading an extract from Zeus Sorts It Out. You won’t be disappointed.
Stay tuned for more videos and giveaways during the course of the week. Happy storytelling!
If you’ve read Dave Shelton’s fantastic A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, you’ll know how clever/adventurous/insightful Bear is. To prove this further, Bear is currently travelling around the country (minus his boat) visiting various primary schools. So far, four different schools have signed up to the A Boy and a Bear in a Boat ‘Travelling Bear’ project. These schools are based in Sutton Coldfield, Oxford and Newcastle. The wonderful Storytellers Inc (http://www.storytellersinc.co.uk/) is also participating by taking Bear on their primary school visits in Lancashire.
As part of the project, schools receive Bear, a copy of the book, postcards, posters and a range of activity sheets. These include a colouring in sheet, a ‘Design your own Sea Monster’ sheet and an activity that asks students to write their own ending to the book. Bear stays in a school for a week and is then sent back to us (along with the completed activity sheets) in Ealing. It’s a very exhausting time for him indeed.
This week, Bear returned from the lovely Boldmere Junior School in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands. Wow, were we impressed when we opened the box! Thanks to Lisa Kinsella who clearly took on the project with enthusiasm and passion; her students have produced some amazing work. The sea monster designs are colourful and imaginative whilst the alternative endings are just brilliant.
It’s hard to choose a favourite (we’re leaving that up to Dave Shelton!) so I’ll pick out just a few snippets. Imogen decided that Bear and Boy should fall in love; in her ending they meet a female bear and a girl and then they all sail off into the sunset together. In Marnie’s ending, the double act end up in a New York hotel! After having a quick bite to eat, they head back to the sea to take on more adventures. Amaan went for a dramatic conclusion involving a fire breathing dragon called Flamehead! Finally, Ben decided that Boy and a Bear arrive at Volcano Island where they have to battle with volcano monsters. Phew!
Stay tuned for more news from Bear as he makes his way around the UK. I’m sure you’ll agree that only a very special bear with a very special story could do such a thing…
To celebrate his 70th birthday, BBC Radio 4 paid tribute to one of the world’s most famous living scientists, Prof Stephen Hawking with two programmes – in the first, Lucy Hawking talks about writing the George books with her father and what was the inspiration behind them: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b018wh2n/Dear_Professor_Hawking_Episode_1/
Also in the media are interviews with Stephen’s former students in The Observer: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jan/01/stephen-hawking-at-70 and an interview with Stephen himself in The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/stephen-hawking/8989060/Stephen-Hawking-driven-by-a-cosmic-force-of-will.html
Happy Birthday from all at RHCB!