Sunday, 25 June 2017

Sarah Crossan: a Case Study in Poetic Excellence

Carnegie Medal winner 2017, One, by Sarah Crossan.
Carnegie Medal winner 2016, One.

Sarah Crossan is undoubtedly one of the U.K.’s and Ireland’s most exciting writers. Breath-taking, heart-wrenching and unputdownable, her books stay with you months after you’ve read them.

Sarah writes with so much heart that it’s impossible not to relate to her characters and the themes in her books.

In Apple and Rain, Apple’s mother returns after 11 years but her return is bittersweet. Not everything is as it seems and when Apple discovers she has a sister, she re-discovers the meaning of family and realises what’s special in her life. The bond between siblings is something Sarah expertly captures on the page; so vivid that it feels as though the words shift and morph on the page to become an immersive, cinematic experience. In One, Sarah explores the power of love between conjoined sisters, Tippi and Grace. Told in beautiful verse, the words flow across the pages like a river; every word perfectly positioned to paint a masterpiece.

The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan.
The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
In The Weight of Water, Sarah tackles attitudes towards immigrants, an ever-topical discussion. Sentimental and thought-provoking, readers are taken on a journey by young narrator, Kasienka, as she is uprooted from Poland by her mother and displaced in England in search of her father. Simple in premise but rich in poetic detail, The Weight of Water will stun with linguistic precision, taking readers on an epic journey of emotion.

And let’s not forget Sarah’s first co-authored novel with, Brian Conaghan (author of When Mr Dog Bites and The Bombs that Brought us Together). Told in Sarah’s signature style, the story explores the lives of troubled teens, Nicu and Jess. The story shares similar themes to Sarah’s previous stories, including immigration (Nicu emigrates to the U.K. from Romania). Jess, who lives in an abusive, violent home, meets Nicu on a juvenile reform course after both teens are caught shoplifting. With an ending that is gut-wrenching and verse that is immensely powerful, this is definitely one to add to your TBR pile (right at the top!).

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan.
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Sarah’s new book, Moonrise, publishes on 7 September 2017 (in Ireland and the U.K.) and tells the story of Joe and his brother Ed, who’s on death row. The synopsis teases some questions:

What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?

I’m anticipating another heart-breaking Crossan-esque story that will lift readers up and break hearts worldwide. What's your favourite Sarah Crossan book? Tweet me @YAfictionados or tell me in the comments below.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

#YAtakeover #CKG17 programme

The #YAtakeover: what is it?

YAtakeover logo.
YAtakeover logo
The #YAtakeover (the brainchild of blogger, Christopher Moore), was designed as a way to reach readers on a global scale, allowing avid readers of all demographics to connect with their favourite authors. While living in the U.K., I realised that most book launches and events took place in London and if not in London, predominantly in the major cities across the U.K., like Manchester and Edinburgh.

It's often not feasible to do author events in the more remote parts of the country but why should that prevent readers from spreading their love of reading, talking about what excites them with a community that values and champions their passion and getting the opportunity to ask some of Children's and Young Adult's most exciting authors their questions?

It shouldn't and that's where the #YAtakeover comes in!

The #YAtakeover is an online, Twitter festival that includes:

  • author interview panels (usually themed around issues ranging from taboo to fantasy and magic and everything in between);
  • general book discussion (around a theme or a particular book);
  • a quiz (a variety of visual questions with bookish giveaways for whoever answers the most questions correctly) and
  • competitions (where you have the opportunity to win the books our featured authors are discussing).

On 17 and 18 June, we'll be celebrating a very special #YAtakeover edition; with the announcement of the 80th Carnegie and 60th Kate Greenaway (CKG) Medals on 19 June, we'll be hosting author panels with previous winners in addition to shortlist discussion, competitions and our fantastic CKG-themed quiz). Join us on 17 and 18 June where we'll have some of the world's most prestigious Children's and YA authors taking part.

We have a competition running to win some of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway winning books. Simply join in the CKG celebrations by tweeting your thoughts or your favourite previous winners along with the #YAtakeover and #CKG17 hashtags.

The full #YAtakeover programme is now available.

Spread the bookish love.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Add some brand new books to your shelves this summer with a tweet

#YAtakeover and 80th/60th Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal anniversaries.
#YAtakeover / 80th Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal anniversary logos.
 As part of our #YAtakeover special edition, to celebrate the 80th Carnegie and 60th Kate Greenaway Medal anniversaries, we're giving away a copy of Tim Bowler's River Boy, Beverley Naidoo's The Other Side of Truth and Melvin Burgress's Junk.

How do you win these books?

It's simple. All you have to do is tweet to be in with a chance.

Tweet about the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals using BOTH the #YAtakeover and #CKG17 hashtags between Wednesday 16 June at 9am BST and Monday 19 June at 11.30pm BST. You can enter more than once. Some ideas for your tweets could be:

  • My favourite Carnegie/Kate Greenaway book was _____ #YAtakeover #CKG17
  • My favourite shortlisted book for this year's Carnegie/Kate Greenaway Medal is _____ #YAtakeover #CKG17
  • I'm currently reading (insert Carnegie/Kate Greenaway book here) by (author/illustrator name) #YAtakeover #CKG17

Or, on the day, feel free to answer some of the author questions and tell us what you think or ask your favourite author a question at the end of their panel using the #YAtakeover and #CKG17 hashtags.

Enter as often as you like.
Help us spread the bookish joy.

And most importantly, have fun.

The full #YAtakeover programme is now available.


Find out more information about The Other Side of Truth (Beverley Naidoo).
Follow Beverley on Twitter.

Find out more information about Junk (Melvin Burgess).
Follow Melvin on Twitter.

Find out more information about River Boy (Tim Bowler).
Follow Tim on Twitter.

Beverly Naidoo's 'The Other Side of Truth', Melvin Burgess' 'Junk' and Tim Bowler's 'River Boy'.
Beverly Naidoo's 'The Other Side of Truth', Melvin Burgess' 'Junk' and Tim Bowler's 'River Boy'