05 January 2016

100 Best Children's Books

Britain’s Favourite Children’s Book was screened on Channel 4 over Christmas. David Walliams compiled the list in collaboration with The Sunday Times’s children’s books expert, Nicolette Jones, who has been reviewing children's books for over 20 years.
How many do you know?
1. Winnie the Pooh (especially The House at Pooh Corner)
A.A. Milne (illustrated by E H Shepard)
2. The Chronicles of Narnia (especially The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe)
C.S. Lewis (illustrated by Pauline Baynes)
3. Harry Potter (especially Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)
J.K. Rowling
4. Where the Wild Things are
Maurice Sendak
5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Roald Dahl (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
6. The Wind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame (illustrated by E H Shepard)
7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle
8. A Bear Called Paddington
Michael Bond (illustrated by Peggy Fortnum)
9. The Gruffalo
Julia Donaldson (illustrated by Axel Scheffler)
10. The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien
11. The Cat in the Hat
Dr Seuss
12. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll (illustrated by John Tenniel)
13. We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Michael Rosen (illustrated by Helen Oxenbury)
14. Little Women
Louisa May Alcott
15. Alfie and Annie Rose (especially Dogger)
Shirley Hughes
16. Pippi Longstocking
Astrid Lingren (illustrated by Lauren Child)
17. The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Judith Kerr
18. Finn Family Moomintroll
Tove Jansson
19. The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter (especially The Tale of Peter Rabbit)
Beatrix Potter
20. Journey to the River Sea
Eva Ibbotson
21. The Story of Tracy Beaker
Jacqueline Wilson (illustrated by Nick Sharratt)
22. Kensuke's Kingdom
Michael Morpurgo
23. Goodnight Mr Tom
Michelle Magorian
24. Rooftoppers
Katherine Rundell
25. A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness (illustrated by Jim Kay)
26. The Railway Children
E. Nesbitt
27. Millions
Frank Cottrell Boyce
28. The Snowman
Raymond Briggs
29. The Arrival
Shaun Tan
30. The Snow Queen
Hans Christian Andersen
31. Black Beauty
Anna Sewell
32. Famous Five (especially Five on a Treasure Island)
Enid Blyton
33. Just William (especially Just William)
Richmal Crompton
34. Holes
Louis Sachar
35. Stig of the Dump
Clive King
36. The Boy in the Dress
David Walliams (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
37. Charlie and Lola (especially I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato)
Lauren Child
38. The Jolly Postman
Allan and Janet Ahlberg
39. Horrid Henry (especially Horrid Henry Strikes it Rich)
Francesca Simon (illustrated by Tony Ross)
40. How to Train your Dragon
Cressida Cowell
41. The Wee Free Men
Terry Pratchett
42. Alex Rider (especially Stormbreaker)
Anthony Horowitz
43. Mortal Engines (especially Mortal Engines)
Philip Reeve
44. The Secret Garden
Francis Hodgson Burnett (illustrated by Inga Moore)
45. Just So Stories
Rudyard Kipling
46. This is Not my Hat
Jon Klassen
47. Fortunately, the Milk
Neil Gaiman (illustrated by Chris Riddell)
48. Charlotte's Web
E B White (illustrated by Garth Williams)
49. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Jeff Kinney
50. Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson
51. The Borrowers
Mary Norton
52. Gorilla
Anthony Browne
53. The Poems of Edward Lear (especially Owl and the Pussycat)
Edward Lear
54. Pig-Heart Boy
Malorie Blackman
55. Orlando the Marmalade Cat
Kathleen Hale
56. The Silver Sword
Ian Serraillier
57. Elmer (especially Elmer the Patchwork Elephant)
David McKee
58. Anne of Green Gables
L.M. Montgomery
59. Guess How Much I Love You
Sam McBratney (illustrated by Anita Jeram)
60. The Little White Horse
Elizabeth Goodge
61. Tom's Midnight Garden
Philippa Pearce (illustrated by Susan Einzig)
62. The Phantom Tolbooth
Norton Juster (illustrated by Jules Feiffer)
63. Flour Babies
Anne Fine
64. Centrally Heated Knickers
Michael Rosen (illustrated by Harry Horse)
65. The Way Home
Oliver Jeffers
66. Peter Pan
J. M. Barrie
67. Asterix
Uderzo and Goscinny
68. The Family from One End Street
Eve Garnett
69. Mr Gum
Andy Stanton (illustrated by David Tazzyman)
70. Fairy Tales
Berlie Doherty (illustrated by Jane Ray)
71. Wolves
Emily Gravett
72. The Worst Witch
Jill Murphy
73. The Blue Kangaroo (especially I Love You, Blue Kangaroo)
Emma Chichester Clark
74. The Velveteen Rabbit
Margery Williams (illustrated by William Nicholson)
75. Ballet Shoes
Noel Streatfeild
76. The London Eye Mystery
Siobhan Dowd
77. The Sheep-Pig
Dick King-Smith
78. Chrestomanci (especially The Lives of Christopher Chant)
Diana Wynne Jones
79. The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
80. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
T S Eliot (illustrated by Nicholas Bentley)
81. 101 Dalmations
Dodie Smith
82. Emil and the Detectives
Erich Kästner
83. A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket
84. Handa's Surprise
Eileen Browne
85. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
Joan Aiken
86. Babar
Jean de Brunhoff
87. Carrie's War
Nina Bawden
88. Captain Underpants
Dav Pilkey
89. Mary Poppins
P.L. Travers
90. The Tom Gates (especially The Brilliant World of Tom Gates)
Liz Pichon
91. The Casson family (especially Saffy's Angel)
Hilary McKay
92. The Percy Jackson (especially Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief)
Rick Riordan
93. Thomas the Tank Engine
Rev W Awdry (illustrated by Peter Sam)
94. The Wizard of Earthsea
Ursula Le Guin
95. The Inkworld (especially Inkheart)
Cornelia Funke
96. War Boy
Michael Foreman
97. The Wizard of Oz
L Frank Baum
98. Goosebumps
R L Stine
99. Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
100. Tintin
Hergé (Georges Remi)

More information:
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/britains-favourite-childrens-books/articles/all/100-best-childrens-books and

30 December 2015

The 100 greatest British novels

BBC Culture polled book critics outside the UK, to give an outsider’s perspective on the best in British literature.
An interesting list, ruled by women writers, with Middlemarch as number one. More information
100. The Code of the Woosters (PG Wodehouse, 1938)
99. There but for the (Ali Smith, 2011)
98. Under the Volcano (Malcolm Lowry,1947)
97. The Chronicles of Narnia (CS Lewis, 1949-1954)
96. Memoirs of a Survivor (Doris Lessing, 1974)
95. The Buddha of Suburbia (Hanif Kureishi, 1990)
94. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (James Hogg, 1824)
93. Lord of the Flies (William Golding, 1954)
92. Cold Comfort Farm (Stella Gibbons, 1932)
91. The Forsyte Saga (John Galsworthy, 1922)
90. The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins, 1859)
89. The Horse’s Mouth (Joyce Cary, 1944)
88. The Death of the Heart (Elizabeth Bowen, 1938)
87. The Old Wives’ Tale (Arnold Bennett,1908)
86. A Legacy (Sybille Bedford, 1956)
85. Regeneration Trilogy (Pat Barker, 1991-1995)
84. Scoop (Evelyn Waugh, 1938)
83. Barchester Towers (Anthony Trollope, 1857)
82. The Patrick Melrose Novels (Edward St Aubyn, 1992-2012)
81. The Jewel in the Crown (Paul Scott, 1966)
80. Excellent Women (Barbara Pym, 1952)
79. His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman, 1995-2000)
78. A House for Mr Biswas (VS Naipaul, 1961)
77. Of Human Bondage (W Somerset Maugham, 1915)
76. Small Island (Andrea Levy, 2004)
75. Women in Love (DH Lawrence, 1920)
74. The Mayor of Casterbridge (Thomas Hardy, 1886)
73. The Blue Flower (Penelope Fitzgerald, 1995)
72. The Heart of the Matter (Graham Greene, 1948)
71. Old Filth (Jane Gardam, 2004)
70. Daniel Deronda (George Eliot, 1876)
69. Nostromo (Joseph Conrad, 1904)
68. A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess, 1962)
67. Crash (JG Ballard 1973)
66. Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen, 1811)
65. Orlando (Virginia Woolf, 1928)
64. The Way We Live Now (Anthony Trollope, 1875)
63. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Muriel Spark, 1961)
62. Animal Farm (George Orwell, 1945)
61. The Sea, The Sea (Iris Murdoch, 1978)
60. Sons and Lovers (DH Lawrence, 1913)
59. The Line of Beauty (Alan Hollinghurst, 2004)
58. Loving (Henry Green, 1945)
57. Parade’s End (Ford Madox Ford, 1924-1928)
56. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (Jeanette Winterson, 1985)
55. Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift, 1726)
54. NW (Zadie Smith, 2012)
53. Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys, 1966)
52. New Grub Street (George Gissing, 1891)
51. Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy, 1891)
50. A Passage to India (EM Forster, 1924)
49. Possession (AS Byatt, 1990)
48. Lucky Jim (Kingsley Amis, 1954)
47. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Laurence Sterne, 1759)
46. Midnight’s Children (Salman Rushdie, 1981)
45. The Little Stranger (Sarah Waters, 2009)
44. Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel, 2009)
43. The Swimming Pool Library (Alan Hollinghurst, 1988)
42. Brighton Rock (Graham Greene, 1938)
41. Dombey and Son (Charles Dickens, 1848)
40. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll, 1865)
39. The Sense of an Ending (Julian Barnes, 2011)
38. The Passion (Jeanette Winterson, 1987)
37. Decline and Fall (Evelyn Waugh, 1928)
36. A Dance to the Music of Time (Anthony Powell, 1951-1975)
35. Remainder (Tom McCarthy, 2005)
34. Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro, 2005)
33. The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame, 1908)
32. A Room with a View (EM Forster, 1908)
31. The End of the Affair (Graham Greene, 1951)
30. Moll Flanders (Daniel Defoe, 1722)
29. Brick Lane (Monica Ali, 2003)
28. Villette (Charlotte Brontë, 1853)
27. Robinson Crusoe (Daniel Defoe, 1719)
26. The Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien, 1954)
25. White Teeth (Zadie Smith, 2000)
24. The Golden Notebook (Doris Lessing, 1962)
23. Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy, 1895)
22. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (Henry Fielding, 1749)
21. Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad, 1899)
20. Persuasion (Jane Austen, 1817)
19. Emma (Jane Austen, 1815)
18. Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguro, 1989)
17. Howards End (EM Forster, 1910)
16. The Waves (Virginia Woolf, 1931)
15. Atonement (Ian McEwan, 2001)
14. Clarissa (Samuel Richardson,1748)
13. The Good Soldier (Ford Madox Ford, 1915)
12. Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell, 1949)
11. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen, 1813)
10. Vanity Fair (William Makepeace Thackeray, 1848)
9. Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818)
8. David Copperfield (Charles Dickens, 1850)
7. Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë, 1847)
6. Bleak House (Charles Dickens, 1853)
5. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë, 1847)
4. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens, 1861)
3. Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf, 1925)
2. To the Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf, 1927)
1. Middlemarch (George Eliot, 1874)

26 November 2015

The Guardian children's fiction prize 2015 winner

David Almond’s A Song for Ella Grey has won the 2015 Guardian children’s fiction prize - available to read from the Library.

The book is a retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set in the north east of England. Told in lyrical, dream-like prose, Almond revisits a story that he said “has pestered me ever since I began to write” - the legend of music-maker Orpheus descending to the underworld to bring his love back to life. Set in contemporary Tyneside, Almond’s version features inseparable best friends and sixth-formers Claire and Ella. Through Claire’s narration we learn how Orpheus entrances Ella and the terrible tragedy that unfolds as a result.
The book beat novels by Kate Saunders, Frances Hardinge and Sally Nicholls to win the only children’s book award judged by authors

From http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/nov/19/david-almond-wins-guardian-childrens-fiction-prize

24 November 2015

Children's Book Award - Readers needed!

You are invited to read all 3 of the shortlisted books in the Older Readers category of the 2016 Children's Book Award so you can rate them 1, 2, 3. Your vote will count towards the award, as this is the only award where children decide who wins. You need to read the books between November 2015 and the end of April 2016.

The shortlist for the Children’s Book Award 2016 Older Readers category is as follows:

– Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
– Smart by Kim Slater (Macmillan Children’s Books)
– Listen to the Moon by Michael Morpurgo (HarperCollins Children’s Books)

About the Award

The Children’s Book Award (previously known as the Red House Children’s Book Award) is the only national award for children’s books that is voted for entirely by children themselves. It was founded in 1980 and each year since then children in book groups and around the UK have been reading as many new books as they can and voting to pick both the shortlist and the eventual winners. Past winners include J.K. Rowling, Patrick Ness, Andy Stanton, Malorie Blackman, Anthony Horowitz and Oliver Jeffers. Now in its 36th year, the award has often been the first to recognise the future stars of children’s fiction and has the ability to turn popular authors into bestsellers.

In 2015 this involved 800 books being submitted, with 48,000 votes for the shortlist alone and a grand total of over 80,000 votes being cast. Through the school's membership of the Oxford Children's Book Group 'Testing Group' several OLA students test-read and voted for the books which were in the Top 3 Older readers category. Two lucky OLA readers were invited to the Awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London in February 2015. They also attended lunch with the shortlisted authors and illustrators and talked to then Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman.

The shortlist for the Children’s Book Award 2016 Younger Readers and Younger Children's categories:

Younger Readers
– My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat! by Pamela Butchart and Thomas Flintham (Nosy Crow)
– Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen (Doubleday)
– Horrid Henry’s Krazy Ketchup by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross (Orion Children’s Books)

Younger Children

– Fabulous Pie by Gareth Edwards and Guy Parker-Rees (Scholastic)
– Is There a Dog in this Book? by Viviane Schwarz (Walker Books)
– Ready, Steady, Jump! by Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynolds (Andersen Press)
– This Book Just Ate my Dog! by Richard Byrne (Oxford University Press)

Source and more information

03 November 2015

The Guardian children's fiction prize – shortlist 2015

Two local authors have been shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, which is judged by their fellow authors. Sally Nicholls and Frances Hardinge, both from Oxfordshire, and David Almond and Kate Saunders make up the shortlist of four.

As described on the Guardian website:

An Island of our Own by Sally Nicholls
This is a joyful Treasure Island-style mystery for the Instagram generation. A loveable young pair don’t face pirates as they seek their late auntie’s buried hoard, but more contemporary devices - from crowdsourcing clues to metal detectors - winningly deployed in this funny and tender exploration of what makes a family.

A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
An intense, windswept re-working of Orpheus and Eurydice that reverberates with intensity and passion, as beautifully presented as it is written. The transformative potential of art and the imagination radiates from every page of this book, which is as short, intense and all consuming as the love story it describes.

Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders
E Nesbitt’s classic Five Children and It gains an outstanding sequel, with the ingenious conceit of transposing the cosy Victorian setting for the eve of the First World War, yielding devastating results. Enthralling, witty and often unbearably moving, an elegy to not only a lost generation but the first golden age of children’s literature.

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
A compelling fantasy spun from one mesmerising idea: what if telling lies gave you the power to discover other people’s secrets? This gothic yarn of Victorian fossil hunters gone bad features an unforgettable young heroine, who fearlessly takes on monsters of the present and the past to build herself a better life.

The winner will be announced at the award ceremony on 19 November 2015.

14 October 2015

Book-related art work

Some enjoyable art work around the school.

29 September 2015

Sir Vince Cable

Sir Vince Cable attracted a big crowd to OLA for the Festival of Reading evening event, which was open to the public. He was here to talk about his new book After the Storm: the World Economy and Britain's Economic Future. As former Secretary of State for Business under the Coalition Government, and Liberal Democrat MP for nearly 20 years, until he lost his seat in this year’s General Election, this was an absorbing yet accessible insight from someone at the heart of government. This was followed by questions and book signing organised by local book shop Mostly Books. Many people bought copies, including the Mayor of Abingdon and members of staff.

A great champion of reading and bookshops, he started his talk by saying how reading novels during the challenging times of government helped keep him clear-headed.