Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965) was a much-loved children's author, who won the Hans Christian Anderson Award and the Carnegie Medal for The Little Bookroom. The award, inaugurated on her death, 'recognises an outstanding contribution to the world of children’s books by an individual or organisation'. The Federation of Children's Book Groups is a charity runs countless children's book events around the country and supports local book groups. They also organise National Share-a-Story month, National Non-fiction day and founded the Red House Children's Book Award, the only children's book award in which children have the casting vote at every stage. (The shortlist has been announced - am quite glad that, being an adult, I don't have to decide between these!)
Each year the award ceremony features a guest speaker and this year's was the rather legendary Geraldine McCaughrean (have you read The Death-Defying Pepper Roux? DO) She began by apologising for not having written a speech, but we weren't to fear - by a stroke of luck she'd found a pile of papers in a bin and was going to read them instead. The papers proved quite a find, including guidelines on a new schools books series (no sex, pigs or witches), a letter from an adoring fan ('we were told we had to write to a writer. I wanted to write to Anthony Horowitz, but Elijah got him...), a kind enquiry after the health of Patrick Ness from Culture minister Ed Vaizey... and a letter from an elderly writer asking if she really must 'blog to survive'.
(sexy witch pig)
Adam Lancaster, chair of the FCBG, accepted the award and made a speech that is going to cause me to use the word 'stonking' for the first time. It was a stonking speech about the power books have to ignite a spark in the imagination of a young reader. And it made us feel quite heartened that at a time of cuts n' doom n' gloom, there are still people passionate enough about children's reading to spend lots of their free time running children's books events.
So while thinking of all the children's books people that are so utterly wonderful and great, I decided that I would like to honour the characters and stories that have thrilled, scared, saddened and filled me with hilarity this year.
The Books, Bonnets & Full-frontal Blogging Awards!
(The Bonnets for short)
(I think that most of the books were published this year, but I realise some of them may not have been - but I read them this year and I cannot go back in time)
If you fancy voting for some of your favourites, that would be most lovely. If nobody votes then I will just get my BRAND NEW KITTENS to choose.