Friday, 22 July 2016

Friday, 8 July 2016

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Patron of Reading at the John Roan School

I'm delighted to announce that as of today I've been appointed Patron of Reading at the John Roan School, Maze Hill. I very much look forward to developing workshops and ideas with the librarian and students.

Here's a link to the Patron of Reading website.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Greek Myth in Children's Fiction Part 10

I've rarely seen a book raise so much laughter in the young
as my final choice for Greek Myth in Children's Fiction: The Pig Scrolls, by Paul Shipton. Gryllus was a member of Odysseus' crew, transformed into a pig by the witch Circe. (The name is taken from a little jeu d'esprit of Plutarch's, in which Odysseus and Circe talk with a pig.) He must now save the world, thanks to a somewhat surprising prophecy.

All the familiar names are there, and the book is a rollicking and deliciously irreverent romp. 

Greek myth, as we have seen, manifests itself in children's fiction in many ways: from the stately to the silly. I'm sure that these heroes, heroines, gods and beasts will populate our imaginations for many centuries to come, and I look forward to the many new and exciting interpretations that are bound to follow. 

Gryllus brings my series to an end. Watch out for my own reimagining of Greek myth: The Double Axe, in which the story of Theseus and the minotaur gets a surprising twist.

 

Monday, 27 June 2016

Blog review of THE KING'S REVENGE

Here's a lovely blog review on Fly Girl's Cabinet of Curiosities, of THE KING'S REVENGE.

Greek Myth in Children's Fiction: Part 9

Time and time again, when I meet older children, they tell me that their favourite book when they were little was Lucy Coats' Atticus the Storyteller. Covering a huge range of Greek myth, from the beginnings of the cosmos right up until Odysseus returns home to Penelope, the book cleverly uses the idea of a storytelling competition at Troy to link the stories together. Lively, and beautifully written, it should be anyone's starting point when thinking about Greek myth for the young. 

Lucy Coats has also recently produced a series, "Beasts of Olympus", about a young demi-god, Pandemonium, who is transported up to Olympus to look after the animals - the books are both funny and exciting, and twist the myths on their heads as Hercules, who's always trying to kill them, becomes the villain.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Greek Myth in Children's Fiction: Part 8

The plasticity and power of myth is taken to imaginative and brilliant levels in Alan Gibbons' Shadow of the Minotaur, in which a young boy starts playing a computer game. He takes on the characters first of Theseus battling the minotaur, and then Perseus fighting the Gorgon. The only problem is - he's not in a computer game, but in a different layer of reality. Gripping and clever. (And also I have a fondness for the minotaur, as the myth provided the basis for my own The Double Axe.)