September 2012 Newsletter

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If you'd like to sign up for our monthly newsletter, just drop us an email. We won't bother you more than once a month, but we'll tell you about what we've been reading at Bookbag and any news from the site. We promise never to pass your details on to anyone else. In fact... we won't even tell each other.

September's News from Bookbag Towers

Hello, hi, how are you? Suffering from Olympic and Paralympic withdrawal? We are. What was your favourite moment? We had so many, we simply couldn't pick just one. And even for bookworms like the team at Bookbag Towers, a summer of sport was a welcome complement to reading. But we are back to normal service now. And to that end, we've been perusing the Booker the shortilist. You can find all it here, together with all the titles on the longlist. It's too close to call a winner, but you're sure to find something you want to read. Take a look!

And guess what? According to market research by Bowker, 55% of people who read YA fiction are over 18. Jill could have told you that. She's a venerable 47 and she's never stopped reading books intended for teenagers. Do you read YA fiction? How old are YOU?!

Golden Hour

Ahhh. Our blast from the past for September is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. There are good reasons why the book has been a classic for more than a century and this new edition from OUP will make a splendid gift, which, if our own experience of the book is anything to go by, will be valued for years to come. Beautifully reimagined with illustrations by David Roberts, it's more in tune with what children today will expect, but has lost none of the timeless charm.

Books of the Month

And on to to the new... . In fiction, Ani recommends The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers. It's been shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and deservedly so. The story of 18-year-old GI Daniel Murphy makes a short, powerful novel sums up the frustrations and horror of war without sensationalism. In years to come The Yellow Birds will mean 'Iraq' just as the movie Apocalypse Now has come to mean 'Vietnam'.

In non-fiction, Linda loved Fantastic Mr Dahl by Michael Rosen. Poet, author and former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen shares his insights into the life of Roald Dahl and the influences on his work in a clear, easy-to-read and intriguing book which both adults and children will enjoy. She says reading this book is rather like curling up in a deep, squishy armchair with a cup of cocoa and some squashed-fly biscuits while a favourite uncle chats to you about books! Lovely.

For the little ones, Jo thinks you should look no further than Superworm by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Nobody needs to worry about anything when Superworm is about as he can just about save anyone from anything. However, who will save Superworm when he gets into trouble himself? This is another wonderful rhyming story from the very successful team of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.


We have some great features for you this month. Rosie Thomas popped in to chat to us about how travel lends perspective to her writing. We were fascinated. Does she write and travel? Or travel and write? Emma Barns talked to us about everyday magic in children's books. Emma sets out to write about real, breathing, contemporary children from everyday families and neighbourhoods having adventures of the kind that might befall anyone. And she does it with great panache.

We were completely taken by the idea behind Setting The Record Straight of paying a complete stranger to take revenge on someone who has hurt you and we had quite a few questions to ask author Chris Worthington when he popped in to see us.

Bookbag reviewer Robert James had a special day this month - his first ever double interview! He approached Jackie Marchant, who helped put Dougal Trump's 'scribblings' together to form the wonderful I'm Dougal Trump... And It's Not My Fault in the hope of getting an interview with her. Not only did she accept, she also introduced him to the boy who some people are calling 'a modern day William Brown' and he was kind enough to also answer some questions. We hope you enjoy their answers as much as he did!

Back in the eighties David Croydon was one of the founders of a sales promotion agency and 'The Unprincipled' tells the story of the twelve years from the agency's founding through to its sale. We've thought long and hard about finding just one word to describe the book but we really can't do better than 'scurrilous'. You're best not suggesting that we can have more than one word! When David popped into Bookbag to chat to us we had quite a few questions which we felt needed an answer.


We're always on the look out for people to join our panel of reviewers at Bookbag. We need people who understand that the reader wants to know what the reviewer thinks about the book and not just what's written on the back cover. If you think that you're one of these special people that we're looking for, we want to hear from you. You can find details of how to apply here on the site. Don't be shy!


We have competitions for some great books going this month, and every month, so get entering!

And that's about it for this month. If you're passing Bookbag Towers do pop in and see us – we're at

All at Bookbag Towers

See what we were doing last year

(PS – if you don't want to receive further copies of our newsletter please email us and we'll see that you're deleted from the mailing list.)