February 28th, 2013
February 26th, 2013
Now that the (glitter) dust has finally settled after the spectacle of the 85th Academy Awards, it’s now time to reveal the results everyone’s really been talking about…the Spinebreakers Academy Awards! Over the last couple of months we’ve been asking you to vote for your winners and the cotes have been counted and verified and we have the results.
So put your hands together for these worthy winners…
BEST FILM: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Your winner is an epic fantasy adventure film, which was released last year in 2012 and directed by Peter Jackson. It’s the first of a three-part film adaptation of the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, to be followed by The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again, due for theatrical release in 2013 and 2014.
BEST ACTOR: Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
Hugh Jackman is an Australian actor and producer who has many acting strings to his bow including film, musical theatre, and television. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in big blockbuster films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is well known for his long-running role as Wolverine the the X- Men film series, but he has won this coveted Spinebreakers award for his role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.
BEST ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Your winner is an American actress who came to prominence after playing Mia Thermopolis in the Disney film The Princess Diaries and in its 2004 sequel The Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement. Since then, Hathaway has starred in dramatic films such as Havoc and Brokeback Mountain, in 2005. She has also starred in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and played Jane Austenin Becoming Jane (2007). She has won the Spinebreakers Academy Award for her role as Fantine in Les Miserables.
BEST BOOK: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
This is the fourth novel by John Green and was published in January 2012. It tells the story of a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel, who is forced by her parents to attend a support group, where she subsequently meets, befriends and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee.
BEST MALE AUTHOR: John Green (The Fault In Our Stars)
John Green is an American author of young adult fiction and also a YouTube vlogger with a huge (and well deserved) following. As well as the Spinebreakers Oscar, his writings have been recognised with the Michael L. Printz Award and as the Stonewall Honor Book in Children & Young Adult Literature. He is also a #1 best selling author on the New York Times Bestseller list.
BEST FEMALE AUTHOR: Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy)
Your winner is an American novelist and television writer, best known as the author of the best selling series The Underland Chronicles and The Hunger Games Trilogy (which consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay).
BEST BOOK CHARACTER: Augustus Waters from The Fault In Our Stars
Augustus was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at a young age and lost his right leg to the disease. He loves video games but loves Hazel Grace far more. A very deserving winner!
Well done all and thank you for casting your votes!
February 26th, 2013
Teen editor Timothy Turpin lists the books he thinks parents should read if they want to understand their children…
Teenagers often complain that their parents don’t understand them. (Been there, done that, got the bloodstained T-shirt.) Often, such parents turn to reading optimistically titled ‘parenting guides’, in which supposed experts in the field of parenting present strategies to the lost. I must say that I treat these ‘guides’ with utter contempt, for they all share a fatal flaw: none are written by teens.
Now, I recognise that there are very few (if any) parenting guides out there actually written by teenagers, so if parents really want to understand their teens, they’re going to have to do the next best thing: read what they’re reading. Here follow the five books I think parents should read if they want to understand their offspring.
1. ‘Battle Royale’ – ‘The Hunger Games’ is but a cheap rip-off compared to this monumental piece of glorious carnage. Perhaps horrifying to some, it’s a gore-filled action novel with unusually sinister political undertones. The very fact that this is fiction suitable for teenagers tells you that we’ve got a better grasp of politics than most – and, going by the devious schemes implemented by some of the fifty students, we’re not as innocent as we would have you believe. Be afraid, pops. Read more…
February 21st, 2013
This illustration is of Jack Noel. Jack, 28, has one of the coolest jobs we can think of – he’s a book designer! He recently stopped by The Reading Agency (who have kindly shared this Q&A with us) to speak about his job, and provide some advice for any Reading Activists with an interest in careers in illustration and design. Enjoy some of his pieces of work below and his words of wisdom…
What does a day in the life of a book designer look like?
Walker Books is based in an old mattress factory in Vauxhall, I work in the Fiction department on the top floor. We make books for kids, teens, Young Adults and New Adults (those last three are all the same thing). Read more…
February 19th, 2013
This year you should set yourself a challenge; a challenge to read a book every week for the WHOLE year, you heard me – the WHOLE year; like Penguin are doing here in the big Readarama. Finding 52 books to read is actually harder than you think though, but here’s my suggestions for what to try if you’re up for the challenge. Got any books you think are must-reads for this gigantic readathon? Let us know with a comment below!
1. Harry Potter - Wizard fights noseless evil wizard
2. Lord Of The Rings - Post-war-epic-fantasy
3. Stone Junction - Psycadelic
4. Naruto – Ninjas. You get the idea.
5. Pimp – The biography of a man who was once a pimp.
6. Hip Hop America – If you love hip hop, you’d have read this. If not, you’re missing out.
7. Pig Heart Boy – Boy has a sheep’s heart (just kidding…)
8. Noughts And Crosses – Apartheid in a book.
9. Arsenal Biography – Need I say anymore?
10. Butter – Being the big man on campus isn’t easy, especially when you’re 30 stone.
11. The Twits – Pair of old hags
12. Brighton Rock – Don’t trust a kinky man
13. The Road – You can’t run forever in a cannibalistic hell
14. The Wind Up Bird Chronicles – Super psychadelic
15. Kafka On The Shore – Also psychadelic (by the same author as wind up bird)
16. American Psycho- Serial killer/buisness man
17. The Hobbit – Lord of the rings junior.
18. Dictionary – Some words, and that.
19. Norwegian Wood- Boy falls in with girl, girl has nervous breakdown and he falls in love with some one else
20. Percy Jackson – Demigod fights bad people
21. Fight Club – Chemical burn (YouTube it).
22. The mole who knew it was none of his business – Involves poo, so it’s one for the immature.
23. Grufallo – Big thing, plus little thing, equals inevitable friendship.
24. Holes – Punishing kids by digging holes, only in America.
25. The Knife Of Never Letting Go – Police monitor more than just speeding cars.
26. James and the giant peach – Kid inside a peach with bug mates.
27. Where The Wild Things Are – Adventures you will never find in real life, so it’s worth the wonder.
28. Strangeland – Tracey Emin talking about Tracey Emin ,in that Tracey Emin way.
29. The Hungry Caterpillar – I would not be the 14 year old boy I am today without it.
30. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – “The longer the title; the better the book” definitely applies to this one.
31. 1984 – You’re always being watched.
32. Catcher in the Rye – This can fix your teenage confusion.
33. The Wall – Clever man tells clever stories about death and despair.
34. Of Mice and Men – The Mister of Education likes it, meaning we should too.
35. How To Kill A Mockingbird – Surprisingly not about killing birds.
36. Hunger Games – Killing and survival – a 14 year old girl’s version of Battle Royale.
37. Lord Of The Flies – Being left on an island without the comfort of mum or dad can make even the naive rebel.
38. Battle Royale – You might need some counselling after reading this book but it’s worth it.
39. Animal Farm – Political controversy in a farm.
40. Urban Grimshaw and the shed crew – Sniffing glue and nail varnish is the norm for 12 year old Urban.
41. Extremely loud and incredibly close – You are in the brain of a boy looking for something important.
42. Guantanamo Boy – You find yourself in the hardest-to-escape prison of all time when you did nothing wrong.
43. Slam – Skater impregnates a girl.
44. The great Gatsby – Rich bachelor.
45. Diary of a wimpy kid – It does what it says on the tin.
46. Young Bond – Stories of a Bond-to-be boy hero.
47. Frankenstein – That green, bolt-necked guy.
48. Dracula – That pale, long-toothed guy.
49. Les Miserables – Musical miserableness
50. Spud – A south American boy whose downstairs looks like a spud.
51. Treasure Island – Long John Silver looking for treasure without his Muppet mates.
52. REST DAY