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The Next Big Thing

Posted by: | December 31, 2012 | No Comment |

Local author Sandy Fussell has ‘tagged’ me on her blog to write about my ‘next big writing thing’, which means answering 10 questions about what I’m working on at the moment.
Here goes!

1. What is the working title of your next book?
“Just Like Buster’

2. Where did the idea come from?
My mischievous border collie, Buster.

3. What genre does the book come under?
It was originally going to be a picture book, but it could develop into an early reader’s chapter book, much like an ‘Aussie Nibble’.

4. Which actors could portray the main characters if the book was made into a film?
When I think of Buster being portrayed on the big screen, the first dog which springs to mind is the border collie in the film ‘Babe’, but that was made years ago so maybe, Buster could play himself! I’m sure he would keep the director on their toes!

5. Describe your book in a one sentence synopsis.
“While other dogs perform tricks, come when called and stay at home, Buster’s family believes he is just the opposite – or is he?”

6.Will your book be self published or published via an agency?
I hope it will be picked up by a publisher.

7.How long did it take to write the first draft?
It’s hard to say – probably a day to get the basic idea out of my head and onto paper but then I started the second draft the following day! The manuscript had been ‘rested’ for several months while I was working on another project and busy with my ‘real’ job, but I’m about to pick it up again. Chances are, I’ll begin all over again! The basic idea for the book won’t leave me though, so I’l have to continue working on it until I’m happy with it. That could take a couple of years!

8. How does it compare with other books already published?
When I first started working on ‘Buster’, I thought of other books previously written about unusual dogs and of course, Colin Thompson’s ‘Fearless’ came to mind. I think there’s ‘room’ for others.

9. Where did you get your inspiration for the book.
That’s easy – my own border collie, Buster. Border collies are renowned for their intelligence, but I think Buster is too smart. When I look at him sometimes, I can almost see him thinking. He doesn’t obey commands imeediately for example, it’s as if he’s weighing up his options before committing himself! He has had several adventures, which I think just have to be shared – one in particular which has proven his ‘smarts’ to me.

10. What else about the book may pique the reader’s interest?
If it develops as a picture book, the illustrations could grab readers of all ages. I’d love to see an illustrator show the ‘thinking’ Buster!

under: Uncategorized

2012 Wrap up

Posted by: | December 13, 2012 | No Comment |

This has been a big year on the reading front (and the writing front, for me!)
Yesterday at our annual school presentation, two awards were given to 2 students, Jaryd and Rhys who completed my 2012 reading challenge. Yes, many students read over 20 or 30 books (I have the statistics to prove it!) but Jaryd and Rhys diligently added their titles to their sheets and handed them in!

Students have certainly continued to enjoy the new titles we have selected for the library this year and I have tried to keep one step ahead of my special group of Year 5 girls (you know who you are!) with chewy, engaging titles! I hope to be further challenged in 2013!

Congratulations to Tristan, Hamish and Jasmine for your outstanding work during library sessions this year.

Many thanks to my dedicated library monitors who have been a tremendous help, especially to Mrs Provost during my periods of leave this year.

I’m already planning for 2013 and please stay tuned in the next week for some suggested great reads over the holidays!

Don’t forget to visit Thirroul District Library during the holidays as part of the Summer Reading Club. On January 17 at Thirroul Library, I’ll be one of several authors volunteering on the day to provide heaps of activities for local kids. I’ll be showing a group how to make a book trailer, so come along – the activities are free!

Talk soon,
Mrs Mac

under: Reading

NYR Challenge

Posted by: | February 12, 2012 | No Comment |

I’d like to issue a challenge to teachers, parents and students!

Who thinks they can read 10 books in each term during 2012 as part of the National Year of Reading? You can begin this week and collect a Challenge sheet from Mrs Mac (they will be on the desk in the Library.)

Adults may read a selection of children’s books as part of their challenge. All those who complete the challenge will go into a draw for book vouchers.

Thirroul District Library is also holding several activities – one of which is a weekly Trivia quiz and I am issuing a challenge to teachers and staff to see who can get the most correct!

The NYR theme for February is ‘Laugh’. What will you read to make YOU laugh this month?

Who’s up for a challenge, then?

under: Reading

Welcome to 2012!

Posted by: | January 17, 2012 | No Comment |

This year is quite eventful as far as books and reading goes. We have our first ever Children’s Laureates….something which is well known in the UK and US, but not so much in Australia. Our first laureates have recently been announced – Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor, whose books we hold in our school library. I’ll post events regarding both authors as they come to hand.

2012 is also Australia’s ‘National Year of Reading’ and although it appears to have got off to a quiet start (in the media), in the ‘book’ world it will be a keen focus. I’ll keep you updated here and on Mrs Mac’s Library Site.

As an introduction to 2012, I thought you may be interested in upcoming titles for this year – both for children and young adults.

Let me know what you have been reading or are keen to read!

New Titles for 2012:

Alexandra Adornetto                       Heaven

Graeme Base                                     Little Elephants (Oct)

Carmel Bird                                       The Fabulous Finola Fox (April)

Isobel Carmody                                The Red Queen (Sept)

Justine Clarke                                   Gobbledygook is Eating a Book (Sept)

Kirsty Eager                                      Night Beach (April)

Jackie French                                    Pennies for Hitler (June)

Susanne Gervay                                Ships in the Field (Feb)

Morris Gleitzman                             After (June)

Andy Griffiths                                   Just Doomed (April)

The 26th Storey Treehouse (Sept)

Sonya Hartnett                                 Children of the King (April)

Rosanne Hawke                               The Message Bird (March)

Steven Herrick                                  Pookie Aleera is Not My Boyfriend (Aug)

Alison Lester                                     Hoot

“                    “                                      Sophie Scott goes South (May)

Fiona McIntosh                               The Rumplegeist (July)

Chris Morphew                                Fallout (Feb)

Sally Murphy                                   Do Not Forget Australia

Ian Trevaskis                                    The Edge of the World (Feb)

Frances Watts                                  The Fearsome, Frightening, Ferocious Box (May)

“                 ”                                        The Secret of Zanzibar


under: New Books, Reading

New Graeme Base book!

Posted by: | September 6, 2011 | No Comment |

KS were excited this morning when we discovered Graeme Base will publish a new book ‘Karnak’ on October 3. We viewed the book trailer on the website here. Just click on Karnak. There is a new challenge to be completed after you have read the book. I’ll certainly purchase the book during the holidays!

under: New Books

As I told our class of 20 parents last week, I am a strong believer in reading for enjoyment. I also recognise the power of reading aloud! Just last week I had to rush to order more copies of some of the titles in the 2011 Book Week shortlist as the reserve lists are getting longer each week!

The purpose of this blog is to let you know of not only what I have been selecting for our school library, but also some recommended reads. I thought it might be more useful blogging about it rather than just writing up a boring list!

This term we are going to really immerse ourselves in reading as a way to celebrate Book Week. We are also talking to authors via email and blogs – and last Tuesday our Yr 5 Library Monitors attended a Literary Lunch and met several authors. The best bit was having Frances Watts at our table! I think we all enjoyed asking Frances lots of questions about her writing and hearing some of the stories ‘behind’ the stories!

So, what’s popular at the moment?

Well, from the shortlist in the Early Childhood category ‘The Tall Man and the Twelve Babies’ and ‘It’s Bedtime William’ from those we’ve read so far. ‘My Uncle’s Donkey’ and ‘Two Peas in a Pod’ in the Picture Book category and in the Younger Readers category, ‘Toppling’, ‘Just a Dog’ , ‘The Deep End’ and ‘Duck for a Day’.

The new Deb Abela book ‘Grimsdon’ received the thumbs up from Jack in 4I while I have a few Year 6ers who have been waiting patiently for more titles in the ‘Ranger’s Apprentice’ series. They will hit the shelves next week!

The new  Australian series ‘Our Australian Girl’ are hardly ever on the shelves – and are written by a number of top line authors. Have a look at the website! 

Also, Jacqueline Harvey has been busy with her new ‘Alice Miranda’ series and I am trying to keep up with the new titles as they are released! Alice M has her own website, too!

You can never go wrong with Aussie Nibbles and our collection continues to grow…in popularity as well!

1LW are proving to be diehard Ursula Dubosarsky fans after reading ‘The Deep End’ and receiving an answer to the email we sent, so we are going to read some of her other books this term.

I’ll add some other author sites to the links list, as well as some other handy blogs related to children’s books.

Let me know what you think of my new blog, what you are reading or what you would like to read!

under: New Books, Reading