Posts

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Stuck for last minute Christmas gifts? How about one of my top 5 reads of 2016?

I am delighted to unwittingly discover that my top 5 reads of 2016 have all been written by women. I have absolutely nothing against fiction by men; I have also read many books written by men this year and have always been fairly gender-blind…
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Win a small treasure: The Gifts of Reading

'This story, like so many stories, begins with a gift. The gift, like so many gifts, was a book...' So begins Robert Macfarlane's masterful and luminous essay, on the gift and power of giving and receiving books. This small, beautifully bound…
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Why should we read Historical Fiction?

I'm going to let you into a little secret: I never intended to write Historical Fiction. It's not that I didn't enjoy reading it from time to time, but in my pre-novel days when I focused on the short story form, they were almost always set…
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How do we create a new narrative of hope?

'It's important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is, or will be fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and tremendous destruction. The hope I'm interested in is about broad perspectives…
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How can we help introduce Shakespeare to our children?

We'd all love our children to ingest a little bit of the Bard in one way or another, right? As the world celebrates 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, the best-known playwright to ever walk the earth, Bard fever has been spreading…
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Three Fantastic Magazines for Children

Have you ever thought you'd like to subscribe to a magazine for your children, but something with a little more depth and less gender stereotyping than the average glossy mag that can be slipped into the shopping trolley at the supermarket? Living…
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How can we as parents turn around reluctant readers?

Do you have a child you really have to coerce into reading? Does it sometimes feels as though everybody else's kids are racing through books whilst your child will do anything they can think of to avoid it? We, as parents, would all love our…
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How to be a writer when you're not writing

Illustration by Kris Di Giacomo for Matthew Burgess's book 'enormous SMALLNESS' Recently, my laptop died. Let's just say it had a little accident involving water and has, in two words, had it. (I am currently borrowing from various people and…
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Lessons learned about Reading & Writing in 2015

READING Read outside your comfort zone. There is, I can't deny, something so wonderful and luxuriant about snuggling down with a book you just know you will enjoy. But taking a few risks with reading can yield surprising, exciting responses.…
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9 Tips for putting the 'child' back into childhood

In light of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday 13th November, what I wanted to blog about pales into insignificance. Sometimes I truly feel that the world is so environmentally, morally and ideologically broken that all I would like to…