Characters Who Pray by Anne Booth

I am very grateful to Miss Cleveland for hosting a post in a blog tour for my book ‘Across the Divide’, and I really really wanted to write about this issue.

Miss Cleveland is reading...

It’s a pleasure to welcome Anne Booth to the blog today with a wonderfully thought-provoking guest-post, as part of the Across The Divide Blog Tour, to discuss religious characters in children’s books…


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In my new children’s novel, Across The Divide, I have, as one of the main characters, a teenage boy who wants to do God’s will, and openly talks about praying to God to help him decide whether he should go to war or not. He believes that discerning God’s will is the most important thing in his life, and that it would be better to die than to be separated from God. He believes his religion has told him it is right to kill others if it is God’s will, and that he should be prepared to die for his beliefs.

I wanted to write about this boy because I have become very aware in these past…

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Across The Divide by Anne Booth

I am so, so happy with this review of ‘Across The Divide’! I am very grateful to Miss Cleveland for it. I am so delighted as well that the role of the character Riya is highlighted – she is a character I wish I could be more like!

Miss Cleveland is reading...

Publication Date: 7 June 2018

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Cover illustration by Serena Rocca

When Olivia’s mum is arrested for her role in a pacifist protest, she finds herself rushed off to Lindisfarne to stay with her dad, a man she barely knows anymore. With life at home in complete turmoil, that’s the last thing she needs if she’s going to mend her broken friendships. The peaceful pace of life on the remote island gives her plenty of time to think about the events leading up to her stay there. Can she find the strength she needs to finally speak up? And then, there’s the mysterious William – kind, gentle and always there when Olivia needs him – who is he?

What an amazing book! Emotionally charged, this gently-told tale tackles big issues: pacifism versus war; stereotyping, the resulting bullying and modern journalism’s role in whipping it up & making it better; and the…

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Across the Divide Blog Tour: “We Have More in Common than What Divides Us”

I was delighted to be asked to write for Golden Books Girl -one girl and her blog, about my new book ‘Across The Divide’ https://www.waterstones.com/book/across-the-divide/anne-booth/9781910611111

Golden Books Girl

Hello everybody!

Today, I’m really excited to be on the blog tour for Anne Booth’s new book Across the Divide, and to share a guest post from Anne, about how we can learn empathy from fiction. Over to Anne!

‘We have more in common’

I love twitter. When I felt lonely and isolated as a carer for elderly parents, twitter was a safe place where I could meet lovely people – writers, illustrators, librarians, teachers, booksellers, publishers, agents – who shared my enthusiasm and passion for children’s books and illustrations. Later, through someone I chatted to about children’s books on twitter, it led to me being published, and getting my wonderful agent. Things I read on twitter every day inspire and inform me and give me ideas for new books. I find it a great ongoing source of support and information and entertainment.

But it has its dark side. When…

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Twin books due on June 9th 2018!

This was originally published here: An Awfully Big Blog Adventure

 

Twin books, non-identical stories, June 9th birth! by Anne Booth

I am the fortunate mother of non-identical twins, and on June 9th I will also have non-identical twin books!

‘The Sleepy Hummingbirds’  is for 7-9 year olds and will be published by OUP on the 9th June.

This is the first of a series about The Magical Kingdom of Birds, initially of six books, and I  am loving writing them.

The series is for 7-9 year olds and is about a girl, Maya, who travels to the Magical Kingdom of Birds and rides on a magic magpie, helping a fairy Princess foil the plans of her wicked uncle, Lord Astor . It occurred to me that Maya could be a disabled heroine without the storyline being affected, and it has been fun and satisfying for me that Maya’s disability has nothing to do with the plot and that disabled and able-bodied readers alike will be able to identify with her. Maya and Princess Willow defeat Lord Astor as he targets one bird species after another in his attempts  to gain control of The Kingdom of Birds, and all that can easily be done on the back of a magpie or with the help of other birds. Birds spend most of their time in the air – why can’t Maya?  It has been very satisfying to put a disabled heroine in a mainstream commercial fiction series, and great to work with my friend, a sportswoman and special needs teacher and also someone who herself has a disability, to check that I am getting it right. I really wanted to describe Fairy Princess Willow as having black, curly hair and brown eyes, as a little neighbour of mine, whose dad is Nigerian and mother Scottish, said that princesses don’t look like her.  The lovely illustrator Rosie Butcher has drawn her  beautifully, so I am very happy that we are involved in subverting the golden haired blue eyed Princess idea. I think that the recent Royal wedding may have more effectively changed assumptions (!), but I have to say that ‘The Sleepy Hummingbirds’ had Princess Willow even before Prince Harry  and Meghan announced their engagement! This series is so much fun to write – I love writing about fairies and talking birds and magical colouring books, I can let myself have fun making Lord Astor shake his fist when Maya and the fairies foil his wicked plots, and I am learning so much about real-life birds!

You can order it at any bookshop or pre-order it online, for example here, with free p & P

The second book which will be ‘born’ on the 9th June is ‘Across The Divide’, for 9-12 year olds. It is about a girl who wants to join army cadets, which causes tensions between her, her  Pacifist mother and her grandfather in the military, and problems within her friendship groups at school.  She is sent to stay on the island of Lindisfarne with a father she doesn’t really know, and there is a time-slip plot and a link with World War One. I have loved writing and researching this one too, and I enjoyed visiting Lindisfarne and staying on the beautiful island and learning about the birds there too. It is contemporary and political and links with history  in the way ‘Girl with a White Dog’ does, and  I also hope children enjoy it the way I loved books like ‘A Traveller in Time’ by Alison Uttley or ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ by Philippa Pearce or ‘Charlotte Sometimes’ by Penelope Farmer.

Both books have been copyedited too, and now they are ready.

I am really proud of them both, and now, in the nervous time before the due date, I must proudly await the delivery of my different but equally loved, bookish,  non-identical twins…

The cover of proof of  ‘Across The Divide’

You can order this from any books shop and online, as in here:

My Dad – an Irish Just William (originally a post for An Awfully Big Blog Adventure)

 

 

http://awfullybigblogadventure.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/an-irish-just-william-my-dad-by-anne.html

A Note to Myself (on my partner’s cancer)

I am re-blogging this as it is beautiful.

Jo Hogan Writes

A Note to Myself on my Partner’s Cancer

Five months ago, my partner was diagnosed with lung cancer. Words cannot capture the devastation of that day but I tried to explain some of the impact here https://johoganwrites.wordpress.com/2016/10/08/the-cough/.

Looking back, perhaps we shouldn’t have been so surprised. By the time we ourselves had taken it seriously enough to go to the doctors and progressed beyond the misdiagnoses, the scans and the biopsy, my partner could not even get dressed without being reduced to a coughing, breathless wreck. We were warned that cancer was an (unlikely) possibility but we weren’t prepared to hear that it was advanced and inoperable; that chemotherapy might help reduce the symptoms but could not provide a cure.

We clung to the hope that my partner would have a biomarker that would make him eligible for some of the new gene therapies that are now transforming the…

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Lucy and Tom’s Day by Shirley Hughes

I loved this – and obviously, as I was quoted, I agree with the admiration for Shirley Hughes! I also learnt a lot.

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People have been spontaneously posting Shirley Hughes images on Twitter this morning in reaction to last night’s attack on so many children and parents in Manchester. Author Anne Booth captured my own feelings perfectly.

I wanted to add to this with an appreciation of the first book of Shirley’s that I remember, possibly the very first book I ever read, Lucy and Tom’s Day.

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I’d dug it out on the weekend for a course I attended run by the Golden Egg Academy. They’d asked us to bring something special from our childhood to discuss, and nothing sums up my own memories of growing up in suburban England in the 1970s better than the…

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