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News Round Up: All Hail Chris Riddell

I think by now everyone has heard the news that Chris Riddell was formally announced at a very prestigious ceremony at the British Academy For Film And Television Arts in London last Tuesday as the new Children's Laureate for 2015-2017, taking Malorie Blackman's place which she held from 2013-2015. I was lucky enough to be at the ceremony last Tuesday and met Chris Riddell with my colleagues from The Guardian Children's Books Team, and he proved to me that anyone can draw. In his interview with the site, he said, "It’s a big honour...  I am completely serious about what an important role it is - talking about children’s books and our brilliant legacy of children’s literature in this country and to represent writers and illustrators and readers. I want to have a lot of fun." The full interview with The Guardian (one of the first in the world!) can be found here!

However, no Children's Laureate comes in without another going out, so what were the reactions to Malorie Blackman ending her two years in the role? I think the tweets should speak for themselves...

Even though the Children's Laureate announcement has probably been the biggest piece of news from the last month, what else has been happening in the world of books?

Hot Key Books has announced that E. Lockhart shall be touring the UK and Ireland from the 18th-24th June, to celebrate the release of How To Be Bad! On the 18th June, she kicks off her tour in Dublin at Easons on O'Connell Street. Then, on the 20th June she visits Waterstones branches in Oxford, Bath, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham. On the 21st she visits Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle. On the 22nd she visits Glasgow, on the 23rd it's Dundee, but visiting schools, and on the 24th she concludes her tour in London. To find out more about her tour click here!

It may not count as book news, but did you know that Oxford University Press has made the hashtag it's word of the year? It's reason for doing something that's been met with a bit of criticism? It's excessive usage in the 500 Words competition. OUP also noticed in the Radio 2 competition entries that the words Facebook, email, mobile, iPod, mp3 and tablet have fallen out of usage. They also found that gender stereotypes were conformed to (girls were more likely to talk about cupcakes but boys were more likely to talk about farting, for example), and that more than half of the top 20 words used were influenced by social media, with Zoella ranking in the top 20. Read more about the findings here!

So what incredible books have been released in the last month?

  • Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton (paperback, hardback was out last year!)
  • Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
  • Lone Wolf by Robert Muchamore
  • Theodore Boone: The Fugitive by John Grisham
And that's it from me for this month! Join me in welcoming Chris Riddell as the new Children's Laureate and my next round up is in July! See you then! 

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