Saturday, 24 July 2010

Guardian Podcast

I was interviewed for the Guardian Books Podcast, talking about Grk Down Under and reading a couple of pages from the book. You can listen to the podcast here:

My bit starts after about thirteen minutes. Before that, Julie Eccleshare talks about her favourite books coming out this summer.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The power of reading

The guardian has a fascinating article on a scheme in Texas where prisoners join book groups rather than going to prison.
The initiative was initially met with an inevitable flurry of criticism in the US. Waxler and his supporters were described as "bleeding-heart liberals".

"They were shocked at the idea of offenders going on to university campuses to read books for free while the students were paying their way through education," says Waxler. "Some even thought the offenders would steal from them. It only takes one person to prove them right, but it's never happened."

In Texas, the public have been largely won over by the success rates and how cheap the programme is to run. Instead of spending a lifetime in prison at a cost of more than $30,000 (£19,520) a year, Rouse's "rehabilitation" cost the taxpayer just $500 (£325).
It's worth reading the full article:

Monday, 19 July 2010


If you're on twitter, you can win ten books - including three of mine - by following Scholastic. Full details here:

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


Here's another addition to the sub-sub-genre of children's books based on or inspired by plays by Shakespeare: Fool's Girl by Celia Rees. I reviewed it in last Saturday's Guardian. Other books in this category? Well, my own Bearkeeper springs to mind. And Mal Peet's Exposure. Any other suggestions?