Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sheffield Children's Book Awards 2017!

The Sheffield Children's Book Award is back and brilliant as ever. 2017 sees a new shortlist of dazzling titles, for which the votes are now in, and frantic preparations have begun for the award ceremony which will take place on Friday 10th November. School classes from around Sheffield will be invited to come along, make a lot of noise and meet some of their favourite authors and illustrators. It's an exciting, fun and brilliantly book lead day.

This year's shortlist contains a varied mix of the best titles from 2016 releases and a special category featuring independent publishers. So would you like to see who we have for you this year? Then settle in for book heaven!

Baby & Toddler Books:

With the baby and toddler books this year we have a wonderful strong nature theme, some baking fun, caring and one very greedy goat. This selection of books is really bright and beautiful.

➸123 A Walk in the Countryside
Rosalind Beardshaw

➸ Hoot's Twilight Adventure
Rowena Blyth

➸ Fingertrail Playbook
Fiona Watt & Stella Baggott

➸ Baking With Dad
Aurora Cacciapuoti

➸ The Greedy Goat
Peter Horacek

➸ Kiss it Better
Smriti Prasadam-Halls & Sarah Massini.

Picture Books:

We teach you how to survive bear spotting this year in the picture books, along with a bear who likes his own adventures and one book nibbling monster who we perhaps won't be inviting into the libraries to eat our books!! We also have some crazy clothing, with bright pants, odd socks and a stripy scarf I think we'd all love to wrap up in! The shortlist this year veers from the ridiculously funny to the ridiculously adorable. 

➸ Odd Dog Out
Rob Biddulph

➸ Otto the Book Bear in the Snow
Katie Cleminson

➸ Prince of Pants
Alan MacDonald & Sarah McIntyre

➸ A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting
Michelle Robinson & David Roberts

➸ Odd Socks
Michelle Robinson & Rebecca Ashdown

➸ Nibbles the Book Monster
Emma Yarlett

Emerging Reads & Shorter Reads:

The emerging reads and shorter novels this year really show off the increase in fantastic illustrated fiction for children. We have a silly mix of pirates, pigeons and pumpkins and some fantasy action with funfair fun, time travel and a beetle loving boy!

➸ Dave Pigeon
Swapna Haddow & Sheena Dempsey

➸ The Pumpkin Project
Katie Smith

➸ Pocket Pirates The Great Drain Escape
Chris Mould

➸ The Many Worlds of Albie Bright
Christopher Edge

➸ Jinks & O'Hare Funfair Repair
Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre

➸ Beetle Boy
M. G. Leonard

Longer Novels & Young Adult:

The longer novels and young adult titles are varied also this year with some fantasy adventures and some true life novels that hit home a little harder. All fantastic and compelling reads for older children and teens.

➸ Moth Girls
Anne Cassidy

➸ The Girl of Ink & Stars
Kiran Millwood Hargreave

➸ Time Travelling with a Hamster
Ross Welford

➸ The Art of Not Breathing
Sarah Alexander

➸ The Trap
Alan Gibbons

➸ Orangeboy
Patrice Lawrence

Special Category - Independent Publishers for Younger Children:

Our special category this year celebrates the best releases from independent publishers. The New LiBEARian celebrates libraries in a gorgeously fun and sweet way which can't fail to make you smile. The Tigon and the Liger is a beautiful diverse book about learning to love yourself and embracing differences. The Bean Machine is about the consequences of eating nothing but baked beans (yes you can imagine), it includes machinery, mayhem and some very clever recycling! 
All wonderful engaging reads for young children.

➸ The New LiBEARian
Alison Donald & Alex Willmore

➸ The Tigon and the Liger
Keilly Swift & Cosei Kawa

➸ The Bean Machine
Adam Bestwick

So there you have it, our 2017 shortlisted titles in all their glory. The votes from children throughout schools and libraries are in and being counted and the winner will be kept top secret until the awards ceremony on 10th November, so watch this space until then when we will be revealing the category and overall winner!

Blog post written by Alexis Filby (Library and Information Assistant).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How Sir Arthur Conan Doyle helped save WW1 soldiers

A new exhibition is coming to Sheffield Local Studies Library which tells the tale of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his campaign to save the lives of British soldiers fighting in the First World War.


Sir Conan Doyle is famous as the creator of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. But he’s less well known for his campaign to reduce casualties during the First World War, when he used his fame to help those 'fighting for the freedom of the world'.

Sheffield City Archives reference: HAD/BOX 57 (Picture Sheffield: arc01674)

The exhibition, funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, tells the story of that campaign and Doyle’s call for troops to be protected with armour. It draws on the writer’s personal papers held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds and records of steel makers held by Sheffield City Archives.


It was Sir Robert Hadfield of Hadfields Limited, Sheffield, who suggested using toughened manganese steel for the Tommies’ new helmet because, although it would dent when hit by bullets or shrapnel, it would not shatter. The same steel was later used in body armour.


Dayfield Body Shield 1
Conan Doyle’s campaign started when, appalled by the 65,000 British casualties at the second battle of Ypres in 1915, he wrote a letter printed in The Times (27 July 1915) stating that helmets and armour would reduce the number of wounds caused by shrapnel, rifle and machine gun fire. This was the start of a campaign which lasted throughout the war, attracting the attention of the war time government.


His letters also led to a response from manufacturing firms making armour for private purchase by British officers who boasted that they used only the finest Sheffield steel. Many sent Conan Doyle samples of their armour which he tested in his garden at Crowborough with his own service rifle.



Philip Abbott, Archivist at the Royal Armouries, said: “Conan Doyle’s concern over the heavy casualties being suffered on the Western Front was prompted by his humanitarian nature. His ideas on helmets, body armour and shields were a thoughtful response to the impact on soldiers brought about by trench warfare.

Today most people remember the writer for his fictional work but this was a cause he pursued with great energy and passion throughout the war through the newspapers and lobbying directly with the government of the time.”


Professor Walker's shield
Professor Walker's shield
At the exhibition people will be able to see some of the letters sent to Conan Doyle, a replica of the one of the body armours made for soldiers in Sheffield, as well as photographs telling the story of the famous author’s campaign to save the lives of British troops.


We are also hosting a free talk by Philip Abbott, Archivist at the Royal Armouries


The exhibition includes a free talk at Sheffield’s Local Studies and Archives Library on Wednesday 11th October at 1.30pm by Philip Abbott, Archivist at the Royal Armouries.  Booking your place for the talk is advised at www.sheffieldlibraries.eventbrite.co.uk

The exhibition runs from Thursday 14th September through to Christmas 2017 at Sheffield Local Studies Library (first floor, Central Library, Surrey Street).


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review: Shades of grey by Jasper Fforde

In a world where the colours you can see (of lack of them) determines your social status, Shades of Grey offers an interesting take on the usual discussion of hierarchy and class divisions. 

Fforde's hero, Eddie Russett, is part of the lower echelon of society and has designs on advancing his position, until he is thrust into an adventure which makes him question whether all the rules and regulations he has accepted all his life actually make sense.

Fans of Fforde's Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series are likely to enjoy this too. He has a knack for creating a complex and self-consistent world with enough familiar details to keep the reader grounded, but enough differences to keep us guessing too.

I only hope that there's going to be more in the series.

If you like the sound of this, you might also like:

Review written by Ann Brook (Library and Information Assistant)