Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017 Winner Announced

9781910002742

Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017 Category for Younger Fiction

Isabella Riosse is the daughter of a cartographer who lives on the island of Joya; an isle both steeped in mythology and shrouded in mystery. For the last thirty years, a strict Governor has forbidden the island inhabitants from venturing beyond their small township.

Isabella is fascinated with the ancient myths of Joya, which is said to have once floated freely over the seas. Preoccupied with ideas of exploration and inspired by the far-flung places her father once documented, she yearns for adventure.

When her best friend Lupe runs away, disappearing into the forbidden forest, Isabella volunteers to bring her back. With only her knowledge of ancient myths and one of her father’s maps to guide her, Isabella ventures into the perilous world beyond, where monsters lurk and magical rivers run.

Expertly crafted with a loveable lead, this modern tale weaves myth, magic and even a thread of political intrigue into its expansive fantasy world. Beautifully presented, the book not only contains a wonderfully detailed map of the island, each page is also decorated with charming drawings in the margins.

“Exquisitely poised between sweetness and darkness, this is a novel that revels in the power of myth and storytelling.” -The Financial Times

“The Girl of Ink & Stars [is] a mesmerising, enchanting debut, full of adventure and fire and heart… [An] absolute jewel of a book, as vivid and real and the maps inside it. It’s a classic in the making.” – Melinda Salisbury, author of The Sin Eater s Daughter.

Kiran Millwood Hargrave is an award-winning poet and novelist who lives in Oxford. A Cambridge University graduate, she performed plays with the Footlights and has performed her poetry in venues across the world. She was only twenty six years old at the time her debut, The Girl of Ink & Stars, was published.

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
ISBN: 9781910002742

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Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb

Rating: 2 / 5 stars

The 55th entry in the In Death series brings nothing new. Lieutenant Eve Dallas and billionaire husband Roarke stumble upon a naked woman while on the drive home from a social event. They track her address and discover the woman’s dead husband. Dallas works the case to capture a man who uses makeup and costume to give his victims the idea that he is a demon when he attacks them.

After fifty-five books, the series has become stale. Within the first couple interviews between Dallas and her suspects, I was able to correctly predict who the killer was. There was no significant character or overarching plot development. I surmise the only ones enjoying the latest entry are people who enjoy the consistent and unchanging elements in every book. The In Death series is dependable, in its own way. But for those craving an exciting detective mystery/suspense, I suggest looking elsewhere.

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Moore’s debut novel tells two stories: one of Harold White, a modern day man who is a fervent fan of the great detective Sherlock Holmes, and another about Holmes’ creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The narrative switches back and forth between White in 2010 and Conan Doyle in 1900.

White is suddenly thrown into a hunt for a missing diary written by Conan Doyle that was supposed to cover the time period from October to December 1900. Not even the most dedicated Sherlock fan, Sherlockians as most of them call themselves, had been able to find the diary in the years since Conan Doyles’ passing and could only speculate as what was inside. Accompanied by the mysterious Sarah, White does his best to find the diary, not knowing who to trust and trying to stay alive. For his part, Conan Doyle has Bram Stoker for a companion. The events of his life covered in the missing diary turn out to be quite intriguing and suspenseful.

The book was an enjoyable read with how Moore brought Conan Doyle, Stoker, and 1900 London to life. White and the modern day chapters were actually the least interesting part of the book for me. The final reaction to the diary were quite confusing to me. But that was only a small wrinkle in a good book.

2016 National Book Awards Finalists

Below is the full list of finalists in each category. The winners will be announced at the National Book Awards ceremony on November 16th.

Finalists for Fiction:

Chris Bachelder, The Throwback Special

Paulette Jiles, News of the World

Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs

Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad

Jacqueline Woodson, Another Brooklyn

Finalists for Nonfiction:

Arlie Russell Hochschild, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War

Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America

Heather Ann Thompson, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy

Finalists for Poetry:

Daniel Borzutzky, The Performance of Becoming Human

Rita Dove, Collected Poems 1974–2004

Peter Gizzi, Archeophonics

Jay Hopler, The Abridged History of Rainfall

Solmaz Sharif, Look

Finalists for Young People’s Literature:

Kate DiCamillo, Raymie Nightingale

John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, March: Book Three

Grace Lin, When the Sea Turned to Silver

Jason Reynolds, Ghost

Nicola Yoon, The Sun Is Also a Star

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