Shortlists, Longlists, the return of our dragon friend and an amazing tale with a local link!

What have we been up to this week? WELL, where to start…?

First there was the exciting return of our Mobile Library mascot, Rory, who had been taken away for a bit of a refurb over the festive period.  We’ll hopefully have more of an update on his adventures in the next few weeks, but here he is in all his glory:rory

His return seems extra timely given that Norwich’s Dragon Festival began on the 10th, and in case you missed it last week, we’ve put together a list of books featuring the city’s favourite mythical creature.

We’ve also been spending a bit of time looking at several of the ‘best of’ long and shortlists for a variety of upcoming awards. There are of course the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals, the Branford Boase Award which celebrates author and editor, and yesterday the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlist was announced. All three really do showcase how high the quality of writing is for children at the moment and we’re excited to see who comes out on top in the next few months!

National Libraries Day was also last week (Saturday 8th February) and we enjoyed tracking the #NLD14 hashtag on twitter to see what everyone was doing to promote reading and celebrate their local library. We spent our saturday at home with a cup of tea and a stack of the books we’d borrowed from Norfolk’s library service and we hope you did something equally as cosy!

AND… we even managed to reach 100 likes on our facebook page and 400 followers over on twitter, which made us all feel pretty great!

Phew. But back to business- here’s our Friday read for this week:

ali pashaA book to emerge from one of our many boxes recently (that we think deserves a special mention) is Michael Foreman’s “The Amazing Tale of Ali Pasha”.  Set in WW 1 and based on a true story, this combines a young journalist’s curiosity and an amazing account of one young Suffolk sailor’s war. Most moving is his dramatic meeting with Ali Pasha the tortoise when they were both blown up by a bomb. Ali accompanies Henry back to Suffolk with many more adventures including being hidden in the gun pit of HMS Implacable. Michael Foreman’s gentle narrative style, the diary extracts and maps and best of all, the delightful illustrations combine to make this one to look out for, fab for KS2 & 3 WW1 work for this year’s anniversary.

(The Amazing Tale of Ali Pasha by Michael Foreman, Templar Publishing, £12.99, 9781848779990)

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