200 WOMEN | Alicia Garza

9781452166582_3D (1)Interviews with 200 women from a variety of backgrounds provide a snapshot of female life around the globe. Interviewees include: • Jane Goodall, conservation and animal welfare activist • Margaret Atwood, author and winner of The Booker Prize • Roxane Gay, author and feminist • Renée Montagne, former host of NPR’s Morning Edition • Alicia Garza, activist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter • Alfre Woodard, award-winning actor and activist • Marian Wright Edelman, head of the Children’s Defense Fund • Lydia Ko, professional golfer and Olympian • Dolores Huerta, labor activist, community organizer, and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association • Alice Waters, chef, author, and food rights advocate • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author and Macarthur Foundation fellow.

Each woman shares her unique reply to the same five questions: What really matters to you?, What brings you happiness?, What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?, What would you change if you could?, and Which single word do you most identify with?

With responses ranging from uplifting to heartbreaking, these women offer gifts of empowerment and strength – inviting us to bring positive change at a time when so many are fighting for basic freedom and equality. Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait, resulting in a volume that is compelling in word and image—and global in its scope and resonance. This landmark book is published to coincide with an interactive website, building on this remarkable, ever-evolving project. A percentage of the originating publisher’s revenue from book sales will be distributed to organisations nominated by the women featured in the book.

The following is an extract from 200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World, edited by Ruth Hobday, Geoff Blackwell, Sharon Gelman and Marianne Lassandro, photographs by Kieran Scott.


© 2017 Kieran E. Scott kieranscottphotography.com
© 2017 Kieran E. Scott kieranscottphotography.com
Alicia Garza

Alicia Garza was born in Carmel in California, USA. She is an activist and organiser based in Oakland, California. In 2013, Garza co-founded Black Lives Matter (BLM), an ideological and political organising network campaigning against anti-black racism and violence. In 2016, she and her two BLM co-founders were recognised in Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. Garza is the director of special projects for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She is also an editorial writer, whose work has been featured in publications including The Guardian, The Nation, The Feminist Wire, Rolling Stone and Huffington Post.

Q. What really matters to you?

I want to be able to tell my kids that I fought for them and that I fought for us. In a time when it’s easy to be tuned out, it feels really important to me to be somebody who stands up for the ability of my kids – of all kids – to have a future.

The other thing that really motivates me is wanting to make sure we achieve our goals. As I was coming up as an organiser, we were told we were fighting for something we might never see in our lifetime. I’m just not satisfied with that; I think change can happen much faster, but it requires organisation, and an understanding of power and how we can shift it from its current incarnation. We need to transform power, so that we’re not fighting the same battles over and over again. This is what I wake up thinking about every single day. And every night when I go to sleep, I’m thinking about how we can get closer to it tomorrow.

Women inspire me to keep going. My foremost in influence was my mother; she initially raised me on her own, having never expected to be a parent at twenty-six. She taught me everything I know about what it means to be a strong woman who is in her power. I’m also very much in influenced by black women throughout history. I’m inspired by Harriet Tubman, not only for all the work she did to free individual slaves – which, of course, was amazing – but for everything she did to eradicate the institution of slavery, the alliances she built to do so and the heartbreaks she endured in pursuit of her vision. And it’s not only women in the United States who inspire me. In Honduras in 2016, Berta Cáceres was murdered while pursuing her vision of ecological justice and a better life for the people in Honduras being preyed upon by corporations and the United States government.

Black Lives Matter has been a big part of my activism. When it came onto the scene, there was a lot of pushback; people responded by saying, ‘All lives matter.’ I think the intensity of these reactions against Black Lives Matter is a testament to how effective our systems are in isolating these kinds of issues – they make them seem as though they impact individuals, as opposed to entire communities. The all-lives-matter thing is simultaneously fascinating and infuriating to me, because it’s so obvious. Obviously all lives matter; it’s like saying the sky is blue or that water is wet. But, when people say, ‘Actually, all lives matter,’ it feels like a passive-aggressive way of saying, ‘White lives matter.’

People seemed shocked that police brutality was an issue, but I thought, ‘Um, where have you been?’ The police are supposed to serve all communities, but instead, they aren’t accountable to black communities in the same way they are to white communities. The United States is rooted in profound segregation, disenfranchisement and oppression in pursuit of profits. And it feels like the country is being powered by amnesia.

Q. What brings you happiness?

My community – absolutely. This includes both of my families, blood and chosen – because my family is also my friends, the people I’ve been through things with. These are the people who stand with me, support me and love me. They are the people who feed me, and we just let each other be, because we understand each other.

Q. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

I’d call it capitalism. There is nothing on earth that makes people as miserable, that kills people as avidly and that robs people of their dignity so completely as an economic system that prioritises profits over human needs. Capitalism prioritises profits over people and over the planet we depend on. There are millions and millions of people living on the streets without homes because of capitalism. And there are millions and millions of people suffering from depression and other emotional and mental afflictions because of it – because the things we are taught should drive us and make us happy are unattainable for the majority of people on this planet. Capitalism shapes every understanding you have of who you are and of what your value is. If you have no monetary value – if you can’t sell something that you produce in this economy – then you are deemed unusable, unworthy and extraneous. There is no other force in the world that is so powerful and that causes so much misery for so many people.

Q. What would you change if you could?

I would start with all of the people who are suffering right now. I would give whatever is needed to every mama who is living in a car with her kids and is trying to figure out how she’s going to make it another day – if not for herself then for the people who depend on her. I would give to all the people who are dying in the deserts right now, trying to cross artificial borders pursuing what they think will be a better life here in the United States – if I had a wand I’d make it so that that journey was easier and that there wasn’t punishment on both sides. In fact, I would ensure that no one ever had to leave their homes in pursuit of survival – they would have everything that they needed right there at home.

The other area I would work on is within our own movements. I spend a lot of time thinking about how we could be clear about what we’re up against and how we each fight it differently; I think about how we can advance our goals without tearing each other up along the way. So, if I could wave a wand, I would also change some of the suffering of organisers and activists in our movements who are tired and burned out, who feel disposable and don’t feel seen.

Q. Which single word do you most identify with?

Courage. It takes real tenacity to be courageous.


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200 Women is out from 31 October, find out more here. You can view the official project website here, which includes the trailer and additional extra media content. Follow 200 Women on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

A GLORIOUS FREEDOM | INTERVIEW WITH CHERYL STRAYED

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The glory of growing older is the freedom to be more truly ourselves—with age we gain the liberty to pursue bold new endeavors and worry less about what other people think. In this richly illustrated volume, bestselling author and artist Lisa Congdon explores the power of women over the age of forty who are thriving and living life on their own terms. Profiles, interviews, and essays from women—including Vera Wang, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Julia Child, Cheryl Strayed, and many more—who’ve found creative fulfillment and accomplished great things in the second half of their lives are lavishly illustrated and hand-lettered in Congdon’s signature style. The perfect gift for women of all ages, A Glorious Freedom celebrates extraordinary lives and redefines what it means to gain wisdom and maturity.

The following is an extract from A Glorious Freedom by Lisa Congdon.


Cheryl’s famous memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail was published when she was 43 years old. It took her two and a half years to trace the steps, challenges, and revelations she faced during her three-month, 1,100-mile hike from the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Northwest onto paper—and about two minutes for the finished book to land on the New York Times bestseller list. In the months following, Cheryl experienced instant fame—from Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 to the film adaptation championed by Reese Witherspoon and Nick Hornby, Wild went, well, wild. It is an international bestseller and a recipient of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Oregon Book Award. Cheryl is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough. Her first novel, Torch, was published in 2007. Her essays have been published in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, Vogue, and Tin House, among others, and her work has been selected three times for inclusion in the The Best American Essays. She anonymously authored The Rumpus’s popular Dear Sugar advice column from 2010 to 2012, for which she now cohosts a podcast. She currently lives and writes in Portland, Oregon.

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Lisa: You worked for many years at writing, and it wasn’t until just a few short years ago, in your early 40s, you published the book that made you a household name. I encounter a lot of young artists who imagine that if they just concoct some magical formula they can have “instant success.” How would you describe the role of purpose, work, and patience in your own journey?

Cheryl: I was a successful writer long before Wild was published. What happened with Wild wasn’t “success.” It was crazy lightning striking. I’m always taken aback when people imply that I achieved success in my 40s. In fact, I had a pretty steady upward career trajectory as a writer, and all of that came about because, as you say, I showed up each day to do the work. I began publishing in my 20s. By the time I was in my early 30s I had won many awards and grants, and was publishing in respected magazines, and I’d earned my MFA in creative writing. In my mid-30s I sold my first novel to a major publisher and it was broadly reviewed and sold well. Meanwhile, I was continuing to publish essays in prominent places and I was also teaching writing.

I was known in the literary community. Then Wild happened and with that came fame and a much broader international audience. It was astounding and glorious, but it didn’t, for me, mark the beginning of the sense that I’d arrived as a writer. I was already there and I’m still here—working my tail off. That’s the magic formula: work.

Lisa: One of the most life-changing lessons I’ve learned over the past ten years is the power of embracing all of my life experience, and this is something you write about as well. Why is this idea of owning and learning to love all of your experience (even the stuff that makes us cringe or that would normally make us feel shame), why is it so important?

Cheryl: I’ve long believed our mistakes and failures teach us as much as our victories and successes. When you acknowledge the full spectrum of your possibility—as both someone who can be great and as someone who is sometimes not so great—you can bring the full force of your humanity to everything you do.

Lisa: What for you is the best part of getting older?

Cheryl: Feeling more secure about who I am. Feeling stronger about being okay with disappointing people. Putting up less of a facade. Being gentler with myself and others, too.

Lisa: What do you think is the relationship between forgiveness and the ability to age joyfully?

Cheryl: I’ve written about forgiveness a lot and it all pretty much boils down to the fact that when you can’t forgive people who have harmed you (or forgive yourself for the harm you’ve done to others) you stay locked in that struggle. Forgiveness is, to me, really acceptance. Accepting that what’s true is true. It’s saying, this is the way it was and onward we go.

Lisa: What are the three greatest lessons you’ve learned in the last ten years?

Cheryl: 1. Saying no is one form of saying yes. 2. Our ideas about famous people are projections of who we are, not a reflection of who they are. 3. Everyone struggles. Everyone hurts. Everyone wants to be told it’s all going to be okay.

Lisa: What advice do you have for women who fear getting older?

Cheryl: The fear of getting older is about the false notion that one’s power was rooted in the things that youth offers us—namely, beauty. My advice would be to see that for the lie that it always was. Our power is never about how pretty we are. Our power is about how we live our lives. Start living it.


A Glorious Freedom by Lisa Congdon publishes on 03 October 2017. Find out more here. 

See the stunning book trailer here

F*CK THAT’S DELICIOUS | RECIPE

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Part cookbook, part memoir, part travelogue, and wholly original, F*ck, That’s Delicious is rapper Action Bronson’s comprehensive guide to the food, chefs, food makers, regions, neighborhoods, and restaurants that every food obsessive should know. Organised as a full-colour illustrated guide with 100 entries, the book captures all the foods that get to him: When his mama makes him a good ol’ bagel and cheese with scrambled eggs. The tacos in LA. Dominican chimis. Jamaican jerk. Hand-rolled pasta from Mario Batali and Michael White. The best Chinese red-pork char siu buns in the world, found in London. And more, lots more. F*ck, That’s Delicious also includes 40 recipes inspired by Action’s childhood, family, tours, and travels—like the Arslani Family Baklava and Bronson’s Original Lamb Burger—and adapted from name-brand chefs and street cooks he’s met on his show. Richly visual, the book is layered with illustrations and photographs of Action’s childhood, food excursions, tours, lyric notebooks, and more.

The following recipe is from F*ck That’s Delicious by Action Bronson, with Rachel Wharton, photographs by Gabriele Stabile


Photographs by Gabriele Stabile
Photographs by Gabriele Stabile

Flatbreads with Ricotta and Pickled Jalapeño Honey

Olive oil before, during and after.

MAKES 4 FLATBREAD PIZZAS

This started as a Neapolitan-style pie I made for myself at my birthday party at Otto, but it is also banging as a flat-bread pizza on leftover Balkan bread like the ones on the previous page. I like to use La Morena pickled jalapeños as they have a good kick to them. Pair it with a ginger ale.

  • 1 12 ounce (340g) bear of clove honey
  • 3 pickled jalapeños, diced
  • Calabrian chile oil, optional
  • 4 Balkan flatbreads or thick pitas
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces (245g) good-quality ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup (135g) hazelnuts

1. Preheat your broiler and set out a sheet pan.

2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the clover honey and the pickled jalapeños. If you want, swirl in a little Calabrian chile oil for color too. Set aside.

3. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the breads, then spread each with of the ricotta cheese and sprinkle on of the hazelnuts. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil again.

4. Coat the bottom of a small skillet with olive oil, then heat it over medium-high. Add one of the flatbread pizzas and cook just until the bottom has toasted. Remove it to the sheet pan and repeat with the remaining 3 pies.

5. Toast the pies under the broiler until the edges of the bread and the top of the hazelnuts are well toasted. Drizzle on some of the pickled chile-honey (you’ll have some left over, but it keeps forever), then some more olive oil and eat right away.


F*ck That’s Delicious by Action Bronson, with Rachel Wharton, photographs by Gabriele Stabile is out now – find out more here. 

You could win a copy of F*ck That’s Delicious, a meal for two at Pitt Cue Co in London and a free bottle of Pitt Cue wine over at Munchies UK. Find out more here!

Learn about STAR WARS™ KIRIGAMI with Marc Hagan-Guirey

Get FOLDING for Force Friday II…

In STAR WARS™ KIRIGAMI, celebrated paper artist and designer Marc Hagan-Guirey applies his genius to the Star Wars galaxy in this book of 15 unique kirigami (cut and-fold) ships featured in the saga’s films. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert, each beautifully detailed model features step-by-step instructions and a template printed on cardstock—all that’s needed are a utility knife, a cutting mat, and a ruler!

Curious?

We asked Marc everything you need to know about the world of kirigami, getting started with the craft and his interest in Star Wars:

Photograph by Seamus Ryan
Photograph by Seamus Ryan

What is kirigami?

Kirigami is a bit like origami except that instead of just folding the paper, you cut it too. ‘Ori’ - means fold and ‘kiri’ means cut. Kirigami is traditionally used to create architectural replicas but it’s perfectly suitable for spaceships too! The cool thing about kirigami is that it’s just one sheet of paper – nothing is glued or added to it. It’s part of the joy that you can create something so interesting from a ubiquity of a piece of paper.

How did you get started creating kirigami?

I feel like it was a bit of a serendipitous moment that lead to me experimenting with the craft. I’m a big fan of the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and back in 2012 my partner and I told a few white lies to get a private tour of one of his most elusive buildings – the Ennis House in LA. It was a condemned building and had been out of bounds to the public for over 20 years. We may have told them we had the $14 million needed to buy it and were very keen to come and see it. The experience had a huge impact on me – I’d go as far as saying it was spiritual. I wanted to mark the occasion by making some of sort of memento. As a kid I always loved to craft, my currency was egg cartons, toilet roll tubes and cereal boxes (it still pains me to see these things put in the recycling) but as an adult we all know too well that life gets in the way. I’m a designer director in digital but I still had that yearning to use my hands again. When I was researching what to make, I happened upon examples of kirigami. I felt paper was the perfect material to make a replica of the Ennis House due to its fragility. I quickly saw that kirigami wasn’t just limited to buildings and I started making scenes from movies.

Is your book suitable for complete beginners of kirigami?

There are a few ‘beginner’ projects in the book to get you started. I feel kirigami is easy to advance in and you’ll soon want more challenging projects. The most important thing is to be patient, take breaks and enjoy the process. I find it meditative to concentrate and not be distracted by the ‘coke machine glow’ of mobile devices.

Do you need any special tools to do kirigami?

You need a few inexpensive things – a cutting matt, a metal ruler, an x-acto knife with replaceable blades. Also a toothpick will be really useful to pop out some of the smaller folds.

Why did you decide to create Star Wars ships using kirigami?

Why not?! It was more of a necessity for me. I was already creating Star Wars kirigami back when I started experimenting with it. The idea to do a ship focused book was suggested by Mike Siglain, the Creative Director of Lucasfilm publishing – he’s a man with good ideas.

Have you always been a Star Wars fan?

I’ve always been a Star Wars fan and was essentially born into it. I’m an 80s kid so never saw it first time around at the cinema but I have an older brother who was the right age. I feel a bit guilty now for commandeering all of his original Kenner action figures – it must have been torture for him to see his baby brother destroy them but I did just buy him a full scale licensed replica of Vader’s helmet for his 40th birthday so I think we’re even now.

How did the book come to be?

A lot of knocking on doors and badgering people with emails. I started talking to Lucasfilm about the idea in 2014. During that time I was invited to the set of Episode VII and in a serendipitous moment I ended up chatting to JJ Abrams about my work. He was really excited by it and frog marched me across the set of ‘Star Killer’ base to meet Kathleen Kennedy. It was the only time I ever had a business card in my wallet – albeit a very dog-eared one. I had an unofficial exhibition of Star Wars kirigami scenes in 2015 – it had a lot of press and went viral. Lots of big media outlets such as the BFI, Wired, BBC World News, CNN were covering it. I guess it was inevitable that Disney took notice and that dog-eared business card eventually made its way to the business development department. I thought I was in trouble when they called! I’ve got to say the process of working with Disney, Lucasfilm, my publisher Hachette and my US publisher Chronicle has been wonderful.

Click here to find out more about STAR WARS KIRIGAMI, which publishes today!

House of Ash | Extract

House of Ash

After hearing voices among an eerie copse of trees in the woods, seventeen-year-old Curtis must confront his worst fear: that he has inherited his father’s mental illness. A desperate search for answers leads him to a cursed mansion that burned down in 1894. When he glimpses a desperate girl in his bedroom mirror, he’s sure she’s one of the fire’s victims. But, more than 100 years in the past, the girl in the mirror is fighting her own battles…

This spine-tingling novel will have you captivated from the first page: click here to read an extract.


House of Ash by Hope Cook is out this September – order your copy today.

A Taxonomy of Love | Extract

A Taxonomy of Love

The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.

Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.

Click here to read an extract from this swoon-worthy YA romance.

Have you fallen head-over-heels for A Taxonomy of Love? Let us know @ACBYA using #TaxonomyOfLove


 

A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen is out January 2018 – click here to pre-order your copy!

Odd & True | Extract

Odd & True

The latest from master of historical paranormal, Cat Winters, about a pair of monster-hunting sisters with a dark past. Taking inspiration from the legend of the Jersey Devil and adding in two strong female protagonists, this supernatural story won’t disappoint.

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of a monster slaying and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life – permanently injured and in constant pain from an accident.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister – despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances – might, indeed, have magic after all.

Click here to read an extract from Odd & True.

Tweet us @ACBYA using #OddandTrue, with your thoughts!

 

Odd & True by Cat Winters is on sale September 2017 – order your copy today.

Bookstore of the Month | Much Ado Books

Bookstore of the Month

Let us introduce you to our Bookstore of the Month; Much Ado Books.

“We are Cate Olson and Nash Robbins – Americans who decided to sell books in a Medieval village tucked in the South Downs . . .”

Much Ado Books Much Ado Books

  1. Describe Much Ado Books in Three Words

Unexpected discoveries abound

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  1. Where is your favourite spot in your store?

Upstairs, in the comfy armchair of our Arts & Letters Room, surrounded by books.

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  1. Give us a brief history of Much Ado Books.

Twenty years selling vintage books in America and dreaming of living in Britain, which led to 13 years selling both new and old books in rural East Sussex

Much Ado Chickens Much Ado Books

  1. Has Much Ado got a store pet?

We have three bantam hens, named Little One, Bully Girl and Frizzle. They occupy their time eating plants, making trouble and showing off for customers.

  1. Do you have a favourite author? If yes, who is it?

Robertson Davies – his books are sparkling, funny and engaging as well as thought-provoking; he should have won the Nobel Prize for Literature!

  1. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” Dodie Smith – I Capture the Castle.

  1. What was the last book you read?

Cate: Annie Barrows, The Truth According to Us

Nash: Joanna Kavenna – A Field Guide to Reality

Together (we read aloud every night): Elizabeth Leitch – The Saturday Club (an out-of-print classic given by a friend who loves childrens’ books)

  1. What is your favourite A&CB books?

Downstairs favourite: Andrea Beaty – Iggy Peck Architect

Upstairs favourite: Carlos Fuentes The Diary of Frida Kahlo

  1. What is your favourite book?

Discussions (arguments?) are on-going!

  1. Share a #Shelfie with us! 

Much Ado Books  Much Ado Books Much Ado Books

 

You will find this award-winning independent bookshop in Alfriston, East Sussex.

Much Ado Books
8 West Street
Alfriston
East Sussex
BN26 5UX
UK

t: 01323 871222

e: shop@muchadobooks.com

Follow them on Twitter and Instagram. And don’t forget to sign-up to their newsletter.

#SummerReads | Author Suggestions Part 4

Share a picture of your TBR pile!

Last (but by no means least) in our #SummerReads series is the new super-talent Riley Redgate.

 Show us your bookshelf Riley!

Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows – I’m obsessed with this book’s vivid world-building, and a big part of that is the casual diversity of its cast, representing different races, sexualities, body types, and disability, all incredibly refreshing to see in the fantasy genre.

Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot – This book is unrelentingly witty and often really funny, with the sort of dry humour that made me snicker to myself while reading it in public—but I love it most for its thorough, nuanced portrayal of mental illness.

Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here - Books that are as quiet as this one really compel me, the way they find deep meaning in small everyday things.

Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings – Haven’t read this yet, but I’m excited for anything with a large central cast of 6 and a panoramic scope.

Mindy McGinnis’ A Madness So Discreet - Set in 19th-century asylums, this book is equal parts feminist and brutal, two of my favourite traits to find in YA.

Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven – Maybe the best thing about the luminescent Station Eleven - and there are about eight million Best Things in this incredible novel – is how Mandel re-conceptualises the post-apocalypse: it’s so stylish these days to write dark and gritty and nihilist, but she chooses instead to focus on the lasting impact of art, the fundamental goodness of most people, and the wonders of being alive today. This book is life-changing, paradigm-shifting stuff.

Which one will you pick? Join the conversation using #ACBbooks.

Have you read Riley’s debut; Seven Ways We Lie? It is a MUST for any contemporary YA fans.

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“Seven Ways We Lie is a superb contemporary YA read, touching upon many different issues facing young people today and with a diverse cast of characters. It’s clever, gripping and hugely relatable, making it not only fun novel for today’s teens but also a very important one.”Page to Stage Reviews

“Its so exciting to see some pansexual representation in YA! Were also completely up for how deliciously twisty this sounds were hoping for some shocking twists and turns. We really love the cover, too.”Maximum Pop

“I love the way their stories intertwined” Snuggling on the Sofa, Blog

Summer Reads | Middle Grade Fiction | 8-12 Year Olds.

With the summer holidays fast approaching we are here to help get your kids away from their screens and into reading.

Join us on a trip through the best of our Middle Grade Fiction. Let’s get kids reading!

First up is our favourite boy genius…

Frank-E

Over the course of the six books in the Frank Einstein series, Jon Scieszka – a former teacher – takes his readers from Matter to Energy to Humans to Life to Earth and on through the Universe – from the smallest objects (atoms) to the largest (the cosmos). With side-splitting comedy and unique illustration from Brian Biggs, this series is a brilliant and hilarious 8-12 series that incorporates science into its story.

“I never thought science could be funny . . . until I read Frank Einstein. It will have kids laughing.”Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid

“Dear Frank Einstein, Please invent time machine. Send your books back in time to me in 1978. Also a levitating skateboard. Tommy” - Tom Angleberger, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

“Kids will love Frank Einstein because even though he is a new character he will be instantly recognizable to the readers . . . Jon Scieszka is one of the best writers around, and I can’t wait to see what he does with these fun and exciting characters.”Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl

“Jon Scieszka’s new series has the winning ingredients that link his clever brilliance in story telling with his knowledge of real science, while at the same time the content combination of fiction and nonfiction appeals to the full range of the market.”Jack Gantos, Dead End in Norvelt

“Empowering boys to find a passion for reading is the life’s work of Jon Scieszka, the 59-year-old elementary school teacher turned multi-million-selling children’s author…a befuddlement that ‘the educational world cannot tap into the mania and energy’ that boys have for non-fiction, helped fuel Scieszka’s latest franchise. Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor is the first in a six-part series centred on its eponymous child genius hero. It integrates real science, immersive and educational illustrative diagrams and experiments that children can (safely) undertake themselves. But this isn’t a jazzed-up textbook.” Jon was interviewed by The Telegraph

“What advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?
Nothing. He wouldn’t listen.”
Interview with Jon in The Guardian

“First in a new series by bestselling Jon Scieszka, Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor  manages to successfully create a humourous and wacky story based around lots of scientific facts…The narrative is fast-paced and is greatly aided by the fabulous two-tone artwork by Brian Briggs which brings so much to the text.” Library Mice

“Jon Scieszka has created a unique world of adventure and science fiction. Young boys and robots with a life and mind of their own – the perfect combination!” Books Monthly

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9781419712180Frank Einstein loves to tinker, build and take things apart. He loves to observe, hypothesise, experiment and invent. Frank Einstein is a kid genius who loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination and definitely unusual.

After an uneventful experiment with a garage-lab artificially intelligent RoboBug, a lightning storm and a flash of electricity, Frank’s inventions—the robots Klink and Klank—suddenly come to life. Not exactly the ideal lab partners, the wise-cracking Klink and the overly expressive Klank are a help nonetheless as Frank attempts to perfect his Dark Energy Drive . . . that is until Frank’s arch nemesis, T. Edison, steals Klink and Klank for his evil doomsday plan! With the help of his friends, Frank sets out to rescue the robots and stop T. Edison from carrying out his twisted plans!

Also available: 

97814197166699781419716430

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“I never thought I could read about the Hadron Collider and smile so all credit to Jon Scieszka for writing an accessible story about science…and I can’t wait for the second instalment of Frank’s adventures.” We Love This Book

‘Jon Scieszka’s new science fiction comedy series is charming, funny and unashamedly geeky. The story taps in terrifically to children’s natural curiosity and inquisition; a nuclear explosion of action, adventure and antimatter particles!’ Books For Keeps

“Magician? Anarchist? There’s something about Mr Jon Scieszka that can’t avoid twisting the traditional idea of a children’s book into something altogether more entertaining.” Sparky Teaching.

Frank Einstein Series

Our second Summer Reads book recommendation is The Terrible Two. A hilarious middle grade book full of pranks and cows…

The Terrible Two

‘Ingenious and hilarious! I couldn’t stop reading it! One of my favourite books of all time.‘ Victor age 11 Ottie & the Bea Bookclub

To continue reading you must solemnly swear you are a prankster, mischief maker and definitely up to no good…

Let us introduce you to Miles Murphy, pranking legend.

Miles Murphy is known for one thing and one thing only: pranking. He’s the best prankster his school has ever seen. So when he’s forced to move to boring Yawnee Valley (also known for one thing and one thing only: cows), he assumes he’ll be the best prankster at his new school too.

But, there’s one problem.

The school already has a prankster — a good one. A really good one…

The Terrible Two

 

What to do now?

1. Read a copy of The Terrible Two (for a taste you can read an extract here).

2. Laugh for a long time.

4. Watch Mac Barnett’s TED talk: Why a good book is a secret door.

5. Follow Mac Jory on Twitter.

6. Sign-up to our Newsletter so you don’t any news about the pranksters.

7. Wait expectantly for The Terrible Two Get Worse, out Autumn 2015.

Terrible Cow

Number Three in our Summer Reads book recommendation is El Deafo. Cece Bell’s uplifting & inspirational graphic novel.

El Deafo

El Deafo chronicles the author’s hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with a powerful and very awkward hearing aid called the Phonic Ear. It gives her the ability to hear–sometimes things she shouldn’t–but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her, Phonic Ear and all. Finally, she is able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.

Recently nominated for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2015 & picked for inclusion in the 2015 Book Trust Best Book Guide this funny, deeply honest graphic novel memoir hits home for children and adults alike.

A serious subject treated with warmth and humour.’ Little London magazine

“Read El Deafo for the giggles, for the challenges, for the universal life experiences, and for the opportunity to be changed, even just a little. And for those readers who, like Cece, discover ways to turn the things the world calls weakness into the qualities they own as strengths, make sure to have a couple of capes on hand.” Matthew C. Winner, The Busy Librarian

‘It’s an honest and rather sweet tale of a girl coming to terms with her disability, and as such the kind of story that will strike a chord with any child who has felt ostracised or different. El Deafo is heartfelt, eye-opening, funny and beautifully drawn.’ The Financial Times

‘Inspiring and honest, this is a wonderful graphic novel.’ Book of the Week in We Love This Book and The Bookseller

Pages from El Deafo
©2014 Cece Bell

The Sisters  Grimm

Book Four on our Middle Grade Summer Reads List is Michael Buckley’s The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives.

The Sisters Grimm

In book one of this much loved series we are introduced to orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne who have been sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm. Relda lives in a town in rural New York State that experiences an extraordinary number of unexplained and unusual crimes. As it turns out, the two girls and their grandmother are the descendants of the Brothers Grimm, who rather than being folklorists, were historians and detectives of actual magical phenomena perpetrated by Everafters, a parallel race of magical beings. It’s the Grimm family’s legacy to keep the Everafters in line and Sabrina and Daphne are the last of the Grimm heirs. The girls quickly find themselves part of this fairy tale world…pitted against giants, who have been rampaging through town in their search for an Englishman named Jack, currently working at a Big & Tall store!

And that is only the beginning! 

Discover the entire series:

The Sisters Grimm Series

Our final Middle Grade Summer Reads recommendation is hilarious, The Templeton Twins Have An Idea!

The Templeton Twins

This book, the first in a funny, illustrated middle-grade series, is about two resourceful children who foil kidnappers bent on stealing their brilliant father’s ideas.

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With a fast-paced plot, clever heroes, evil (albeit buffoonish) villains, a sly sense of humour the book has everything your young reader could want! PLUS, the book is filled with puns, word games and puzzles! AND, the illustrations by internationally acclaimed artist Jeremy Holmes give the book even more kid appeal. We give it two very enthusiastic thumbs up, now excuse us while we go and find Book Two…

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Do YOU have any Summer Reads recommendations for 8-12 year olds? Let us know @abramschronicle!