Monthly Archives: January 2011

This week I will be mainly talking about libraries

In preparation for the big Read-Ins taking part in libraries threatened with closure up and down the country this Saturday I thought I’d republish this wonderful poem by Gwen Grant:                                                    MY LIBRARY HOME     When they tell me to ‘Attach Birth Certificate here’, I ask them which one they mean. The first one that […]

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Arsenal v Huddersfield Town FA Cup

I watched this on TV today – I couldn’t get a ticket, sadly, to watch it live as I’m not a season ticket holder. For a full account go to goallines   and read all about it.

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And another thing about women in football…

  Nettie Honeyball One of the things that has emerged from the Andy Gray/Richard Keys sexism row this week is that some men feel it’s unfair that women are muscling in on their game; that football is the only place left where men can be men. That’s because those who think that don’t know their history. Women […]


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Sexism in football? Never!

© Thank you Messrs. Gray and Keys. Your sexist rants about Sian Massey, the fourth official at the Wolves v Liverpool match last Saturday have done more to raise the profile of women in football in one fell swoop (or should that be foul swoop?!) than any amount of advertising could. Result! In case you missed it, […]

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Another reason I love libraries…

Every year, round about now, a lovely letter comes through my letterbox. It’s my PLR (Public Lending Rights) statement. This tells me how many books have been borrowed, from the sample libraries used, between July and June of the previous year. It always gives me such a boost to know that children are taking my books […]


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Sporting Heroes

How brilliant is this?  At first when a lumpy brown envelope arrived on my doorstep I thought it was going to be something boring from the bank but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead it was this delightful booklet of children’s work.  Last year I was invited by Down County Museum in Northern Ireland to work with primary school children […]

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Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret

I re-read ‘Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret’ by Judy Blume yesterday afternoon. This book has been in print for over forty years now and I was surprised at how fresh the story was and how ahead of its time. The topics she tackles – puberty, crushes, friendships and rivalry are well covered in young teen fiction these days but it’s evident how much […]

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Roy Clare, Ignoramus Maximus

 In 1991 a businessman called Gerald Ratner gave an after dinner speech. Mr Ratner was then chief executive of Ratners, his family’s firm of jewellers. When asked how come the shops were able to sell their jewellery so cheaply he replied: ‘Because it’s total crap.’ He then went on to say: ‘Some of our earrings […]


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Do mention the war…

When I’m on a school visit and children ask me what my favourite book is one of the titles I frequently mention is Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian. I always get a positive response – it’s often their favourite too. Goodnight Mr Tom is a classic. Set in the Second World War it tells […]

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To e or not to e…

I had a letter from my publishers at OUP today telling me the Clubbing Together series was going to be published in eBook format. I don’t have a Kindle or an iPad but I might have to buy one now!                 People often talk about whether eBooks will take […]

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