TES books editor Geraldine Brennan on the inside literary track
The legacy of Anne Fine's two years as Children's Laureate lives on in the My Home Library scheme which encourages children to collect and customise favourite second-hand books by supplying free bookplates designed by top illustrators including Quentin Blake, Posy Simmonds, Shirley Hughes and Strawberrie Donnelly (bookplate pictured). Downloadable from www.myhomelibrary. org, many can also be printed out as bookmarks. Now the original bookplates, donated by 150 artists, are for sale in aid of the Dyslexia Institute. Prices start at pound;60; a Blake will set you back pound;850. All are collectable, contain a positive message about books and reading and are a reminder to keep children visiting the website, and the charity shop with a list of books recommended by both Fine and other child readers. The online sale collection (via Chris Beetles' Gallery in St James's, London) is at www.dyslexia-inst.org.uk.
The DfES-sponsored key stage 2 writing competition Write Here, Write Now attracted a record 34,000-plus entries this year. The eight to 10-year-olds were asked to expand on first lines written by children's novelist Gillian Cross, poet Brian Patten, historian Adam Hart-Davis and BBC Newsround presenter Lizo Mzimba. Picking up their prizes at the British Library yesterday were: Niamh Pearson Cockrill of The Elms junior school, Nottingham, and Joe Rolleston of Wilnecote junior school, Tamworth (stories); Charles Brice of Wells Cathedral junior school, Somerset (poetry); Nicola Hinde of Crosby-on-Eden school, Carlisle (persuasive writing); and Sukhchain Bansal, Sagar Patel and Sami Ullah of Selwyn primary school, London borough of Newham (journalism team award). See www.writehere.org.uk, which also has details of the competition book published by Hodder amp; Stoughton.
The pocket-sized Rough Guide to Books for Teenagers (Rough Guides pound;5.99) is the second "user guide to adolescence" (the first being Luke Jackson's award-winning book Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome, published by Jessica Kingsley). The selection of more than 200 books compiled by Nicholas Tucker and Julia Eccleshare moves readers on from fiction published for teenagers to classic novels that capture the adolescent experience (JD Salinger, Antonia Frost) and contemporary writers such as Beryl Bainbridge and Pat Barker.