Welcome to our UK Random House Children's Publisher’s blog. You'll find behind-the-scenes talk from us, our authors, illustrators and events... and news on the latest cakes from the publicity department!
The worst thing about a great story is that it has to end! Luckily here at Random House Children’s Publishers we have a nearly endless selection of amazing stories for you to read. If you’re looking to start something new this spring then why not try one of our brilliant series! The perfect way to make a great story last longer…
For those of you who like ghost stories we have Jonathan Stroud’s excellent Lockwood and Co. series. Start with The Screaming Staircase and you will be whisked away to a country overrun with ghosts! Follow the smallest and most ramshackle agency as they face the case of a lifetime. After this frighteningly good book you can follow Lockwood and Co. in The Whispering Skull and The Dagger in the Desk.
If you’d like to take a step back in time then look no further than Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather series. Start with Hetty Feather and learn about the life of a Victorian child abandoned at the Foundling Hospital through the fiery and spirited Hetty. Follow this with the equally brilliant Sapphire Battersea and Emerald Star.
Like a good old fashioned mystery? Why not try Robin Stevens’ outstanding series A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery. Start with Murder Most Unladylike and uncover a world of murder, mystery and mayhem at Deepdean School for Girls. Follow Daisy and Hazel as they hunt for evidence of a crime that no one else knows has happened. Once you’ve solved this case there are more lined up for you with Arsenic For Tea and First Class Murder.
Or if you fancy a little fantasy then you can’t get much littler than the tiny nomes who live under the floorboards of a large department store. Start Terry Pratchett’s magnificent The Bromeliad Trilogy with Truckers: The First Book of the Nomes and follow the nomes as they work to escape the soon to be demolished store. To follow the nomes on their other adventures read the equally exciting Diggers and Wings.
If you’ve already made your way through these incredible stories then why not take a look at our new books!
In Jacqueline Wilson’s latest fantastic offering, The Butterfly Club, shy Tina is overshadowed by her loving and protective sisters Maddie and Phil, until Tina’s love of butterflies lets her spread her wings and make some new friends of her own. The Butterfly Club is Jacqueline Wilson’s 101st book, and her stories are as riveting and relatable as ever. If you loved The Butterfly Club and need a little guidance on where else in the Jacqueline Wilson catalogue to start, we’ve got some ideas for you!
Calling all fans of Dick King-Smith! We’re delighted to announce that a brand new website celebrating the much-loved author Dick King-Smith has gone live. With funny facts about the writer, his life as a farmer and soldier, the menagerie of animals he looked after and information about all of his books www.DickKingSmith.com is the place to go. Why not do the quiz on the site and find out how much you know about the author of more than 130 books, including The Sheep-Pig, The Fox Busters and A Mouse Called Wolf? The site also hosts educational resources written by literacy expert Prue Goodwin which give tips on using Dick King-Smith’s books in the classroom and for reading for pleasure.
Seventh Son was first set to come out in February 2013. That’s almost 2 years ago! The fantasy movie starring Jeff Bridges has had its release date pushed back four times already from Feb 2013, to Oct 2013 to Jan. 2014… and now finally to the 27th March 2015.
If you are done with waiting, what better way to spend the two months before the movie comes out, than by reading the books it was adapted from?
1 film vs 13 books! Joseph Delaney has written 13 books following the antics of the Spook, so you get more thrills and more adventures
We always advocate reading the books AND watching the film. The two are never going to be exactly the same and by overlooking one you’ll enevitably end up missing some people’s favourite bits out. Imagine all the hilarious or life changing moments you could be missing out on by not reading the books. Just think all the people who have only seen the Hunger Games movies, have completely missed out on the line “Well don’t expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear.”
We are very excited to see the beautiful Ben Barnes staring as Thomas Ward, especially after Joseph Delaney said he was a “great action hero who is the true star of ‘Seventh Son’”. In the books Thomas is quite a lot younger than in the films and we love having relatable, kick-ass, teen characters!
It’s Monday again! How did you spend your weekend? I spent most of mine on a train, going up and down the country. Luckily I had a bunch of good books in my bag to keep me occupied!
This week, we got to thinking about some of the stranger habits some of us have whenever we’re reading. For example, last week someone confided to me that she arranges the books on her shelf by colour. Or how about the woman who admitted she leaves scary books in the fridge overnight? I even once encountered a man who tore out pages from books after he’d read them so that whenever he opened the book again he’d be right where he left off before.
It turns out some of us have some pretty odd routines when it comes to books. Well, we asked around the office and some of the confessions we got were pretty bizarre! Here’s a few:
“If I’m reading a really exciting series of books, the final one has to be in hardback, because it looks so much more impressive.”
“All of my books are ordered by genre and are in alphabetical order.”
“I listen to Harry Potter every night before I go to sleep and listen to it in theme: for example, Christmas scenes in the run up to Christmas.”
“I have forty-seven copies of Wuthering Heights.”
“After reading a book I really enjoy, I hunt down all the other books the author has written and have to read them all before I move on to a new author.”
“I read the same three books whenever I am ill.”
“I sometimes walk the dog and read at the same time. Once the dog pulled on the lead and I dropped my book in a puddle.”
“I have been known to drive and read.”
“Sometimes I sit in the car after work and I don’t drive home (it can get dark) until I’ve reached the end of the book.”
What do you reckon? Think those are pretty weird, or can you match them with any strange habits of your own? Don’t be shy – comment below and let us know!
With the film just days away from release, we’re all getting pretty excited, but also rather impatient, waiting to see it. So, we’ve decided to put together a list of 5 interesting (well, we think they’re interesting) bits of information about If I Stay and its incredibly talented, bestselling author, Gayle Forman.
1. Did you know that the wonderful Gayle Forman hasn’t always known she wanted to be a writer? In fact, when she was little, she wanted to grow up to be the sun! This was, however, before she realised that being the sun was not a viable career option.
2. Dakota Fanning was in talks to play the part of Mia but turned it down to focus on her studies. However, it’s a good thing Chloë got the role though, as we think she fits the Mia we had in our heads perfectly. It’s not just us that thinks that, Gayle posted this image on her Tumblr saying:
‘After seeing Chloë Moretz practicing cello for the If I Stay movie, it is so obvious how meant for this role she is. Look at this picture. It’s Mia!’
3. Despite the many musical references in If I Stay, Gayle Forman actually says she isn’t musical. On her website she is asked ‘Are you a musician?’ To which she replies:
‘Not even a little bit, but if you think I am because of my books, I’m so glad because it means I did a good job of fooling you.’
She fooled us! Did she fool you?
4. Gayle Forman was asked to sort her If I Stay characters into Hogwarts houses by Buzzfeed recently. She put Mia and Adam in Gryffindor (aww) and Kim in Ravenclaw. Do you agree with her choices?
She also drew some delightful pictures of her characters, which you can see here. (Although, just a word of advice, Gayle, maybe you should stick to writing…!)
5. Our final thing for you will probably make you cry even more than the story itself, but we think it’s very important piece of information. Basically, Gayle reveals in a note at the end of If I Stay that the idea for the story came from real events that happened to a family she knew. She says:
‘Once upon a time there was a family: a mother, a father, a boy like Teddy and a baby. And once upon a time there was a snowy day. And a drive in a car. And a devastating car accident. And an unfathomable tragedy.’
(the rest of the story can be found in the back of copies of her paperback)
That’s all we have for you today sadly, so you’ll have to deal with your If I Stay pangs a little bit longer. While you wait, check out the trailer here:
Or, if that’s not enough to keep you going, and you want to know more about the inspiration behind the story and read exclusive interviews with Chloë Moritz and Jamie Blackley, who play Mia and Adam, pick up a copy of the book here.
AND if that’s still not enough!! Check out Gayle’s website for more interesting facts and updates on the film and the book from her super cool tumblr here.
Attention book lovers! It’s that time of year again and the Edinburgh International Book Festival is right around the corner. For two weeks some of the UK’s top authors will be taking over central Edinburgh in a tented village specially created for the event and many of your favourite Random House authors will be amongst them. From Jacqueline Wilson to John Boyne, Michael Morpurgo and many more you do not want to miss out on this fantastic line up.
“I am so thrilled that Hetty Feather has become a stage play! I’ve written exactly one hundred books but Hetty Feather is my number one top favourite!”
Are you a school teacher or a school librarian? Would you like to see the hottest new West End theatre production during the summer holiday break? We’re giving away 5 pairs of tickets to see Hetty Feather, the stage adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson’s bestselling story.
Hetty Feather follows the story of feisty Victorian foundling, Hetty Feather. Travel on Hetty’s journey from the Foundling Hospital to the streets of London and onto the magical Tanglefields Travelling Circus. Hetty Feather is an exciting and heartfelt adventure story.
After a hugely successful UK tour, Hetty Feather will transfer to London’s West End this summer and will be at the Vaudeville Theatre from the 5th August – 6th September.
Hetty Feather is set to become an essential story to share in schools. We want to give school teachers and school librarians the chance to experience the magic of Hetty’s story.
Simply email RHCPEducation@randomhouse.co.uk to be in with the chance of winning a pair of tickets to the Hetty Feather stage show. You MUST provide your name, age, email address and name of school. Or alternatively, you can enter via Facebook
Find out more about the stage adaptation of Hetty Feather here.
This year, Random House Children’s Publishers, in association with the Anti-Bullying Alliance, are asking you to join our CHOOSE KIND schools campaign. This nationwide initiative was inspired by a very special book: Wonder by RJ Palacio.