File 004Michael Morpurgo, A Lifetime in Stories; an exhibition curated by Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books, Newcastle upon Tyne 2nd July 2016 - June 2017

This is a unique opportunity to visit this remarkable collection of notebooks, manuscripts and correspondence that have been part of Michael Morpurgo's story writing, life and dreams. The exhibition combines much of his life and ethos and is woven into an iconic display, on the fourth floor of Seven Stories.

Take your time…. This exhibition requires that you stop and dream a while, reminisce or ponder on the way Michael can find stories in places, wherever he is; stories from the past, stories of animals, children and people, from war time and in present day. He is a great story teller and story writer and the author of over 150 books for children, Children's Laureate and a voice for reason and peace.

This blog will take you on our journey through the exhibition and point you in some directions, we hope it will mean you also will have chance to make this journey one day over the next year. It's worth it!

Michael Morpurgo was born in 1943 and went to boarding school at seven, and eventually into military officer training at Sandhurst and then he became a teacher. He found the military life difficult and as a teacher he wanted to help children to be creative, give them opportunities, take them out into the world and fire their imaginations, tell stories. There was a clash between curriculum driven tasks and this approach. Later, with his wife Clare, they moved to Devon, where they developed the City Farm for children.

He became friends with Ted Hughes and learnt that as he said, "I have a story of my own to tell and a voice of my own with which to tell it."

Interesting quotes from the videos at the exhibition in the Dreamtime corner are;
"Live an interesting life. Fill your head with this world, of which you are part, care about it deeply, make up your mind to write about events, memories, conversations and something will emerge."

"Lose yourself in the story, get into it and go for it; know the people, the place, let the dreams in your head reach the pen on your page, tell it as if to your best friend, as a secret."

There are many orange notebooks in the exhibition, school notebooks filled with Michael's writing, thoughts, changes, crossings out and revision. He works and receives inspiration wherever he is, but his favourite place is his converted shepherds hut.

There are too many books to mention them all, but my favourites are; War Horse, which only sold a few thousand copies until it was made into a stage production and is now his most famous book, Farm Boy, the sequel to Joey the war horse, Why the Wales Came, set on Samson island in the Scillies, the Wreck of the Zanzibar, Alone on a Wide, Wide, Sea, The Dancing Bear and Waiting for Anya.

I will follow this blog with something more, there is a curiosity about the books, the man and his talents at finding the story and retelling in a wonderful style, which will mean further reading and an excuse to add more of his titles to our bookshelves.

A final quote,
"I know it, lying under the sun on a summer's night. I know it watching buzzards floating over the valley where I live. It is a learnt belonging from children who stop to gaze, to breath in the world about them, to feel part of it."

Michael Morpurgo, A Lifetime in Stories at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books, Newcastle upon Tyne. A digitised archive is available on 7 storieswww.sevenstories.org.uk/collection

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Image 1Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books has reached the finals of the National Lottery Award.

This is a fantastic centre with a wealth of exhibitions and information on children's books in the UK.

It deserves your vote!!

"Children's books are an essential part of our childhood, national heritage and culture. Everything we do at Seven Stories is aimed at inspiring children and adults to be curious, imaginative and creative. We strive to ensure people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can take part and enjoy a lifetime of reading for pleasure. It is a tremendous honour to be nominated for a National Lottery Award and we hope we can harness the energy and support of everyone young and old to vote for us and make us a winner." Kate Edwards, Chief Executive

The Awards are an annual search to find the UK's favourite Lottery–funded projects, and they aim to recognise the difference that those projects have made to people, places and communities all across the UK.

With the mission to save, share and celebrate our rich heritage of children's books to inspire a love of reading across generations, Seven Stories is competing against six other projects for the title of Best Education Project. The winner will accept the award on BBCTV and receive a £2,000 cash prize. Voting has opened and closes at midnight on 24 July.

Vote at National Lottery Good Causes or at Seven Stories.

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Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


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Now in its fourth year, the Diverse Voices Children's Book Award, will announce the winner on Thursday May 23rd at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books in Newcastle upon Tyne.Image 3

 

Image 2The award, continues the Frances Lincoln's tradition of promoting writing which celebrates cultural diversity and cultural and social tolerance. It provides a platform for new authors to present their work and celebrate aspects of their own culture through the world of children's books.

The award is also supported by The Arts Council and encourages writers to have a voice and to reach out to all children, and especially for children who can find reflections of their own lives in the stories.

“Diversity in children’s books is crucial – in this ever-shrinking world we are all foreigners somewhere. I’m delighted to be part of an award recognising the importance of this element in young people’s fiction.”
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty (The National Council for Civil Liberties)

This year the short list is

One of a Kind by Jude (Najoud) Ensaff

Samosa Girl by Swapna Haddow

You're Not Proper by Tariq Mehmood

From dark secrets, from characters whose existence is shaped by issues of war,to children with multiple identities, these are all great books to be short listed.

Dolphin Booksellers will post the announcements.

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Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


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Winner of the 2011 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Award,Helen Limon's novel Om Shanti Babe is a real winner of a story, hard to put down from beginning to end.

Cassia can't wait for her first visit to India... Bollywood glamour, new friends, a new adventure into this exciting world.

But it doesn't work out quite like that!

Kerala has a life all of it's own and the culture shock is HUGE! and then her Mum's new romance with 'call me V' Mr Chaudury, her own stand off with fashion mad Priyanka takes over. But pop idol Jonny Gold arrives on the beach with his new song, Om Shanti, Babe, sparking a mystery, new friendships, a race to save the mangrove swamps...

Om Shanti, Babe, a roller coaster journey of discovery with an exciting environmental twist- all against the backdrop of beautiful Kerala.

The Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Award encourages and promotes diversity in children's fiction. Jointly founded by Frances Lincoln Ltd and Seven Stories, the national centre for children's books it is a powerful voice for the world of children.

Om Shanti, Babe is published by Janetta Otter-Barry at Frances Lincoln. Buy direct from Frances Lincoln or through Dolphin Booksellers.

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A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


Helen Limon has won the 2011 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children's Book Award to Helen Limon for Om Shanti, Babe, a story about growing up, family and friendships that the judges described as '...fabulous . . . laugh-out-loud funny'.

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The tale of teenage Cassia, who is forced to drop her preconceived ideas when she joins her mother on a business trip to south India, takes in fair trade and environmental issues alongside Cassia's struggles to accept her mother's new Indian partner, her spiky tussles with fashion-mad friend-to-be Priyanka and her crushes on pop star Jonny Gold and Dev, a boy she meets on a train.

Pictured: Helen Limon (2011 winner) Tom Avery (2010 winner – Too Much Trouble is published today) and Karon Alderman (2011 runner up)

The Award, was founded jointly by Frances Lincoln Limited and Seven Stories, the national centre for children's books, in memory of Frances Lincoln (1945-2001) to encourage and promote diversity in children's fiction.

The prize of £1,500 plus the option for Janetta Otter-Barry at Frances Lincoln Children's Books to publish the novel is awarded to the best manuscript for eight to 12-year-olds that celebrates diversity in the widest possible sense.

Australian author Michelle Richardson received a Special Mention for Tek, a book about a young girl from the Aboriginal Australian Murrinh-Patha community who can communicate with the
ngepan, the spirits of the dead.

Tom Avery, was the winner of the award in 2010 also celebrated the publication on June 23rd of Too Much Trouble.

Sue Martin: Dolphin Booksellers the best in children's books always on line.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


dvTime for sending your entries for the Diverse Voices Award. This is the third year that Frances Lincoln in partnership with Seven Stories will be searching through entries.

The Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award promotes diversity in children's books, it encourages new authors to write about aspects which touch children from all over the world. It enables books to be published which recognise and celebrate diversity.

flThe award is held in memory of Frances Lincoln who was an advocate for hearing the voice of children in all sorts of situations, especially those who were unable to access books and reading.

For the winner there is a prize of £1500 plus an option for Frances Lincoln to publish the novel.

The details are on the Seven Stories website, which is great site for a wander. There's lots happening.

The winner of last year's Diverse Voices Award was Tom Avery with Too Much Trouble

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Closing date for entries is February 25th. So get writing, it's worth it just to get that story finished!

Sue Martin Dolphin Booksellers - the best in children's books always on line.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


70 years of Puffin Books – what an amazing feat!! And celebrated by the opening of an exhibition at Seven Stories, Newcastle featuring a whole host of brilliant authors and illustrators.

This is an exhibition about everyone's childhood reading, whichever generation is yours, you can find books that will take you straight back to your own memories. As we approached Stig of the Dump's Cave I touched the Stig type clothes, someone next to me said'
'I'm not going in there! I always worried about the smoke from Stig's fire.'

Mr Big is there with his piano and author Ed Vere is delighted to be in the exhibition,
“ It’s a real honour for me to be part of Puffin’s 70th birthday celebrations and this wonderful exhibition.”

A real gem of the exhibition has to be the Kaye Webb Collection . Kaye was the second editor at Puffin and much of her work inspired the addition of so many titles and new authors and illustrators.
Along with her complete archive of children's books, which was the first major purchase of Seven Stories, there are letters written to authors and friends. Written on the old style type writer and with a soft way of expression, they make enchanting reading, especially when there is the odd correction, crossed out and over written.

There are some very modern ways too of interacting with characters, The Borrowers , by Mary Norton is well worth stopping at, just past the grandfather clock..... thanks to the team at Newcastle University for providing support.

If you are in Newcastle, then do visit the exhibition and Seven Stories, its just up from the Quayside and make sure you get to find the little boat in the Ouseburn.....

And even if you can't get to Seven Stories in Newcastle on Tyne, you can still take part.

Everyone has a favourite place to read. In a comfy chair, on a bus, up a tree... It could be anywhere! Email Seven Stories a picture of you reading in your favourite spot and you can be on the super screen in the exhibition too!

Sue Martin at Dolphin Booksellers - information and books always on line


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


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ssOn the very top floor in the attic of Seven Stories, a group of people gathered to listen with excitement to the announcement of the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Book Award. Set within a roof space of sturdy beams, interlocked together from the industrial past of this amazing building beside the canal, the atmosphere was wonderfully friendly with an electric buzz waiting to find out which book and which author had won.

' And the winner is....

Tom Avery for Too Much Trouble

A story of two brothers, Emmanuel and Prince. Emmanuel tells his story as he looks back on how events led to him holding a gun to a man's head. The boys are forced to live on hand outs as their drug dealer uncle says they are too much trouble. They make an art of being unnoticed. But when they are forced to look after themselves they end up in a life of crime from which Emmanuel can see no way out.

ss teamShort listed for the prize were, Remi Oyedele for Goal Dreams, Sue Stern for Rafi Brown and the Candy Floss Kid and Karon Alderman for Story Thief.

The judges were made up of a panel including the team at Seven Stories and they said that they had some excellent entries in this second year of the award.

The award was announced by John Nichol, Managing Director at Frances Lincoln and Janetta Otter Barry, said that she is looking forward to working with Tom on the future publishing of the book.

Our team from Dolphin Booksellers were delighted to be at the event and look forward to the publication of Too Much Trouble.

Dolphin Booksellers for information and children's books, always on line.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


dvThe winner of the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children's Book Award for 2010 will be announced on Tuesday 8th June 2010 at Seven Stories in Newcastle upon Tyne .

Frances Lincoln Ltd, the award winning publisher, and Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books, set up the award in memory of Frances Lincoln(1945- 2001).
It encourages and promotes diversity in children's fiction.

From role models to different cultures and groups, it values the need for all children to be able to find themselves in a book and to widen horizons and aspirations.

Last year, 2009, Cristy Burne was the successful winner of the award for Takeshita Demons , a great start and an amazingly brilliant adventure story.

td“ The demons are all real: Western cultures have vampires and werewolves and witches, Japanese people have kappa and oni and tengu. “ Says Cristy, who has now had the story published by Frances Lincoln in an amazingly colourful and vibrant book.

We were pleased to be invited to the Diverse Voices Children's Book Award, watch this space to find out the winner for 2010.

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Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.


dvSo good to have an award to celebrate diversity in children's fiction. Frances Lincoln Ltd, the award winning publisher and Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books announced the second Diverse Voices Children's Book Award.

Its aim is to encourage and promote diversity in children's fiction and is in memory of Frances Lincoln ( 1945 - 2001).

In the UK we have an amazing richness of cultures and people from all over the world. Children's perceptions of the world are largely based on the environment around them, the friends they meet and the books they read. Books need to be relevant to children of today.

The Diverse Voices Award is in its second year and is for new writers, whose books ensure that heroes, heroines and the range of characters reflect our modern cultures. The manuscript must celebrate cultural diversity in the widest sense, either through the story, or the origins of the author.

tdThere is a prize worth £1500 and an option for Frances Lincoln to publish the novel.

Last year's winner was Christy Burne and there's lots more information on her web page.

The fiction must be unpublished, between 15,000 and 35,000 words and written for 8 – 12 year olds, by a writer aged 16 or over.

All the details are on the Frances Lincoln and Seven Stories, where you will also find the entry forms.

If you already have an idea or have even started writing, there's nothing to lose and lots to gain.

Dolphin Booksellers are delighted to be able to include this information on Dolphin Book Blog and make it available to a wide audience of Children's Centres and schools.


Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk is part of SmithMartin LLP

A retail resource for the best children's books, entry point into our children's and community library procurement and supply service. Offering a miscellany of news and featured authors for all our readers, whatever their age.