The Boy Sherlock Holmes

Guess where Pamela, Kathryn, and I were last night? Here are some hints to the answer:

Look at the pretty holiday decorations, the funny sign, this all points to… the team at McNally Robinson Booksellers!

Yesterday, Shane Peacock was invited to talk about his Boy Sherlock Holmes series at McNally Robinson Booksellers. The store has a book club for children and they had just finished reading Eye of the Crow (some were almost finished reading Death in the Air too). This was a great opportunity for the club members (and their parents) to ask Shane some questions. He brought in his laptop and we hooked it up to the projector to show his book trailers.

Shane did a dramatic reading from each of his books after showing the individual book trailers. Below, Shane reads an excerpt from Vanishing Girl:

Thank you to the book club readers and their parents for coming out to meet Shane Peacock. Thank you once again to Nicola and to the wonderful staff for making the event a success!

Note from Tundra: We hope people are happy to see pictures of themselves on Talking with Tundra, but if you would like your photo removed, please contact us at tundra@mcclelland.com. Thank you.

Guest Post: Monica Kulling

Tundra author, Monica Kulling, shares with us in this guest post about her event on Wednesday, November 18, 2009:

Monica Kulling: I had the distinct pleasure last week of participating in my first-ever Canadian Children’s Book Week event. I read my first Canadian book, It’s a Snap! George Eastman’s First Photograph, to a group of grade fours and fives at the Black Creek Branch of the Toronto Public Library.

Clip art credit: http://www.arthursclipart.org

Since publishing my first picture book, in the U.K. and the U.S. in 1992, I have looked longingly (each November) at the Canada Book Week poster and felt a like the poor match-girl in the fairy tale, uninvited because she has never published a book in Canada. A sad state of affairs. But sad no longer!

Enter TUNDRA BOOKS and Kathy Lowinger and all the talented people who work so hard to produce the beautiful books that Tundra is famous for. And a huge thanks to Bill Slavin, the illustrious Canadian illustrator, whose work is so well-known that doors open for me when I mention his name! Thank you for putting me on the Canadian map! I am tickled pink to be a Canadian author and to have the opportunity to share my books with kids across our great country.

So … with my symbolic invitation in hand, I drove to the Black Creek library located in the North York Sheridan Mall. Driving up Black Creek Drive, I passed the perfectly named, “Photography Drive,” which indicates the street that leads to the old Kodak plant. In 2005 Kodak became a casualty of the digital age and was forced to close down its plant. Until then it had employed hundreds of people for nearly 100 years. All the Kodak film and photography paper used in Canada were manufactured at the place that was called, “Kodak Heights.” Now one solitary building remains—building number 9:

Photo from: "The End of Kodachrome and the Death of Kodak Heights" by Rick McGinnis (July 3, 2009 on http://www.blogto.com)

The Black Creek Library is on the lower level of the Sheridan Mall, tucked behind an escalator. But the strategy of arriving early, allowed me to get lost, at least once. Anne-Marie Di Lello, the librarian who contacted me, greeted me warmly. She is proud of the library. “This library is a pearl in the mall,” Anne-Marie tells me. “Most people don’t know it’s here. But when they discover it, they keep coming back.” And as I entered its cozy and quiet domain, I can see why.

I was shown the room where the reading was going to be. Nancy Velez, another Black Creek librarian, had gone to great lengths to search the Toronto system for every book of mine she could get. The table at the front of the room, made me feel right at home.

The group was a little late, but worth waiting for. I began my presentation by taking a panoramic photograph of the entire group. So see for yourself what a grand bunch of kids I had in front of me.

And did they have questions? They did indeed! For that Kirkus reviewer who thought that “a few phrases may confuse young readers (“George had a brain wave”),” you can rest easy. Not only did my young listeners understand the term “brainwave,” one astute young man answered my query this way, “It’s when you have a wave of an idea in your brain and then a lightbulb comes on over your head!” Sounds about right to me.

Thank you Black Creek for a wonderful visit!

Note from Tundra: We hope people are happy to see pictures of themselves on Talking with Tundra, but if you would like your photo removed, please contact us at tundra@mcclelland.com. Thank you.

9th Annual Writers’ Trust Awards

Last night, the 9th Annual Writers’ Trust Awards was held at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto. The following award winners were announced:

  • Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize
  • Vicky Metcalf Award for Children’s Literature
  • Writers’ Trust Notable Author Award
  • Writers’ Trust Award for Distinguished Contribution
  • Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize
  • Rogers’ Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

Congratulations to Marthe Jocelyn on being this year’s recipient of the Vicky Metcalf Award for Children’s Literature. This award honours a Canadian author of children’s literature whose body of work is judged to demonstrate the highest literary standards.

In her more than twenty books for preschoolers, elementary school children and young adults, Jocelyn demonstrates a rich versatility with genre, medium and style. She has published compelling narratives in a wide range of genres, including young adult realism, historical fiction, biography/memoir, fantasy and picture books. The emotional range of tone in her work is as broad and deep as her exploration of genre: she writes with equal conviction in the voice of satire, comedy and tragedy. Inventiveness, humour, and a sharp understanding of human nature underlie her work for all ages.

She is a visual artist as well as a verbal one, as her numerous picture books show. Her collage art glories in the beauty and grace of the child’s domain, rich in artefacts, objects of play and contemplation. Her subtle use of endpapers and framing, textured materials, fabrics and found objects — her use of real “kid things” — creates a visual world of identity, interest and choice, showing the creative possibilities and thoughtfulness in the child’s world.

– 2009 Vicky Metcalf Award for Children’s Literature Jury
Deirdre Baker, Julie Johnston and Judith Saltman

Congratulations to all the winners this year! Jian Ghomeshi, of Q on CBC Radio One, hosted the ceremony. He did a great job and kept the event on schedule. From left to right: Jian Ghomeshi, Annabel Lyon, David Bergen, Yasuko Thanh, Brian Brett, Marthe Jocelyn, and Politics & the Pen.

We would like to thank the jurors – Deirdre Baker, Julie Johnston, and Judith Saltman – for all their work. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and cheered for Marthe Jocelyn and gave a round of applause to Publisher, Kathy Lowinger. Finally, thank you to the Sponsors, Board of Directors, Authors’ Committee, and the staff at Writers’ Trust of Canada.

Waiting On Wednesday 1

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. This event spotlights upcoming releases that we are anticipating. In our case, we are eagerly waiting for the advance copies of next season’s titles to arrive!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-hold-and-read” selection is:

The Secret Fiend
The Boy Sherlock Holmes – His 4th Case
By Shane Peacock
Publication Date: May 11, 2010

It is 1868, the week that Benjamin Disraeli becomes Prime Minister of the Empire. Sherlock’s beautiful but poor admirer, Beatrice, the hatter’s daughter, appears at the door late at night. She is terrified, claiming that she and her friend have just been attacked by the Spring Heeled Jack on Westminster Bridge and the fiend has made off with her friend. At first Sherlock thinks Beatrice simply wants his attention, and he is reluctant to go back to detective work. He also believes that the Jack everyone fears is a fictional figure. But soon he is suspicious of various individuals, several of them close friends.

Set at a time when many in England were in a state of fear because a Jew was running the country, Shane Peacock presents a compelling story filled with an atmosphere of paranoia and secrets and surprises played out on late-night London streets. Sherlock gets drawn deeper and deeper into the pursuit of the Spring Heeled Jack, whose attacks grow in number until it seems that there are Jacks everywhere.

The Secret Fiend is the fourth book in Shane Peacock’s award-winning Boy Sherlock Holmes series, combining brilliant storytelling with fascinating historical detail and a mystery worthy of one of the greatest sleuths in English literature.

Want to participate? Grab the logo from Breaking the Spine, post your own WoW entry on your blog, and leave a link in the comments section on Jill’s blog!

Shane Peacock at McNally Robinson Don Mills this Thursday!

Join two-time TD Children’s Literature Award nominee, Shane Peacock, as he discusses his Boy Sherlock Holmes series and reads from the third book in the series, Vanishing Girl.

When: Thursday, November 26th, 2009 at 7:00p.m.
Where: McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1090 Don Mills Road (Corner of Lawrence Avenue East and Don Mills Road), Toronto, ON M3C 0H9
Info: http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/toronto-events

Image courtesy of Quill & Quire