Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Holly Thompson - visit Singapore in May?

I am hoping to have Holly Thompson visit our middle school in May -- around the time of the AFCC.  Here is an excerpt from a recent email I received from her:

Thank you! And I'm also happy to say that Orchards was awarded the APALA 2012 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and is a YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. The Tomo anthology launches March 10, and my novel The Language Inside will be published in 2013. It's been a busy year!

I do not have funding to go to AFCC this year, but I'd love to attend. I could manage it if I had two school visits, say May 28 and 29: my fee per day (up to 5 periods per day is 400 USD and the schools would need to share RT airfare from Tokyo (about 700 USD), plus 2 or 3 nights hotel (I'd swing any other nights). On my site, there is info on my presentations (and I'm developing more...), Interviews, Book Group Discussion Questions for Orchards and more. The Tomo site ( has many contributor interviews and will soon have an Educational Resources section.

Let me know if you are interested in helping to bring Holly to Singapore in May.

-- Katie Day

Rukhsana Khan coming to Singapore in May

Dear ISLN members, 

Plans have been finalized for me to come to Singapore for the AFCC 2012 conference 26th -29th of May 2012.

Once again I am available for school presentations.

In order to keep things simple I am charging a flat rate of $350.00 U.S. per hour session. (This includes all expenses.)

My presentations range from kindergarten to secondary school.

Considering that children will be familiar with my book Big Red Lollipop please note that the presentation I do that features that book is called Picture the Story and is recommended for students from the age of 4 to 7. For older kids who are probably familiar with my novelWanting Mor, the inspiration behind that story is in the presentation of the same name.

In addition to being honoured by the nomination for the Red Dot award, Big Red Lollipop was chosen by the New York Times as one of the ten best picture books of the year as well as winning both American awards for best picture book writing. Wanting Mor has received a total of thirteen other international nominations besides the Red Dot award nomination. (In fact last November it was up for an award in England that was presented at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre. I was honoured to attend the ceremony!)

I am interested in booking the dates before the conference from May 21st to 25th.

Information for my primary presentations can be found here:

Information for my junior and intermediate presentations (grades 4-8) can be found here:

For further information about the themes and material covered in the presentations please check out the teacher guides:

The curriculum applications found in the final pages of the guides are taken from the Ontario curriculum guide but I’m sure the principles are transferrable to international schools as well.

I’ve attached a copy of my brochure for more information about myself.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

All the best,


AFCC: Asian Festival of Children's Content, May 26-29, 2012
Looking ahead to May, there are quite a few children's authors and illustrators who come to Singapore for the Singapore Book Council AFCC event.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ken Spillman in Singapore March 2012

I am an acclaimed Australian author with around 30 books to my name -
and several new books appearing this year.

My purpose for writing to you is that I will be visiting Singapore and
Malaysia in March to conduct presentations and workshops in
international schools.  This follows a successful tour of schools in
five Indian cities last November. I have also conducted sessions in
international schools in Indonesia, Oman and China.

In recent years, after moving away from non-fiction writing, I have
developed a high profile as a writer of fiction for young adults and
children of primary and secondary school age.  My new 'Jake' series of
children's books for early readers is now appearing in around a dozen
countries and in several languages.  It is published in SEA and a
number of other Asian nations by Scholastic, and is proving very
popular. It also has its own website:

Another children's series, commissioned by Puffin, has been
successfully launched in India. Other books have been shortlisted for
a Wilderness Society Environment Award and a Young Readers Book Award,
while my most recent novel for teenagers won a Premier's Book Award.
My reputation as a writer for children is reflected in the fact that I
am chief judge of Singapore's award for children's literature, the
Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award.

I am a lively and experienced presenter.  I have been a keynote
speaker at the Asian Children's Writers and Illustrators Conference
and the Society for Reading and Literacy's conference in Singapore.
In 2008, I appeared at the Mussoorie International Writers' Festival
and Bookaroo, the Delhi Children's Literature Festival.  I returned to
Bookaroo in 2010.  During 2010, I also spoke at the International
Conference on Children's Libraries in Delhi, the Asian Festival of
Children's Content, and the Beijing Bookworm Writers' Festival.

International schools typically utilize my services for creative
writing workshops (for older students), and readings and interactive
sessions (for younger students).  I am always keen to tailor sessions
to each school's needs and preferences.  My fee for full school day's
program is offered at USD$500.  I cover airfares and accommodation

Bookings to date cover the period 19-21 March (in Malaysia). Dates on
either side of that remain available. I will look forward to the
possibility of including your school in my schedule.

With kind regards,

Dr Ken Spillman

Professional ideas from February 7 ISLN meeting

Professional ideas that were discussed at the February 7 ISLN meeting: 

iPad app group and networking. See Ben if you'd like to join the group for a Friday, February 25 meeting. Email him if you're interested. 

PD spotlight
  Destiny app now in the apple store. They have also submitted a Follett eReader app which may be available soon. They are also developing a down-loadable audio program.  Stay tuned for more.

  They have sent around a flyer sponsoring a big competition "A Night in the Library". They are a library management system that can read and process many languages 

Library 2.0: 
  The site has very dynamic videos for professional development.

  The site has author interviews that are retroactive 

"Why books" by Mo Willems from Horn Book. A good article that talks about why we need books.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What do students think of the Red Dot books?

How are your students sharing their thoughts on the Red Dot books?

Remember, anyone is free to comment on the individual book pages on the Red Dot website.

For example, students from CIS have been reading some picture books and posting their reactions there.

At my school, our middle-schoolers are members of private Goodreads groups where they post book reviews.

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  [I posted this update last night (Feb 8) but this morning my full edits aren't here --  what happened, Blogger? Anyway, I am re-writing today, Feb 9.]

Since posting this yesterday (Feb. 7) a shameful truth has emerged.  I had shared with you an amazing review by a 7th grade student of "Stitches" by David Small, which he had posted on Goodreads -- and which his English teacher had pointed out to me just as I was writing this blog post.

Unfortunately, the English teacher and I were not thinking -- and not practicing critical reading.  (In our feeble defense, the student is very able.)  The review looked great, I got the student's permission to share it more widely, and then came to our network meeting where I pointed it out with pride.

However, Yvonne Bowyer at AISS did a more careful reading of the review and easily found its source -- the Goodreads main description, which was actually from the author's own website.  It is definitely plagiarized, though he did add his own opinion at the end.  I have a Google Doc where his review is compared with others on the Internet; if you are interested in seeing it, just email me.

Needless to say, his reviews will be taken down and I expect he will publish an apology.

Many thanks again, Yvonne, for being so sharp -- and giving me a lesson in praising and publishing in haste.  A bottle of champagne will be coming your way in gratitude.

-- Katie

Words Go Round: Singapore Writers Festival: Feb 27 - March 10

This year's Singapore Writers Festival has a stellar line-up of children's and young adult authors, including Garth Nix, John Boyne, James Roy, Jack Heath, Kirsty Murray, and others.

Schools can sign up for events (the deadline is Feb. 13th) -- and there are some public ones as well.  E.g.,

A Confusion of Princes: A Garth Nix Special Preview
29 Feb 7pm – 8pm
The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane, Blue Room
Internationally bestselling fantasy author Garth Nix welcomes you to a special preview of A Confusion of Princes, his long-awaited standalone science fiction novel. A riveting read, this space opera forms the background for Imperial Galaxy, a massively multiplayer online game (written by Garth Nix and developed by Creative Enclave, of which Garth is also a founder) that lets you play the part of a noble prince serving in the navy of a galaxy-spanning empire. An event of truly intergalactic scale!

Literary Cocktail: Enter the Old Kingdom with Garth Nix
1 Mar, 7pm
The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane, Blue Room
$22 (including $2 ticketing fee)
Click here for tickets:
(A cocktail / mocktail will be served together with delicious canapés.)
Enjoy canapés and a specially concocted drink, Sabriel Surprise, with international bestselling fantasy author Garth Nix, as he invites you into his rich, imaginative world, and enthrals you with tales from his fantasy adventures. Be prepared for an out-of-this-world experience.

Author Biography
Garth Nix (Australia)
With more than 5 million copies of his books sold, Garth is an acclaimed and best-selling fantasy novelist for young adult readers. In particular, he is known for his Abhorsen trilogy, The Seventh Tower series, andThe Keys to the Kingdom series. A full-time writer since 2001, he previously worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, bookseller, and a part-time soldier. Garth’s next book will be the science-fiction adventure A Confusion of Princes, to be published in April 2012.

APD offer: new Garth Nix book: A Confusion of Princes

A Confusion of Princes

Garth Nix    

ISBN: 9781741758610
Pub Date: March 2012
Publisher: ALLEN & UNWIN
Format: C format, Paperback 368 pages

Price: S$16.90 (before GST)

A grand adventure that spans galaxies and lifetimes, A Confusion of Princes is a page-turning thriller, a tender romance, and a powerful exploration of what it means to be human.
I have died three times, and three times been reborn, though I am not yet twenty in the old earth years by which it is still the fashion to measure time. This is the story of my three deaths, and my life  between. My name is Khemri.
Taken from his parents as a child and equipped with biological and technological improvements, Khemri is now an enhanced human being, trained and prepared for the glory of becoming a Prince of the Empire. Not to mention the ultimate glory: should he die, and be deemed worthy, he will be reborn...Which is just as well, because no sooner has Prince Khemri graduated to full Princehood than he learns the terrible truth behind the Empire: there are ten million princes, and all of them want each other dead.

Please send your orders to 

Join our facebook at

Distributed by 
52 Genting Lane #06-05 
Ruby Land Complex-Block 1
Singapore 349560
Tel: 65-6749 3551 Fax:65-6749 3552

All In! Young Writers Media Festival - Feb. 18 & 19

Any student who aspires to be a writer or interested in some aspects of writing and publishing would benefit from participating in  the All In! Younger Writers Media Festival

Cost is $20 day/$30 for 2 days which include lunches and tea breaks in Rendezvous Hotel, 18 & 19 Feb.

The Festival is aimed at students age 15 and above.

Tickets can be purchased online here:


Kenneth Quek
National Book Development Council of Singapore
50 Geylang East Avenue 1 Singapore 389777
HP: +65 9857 7789 | DID: +65 6848 8292 l Fax: +65 6742 9466 l Web:

NBDCS is a non-profit organisation that promotes storytelling, reading, writing and publishing through a variety of interesting and innovative programmes.

Stories for Moral Education- 2 new books by Roger Jenkins

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Roger Jenkins <>
Date: Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 4:12 PM
Subject: Stories for Moral Education- 2 new books by Roger Jenkins
To: Roger Jenkins <>

Dear Friends

As more emphasis is placed on values teaching, there is a need for practical, age-appropriate resources to make this difficult, abstract subject more accessible. I am pleased to present two new books, STORIES FOR MORAL EDUCATION (Juniors – for ages 7 – 12; Teens for ages 13+)  Both books offer more than 70 stories demonstrating key values in action. Please view the sample pages in the attached PDFs for the Juniors or Teens book - I recommend you use the view 2-page spread option when viewing the pdf.  Despite the title and their purpose, these stories make for a good read in themselves!

Why use stories? People listen to stories because they want to (stories are enjoyable!) and without feeling they are being preached at.  Stories help people to connect and, whereas 'Thou shalt not' is soon forgotten, 'Once upon a time' lasts forever.  Drawing on my experience as a professional storyteller, I have selected stories from around the world, and particularly Asia, for their narrative power and wisdom.  As they come from many different cultures, the stories also reflect the idea that these values are universal.

This is a book of values, not vices. While it is possible to teach by showing the negative (eg the perils of lying) I prefer to show the benefits of doing right (the rewards of honesty.) I believe in celebrating people making good choices and I am sure your school culture actively focuses on catching pupils doing good, rather than chasing those who make poor choices.

Values covered include: Honesty, Integrity, Teamwork, Sharing, Kindness, Respect, Family, Good Study Habits, Courage, Friendship, Speaking Right

The stories are short (less than 500 words) so they should only take 3 -5 minutes to tell. For the 50+ principal tales in each book (only two are duplicated), I provide practical tips to confident, lively telling, either in the classroom or an assembly. Additional short anecdotes and jokes (32 in Juniors, 42 in Teens) make each book a rich resource.  The book comes with a CD-ROM containing supporting visual materials (such as PowerPoints and PDFs) to enhance the telling of some stories, as well as videos of me telling stories too.

Size                   A5 
Pages               176, glossy art paper, 1 colour text
Cover                Paperback, 4 colours
Printed by         DigiLab Pte Ltd
Schools familiar with my Stellar-related resources, THE DRAMA TOOLKIT, will know that my work is tailored to the Singapore context and reflects more than 30 years work as a teacher/performer/writer here in Singapore.
Place your order by 29th February and save $25%  Pay a flat rate of $30 per book (inclusive of postage) 
Delivery guaranteed by 9h March 2012.

And as I'm self-publishing, if you want to customise a special edition for your school, cluster or organisation, you won't have to purchase hundreds and hundreds!

I look forward to hearing from you. An order form is attached.

Roger Jenkins

Download Junior Book sample
Download Teen Book sample
Download Order Form

Author Eden Unger Bowditch interested in visiting Singapore

When her son commented that, although he loves the magic in books like Harry Potter, it's always disappointing in the end because you really do it, Eden Unger Bowditch was saddened. To her, magic is everywhere. The way a tree grows out of a tiny seed is magic. Science is magic, as is invention.

From those roots, Eden went on to write The Atomic Weight of Secrets or The Arrival of the Mysterious Men in Black, the first book in the middle grade Young Inventors Guild trilogy. She's been talking with kids about the book all around the world, from Los Angeles and New York in the United States to her home in Cairo, Egypt, and she'd love an opportunity to speak with the children at your schools.

As a mother with three kids in international schools, Eden has a terrific affinity for schools like yours, and as an author, she has found the students at similar schools some of the most amazing to read to and speak with. Right now, a cross-curriculum program for The Atomic Weight of Secrets is being developed by an American teacher—and rightly so, seeing as it teaches science, culture, history, and language arts, while never being anything less than an exciting adventure.

In 1903, five young geniuses, the children of the world's most brilliant inventors, are taken from their lives and homes by the mysterious men in black and deposited in a strange farmhouse in Dayton, Ohio, where their only means of escape may be the invention they've all been working on. But are the men in black trying to kidnap them—or protect them? And if they're trying to protect them—from what?

Eden is eager to visit with the students in Singapore. Please let me know what we can do to make it happen.


Harrison Demchick 
Deputy Publisher/Editor/Screenwriter/Marketing Associate/Odd Jobs Guy 
Bancroft Press 
P.O. Box 65360 
Baltimore, MD 21209-9945 
Phone: 410-358-0658 
Fax: 410-764-1967 (if Bancroft account is down) 

Friday, February 3, 2012

REMINDER: Network meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 7th at Tanglin Junior Library

Date:  Tues, Feb 7, 2012
Time:  4:00 for 4:30 pm start
Location:  Junior Library, Tanglin Trust School

Please come prepared to share in one or two ways:

-- Read any good children/young-adult literature lately?  Let's start collecting possible titles for next year's Red Dot award.  Bring along your recommendations and do a quick book-talk for us.  (Published in the past 4 years, please!)

-- Discovered or experienced anything exciting relating to school librarianship recently?   A new app?  Online tool?  Conference?  PD experience?  A great article or blog post?  Come prepared to share.

  • Welcome - apologies
  • Children's Literature Conference -Kate will have some books to share showcasing authors and illustrators from the coming conference. Have you registered? Have you shared this exciting opportunity at your school?
  • Charities and Service - Kate
  • Hands on Literacy - update - Katie.
  • Red Dot Awards - Kim.
  • Red Dot 2012/13 recommendations (SHARE SESSION)
  • Blog updates - Kim
  • Readers' Cup - Joy- eligibility of schools in the region
  • iPad apps evening? - Ben
  • PD spotlight (SHARE SESSION)
Questions?  Email Linda Twitchett, our president