Books Weekly News Digest – March 6th 2015

Books Weekly News Digest – March 6th 2015

Scottish Children’s Book Award Winners Revealed!

The winners of the 2015 Scottish Children’s Book Awards were announced earlier this week, during a ceremony attended by more than 600 children. The award was split into three categories: Bookbug Readers (ages 3-7), Younger Readers (ages 8-11) and Older Readers (ages 12-16). The Bookbug Readers winner was Glasgow-based Ross Collins, for his illustrations in Sean Taylor’s book, Robot Rumpus. The Younger Readers award was won by 21-year-old Alex McCall for his debut novel, Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens; while Cathy MacPhail scooped the Older Readers award for her YA thriller, Mosi’s War.

The Children’s Book Award, which is run by the Scottish Book Trust and funded by Creative Scotland, is the largest prize of its kind in the country. The award is voted entirely by children and this year, over 28,000 votes were cast. Jasmine Fassl, Head of Schools at Scottish Book Trust, commented that there “is nothing nicer than celebrating the books that children themselves have enjoyed reading.” She said that the success of the award “is down to everyone who is involved in encourage the children to vote – the authors, illustrators, teachers, publishers, parents and librarians – who are passionate about giving children a love of reading for life.”

Each of this year’s winners received £3,000, while authors that made it onto their shortlist received £500.

New Study Reveals Gender Divide In Reading Habits

There’s a big gender divide when it comes to reading habits, the latest Book and Consumer Survey from Neilson Bookscan has revealed. Although there was little difference in the number of books bought for males and females in 2014 (at a respective 54% and 46%), there was a notable difference in the type of books men and women are reading. According to the survey, of the books that were bought last year for men, 39% of them were fiction while 56% of them were non-fiction titles. Another recent study, conducted by Goodreads, uncovered that half of the readership of a new book written by a male will be female. However, when a female writer brings out a new book, their readership is only 20% male.

British Homes Contain An Average Of 158 Books, Study Finds

A new study conducted in aid of World Book Day has found that the average British home contains 158 books; however, a quarter of them have never been opened. According to the study, 16% of Brits keep display books in their homes to make them appear more intelligent, with the most ‘impressive’ books including the Bible, Moby Dick and To Kill a Mockingbird. As well as this, over half of Brits hold onto books they’ve read because they feel an emotional attachment to them.

Would you consider yourself to be emotionally attached to any books? Let us know in the comments box below!

Author James Patterson Donates £50,000 To British Schools

American novelist James Patterson has donated £50,000 to British school libraries in aid of World Book Day, which took place yesterday. The prize money will be split between around 800 schools which entered a competition to receive library funding. The top prize of £10,000 was won by Hexthorpe Primary School in Doncaster. The school entered the competition with a stop-motion video that featured kids’ favourite book characters, with a soundtrack that was written and performed by the children.

Veronica Roth Is Writing A New Book Series

Earlier this week, Divergent author Veronica Roth took to Twitter to tell fans that she is writing a new series. The two novels, which are yet to be titled, will be published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. According to the publishers, the duology is “in the vein of Star Wars.” The first book tells “the story of a boy who forms an unlikely alliance with an enemy. Both desperate to escape their oppressive lives, they help each other attain what they most desire: for one, redemption, and the other, revenge.” Roth, a bestselling YA author, commented: “I’m really enjoying working on this new series. I can’t wait to share it with readers!” The first book will be published in 2017, with the second following a year later.

Elizabeth McCracken’s Thunderstruck Wins Story Prize

American author Elizabeth McCracken has won this year’s Story Prize for short fiction for Thunderstruck & Other Stories. The collection features nine stories, all of which ‘navigate the fragile space between love and loneliness.’ McCracken, a former public librarian, received $20,000 prize money for her win. Speaking of the author’s work, judges said: “Each story in the collection reads like a masterwork, rich and confident and surprising, and together they form an electrifying whole.”

You can pick up your copy of Thunderstruck & Other Stories from our online store.

Children’s Author Mal Peet Dies Aged 67

English author and illustrator Mal Peet has died at the age of 67, just a few months after being diagnosed with cancer. Peet started writing at the age of 40 and won a number of awards for his works, including the Guardian Children’s Book Prize, the Carnegie Medal and the Branford Boase Award. His latest novel, The Murdstone Trilogy, was published last year. Peter Cox, Mal Peet’s agent, commented: “Mal was a writer’s writer. He was a universally adored and admired by other writers. His talent was as prodigious as his warm, wide-open heart.” Peet is survived by his wife, three children and two grandchildren.

Which stories were you most interested in this week?