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    Surely no one is more qualified to help than Book Wizard, Barry Cunningham - the original publisher of Harry Potter. He has worked with some of the greatest names in children's books past and present - from J.K. Rowling to Roald Dahl and Cornelia Funke. And now, as the highly successful publisher of Chicken House, he is busy finding outstanding new fiction.

    Every month he'll talk book magic: pick a favourite story - and link it to another lesser-known book that keen young readers will also enjoy!

    This month - Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

    I was very privileged to work with the estate of C.S. Lewis (in fact, he went to my old school) and see some of the manuscripts of the wonderful NARNIA series with his original notes. I also met Pauline Baynes, the original illustrator who drew the first maps of Narnia, visualising his extraordinary world. Travelling from the here and now to a land of wonder, where making new friends is as important as standing up to evil, required what C.S. Lewis called 'valour'. And that's what readers will need - and will love - as they travel literally through the pages of a book into Cornelia Funke's fantastic world of INKHEART. Here they will join an amazing cast of characters - deciding whose side you are on is just as exciting as in Narnia, even though things turn out not to be quite so black and white! For ages 9+

    '... a breathtakingly fast-moving tale.' INDEPENDENT

    '... one of the outstanding children's novels of the year.' THE TIMES

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  • Ball of Confusion

    Fri, 07 Oct 2011 15:33

    blog imageThe man who brought us Think of a Number back in the day (and played a big part in the young life of boys and girls of a certain age) has a new book out full of puzzles and amazing facts called Ball of Confusion. Here's a little video of Johnny introducing the book. Out now!

  • blog image

    Surely no one is more qualified to help than Book Wizard, Barry Cunningham - the original publisher of Harry Potter. He has worked with some of the greatest names in children's books past and present - from J.K. Rowling to Roald Dahl and Cornelia Funke. And now, as the highly successful publisher of Chicken House, he is busy finding outstanding new fiction.

    Every month he'll talk book magic: pick a favourite story - and link it to another lesser-known book that keen young readers will also enjoy!

    This month - Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

    When I was working with J.K. Rowling on editing HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE, I could never really understand the rules of Quidditch. We agreed that it was too complicated, but, as no one would ever try and play it, we'd leave it as it stood. Years later it caused Hollywood untold agony! But of course it's just this kind of detail, and the creation of a complete world, that entrances the fans of the books. Fantasy lovers looking to continue the spell in another, very different but equally thrilling, way should look no further than Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams' brilliant TUNNELS series, an underground world that just gets more and more involving and exciting as the series progresses! Can you spot the character that mysteriously comes back from the dead? Let me know! For ages 9+

    'Does it live up to the hype? Yes.' DAILY EXPRESS

    'It's well paced, exciting and - in places - frightening and bloody.' Philip Ardagh, GUARDIAN

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    Those nice people at Open University Press have put together a mini Ultimate Survival Guide for University Students. Top tips on writing the perfect essay, finding part-time work, dealing with stress and much more including some puzzles to beef up your brain. You can also win £50 worth of books from our good selves if you solve one particularly fiendish puzzle (hint: it's on page 9). [Email your answer to competitions@bookdepository.co.uk]

    So download below for all the essentials for the coming academic year.

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  • The Empire of Death

    Wed, 28 Sep 2011 11:56

    blog imageThames and Hudson have just published the wonderful The Empire of Death - A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses - "Takes the reader on an international tour of macabre and devotional architectural masterpieces in nearly 20 countries. This book brings together some of the world's most important charnel sites, ranging from the crypts of the Capuchin monasteries in Italy, to the strange tomb of a 1960s wealthy Peruvian nobleman."

    So what better time to revisit the wonderful Svankmajer film from 1970, The Ossuary, filmed in the old chapel of Sedlec, Czech Republic...

    Posted by Adam Adam

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