“What’s the worst thing about being a writer?”
“What’s the best thing about being a writer?”
“Are we going to find out what happened to Kancil’s brother in the next book?”
“What’s the deal with Kitchen Boy and the tiger?”
“Have you started writing the next book yet?”
These are just some of the questions I’ve been asked in the past week on visits to Ringwood North Primary School and Serpell Primary School. Both schools have Grade 6 reading groups that have read Tiger Stone so it was great to talk to (and be grilled by!) people who had read my book. At Ringwood North I also got to give a little pep talk to all the Grade 5s an 6s about being a writer. I felt the weight of responsibility looking out at the sea of eager faces in the auditorium but they were still firing questions at me as their teachers ushered them out the door at the end of the session so hopefully I inspired some budding writers.
So a big shout out to Emily Rumble at Ringwood North and Avril Morris at Serpell for organising my visits and a huge thank you to all the students who listened and asked questions and inspired me to keep writing: terima kasih banyak!!!
I admit that before Tiger Stone was included in its 2015 catalogue, I had never heard of the White Ravens. But it only took a little bit of research to realise what an honour being included in the catalogue is.
The White Ravens is an annual catalogue of 200 books released by the International Youth Library (Internationale Jugendbibliothek) in Munich. The judges select books based on “their potential interest for an international audience, whether due to their innovative literary or illustrative quality, or due to their consideration of universally relevant topics.“
Our work is guided by the conviction that children’s and young adult books are an essential part of the cultural life of a society and of a country, and as such must be preserved, documented and shared. We particularly care about the promotion of international cultural exchange and the cultural education of children and young adults.
Thirty-five of the books in this year’s catalogue are written in English but the catalogue includes books from many countries and more than thirty languages are represented in the collection. Most are European languages but Taka Ki Ro Wai, written in Maori by Keri Kaa and illustrated by Martin Page was one of three New Zealand entries. Tiger Stone was one of eight book from Australia included in the catalogue.
Approximately 10,000 new titles are received by the International Youth Library each year in goodness knows how many languages. The library’s experts in each language family read the books and whittle the catalogue down to 200 titles. What an undertaking!
So as November has ticked over to December and we have entered the season of the list, I’m pretty pleased to be included in this particular list and now my goal is to read as many of the other entries as I can. You can visit the catalogue online to read the judges comments and choose your own reading list.