Cristy Burne


The terrific top three books for January: Blue Peter Book Club

And the terrific top three books for January are:

Takeshita Demons

Xtreme X-Ray

Madame Pamplemousse and the Time Travelling Café


This is what Blue Peter said about Takeshita Demons:
“Do you like floating heads and evil spirits? Then you will love this horror adventure!

Spooky demons invade Miku’s school and kidnap her brother Kazu. Can she and her best friend Cait rescue him?

Let your imagination run wild and feel the adventure come alive through the vivid pictures.”

Dare to peek? Download a PDF Takeshita Demons sneak peek.


Book Cover Wars! Win a copy of Charlie Higson’s The Enemy

Takeshita Demons – The Filth Licker is part of the Book Cover Wars at the fabulous Mr Ripleys Enchanted Books. Head over there, check out the covers, and vote for your chance to win a signed copy of Charlie Higson’s The Enemy. You can vote and win wherever you live: awesome!

Round one books are:

Book One: Cristy Burne – Takeshita Demons: The Filth Licker (June 2011)

Book Two: Tom Percival – Tobias and the Spooky Ghost Book (Sept 2010)

Book Three: Steve Feasey – Changeling: Zombie Dawn (2011)

Book Four: Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson – The Familiars (Sept 2010)

To win, all you need to do is:

  • vote for your favourite book cover
  • leave a comment or send a tweet about the Book Cover Wars through Twitter
  • sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you’ve won!


The Filth Licker: what do you think?

YAY!!! Check it out: the brand new cover for The Filth Licker, the second book in the Takeshita Demons trilogy…

Cover for Takeshita Demons: The Filth LickerI’m thrilled to bits with it and can’t wait to see the other images that illustrator Siku has been working on. The Filth Licker was so much fun to write and this cover really reflects the exciting story and spooky adventures Miku and Cait get up to this time round.

So… What do you think?

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Free resources for UK Children’s Book Week

Check out some of Shirin Adl’s fab Book Week illustrations!

Free Children’s Book Week resource pack!
Woo hoo! Another surprise in the mailbox this week:
A pack of fun things to celebrate UK Children’s Book Week (4 – 10 October 2010), complete with stickers, posters, a Best Book Guide and booklet full of Children’s Book Week resources (including teaching ideas, tips for planning a writer visit, activities and more!).

The resource packs are free and were posted to all English state primary schools, public libraries, special schools and initial teacher training institutions.

This year’s Children’s Book Week theme is BOOKS AROUND THE WORLD, so even if you’re not living in England, the pack contains heaps of relevant stuff to do and explore.

If you’d like a peak, free downloads of the Children’s Book Week pack are available on the Booktrust website. The pack features awesome artwork by illustrator Shirin Adl.

Key stage two activities: Takeshita Demons

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books are the major publisher sponsor of this year’s Children’s Book Week in the UK, which means Takeshita Demons is lucky enough to be featured in the book week pack.

Children’s Book Week is also sponsored by Crayola (thanks from kiddies everywhere!) and run by Booktrust.

Australia’s Children’s Book Week: not long to wait!

I’m doing some Aussie library visits for Australia’s Children’s Book Week (21 – 27 August) so plan to cross-pollinate and add the UK stickers to my pile of giveaways 🙂

And the last word goes to Children’s Laureate, Anthony Browne, author and illustrator of nearly 40 children’s books:

‘This year’s Children’s Book Week theme of books around the world provides a wonderful opportunity to explore and celebrate difference, as well as to read books that transport us to new places and introduce us to new cultures.

One thing that my travels have taught me is that children around the world have a lot in common; hopes, fears, joys, but most of all, a love of stories.’

And I couldn’t agree more! 🙂 🙂

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Who made the shortlist? 2010 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award

Yesterday I was stoked to report that Tom Avery is the winner of this year’s Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award. Today, we take a look at other writers recognised at the award ceremony:

There was a shortlist of six titles discussed by the judges, and three other writers were invited to the Award ceremony to recieve awards and constructive feedback.

So who were these three other writers?

Highly Commended: Goal Dreams by Remi Oyedele
(Goal Dreams also recieved an Honorable Mention in the Literary Storm Novel Competition, so watch this space for further success for Remi Oyedele!)

Synopsis: Goal Dreams is a coming-of-age story about Ade Coker, a 12-year-old aspiring footballer from south-west Nigeria.  Ade’s pursuit of football glory sets in motion events that see him acquiring a new family, suffering from exploitation and travelling across the globe before discovering that dreams can be realised in various forms.

Commended: Rafi Brown and the Candy Floss Kid by Sue Stern


Synopsis: Rafi Brown and the Candy Floss Kid is the story of two children misunderstood by adults: mildly dyslexic Rafi draws brilliant cartoons, but is bullied by his teacher, Horrible Hegarty. Carer of a mother with M.E, Candy defies the educational welfare officers. The two bunk off to the People’s History Museum, where Rafi is inspired by a photograph of child printers during the Russian Revolution to draw an exciting graphic story. Back at school, Mrs Hegarty collapses at her desk, but Rafi saves her. Truth is revealed, Rafi’s gift is acknowledged, and Candy joins him and his mates at school.

Special Mention: Story Thief by Karon Alderman

Synopsis: Story Thief is the story of an 11-year-old failed asylum seeker called Arlie.  She tells the story of the days following the arrest and detention of her family as she tries to hide from the authorities.  She is supported by her friend Louise and two boys who have their own reasons for staying in hiding.

Tom Avery, winner of the 2010 award, will be featuring more from these talented writers on his blog: Too Much Avery.

Congratulations to everyone shortlisted, and to everyone who entered! Keep entering, keep writing!! I seriously think the best way to keep writing is to keep getting little drip-drops of encouragement, especially if it comes in the form of someone in the industry picking your manuscript as being worthy. If they’re not your mother or your spouse, and they still think you can write…then it’s probably true! So go for it and keep writing!

I didn’t place anywhere in the first writing competition I ever entered, but I won that same writing competition two years later, and with the same manuscript (only I’d been working on the manuscript for those two years, so it was a pretty different book by thhen :-))(and MUCH better!). So….hang in there, keep writing. Keep trying. If you want it bad enough, you’ll get it.




Woo-hoo! Takeshita Demons is part of Booked Up!!

And in the most Exciting and Pinch-me-please Brilliant News Ever…….

…..last night’s award ceremony was also an opportunity to announce that Takeshita Demons has been selected to be part of Booked Up, an awesome program that gives free books to children.

Booked Up is a national programme that aims to give a free book to every child starting secondary school in England.

Booked Up’s goal is to encourage reading for pleasure and independent choice. Year 7 pupils choose their free book from a list of specially selected titles.

How FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And can you believe? Takeshita Demons is one of those specially selected titles!!! (I am shooting around the room with sparks coming out of my ears as I write this…it’s utterly, utterly brilliant and exciting and wonderful!)

Also on the list are fabulous fellow Aussies Shaun Tan (with The Lost Thing) and the hilarious duo Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (with The Big Fat Cow That Went Kapow). And check out the list: every one’s a winner. There are utter legends of children’s literature on this list: I feel woozy just thinking about it.

The best thing is, thousands of Year 7 kids will have the chance to read Takeshita Demons for free. Which is SO COOL because hopefully it’s a story that will get kids reading and encourage all kids to race through an entire book, sometimes laughing, sometimes trembling, but always having fun. YAY!

Many thanks to the selection panel for Booked Up 2010…

This year the panel included:

Nikki Gamble (Chair)
Nikki Gamble has worked in education and reading promotion for over 25 years, Formerly a teacher and teacher educator, she is a lecturer, writer and education consultant. Nikki is Director of Write Away UK and Associate Consultant at the University Of London Institute Of Education. She is currently a member of International EC of IBBY and Director of the 2012 IBBY World Congress. She is also on the current Executive Committee of United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA).

Sean Edwards
Sean Edwards, Head of Children’s & Youth Libraries, for the London Borough of Haringey, has worked in Children’s Libraries for twenty years. He is passionate about reading and books for all ages and thoroughly enjoyed the whole decision making process for the ‘Booked Up’ panel. He thinks that the whole range of titles available for both boys and girls reflects the continuing need to provide material that not only extends the reading experience but also enhances reading for pleasure.

Irene Marillat
School Librarian and Booked Up Coordinator, Tolworth Girls’ School, Surrey. (You can follow Irene on Twitter.)

Karen McCombie
Karen McCombie is a best-selling author whose novel An Urgent Message Of Wowness was on the Booked Up list for 2010. She worked on teenage magazines before becoming a full-time writer, and now has more than sixty titles to her name. Originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, she lives in leafy North London (the setting of her hit series ‘Ally’s World’) with her husband, small daughter and two dopey cats, who all provide her with inspiration, whether they like it or not.

Carol Webb
Carol Webb is a librarian working at Forest Hill School in Lewisham, London. She has extensive experience in creating a positive school reading culture and of developing boys’ reading abilities and interests. Carol is currently studying for a Doctorate in Education and recently co-authored The innovative school librarian: thinking outside the box.

Rebecca Wilkie
Rebecca Wilkie is the editor of Booktrust’s children’s books website and produces the annual Best Book Guide. She also works on The Big Picture campaign, which aims to promote and reawaken public interest in picture books. Rebecca read English at University College London and has worked in children’s books for the last eight years.

Alexandra Strick (Consultant on accessible titles)

Alex works as a freelance consultant/project manager on a range of activities around children, books and disability. These include:

  • Bookmark, the online resource regarding books and disability
  • Bookstart, as the scheme’s disability consultant
  • Outside In, children’s literature in translation
  • In the Picture, a campaign to encourage publishers, illustrators and writers to embrace diversity

More on Booked Up…

What an awesome idea! Thanks to funding from the UK Department for Education (DfE) and support from children’s book publishers, the programme is run by Booktrust, an independent charity dedicated to encouraging people of all ages and cultures to engage with books.

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Announcing the winner: 2010 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award


Woo hoo! A huge congratulations to Tom Avery, who is the winner of the 2010 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award, which was presented at Seven Stories, the national Centre for Children’s Books, yesterday.

Here’s the media release:

Tom Avery, a teacher working in a culturally diverse inner city school, has won the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Award 2010 for Too Much Trouble, a story the judges described as ‘an Oliver Twist of our times’. The contemporary adventure story is a dramatic page-turner about Emmanuel and Prince, two brothers who fall in with a gang of pickpockets when their family abandons them. Fast paced and full of tension, it explores big issues such as illegal immigration, what makes a family and the ethical dilemmas surrounding crimes committed for survival.


The Award was founded jointly by Frances Lincoln Limited and Seven Stories, in memory of Frances Lincoln (1945-2001) to encourage and promote diversity in children’s fiction. The  prize of £1,500 plus the option for Janetta Otter-Barry at Frances Lincoln Children’s Books to publish the novel is awarded to the best manuscript for 8 to 12-year-olds that celebrates diversity in the widest possible sense.

The distinguished panel of judges for this international Award, who are not given any information about the writers until they have made their decisions, agreed that the standard of entries this year was consistently good.  There were more contemporary stories to enjoy, compared to the entries for last year’s inaugural Award, with settings ranging from Nigeria to Newcastle, Manchester and the Midlands.  The judges looked for a strong story that an 8 to 12-year-old would want to read rather than a worthy book that overtly explores social issues. The decision to give the Award to Too Much Trouble was unanimous. The panel said:

“The author has set out to create an Oliver Twist of our times and has pulled it off. The gritty reality is important with such serious subjects but Avery is very adept at writing and does what fiction is meant to do. He takes reality and heightens it but not to the point where it loses credibility.”

Tom Avery teaches in a large comprehensive school where there are 17 languages spoken and half the children do not speak English as a first language.  The other schools he has worked in have also included children from diverse cultural backgrounds. He explains the inspiration for his story:

“I wrote Too Much Trouble when I heard the story of a boy and his sisters who had been sent to live in England without their parents.  I couldn’t stop thinking about what that responsibility must be like.  In the end I had to put the story down on paper.”

The presentation at Seven Stories also celebrated the publication of Cristy Burne’s Takeshita Demons, winner of the inaugural Award and the first in a trilogy. The book will have a page feature in Booktrust’s Children’s Book Week pack which will be mailed to all primary schools. Takeshita Demons has also been selected for this year’s Booked Up list.

Presenting the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award 2010 on 8th June, at Seven Stories, the national Centre for Children’s Books, John Nicoll, Managing Director of Frances Lincoln said:

Frances was passionate about nurturing new talent on the Frances Lincoln Children’s list, and she would be delighted with the success of the winner of the inaugural Award.  Today we are here to celebrate Tom Avery’s achievement and to wish him success. The Takeshita demons followed our heroine from ancient Japan to modern London, the demons in Too Much Trouble surround us now – reported daily in the news – and Tom’s story helps children to understand the suffering that some children have to tolerate, without being didactic. It’s a great read and I am pleased to announce that Janetta Otter-Barry will be working with Tom so that you can all read it.

By extraordinary co-incidence, and this seems stranger than fiction – please remember that the judges do not know anything about the writers and this Award is international – Janetta will find it easier to see Tom from September because he is moving to work in the nearest school to Frances Lincoln, Torriano Primary School.

I would also like to thank Seven Stories for all they have done to make the Award such a success.”

Accepting the Award, Tom Avery said:  “ I am delighted to have won this Award and thrilled that Too Much Trouble has been so well received.  The opportunity to express different perspectives on the world, like Emmanuel’s, is what makes Diverse Voices so special.

Kate Edwards, Chief Executive of Seven Stories, the national Centre for Children’s Books added:

“The Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award is going from strength to strength.  Once again we’ve had a fantastic response to the Award from unpublished writers in the UK and beyond, and we’ve enjoyed involving Seven Stories staff and volunteers in debating the entries. We are proud to be associated with the publication of last year’s winner, Takeshita Demons, and are delighted that it will be included in the Booked Up list. This goes to prove that there’s a very real place for this Award, ensuring that books which recognise and celebrate cultural difference are published for today’s children. We are looking forward to celebrating with Tom Avery, the winner of this year’s Award. The strength of our partnership with Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and the enthusiasm of the judges have, once again, made the Award a great success.”


For entry forms for the 2011 Award contact  E:   T: 0845 271 0777

The closing date is 25th February 2011. 

Press enquiries to Nicky Potter    E:   T: 020 8 889 9735   M: 0771 5587948


Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award 2010

The winner of the Award is chosen by an independent panel of judges. The distinguished panel of judges includes:

Trevor Phillips – Chair of The Equality and Human Rights Commission

Jake Hope – Children’s Librarian for Lancashire Libraries and a freelance consultant

Geraldine Brennan – Journalist and former Books Editor at the TES

Mary Briggs – Co-Founder of Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books

Janetta Otter-Barry – Janetta Otter-Barry Books at Frances Lincoln Children’s Books


2009 Winner

In June 2009 Cristy Burne won the inaugural Award with Takeshita Demons. Her book is published by Janetta Otter-Barry Books at Frances Lincoln Children’s Books on 8th June 2010 (ISBN: 9781847801159  Price: £5.99).  It is the first in a trilogy.  Publication of the second book, The Filth Licker, is scheduled for June 2011. The books have fabulous illustrations by Siku, who is a well-known illustrator of comic books and graphic novels. His best-known book is The Manga Bible.