Booktalker 1st June 2009
Some of the points that struck me from the night...
Mal Peet spoke about a book for football disguised under his passion for history. 'Keeper 'was his first book. 'Tamar' won the Carnegie medal. His talk included the challenging question should there be a category on the book shelves called YA?
He wrote the books that he would have liked to read when he was younger.
And one of his teaching points in his many workshops with children, is telling them to write about something you don't know – that's fiction.
Mal Peet likes crime fiction, he cares about history, in fact is evangelical about it. His books always have two narratives in them.
Mal began writing when he was 40- he actually wrote many small educational texts for readers first before he wrote his first novel.
I loved the way the audience surged out at the end of his talk to buy his books from the book seller.
I'm about to start reading 'Keeper.'
Libby Gleeson was fascinating with her reading of 'The Great Bear,' a picture book published in 1999 with illustrator Armin Gredor, she talked about her close collaboration with him. Certainly a partnership producing wonderful picture books. We all felt very moved by her reading.
I have just competed a picture book text subject with Victoria Uni and all the points Libby made helped the new information soak in. Such a deceptively simple text, such complex writing, rewriting and bonding of illustration to text. One point Libby did mention twice was that if the pictures and text said the same thing then one had to go- Armin Gredor explained this to her.
I really enjoyed the night- thanks to the local ALEA group and Booktalkers of the State library of Victoria.
Apparently podcasts of this year's Reading Matters conference will soon be on the following web site. Meanwhile there are some podcasts from many authors available now.