Five things we loved this week
Our literary round-up of the last seven days
1. Roald Dahl’s Count of Mousy Christo
Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served with a dead mouse in it. Roald Dahl’s tale of childhood revenge, The Great Mouse Plot, in which he and his friends harass a local sweetie-shop owner using a deceased rodent, is the author’s first ever number one best seller. This fact is surprising, considering the quality of Dahl's massive oeuvre, but then, perhaps it isn’t: revenge is not only sweet it is riveting, ask fans of Hamlet, Carrie or
2. Are you Elena Ferrante?
Yet another author has been suggested as the real ‘Elena Ferrante’, the incredibly successful, pseudonymous and mysterious author of the Neapolitan Novels. We really want to get to the bottom of this story and thought why not just ask, if you are Elena Ferrante, please write in. We know, it is unlikely that of all places, you would like your unveiling to be here, but sometimes in life, you just have to ask. In the meantime, wherever you are, in this age of 1984-esque surveillance, for evading all detection: Elena, we salute you.
3. And the winner is…
The wait is over, the results are in, and the winner of this year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons. The book pips both The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield, which was
The wonderful shortlisted authors:
The victorious category winners:
Overall winner David Solomons with Children's Laureate Chris Riddell:
4 . Blame Wittertainment
Firstly, Hello to Jason Isaacs (not the first time I have said so on here) Secondly, I quite like Battenberg. Thirdly, Simon Mayo has written what promises to be a belter of YA novel, Blame, due to be released this summer. The novel features a 16-year-old anti-heroine, Ant, and her 11-year-old brother, Mattie, who exist in a chillingly plausible world where innocent people can be imprisoned for the unpunished crimes of their parents or grandparents.
5. As though Shakespeare
With the publication by the British Library of Shakespeare’s last handwritten manuscript online, a central scene of which features Thomas More railing against prevalent anti-immigrant sentiment in England at the time… the first thing any reader will ask is: is that really Shakespeare’s handwriting? My doctor writes neater than that. Then, the uncanniness in him managing to address the current immigration crisis in Europe, 400 years before it happened, will make you shake your head at the brilliance of the man and wonder, did he invent time travel too?
Itchingham Lofte - known as Itch - is fourteen, and loves science, especially chemistry. He's also an element-hunter: he's collecting elements in the periodic table. Which has some interesting and rather destructive results in his bedroom. Then, Itch makes a discovery. A new element, never seen before.
Luke shares a treehouse with his geeky older brother, Zack. Luke goes for a wee and while he's gone an alien gives his undeserving, never-read-a-comic-in-his-life brother superpowers, and then tells him to save the universe! Luke is furious, but when Zack is kidnapped by his arch-nemesis, it's up to Luke and his friends to save the world.
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. When young prince Hamlet is confronted by his fathers ghost on the battlements of Castle Elsinore, he is burdened with a terrible task: slay King Claudius, Hamlet's uncle, who the ghost alleges murdered him.