Tagyoung adult

‘f2m: the boy within’ selected for The White Ravens 2011

White Ravens

The White Ravens 2011

Hazel Edwards and I are thrilled that our novel ‘f2m: the boy within‘ has been selected for The White Ravens in 2011.

Every year 250 outstanding international books for children and young adults are selected for The White Ravens list from nearly 10,000 books sent to the International Youth Library at Schloss Blutenberg in Munich.

The books are presented at this year at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and become travelling exhibitions sometimes sponsored by cultural groups such as the Goethe Institute.

See the full list

The International Youth Library at Schloss Blutenburg

Hazel outside the Schloss Blutenburg in Munich, 2006

Hazel outside the Schloss Blutenburg in Munich

As well as research facilities for internationals interested in children’s literature, the Schloss Blutenberg, a former Bavarian hunting lodge, houses the biggest International Youth Library of 540,000 books in 15 major languages. The castle is a short train and bus ride from central Munich.

The library was founded by Jella Lepman, the the US advisor on Children and Women, who started the post war first travelling exhibition with 4000 donated books. Many use animal parables as Lepman believed that by using animals to champion the cause of peace for children’s sake, the books would be more widely read.

Jella Lepman’s post-WWII concept was to collect children’s books to promote tolerance for strangers outside borders, as well as tolerance for those with whom we live daily.

The historical collection of 90,000 books are those up until 1950, and many rare Eastern European copies are no longer available elsewhere. Scholars come to research books no longer available in their own countries due to Communist censorship or wartime destruction. The Geneva Collection of 30,000 books from the League of Nations which was given to the Schloss archives in the 1960s is also carefully housed in the cellar stacks  in temperature controlled areas.

The castle itself was built in 1432 also contains an historic chapel and a grassed courtyard, in addition to a picturesque lake with hundreds of ducks.

New Zealand launch a great success

What a night! A great crowd gathered at Unity Books in Wellington for the New Zealand launch of f2m: the boy within.

Watch the video:

After a brief introduction, Kevin Hague, Green MP and Rainbow spokesperson launched the book. Also speaking were Mani Mitchell, myself and Hazel Edwards, co-author.

A diverse crowd gathered in Unity Books on a wintry evening in July to celebrate the launch of our novel, ‘f2m: the boy within’.

The evening featured an appearance by Hazel Edwards appeared via Skype from Melbourne, which was reminiscent of the collaboration process we used to write the book itself.

Kevin Hague, Green MP launched the book and spoke about his experiences in bookselling and the health sector.  He reminded us of the power of books, speaking of the support he found in the gay book section of his public library as a young gay man, and quoted Eleanor Roosevelt on universal human rights.

Mani Mitchell then brought her perspective as counsellor and intersex advisor.

Co-author Hazel Edwards joined us via Skype, in an amazing feat of technological mastery, possibly involving the wind blowing in the right direction.

Thanks to everyone who was involved and the great crew at Unity Books, Ford Street Publishing for all their support, and to everyone who reads ‘f2m: the boy within’.

Crowd at Wellington launch of 'f2m: the boy within'

A crowd gathers

Marion Castree from Unity Books

Marion Castree from Unity Books

Kevin Hague MP

Kevin Hague MP speaks

Mani Mitchell speaks

Mani Mitchell speaks

Hazel Edwards on Skype from Melbourne, Australia

Hazel Edwards on Skype from Melbourne, Australia

Ryan Kennedy speaking

Ryan Kennedy speaking

An avid reader dives in!

An avid reader dives in!

Book launched, cake eaten

Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy at the 'f2m' book launchI’m back in Wellington, New Zealand after our very successful book launch for f2m: the boy within. A good-sized crowd of wonderful people attended. I know they were wonderful because every one of them came up to me and had a chat.

Here I am signing copies with Hazel while author Sofie Laguna looks on:

Signing copies of 'f2m: the boy within' at the launch Our publisher from Ford Street Paul Collins said a few words to start, then Hazel took the floor and explained some of the quirks of our writing process, namely being in different countries.  At the point this photo below was taken, I am pointing out that the book is the ultimate in recycling, as I drew from my online journal to start the writing process.

f2m launch crowdMy favourite photo from the day: myself and author/illustrator Felicity Marshall, gazing into each others’ eyes for effect (we’d met that day).

Ryan Kennedy and Felicity Marshall

And there was cake! It was delicious.

f2m Launch CakeA fabulous day in all. Thanks to everyone who came! I’m very proud to be a part of this collaboration and the opportunities it will bring to readers.

Life Matters interview

Our interview on Life Matters with Richard Aedy was aired on Wednesday morning. Recording in the ‘Tardis’ at Southbank was an experience in itself. I have new respect for anyone working in radio.

Listen to the Life Matters podcast

First copy of the book has arrived!

I’m now the proud owner of exactly one copy of mine and Hazel’s book:

First copy of f2m (to arrive at my house)

First copy of f2m (to arrive at my house)

It’s thicker than I thought it would be.

I’m not a particularly good photographer so the focus does something interesting and blurs the title. The little figures are glossy and embossed, and the rest is matt.

So, only three months until lots of these hit the stores!

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