Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Best Books For 11 Year-Olds

Here are the best books for 11 year-olds as voted by my son and semi-regular guest-blogger, Hux.

1. 'Caesar the War Dog' series by Stephen Dando-Collins (See Hux's review of the first 'Caesar' book here.)

2. 'Harry Potter' series by J.K. Rowling

3. 'H.I.V.E' series (Higher Institute of Villainous Education) by Mark Walden

4. 'Alex Rider' series by Anthony Horowitz

5. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

6. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

7. Red Samurai by Tiffiny Hall

8. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

9. Mort by Martin Chatterton

10. Two Wolves by Me (I didn't even pay him [much] to say this. What a guy.)

Here's Hux's list of Best Books for 9-10 year-olds.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Caesar the War Dog Operation Blue Dragon Review

Here's my son Hux's review of the second book in Stephen Dando-Collins' much-loved 'Caesar the War Dog' series, Operation Blue Dragon...

When Charlie Grover, an injured SAS operative, gets a new set of prosthetic legs he is able to re-take the SAS selection training course. Charlie no longer needs Caesar as his care dog, so Caesar can go back to doing what he does best – sniffing out explosives with Ben Fulton, his owner.

Meanwhile Josh, Ben’s son, is having trouble at school with a bully.

On their first mission back together Caesar & Ben help rescue the Secretary-General of the United Nations, whose helicopter went down in an area where there is known Taliban

activity. The Taliban force the Secretary-General to make a video asking a ransom for his release. It’s up to Ben, Caesar and a bunch of special operatives from around the world to save him.

I give it 100 out of 10. There are two other books in the series with another on the way. Enjoy.

P.S. Here's Hux's review of the first book in the 'Caesar' series.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Instagram Book Tour

I'm taking the week off after spending most of this year travelling around, talking about the new books to anyone who'd listen. (Thanks to all the kids and colleagues who made it happen). I've been documenting my adventures on Instagram. Feel free to wander over and have a look. Would be good to connect with you there. I'm @tristanbancks

Looking forward to diving down into writing the new book in coming months before hitting' the road again in March with My Life & Other Massive Mistakes (my third book of weird-funny-gross short stories).

Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Top 10 Young Adult Books : Claire Zorn

Claire Zorn's novel The Sky So Heavy is a 2014 Children's Book Council of Australia Honour Book. It's also been nominated for the Aurealis Awards and for the Gold Inky. (On top of this, she's an interesting and kind human.) Here, she shares her top 10 Young Adult reads. Enjoy!

So Much to Tell You, John Marsden

Graffiti Moon, Cath Crowley
Jasper Jones, Craig Silvey
The Book Thief, some guy called Markus Zusak

Came Back to Show You I Could Fly, Robin Klein 

People Might Hear You, Robin Klein
Looking For Alibrandi, Melina Marchetta
Zac & Mia, AJ Betts
Friday Brown, Vikki Wakefield
Butterfly, Sonya Hartnett

Check back for another Top 10 Books list next week.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Brisbane School Holiday Writing Workshops

Here are three active, hands-on creative writing, transmedia and filmmaking workshops I'm running in the school holidays at State Library of QLD and QLD Writers Centre. Still places left but iAuthor, in particular, filling up fast.

Story Safari - QLD Writers' Centre
Take an outdoor writing adventure with storyteller Tristan Bancks. Explore South Bank’s parks, museums, galleries and people – like true documentarians – and discover all the wonderment of transforming real life stories onto the page. Bring your imagination and adventurous spirit, leave the laptops at home! For writers aged 10 - 15.

Bookings and Info: http://www.qwc.asn.au/events/youth-program/story-safari/

iAuthor transmedia writing workshop - Story Lab State Library QLD
iAuthor is a transmedia writing workshop allowing you to dream, create and share your own ideas through video, images, sound, maps, music, voice, social media and written word.

You will be provided with an iPod Touch for gathering and creating stories (or you can bring your own) and use it to supercharge creativity and share stories across multiple platforms. You will also use the latest version of Tristan's digital brainstorming tool, Story Scrapbook, to spin ideas and story fragments into spellbinding tales.

This workshop is for ages 8 – 11. All materials are supplied and participants will take home a USB with a copy of their work created on the day.

Bookings and Info: http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/calevents/general/children/story-lab-september/iauthor

Write it, Film it, Share it! short filmmaking workshop - Story Lab, State Library QLD
At this lively and interactive day-long workshop, develop your skills in script writing, editing and film making with the experienced author, actor and film maker Tristan Bancks.

Working collaboratively in small groups, you will develop your creative ideas into short scripts which will be weaved into short film creations. Using readily available technology, learn how to extend your script writing, story boarding and filmmaking whilst working in a fun, creative environment.

This workshop is for ages 11 – 14. All materials are supplied and participants will take home a USB with a copy of their work created on the day.

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