Friday, September 24, 2010

Word on the Street this Sunday!

Just a quick note to say Annick Press will be selling books at the Word on the Street festival in Toronto this Sunday, September 26. Drop by our booth (KS27): we'll be selling all of our books at 20% off--even the new Fall titles. If you mention this blog, we'll give you a FREE book, and if you buy any 4 books, you'll also receive a FREE surprise bag of books! (While supplies last.)

And if that wasn't enough, you'll also get to meet the fabulous Ruth Ohi, who will be signing her books. She'll also be in the Children's Reading Tent at 11:30 a.m.

Here's an interview with Ruth in which she discusses her adorable Chicken, Pig, Cow series:

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thunder over Kandahar Launch

On Tuesday, Annick Press and Canadians in Support of Afghan Women (CSAW) threw a book launch for Sharon McKay's novel Thunder over Kandahar. The event was held at the historic Enoch Turner Schoolhouse in Toronto, and included delicious Afghan food, an Afghan market, and, of course, Sharon McKay signing her books! (She also donated 40% of the proceeds from sales of her book to CSAW.)

The evening's events included presentations from CSAW, an introduction from Annick Press Director Rick Wilks, and some words from Sharon McKay.

There was also a moving speech from Mrs. Zuhra Bahman-Ludin, wife of Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Jawed Ludin, who opened by saying, "I love events like this because they bring three of my favorite things together: books, education, and Afghanistan." She went on to relate how the Taliban took over her home town in Afghanistan when she was a student, and she was no longer able to go to school. Undaunted, she began to read through her father's extensive library and discovered that reading offered an escape from living in a conflict zone. Her passion for education has remained strong ever since: she is now working on her PhD.

Three sisters (left to right: Yasna, Nagesa, Weeda) then gave a wonderful reading from Thunder over Kandahar.

Congratulations, Sharon! To see the rest of the photos, visit our Flickr album!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Interview with Allan Stratton, Dennis Foon, and Oliver Schmitz at TIFF

On Tuesday, some of the Annick staff headed downtown to watch Life, Above All, the movie based on the novel Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton. Everyone agreed it was a moving, faithful reproduction of the book; it captured the powerful emotions of the story, from vulnerability, fear, and shame to love and loyalty.

Annick's Director, Rick Wilks, had this to say: "For a publisher, having a novel adapted for a feature film is like being struck by lightning. Even better, watching a beautiful, intelligent and deeply moving film based on a beloved book is one of those absolutely glorious experiences. This is a film with integrity: from the writing through to the remarkable actors, it telegraphs authenticity. One can’t help but have a deeply moving experience."

If you missed the film, don't worry: it will be out in theatres sometime next year. Until then, check out this post-movie Q&A at TIFF with Oliver Schmitz (the director), Allan Stratton (the author), and Dennis Foon (the screenwriter), courtesy of

TIFF 2010: Life, Above All from on Vimeo.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life, Above All at TIFF: Update

Life, Above All, the movie based on Allan Stratton's novel Chanda's Secrets, will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this Sunday and next Tuesday. A few people from Annick will be in attendance, so look for an update next week.

In an exciting development, South Africa has chosen Life, Above All as its official entry for best foreign-language picture at the Academy Awards. We'll have to wait until late January to see whether the Academy officials give it a nomination, though, so our fingers are crossed!

Khomotoso Manyaka in the role of Chanda

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meet a Book Blogger: Steph Bowe at Hey! Teenager of the Year

Happy September! Last month, I started a new feature: Meet a Book Blogger. This month, let's get to know Steph Bowe, who blogs about books at Hey! Teenager of the Year. She's also an author: her debut novel, Girl Saves Boy, will be published by Text Publishing this fall. This is Steph:

1. When did you start book blogging, and what was your motivation?
I started blogging in April of 2009, because I wanted to talk about what I was reading and connect with other writers and readers.

2. How often do you post?
It varies - sometimes daily, sometimes once a week. Depends how I'm feeling/if I have anything interesting to blog about!

3. Which kinds of books do you like to review?
Young adult.

4. Where do you get the books you review? 
Usually from publishers.

5. Where do you find out about new books?

Other blogs, of course! Plus recommendations from friends.

6. Do you read other book blogs? If so, which are your favorites?
I do read other book blogs, but I love so many it's impossible to choose a favourite.

7. What’s one of your favorite books? How about the best book you’ve read in the past six months?
Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell is one of my favorites. In the past six months, the best book I read was Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

8. What’s the most enjoyable part of book blogging? What’s the worst part? Do you blog about other topics too?
Enjoyable: reading and responding to comments, talking about books we've read and loved.
Worst: nasty anonymous comments.
I do blog about other things - about being a writer and teenager.

9. Do you have an ereader? If so, do you like it? If not, do you want one someday?
No! And I prefer paper books. One day I'd like an ereader incorporated into a phone, maybe.

10. What do you do when you’re not reading?
Writing! And doing schoolwork, and spending time with family.

Thanks, Steph! Looking forward to more great book reviews... and may your own books receive many glowing reviews, too!