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The LoveReading family of book recommendation sites are different from many online book sites as we have real book experts selecting and reviewing the books. We passionately believe that LoveReading’s and LoveReading4kids’s superb ‘expert voices’, with their own specialities, are invaluable in helping readers discover the best books. Find out more about them below.
Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role with Lovereading4kids as Editor-at-Large and as one of our editorial expert reviewers, she is Head of Policy at the Public Lending Right , involved with a number of major literary awards and Director of the Children's Programme at the Hay Festival.
She has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing.
She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. In addition, she regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes.
Andrea Reece has spent all her working life in children’s books. Her first job was at Transworld Publishers back in the 1980s where, amongst other things, she ran the fan club for readers of the smash hit teen series Sweet Dreams.
She went on to work for other children’s publishers, large and small, and with authors including David Almond, Nick Butterworth, Mick Inkpen and Michael Morpurgo. In 2005 she set up children’s independent Catnip Publishing Ltd., publishing Richard and Judy favourite Scaredy Squirrel in the process, and went on to run Books for Keeps, the children’s books journal.
She is very used to odd looks from people on trains and buses who see her reading children’s books, and is still as excited as ever to discover a new children’s author. Apart from being one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts alongside Julia Eccleshare she is also director of the children’s and young people’s programme of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.
Joanne Owen’s lifelong love of reading and writing began when she was growing up in Pembrokeshire, and very much wished that witches (and Mrs Pepperpot) were real. An early passion for culture, story and folklore led Joanne to read archeology and anthropology at St John’s, Cambridge, after which she worked as a bookseller, and led the UK children’s book buying team for a major international retailer. During this time, Joanne also wrote children’s book previews and features for The Bookseller, covering everything from the value of translated fiction, to the contemporary YA market. Joanne later joined Bloomsbury’s marketing department, where she had the pleasure of working on epic Harry Potter launches at Edinburgh Castle and the Natural History Museum, and launching Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book. After enjoyable spells as Marketing Director for Macmillan Children’s Books and Consumer Marketing Manager for Walker Books, Joanne went freelance, primarily working for multi-award-winning independent children’s publisher, Nosy Crow.
Alongside her publishing career, Joanne has written several books for children/young adults. She’s now a fulltime reviewer, workshop presenter and writer, working on YA novels with a strong basis in diverse folklore from around the world, as well as fiction for younger readers (in which witches are very much real).
Joy Court is Reviews Editor for The School Librarian journal and Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.
Previously she managed the Schools Library Service in Coventry where she established the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards and the Literally Coventry Book Festival, but now just concentrates on books and libraries as a freelance consultant. She has chaired and spoken on panels at festivals and conferences around the UK. She is also a Trustee and member of the National Council of the United Kingdom Literacy Association where she sits on the selection panel for the UKLA Book Awards and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of The English Association.
Author of Read to Succeed: strategies to engage children and young people in reading for pleasure (2011) and Reading By Right: successful strategies to ensure every child can read to succeed (2017) FACET and author of several Riveting Reads annotated booklists for the School Library Association, most recently, with Daniel Hahn, Riveting Reads- a world of books in translation (2017)
As a professional librarian with more years’ experience than she cares to mention – Tricia has worked in several sectors including government libraries and as a self-employed information specialist but has reverted to her favourite – of working with children, in various guises, for the last 20+ years.
This has included a spell as a primary school librarian, before moving back to public libraries in her home county of Northamptonshire, where she was Head of Children’s and Young People’s Public Library Services and the manager of the Schools’ Library Service – Learning Resources for Education.
She was then Director of the School Library Association (an independent charity) between 2008-2018. She had the honour to be Chair of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway judging panel and Youth Libraries Group during 2008 and 2017. She now fills her time with volunteering for the Federation of Children’s Books, is Chair of the newly formed Northamptonshire CBG, Co-ordinates the National Share a Story Month initiative and is a newly appointed Trustee of the English Association. She continues to work with Youth Libraries Group and she also leads training sessions, as well as reviewing for several organisations.
A lifelong love of reading and collecting children’s books, amongst other topics, has created a collection so rambling that the house has to be extended every few years!
I have been an Editorial Expert writing reviews for Lovereading since February 2014 and I’m now the Reviews Editor. Reading has always played a huge part in my life and I can quite happily chat books all day. I previously spent twenty years working as a member of police support staff, including roles as Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Briefing Officer and Crime Reduction Advisor. I relish my time spent exploring all genres, and particularly enjoy novels that encourage my emotions to run riot, or fling me back in time or to unknown places, I’m also thrilled when broadsided by an unexpected twist. I was delighted to be a judge for the Romantic Novelists' Association Goldsboro Romantic Novel of the Year award 2018. I would describe myself as a reader, a lover of all things books, and can be found on twitter as @LRLizRobinson.
Rosie Watch has taken her childhood passion for literature from classrooms in Cusco to Chelsea. With over 30 years of teaching experience and hundreds of books later, Rosie is still as eager as ever to get her hands on her next tome. Alongside a career in education, Rosie has also raised three boys and is well accustomed to separating the literary wheat from the chaff.
While running various English departments in schools across the country, Rosie has also had the chance to meet and run workshops with many children’s authors and poets including Nigel Hinton, Roger McGough and Michael Morpurgo. A firm believer in the importance of a willingness to look beyond what we already know and embrace change, Rosie has, in her teaching, maintained that elusive balance between the sharing of best practice and having a few lesser known ‘secrets’ up her sleeve in order to keep both children and her fellow teachers engaged.
Lindsay Quayle was always that child pleading for an extra half an hour of reading time before lights out. It was no surprise to anyone that she went on to study English Literature once she’d worked her way through every book she could lay her hands on at home and at school.
After a spell of time in Finance, the draw of books brought her back to her real passion; she finished her masters in Publishing Studies and spent time working as a bookseller before landing a role at non-fiction publisher, Mainstream. Several years later, she went on to work for Scottish Book Trust and had the enviable job of writing about the life-changing benefits of reading and stories. She was also responsible for curating book lists for organisations including Children in Scotland, Education Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland, as well as writing regular reviews for Children’s Books Ireland and other internal publications.
Lindsay is now a freelance writer and editor with her own company, Pencil Press. She has never lost her love for a good novel, and still wishes there was an extra half an hour at the end of each day for one more chapter.
I’ve always loved to read, but also loved to collect, store, stack and deposit books on every available shelf, table and unoccupied seat in my home. Earlier in my life I was most interested in crime and thrillers, but as time has done its thing I’ve become more drawn to non-fiction and in particular to books which explain the natural world and our relationship with it, quite often through the biographies of extraordinary people. Most of my working life has been dedicated to creating live events and in particular curating programmes of (I hope!) fun and informative content. I’m currently Festival Director for the London Mountain Film Festival where I am privileged to be involved with London’s thriving adventure and outdoor communities and with documentary filmmakers on every continent.
Victoria Goldman has always had a passion for reading and writing, with a childhood dream of becoming a crime fiction author. She gained a Biomedical Science BSc degree, planning to follow this with a PhD in Forensics, but then became sidetracked, realising she loved writing too much to spend the rest of her life in a lab. She gained an MSc in Science Communication instead, and became a freelance health journalist and editor, specialising in consumer health.
Twenty-five years on, as well being Freelance Health Editor for Bupa, Victoria contributes to various consumer and pharmacy magazines on a monthly basis. She is the author of a book on children’s allergies and, over the years, has contributed to (and edited) other health and science books for adults and children.
Victoria has recently updated the bestselling baby health book Your Baby: Week by Week by Dr Caroline Fertleman & Simone Cave for Ebury/Vermilion (Penguin Random House UK). She is represented for non-fiction (health) by the Barbara Levy Literary Agency.
In her spare time, Victoria runs a successful books website called Off-the-Shelf Books and can often be found tweeting her book love (@VictoriGoldma2). She is also writing crime fiction, still intending to fulfil her childhood dream. She is married with two teenage sons and loves relaxing at the end of a busy day by diving into a good book.
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