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A quarter of walk-in centres have closed

The Business World: Hi-tech can level the playing field for women

the business world

Captain Moonlight: These are a few of my unfavourite things

HO! YO! MILLENNIUM! No, come on, you must join in! It's that time of the year. And, seeing as this is a very special year having that time, your Captain thought he would treat you to a bumper dose of traditional Moonlight entertainment. Yes, it's that all-time old favourite, the Captain's big list of people, phrases and general phenomena of which he has had far, far too much, thank you very much! Conventionally, this would take the form of 99 people, etc, we don't want to see in 00. But, being where we are, this list will be the 99 Etc of the last 1,000 years! Equally conventionally with these list thingies, you will notice that most of the 99 Etc objected to have happened in the last few weeks or so. Ready? Off we go! The 99 Etc That The Captain Hopes Never To Hear Of Again On The Grounds Of Purely Personal Choler are:

Profile Harry Potter: The boy who brought back the magic

The unlikeliest of literary heroes is bespectacled and gawky, yet he has hooked children again on the wonder of reading.

The force of fiction takes on pester power

IT WAS not the easiest of interviews. We were at the bar of the Rainforest Cafe in London, surrounded by plastic foliage, fake gorillas and excited children, and I was speaking to a man from the Daily Mail about the Smarties Prize for children's fiction, for which I was one of five adult judges.

Leading Article: Bewitched

HARRY POTTER is a hero for Everyman. Teachers, children and parents alike have melted before the all-conquering power of the hero of Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches, a source of addictive delight for millions, full of reassurance and rebellion in equal measure. JK Rowling has created a fictional character who seems certain to flourish well into the 21st century.

ENGLISH AROUND THE WORLD

AMERICAN

Paperback top 10

1 H Potter/Philosopher's Stone JK Rowling/Bloomsbury pounds 4.99

A week in Books: No HP? The sauce! So why did Harry lose?

"WHY ARE we bothering with this discussion?" said one of the Youth Libraries Group panel on an April morning as they met to select the shortlist for this year's Carnegie Medal for children's literature. "Here's the winner."

BOOKS: Win a whole year's reading

World Book Day was launched in 1995, and this year nearly 40 countries are taking part. In Britain, the events include signing sessions, writing competitions, discounts, extended bookshop opening hours, a World Book Day bus travelling around London, and 14 million pounds 1 vouchers for schoolchildren.

Children's Books: Bestsellers

J K Rowling continues to rule the playground: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has sold just over 300,000 copies since it was published two year's ago. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, published last summer, has sold just under 300,000. Neither show any signs of flagging popularity - these are the new classics enjoyed at bedtime by children and, perhaps more importantly for book sales, by adults too.

Books: Christmas dystopia

Parents, ghosts, the future, bullying and lemonade - exciting and challenging stories for more advanced readers

Books: Children at christmas - The lion, the witch and the website

Annuals used to be big at Christmas. Now, it's treasuries, anthologies and special selections. The idea is the same: buying made easy for godparents or grannies, but I don't remember the Bunty Annual being so hefty. Take The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis (Collins, pounds 29.99). It's a beast of a book, thick as the Yellow Pages, but fans will find this a fitting tribute to Lewis's 100th birthday. This is the first time all seven stories have been published together, the first time Pauline Baynes has reworked her original illustrations in colour. For a first read it is, perhaps, scary stuff. But for old hands, this is a real event.

Ted Hughes listed for top poetry prizes

A WEEK after the Poet Laureate's death, Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes has been shortlisted for two of the country's leading poetry prizes. Yesterday, Hughes's final work, which has already won the Forward Prize, was named as a contender for the Whitbread Poetry Award. The T S Eliot Prize had placed it on their shortlist a few days earlier.

Books: Missing the bus when a great poet leaves

A Week in Books: The dumbed-down BBC gets bookish again

Harry Potter goes to Hollywood

HARRY POTTER, the schoolboy wizard adored by 156,000 adults and children since the publication last summer of J K Rowling's book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, has been bought up by Hollywood in a "seven-figure" film deal.
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