High School Newsletter and our Team Reads

Attention high schools (and anyone else with a spare 5 minutes)! We published the latest edition of our HighLights newsletter this week and the May issue is now online for all to read here. It’s quite lengthy this month but we just had SO MUCH that we wanted to share, including some brief reviews of teen reads recently enjoyed by some of our team.

…And while we’re on the subject of reads we’ve been reading, here’s this fortnight’s edition of What we’re reading Wednesday!

Apryl:  I’m still very much in Carnegie mode as I press on with trying to read all of the titles before the announcement day on June 23rd! Last week I finished Kevin Brooks’ The Bunker Diary which, while I found compelling, thought lacked any pay-off and the ending was a frustrating disappointment for me. Onto a more positive note (and my fourth title from the shortlist!), I am really enjoying Katherine Rundell’s Rooftoppers; despite it’s recent award success, reading it had not been a priority as it didn’t seem like the type of story I would normally enjoy- but I’ve been proved wrong and for once I should have believed the hype!

Caroline: I’ve just started another from the Carnegie list and one loved by our office- All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry.

Gail: I’ve been reading Boy in Tights by Kate Scott, the first title in the new series ‘Spies in Disguise’. Fast paced and funny; would be great to read aloud to a lower KS2 class.

Harriet: Woebegone Twins by Christopher William Hill. This is the second in the Tales From Schwartzgarten series (the first, Osbert the Avenger is extremely gruesome but it’s all treated in a black humorous way – let’s hope the young audience it’s intended for realise this!).  The Gothic mid-European world is extremely appealing and romantic, and the goings-on very dark, reminiscent of a Snicket story.  I found the pace a bit uneven, with a few earlier chapters a trifle slow, while the end happened so quickly I’m not sure I’ve tied up all the threads in my mind, but as it all ended happily I won’t worry unduly.  There are references to villains from other classic novels (Turkish Delight anyone?), and readers might like to go on to Narnia or 101 Dalmations, or indeed Snicket or Grimm’s fairy tales, and it would make a great (if scary – not sure I would be brave enough to watch) film.  For a short novel great to read aloud with a similar atmosphere, try Philip Pullman’s classic Clockwork.

Mandy: Another Carnegie title for me- Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead, which I have to say I am not enjoying as much as others in the office but I’m persevering!

Tony: Soldier Bear by Bibi Dumon Tak, based on the story of Wojtek, a bear adopted by Polish soldiers in WW2. I remember reading about Wojtek when I was a child and I’ve enjoyed revisiting his story after all these years! 

You can read our previous selections here.


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