Wednesday reads and exciting Conference news!

Half term is done and dusted which means we’re now debating when we can start counting down to Christmas (which is in 7 weeks and 1 day, not that we checked…). Lots of exciting things have happened since we last blogged- here are a few worth mentioning:

  • The nominations for the 2015 Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Prize were announced and feature lots of books we’ve enjoyed reading this year. The longlists aren’t confirmed until the new year (10th February!), but we’ve already begun speculating who we think might succeed next summer…!
  • The nominations for the 2015 Red House Children’s Book Award were revealed and unlike many prizes, the outcome is determined by the general public and if you’re a school, you can submit a collected vote here. The shortlists for each section are very varied and we like how there are prizes for authors writing for younger readers, older readers, and younger children. The winners will be announced in February, so get voting!
  • The always brilliant Seven Stories put together a list of what they consider to be 50 books which help celebrate the diversity in modern Britain. From early years to teenage, it really is a wonderful list designed to show how multiracial the UK really is.
  • 3rd-9th November is Dyslexia Awareness week and there’s plenty of useful information on the Dyslexia Action website. We also really enjoyed this great piece in The Guardian written by acclaimed author and Carnegie Medal winner Sally Gardner about her own struggles with dyslexia . Speaking of Sally, we have some exciting news to share… 

After the success of our Conference in March this year, we’ve another planned for 2015 and we’re very proud of what our team have put together. Titled Cracking the Code, our Detective themed conference will be taking place on Monday 2nd March at the Green Britain Centre in Swaffham. Aimed at KS2 Teachers and TAs, we hope the day will assist in inspiring Reading for Pleasure across the curriculum and we’re especially pleased to announce that we will be hosting sessions from the following brilliant authors:

  • Sally Gardner, Carnegie winner and author of the Wings & Co series
  • Andrew Cope, motivational speaker and writer of the popular Spy Dogs, Spy Cats, and Spy Pups series
  • HL Dennis, author of Secret Breakers
  • Kate Pankhurst, illustrator and author of the new Mariella Mysteries series.

That’s not all- we’ll also have workshops from the Green Britain Centre themselves, as well as Forensic workshops by Pulse CSI and an Archaeology session from the Museum Service. Even though it is a few months away yet, we’re very excited and hope that you will be too- and if that’s the case, why not come along? The whole day is priced at 2 SLS tokens; For more information , see our flyer and to book a place, contact our office directly.

Phew! Got time for a few book recommendations? Here’s What we’re reading (this) Wednesday:

Apryl: I’ve been reading lots of grown-up crime thrillers recently instead of the pile of SLS-friendly books I’ve been meaning to focus on, but not to worry- two wonderful picture books fell into my lap this week whilst cataloguing! The first is The Zebra Who Ran Too Fast by Jenni Desmond, – the illustrations in this are amazing (can’t tell who I love more, the elephant or the zebra) and the accompanying story is lovely too, a simple tale of friendship. The second is The Best Book in the World by Alexander Rilla, another striking title from publisher Flying Eye Books. I found the retro style and minimal colour of this to be particularly appealing- definitely worth a look if you’re after something that reaffirms what a journey reading can be!

Gail: Close to the Wind by John Walter; a wonderful story which stays with you after you’ve finish reading. Simply written but very emotional with lots to discuss- war, refugees, betrayal, moral dilemmas. I can only say that it’s about a child who escapes a war-torn country (we don’t know which war or which country)- to add anymore would spoil the story!

Harriet: It seemed just right to be reading Shiverton Hall by Emerald Fennell over Hallowe’en.  I was actually reading the second in the series, but it didn’t matter that I’d not read the first.  It is very scary and in places a strong stomach is required, but its Gothic atmosphere and boarding school setting will appeal to Harry Potter fans.  It includes whole chapters which are complete ghost stories set in the past, but which are all relevant to the plot and which help build up the tension.  The ending is very ambivalent and leaves the reader wondering what can possibly happen next.  Read the next if you dare…I would recommend this to – brave – top KS2 and KS3 readers:

Kirsten: I am working my way through the wonderful selection of FREE books that Booktrust send to each school FREE every year… this year I am reading the books sent to Secondary Schools – the FREE books include John Townsend’s Mad Bad and Just Plain Dangerous World War II information book – guaranteed to interest most boys I know in history… Pig and The Talking Poo (don’t worry – it’s a plastic poo – and a funny yet touching book for less able readers) by Barbara Catchpole and John Boyne’s (author of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas) The Terrible Thing That Happened To Barnaby Brocket…. imaginative and funny story about a floating boy… did your school register and get their FREE books yet? If not – don’t miss out next year.. did I say they were FREE! Follow the SLS twitter feed – we always remind schools about it!

Mandy: The Boy who Climbed into the Moon by David Almond. This beautifully written novella is enhanced by Polly Dunbar’s irresistible illustrations. It’s perfect for extending the imagination and even philosophy. Paul doesn’t like school – he has been told he has no imagination. One day he wanders off through the block of flats he lives in and meets various neighbours. He climbs to the top of the block, then up a ladder and into the moon, which he thinks is a big hole in the sky. Try this with G&T Y4 , or Y5.

More of our Wednesday reads can be found here.


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