The third meeting of our Norwich KS2 Reading 4 Pleasure group took place at the end of last month, with attendees this time descending on Saxlingham Nethergate who’d volunteered to host. As usual we had a wonderful time discussing the books that had been loaned to each school for the term, in particular elaborating upon what they found worked and didn’t work with the children in their classes.
- Really well liked by the children, who particularly liked that each book in the series is a different colour- made it easy for them to recognise which ones they’d read!
- Perfect for Years 3 & 4- a quick read for both boys and girls
Corpse Talk (Series 1) by Adam Murphy
- Well-received and well-loved by those who read it.
- All agreed it was a very original concept
- Provided lots of interesting details, particularly about historical figures that children might not know about. On several occasions, children were inspired to go and read more about the individuals they’d read about!
- A good introduction to the comic/graphic novel form; many children hadn’t encountered this style before and though apprehensive, seemed to click with it after a while when shown how to navigate (i.e. how to follow both the image and text!).
- Language seems quite sophisticated- perhaps best for top end KS2?
Shakespeare Retold series by Martin Waddell
- The class at Saxlingham had recently studied a Shakespeare text (and been to a Shakespeare festival!) so several of the children did pick up and read the book. They found some of the language quite difficult, even in this simplified version- perhaps best off for better Year 4s.
- Moorlands selected the version of Macbeth as their class story and really enjoyed it- even reading some other Shakespeare plays!
- Everyone agreed that these (and other) simplified versions are a great introduction to Shakespeare and the themes of his work, and provided a starting point for great discussions about play styles.
The Number 1 Car Spotter by Atinuke
- Another book which was well-received by children, many of who went on to read several of the other books in this series by Atinuke.
- Those who read it really liked how funny it was, and that it was set in a contrasting culture (Africa).
Blackberry Blue by Jamila Gavin
- A slow read which was not taken up by many pupils- perhaps too high level?
- The book comprises of a nice variety of heroes and heroines, and the tales are very original- not predictable like other fairy tales.
- It was suggested that the stories might work well when read aloud.
The Promise by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin
- Children enjoyed the story but didn’t pick up on the message- perhaps too subtle for them?
- The illustration style was considered to be very interesting and unlike many other books, but this perhaps made it hard for the children to follow.
Knightley and Son by Rohan Gavin
- A definite success for boy readers, and very popular with both children and staff!
- All those who read it were very keen for the sequel.
As well as the books read this term, there was also animated discussion on a variety of book-related topics including Malorie Blackman’s stint as Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell’s succession to the post (in particular, what his role will do for the importance of illustration) and the recent Carnegie and Kate Greenaway winners, Tanya Landman who won for Buffalo Soldier, and William Grill who won with his book Shackleton’s Journey. The books for Autumn term have been allocated and we’re excited for another great meeting of book discussion!