News overload (and some Friday Reads)

Just a few things we’d like to draw your attention to before we get to this week’s Friday Reads:

There are just 31 days until the winner of this year’s Carnegie and Kate Greenaway book awards are announced (on Monday 20th June!). We’ve mentioned before how great the CILIP CKG shadowing site is and if you still haven’t visited then we implore you to do so, especially as they have a brilliant selection of Author and Illustration videos in which nominees talk about their work, with a few of them even reading extracts from the books in the running for this year’s prize. To see what we’re talking about and to enter the same CKG video vortex we fell into, visit:

The shortlist for the CLPE Children’s Poetry Award was announced this week (details here) and includes some familiar names including Michael Rosen and Roger McGough. Sarah Crossan’s Once- a CKG shortlistee- is also on the list and our office has been particularly captivated by its poetic depiction of conjoined twins Grace and Tippi.

Also in poetry-related news, the Foyle Young Poet of the Year is currently taking submissions for poems written by young people aged 11-17; the deadline is 31st July and winners will be announced on National Poetry Day in October. For more details visit

The shortlist for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2016 (here) brings together six of the best science books aimed at under 14s and it’s a real mix of subjects. It’s brilliant to have an award specifically celebrating the work of authors and illustrators who create engaging non-fiction, and particularly one where winner will be decided by young people themselves!

We published the second edition of our DeLights newsletter online this week, which you can read here; in it you’ll find the latest news about our just-for-schools eBook platform including news, reviews and updates about what’s available. If you would like to subscribe to this (or any of our newsletters), why not send us an email?

Finally: don’t forget you can volunteer to support Norfolk Libraries with the delivery of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, The Big Friendly Read. We wrote about it here last week, but there’s also some more information on the Norfolk Library and Information Service website here. It’s a brilliant opportunity for 13-25 year olds engage with their local community and to encourage children and young people to keep up their reading over the summer.

Below are this week’s Friday Reads!

Apryl: Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

AlphabetBecause my progress through the Carnegie shortlist has slowed down considerably (I only have myself to blame), I’ve instead turned my attention to the Kate Greenaway shortlist and this, a mammoth collection of 26 stories, one for each letter of the alphabet. I absolutely adore Oliver Jeffers so for me this book is absolute heaven and an excuse to spend time immersing myself in his wonderful illustrations; my favourites include ‘Cup in the Cupboard’, ‘The Lumberjack’s Light’ and ‘The Terrible Typewriter’, but the full A-Z as a whole would make for a great read-aloud.

(HarperCollins, £20 hardback, ISBN 9780007514274)

Gail: All About Politics

politicsWith the EU referendum imminent and democracy and British values on the curriculum, this book (with a foreward by Andrew Marr) should prove useful. It’s attractively presented and has a variety of chapters exploring questions and ideas such as ‘Do we need someone in charge?’ ‘The Right to Vote’ ‘Build your own Government’ and ‘I’ve got the Power!’. Suitable for Year 5-9.

(Dorling Kindersley, £8.99 paperback, ISBN 9780241243633)


Harriet: Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook by Louie Stowell, illustrated by Roger Simo

astronautChapter one is headed “So you want to be an astronaut?” Nooo, please, I hate flying in an aeroplane, I don’t even like jumping off a wall, so why would I want to be an astronaut?? But hang on, this little book is so interesting, unsensational and clearly laid out I’m hooked and almost signing up to get up into space with Tim Peake – who has written the foreword. Shortlisted for the SLA’s Information Book Award 2016 (and the Royal Society’s prize mentioned above!), this unpretentious title written in association with the UK Space Agency is full of fascinating information, and is aimed perfectly at KS2 readers.

(Usborne, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781409590743, find it here on the NLIS catalogue)

Zoë: Katy Parker and the House that Cried by Margaret Mulligan

katy parkerI really enjoyed this story about Katy and her brother travelling back in time to World War II.

Katy finds herself waking with mysterious injuries and is experiencing repetitive dreams. Her best friend, Lizzie, tries to help her work out what they mean. Meanwhile their class is set a project by the History teacher, about the Home Front and both girls consider ways to complete it. In their town is an abandoned house, said to be haunted, along with an elderly reclusive neighbour who’s called a witch. Patrick, Katy’s younger brother, goads the girls into interviewing the elderly woman as he is sure she will know all about the abandoned house.

Somehow the interviews, Katy’s dreams and mysterious injuries plus the reclusive woman are all tied up with the abandoned house. How do Katy and Patrick discover the connections?

(Black, £5.99 paperback, ISBN 9781472908780)

You can find the rest of our Friday Rad recommendations here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s