We’re an office full of readers, so we firmly support anything that encourages reading for pleasure at any age, and BookTrust’s Time To Read initiative does just that. Research shows that reading for fun, particularly families reading together, encourages children to do better in school across all subjects- even maths!
In November and December, BookTrust are running a series of events across the country designed to offer reading for pleasure advice, guidance and support to teachers and school librarians. Best of all, the events are FREE to attend.
There are two sessions taking place in Norwich next month; one for KS2 (Tuesday 15th November), and another aimed at KS3 (Wednesday 16th November). Tickets are limited so act fast to secure you or your staff a place. You don’t want to miss out; it’s a great excuse to network and hear from expert guest speakers, so why not take advantage of this brilliant opportunity- we’re already looking forward to attending and supporting both events!
Another exciting event we’d like to bring to your attention is the Story Sharing INSET course we’re hosting, led by Seven Stories (if you’re unfamiliar with their work, visit their website here). Taking place on 30th November, the twilight session is for those wishing to share stories with children aged 2½ to 11. For more details or to book a place, visit the Educator Solutions website here, or get in touch with us directly. You’ll find a list of the other courses we’re holding this Autumn on this page– as you can see, we’re very busy!
However, we’re not too busy to blog- this is our third post this week! We shared the shortlist for this year’s SLA Information Book Award here, plus we asked our team to share some of their favourite poems for yesterday’s National Poetry Day (read their choices here). Plus- Friday Reads below! We haven’t been this prolific in ages; maybe we’re fueled by all the biscuit-y snacks currently in our office…
Apryl: The Doughnut of Doom by Elys Dolan
As someone who had coffee and a wonderful fika bun for breakfast, my love of pastries runs deep and this new book by the excellent Elys Dolan appealed to me as soon as I saw it. Over in Food Town, Nancy McNutty is a trainee reporter (and peanut butter sandwich) who convinces her boss, Big Cheese, to let her see what’s going on at Lemon Labs. She’s received some inside information (from her sauce, Marvin) about their most recent experiments and all is not what it seems…
Only upper case letters can convey how much I enjoyed this book- IT’S SO MUCH FUN! It’s so clever with its food-related puns; I read it a couple of times just to take in all the details packed into every page. A definite contender for the best picturebook I’ve seen this year!
(Nosy Crow, £11.99 hardback, ISBN 9780857637475, find it at a Norfolk Library)
Gail: The Castle of Inside Out by David Henry Wilson, illustrated by Chris Riddell
This is a multi-layered novel which may remind you at first of Alice in Wonderland or Animal Farm. The heroine, Lorina, is led by a black rabbit to a castle whose animal inhabitants treat the poor green people outside as slaves.
The story is much more than a magical adventure; I think it’s actually a political allegory and would be great for discussions on different types of society/leadership and about prejudice and greed. It’s got a very light touch, though, with lots of clever puns on animals’ names (e.g. the croaky custoadian and evil superviper in charge of the furnace, and the jail birds flying around inside the prison). Pupils aged 9+ would enjoy the tale itself but there’s also plenty for perhaps the more able reader to spot.
(Alma Books, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781846883965)
Harriet: Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph
A well covered theme, but in this stylish brightly jolly version it feels fresh and funny.
Odd Dog wants desperately to fit in, but eventually after many travels discovers it’s fine to be different.
(HarperCollins, £12.99 hardback, ISBN 9780007594153)
Zoë: Groosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz
David is expelled from school, much to the displeasure of his parents. His father grumbles that there is no modern school able to lick David into shape or maintain old-fashioned discipline. Immediately after making this statement, a letter arrives – the contents astound Mr Eliot.
Subsequently David finds himself on a journey bound for Groosham Grange, on an island off the North Norfolk coast, meeting Jill and Jeffery on their way there too. On arrival, they discover Groosham Grange is unlike any school they have ever been to.
This is a rather strange boarding school story that includes plenty of intrigue and weird characters. Nevertheless it is enjoyable as the reader is presented with the mystery David and his friends need to solve. Will you unravel the clues before all is revealed by David?
(Walker Books, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781406361681, find it at a Norfolk Library)
You can find our previous Friday Reads here.