Plan ahead: Children’s Book Week 2016

Organised by Book Trust, Children’s Book Week encourages schools, libraries, parents and children to celebrate books and reading for pleasure in a variety of ways. This year it runs between 31st October- 4th November and as this is the first week back after half term for most Norfolk schools, why not get ahead with your planning?

Book Trust’s annual Great Books Guide brings together 60 books published within the last year which they feel to be particularly brilliant at engaging even the most reluctant readers. There are three lists for varying ages, each with reviews, and you can find it on their website here. You’ll also find guides going back to 2006, so there’s plenty for you to choose from!

There’s also a list of suggested activities for both schools and libraries here, ranging from creating a book nook, organising a dress-up day, or bringing a text to life by acting it out. While we’re on the topic of fabulous dramatics, why not check out this brilliant book trailer put together by pupils in Moorlands Primary’s Deer Class- it’s a perfect example of how imaginative you can be when celebrating books!

It’s definitely worth following @BookTrust on Twitter, and keeping an eye on the #ChildrensBookWeek for a glimpse into what other people have in store for their celebrations- we’re excited to track the festivities!

This week’s Friday Reads are below;

Gail: Oi Dog! by Kes & Claire Gray, with illustrations by Jim Field

oi-dogThe sequel to Kes Gray’s very successful Oi Frog!, this story is full of funny rhymes and would be great to read aloud.

Children will really laugh at the ideas and the illustrations have amusing details and the characters wonderful expressions. The book would also be good for using in English lessons and finding other rhyming words.


(Hachette Children’s, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781444919592, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Harriet: How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss

clareFor upper KS3/KS4 pupils, and more likely to be picked up by girls, this is a moving, at times very funny inter-generational story of two teenage girls. Linked by family and circumstances, one of the stories is told through the voice of Hattie, a contemporary sixth-former who discovers she is pregnant, and the other in flashbacks by an elderly relation who is suffering the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Events and conversations with Hattie remind Gloria of similar emotions and events in her own past, and the two take a road trip to recapture those traumatic times before Gloria loses her identity through illness. The twists and turns of the past events in particular are shocking and vivid, and Hattie is an appealing character we root for and wonder what her final decision will be regarding the pregnancy.

(Simon & Schuster, £7.99 paperback, ISBN 9781471120312, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Zoë: The Power of Three by H. L. Dennis

helenThis is the thrilling first story in the Secret Breakers series. As a huge fan of codes, code-breaking and puzzles (albeit not always successful) this story was exhilarating!

Brodie, Tusia and Hunter meet when, following the receipt of a set of intriguing instructions sent to each of them, they have to work out how to reach their destination. The youngsters are then presented with a puzzle: the chance to unravel a secret code that many before them have failed to break. However someone is out to stop them…

Like the author, I remember the Royal Pavilion being covered in scaffold and tarpaulin whenever we visited Brighton in my childhood. It’s always pleasing to read about somewhere you know or want to visit, such as Bletchley. With plenty of cliff-hangers, this is an ideal read aloud story. You will not be disappointed!

(Hachette Children’s, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780340999615)

Our archive of past recommendations can be found here.


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