Happy New Year!

…And just like that, we’re back! New year, new academic term, assorted project boxes (and staff!) leaving our office…!

Before Christmas we said goodbye to our manager, Kirsten and this week we had a cakey send-off for one of our Team Librarians, Gail. We’ll miss them both and we’re still not sure if we like having extra desks though we’re sure they’ll be covered in books sometime soon. You can read a goodbye from each of them in the latest issue of our Book Bites newsletter here but in the mean time we’d like to wish them the best as they venture to pastures new. Our team will remain small for a while but we’ll be sure to introduce new staff once they’re appointed- stay tuned!

Our first Friday Reads of 2017, are below; let us know if you read anything exciting over the festive break- we’re always on the lookout for new reading material!

Apryl: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

An interesting story about three friends growing up in the American South, each struggling with how their geographical location and family units can define who they are. The narrative switches between the protagonists, Dill, Travis, and Lydia, and by the end their voices felt incredibly real and recognisable to me as teenagers struggling with asserting their identities as they negotiate their way through high school. while considering what may await them beyond this. Awash with enough pop-culture references to keep me satisfied (there’s a Ryan Adams reference within the first chapter), this was one of the better YA novels I’ve picked up of late.

(Anderson Press, £7.99 paperback, ISBN 9781783443819, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Gail: How Cities Work by James Gulliver Hancock

citiesA new book in the Lonely Planet Kids series, this large hardback would be really useful for Settlements projects.

Full of facts, detailed pictures, flaps to lift and pages to open out. Slight USA bias but still an engaging book which would suit KS2 children to pore over together.

(Lonely Planet, £12.99 hardback, ISBN 9781786570215)

Harriet: The Alphabet from Space, by Adam Voiland

The Alphabet from Space, by Adam Voiland is just that: an alphabet of letters shaped by natural and man-made phenomena as seen and photographed from space! This is no baby alphabet book, as it includes geographical terms like ‘mammatus clouds’ and ‘katabatic winds’, so it is more a book for the general reader to marvel and wonder at. It includes a photo of the Thames winding through London at night time, taken by Tim Peake. The photos would look even more impressive in a bigger format.

(Quercus, £9.99 hardback, ISBN 9781786481276)

Zoë: The Great Fire- A City in Flames by Ann Turnbull

This story is the second instalment of Sam’s adventures during the 1660s. It can be read as a stand-alone story without prior knowledge of the first book as within the first chapter, the reader is given a brief overview of what came before.

There is plenty of excitement and interest as the book unfolds. The monochrome illustrations support the story well, including some of the inference and deduction elements. It is a book that could be a class read, otherwise it would suit a free reader though some support may be required to pronounce various names of people and places.

Life for Sam is not easy as a servant, especially as he and the master’s son, André Giraud, dislike each other intensely. However, when the boys find themselves trapped in the city as buildings blaze around them, their hostility must take second place to getting home safely.

(A&C Blacks, £4.99 paperback, ISBN  9781408186862)

Our archive of Friday Reads can be found just here.

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