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David Walliams – Engaging the nation
While we offer a huge range of classic and brand new engaging texts for all ages at our school, David Walliams is our long time and current king at school in engaging reluctant readers. Many parents express concern that there are other books out there that they would like their children to read that are perhaps ‘better written’ or ‘will help them lean more’ and of that there is no doubt but as country of screen addicts and of falling literacy engagement, we owe David Walliams a lot. Children who have always felt they disliked reading, or are not good at it have been captivated and their attitudes transformed by his witty and engaging tales. He writes for all children and in his stories are elements that all children, from all corners of the country can relate to. Yes they may only read his books for a while, and yes that can be frustrating but they will move on, better, more confident and engaged readers because of it I can assure you. The added bonus is that his stories introduce a really wide range of new vocabulary and lessons about childhood, friendship, family and what it means to be a decent person.”
“Our new copies of the Best Story shortlisted books for the Blue Peter Book Awards arrived at school today. Needless to say they have already left our office!”
The house with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson 9+
My house has chicken legs. Two or three times a year, without warning, it stands up in the middle of the night and walks away from where we’ve been living. It might walk a hundred miles or it might walk a thousand, but where it lands is always the same.
Marinka dreams of a normal life, she dreams of standing still, but her house has chicken legs and a will of its own and moves on without warning.
For governing Marinka’s world is the powerful and feared Baba Yaga. To some she is a witch, to others the Goddess of Death who guides spirits between this world and the next and she is also Marinka’s grandmother.
Marinka longs to change her destiny and sets out to break free from her grandmother’s footsteps, but her house has other ideas…
The Boy At the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf 9+
There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it.
He’s nine years old (just like me), but he’s very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn’t like sweets – not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!
But then I learned the truth: Ahmet really isn’t very strange at all. He’s a refugee who’s run away from a War. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to help.
That’s where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we’ve come up with a plan.
The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher 10+
The Clockwork Crow is a mysterious gothic Christmas tale set in a frost-bound Victorian country mansion. When orphaned Seren Rees is given a mysterious package by a strange and frightened man on her way to her new home, she reluctantly takes it with her. But what is in the parcel? Who are the Family who must not be spoken of, and can the Crow help Seren find Tom, before the owner of the parcel finds her?
“This evening, when we read together, my middle 👧🏼 loved this wonderful Amelia Earhart story from the wonderful Little People, Big Dreams range. She told me that she loved ‘true stories’ because they helped her learn about the world. She is begging me for some more ‘true stories’ now!”
Part of the bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, Amelia Earhart tells the inspiring story of the great American aviator. 6+
“A beautiful text that can help children to understand the reality of war and why we remember.”
An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo 10+
1940. Barney and his mother, their home destroyed by bombing, are travelling to the country when their train is forced to shelter in a tunnel from attacking German planes. There, in the darkness, a stranger on the train begins to tell them a story. A story about Billy Byron, the most decorated soldier of WW1, who once had the chance to end the war before it even began, and how he tried to fix his mistake. But sometimes the right thing is hard to see and even harder to live with…
“The Christmas reading has already started in our house…”
The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig 8+
When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to ask – Father Christmas. But the magic she wants to believe in is starting to fade, and Father Christmas has more than impossible wishes to worry about. Upset elves, reindeer dropping out of the sky, angry trolls and the chance that Christmas might be cancelled.
But Amelia isn’t just any ordinary girl. And – as Father Christmas is going to find out – if Christmas is going to be saved, he might not be able to do it alone . . .
“2 books read in a week by 8 year old O. Asking for another now…”
Otterline Goes to School by Chris Riddle 7+
Meet Ottoline and her hairy, helpful friend Mr Munroe. Ottoline is off to the Alice B. Smith School for the Differently Gifted, but she is rather worried that she doesn’t have a special gift. Mr Munroe is more worried about the ghost who is said to haunt the school halls at night. Does Ottoline discover her hidden talent and can they expose the spook?
There’s a Werewolf in my tent by Pamela Butchart 7+
Izzy and her friends are SO EXCITED about their school trip. They’re going camping and there’ll be marshmallows and no washing and everything. But then WEIRD things start happening! There are howling sounds at night, and some sausages have gone missing, and it’s nearly a full moon…But it’s when they see their new teacher’s hairy legs that they KNOW! There’s a werewolf on the school trip and they’re all DOOMED!