Children’s Books of the Month – March 2017

‘Stay Where You Are Then Leave’ by John Boyne

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Having read ‘The Boy in Striped Pyjamas’, I was excited to hear that John Boyne had published another book exploring life in the war. This book follows the life of a young boy called Alfie, whose life changes after the start of the First World War. It gives children an insight into the life of children’s whose Father’s enlisted to fight in the war and how their family life is impacted. The story has a powerful ending emphasising the importance of family whilst touching on some of the darker effects of war. Much like the ‘Boy in Striped Pyjamas’, I was very moved by the book and became very invested in Alfie and his story. This book is perfect to accompany a Key Stage 2 unit on the First World War and on a personal level I feel it is a must read!

Age: 9+

Teacher Note: Lesson ideas available on ‘Power of Reading’

 

‘Stormbreaker’ by Anthony Horowitz

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Who doesn’t love a book about a spy? Even better for children, a teenage spy! I’ve read the Alex Rider series a couple of times now (yes, there are 10 books to get children hooked!) and I’ve taught this book in Key Stage 2 twice. Both times the children have absolutely loved it with many of them going on to read the rest of the series. Fourteen year old Alex Rider’s life is turned upside down when finds out his Uncle wasn’t really who he said he was. Anthony Horowitz provides readers with twists in every chapter leaving you wanting more. The introduction of several mysterious characters further gives questions that need answering. And with a new book in the Alex Rider series due October/November time, what better time to get them started with a series that will leave them wanting more?

The book is also available in the form of a graphic novel.

Age: 9+

Teacher Note: Lesson ideas available on the ‘Power of Reading’

‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World’ by Kate Pankhurst

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I found this book by chance on a trip to Waterstones last month and as soon as I saw it I knew that I just had to purchase a copy. This is a non-fiction picture book for children introducing SOME of the world’s greatest and most inspirational women including Amelia Earheart, Emmeline Pankhurst and Rosa Parks. What I particularly liked about this book was how accessible it was for the children and how the information is presented in a colourful eye-catching way immediately drawing in the children’s attention. I feel there are far too many ‘children’s’ books out there at the moment that present information in blocks of texts with the occasional photo or illustration. This book breaks up the text into small chunks or facts making it more accessible for children who find reading a little more challenging.

But, most importantly this gives children access to great women who are often missed out in the National Curriculum. We embedded it into our unit on adventurers and after only one session the children wanted to read more. I believe it’s further encouraging for both boys and girls to believe that anything is possible.

Age: 7+ (Younger children may need assistance with some vocabulary).

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