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Joy Court - Editorial Expert

About Joy Court

Joy Court is Reviews Editor for The School Librarian journal and Co-founder of All Around Reading.

Previously she managed the Schools Library Service in Coventry where she established the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards and the Literally Coventry Book Festival, but now just concentrates on books and libraries as a freelance consultant.  She has chaired and spoken on panels at festivals and conferences around the UK. She is also a Trustee and member of the National Council of the United Kingdom Literacy Association where she sits on the selection panel for the UKLA Book Awards and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of The English Association.

Author of Read to Succeed: strategies to engage children and young people in reading for pleasure (2011) and Reading By Right: successful strategies to ensure every child can read to succeed (2017) FACET and author of several Riveting Reads annotated booklists for the School Library Association, most recently, with Daniel Hahn, Riveting Reads- a world of books in translation (2017).

Latest Reviews By Joy Court

Children’s mental health and wellbeing are a high priority for all schools and parents. This wonderfully reassuring book is from the award-winning Rachel Bright, teamed with illustrator Chris Chatterton who has created the most adorable little dinosaur: The Worrysaurus. Parents will immediately recognise the behaviour of a natural worrier - the child that likes to plan ahead and to have thought of everything before setting out to enjoy a lovely picnic. But it is not long before the overthinking gets out of control and a suggestion from a similarly nervous lizard feeds his anxieties just as children can ... View Full Review
Edited by best-selling author Marissa Meyer, these are ten stories which each take on a familiar trope of romantic fiction: The secret admirer, the fake relationship, the matchmaker etc and turns them on their head in such a way as to keep the reader guessing. What is also both refreshing and valuable is the diversity of the collection, which includes black, LGBT, white, Asian and Indian characters and a range of text formats including a graphic novel. Any reader should be able to find themselves within the pages of this collection and find a story that resonates with them and ... View Full Review
Another in the excellent Super Readable Rollercoaster series produced in collaboration with Barrington Stoke, this is the story of Judy, returning to a completely unfamiliar London after five years of evacuation in rural Somerset. Taking a refreshingly different angle on an evacuee’s story, this deals frankly and authentically with the emotional difficulties that Judy faces. The years between nine and fourteen see a huge amount of physical and psychological development and there is an inevitable gulf in the relationship between her and her mother. Her mother is dealing with her own trauma after being bombed out of their ... View Full Review
From its attention-grabbing title to its lively, inclusive illustrations, this is a book which will instantly attract young readers to pick it up and, once opened, they will be completely engaged by this first-rate explanation of genetics. The concept of every individual thing having its own recipe is one that is firmly anchored in what young children can understand from their own lived experience and the facts are quite literally mind-boggling and certainly added to my own knowledge. It had (foolishly) never really occurred to me that we would have genetic links to plants or that a grain of rice ... View Full Review
Sam Copeland is the absolute master of genuinely funny stories (Pussy Lanimous, Greta’s cat, has to be one of my favourite names ever) with a real emotional heart and the story of Greta may just be his best yet. After a near death road accident Greta is left terrified of the outside world and discovering that she is able to see the three ghosts inhabiting her home, makes indoors nearly as bad. She also has self-obsessed and not very empathetic parents threatening to put her beloved grandma, who lives up in the attic of Woebegone Hall, in a ... View Full Review
This is the second collaboration between Rosen and Starling, following the brilliant I Am Angry. Both take a poem from the award winning A Great Big Cuddle to give it new life as a picturebook and each poem really lends itself to a longer format with more opportunity for an illustrator to tell the story behind the poem and breathe life into the narrator. The bold colours and hugely expressive characters really grab the young reader’s attention, and the words are, of course, a joy to read-aloud. In an introduction the author tells us that when he is ... View Full Review
This impactful tale is beautifully crafted from a variety of viewpoints, written in a mixture of prose, narrative verse and journal entries, woven together with evocative illustrations by Natalie Sirett. While it is Kai’s story and his fall into darkness that is at the heart of the story, we also hear the voices of Orla, from the high-rise flats like Kai, and Zak from the big houses across the other side of the wilderness. This is the place where they spent most of their out of school time growing up and where they discovered and restored the bothy, ... View Full Review
This thrilling debut is infused with the history, language and mythology of West Africa. Set in the mid 1400’s when the Portuguese first began abducting and then buying West Africans, it pursues an interesting perspective on the terrible human cost of the Slave Trade. The author describes in a note how she came across many stories featuring Yemoja, a Yoruba deity with the tail of a fish. Stories of giving comfort to Africans on the ships, or wrecking slave vessels or escorting home the souls of those who died and were discarded in the sea. From this and her ... View Full Review
Combining the talents of a Carnegie medal winning author and a thrice winning Greenaway medal winning illustrator, this highly anticipated book was always going to be very special indeed and with its lavish production it proves to have exceeded expectations. Every single page is illustrated, most frequently in full colour, from dramatic full-page scenes to delicate vignettes breathing life into the characters of legend. In his introduction the author talks about the hundreds and hundreds of stories and poems spread across the western world that feature King Arthur and makes the point that the longevity of their appeal is down ... View Full Review
This impactful tale is beautifully crafted from a variety of viewpoints, written in a mixture of prose, narrative verse and journal entries, woven together with evocative illustrations by Natalie Sirett. While it is Kai’s story and his fall into darkness that is at the heart of the story, we also hear the voices of Orla, from the high-rise flats like Kai, and Zak from the big houses across the other side of the wilderness. This is the place where they spent most of their out of school time growing up and where they discovered and restored the bothy, ... View Full Review
Following in the witty footsteps of Penguin Problems and Giraffe Problems, this masterful picturebook partnership have now produced stream of consciousness grumbles from a cat, which will seem all too familiar to any family owned by a cat. This unabashed malcontent complains about a sunbeam moving, about the hoover monster, about another cat daring to sit in their spot, about the food service (after persistent yowling can you believe they only produce DRY food? ) and of course the boredom (when not playing with tinfoil balls, sniffing shoes, eating plants and destroying sofas) The not-getting-outside might have pandemic resonance for small ... View Full Review
Originally published in France in 2009, this first publication in England could not be timelier as world leaders meet at COP26 and the crisis presciently foreseen in 2009 is all too visibly present. Set in a dystopian future where society is run by and for industrial giants, people live in overcrowded and polluted cities stacked vertically miles into the sky. Narrated by a lonely fourteen-year-old boy, remotely parented by his high-flying executive mother, who meets the mysterious Celeste on her first and last day at his school. Despite vowing never to fall in love, he becomes obsessed by her and tracks her ... View Full Review
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