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Are you fascinated to read about people and places? We have a collection of books about famous people, the jobs we do, the cities we live in and the world around us.
Touching on major moments in the story of the fight for LGBTQ+ rights including the Stonewall Uprising, the first Gay Pride Rally and the dazzling history of drag and the ballroom scene, We Are Your Children is a wide-ranging and inclusive account of a multifaceted movement, with detailed and characterful colour artwork. This book showcases figures from queer history like Harvey Milk, Julian Hows, Carla Toney, Crystal LaBeija, We Wha, Vincent Jones, Marsha P. Johnson, Alan Turing, Sylvia Rivera and many more. From the secret slang adopted by gay Londoners the 60s, to the decades of sit-ins and marches, there are countless fascinating stories to be told: stories of resistance, friendship, love, fear, division, unity and astonishing perseverance in the face of discrimination and oppression.
Travel back 400 years to visit rowdy theatres and royal palaces to understand what it was like to live in Shakespeare's Elizabethan England and the influence it had on his ground-breaking work. This book charts Shakespeare's phenomenal talent and peeks behind the curtain at his most famous plays, from tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet to comedies such as A Midsummer Night's Dream and Taming of the Shrew.
Interest Age 5-8 | A touching tale about friendship, family and finding joy in the darkest of times. Inspired by the childhood of French portrait artist Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun. High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all.
Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She piloted many record-breaking flights, became an author, advised engineers, taught college students, and defended women’s rights. And then, she disappeared on an attempted flight around the world. This her story.
This book was inspired by a teacher who used to play famous speeches to her pupils as she taught them to knit. This is not something I can envisage happening in any schools now – but the inspiration has led to this fascinating book – which has 16 famous speeches (or extracts from those speeches) laid out in such a way as to add huge value to the words of the speeches. Each chapter takes a different speech, explaining the story of who made the speech and why they made it. If the speech was incredibly long (and some were!) the main points are captured here. There are panels explaining the speaker’s message and also how they used the language and their language to emphasize their message. The large glossary at the back helps with any difficult words or concepts. Although the book is arranged in date order due to the clever way signposts are given at the end of each chapter a reader can follow a theme through the book. As an example – starting with the Gettysburg Address (Lincoln) a link to follow the legacy of slavery takes you to Obama’s speech 50 years on from the Selma Marches, then the black history signpost takes you to Mandela’s Statement from the dock and so on backwards and forwards across the whole book. What a genius way of organising a book that is probably better dipped into thematically than read cover to cover! André Ducci’s screen-printed style illustrations make the whole a colourful and inviting book to use. A fascinating book to look at historical themes – highly recommended for class and school libraries, and a useful resource for home learning.
January 2022 Book of the Month | What a charming, and wonderfully practical how-to book this is. A junior ballerina provides all sorts of advice and information to her peers, from how to style your hair in a bun (NB it’s quite hard if you’ve recently cut it yourself), to the first steps you’ll learn, to what your teacher means by straight legs. It’s no-nonsense stuff, second position is dismissed as ‘boring’, though fourth position gets the thumbs up, and she warns us not to treat the barre as monkey bars, unless you want to spend time in the thinking corner. We’re left in no doubt though how much this little girl loves ballet and her last bit of advice is perfect, ‘if you’re dancing and your heart feels like it’s flying, you will know for sure that you’re a real ballerina.’ The text is full of humour and character, as are Jenny Løvlie’s gorgeous illustrations, and together they also capture the grace of ballet. This is a book to entertain and inspire all young ballerinas, and to make their parents smile in recognition too.
Professor David Olugosa has created this very accessible Illustrated History based on his previously published, bestselling adult versions of Black and British (adult), as well as the Short Essential History (aimed at teens). It is the book he wished he had when he was at Primary school. This version shows us key events in British history that have involved Black Britons – starting with the Romans and working through all the periods of history since. It explores the fact that Black peoples have been integral to the history of this country, as well as the more shameful impacts of the trades in enslaved peoples and the slow progress of the Abolition movement. Olugosa fascinatingly points out that it wasn’t until around 1661 when a Barbados Slave Code was introduced that the distinction between enslaved peoples and the white people became a social issue – to quote “It was around this time that some English people started to think of themselves as part of a group called ‘white’.” The Stuarts have a lot to answer for! The book follows history through to the modern day with illustrations of famous contemporary Black Britons. Each period has several double page spreads as appropriate to the activity of the time. The pages are well illustrated with historical documents, key dates and artefacts as well as depictions of the people discussed. Information highlights and maps are used throughout the book to aid understanding and accessibility to the reader. There is a very useful glossary of some of the less usual terms used to help readers understand what they are reading. This is a wonderful package, well laid out, full of fascinating illustrations and will be a vital book in classrooms and libraries.
November 2021 Graphic Novel of the Month | Even young readers who haven’t heard of Dolly Parton can’t fail to be excited and inspired by her rags to riches story. In full colour, graphic novel style format, this describes her life from her early days, growing up in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, in a house with no electricity or running water, to her eventual world superstardom as a singer, film star and literacy campaigner. It gives a real sense of the struggles she had to face, and how she overcame them through talent, hard work and determination – never losing hope or good humour. Parton’s personality shines out as brightly as her costumes, the final pages describing her charity work, and her special ability to connect with people and help them make their dreams come true.
Relating the remarkable stories of 100 extraordinary women of colour, Maliha Abidi’s Rise is an inspirational, informative showstopper of an anthology. Global in scope and engagingly lively in style, it’s a powerful and beautifully curated testament to trailblazing women of colour from all walks of life, from all fields of endeavour (literature, science, engineering, business, banking, mathematics, politics, law, medicine, human rights activism, sport, art, music, dance), from all corners of the world. What a glorious gift this is to treasure - and draw inspiration from - for a lifetime. Featuring women from over 40 countries, these are pioneers who’ve risen above multiple challenges to have huge impact on the world, whether in the public eye, or behind the scenes. While the book includes seminal icons who are household names (among them Beyonce, Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Rosa Parks and Serena Williams), Rise also highlights lesser-known names whose work has had huge impact on our world. Like the women themselves, Maliha Abidi’s writing style is engaging and keenly focussed, and her striking portraits of each innovator are an exuberant, life-filled joy.
There are so many beautiful and interesting books about Earth, that you tend to think you have seen all the pictures, watched all the programmes, read all the books, but when you read this book, you will realise you haven’t even touched the sides. It is a wonderfully eye-popping book. Separated into different areas of the earth, and then sub divided into areas of interest, beauty, and fascination. It sparks an interest, like a free sample into a new experience. On each page there is just enough information to tempt you into finding out more through further reading and research, which as a learning tool in itself, is invaluable. The photography is superb, clear, vibrant and detailed. The whole book is packed with so much wonder. It makes you remember what a wonderful and partly unknown planet we live on, but also that however much we feel we have travelled, most of us haven’t really touched the surface. It made me feel rather ignorant of the world around me. The photography really is quite beautiful and it amazing to think that in over 200 pages, there is only a small boat on p59 and a lone house on p175. The anonymous photographers should be commended.