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Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) focuses on developing the knowledge, skills and attributes to keep children and young people healthy and safe and to prepare them for life and work. The books in this section cover a range of PSHE topics including bullying, disability, family issues and racism. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and cover age ranges from Toddler to Older Teen.
Not since Adrian Mole opened his diary have the thoughts and innermost feelings of an adolescent boy been examined so precisely or with such heart. Stan is twelve, shy and a worrier, so the thought of a holiday in Italy with his friend Felix and Felix’s family freaks him out. He’s going though: we meet him at the airport drawing up a ‘duck-it’ list of things he hopes he’ll never have to do. Little does he know that he’ll tick off six out of ten of them on his holiday, and enjoy it too. The first-person narrative lets us in on all Stan’s thoughts, but he’s a good observer of others so we learn loads about the others in the holiday party too, kids and grown-ups. There are laugh-out-loud scenes and moments of pure agony, and through it all Stan is learning loads about himself and life in general. Honest, revealing, compassionate and so entertaining, this is a must read for all the Stans out there – adults, give yourselves a treat and read it too.
Take your first steps with Antiracist Baby! Or, rather, follow Antiracist Baby's nine easy steps for building a more equitable world. With bold illustrations and thoughtful, yet playful, text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism.
Selected for The Book Box by LoveReading4Kids | A laugh-out-loud, against-all-odds triumph of a story, perfect for fans of The Boy at the Back of the Class, The Goldfishboy and Wonder. A celebration of dreaming big and standing out, the story is based on the author's own experiences with her son, Lenny, who also has a stammer. Billy's voice is engaging and endearing: his story will start conversations, promote kindness and empathy and hugely entertain while doing so - the middle-grade magic formula!
Young children will find lots to laugh at in this jolly story of a little dragon who can’t help losing his temper, and they’ll learn ways to manage their own anger too. When Fergal gets cross, he really gets cross, and being a dragon this results in burned buns (he couldn’t wait to eat them), scorched suppers (he didn’t want the veg), goalposts burned to cinders (he really didn’t want to play in goal). It upsets his friends and it’s making him unhappy too. Fortunately Mum has a useful suggestion – take a breath and count to ten. It works, while Fergal’s friends have helpful tricks of their own too. Robert Starling’s illustrations are full of life and character, and this is very good for sharing.
Selected for The Book Box by LoveReading4Kids | The Invisible is the story of a young girl called Isabel and her family. They don't have much, but they have what they need to get by. Until one day, there isn't enough money to pay their rent and bills and they have to leave their home full of happy memories and move to the other side of the city. It is the story of a girl who goes on to make one of the hardest things anyone can ever make...a difference. And it is the story of those who are overlooked in our society - who are made to feel invisible - and why everyone has a place here. We all belong.
Sam and Olivia are VERY excited about the school play. They love signing, they love dancing, they love doing their own thing! But when the roles PERFECT for them go to someone else - they know they have to hatch a plan, while always remembering the most important thing: No matter what we look like: WE'VE GOT TALENT!
Slowly Alice starts to build a life for herself, at a new school with new friends. But she can't escape the feeling she is being watched. That he might be lurking, waiting to ruin everything again. That Mum might be about to break her promise. That, just when Alice is starting to feel safe, everything will be taken away from her.
February 2021 Book of the Month | Renée Watson is one of my favourite contemporary YA writers and her latest novel, Love is a Revolution, embodies everything that makes her stories shine - it’s honest, relatable, driven by an inspiring Black girl, and sparkles with a self-empowerment vibe. Nala’s summer plans are sent reeling when she goes to an open mic night for her “cousin-sister-friend” Imani’s birthday, an event organised by the Harlem Inspire community project Imani is heavily involved with. Here Nala fall head-over-heels for committed activist Tye and finds herself telling little white lies to impress him - that she’s vegan, that she’s running a big project at her Jamaican Grandma’s Senior Living residence. Talking of Grandma, I especially loved the book’s beautiful portrayal of inter-generational relationships - the shared wisdom, the compassion and kindness, the sense of family and community, and Nala’s body positive exuberance is uplifting too. Her disorientation and self-doubt derive from elsewhere, like not knowing what she wants to do with her life, and feeling she’s not good enough, not quite worthy of Tye’s love. Though fireworks explode when Nala’s fibs are found out, after taking Grandma’s advice on-board to the empowering soundtrack of her favourite musician, she discovers that self-love and self-care are forms of revolution - they’re her route to transformative self-acceptance through embracing who she really is.
Inspired by Zillah’s childhood growing up in Papua New Guinea, The Shark Caller is a spell-binding story of friendship, forgiveness and bravery, set against the beautifully-woven backdrop of New Ireland. In the best tradition of Katherine Rundell, Eva Ibbotson and Geraldine McCaughrean, The Shark Caller is a modern classic that will be read, shared, loved and passed on for many years to come, and signals Zillah Bethell as one of the most astonishing middle-grade voices writing today.
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | An emotive and poignant nature led story which sensitively examines From award-winning author Gill Lewis comes Swan Song – anemotive and poignant story which brilliantly handles issues of depression and anxiety in young people whilst exploring topical themes of wildlife protection. With a relatable protagonist, Gill gently explores these heavier themes in an approachable and accessible way. This nature-led tale perfectly compliments Gill's other touching stories, Run Wild and Eagle Warrior, that all skillfully weave together nature and healing. A timely and topical read for young people coping with the pressures of lockdown restrictions, anxiety and the growing pressures of school.
Selected for The Book Box by LoveReading4Kids | Eva Eland has a way with pictures and words that, although deceptively simple, actually deals with the big matters of life in a very accessible and encouraging way. Her previous book When Sadness Comes to Call gained many outstandingly positive reviews and this follow up book on happiness is going to get the same response. Very expressive, clear illustrations in mainly blues and a wonderful fluorescent pink make this a happy experience to read. Eland looks at the ways we may chase happiness or happiness may just creep up on us but finishes with the phrase ‘Happiness begins with you.’ Definitely a book for classrooms, libraries and PHSE lessons – it will encourage empathy as children start to understand their own and the emotions of others, as well as being a satisfying book to read.