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All the books we feature as Books of the Month on LoveReading4Schools are selected because we think they deserve to stand out from the crowd. We select a few each month across the key stages.
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A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2022 | The magic which fuels this thrilling adventure will keep readers spell bound from start to finish! Set in a far off time and in a far off land the story tells of two children, Tempest and Peter. Both have one green eye and one blue eye. Both have lost their parents. And both are in great danger because they are MagicBorn which means that the Royal Sorcerer is determined to track them down…There is much wickedness in this world which Tempest and Peter must survive but also much kindness which helps to keep them safe. And throughout it all there’s thrumming magic which means that anything can happen.
The highly anticipated second novel from Carnegie shortlisted Dean Atta will not disappoint fans of his unmistakeably authentic and honest #ownvoices debut verse novel The Black Flamingo. Once again drawing on his own experiences, in this case of moving from London to Scotland, this novel revolves around Mack, who is forced to accompany his film maker father and sole parent to Glasgow, leaving behind his slowly blossoming relationship with his first love Karim, a basketball star and the hottest boy in school. Mack is a true romantic, openly and unashamedly gay but with low self esteem and high levels of anxiety. He doubts his busy father’s feelings for him and wonders if his two lifelong friends like him for more than his home cinema. K is very much still in the closet and can offer little reassurance especially at a distance. Meeting Finlay, the super confident gay star of his Dad’s film, and feeling an immediate connection creates a real moral dilemma for Mack. This is a wonderfully multi-layered depiction of complex characters and the verse novel format shows again that it is so well suited to capturing emotions. There is not just a beautiful economy of language but the spacing and layout on the page recreates the drama of each moment perfectly. There is warmth, humour, a real love for Glasgow and a positive celebration of love, diversity and inclusivity in this memorable and hugely engaging novel. A real must have for library collections.
From an author acclaimed for her ability to tackle important global issues in the personal context of well realised and nuanced characters, we have a story set after a world-wide antibiotics crisis. Children must be protected until their immune systems have fully developed because a simple infection could kill. All schooling is on-line until the age of 14 and digital technology is central to all aspects of life. This theme is brilliantly worked through and will really resonate with readers who have experienced lockdowns, increased online shopping, online learning and of course not being able to meet their friends. They will understand the nuances of facing live interactions for the first time as these children join their designated boarding schools. How does live socialising work? What are the cues that help you understand behaviour? This would not be an Ele Fountain novel without also a cracking mystery to solve and wider political implications to consider, such as the risks to autonomy created by algorithms and realising just how easy it is to lose a digital identity. We learn that we need to watch very carefully how far big tech and big pharma can control our lives. This is a really rewarding read for children who are old enough to make the connections with the experiences they have lived through and who will be entirely gripped by the dilemmas, both ethical and physical which confront the main characters, as this gripping adventure plays out. Highly recommended
May 2022 Book of the Month | Here’s a book parents are going to want to share with their daughters, as it celebrates confidence, difference and everything that makes us feel happy in ourselves. Shelina Janmohamed was inspired to write it by a conversation with her own young daughter and the approach she takes is clear, fun and full of information that young people will find stimulating and useful. She’s open that how you feel about the way you look matters but shows that, as ideas of beauty are always changing, across cultures and time, beauty can be what you want it to be. She introduces us to lots of women, all regarded as beautiful, who challenged conventional ideas of beauty, confident in themselves and their bodies and encourages readers to be the same. She explores the role of social media, enabling readers to look critically at images they are shown and form their own opinions. The text is always engaging and supportive, and the photos and accompanying illustrations by Chanté Timothy amplify the message being delivered. Inclusive, intelligent and inspiring, this is an empowering examination of a topic that has been preoccupying girls for centuries. Shelve it alongside Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be by Gemma Cairney, another invaluable illustrated guide to navigating growing up.
Julia Green has written a gentle tale based on her son’s adventures. The boy who loves the sea sails away and follows the currents and the stars until he finds a peaceful island. The Islanders welcomed him, and he lives with them in their natural surroundings in harmony with the land. Whilst sailing the boy navigates by the moon and the stars, battles with the sea when it storms, and enjoys the company of all the sea creatures who joined his boat whilst sailing. This book is filled with the joy and wonder of the natural world surrounding us. It's also about making your wishes come true with determination, empathy, self-reliance and curiosity. Latimer has taken this beautiful story and created colourful, witty pictures which keeps the reader engaged and spotting lots of detail that support the rolling prose of the sea in this gentle adventure. A picture book to inspire and enjoy.
May 2022 Book of the Month | This attractively illustrated and cleverly designed book is targeted at children from ages 4-8 and successfully employs key strategies to absolutely ensure their engagement. A pleasingly diverse and relatable cast of characters, Lilli, Bea and Leo, are inquisitive friends who love adventure and solving problems. They discover that when they need help with a difficult problem, if they just hold hands and think hard, they are transported to the magical kingdom of Questland where they are transformed into, ever popular, Superheroes. There it is up to them to complete a series of challenges using key STEM skills, cooperation, and teamwork. I am sure parents will find the explanatory glossary outlining the STEM skills involved in each book very useful! For the reader these books develop key essential learning skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. One can easily imagine a group of children, or a child and parent or carer, talking together to solve the entertaining puzzles. The very sturdily produced book comes complete with reusable stickers and rewards to collect and the questfriendz.com website provides free activity sheets and supporting classroom materials, lesson plan guides and extra downloadable stickers. By ensuring that children are attracted by the imaginative story and characters, engaged in fun activities and rewarded for their success, this will be a sure fire hit at home or at school and a brilliant example of learning through play!