No catches, no fine print just unconditional book love and reading recommendations for your students and children.
You can create your own school's page, develop tailored reading lists to share with peers and parents...all helping encourage reading for pleasure in your children.Find out more
Each month our team of book lovers choose a selection of books they have loved and think deserve an extra shout out. Everyone fights to get theirs on the list. Here are this month’s faves.
Buy all the books on this list now from Browns Books For Students. Click the add to basket button to get started.
Bethan Woollvin is an award-winning artist – creating her 8th picture book in the bright, printlike illustration style she has. The gouache paint she tends to use gives us bold colourful illustrations, full of character and action. Woollvin often takes a traditional basis for the story but subtly changes the dynamic – and here we have a twist on a traditional Viking tale. Something is destroying the forest, stealing from the village and generally creating a nuisance – but when our three friends Ebba, Helga and Wren try to talk to the Chieftain about what might be causing all this nuisance they are ignored – ‘he knows best’! So, these brave little girls set out to investigate what the problem might be – by reading their books – listening to each other and setting off into the forest to find the answer. These three are a lovely combination of Viking warriors, firm friends, and creative readers – lovely role models for their audience! Not only do they find out who or what is creating the problem – they find a solution for their village – and it is at that point that everyone listens to the girls – as ‘they know best’! A gently humourous book reminding us that we should listen to everyone, as they can have a vital contribution to the safety of the group. This is a beautifully created book – the fold out flaps at the front and back covers adds extra character layers to the girls – as well as making the book a lovely thing to handle.
Abigail Balfe is autistic and has written this honest, amusing and very useful book about some of the things she was aware of as she was growing up. Balfe knew she was different all the way through her childhood and youth – and this book is full of observations on how she navigated her younger years. It was not until she was an adult that her diagnosis of autism was delivered – which suddenly explained a great deal of confusing issues from her youth. The book is full of all the milestones of a young life from changing schools to puberty to friendships to children’s birthday parties – and how someone who feels different coped with all those stages. Written with an honesty and openness that is refreshing – and full of quirky illustrations by the author - this is an information book one can sit and read like a novel, as well as using it to dip into for information on all sorts of topics to do with neurodiversity. It is packed full of useful descriptions and definitions, has a thorough glossary which doubles as an index in a very practical way whilst also signposting websites and information sources for further investigation. A book for everyone to read (adults too), not just for people with neurodiversity issues – this book is a great explainer, full of empathy for different situations, which explodes many misconceptions about autistic people along the way! I wish I had had this available many years ago when teaching an autistic child on a one-to-one basis.
Generously illustrated by Timothy with greyscale images this book is the first novel from poet Camden – a performance poet known as Polar Bear, and prize winner of the CLiPPA poetry award. Beautifully written we are taken into Jay’s world – a ten-year-old who is uncool and mostly ignored. But when his dad just ups and leaves no-one will answer Jay’s questions. So, he makes up his own answers – and shares them with his classmates! This suddenly makes him one of the coolest kids in class! But little does he realise just how complicated it is to keep track of his stories, and who he might hurt, badly, along the way. For a book about the dangers of lying – with a moral heart at its centre – it is a very amusing, funny book which will keep readers enthralled to see if Jay and his friendships survive – or what he can do to save the day? A powerful look at the dangers of untruths – and no matter what, the reader roots for Jay as he is such a lovely character, well drawn and full of the chaotic emotions of pre-teens thrown into their often complex school relationships.
The eye opening and fascinating true story of Lily Parr, Alice Woods and their teammates in the Dick Kerr Ladies Football team are the inspiration behind this engrossing story of football obsessed Polly Nabb, who would much rather kick a ball than stay at home and help her mother, which is the role society expects her to fulfil. As men, including her beloved brother, were sent to fight in the war, women and girls took their place in munitions factories. When Polly sees these women playing football in their breaks, she lies about her age to get a job there too and eventually she is recruited to the famous Sparks team, who were playing public matches to sell-out crowds, but also on the receiving end of public vilification and scorn. Indeed, despite drawing crowds of 50,000, women's football was to be outlawed by the Football Association in 1921, who deemed it 'unsuitable for females'. This little-known fact will astonish modern fans of the Lionesses England team, as will the authentic detail of the dangers of the munition factories and the wider struggle for female independence and respect. This is a very well-rounded picture of life on the Home Front during the First World War, full of fascinating detail and incident, populated by vivid and memorable characters and infused with a real passion for the game of football. A very entertaining and enjoyable read that adds useful depth to any historical study of the period and a salutary lesson for any sexist sports fans!
Adapted from the original poem in the wonderful first poetry anthology A Great Big Cuddle that Michael Rosen says, in his Note to Grown- ups, was inspired by watching his youngest child getting angry, this captures perfectly the all-consuming feeling of being at the epicentre of a toddler tantrum. Robert Starling’s glorious illustrations and the bold design perfectly compliment the brilliant rhymes. I have never seen a fiercer or more grumpy kitten! It is all about the eyes which glare furiously from the front cover and on the opening red endpapers. Hugely expressive eyes and body language also characterise the other animals that bear the brunt of kitten’s fury. The scared spider is a particular delight. White space and bold colour are used to great effect throughout and just as kitten is busy painting the sky read and filling the page… its all over and a tired little kitten snuggles his faithful little friend and goes to sleep and the final pale blue endpapers show sleeping eyes! This will reassure toddlers overwhelmed by their feelings that it does not last for ever and they are loved and safe. Very young children will really be able to engage with this valuable message and will enjoy the rhythmic and imaginative language and be entranced by the bold images. This is a perfect pairing of author and illustrator and I am already looking forward to I Am Hungry!
This is a book that was inspired by the issues teens were facing as a result of the lockdowns and lack of contact with peers and school. Nicola Morgan, known for her no-nonsense very approachable way with incredibly difficult and important subjects for teenagers set herself the task of writing this very readable guide to growing their own resilience. The pandemic was not a situation any one person could control – but this book sets out lots of strategies for dealing with whatever the world throws at you – be it pandemic, personal crisis, or just navigating that difficult time we call teenage! The book is arranged into five specific areas that will work in different combinations for individuals. Not every reader will need every section, but there is definitely something in here for everyone. Reading this book will give everyone a set of tools – whether to build your personal network, or in coping strategies or other areas with an approach that uses character studies, simple activities, as well as giving lots of space and time for reflection on what has been read. Knowing Nicola is an expert on the teenage brain and mental health you know the subject is well researched and based on the latest scientific research. The topic I had not encountered before in any other book was the idea of ‘heartsong’ and knowing what your heartsong is. Heartsong is defined by Nicola as a feeling of joy, of satisfaction, of fulfilment, of happiness – different from well-being – a positive emotion just for the individual. It’s the ‘I’m glad I did that’ of life. I’m glad I read this – and I know just the right person who will value this, too. Meanwhile, every school with teenagers in it should have this book available in multiple copies for their students – so many will get benefit from it.