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.
Beautiful and inclusive illustrations by debut artist Nia Tudor are as warm in tone as this gentle but thought-provoking story of child agency. Only our young narrator pays any attention to the old lady and her dog, who live on a deserted plot at the corner of her street. Adults hurry by trying not to see this social nuisance, but this little girl stops to talk and imagines all the adventures this ‘Queen’ must have had to lose some teeth ‘in battle’. She persuades her Mum that it is very easy to lose your ‘palace’ and young readers will want to talk about how people fall into poverty and homelessness. So, this Queen needs some care and attention and they start to bring her tea and toast. Our narrator tells herself that the Queen is protecting their street as she looks out on her at bedtime and indeed that is exactly what the Queen does when she sees a fire start and then wakes up the whole street just in time. (Another highly topical note with fires all around the world an increasing problem and very vividly captured by stunning images) Our young heroine makes sure that everyone knows the Queen saved the day and at long last the community rallies round to provide her a home. If only in real life we could listen to empathetic young people speaking up for social justice. This lovely story will encourage young readers to believe that they can make a difference and will reinforce the belief that we all have a duty of care for ‘others’ .
This book results from a unique, direct collaboration with children and young people aged from 8-18, where Alex Strick, co-founder of Inclusive Minds, asked them what they would say to their younger selves to inspire, reassure and enthuse them about the future. Their responses have been worked into a truly remarkable text, which follows 14 characters from babies to toddler through to young adults. Each character is brought vividly to individual life by the beautiful, richly detailed illustrations of Steve Anthony and reflects a truly diverse range of different interests, identities and friendships. Each vignette tells a continuing story as they grow and change, and a clever and subtle use of colour enables even very young readers to track their development. The language is beautifully paced and the scenes depicted are absolutely redolent of authentic life experiences. Inspirational, aspirational, reassuring and hopeful, this important book deserves a place in every classroom and will truly allow every child to feel seen, heard and respected.
Lily, our heroine, got sick a while ago, and now she just wants things to go back to how they were. This is complicated by the fact that Lily’s parents are just about to have another baby, so Lily is sent to her grandmothers to live whilst the baby arrives. Lily will not stay – and runs back home to find her parents have been replaced. Lily has one night to defeat the replacements and find her parents again – and make everything ‘right’. In this she is helped by some fascinating animal companions – Mouse, Mole, Crow and Snake have a wonderful humour, as well as providing the magic needed in every child’s story. Written with reference to our folk tale past – where talking animals often represent elements of human character, this is a delightful story you want to devour again and again. The story is supported and enhanced with Gravett’s dark illustrations; the writing is so visual the illustrations would be hugely missed. Gravett has used shadow and greyscale to create the wonderful characters, and an atmosphere that just oozes off the page as we read. This is the work of two masters of their arts – both can create wonderful reading experiences but joining them together makes for an unforgettable book that will find its way into many small hands now and long into the future.
Following the enormous success of Kay’s Anatomy, this is another tour-de force of informational writing. Children will be rolling around with laughter at all the gags, including a scribbled commentary from Great Aunt Prunella, who does not approve of the author’s obsession with farting and poo, and the hilarious comic strips and copious illustrations from the talented Mr Paker. But don’t be fooled – they will be learning an enormous amount about how humans came to understand the workings of the human body and how to fix it when it went wrong. Kay obviously relishes the ridiculous theories that abounded from ancient times through to relatively recent history and the frankly bizarre and terrifying treatments that were developed, as well as having a sincere respect for the pioneers who took the science forward. There is a great Doctorography section at the end to remind readers of all the stories they have read in the course of chapters which look at different parts of the body as well as individual sections on Surgery, Infections and Genetics. Each chapter ends with a look at the Future and Adam’s Answers where he explains facts and fallacies too good to miss out! The pioneers of medicine generally have a little feature Five Facts and A Lie about them, so the author is actively encouraging critical reading as he does with True or Poo fact boxes about some familiar misconceptions. He is also at pains to highlight the women who, despite being banned from medicine throughout most of its history nevertheless managed to innovate and discover. In a hugely enjoyable, page-turning read, this librarian particularly enjoyed he fact that the excellent index also contained jokes. Do see if you can spot them!
Your big sis in book form, Grown is a celebration of Black British girlhood that will empower you to live your very best life. Grown. It's a mood. It's a mindset. It's a mantra. It's a lifestyle. It embodies everything that makes us who we are. Being a teenager and trying to understand who you are and what you stand for is hard. Period. But if you're a Black girl and don't always see yourself represented in the books you read, the films you watch, the adverts you see or the history you're taught, it can be even tougher. Grown: The Black Girls' Guide to Glowing Up was written with one thing in mind sis. You. From understanding identity to the politics of hair to maintaining squad goals to dealing with microaggressions to consent to figuring out what career you might want, Grown has got your back. Natalie A. Carter and Melissa Cummings-Quarry, founders of Black Girls' Book Club, share stories - the wins and the Ls - and offer honest, practical advice that will show you how to own your choices. To live your truth without fear. To be grown on your own terms without limits or apologies. With a foreword from the inimitable Spice Girl Melanie Brown and contributions from inspirational Black women such as Diane Abbott MP, Dorothy Koomson and Candice Carty-Williams and gorgeous illustrations from Dorcas Magbadelo, Grown is a celebration of Black British girlhood that will empower you to live your very best life.
Hard-hitting and, ultimately, infused with hope, Shappi Khorsandi’s Kissing Emma tackles big issues (poverty, class divisions, toxic masculinity, victim-blaming, and male coercion of women) with incredible honesty and authenticity. Inventively riffing on the true story of Emma Hamilton, Lord Nelson's mistress, this tells the gripping story of a young women’s journey to self-determination in a society obsessed with looks and economic status. Emma and her mum have long lived with her father’s abusive, controlling ways: “Sometimes he said to Mum, ‘Put some slap on, you look half-dead,’ so she’d do her face. But if she put on some lipstick and a bit of mascara without him telling her to, he’d scream, ‘You look like a tart!’ till she cried and took it off. No way of predicting it”. When he’s suddenly gone from their lives in extreme circumstances, Emma and Mum are forced to move into her grandmother’s small flat. There’s never enough money, and her mother hopes that attractive Emma will find a nice rich man to rescue them both, while Nan advises her to “Put less on show, love. Men can’t help themselves around a bit of flesh. You can’t dangle a lamb chop in front of a lion and expect it not to bite”. Amidst such poor advice, Emma discovers she has a talent for acting and resolves to up her aspirations, deciding, “I had to kill the girl from the estate. It was time to reinvent myself.” As a result, when Emma meets a couple of apparent nice guys from a modelling agency, she’s quickly coerced into an abusive situation while hoping to find Instagram influencer fame and fortune. Emma’s story is utterly gripping - readers will come to really care for her, and find themselves urging her to make different decisions, to find a different path in life. Being an authentic kind of novel, there’s no simplistic happily ever-after-ending here, but there is a glorious sense of triumph and transformation as Emma feels a surge of enough-is-enough self-pride and vows to live a life free from male coercion; a life in which she’s in control and happy, as she deserves to be.