Reading Matters – news from the world of children’s books

Hello and welcome to another look back at the highlights of the week in the children’s books world. Of course with World Book Day celebrated on Thursday this week has been dominated by activities and discussion about this event. However there has been other news too so why not settle down and have a browse through this selection of articles, resources and reviews.

What I’m reading…

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The first two months of the year have seen the publication of several terrific children’s books and I have reviewed some Fabulous Fiction for Children – New Middle Grade Titles that I have read so far this year. At the moment I am reading Dust Road  by Tom Huddleston, the sequel to his thrilling Flood World  which I enjoyed very much last year. Tom will be answering questions on my blog next Friday as part of the blog tour so please watch out for that and the rest of the tour over the coming days.

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News from the world of children’s books..

Children’s and teens roundup – the best new picture books and novels – I always enjoy the reviews for the Guardian by Imogen Russell Williams and this fabulous selection is so tempting I am sure they will be added to many reading lists.

Storytime Assembly – this is a wonderful post by headteacher and picture book lover, Simon Smith, providing useful tips on how to turn assemblies into joyful read aloud celebrations and he includes some great book suggestions too.

Children are Reading Less than Ever Before, Research Reveals  and How I Managed to Raise a Little Bookworm in the Age of Smartphones and Tablets – two articles published this week both of which prompted much discussion online.

Children and Young People’s Reading in 2019 – This report outlines findings from The National Literacy Trust’s ninth Annual Literacy Survey relating to children and young people’s reading.

A Reading for Pleasure Manifesto – this article by children’s author Andy Seed is not new but has been shared again this week coinciding with World Book Day and is a fantastic resource for schools. It is extremely comprehensive giving many tips, suggestions and inspiring ideas. A helpful and positive answer to the findings of the report mentioned above.

New Book Trust Illustrator in Residence Ed Vere is set to inspire with the power of pictures – following the news announcement last week this article explains how Ed Vere is to share his knowledge on developing confidence and self-expression in children through drawing.

Great School Libraries Campaign Phase 2 – the Great School Libraries Campaign team plan to lobby the Government to get the document Vibrant Libraries, Thriving Schoolsadopted by the UK Government for the other nations in the UK. You can read more details on this latest blogpost.

The Children’s Book Award Shortlists Announced – The Children’s Book Award organised by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups is the only national award voted for solely by children from start to finish. For this year the categories will be Books for Younger Children, Books for Younger Readers, Books for Confident Readers and Books for Older Readers, with three titles in each category.

There is a blog tour in progress at the moment where you can learn more about each of the shortlisted titles.

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Picture Books to Treasure and Inspire – boosting the profile of reading across school –   This is an absolutely lovely blogpost on the Hertfordshire for Learning Primary English website showing how picture books prompt discussion and aid comprehension  in KS2.

Surrey Libraries’ Children’s Book Award – the shortlists for these awards have been announced and schools in Surrey are able to shadow these awards and receive promotional material and reading guides for each book.

Online Reading For Pleasure Course from the School Library Association –  this online course guides you through the research, best practice and how to get reading for pleasure started in your school.

How World Book Day Lost the Plot– a thoughtful look by author Marianne Levy at how World Book Day has evolved over the years.

Winners of the Blue Peter Book Awards 2020  – on World Book Day it was announced that Wildspark by Vashti Hardy and Rise Up: Ordinary Kids With Extraordinary Stories were this year’s winners. There is an opportunity to win copies of the prize winning books on the Book Trust website, see the link above.

LGBTQ+ Primary Hub – This brand new website has been created to ‘enhance the delivery of LGBTQ+ inclusive education in primary schools by providing teachers with the support they need.

Finally here are some book reviews that caught my eye this week…

The Pear Affair by Judith Eagle – ‘With endearing characters, an exciting plot and a beautifully realised setting, this is a hit.’ says Liam @notsotweets in his lovely review of a book that’s right at the top of my to read pile.

Crater Lake by Jennifer Killick – ‘I cannot recommend this highly enough it is just outstanding from start to finish!’ This wonderful review by Lily @lilyfae suggests this is a book for every school library.

Extraordinary by Penny Harrison and Katie Wilson – this review by Jo Clarke @bookloverjo and guest post by the author is a lovely reminder to savour the everyday ‘ordinary’ moments. Extraordinary is now on my shopping list.

That’s all for this week. I hope that this look back has captured some of the book love that has been so visible this week. Have a lovely weekend and happy reading.




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