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

Welcome to another Reading Matters and the chance to catch up on children’s book news that you may have missed during the week. This week’s news has been dominated by the possibility of school closures so some of the links include online resources that may be helpful. If you are on Twitter it is worth having a look at #FreeResources too. 

What I’m reading…


This week I have read and very much enjoyed Dust Road by Tom Huddleston. This dystopian thriller, the sequel to Flood World,  is excellent for young readers who enjoy exciting and dramatic storylines but like books which make them think and ask questions too. I was delighted to take part in the blog tour to mark Dust Road’s publication and to host an interesting and enlightening Q & A with Tom Huddleston which added even more to my enjoyment of the story.

I have also read Mr Tiger, Betsy and the Golden Seahorse written by Sally Gardner and illustrated by Nick Marland. This is a entertaining and magical story which would be a treat to read aloud and my review will be on the blog next week. 

News from the world of children’s books…

From Watership Down to War Horse: Books about heroic animals – Damian Barr celebrates animal bravery in wild tales about battles, cruelty and kindness in his article for the Guardian

Marvellous Mums (book list) – with Mothers’ Day coming up on 22nd March Alison Leach of Books for Topics has created this helpful list of books celebrating mums. She has also added some thoughtful suggestions for sole Dads, grandparents and maternal bereavement.

Graphic Novels with Curriculum Links– Secondary school librarian, Melanie McGilloway @librarymice has compiled a helpful list of graphic novels grouped by curriculum subjects.

What do Artists Do All Day? – Shirley Hughes – a BBC4 programme shown again last Sunday and available to watch for a little while yet. Well worth watching especially if you are a fan of Shirley Hughes’s wonderful books.

Desert Island Discs with Chris Riddell author, illustrator and former Children’s Laureate – if you missed this last weekend it is still available to listen to and well worth a catch up. A lovely uplifting listen. 

Shortlist Announced for the KPMG Children’s Book Awards Ireland – The ten titles competing for this year’s awards have been revealed, as part of Belfast Children’s Festival. These include Toffee by Sarah Crossan and The Tide by Clare Helen Walsh illustrated by Ashling Lindsay. 

Flood World and Dust Road by Tom Huddleston Teaching Resource Pack – these two thrilling reads would be great for use in the classroom and publishers Nosy Crow have produced an excellent teaching pack including links to subjects such as democracy and morality and society plus creative writing prompts.

Register for the 2020 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Award Shadowing Scheme – the shortlists are announced on 19th March and time is running out to register your school for the excellent shadowing scheme. There are a range of downloadable resources available and a shadowing tool kit.  

The Book Whisperer – a brand new blog from @TheBookWhisperer2 featuring reviews of the latest children’s books and recommended reads. There is also a link to a variety of free online educational resources. 

Custom Eyes Large Print Children’s Books – available via the Guide Dogs for the Blind website, from Dr Seuss to Shakespeare, from inspirational fiction to educational textbooks, over 4,200 large print books available for purchase for visually impaired children. Although too late for this year they do also provide large print copies of the World Book Day books. 

Free Reading Realm Home Learning Pack: Nature and Animals – Ian Eagleton, creator of the Reading Realm App, has produced this FREE Nature and Animals Home Learning Pack with drawing activities, extracts to read, spelling/grammar/punctuation tasks for any parents, teachers, schools who might need it. 

Registration now open for Bookbuzz 2020 – Bookbuzz is a reading programme from BookTrust that aims to help schools inspire a love of reading in 11 to 13-year-olds. (Years 7/8) Participating schools give their students the opportunity to choose their own book to take home and keep from a list of 17 titles. 

Books for Keeps March Issue out now – initially I selected a couple of articles to highlight but quite honestly the whole issue is worth making time for. Thoughtful articles and great reviews for children’s book lovers. 

Cast of Thousands Children’s Books for Educators – featuring hand picked quality books this website is for educators everywhere, school, home, museum.  Age adaptable activities and information linked to children’s books that support learning across a range of subjects.

Love My Books– helpful website for creative book based literacy activities designed for home learning with more books and activities added recently. 

Finally, some reviews that caught my eye this week…

The Lost Book by Margarita Surnaite – Andrea Reece, of LoveReading4Kids describes this picture book as ‘An intriguing book about the power of stories, and the importance of keeping your eyes open, beautifully and sensitively illustrated.’ 

Fierce, Fearless and Free by Lari Don illustrated by Eilidh Muldoon – reviewed on Books for Topics this anthology ‘simply showcases genuine traditional tales about girls who are the stars of their own stories.’ 

Bearmouth by Liz Hyder– Lucas Maxwell says that ‘Bearmouth is truly a unique YA that is near impossible to put down’ in his review. Suitable for aged 13+ and excellent for secondary school libraries.

That’s all for this week, I hope that this round up has been helpful and that you have found something of interest to you. I’m off to a day with the Berkshire branch of the School Library Association to share with and learn from school librarians. Have a great weekend and happy reading. 


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

  1. Another wonderful selection of resources, thank you Anne 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. alibrarylady says:

    Thank you 😊 Thank you for sharing it on Twitter too. Hope you’re having a good weekend.


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