Here is a list of recommended books, chosen for the children of Maidenbower Junior School.
Junonia by Kevin Henkes
This is an emotionally engaging text about a girl approaching her tenth birthday as she returns to a holiday cottage, with her mum and dad, in Sanibel Florida. It is a simple story of her feelings as she approaches her birthday with excitement and anticipation. The author communicates Alice’s inner feelings very effectively as she copes with problems and changes to how she wants everything to be. A story about feelings, expectations, change, friendship, nature and conservation that is suitable for upper KS2 and KS3.
Secrets of the Sea by Kate Baker and Eleanor Taylor
This book takes you on a journey, from the rock-pools along the shoreline, to the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean, to reveal an incredible and rarely seen world. You will zoom in on the intricate patterns on a giant clam, see the surprising beauty of fish gills when viewed under the microscope, and discover the tiny organisms that are the very building blocks of life.
The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer
An interesting and stimulating text that explores the world of bugs in all sorts of ways. The book looks at key groups of bugs including beetles, moths, butterflies, bees, snails, crickets, grasshoppers, worms and spiders. There are sections on night bugs, bugs you find in your home, life cycles, camouflage etc. The text also explains how you can become a good bug spotter. The text is beautifully illustrated and the text is funny and full of amazing facts. KS1 and KS2.
.Here I Stand – Stories that Speak for Freedom by Amnesty International
Here I Stand includes short stories and poems from a range of well-known authors (e.g. Elizabeth Laird, Mary and Bryan Tallbot, Neil Gaiman, Jackie Kay, John Boyne etc.). This is a varied and thought-provoking collection of short stories and poems that explore freedom and the loss of freedom. The text provides excellent discussion opportunities around human rights issues. Upper KS2 and KS3.
The Green Lizards versus the Red Rectangles by Steve Antony.
The Dragon’s Hoard – Stories from the Viking Sagas by Lari Don and Cate James
An exciting collection of eleven stories from the Viking Sagas full of warriors, battles, heroes and heroines, berserkers, gods, monsters and in one tale there are even ZOMBIES! The stories are all written by Lari Don who is an award winning storyteller. The stories can obviously lead to a focus on storytelling and the children creating their own version of a selected tale. The book has evocative and humorous illustrations by Cate James. KS2..
Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton and Dougal MacPherson
Introducing Teddy is an accessible and heart-warming story about being yourself, and being a good friend, while encouraging readers to think about gender identity. The book explores the importance of friendship and respect. KS1 and KS2.
‘A useful resource for adults broaching conversations about transgender issues with little ones.’ – Booklist.
Odd Bods by Steven Butler and Jarvis
A lively, humorous rhyming text that explores a range of names, characters and their particular quirks of personality. Children will enjoy the humour, rhythm and anticipation of the rhyming words. They will also enjoy the humorous, bright child friendly illustrations. I am sure it will inspire children to create rhymes using their own and their friends’ names. KS1 and KS2.
The Road Home by Katie Cotton and Sarah Jacoby
This is a poetic tale of survival and love in the animal kingdom. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout with a rhythmic, detailed, descriptive, rhyming text that looks at different animals’ lives and their sense of home. There is a repeated verse which occurs throughout the text and helps emphasise the rhythm of the particular animal’s journey and the links with other animals’ lives. KS1 and KS2.
The Cat and the King by Nick Sharratt
Nick Sharratt’s first novel tells the story of a gentle, unworldly King and his very clever cat, and is illustrated throughout in two colours with Nick’s trademark humour. The cat and the King must find a new home after their castle burns down in an unfortunate Incident with a dragon. Year 2 upwards.
Willy and the Cloud by Anthony Browne
From the former Children’s Laureate and twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal comes a story about worry and anxiety, featuring his much loved chimp, Willy. The Lancashire Evening Post review stated, ‘This brilliant portrayal of what it feels like to have depression or anxiety shows a young mind how their ‘cloud of sorrow’ can hold them captive until they realise that it will go by learning to face their fears.’ This is a great book to share and discuss in the classroom and certainly provides lots of PSHCE opportunities.KS1 and KS2.