Key Stage Book Recommendations, Spring 2019 (Key stage 1, Lower Keystage 2, Upper Keystage 2)

April 23rd, 2019

Here are some key stage book recomendations:

Upper Key Stage 2 (Year 5/6) 9-12 years
Survivors by David Long, illustrated by Kerry Hyndman


Winner of the Best Book With Facts Blue Peter Book Award 2017, this amaz-ing book features tales of ordinary and extraordinary people overcoming adversity. Based on 23 true stories, beautiful illustrations and gruesome de-tails will grip even the most stubborn of book avoiders and keep them hooked! It can be dipped into as an end of day read (each story is the perfect length for a fifteen to twenty minute session), used in assemblies or looked at in detail in reading lessons. It is particularly suitable for vocabulary develop-ment and is the perfect ‘easy to engage with’ non-fiction text.

Whether trapped in a sunken submarine, blasted by Mount St. Helens, trapped or lost in the desert, stuck in quicksand or dangling precariously from a mountainside, these courageous tales of men and women, demonstrate incredible perseverance and will to live.
An anthology to inspire and help children to understand how far self-belief and guts took these adventurers, and to wonder how far these qualities could take them too.

Lower Key Stage 2 (Year 3/4) Aged 7-9
The Nothing to see Here Hotel by Steven Butler

nothing to see here hotel‘A splundishly swashbungling tale of trolls, goblins and other bonejangling creatures. Put on your wellies and plunge into the strangest hotel you will ever encounter. This is a hotel I hope I never find! Wonderfully, disgustingly funny.’ Jeremy Strong

Welcome to The Nothing to see here Hotel, run by Frankie Banister and his family. It’s not a hotel that you will ever see though, as it is hidden (by magic and terrible reviews) from human view. It’s not for humans, you see, and instead is the perfect getaway for magical creatures of all kinds – mermaids are welcomed through the sea door and stairs are rented to ghosts looking for a holiday from their usual haunts.
This book is genuinely funny and full of crazy and charming charac-ters. Children aged 7-9 will particularly enjoy this, but even adults will appreciate the humour. You need this book in your children’s lives.
Spring 2019
Issue 2
School Improvement English Newsletter Autumn

KS1 (Year 1/2) ages 5-7
Firecrackers by Zaro Weil, illustrated by Jo Riddell

book recommendationsThis anthology contains 101 poems, rhymes, raps, haikus, but also short plays and fairy tales on a variety of subjects.

It’s ideal for dipping into, for quiet reading and for reading aloud; indeed, It’s real strength is in celebrating word play, rhythm, the joy of language out loud. The book comes with a QR code for listening to the pieces and unusually amongst the stories, haikus and poems, there are a couple of rhyming plays too.

This is a beautiful collection. The illustrations by Jo Riddell are witty and suffused with warmth, in perfect harmony with the text. A brightly sparkling gem. Every page invites the reader into an enticing world where concepts, language and rhythms conspire to spark imag-ination.

EYFS/KS1 (ages 4 up)
The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater, illustrated by The Fan Brothers

This powerfully rich and atmospheric picture book takes a thoughtful fox on a search for answers, finding adventures and true friendship along the way. Like all good quest stories, the hero ends up not at their intended destination, but in finding what he was actually searching for all along-a sense of belonging, which is most important of all.

antleredRich in an atmospheric seascape and language, The Antlered Ship is an engaging and adventurous story that will encourage all children to keep on asking questions about the world they live in. When the beautiful ship with the huge antlers on its prow comes into port, Marco, the Fox, is busy contemplating the mysteries of the world. Marco asks questions such as, ‘Why do some songs make you happy and others make you sad?’, ‘Why don’t trees ever talk?’ and ‘How deep does the sun go when it sinks into the sea?’ None of his fox friends have any answers. So, when he sees the ship he decides to join the curi-ous crew of deer and pigeons in the hope that a sea voyage to far off lands will help him find the answers.

The Fan brothers stunning artwork really brings the story to life, and the illustrations are beautifully detailed. Children (and their teachers!) will want to pore over the imaginative maps gracing the book’s end-papers and point out details of the ship. Young readers will revel in the whimsical touches, like the peg-legged pigeon sailor (who hasn’t seen a one-legged pigeon in London?). It is a book that begs to be read aloud and savoured, with rhythmic, lyrical language. Vocabulary, whilst challenging, will stimulate discussion.

This book works on so many levels and would provide fabulous op-portunities for engaging with the text and as a stimulus for writing in many year groups. A contender for whole school projects.


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book recommendations