Twinkl originals

Morning everyone! How are we all today? 

As you know I am a MASSIVE advocate for reading within school (and in my life outside of school, lets be real) and finding more books to read in school, which can be used in the classroom, is always a brilliant way to get books into classrooms. 

As a school, we have a Twinkl subscription and we are occasionally sent copies of their Originals books and I have to say that they’re brilliant. We have used all of the ones that we have been sent across the school and they’re brilliant to be used as one offs, or can be used as a topic. (I did have pictures to put in this post for examples of work and the children using the books, but technology never quite does what you want it to and they were deleted, sad face!)

There’s a WIDE variety of books available, covering all kinds of topics. Books suitable for EYFS to KS2 and beyond, depending how you use them! As you can see from the pictures there’s new ones and they’re being added all of the time! Check out all of the collection here – there’s some amazing books to use!

Twinkl 1

Twinkl 2

One of our favourites is Ronald the Rhino. This is one of the first originals that we recevied. If you want to know about tis one, I posted all about Ronald the Rhino! book here. The synopsis reads: “Meet the wiggliest, jiggliest rhino in the forest! Ronald the Rhino is big and strong, but he doesn’t believe that he is as special as his forest friends. Follow Ronald on his journey of discovery in this powerful story about embracing your uniqueness.” 

He’s gone down brilliantly with our KS1 children in partricular! (For resources linked to Ronald the Rhino, click here!)

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I know in EYFS and KS1 in particular they have used Sparks in the Sky – Bo is excited to see her first fireworks. Join her as she enjoys the sights, sounds and smells of Bonfire Night with her big brother, Leo. A heartwarming tale to celebrate this magical night – all about bonfire night and it produced a wonderful display. For resources linked to that book, check here

Capture twinkl

One of the newer ones that I definitely want to try out with the KS2 kids is Our Teachers are Superheroes. “When Freya and Benji suspect that their teachers may be real-life superheroes, they set out on a mission to discover their secret identities. However, the superpowers they uncover may not be what they were expecting! Follow their adventures as they try to expose the truth…” 

As we all know teachers ARE superheroes, so having a book based on this is brilliantly fun. I’ve downloaded it ready to use (it comes in ebook form, Mac form or PDF form, all very helpful depending on which computers you use at school!) As with Ronald the Rhino (and the rest of the originals collection) there are resources aplenty to go with the book – click here. There’s ideas for English and Maths obviously, but I love that there’s Art activities and PE activities linked too! There’s all sorts. 

There’s so many different books that I could go on about them for hours! Check back in the next few weeks to see how I get on with working with a few more of the books. 

Have you read any of the Twinkl Originals?
Which one would you like to read most?
Do teachers really have superpowers? 
What is your superpower?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on twitter (@eenalol). 

S x

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S4S – Rainbow books

Morning friends and readers.

How are you all on this here Sunday? How goes the weather in your humble city? Newcastle is not embracing sunshine today, which makes me sad! But hopefully there’ll be some sunshine later and we’ll get a rainbow (how very on trend!)

Today’s #SixforSunday is rainbow books!

To tie in with June being pride month, I’ve gone for LGBT books! Either books that deal with LGBT issues or books which feature LGBT characters.

  1. Radio Silence – Alice Oseman
  2. Anything that David Levithan has written
  3. Out of the Blue – Sophie Cameron
  4. Simon versus the Homo-Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli (also known as Love, Simon!)
  5. Flying Tips for Flightless Birds – Kelly McCaughrain
  6. I Was Born for This – Alice Oseman

There are so many other books that I could’ve featured in today’s #SixforSunday.

As part of pride month, I want to collect recommendations of amazing LGBT books so please holler! Let me know in the comments or on twitter.

Remember to share your own rainbow books using the hashtag #SixforSunday! See you all next week!

S x

BOOKBLOG: CG Drews

A Thousand Perfect Notes: heartbreaking, touching and beautiful

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“An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.
Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence. When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?”

I didn’t know much about this book when I was sent it, but having read the synopsis and the press release I knew it was one I needed to get to. Written by the brilliant CG Drews (or @PaperFury as I know her on twitter, go give her a follow) I was really curious to see what it was like, and my word I was NOT disappointed. It is something else.

A Thousand Perfect Notes tells the story of Beck, a pianist who is being forced to play by his mother. He doesn’t want to play the classical musicians she is making him play. He wants to play his own music. He wants to play what his heart wants him to. His mother was a pianist herself, but after she develops tremors she had to stop and this turns into her becoming obsessed over her son playing. She makes him play every morning and every evening, punishing him when he’s late. She’s abusive in all of the worst ways. This really tells on Beck’s confidence. She is an absolute piece of work. There’s a little ray of light in Beck’s life at home: his little sister Joey. She is brilliant. She keeps him going. She’s the reason he gets up every day. He knows that if he stops caring that Joey will then get mam’s wrath. One day, Beck is paired with a girl, August, in a school project and what ensues is an incredible story of hope, music and friendship. 

The characters in this book are special.
– Beck is one of the bravest and subdued characters. He has this horrible duality of life – his horrid, abusive mother, and his gorgeous, bubbly little sister. He has to be the best big brother, making sure that Joey is fed, because mam doesn’t care. He just wants the best for his little sister. Joey is his life. Joey and the piano. He hates the piano. He hates that his mam makes him play. It’s his mother’s obsession, not his. He just wants to play the music his heart tells him to, not Chopin. When he does play his own heart and not Chopin, there are serious consequences. 
– Joey is a brilliant ray of light in Beck’s horrible life. She makes him weird concoctions, weird sandwiches, keeps him going. She’s one of those lights on in a dark dark tunnel. She’s not oblivious to what is going on, but she’s young and innocent. She swears in German, fights with people, but she doesn’t know any better. That’s the example she’s had from her mother – that’s the behaviour her mother presents to her towards her brother, so she knows no better.
– Beck’s mother
(or The Maestro as he refers to her) is one of those repulsive, horrific characters that YA produces (she makes me think of the step mother from Paper Butterflies). She is a downright piece of work. I hate everything about her. She’s manipulative. She’s mean. She’s abusive. She doesn’t deserve the brilliant kids she has. The scenes with mam in were hard to read. 

 August comes along and slowly but surely changes things in Beck’s life. He is reluctant to her friendship initially. He doesn’t need anyone distracting him from his piano. This changes to he doesn’t want anyone to have to see The Maestro’s cruelty. August is a breath of fresh air in Beck’s life. She’s calm, she’s sweet, she cares. She wants to know more. She’s curious about this piano playing boy. She wants to get to know him. She becomes an anchor in his very rocky sea. I really love August. She accepts the fact that Beck’s life is shitty and doesn’t judge him for it. She’s his solace. 

This is a gripping story, despite the many scenes that are hard to read. I wanted to keep reading because I wanted to know how Beck’s story would end. There are some horrific scenes of cold and hatred, but there are also some incredible scenes of warmth and love. Scenes with August and her family. Walks home after school. Scenes with Joey.

There’s a massive sense of duality in this book. So many comparisons between dark and light, cold and warmth, love and repulsion.
– Beck’s loneliness compared to the warmth and love he received from August. 
– Beck’s very different relationships with his mother versus his relationship with his sister.
The comparison between Beck’s very cold mother and August’s incredibly warm and welcoming family
– Beck’s passion for his own music and composing against his apathy towards playing others’ music

If you’re wondering where on the crying scale this would go, it goes at the VERY TOP. I cried SO SO SO much. This book broke my heart so many times. I can guarantee this will make you cry. 

Please go out and buy this if you can. It is so heartbreakingly wonderful.

S x

 

BOOK BLOG: S M Wilson

Exile: new friends, old friends; new enemies, old enemies; same old dangerous dinosaurs. 

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“Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival. Welcome to The Extinction Trials.

After surviving on Piloria once, Storm and Lincoln are the obvious candidates to return to the dinosaur continent to test the new virus that should clear the way for human settlement. But they have their own priorities – finding a cure for the plague that’s sweeping Earthasia, and keeping themselves alive.”

For those of you who have been living under a rock, The Extinction Trials is one of those brilliantly excellent series that comes along and kicks you in the face with its brilliance. Last year, the first book in the trilogy (I think?!) was released. The Extinction Trials was our first introduction to Stormchaser and her world – trying to rid their world of dinosaurs. If you’re interested in finding out more about The Extinction Trials, check out my review here BLOG TOUR: The Extinction Trials. It’s actually a little bit different that review – it’s an aesthetic/mood board that the book inspired. You should DEFINITELY read the book though

For those of you who have read book 1, welcome to my review of book 2. Yes, hello, I have read Exile and I LOVED IT OK. (I could stop this review there, but I’m sure you came for more than I LOVED IT OK. I love lots of books. That’s probably one of the things you’ve noticed about me. But anyway, less rambling, more reviewing).

So Exile leaves off not long after where The Extinction Trials finishes. Storm, Lincoln and the crew are back in their home land, away from the land of the dinosaurs. Safe. Ish. Life has carried on while they were away – Arta is still poorly, people are still starving, there are still more people than there is land. At the end of Extinction Trials, Storm makes a very brave decision which benefits those siblings who are left behind. She’s kind of bending the rules; she’s been brilliant. Things start to change for Storm. She ends up getting a new job, which obviously leads her to going back to Piloriaback to the dinosaurs. Back to the danger, the nightmare. But also back to the colour, the warmth, the dream. (I won’t spoil it for you as to HOW she comes about this situation… but I thought it was an INTERESTING turn of events that made sense! And YAY Lincoln gets to go back with her!)

So here we go again, ready to fight the battle again – dinosaurs, danger and DNA. It’s always dinosaurs and their DNA. It’s always dinosaurs and their death. 

I absolutely loved being back on Piloria with these characters again. I didn’t realise how much I missed these characters until I started reading again. It’s so wonderful when you read the second book in a trilogy and you remember what you loved about them so much. I very much have that about Storm and Lincoln. I remembered their stories. The things these kids have to go through for their government are astounding. I just think I don’t know what I would do. The assortment of dilemmas thrown at them through the book are eye-opening. Would you choose to kill dinosaurs? Would you do anything to save your sister? Would you rescue the families of the people you watched die? Would you go to a VERY dangerous island with your estranged father? (I know what I would do, and it would not be noble. I am much too duty bound)

I absolutely loved seeing Blaine again. He was one of the things I loved the most about book 1 so getting to see him again in this book made me so happy. (I clearly have something about that kind of character – the man left to survive on the island. The Explorer from The Explorer was one of my favourite things about that book too!) Adding new characters, new dynamics, new relationships to the mix meant there was another level of risk, danger and love in the mission this time. There’s daughters and fathers, old friends and new friends, enemies and friends. Add in new emotions and new people to a mission that some have already been on before and you’re bound to have some frought tempers.

Another thing I absolutely adored in this book (and in book 1) was that it was JUST THE RIGHT amount of peril. There were moments where I was like OMG NO. DONT DO THAT. SHUSH BE QUIET. THEY’LL HEAR YOU. (I know the characters can’t hear me, that doesn’t stop me though, shush now!) DINOSAURS ARE SCARY GUYS. I mean, I wouldn’t want to mess with a T-Rex. I don’t care who you are. The dinosaur scenes are intense. A lot intense. 

This book is BRILLIANT. I love a good bit of dystopian YA fiction (hello have you met me?) and Susan Wilson just keeps hitting the nail on the head with these books. If you’re looking for a brilliant, brave main character, some danger and beautiful writing, then you’ve come to the right series!

My Goodreads review is SO terrible, I really must work on these:
“SO GOOD. I missed these characters, this world. There’s some new friends and enemies in this book and the plot is woven deeper this time round. Just lush.”

Also, a massive massive cry happened when I saw this… THAT’S ME. I definitely did cry. Me and some of my favourites. Thank you so much to Susan. I will forever shout about these books because they’re WONDERFUL.

Anyway, yes. There you go. Sorry to keep you here so long. Have you bought the book yet? Are you tempted to? Well you should because it’s brilliant. I don’t lie to you guys ever. I wouldn’t. 

Are you tempted to buy The Extinction Trials?
Would you like to follow Storm and go to Piloria?
Do you have a favourite dinosaur?

Let me know in the comments or on twitter! I’m always free for a chat – @eenalol!

S x

 

BOOK BLOG: Politics for Beginners

Don’t have a clue where to start when it comes to politics? Want a fun and accessible way to teach your kids? Politics for Beginners is a great starting point!

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Politics for Beginners is a brilliant book filled with facts to teach kids all about politics – not just our politics in the UK, but the history of politics, politics around the world and so much more! It’s filled with wonderful illustrations and facts galore. 

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The contents page lays it out so clearly that it makes this book super accessible. There’s chapters on all kinds of things that kids might want to know about. Think you have a revolutionary on your hands? They might want to check out ‘Political Change’. Have a budding historian in the making? They’ll love ‘All Kinds of Governments’. My favourite chapter however has to be ‘Big Questions’ which deals so brilliantly with all kinds of things from Am I a feminist? to What is terrorism? Big, big questions that kids will ask and want to be able to answer, dealt with in ways which are relatable for kids.

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I absolutely love this page – explaining all kinds of governments in one handy chart. (I could easily have chosen so many pages to take pictures of!)

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Now, I wouldn’t say I’m ignorant when it comes to politics (I keep up with what’s going on around the world and in the UK) but I learned an awful lot reading through this. It’s as useful for adults as it is kids! It’s gone down really well at school, with a few classes using it for one off lessons or for finding out about politics.

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There’s a brilliant glossary at the back of the book too to define some of the words set out in the book.

This is a great tool for educating kids about politics. It’s full of facts, quizzes, charts and some thought provoking questions. Ideal for KS2+ (as an adult, it’s BRILLIANT because it’s accessible without being condescending). It’s the kind of book I wish I had had when I was a kid. Politics needs to be accessible for everyone, it’s our future at stake at the end of the day! 

S x

 

 

S4S – What do people always ask me?

SUNDAY SUNDAY SO GOOD TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE…

Well well, fancy seeing you around here #SixforSunday, do you come here often? 

I’ve enjoyed posing questions to different people this month for #SixforSunday. Thanks to everyone who has answered my questions! It’s always really interesting to get answers! Today’s prompt however is:

Six questions people always ask ME

So… what do people always ask me? I’ve gone with BLOGGER me, not human me/teacher me ha!

  1. How do you have time to blog, teach and be a human?
    Well… I’m secretly a robot. HA. Nah seriously, it’s a lot of good organisation. It doesn’t always go right. Sometimes I spend more time blogging than I should, sometimes I neglect my blog. It’s a very fine balance that you’ve just gotta work on to get right. I love blogging and I love teaching, they’re both massive parts of my life.
  2. How do you get book post?
    Now, there’s no ‘you do this and you will get books’ answer to this. I don’t blog to get free books, it’s just a brilliant perk. 
  3. How do you read so quickly?
    I didn’t think I do read quickly, but I’ve had this a few times. I’m the kind of person who will IMMERSE myself in a book. I’m much better at reading for chunks of time than bits here there and everywhere. I read a lot of kids books, which on the whole take far less time. I also read a lot of books that I KNOW I’m going to like, so I’m going to read them quickly because I’m interested?
  4. Who don’t you post negative reviews?
    I have a blog post coming on this in a few weeks, so I don’t want to be too spoilery… but I generally read the books I know I’m going to like, so it’s unlikely I’m going to find one I do dislike. If I do come across a book I dislike (because there are books), I’ll talk about it but the world doesn’t need ANY MORE hate than there already is out there. I’m all about being positive. 
  5. You can’t like every book you read, surely?
    I get this one every now and again, each time I’m not entirely sure what the point of it is… however, no. I don’t like EVERY book I read, I just don’t TALK about the other books that widely. I will talk to you if you ask me… but see my answer to question 4.
  6. Do you prefer YA or MG books?
    Both. In equal and different measures. Don’t make me choose. 

So there you go. I am ALWAYS open to questions, and will answer them! My twitter DMs are always open or comment and I’ll answer!

Share your questions with me! #SixforSunday is all about your involvement!

S x

#SixforSunday prompts take 2

HELLO THERE.

It’s not a Sunday and I’m posting a #SixforSunday post. WHATSOEVER IS THAT ABOUT? 

Well… I’m just posting the rest of the prompts for the year… do not fear. The world is not broken. 

Before we go any further, I’d like to say a massive thank you to EACH AND EVERY one of you who have posted weekly, a few times, or even just once on #SixforSunday. It makes my little heart so happy. I started this little feature for me, and seeing people grabbing on to it and running with it makes me so happy. I am always on the look out for new ideas for #SixforSunday, so please share your ideas with me! Remember as well, if you don’t like the prompt for the week, you can do ANYTHING you like, or do a prompt you missed! I don’t mind, just remember to use the hashtag #SixforSunday. 

So… July to December? Let’s have you!

July – books + emotions!
1st – Books that made you cry
8th – Books that made you laugh
15th – Books that made you angry
22nd – Books that made you want to shout
29th – Books that made you fall in love

August – books old and new
5th – Authors you’ll always pick up
12th – Authors who surprised you
19th – Books people always tell you to read
26th – Books that have been sat on your TBR forever

September – spreading the blog love!
2nd – Favourite blog posts you’ve written
9th – Favourite bloggers
16th – Favourite blog posts you’ve read
23rd – Reasons you love blogging
30th – Advice to new bloggers

October – just really good books 
7th – Best debut books
14th – Favourite trilogies/series
21st – Books you want to reread
28th – Books you wish you’d had as a teen

November – bookish dreams
4th – Dream panels/events
11th – Authors you’d love to see collaborate
18th – Characters you’d love to see together
25th – Dream character and world mixtures

December – the very best of
2nd – Santa, will you please bring me…?
9th – 2018 blogging highlights
16th – 2018 bookish highlights
23rd – 2018 in books 
30th – 2019 books

And there you go!
That takes us ALL THE WAY til the very last day of 2018!
EEK.
How scary. 

Thanks again for your #SixforSunday enthusiasm. You guys make me such a happy blogger! 

S x

 

Rapid Fire Book Tag

Hi guys!

Today I’m doing a book tag I saw on my friend Kelly’s blog a while ago and I thought I’d get involved. I love a book tag. (If you’re interested in Kelly’s post, which is wonderful, check it out here. You should definitely check out Kelly’s blog, cause it’s lush!)

(Keep your eyes peeled for my very own tag coming in the next few weeks – I’m v excited for it to finally be started!)

Rapid Fire Book Tag

(LOL, like I do anything rapidly, especially when it comes to books… but yknow! One can try!)

Ebook or physical book?

Physical book EVERY DAY. If I’m going on holiday, I may use my kindle, but I’m generally a physical book kinda gal.

Paperback or hardback?

Paperback thanks. Hardbacks are sometimes too tall to fit into my shelves (sidenote: WHY ARE NOT ALL BOOKS THE SAME HEIGHT? *ahem*

Online or in-store shopping?

I love a good in-store shopping trip. Online is great if I’m just browsing for similar titles, but there’s nothing quite like actually visiting a shop (if you’re looking for a good book shop… go check out Waterstones Newcastle. Their basement is incredible for MG and YA books)

Trilogies or series?

Probably trilogies? I mean, how long of a series are we talking? If we’re talking like 11 or 12 books, I’m not here for that. Gimme 3. That’s the perfect number of books that I have to read and be invested in thanks. Also, I’m loving duologies at the minute.

Heroes or villains?

I am always the hero. I like to read a villain. But heroes thanks.

A book you want everyone to read?

Primarily because it is HILARIOUS – The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven. It’s just so brilliant, so relevant and so hilarious. I miss Izzy O’Neill and can’t wait for her to come back into my life.

Recommend an underrated book?

The Paper Magician trilogy by Charlie N. Holmberg. Man, if I could forget these books and read them again I totally would.

The last book you finished?

The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Shepherd. A brilliantly fun MG book about a boy who gets a pet dragon.

The last book you bought?

OH GOSH. Erm… The Secret of the Night Train by Sylvia Bishop. I have read it and needed to buy a copy for the school library because the kids will LOVE it. I definitely did.

Weirdest thing you’ve used as a bookmark?

I don’t tend to use anything weird… maybe a train ticket? (I’m boring, soz guys)

Used books: yes or no?

YES. Absolutely. Our school library in particular is fond of a used book!

Top three genres?

Fantasy, magical realism and contemporary? 

Borrow or buy?

I tend to buy. I like to be able to keep my books if I love them.

Characters or plot?

Characters ALL THE TIME. If I’m not invested in someone’s life, I don’t care what they’re doing with it tbh. Ideally both are WONDERFUL, but I’d rather read a dull plot with a brilliant character than a dull character with a wonderful plot.

Long or short books?

It depends? Is that a cop out? If I’m invested in the world/characters then I’m all about the longer stories. However, it also depends on my mood. If I’m not in the mood for something weighty, I’ll choose a shorter book.

Long or short chapters?

Now Kelly knows my strong passion for short chapters. I can’t with longer chapters.

Name the first 3 books you think of

A Quiet Kind of Thunder – Sara Barnard, Floored – a bevy of wonderful YA authors, Clean – Juno Dawson.

Books that made you laugh or cry?

Laugh: Coco Pinchard books by Robert Bryndza
Cry: Countless (and most other books I read tbf, I’m a crier)

Our world or fictional worlds?

Fictional. All the time. I have the reality of our world every day it’s nice to escape.

Audiobooks: yes or no?

Confession time: I’ve never listened to an audiobook for my own consumption. I’m not against them, I just like the physical act of reading a physical book a lot.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

All the time. I have no shame about it. I’m such a cover magpie. However, I’m not one of these “I WON’T pick it up because the cover is horrid”. I’m more of a “ah man this cover could be so much better to match how awesome the story is”

Book to movie, or movie to book adaptations?

Book to movie. Idk. I don’t think about this much.

A movie or TV series you prefered to the book?

I’m not sure I’ve ever come across that?

Series or standalones?

I like to have a bit of both in my life. I like to get so invested in characters’ lives that I have to read 2/3 books in one go. But also I like standalones because you get the entire story in one book.

And there you go! Some not so rapid fire answers!

Let me know if you do this tag and your thoughts on my answers!

S x

 

BOOK BLOG: Stewart Foster

The Bubble Boy – a touching story about friendship and helping others

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“Eleven-year-old Joe can’t remember a life outside of his hospital room, with its beeping machines and view of London’s rooftops. His condition means he’s not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his ‘bubble’. But then someone new enters his world and changes it for ever”

The Bubble Boy tells the story of Joe (the Bubble Boy in question) and his life. He’s cooped up in his hospital room because he has a condition which means he can’t leave; he can’t go out into the world; he can’t socialise like you and me; he can’t feel fresh cut grass or wander around the park like the rest of us. He’d bed bound, or rather he’s room bound. However, Joe is this extraordinary character who takes all of that in his stride, he accepts that that’s his life and he’s making a life for himself from his hospital bed – he’s amazing

Joe has this amazing spirit and joy about him that’s evident from the beginning. He knows no other, so being in his hospital room is what he makes of it. He has brilliant nurses (shout out here to Greg – the good egg nurse in the story) who look after him; an older sister who stands by him through everything and a brilliant friend, who lives on the other side of the world, who he talks to through Skype. I loved Joe’s soul and his character – he’s so likeable and wonderful. You definitely feel for him, but without pity. I wanted to help look after him.

However things start to change when a new nurse comes along and tells Joe that he can in fact go out into the world and that things around Joe are going to start changing. Initially, I was NOT OK with this, why would a nurse come and tell him that? Were the doctors lying to Joe? Who was this new nurse? What was going to happen? A lot changes in Joe’s life when this new nurse comes along and once they start changing they snowball out of control. 

This new nurse brings some fun into Joe’s life that he didn’t have before. He also brings a strangeness, an awkwardness, a silence. I’m still on the fence about this new nurse and I think I will be forever. I won’t give away the story (although, you can probably guess what this new nurse wants to do, sorry about that) because I think everyone should read this book and make a decision for themselves. I’d love to talk about your thoughts on the new nurse.

There’s friendship and love.
There’s compassion and heartache.
There’s laughter and sadness.
Comparisons of the world and Joe’s very sterile hospital room. 

Reading this book really made me think, “I’m glad I get to go out and enjoy the world because being cooped up wouldn’t make me very happy”. A few of the children who have read this book have expressed very similar thought patterns commenting on the fact that living in one room for the rest of their life “wouldn’t be very fun, especially if you’re too poorly to even talk some days”. 

I loved this story. It made me laugh, it made me cry. This is a special story that kids, especially kids in Upper Key Stage 2/3 need to read. I’ve had nothing but positive reviews about it! Stewart Foster is quickly becoming a firm favourite at school… we need more books!

Have you read Bubble Boy?
Would you like to be kept in one room for the rest of your life?
Can you recommend me any books similar to this?

Let’s talk! I want to know what your thoughts are!

S x

BOOK BLOG: Andy Shepherd

The Boy Who Grew Dragons: fun, fast paced and (not so) firey!

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“When Tomas discovers a strange old tree at the bottom of his grandad’s garden, he doesn’t think much of it. But he takes the funny fruit from the tree back into the house – and gets the shock and delight of his life when a tiny dragon hatches! The tree is a dragonfruit tree, and Tomas has got his very own dragon, Flicker… Tomas soon finds out that life with Flicker is great fun, but also very… unpredictable. Yes, dragons are wonderful, but they also set fire to your toothbruth and leave your pants hanging from the TV aerial. Tomas has to learn how to look after Flicker – and quickly. And then something extraordinary happens – more dragonfruits appear on the tree. Tomas is officially growing dragons…”

Imagine that! Having your own pet dragon. What more could be better? I mean me as an adult thinks that’s amazing, so I can’t imagine how excited a child would be. But also, pretty scary? I don’t know that much about dragons apart from the fact they sometimes breathe fire and that they love collecting gold (you can thank Smaug for that reference!). 

The Boy Who Grew Dragons is a fun and friendly tale of a young boy who comes across a weird and wonderful plant growing in his grandad’s garden… and obviously, when the fruit comes off the tree, he just suspects that it is a fruit. But when it explodes and it has in it a dragon, his mind is BLOWN. He has this big secret to keep and he ends up having to stop helping his grandad do the garden and hides the secret from his friends in order to protect his dragon.

Obviously, there’s the school bully who just will NOT leave Tomas alone. Poor Tomas, having to deal with this dragon and this bully. The bully is mean and calls Tomas all sorts of names. But Tomas has his trusty friends who stand by him to feed him toffees (to help him stay quiet) or to support him in his times of need. 

I really enjoyed this book. It’s full of fun and lots of laughterwhat’s funnier than exploding dragon poo all over your room? Landing in your teacher’s coffee? There’s also the really touching relationship that Tomas has with his little sister which made me really happy too (as a little sister, I think their relationship is brilliant, my big brother is definitely as much a hero as Tomas is to Lottie). 

I can’t wait to put this in the hands of my kids, so watch out for their reviews to be added to this soon!

Thank you so much to Andy Shepherd and the publishers for sending me this copy, it will sit beautifully in the school library and I can’t wait to read the next one and see what the kids are up to!

Would you like a pet dragon?
Would you be too scared of exploding poo everywhere?
What’s your ideal mythical pet?

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter. I’d love to know the weird and wonderful pets you’d all like!

S x