S4S – colourful books!

Hola!
Today is Sunday again and you know what that means?! Starbucks for blog planning and teacher planning, then home to do teacher stuff and blog stuff. What is your usual Sunday routine? Do you have one? I am a creature of habit, y’see! 

Today on #SixforSunday we are talking:

Books with colours in the title

(This was harder than I thought!)

  1. The Green Mile – Stephen King
  2. The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman
  3. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
  4. The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
  5. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
  6. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

I know. I know. These are pretty much MUST READS, and I will read them OK? Sorry. 

Share your #SixforSunday colourful books with me! I wonder if you all found this as hard as me!?

S x

 

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Pick n Mix?!

I LOVE A PICK AND MIX. I would have MANY fizzy blue bottles in my bag if it were up to me… but this is to do with books, not sweets. Boo.

Pick n Mix.png(Credit: Kelly’s Ramblings for the graphic!)

Fizzy Blue Bottles

They look strange, and they taste strange, but you like them. Name a book or series with a really strange plot that you couldn’t help but love.

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I don’t know that it’s so much strange as a little bit quirky. And I don’t know how many people have read it. I ABSOLUTELY adored this trilogy. I can’t wait to have more time to reread these. Please people read.

The Metre

It goes on forever. Name the longest book series you have read.

It’s gotta be Harry Potter. I haven’t read another series that has so many books? I tend to like trilogies at the most? I don’t think I’ve read anything longer than HP.

Chocolate Raisins

No amount of chocolate can hide what’s inside. Name a book with a great cover but a disappointing story.

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I didn’t hate The Miniaturist but even now I don’t quite remember what it was about? It just didn’t tick boxes for me.

Chocolate Mice

They look sweet, but they’re secretly vermin. Name a book that surprised you with it’s villain. (Be careful not to give spoilers!)

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Not YA but I was shocked and appalled by the villain in this. I have love/hate feelings about this book!

Hard Gums

You take a bite but almost break your teeth. What book or series was hard for you to get into?

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I loved bits of this and I just enjoyed other bits. The description is beautiful it just lacked a bit of urgency, or pace for me.

Cola Bottles

Some are sweet, some are sour. Name two similar books, one you liked and one you didn’t.

I enjoyed Divergent WAY more than I enjoyed The Hunger Games. I went through a phase of reading a LOT of dystopian fictionand definitely think that Divergent bests Hunger Games for me. I know, controversial.

Fried Eggs

Some love them, some hate them. Name a book that matches the way you feel about Fried Eggs.

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I didn’t get on with Freshers as well as everyone else did. I don’t really know why, I just didn’t get it? But there are so many people who love it!

Smarties

No matter what you do, they’re everywhere. Name a trend or trope you are tired of reading.

Oh god. SO MANY. However I think the ones I hate most are “good student becomes a bad student to impress the cool kids” or “girl needs saved by boy”. These both bother me incredibly and I could dedicate hundreds of words to them both.

Gummy Bears

Name your favourite fictional creature or animal.

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So many of the characters in ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ – Mr Tumnus, Aslan… this book makes my heart so happy!

Pick ‘n’ Mix!

So many sweets, so much variety. Name some of your favourite diverse books!

If you fancy doing this tag then feel free! Most of the people I want to tag have already done it! Knock yourself out! 

Let me know on twitter, or in the comments, if you disagree or agree with any of my choices, I love a good natter! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Kate Jane Neal

Words and Your Heart: beautiful, poignant, perfect for teaching children about kindness.

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“Your words are amazing! This book is about your heart. The little bit inside of you that makes you, you!”

I love a picture book (as regular readers of my little blog will know), so when I come across a new picture book that I have never seen, that makes such a big impact on me, I know it is a winner. I came across Words and Your Heart in a supermarket. I’m not going to lie, I picked it up for the incredible cover, but when I read it, it struck a chord. 

Since this week is Anti-Bullying Week in the UK, this book is absolutely PERFECT resource. This book is all about how words have power and that the good and the bad words we say have an impact on people. I’m going to be taking this book and reading it to Year 6. However, this book is PERFECT for Key Stage 1 – I have a firm belief that picture books shouldn’t just be for one Key Stage though. 

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The illustrations in this book are gorgeous too. 

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There are so many things you can do with this book, with such a wide range of classes. This would be a perfect book for an assembly, story time or PSHE lesson. 

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It’s important that children know that their words matter, that their words have power. This book is the perfect book to use to highlight this.

I am so glad I found this book. It came at the perfect time. 

What are your favourite books for teaching kindness?
When you think of “kindness”, what do you think?

Let’s talk!

S x

 

S4S – War books

Guten morgen!

Tis I Sunday again, how are we all? What is going on in your lives today? Antyhing exciting? 

Today, I am off to a memorial service, so thought it was only just to do a #SixforSunday about:

War books

As usual, these may be books I’ve read or books I want to read! 

  1. Anna and the Swallow Man – Gabriel Savrit
  2. The Book Thief – Markus Zuzak
  3. Letters from the Lighthouse – Emma Carroll
  4. Goodbye Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian
  5. Once – Morris Gleitzman
  6. Wave Me Goodbye – Jacqueline Wilson

(This ended up being mostly children’s books… not sorry!)

Now the war is one of my favourite  things to watch/read about so please shot loudly your recommendations at me! I would love to see your #SixforSunday posts too! Tweet me or leave them in the comments and I will check them out! 

S x

BOOKBLOG: Oliver Jeffers

So… Oliver Jeffers everyone. If you know him and his books, you probably love him. I know I most certainly do. Most teachers I know do. I could talk about his books forever and a day and not quite get across how much I adore his books.

But anyway, his newest book ‘Here We Are’ is published next week and it is amazing. It is everything I want in a children’s book AND SO MUCH MORE.

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“Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers’ user’s guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver’s signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.”

‘Here We Are’ is one of the kindest, most beautiful picture books of the year (and yes that is a BIG claim, but I truly believe it). It’s a book filled with information about the world, filled with messages that are important for us to deliver to our children. I didn’t realise it was a book he had written for his son, and then last few pages absolutely made me crumble. I think that is an incredible idea

This book is filled with all of the usual charm of Jeffers’ books – they’re beautifully illustrated, poignant, meaningful and uplifting – with an added extra little something. You learn from this book, you yearn to read more, you’ll smile (if you’re sentimental like me, you’ll cry) and you’ll want to share this with anyone and everyone you come across. 

This book is special. This is a book that I want to share with all of the littles in my life. It sounds like a conversation, like he is talking to his son, so reading it aloud is beautiful. I know it had the children at school gripped and they all adored it. It has been in some very gentle hands ever since, with the idea that I will most definitely buy another copy

There’s some brilliant science-y bits in there too! 

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This book is an advice manual written for Oliver Jeffers son, but it is most definitely a manual that ALL of us can take on board. 

Look after each other, look after our world, look after your world.  

I cried. I smiled. I had my heart warmed.
That’s what I want from my picture books!

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How cute is this dude too? (He’s hidden inside the dust jacket!)

Thank you so much to the wonderful people of HarperCollins Children’s for sending me this book… I just adore it. 

Have you read any of Oliver Jeffers’ books?
What is one piece of advice you want to leave for our next generation?

Let me know in the comments, or tweet me (@eenalol). I would love to make a post with all of your wonderful pieces of advice!

S x

S4S – Diverse books

Good afternoon!

Sorry I’m late posting my #SixforSunday today! I’m not sure where my scheduled post disappeared to! It is most certainly a mystery! 

Today’s theme is: 

Diverse books

The list includes books I have read, are on my TBR and books I am yet to buy, but am so ready to! 

  1. The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas (I haven’t read this yet, I think I may be the only person in the world to not!)
  2. The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan (side note: David Levithan is one of my favourite all time authors)
  3. Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman (yet to read, but SO WANT TO)
  4. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell (this is one of my favourite books that I’ve read recently… I just adored it!)
  5. Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo (again, not read BUT MY GOSH I NEED TO NOW)
  6. Release – Patrick Ness (I met him a while back and his books are just so gorgeous that this is one of my must reads…)

This is just 6 of a growing number of books. I would love to take more suggestions for diversifying my book list! So please shout them at me… it’s always welcome!

Let me know your choices for #SixforSunday too! Link me or tweet me! 

Thank you for all your support with #SixforSunday, it is appreciated massively!

 S x

BLOG TOUR: Chris Priestley

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Curse of the Werewolf Boy: friendships, time jumps and hilarious Latin women. What more do you need?

“Mildew and Sponge don’t think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloom­laden, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when somebody steals the School Spoon and the teachers threaten to cancel the Christmas holidays until the culprit is found, our heroes must spring into action and solve the crime!
But what starts out as a classic bit of detectivating quickly becomes weirder than they could have imagined. Who is the ghost in the attic? What’s their history teacher doing with a time machine? And why do a crazy bunch of Vikings seem to think Mildew is a werewolf?”

I saw this book floating about on the Bloomsbury twitter so when I was asked to be part of this brilliant blog tour I jumped at the chance! Any book that looks as good as this one does is a winner with me.

In the book you’re introduced to Mildew and his best friend Sponge, two typical boys looking for a bit of adventure and fun in their school days! They go to a pretty fancy school, Maudlin Towers, and one day the infamous School Spoon goes missing. OH NO. So obviously the two boys make it their mission to try and track down the spoon. OBVIOUSLY while they’re on their mission things start to go awry. Strange ghosts appear, a Viking man is found wandering, there’s a mysterious time travelling machine left by a dead member of staff. All these things club together to make a very pacey and fun story!

(Plus, look at these illustrations! Love them!)

The friendship between the two boys was so spot on. It’s great to see a positive frienship at any time, but to see one written so well is a bonus! There’s some brilliant non-words (detectivating is a brilliant example), which definitely had me giggling. I really enjoyed the humour in this book. One of my favourite people is definitely Miss Livia – kids will love her situation, she’s ridiculous yet hilarious. There were some moments of absolute ridiculousness that I loved. All of the time jumping started to hurt my head, but I was hooked. I wanted to know what was going to happen, because come on WHO DOESN’T WANT TO TIME TRAVEL? This book would be perfect for the boys in my class: it’s totally down their street! If you’ve got an 8+ year old in your life, then get one of these for them! It’s perfect. 

Thank you so much to Bloomsbury and Faye for inviting me on this book tour! If you’d like to know more, check out the links below and check out the rest of the blog tour, it’s been great!

Goodreads Link: clicky
Amazon Link: go on, treat yourself (or someone else!)

Author Information

Chris P Author Pic 2016 MID RES (C) Martin Bond

Ever since he was a teenager, Chris has loved unsettling and creepy stories. He has fond memories of buying comics like Strange Tales and House of Mystery, watching classic BBC TV adaptations of M.R. James’ ghost stories every Christmas and reading assorted weirdness by everyone from Edgar Allan Poe to Ray Bradbury. He hopes his books will haunt his readers in the way those writers have haunted him.

Website: http://www.chrispriestleybooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/crispriestley
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chrispriestleywriter/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christopherpriestley/

Blog tour

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Events!

Last week, during half term, the gorgeous people of Waterstones Newcastle brought to us 2 of my favourite authors: Holly Bourne and Tom Fletcher. 

Now it’s not very often we get authors in the North so often, so I was VERY happy when I found out they’d both be here! 

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Holly Bourne was here promoting her newest YA book – It Only Happens in the Movies. During the event there was a brilliant talk hosted by the gorgeous Katie Thistleton who asked many brilliant questions. Holly said some brilliant things about how YA books have a responsibility to be honest and how she feels like she needs to speak the truth in her books. She also mentioned how her writing process is heavily influenced through her work for charities which deal with giving people relationship advice. I think it’s brilliant that Holly is using her platform to inform teens, without being preachy.

After the talk there were games! I love a game. There was a quick quiz and then a few rounds of ‘Kiss, Marry, Kill’ – which is always a fun game to play!! (If you’ve any Kiss, Marry, Kill options for me, I would love to host a blog post using them all, tweet me or leave a comment with suggestions!) There was a Q&A with the audience too, where I tried to get some ‘Floored’ hints from Holly, but she remained tight lipped. The event was rounded off with a signing too!

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A massive shout out to the organisers for the goodie bags too! Another thing I loved about the event was that the price of the ticket for the event was redeemable against the book. This is SUCH a great idea, I’d love to see more events following this principal in future! The event was brilliant and it was so good to see such a good turn out for the event too! A few of the other #NorthernBookBloggers had managed to make the event too which was excellent. It’s always nice to get together with friends to talk about books. 

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Later on in the week, I finally got to meet the absolutely wonderful Tom Fletcher. He was in Newcastle as part of his promotional book tour for ‘The Creakers’ which I was lucky enough to get a proof copy and I loved it! It is so perfect for kids! A brilliant tale of adventure, fun and a bit of spookiness thrown in too. When I heard Tom was coming to Newcastle, I knew I needed to be there! I was worried I was going to be the only adult there, but there were more adults in the line than there were children, so that fear was a bit daft in hindsight! 

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I got there about 40 minutes before the event started and there was already quite the queue! The staff of Waterstones were lovely and kept checking everyone was ok, and once the queue was moving it moved quite quickly! Meeting Tom was lovely. He’s just so lush. He’s exactly the same as the person you see in his vlogs and things (he isn’t technically a Youtuber, but he is one of my faves to watch). As we waited in the queue, it was lovely to see that he was spending a little bit of time with each fan, not just signing and then that was it. I got my books addressed to my class, so that when I have my own class they can go in my class library and the kids can enjoy them! I told him all about how “Santa” sent my kids The Christmasaurus last year and he thought that was a lovely idea. It was so lovely to meet him and tell him how much I enjoyed his books. The people who were with him were lovely too! The photo lady took loads of pictures, so thank you lovely woman! 

Last week was a good week. I hope lots more events happen in the North East! Thank you Usborne, Puffin and Waterstones Newcastle for hosting such brilliant events!

S x

Spoooooooooky boooooooooks…

Hello there! 
It’s Hallowe’en tomorrow! 

Today I thought I would share a few of the brilliant Hallowe’en-ish books I’ve either been sent or bought over the past few weeks! I’m featuring picture books and MG books today and would love more recommendations!

First up the lovely people of Puffin sent me ‘Hortense and the Shadow’. A gorgeous picture book, written like a brilliant fable. It’s dark and beautiful. The kids at school absolutely loved this. The art work is just brilliant

“Hortense is a kind and brave girl, but she is sad–even angry–that her shadow follows her everywhere she goes. She hates her shadow, and thinks her shadow must hate her too. But one cold, dark night, when bandits surprise her in the woods, Hortense discovers that her shadow is the very thing she needs most.”

Next up, I saw this gorgeous ‘First Day at Skeleton School’ in a bookshop and I’m not going to lie, I bought it purely for the amazing skeleton teacher on the front cover! Just look at him! It’s a fun book incorporating starting school and the characters we associate with Hallowe’en! Looking forward to passing this on to one of the younger classes to read!

“Listen … can you hear it?
There’s a creepy noise …
‘Welcome!’ smiles Mr Bones.
‘Meet the spooky girls and boys.’
At Skeleton School they howl in assembly, fly broomsticks in the library and learn how to float through walls! Join in the fun with this comic caper from a bestselling author/illustrator of Calm Down, Boris, Mr Pusskins and First Day at Bug School – it’s perfect for back to school and Halloween.”

The final picture book is another the brilliant humans of Puffin sent me – Hide and Seek by the incredible Anthony Browne. His books all have a little bit of dark and deception about them and this one is no different. Despite it not actually being a Hallowe’en book, I think the illustrations in this book are PERFECT for this time of year! This book is one which definitely kept my kids engaged. Lovers of Anthony Browne will NOT be disappointed.

“When their dog goes missing, Cy and Poppy play hide and seek to distract themselves. Poppy counts to ten and looks for Cy – but she can’t find him anywhere. But then there’s a rustling from the woods – maybe someone else can help her find him…?”

Now, some MG books. 

First up, I have had my eye on Amelia Fang for a while. That cover is EVERYTHING about Hallowe’en to me. There’s a pumpkin, it’s orange and black, she’s clearly a witch, there’s a bat: all of the Hallowe’en. It’s absolutely spot on for this time of year and I can’t wait to get to read this!

“Welcome to the world of Nocturnia, where darkness reigns supreme, glitter is terrifying, and unicorns are the stuff of nightmares! Amelia Fang would much rather hang out with her pet pumpkin Squashy and her friends Florence the yeti (DON’T CALL HER BEAST!) and Grimaldi the reaper than dance at her parents’ annual Barbaric Ball. And when the King’s spoiled son Tangine captures Squashy, Amelia and her friends must escape the party to plan a daring rescue! In their race against time, they begin to realise things in Nocturnia may not be quite what they seem . . .”

Another beautifully orange book is the brilliant Jack Beechwhistle: Rise of the Hairy Horror by Kes Gray. When I saw this on the Puffin list, I knew I needed to get my hands on this for the kids at school – they love these books. This book has been in the hands of a few of my kids and they’ve all loved it! It’s grizzly, fun and “miss, it’s just brilliant!”. 

“The world’s a dangerous place. Luckily, Jack Beechwhistle is around to protect it. He might look like an ordinary boy, but really he’s a junior secret agent. He’s tackled all sorts of missions – exploding conkers, zombie sweet-shop owners, and man-eating giant slugs – with a bit of help from his best friends and sidekicks, Colin and Harry (as long as it’s not past their bedtime). Then Jack notices something strange and suspicious about the hairdresser in town, Valentino. Every time Valentino cuts someone’s hair, he sweeps the hairs up and collects them in a big plastic bag. But what is he using them for? Everything points to Valentino being an evil enemy agent! And Jack Beechwhistle’s on the case . . .”

The last book I’m going to feature today is an anthology of sorts – Stories of Wizards and Witches by Enid Blyton. As a child, I loved Enid Blyton books and when I saw this in the supermarket, I picked it up. It’s brilliant and packed full of short stories all about wizards and witches. These short stories have been brilliant to read at the end of the day or during down time in school!

Get ready for broomstick rides and bubbling cauldrons in these magical short stories from Enid Blyton – ideal for reading aloud, or for children over 7 to read alone! This bumper collection of 25 short stories is populated by every sort of magical and mysterious creature, from a grumpy wizard who is outwitted by an elf to pixie who rides on a rabbit. The stories are the perfect length for reading aloud in a classroom or at bedtime. With lots of humour and fantastic characters, these will appeal to newly confident readers to read alone as well as to younger children being read to.”

And that’s the books I’ve collected this year! 

Can you recommend any more spooky reads?
Do you have a favourite time of year?
What are your plans for Hallowe’en?

Let me know in the comments, or on twitter! 

S x

S4S – Halloween books!

Hello there!

Who stole my half term!? Where did it go? Never mind, to keep me going on this last day we have another #SixforSunday! This week’s theme is:

Halloween books

Now I’m not one for scary books to be honest, I’m much too much of a wuss BUT I’ve collated a list of 6 “scary” books I would like to read, ONE day.

  1. The Shining – Stephen King
  2. Charlotte Says/Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell
  3. A Skinful of Shadows – Frances Hardinge
  4. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  5. Dracula – Bram Stoker 
  6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

There you have it!

Talk to me, use the hashtag #SixforSunday and tell me the books you’re excited to read this Halloween! Or recommend me some books, I don’t read many scary books!

S x