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Reading Blog » September 2017RSS Feed RSS

The SLA Reading Blog is designed to highlight new books and related resources plus publishers' offers for our Members that we think may be of interest to school librarians and to others working in related fields. The blog is available to logged-in SLA Members at and a summary RSS feed is available at SLA Members, please submit any reviews you may wish to post here to bookblog[at] and remember to quote your membership number in your e-mail. This blog is moderated by the SLA.

Older blog posts are still available, though archived, on the website, but please check the date at the top of the post to make sure the offer or information is likely to be valid.

Resources for The Chosen Ones by Scarlett Thomas

This resource pack is based on The Chosen Ones, the second book in The
Worldquake Sequence from Scarlett Thomas
– author of Dragon’s Green.
It is a modern classic of adventure that will not only transport you away
from the classroom to the fantastical Otherworld, but also spark the
imaginations of all of the magical minds in your class (and yes, we know
there are many…)!

The lessons in this Pack serve as a mini scheme of work with literacy
objectives, providing material for four or more KS2 lessons – perfect
for classes of any ability in Years 5–6. The aim of these lessons is for the
children to improve their reading comprehension and inference skills –
taking their understanding of the text to a more sophisticated level.
So it’s time to pack your magical books and get ready for a reading
adventure. YOU are the chosen ones, and the journey starts here…
For more information about The Worldquake Sequence,

The Chosen Ones Lesson Plans


ile, 2 MB

Requires Adobe Reader

Q&A with Melvin Burgess, hosted by Hannah Kate at The Portico Library

Q&A with Melvin Burgess

19 April 2018, 6.30pm | The Portico Library, Manchester

IBBY UK and the Portico Library are pleased to present a Q&A session with author Melvin Burgess. A patron of The Portico Library, Melvin is an award-winning author of children's and young adult fiction. Often referred to as 'the godfather of teen fiction' by the British press, his novel Junk, published in 1996, was widely lauded for its realistic portrayal of youth, drugs and sex. He was nominated by the UK for the prestigious 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Award, which is presented biennially by IBBY. Previous winners of the award have included Tove Jansson and David Almond.

The event will be chaired by Hannah Kate, a poet and short-story writer based in Manchester whose work has appeared in various national magazines. As well as an academic, she is a presenter for North Manchester FM radio station and the host of a popular literature show, Hannah's Bookshelf, every Saturday with various authors.

After an introduction and dialogue with Melvin Burgess, Hannah will open the floor to questions from the audience.

Book here.

BookLife gives away £3 million to UK primary schools

One of the country’s leading educational suppliers, BookLife, has set up a new scheme to support school libraries and help primary schools improve their literacy skills.
BookLife’s new Match Funding scheme offers varied reading material for children. They have allocated £3 million to give away to schools, sourcing books from 30 UK publishers. BookLife has over 3,000 products in their Match Funding catalogue covering all curriculum requirements, plus lots of fiction. The company saw that many primary schools were struggling to stock their school libraries and knew they had to help. Their scheme allows doubling on book resources, so for every pound a school spends with BookLife, they will receive another pound for free to spend on more school books and resources of their choice.
Currently, BookLife has given away over £2 million in the first three months and hope that they can help even more schools in the coming months. They have started to already see the benefits their scheme has been having with schools.

Our school is in a deprived area and it has always been our aim to provide a fantastic range of books to inspire our children to develop a love of reading. With BookLife's amazing Match Funding offer we have been able to expand our resources to further achieve this goal.” – Julie Jones, Orchards C of E Primary School.

The Match Funding scheme is open to all UK primary schools, large or small and with no minimum or maximum limits. This allows any school to ensure their budget is working efficiently to provide educational and fun books for pupils of all ages.
BookLife’s Match Funding scheme is running until 24 July 2018 and they advise schools to make use of it whilst they can. To find out more about Match Funding, go to

Authors celebrate World Book Day by picking the books that impacted them

Authors including Julian Clary, Katherine Rundell and Holly Smale share the books which opened doors for them on World Book Day 


The authors have all taken part in Book Aid International’s ‘New Worlds Through Books’ campaign which celebrates the universal power of books to expand horizons and enrich lives. The charity asked participating authors to share a short piece or video about a book which opened a door to a new world for them. Over two weeks, the charity shared these insights, using them as a way to highlight the universal power of books to open doors and create positive change.


Julian Clary shared a video about his chosen book, saying: “Well, a book that opened doors for me was Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. I read it when I was, I suppose, 11 years old and I’d never been very adventurous until then but when I read about what they got up to in that book and the adventures they had on the boat, I thought ‘this is the sort of life I’m going to lead’. Watch Julian’s video here:


Geek Girl author Holly Smale shared how Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery turned up at exactly the right moment: “Anne became more than my friend: she was me, except just a few metres ahead. Showing me I could do it. When I tried to write my first adult novel… I wanted to give teenagers another friend: someone they could turn to when they had nobody else…who would let them know they were enough. Much like people, books come in and out of our lives… But every now and then, the right book finds the right person at the right time. And when it does? It’s a love that lasts forever.” Read Holly’s full contribution:   


Katherine Rundell selected Charmed Life by Diana Wynn Jones saying that it “was the kind of book that stretches the edges of your horizon; it made me see how strange and witty and valiantly, gloriously unhinged a book could be”.


Cerrie Burnell focused on Little Women by Louisa May Alcott saying the book was “like a doorway back into history learning about these women’s amazing lives. If I had read this book when I was little, it would definitely have given me the motivation to write about things that are important to me. So I think it’s a really beautiful lesson in finding books that inspire you, that encourage you to do great things in the world and that tell stories that are powerful and relevant.” See Carrie’s full contribution and watch her video:


Contributions all of the authors who took part in the campaign, including Elizabeth Wein, Hannah Russell, Jacqueline Wilson and Yaba Badoe, can be found at


Book Aid International’s Chief Executive, Alison Tweed, expressed the charity’s gratitude to the authors who took part: “I would like to extend a very warm thank you to all of the authors who contributed to our campaign. By lending their voices, they have helped to amplify the message that books have the power to enrich lives and expand horizons – and that everyone should have access to books, whatever their circumstances. Today, on World Book Day, we are very pleased to join in the global celebration of all the positive change that books and reading make possible.” 


Anyone who wishes to do so can share a story about a book which opened a door to a new world for them. Anyone can tweet a contribution [at]Book_aid, email worldbookday[at] or share to the charity’s Facebook page:

Book Aid International is a World Book Day supported charity. Every year UK schools and families mark World Book Day by donating £1 and dressing up as a favourite book character, by holding a fundraising event or by simply making a donation to mark the day. Last year, schools and families raised £140,000 – enough to send 70,000 books to those who need them. This year, the charity hopes to raise even more.


It costs just £2 to send a book, so every penny raised really does make a difference. To find out more about making Book Aid International part of your World Book Day celebrations, visit  

New Book by Paul Dowswell Giveaway

Award winning historical novelist Paul Dowswell's latest excellent book, Wolf Children, published by Bloomsbury, is on offer to  the first 5 SLA members emailing the contact below. A climactic story o...
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SLA Genuine Fraud Giveaway

One of the most talked about books in YA  literature in 2014 was  prize-winning American author E.Lockhart's UK debut We Were Liars. Fans will be thrilled to hear that she has a new novel out this autumn and the first 5 SLA members to respond can get their hands on a free copy! ...
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Book Awards, Book Awards

With the publication of the UKLA longlists the 2018 Awards season has truly kicked off! The judges for these unique book awards, which are the only awards judged by active classroom teachers, will this year come from Wales, with the 2018 UKLA International Conference, at which the eventual winners are announced, being held in Car...
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