"Children need the FREEDOM to appreciate the infinite resources of their hands, their eyes and their ears...." Loris Malaguzzi
Made by Ellen, who is 6 years old, with no help AT ALL-apart from threading a needle. That was it. An afternoon of total absorption in Storyshack. Just a little bit more time for our children to BE, to make, to create and to work out for themselves without adult interference to 'take overs'. Look what happens when you give a little space.........
"If this was real, and so far there had been nothing to prove it wasn't,then he was in one of the most extraordinary situations that any young man could find himself. This was his beanstalk in the gutter of time"
Another rapid read because it's lovely to have TIME to read in the hols. Page turners are always brilliant when you've got the time to read them aren't they? So Sally Gardner's 'The Door That Led to Where' is just that. It won the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2013 and is a gripping read. You know she is one of my favourite authors and I was very lucky to hear her make an inspiring speech about holding creativity dear to us in primary schools. Not only does she speak passionately about education she's also an enthralling writer.
This novel centres around 3 friends who are not having the easiest of teenage lives-in fact they're really struggling with things that we all hope our children wouldn't have to struggle with but lots of young people DO. AJ is the main character and this story is really his-the mystery surrounding his father , his awakening of his own talents and his recognition of this chance to change his life. The boys are living a harsh life but the magic and mystery in the book contrasts with this and gives it a quirky lift. I like that bit of magic particularly when it is a key which enables you to go back into time and in a more exciting way than in the Magic Key that Biff and Chip use!!
14 + for this one I think-it's got some themes better suited to this age range -drug use, gangs. The book uses the F word a couple of times just to warn you if you feel offended by that or if you like to know what you're children are reading. It would detract if they said something much more polite because it just wouldn't feel real.
Read it if you haven't already and then read 'I Coriander' if you haven't already ......
'The Imaginary' by AF Harrold+Emily Gravett is a thought provoking read charming, poignant, funny and scary all at the same time. Amanda has an imaginary friend...
She's a very imaginative, creative child and together with her friend they share lots of adventures. BUT, there is somebody who would like to wipe out imaginary friends. The book is really interesting because it's dark and light. Reading it raises lots of questions, gives lots of ideas for discussion-loyalty, right and wrong, what is a friend, growing up, loss. It really is a multi layered book. I think it would be great to read from 8+. It's a really lovely one for bed time reading or reading to your class and I think could give you much potential for an in depth topic for a term. Be warned it's one of those need to read at once books-I started last night and finished it this morning (it took my mind off the end of term cold lurgy).
Next stop SALLY GARDNER'S 'THE DOOR THAT LED TO WHERE'....I love holiday reading.
PS come and have a look at 'The Imaginary' for yourself at Storyshack-we'll be opening this Wednesday 30th and Tuesday 5th April. Come and find some lovely reads AND make a book too :-) See you there!
"WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE MADE A MISTAKE, THINK OF IT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL!"
AAAAH super super books for putting a spring in your step and a spring in your classes step too (if you happen to have one). 'Beautiful Oops' by Barney Saltzberg must be picked up and explored as it has lots of treats in store in pocket, lift up and other treasure forms. Then there's 'Ish' by Peter Reynolds in which there is a very recognisable event which turns into something completely different with the help of a much younger child-ain't that sometimes the way? Lastly there is the wonderful 'What do you do with an idea by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom which quite simply should be read by everyone young and old. It's about dreaming, hoping, having an idea, holding on to it, believing in it and making it happen. I know we get more cynical as we get older but really how would we ever have ideas and make the world a better place if it wasn't for a bit of this? Who's up for changing the world?
Thanks to lovely Sam in the office and her daughter Maddie I've just finished 'Frost Hollow Hall' by Emma Carroll. What a corking read. I was a bit bleary eyed yesterday morning as I'd stayed up late the night before to carry on reading. A ghost story for readers of about 9+ or maybe one to read together. It's a little bit scary but that's what makes it gripping and it's not in a horror way more of a mysterious way which leaves you wanting to find out how everything fits together. It's very atmospheric, a Victorian gothic ghost story about Tilly who has a near drowning experience but is saved by what she finds out to be a ghost-Kit the heir from Frost Hollow Hall. The mystery unfolds at the same time as Tilly has to grow up even more quickly and get a job to support her family. There's a good slice of life 'downstairs' in a large house as well. My hands were starting to feel worn out with all the cleaning and scrubbing the maids had to do amidst some very strange goings on. Definitely one to read in a short space of time so if you start now you can finish before the end of the weekend :-)
Here's 3 winter warmer reads even though it's not really that cold. I've been reading rather than blogging recently so I do apologise for only just beginning to blog again and it's nearly the end of January 2016! 'Counting by 7s' by Holly Goldberg Sloan is a quirky, interesting read for 10+. Set in America it's a story of Willow, a very intelligent child with some very special needs who faces the worst thing you could really have happen in your life in a very inspiring way. It's sad but you laugh at lots of sad bits too. Willow's character really draws you in from the start but there are other people who come in to her life who are also really interesting and un straightforward too. A reminder to stick to your own path and be true to who you are.
Then there's another instalment of Lockwood by Jonathan Stroud in the form of 'The Hollow Boy'. This is another page turner with an added character who joins the Lockwood Team and causes quite a bit of friction with Lucy who finds it very tricky and feels a little usurped. The 'whispering skull' from a previous book makes more of an appearance in this book as adventures carry on a pace and the team contribute to a very big 'haunting' down the King's Road. Probably better to start at the beginning with 'The Screaming Staircase' if you want to fully see how the characters grow but it's a good 'one off' read too and I'm never one to put anybody off reading.
Lastly a beautiful book by Shaun Tan called 'The Red Tree'. The illustrations are a wonder in themselves but the feelings they evoke really seem to strike something with all the children I've ever read his books too. With few words they seem to connect and project, maybe an understanding of how it feels to be isolated or lonely or that no one understands. The pictures are just fantastic for discussion, for 1 to 1 or to just keep looking and thinking.....Happy Reading.
.....and if I can't convince you and the quotes above don't do it for you then Stephen Fry's comment surely will:
" The most evergreen, immortal Christmas story to be published for decades."
More soon (about Christmassy books) but I'm so thrilled to have found a copy of this book I wanted to put some pics on to share. I had the blue copy when I was little and have been looking for Dick Bruna's 'The Christmas Book' for a loong time...now I've found it. A new cover but exactly the same unique drawings telling the story of the Nativity. And the new version even has a little Angel to use a book mark-what more could you ask for?
Avid reader, sometimes a headteacher AND founder of Story shack. A place where you can release your imagination and see where it takes you....
Release your imagination......
Explore new worlds.
Make your own stories.
Explore a map-real or fantasy....where do you want to go? Make your own and see where your imagination takes you.