"Rose Campion and the Stolen Secret" by Lyn Gardner is the first of a series about a 'mighty girl' called Rose Campion and her music hall friends. Rose is being raised by Thomas-the owner of Campion's Music Hall. She doesn't know who her father or mother were but she has a big family of Victorian music hall entertainers. In this first excellent, fast paced tale she makes life long friends and solves a mystery. There are some very nasty characters, some real challenges to overcome not least making a living in Victorian times. It's a fantastic read. I read the second one first last Friday and then had to dash out to get a copy of the first one as it was so good. Think due to some of its darker elements 9+ but a gripping yarn-go and get a copy IMMEDIATELY!
Reception and Year 1 book making all day at Horsford C of E VA Primary in Norwich and it was a real pleasure. We imagined being Wizards and then drew our magic objects in our own books. At one point there were quite a few cries for help when it came to folding the book at the end but all's well that ends well as far as Storyshack is concerned in that everybody drew and wrote in their books spontaneously after that.
Then the teachers caught the book making bug....have a look at their lovely creations at the top. They're beautiful and I'm always impressed with the folk who use all their energy enthralling children in the day and then still have energy left for book making later. However, as we all now if you craft or play music or paint, draw, do something creative you do gain much therapy from being in the flow. So try it...and then importably allow your children to feel the flow too.
"The best predictor of reading achievement in study after study, is the amount of recreational reading children have done…."
So even if our lovely Year 6s complete their equally lovely SATS reading test this year at greater depth but they are reading books few and far between we're not doing our job. If they haven't experienced the wealth of amazing children's literature that is available FREE to them all we are not doing our job. If we don't read I hate to say it to add more pressure but we're really not doing our job. If teachers can only name Michael Morpurgo, Roald Dahl, J K Rowling and Jacqueline Wilson as key authors we're not doing our job. You can't really have a pretend SATS orientated reading culture in schools....it's got nothing to do with SATS and testing, it's to do with giving our young people access to books, imagining and a life long love of reading.
Don't forgo your libraries for SATS text books....build them up, make them into treasure chests, let your children know they can go to those treasure chests FOR FREE for the rest of their lives. What better gift can we give?
READING FOR PLEASURE IS READING FOR LIFE
OOOH it's like going on a yearly spa trip for readers when you go to the Norfolk Children's Book Centre's Conference.....
Fabulous day today...before I get into bed with one of the many books purchased-books don't count do they???-just two at ten (well almost!) that are a MUST HAVE for internet safety in one sweep. If I've seen any of you in person over the last few years in schools I'm sure I've already told you about Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross' 'Chicken Clicking'. Their sequel is 'Troll Stinks' and is fabulous and you must read it straight away and read it to your children too. That's all for now but more book titles soon AND amazing pictures of book making which was, once again, gloriously creative.
ooh I've been away for far too long Imagineers....largely because I've been reading A LOT and teaching A LOT and somehow have missed blogging A LOT.
But I've been meaning to tell you about this little corker 'Silo the Seer' by V. Peyton. I've had it for every such a long time in the Storyshack cabin but have just missed it as something to read. Finally I picked it up and it's a really smashing read for 8+ I'd say. Silo is an orphan who also loses his 'guardian angel' early on so he has lots to contend with. He is sent to become a 'SEER' because he is recognised, but the authorities, as having a gift but they want that gift for something different and, as you might suspect, things are not always what they seem. There are some dastardly rivals, some loyal pals and scrapes and adventures. It's a really good read and I'm looking forward to the next one.
'Marvels' By Brian Selznick (who wrote HUGO) is a beautiful book based on some aspects of a very creative, imaginative occurrence. I would say to get the best out of the book it should probably be a 12+ read i.e. secondary school as there are some themes in the book that are worth discussing and I just there is an age where you would get more out of it. In the first half of the book the story is told through beautiful black and white illustrations and then continued in text. I don't want to say too much about it as it really makes you think about what's real and what isn't, about families and friendships and being true......open it up, you're in for a treat and you have a beautiful book for you shelf to gaze at too.
it when I was little and wanting to sleep on a leaf OR , as a later poem by Tennyson is illustrated, in a shell. Just very 70s childhood to me and totally indulgent but hey ho. Also beautiful line drawings inside to accompany a mighty fine selection of poems by Tennyson, Kate Greenaway, Christina Rossetti to name but a few. Track it down if you don't already have it and if you do dig it out for a poetry trip.
A blustery day at Folk East but that didn't deter beautiful book making...that's the Folk of the East for you :-)
If you'd come any earlier you'd have found me curled up with it and not wanting to put it down. It's a unique idea about 'heritage crime' - a new law which states children are now responsible for any previously undetected crime committed by their parents. Those children are then imprisoned and maimed by a strap key in their back which tracks their every move, limits their movement causing them to 'strut' so they are called 'strutters'. They live in cramped conditions, never see daylight and have to endure 'correction' where particular children's families are highlighted for their past deeds which is also broadcast across the nation.
This is chastening read especially for our current climate and explores what happens when powerful people use fear as a weapon and mark humans against humans. It's gripping, sometimes uncomfortable but un put down able. One for 12+ I'd say but well worth a read. I really like Simon Mayo's writing even though it makes me feel old because I can remember him on Radio 1!
You don’t have to wait until the
Norfolk Children’s Book Conference in November.
STORYSHACK can come to you and make books,
re-ignite your passion for reading so you can re light reading fires in your school: www.storyshack.org
there are still places at READING INSPIRATION
Tuesday July 12th 3.30-5pm at STORYSHACK £25
“everything great that ever happened in this world happened first in someone’s imagination” Astrid Lindgren
Ain't that the truth....really interesting article and reminded me of one of my favourite childhood books about 'The Six Bullerby Children' by Astrid Lindgren which has since been re illustrated by Tony Ross as 'The Children of Noisy Village' and 'Happy Times in Noisy Village'. Very charming and just a lovely slice of Lisa's life in a small village. I can remember lots of chapters of this book-pulling her brother Lars ' teeth out and hiding them under a floor board and a lovely bit which I still think about for birthdays. Lisa moves into a new room for her birthday which I thought was just wonderful-her doll's house is put in there, she has her own bed, her own chair and her own rag rug. It's just about the important things and would be a great first chapter book read.
I actually know of Astrid Lindgren through this route not through her most well known character Pippi Longstocking.
I love the quote above though and thoroughly believe it. Where would we be without imagination?
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.