Book Group

JAB North


JAB North met tonight to enjoy biscuits and books in spite of the heat! The chocolate was slightly sticky, but the conversation was brilliant!

We were delighted to welcome Naomi from the library who came to talk to us about this year's Summer Reading Challenge and Peter from Beanstalk who came to tell us all about their work in schools.

We then discussed our two books for the term: Fabio and The Return of the Railway Children. Both of these are on this year's long list, both in the 'Read Aloud' Category. 'Fabio' was thought to be very appealing for the Year 3/4 age range with lots of potential for sharing, and enjoying,  with a class. The group were divided over the bright pink and green pages- some thinking them great fun, whilst others found them hard to read. 

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'The Return of the Railway Children' was a very popular choice. Many of us have fond memories of the original story- and the film version- and really enjoyed discussing how the characters had developed from the original. There were many aspects to the plot which were also felt to be relevant/ good for discussion.

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We also discussed 'Thornhill' which was a great hit with those who have read it. Pam Smy's fabulous artwork was much admired and there was very lively chat about the story. Many of us are looking forward to seeing more from her!

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The next books we have chosen to read are 'Sky Song' by Abi Elphinstone and 'The Book Case' by Dave Shelton. 

JAB South

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Tonight, JAB South met for a very busy meeting! With the summer term possibly the craziest of the school year with sports' days, writing reports, plays, summer fairs etc, we were a small, but happy group.

Peter Shelton from Beanstalk SW came to talk to us about their work and how their Reading Helpers are working in schools, both in this area and nationally. 

Next, we heard from Duncan Beedie who very kindly agreed to join us after he had spent the day at Bournville Primary. It was wonderful to be able to ask him questions about his work and find out about his new book, coming out next year. It was a real pleasure to have him with us! His most recent book, 'The Last Chip' is one of our long listed picture books this year.

Having discussed this year's Summer Reading Challenge, we looked at 'Candy' by Lavie Tidhar, illustrated by Mark Beech which Scholastic have generously sent us copies of so we can have this as one of our reads. We also agreed to continue reading books from the long list ready for short listing in September.

'Tin' by Padraig Kenny and 'Song of the Dolphin Boy' by Elizabeth Laird were our two discussion books from our last session. 'Song of the Dolphin Boy' is currently being used in one of our year 4 classes at the moment and planning for this will be added to the members' section of the website over the summer, based on what has worked well with these children. Both of the books inspired lively discussion and interest- worthy of their place on our long list!

We finished today's meeting with a book sale- and lots of tea and biscuits! It was lovely to see everyone and enjoy some book-ish chatter! Thank you to everyone for coming!




Egmont Reading for Pleasure Awards 2018


Yesterday, I went to The Open University in Camden to attend their Research Symposium: Reading for Pleasure: what next? As part of this day, the Egmont Reading for Pleasure Awards were to be presented by Michael Rosen.


Having caught the 6.20am train, I had plenty of time to catch up on some reading. 'Thornhill' is a fantastic read, told through journal entries and pages of illustrations.It is an incredible story- one which we will be reviewing very soon.


Read number two was the next in the wonderful 'Secret Diary of...' series by Philip Ardagh, illustrated by Jamie Littler. Full of fun facts and information, these books are extremely entertaining! I'm sure the man siting next to me was trying to read it over my shoulder whilst pretending to work! This is another title we will review soon.


My final read for the journey to London was this - 'Lifters' by Dave Eggers. This was a very enjoyable read- another for the to-be-read pile!


I finished my books just as the train arrived at Paddington station where I took a moment to visit my favourite bear! I then made my way to Camden and to the offices of The Open University, arriving just in time for tea and pastries. Fortified by my nine-thirties, I was ready for a morning of research and discussion about reading.


Chris Routh from the FCBG was there and I realised one of the speakers was someone I had gone to school with- it's a small world!



And was time for the awards. Mendip Green had entered in the whole school category and were awarded Highly Commended. The only drawback was having to have my photo taken! It would have been lovely to have the whole staff there to receive our certificate!


The day continued with lots of thoughtful discussions, including a panel of speakers who spoke about the reading projects they are involved in and the impact these are having. I made copious notes which I plan to share with everyone at a staff meeting soon!


All too soon the conference was over, so I made my way to Piccadilly and Hatchards Booksellers, a beautiful 'Brilliant Bookshop' where I purchased some new reading material for the journey home!


It was a wonderful day! Lots of food for thought and focusing on reading- what more could anyone want?!