Book Group

National Poetry Day... and JAB South


It’s National Poetry Day and at school, we celebrated in style! Year 6 each performed a poem which they had learnt by heart for the rest of their class- we only had two children who read the same poem so we were able to enjoy 29 poems during the morning.


It was wonderful to see the confidence that children had in sharing their choice and the delight they had in hearing from others.


We also had two assemblies- one for KS1 and one for KS2- at which teachers shared their favourite poems. The children loved this and we had poems from Michael Rosen, A A Milne, Rudyard Kipling and Joseph Coelho to name a few. Our lovely head teacher, deputy head, class teachers and support staff all read or performed poems and the atmosphere was lovely! We finished with me teaching the whole hall the opening of Wes Magee’s ‘Boneyard Rap’ before KS1 had their assembly of poetry!

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I also enjoyed sharing poems with my class from each of our shortlisted poetry books. It’s been just lovely!


And then, after school, JAB South met to discuss all things book-ish and to eat plenty of Mars Bar Crispie Cake. It was such a lovely meeting. We started by talking about ‘Candy’ by Lavie Tidhar. This was much enjoyed by the group and will be reviewed soon, using comments from the group and their children and classes.

We were delighted to welcome new members tonight and discuss the shortlist and the awards…which are rapidly approaching! So exciting!

Happy National Poetry Day, everyone!

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!