Bookshelf Read Aloud

A Sea of Stories

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Roo loves Grandpa’s cottage by the sea. It’s full of of his huge collection of Bits-and-Pieces, each one a special memory. This summer, she is staying there by herself. Grandpa is too old now to take her to the special cove which her family love, but they play hide and seek in his garden. When he is too tired, Roo chooses objects from his collection and he tells her the story connected with it. But Roo wishes she could bring the one place he loves best - the cove-back to him.

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What a lovely story! Grandpa’s cottage, full of its Bits-and-Pieces, is a real treasure trove of memories and the stories connected to them. Sharing these allows Roo and Grandpa to become even closer to each other and helps her to understand just how much he misses going to their special cove. Each story Grandpa tells allows Roo to find out a little more about his life- precious time forming more precious memories. When the community comes together to help make him happy, there is a heart warming conclusion to the story which makes you want to read it again!

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The book is perfect for newly confident readers, managing to offer rich language and a special story with lovely colour illustrations, full of details and a pleasure to linger over. It is a wonderful tale about the importance of sharing stories, sharing time and sharing memories.

A Sea of Stories Sylvia Bishop, illustrated by Paddy Donnelly

Little Tiger ISBN: 978-1788950817

You can read our review of The Secret of the Night Train here and The Bookshop Girl here.

The Land of Roar

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What a wonderful week! Jenny McLachlan has performed at six events, visiting children from nine of our schools and has made so many children really happy!

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Jenny was fab and the children are really inspired and all want to be authors now!

We have had a brilliant afternoon with Jenny McLachlan. We were totally immersed in her 'Land of Roar'! The children were captivated… All in all a great event.

These are just a couple of comments from teachers and there have been many more! Jenny was lively and enthusiastic, engaging her audience from the moment she started until she finished. We had spontaneous rounds of applause, wonderfully creative ideas and lots of happy children, clutching their signed copies, desperate to start reading.

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Having asked helpers to act out the beginning of the story and introduced us to both a dragon egg and a baby dragon, Jenny read a section from the story. The children were enchanted and there were many groans when she stopped! Jenny challenged the children to think about characters whilst she introduced them to her ‘teenage’ dragon, Pickle! They loved him!

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All too soon, it was over! Jenny then signed lots and lots of copies of ‘The Land of Roar’. It was such a lovely afternoon.

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Many thanks to Jenny for visiting our schools and for being so lovely. Thanks to Hilary for coming with her and to Jo from Books on the Hill for providing a bookshop for us.

The Land of Roar Jenny McLachlan, illustrated by Ben Mantle

Egmont ISBN: 978-1405293679

The Switching Hour

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…never let the outside in…

A terrible drought has the land in its clutches. Every night, Amaya watches her grandmother go through the ritual of locking the door to keep them, her todling brother, Kaleb, and her pet goat, Tao, safe from Badoko. Awoken by the drought, this monstrous creature snatches people away and feeds on their dreams. After three days, all memory of the missing one will disappear, leaving those remaining with the Sorrow Sickness, an all consuming grief.

When Kaleb is taken, Amaya is overcome with guilt and knows that she must rescue her little brother before she forgets him completely.

A compelling tale of bravery and love, ‘The Switching Hour’ is a magical story, rich in the traditions of myth, legend and folklore. Evocative language brings to life the parched landscape which forms its backdrop and the relentless heat permeates the story.

Amaya , determined to remember her little brother and to rescue him-and the other stolen children- from Badoko, is brave and resourceful, finding friendship and conquering fears on her quest. At times vulnerable and quite naive, she is a heroine the reader can identify with and support all the way, desperate for her to succeed in her task. Tau, her goat, is just wonderful - a companion like no other!

Deliciously creepy in places, ‘The Switching Hour’ is an atmospheric and immersive read.

The Switching Hour Damaris Young

Scholastic ISBN: 978-1407195049