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Book of the Week

 

Choose Love by Nicola Davies and Petr Horáček. 

Refugee|Empathy| Poems

In this moving sequence of poems Nicola Davies’s text combines with the illustrations of Petr Horáček to provide insight into the real-life experiences of refugees forced to leave their homes and previous lives behind to face an unknown future.

Suffused with compassion and understanding, the work invites you to share in these stories in the hope of building greater awareness and empathy for the struggles faced by so many, and to choose love as our response.

 

Scroll down to see our previous Book of the Week books

Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

War comes to the streets of Paris and Safiyyah's life changes forever. Her best friend's family have fled, and the bombing makes her afraid to leave the mosque where she lives. But when her father is arrested by the Nazis for his secret Resistance work, it falls to Safiyyah to run the dangerous errands around the city. It's not long before hundreds of persecuted Jews seek sanctuary at the mosque. Can Safiyyah find the courage to enter the treacherous catacombs under Paris and lead the Jews to safety?

 

 

HappyHead by Josh Silver

When Seb is offered a place on a radical retreat designed to solve the national crisis of teenage unhappiness, he is determined to change how people see him and make his parents proud.

But as he finds himself drawn to the enigmatic Finn, Seb starts to question the true nature of the challenges they must undergo. The deeper into the programme the boys get, the more disturbing the assessments become, until it’s clear there may be no escape...

 

October October by Katya Balen

October and her dad live in the woods. They know the trees and the rocks and the lake and stars like best friends. They live in the woods and they are wild. And that's the way it is.

Until the year October turns eleven.

That's the year October rescues a baby owl. It's the year Dad falls out of the biggest tree in their woods. The year the woman who calls herself October's mother comes back. The year everything changes.

 

Mockingbird by Kathrine Erskine

Caitlin misses her brother every day. Since his death in a school shooting, she has no one to explain the world to her. And for Caitlin, the world is a confusing place. She hates it when colours get mixed up, prefers everything to be black-and-white, and needs to check her Facial Expressions Chart to understand emotions.

So when Caitlin reads the definition of "closure", she decides that's what she needs. And as she struggles to find it, a world of colour begins to enter her black-and-white life...

 

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

A Short History of Nearly Everything is a quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilisation - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us.

Bill Bryson's challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry and particle physics, and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know. How do we know what is in the centre of the Earth, or what a black hole is, or where the continents were 600 million years ago? How did anyone ever figure these things out?

Can You Get Jellyfish in Space? By Dr Sheila Kanani

You’ve probably heard of dogs in space. Maybe even chimpanzees. But jellyfish? Almost certainly not!

Join Dr Sheila Kanani as she discovers a weird and wonderful cast of animals who have travelled into space, from Ham the chimpanzee to Félicette the cat, and the 60,000 jellyfish who have orbited the Earth (did you know you can also get jellyfish-shaped galaxies?). 

 

 

Wranglestone by Darren Charlton

In a post-apocalyptic America, a community survives in a national park, surrounded by water that keeps the Dead at bay. But when winter comes, there's nothing to stop them from crossing the ice.

Then homebody Peter puts the camp in danger by naively allowing a stranger to come ashore and he's forced to leave the community of Wranglestone. Now he must help rancher Cooper, the boy he's always watched from afar, herd the Dead from their shores before the lake freezes over. But as love blossoms, a dark discovery reveals the sanctuary's secret past. One that forces the pair to question everything they've ever known.

 

Once by Morris Gleitzman

Felix has been living in an orphanage for three years and eight months when the men in armbands arrive to burn the books. Going on the run in search of his parents, Felix soon learns that Poland in 1942 is not a safe place for Jewish boys.  But can his gift for storytelling keep him one step ahead of the Nazis and help him find his parents? After all, everybody deserves to have something good in their life at least once.

 

 

Rat by Patrice Lawrence

When his mum is sent back to prison, Al knows exactly who's to blame. Mr Brayker, who lives downstairs, has been making trouble for Al's mum ever since they moved in, and Al's determined to get his revenge. Ignoring advice from his gran and sister, Plum, Al takes things into his own hands with a plan that involves the only two creatures he can rely on: his pet rats, Venom and Vulture. But things don't turn out exactly as he'd imagined.

 

 

Stitched Up by Steve Cole

When twelve-year-old Hanh is offered a job as a shop assistant in Hanoi, she sees it as a chance to earn money to send back to her family living in poverty in rural Vietnam. But on her arrival in the city, she soon learns that the job offer was a lie and finds herself working in virtual slavery in an illegal garment factory. 

Hanh is desperate to escape, but when an opportunity arises will she be able to find the courage to take a dangerous chance?

 

 

Kay's Anatomy by Adam Kay

The human body is extraordinary and fascinating and, well . . . pretty weird. Yours is weird, mine is weird, your maths teacher's is even weirder. This book is going to tell you what's actually going on in there, and answer the really important questions, like: Are bogeys safe to eat? Look, if your nose is going to all that effort of creating a snack, the least we can do is check out its nutritional value. (Yes, they're safe. Chew away!) And how much of your life will you spend on the toilet? About a year - so bring a good book. (I recommend this one.)

 

 

Danny Chung does not do Maths by Maisie Chan

Eleven-year-old Danny Chung loves drawing more than anything - certainly more than maths, which, according to his dad and everyone else, is what he is 'supposed' to be good at.

He also loves having his own room where he can draw in peace, so his life is turned upside down when a surprise that he's been promised turns out to be his little, wrinkly, ex-maths-champion grandmother from China. What's worse, Nai Nai has to share his room, AND she takes the top bunk!

 

The Adventures in Time: The First World War by Dominic Sandbrook

Travel back in time to The First World War, as historian Dominic Sandbrook takes us from the soaring heights of an aeroplane cockpit to the desperate depths of the enemy trenches. We are plunged first hand into a conflict like no other as, amid the greatest clash of empires ever known, the future of the world hangs in the balance...

The Adventures in Time series brings the past alive for twenty-first century children. These stories are every bit as exciting as those of Harry Potter or Matilda Wormwood. The only difference is they actually happened...

Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean

Things aren't going great for Archie Albright. His dad's acting weird, his mum too, and all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of Dad's pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer. Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away.

 

 

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run - and they say he is coming after Harry.

In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves. But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss.

 

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer.

Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

 

 

After the War by Tom Palmer

Summer 1945. The Second World War is finally over and Yossi, Leo and Mordecai are amongst three hundred children who arrive in the English Lake District. Having survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps, they've finally reached a place of safety and peace, where they can hopefully begin to recover. Will life by the beautiful Lake Windermere be enough to bring hope back into all their lives?

 

 

 

Gamer by Chris Bradford

An action-packed dystopian epic from Bodyguard author Chris Bradford. Scott is an orphan, roaming the streets in search of food like so many other children. When the opportunity to become a games tester for Vince Power and his Virtual Kombat video games comes along, he leaps at the chance. But Scott's about to find out that there's nothing virtual about the danger in these games...The Matrix meets The Hunger Games in this fast-paced action thriller.

 

 

Lark by Anthony McGowan

Things are tense at home for Nicky and Kenny. Their mum's coming to visit and it will be the first time they've seen her in years. A lot has changed since they were little and Nicky's not so sure he's ready to see her again. When they head for a trek across the moors to take their minds off everything, a series of unforeseen circumstances leaves the brothers in a vulnerable and very dangerous position. There might even be a chance that this time not everyone will make it home alive...

 

 

Green Rising by Lauren James

Gabrielle is a climate-change activist who shoots to fame when she becomes the first teenager to display a supernatural ability to grow plants from her skin. Hester is the millionaire daughter of an oil tycoon and the face of the family business. Theo comes from a long line of fishermen, but his parents are struggling to make ends meet. As they navigate first love and family expectations, can the three teenagers pull off the ultimate heist and bring about a green rising?

 

 

The Climbers by Keith Gray

Sully is the best tree climber in the village. He can scale Twisted Sister’s tangled branches and clamber up Double Trunker with ease. But when new kid Nottingham shows up and astonishes everyone with his climbing skills, Sully’s status is under threat and there’s only one way to prove who’s best.

 

 

 

 

I am the Minotaur by Anthony McGowan

Matthew is 14 and is struggling to fit in - something that's extra hard when you're taking care of your mum, being bullied at school, and have earned the nickname Stinky Mog because of your poor personal hygiene. On top of all that, he wants to catch the attention of one of the coolest girls in school, Ari. 

When Ari's brand new bike is stolen, Matthew spots his chance to make a good impression by getting it back for her... But will he just end up in even more trouble or is Matthew is about to learn that friendship and heroes can be found in unlikely places?

 

Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll

When Cora's brother drags her along to his boss's house, she doesn't expect to strike up a friendship with Adrien, son of the intimidating CEO of Pomegranate Technologies.

As she becomes part of Adrien's life, she is also drawn into the mysterious projects at Pomegranate. At first, she's intrigued by them - Pomegranate is using AI to recreate real people in hologram form. As she digs deeper, however, she uncovers darker secrets... Cora knows she must unravel their plans, but can she fight to make her voice heard, whilst never losing sight of herself?

 

Fake by Ele Fountain

Jess has grown up isolated from most other people, doing everything online – learning, work, shopping and socialising; just like everyone else has since the scarlet fever epidemic twenty years ago and resulting antibiotic resistance.

Now she’s fourteen, Jess is excited to be heading to a real-life boarding school, but Jess is unprepared for what she discovers and for the shocking consequences that follow...

 

 

Windrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah

Leonard is shocked when he arrives with his mother in the port of Southampton. His father is a stranger to him, it’s cold and even the Jamaican food doesn’t taste the same as it did back home in Maroon Town. But his parents have brought him here to try to make a better life, so Leonard does his best not to complain, to make new friends, to do well at school – even when people hurt him with their words and with their fists. 

 

 

Fight Back by A.M Dassu

An empowering story about finding your identity and the courage to fight for it.

Aaliyah is an ordinary thirteen-year-old - she's into her books, shoes, K-pop and she is a Muslim. She has always felt at home where she lives ... until a terrorist attack in her area changes everything...

 

 

 

White Bird by R.J. Palacio

To the millions of readers who fell in love with R J Palacio's Wonder, Julian is best-known as Auggie Pullman's classroom bully. 

White Bird reveals a new side to Julian's story, as Julian discovers the moving and powerful tale of his grandmother, who was hidden from the Nazis as a young Jewish girl in occupied France during the Second World War.

 

 

Terror Kid by Benjamin Zephaniah

Rico knows trouble. He knows the look of it and the sound of it. He also knows to stay away from it as best he can. Because if there's one thing his Romany background has taught him, it's that he will always be a suspect. Despite his efforts to stay on the right side of the law, Rico is angry and frustrated at the injustices he sees happening at home and around the world. He wants to do something - but what?

 

While the Storm Rages by Phil Earle

September 1939. The world is on the brink of war. As his dad marches off to fight, Noah makes him a promise, to keep their beloved family dog safe. When the government advises people to have their pets put down in readiness for the chaos of war, hundreds of thousands of people do as they are told. But not Noah. He's not that sort of boy. With his two friends in tow, he goes on the run, to save his dog and as many animals as he can. No matter what...

 

 

 

Amazing Muslims who Changed the World by Burhana Islam

Meet just some of the amazing Muslim men and women who have changed our world - from pirate queens, nurses, warriors, scientists, actors and mathematicians to courageous, ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things. You'll find people you might know, like Malala Yousafzai, Mo Farah and Muhammad Ali, as well as some you might not...

 

 

Armistice Runner by Tom Palmer

Lily loves fell running. She’s good, but never quite good enough: she gets anxious and loses her focus and then that’s it. Out. Plus she’s worried about her grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s and is growing distant and confused. But whilst staying with her grandparents just before her first big race of the season, Lily discovers her great-great grandfather was a runner too. Not only was he a fell running champion, but he was also a message runner during World War One...

 

 

The Dark Lady by Akala

A pickpocket with an exceptional gift. A prisoner of extraordinary value. An orphan haunted by dreams of the mysterious Dark Lady. Henry is an orphan, an outsider, a thief. He is also a fifteen-year-old invested with magical powers ...

 

 

 

 

The Space We're In by Katya Balen

Frank is ten. He likes cottage pie and football and cracking codes. 
Max is five. He eats only Quavers and some colours are too bright for him and if he has to wear a new T-shirt he melts down down down. Sometimes Frank wishes Mum could still do huge paintings of stars and asteroids like she used to, but since Max was born she just doesn't have time. When tragedy hits Frank and Max's lives like a comet, can Frank piece together a universe in which he and Max aren't light years apart?

 

 

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliffe

The Ninth Legion marched into the mists of northern Britain - and they were never seen again. Four thousand men disappeared and their eagle standard was lost. It's a mystery that's never been solved, until now... Marcus has to find out what happened to his father, who led the legion. So he sets out into the unknown, on a quest so dangerous that nobody expects him to return...

 

 

 

Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties by Humza Arshad and Henry White

I'm Humza Khan, the greatest eleven-year-old rapper Eggington has ever known; soon everyone will know my name. Only problem is school has got really weird, man. All my teachers are disappearing and our aunties are taking over. But now these aunties are trying to mess with my music, so me and my best friends Umer and Wendy are going to hunt for the truth...

 

 

 

 

Foul Play by Tom Palmer

Danny is obsessed with two things: football - especially City Football Club - and investigating crimes. So when England and City footballing hero Sam Roberts is reported missing the day after Danny saw him being taken, blindfolded, into the bowels of the City FC stadium late at night, he's determined to get to the bottom of it. But is Danny getting into something he can't handle?