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Thursday, 15 March 2018

You might like...

Hamish and the Gravity Burp by Danny Wallace. The book really is a lot of fun and it makes me laugh reading it. I love the characters that Danny has created and the fun names he has given them - like Madame Cous Cous (I wonder if she will ever get her glasses back on?). And what about Hamish's poor brother, Jimmy, sliming himself with... well, you know what. I hope you are all enjoying the book as much as I am. The illustrations (done by Jamie Littler) are great too. Have you seen the little flicker-book style plant pictures at the bottom of each page? 
Thank you for suggesting this book - it's great.

Here are a couple of other books that you might enjoy -

For Key Stage 2 there's...

Tin - by Padraig Kenny - this is a new book and I loved it. Here's the blurb... Christopher is 'proper': a real boy with a real soul, orphaned in a fire. He works for an engineer, a maker of the eccentric, loyal and totally individual mechanicals who are Christopher's best friends. But after an accident, a secret is revealed and Christopher's world is changed forever..."

I think you will really enjoy this book - there's lots of excitement and adventure.

The Everything Machine - by Ally Kennen - Three kids let loose with a top-secret magical machine with a mind of its own... what could possibly go wrong? 

Olly, Stevie and Bird have just had a very special delivery. It's a machine that has a name, can speak and is able to print ANYTHING they want it to. How about a never-ending supply of sweets and a cool swimming pool in the shed for starters?

But is getting everything you ever wished for all it's cracked up to be?

Key Stage 1 (but 2 will enjoy it too)
Attack of the Alien Dung - by Gareth P Jones

Have you every wondered what your pets get up to when you're not watching them? Well they just might be Secret Agents - members of the Pet Defenders like Philip's dog - Biskit. It's the Pet Defenders job to protect the Earth from alien invaders and Biskit is good at his job (well... quite good). But, as if it isn't bad enough having alien dung attacking the planet, Biskit discovers that his new partner is a cat. This, and the other Pet Defenders books are lots of fun and great to read out loud... Let me know what you think.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Hamish and the Gravity Burp

Hello everyone... thank you for mentioning Hamish and the Gravity Burp by Danny Wallace - it sounds like lots of fun. I was hoping to read it at the same time as you but unfortunately they didn't have a copy of it in Liverpool Library where I was on Friday. Vicky has ordered a copy from her library though so I will have it soon.
The good news is that although they didn't have that book, they did have two others... that means that if you enjoy that Hamish story there are more to read.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Some Book Suggestions

Hi there everyone - and a huge thank you to everyone that has written to tell me about books they are reading. Here are there suggestions and a few of my own...

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is written by the Irish novelist, John Boyne. It's set during the 2nd World War and focuses on a 9 year old boy named Bruno who knows nothing about the terrible things happening to people in Europe at the hand of the Nazis. All he knows is that he has been moved from his comfortable home in Berlin to a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with - until he meets another young boy, Shmuel who lives on the other side of a wire fence and wears 'striped pyjamas' like the other people around him. The story is about the friendship that develops between the two boys and about Bruno's discovery of he horrors taking place around him. Recommended for older readers year 6 and above. 

The next book that has been suggested is a real classic that was written in 1869 by Louisa May Alcott - it's a very famous and very popular book and has been made into movies and was recently shown on BBC television.

The person suggesting this book said "Recently I have been reading Little Women, a classic book by Louisa May Alcott. This book shows you the life of four sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy (in age order). This book is set within the America Civil War. The girls Farther goes a way to fight. In this book the girls go through a lot of sad and personal events but they help each other get through them. I really recommend this book to people who like reading classics and I can't wait to read all the sequels."

The last recommendation comes from a keen reader in year 6 who is reading books by Terry Pratchett - my favourite author... Here's what they say about Terry Pratchett. "Hi I'm in year 6 at Dovedale and I'm reading Terry Pratchett. It's really challenging but I love the creativity and fantasy elements. I'm going to persevere with this book!"

I love Terry Pratchett's books and would recommend them to anyone. He writes books for younger readers and adults. His books are funny and really well written. Most of his books are set on the Discworld and are full of wizards, witches, trolls, dwarves and lots more. If you don't like fantasy books don't let the characters put you off as his books are not what you would expect... Here's some of my favourites that you might like to try...

For year 5 and above - you might like to try Diggers, Truckers and Wings - all about people (about 10cm tall) who live under the floorboards of an old superstore and think that the store is the whole world... Here's the original cover and the new cover... of first book in the series...

Older readers or readers wanting a bigger book might want to read The Wee Free Men or one of his other wonderful books...

The Wee Free Men - those little guys with the blue faces - is about a 9 year old witch called Tiffany Aching as she discovers that she is a witch and what it means to be a witch. I don't want to tell you much about this story but I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did... very funny.

If you read it - let me know what you think.


Monday, 9 October 2017

What Are You Reading Right Now?

I'd love to hear what books you are reading in your classroom and at home...

Perhaps your teacher is sharing a book with everyone or perhaps you are reading a book of your own.

You might enjoy reading Top-Secret Grandad and Me - Death By Tumble Dryer, by David MacPhail.  

This story is about an 11 year old boy called Jay Patel. He lives in Glasgow with his family - Granny, a tiny woman with thick glasses, wrinkles and long grey hair who, one Halloween, got mistaken for Yoda - and his Mum, Katie, who wears flowy dresses and burgundy coloured Dr Marten boots...

Jay's Dad vanished whilst doing a magic trick on stage and he hasn't been seen since. Jay thinks he would make a good private investigator and he is determined to find out what has happened to his dad.

As if things aren't difficult enough already for Jay, the Ghost of his dead Grandad appears at the house. At first Jay thinks that it will be very useful having a ghost to help him solve the mystery, but unfortunately Grandad isn't quite as ideal as he had hoped. He refuses to walk through walls and he floats along very slowly.

As well as finding out what happened to his dad, Jay has other mysteries to solve too...
Who dropped a piano on the school caretaker's head?
What happened to the dead body that Mum found in the school library?
Then there's the diamonds, blackmail and a strange launderette that doesn't do any laundry. Perhaps they are all connected...

Will Jay get to the bottom of it all? You will have to read on to find out. 

Your Local Library...

One of the things I want to be able to do as Patron of Reading is to share ideas about things to read. Some of the books I suggest might already be in your school - but if not, then you can borrow them from your local library.

There are two libraries that are not too far from Dovedale. The nearest one is Allerton Library - that's only a few streets away from school.

The other one is Sefton Park Library. If you are not already a member of your local library - ask your parents to take you along so you can join. It's free to join and it's free to borrow books... so what are you waiting for?

If you don't go near these two libraries then perhaps you can go to the big Central Library in Liverpool. It's worth calling into the big library just to have a look... It's amazing.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

A Fantastic Day - No Worries!

The first day of school can be a worrying time for anyone - even me.

I worry that I might forget a story or poem that I am going to share...
I worry that I might forget some of my books...
I worry that I might forget my pants!!!
I worry that I might get lost on the way to school.
I worry that I might get lost when I'm in school
I also worry that I might lose my voice.

On Monday I was up at 6 o'clock in the morning, putting my things in the car and getting ready for my first visit to Dovedale. When there are nor many cars around it doesn't take me long to drive along the road, through the tunnel and into Liverpool -  but first thing on a Monday morning is different. After setting off at 7 o'clock and sitting in queues of traffic I finally arrived at school at 10 minutes to 9... I was lucky to find a parking space near the school so I didn't have to carry my things too far but I still arrived in the hall feeling a little flustered, hot and bothered...

Phew! I didn't get lost and I was just about in time for my first session which was to be with year one and two in the hall.

Phew! You're lovely teacher, Mrs Newby, showed me the way to the hall so I didn't get lost on the way. 

After introducing myself and a little bit of chat I shared a silly story with everyone. It was lots of fun and everyone laughed and joined in. Thank you for the jug of milk, the cat, the fresh leg of lamb and the brilliant donkey... the story wouldn't have been the same without you. Phew! I didn't forget the story - and no... I didn't forget my pants either - but I did start to lose my voice a little.

As year 1 and 2 left the hall I had a few minutes to get my breath back before the next little session which was with your amazing Reading Ambassadors - it was a real privilege to meet S (6P), M (6OT), Z (6C), S (5M), S (5MC), L (5TH), J (4H), B (4T), A (4BG), K (3B), K (3D) and J (3WM). Hopefully we can work together to get everyone in school reading for pleasure and sharing the fun or reading with each other. We had a few little ideas of how to get things going and I will be suggesting more things on this page... so please let me know if you have any more ideas.

After break I met everyone from year 3, 4, 5 and 6 for a big fun session in the hall. My voice had come back after the little rest and I had a great time sharing some stories and poems and answering your questions. Don't forget - if you have any more questions about me, writing or anything else... just send me an email or leave a comment on this page.

After a few noisy sessions it was great to have the chance to work with year six to come up with a story idea - I'd be interested to find out what happens to "Tentacle Boy" ...

In the afternoon I had lots of fun working with year one... sharing a few more stories and building a character that you can work on yoursleves.

Soon I will suggest a few books that you might like to read and I would live to hear your suggestions too, so keep in touch. I had a great time with everyone in school and I hope you enjoyed it too - see you soon. 

Right now I've got to get some writing done and send some new ideas off to one of my publishers who makes the books. I hope they like some of the ideas.

Happy reading everyone...