Resources

31 Jan 2017

Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germay by Norman Ohler - an extract

The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler’s gripping bestseller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops’ resilience – even partly explaining German victory in 1940. The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused...

Thumb blitzed 250
31 Jan 2017

Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova - discussion questions

When Kapka Kassabova was a child, the border zone between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece was rumoured to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall so it swarmed with soldiers, spies and fugitives. Today, this densely forested landscape is no longer heavily militarised, but it is scarred by its past. In this book. Kassabova sets out on a journey through a hidden corner of the continent, and meets the people of this triple border – Bulgarians, Turks, Greeks, indigenous...

Thumb border jacket 250
31 Jan 2017

The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney - an extract

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection … but can you pay the price? Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist...

Thumb the girl before jacket 250
31 Jan 2017

What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren - an extract

A New York Times–bestselling book which has been featured on the Radio 2 Book Club: Fact Not Fiction. When Cat Warren adopted Solo, an unruly German shepherd puppy, she soon began to wonder what she’d let herself in for. Solo’s boundless energy was what made him loveable ― but it also made him exhausting, and difficult to train. Then she struck upon an idea: what Solo needed was something to do. Like many dogs, Solo was destined to work: using his nose to help the police locate missing...

Thumb what the dog knows 250
31 Jan 2017

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - an extract

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations. Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly...

Thumb homegoing 250
30 Jan 2017

Where's Wally activity sheets

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of Where’s Wally with these fun activity sheets! This download includes colouring sheets, word puzzles and a maze activity

Thumb 9781406375695
30 Jan 2017

Looking for Captain Poldark by Rowan Coleman: Quick Reads learning resource

These resources have been designed for those using Quick Reads independently, as well as for those using Quick Reads in a group.

Thumb 9781473529298 looking for captain poldark
30 Jan 2017

The Other Side of You by Amanda Craig: Quick Reads learning resource

These resources have been designed for those using Quick Reads independently, as well as for those using Quick Reads in a group.

Thumb 9780349141725 the other side of you
30 Jan 2017

Dead Simple by Harry Bingham (Editor): Quick Reads learning resource

These resources have been designed for those using Quick Reads independently, as well as for those using Quick Reads in a group.

Thumb 9781409169123 dead simple
30 Jan 2017

One False Move by Dreda Say Mitchell: Quick Reads learning resource

These resources have been designed for those using Quick Reads independently, as well as for those using Quick Reads in a group.

Thumb 9781473640634 one false move
30 Jan 2017

A Very Distant Shore by Jenny Colgan: Quick Reads learning resource

These resources have been designed for those using Quick Reads independently, as well as for those using Quick Reads in a group.

Thumb 9780751566192 a very distant shore
30 Jan 2017

Spies and Crime Busters - Chatterbooks Activity Pack

Following up on our previous ‘spies and detectives’ packs, here’s another collection of action adventures and detective stories, with thrills and twists – and often humour too! As well as lots of reading suggestions for your group you’ll find ideas on this theme for discussion, warm ups, and longer activities.

Thumb collage
24 Jan 2017

A Busy Day for Birds video

Go behind the scenes with multi-award-winning author/illustrator Lucy Cousins (creator of Maisy) and find out about her new picture book, A Busy Day for Birds. Flap your wings, fly up high, open your beak and sing in this fun action rhyme story about fantastical birds! A bouncy read-aloud book, beautifully illustrated with bold, bright colours and packed with all sorts of wild and wonderful birds!

Thumb a busy day for birds
24 Jan 2017

Also An Octopus Activity sheets

Download these fun Also An Octopus activity sheets for your Chatterbooks group, including colouring sheets and spot the difference

Thumb also an octopus
19 Jan 2017

Chatterbooks Newsletter

The latest Chatterbooks Newsletter. This January newsletter has lots of exciting offers and competitions.

Thumb collage
13 Jan 2017

My Old Man: Tales of Our Fathers by Ted Kessler - an extract

If you were asked to write about your father, what would you say? No two paternal relationships are the same. Every experience, every bond, is unique. And whether happy or sad, fond or fraught, the memories and stories we have about our dads stay with us for ever. In this carefully curated collection, a dazzling list of contributors – including Florence Welch, Paul Weller, Nina Stibbe and the sons and daughters of Ian Dury, Johnny Ball, Roy Castle, Leonard Cohen and many others –...

Thumb my old man
13 Jan 2017

Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba - discussion questions

“This is a fascinating book I couldn’t stop reading. She understands everything about the chic, loathsome collaborators and the Holocaust victims, and their stories are told in an irresistible narrative flood.” Edmund White, author of The Flâneur “Sebba reminds us that we should listen and put ourselves in their shoes, before leaping immediately to judgement, and backs this up with testimonies from many women whose voices have remained unheard.” Kate Mosse,...

Thumb les parisiennes 250
13 Jan 2017

Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba - an extract

What did it feel like to be a woman living in Paris from 1939 to 1949? These were years of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation and secrets until – finally – renewal and retribution. Even at the darkest moments of Occupation, glamour was ever present. French women wore lipstick. Why? It was women who came face to face with the German conquerors on a daily basis – perhaps selling them their clothes or travelling alongside them on the Metro, where a German soldier had...

Thumb les parisiennes 250
12 Jan 2017

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge by Daniel Rachel - discussion questions

“A triumphant oral history of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge . . . a tale of resistance: first, against a surge of racism and bigotry that an inspired group of activists and musicians played a key role in rolling back; and then against a government, as the same spirit of defiance quickly resurfaced in opposition to the social revolutions of Thatcherism … a vivid portrait.” Guardian “Charts punk, 2 Tone and then Red Wedge’s subsequent battle for a...

Thumb walls come tumbling down 250
12 Jan 2017

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge by Daniel Rachel - an extract

Walls Come Tumbling Down charts the pivotal period between 1976 and 1992 that saw politics and pop music come together for the first time in Britain’s musical history; musicians and their fans suddenly became instigators of social change, and ‘the political persuasion of musicians was as important as the songs they sang’. Through the voices of campaigners, musicians, artists and politicians, Daniel Rachel follows the rise and fall of three key movements of the time: Rock...

Thumb walls come tumbling down 250
12 Jan 2017

Stories from Around the World - Chatterbooks Activity Pack

In this pack are reading ideas for all ages: adventures, folk tales, stories in translation and non-fiction titles, which take you around the world introducing you to people and places, and their lives and experiences. There are also ideas for discussion and activities, linked to these books and to our round the world theme.

Thumb collage
06 Jan 2017

Full Marks for Trying: An unlikely journey from the Raj to the rag trade by Bridgid Keenan - an extract

Brigid Keenan was never destined to lead a normal life. From her early beginnings – a colourful childhood in India brought to an abrupt end by independence and partition, then a return to dreary post-war England and on to a finishing school in Paris with daughters of presidents and princes – ordinary didn’t seem to be her fate. When, as a ten-year-old, she overheard her mother describe her as ‘desperately plain’, she decided then and there that she had to rely on...

Thumb full marks for trying cover 300
06 Jan 2017

Full Marks for Trying: An unlikely journey from the Raj to the rag trade by Bridgid Keenan - discussion questions

“With flashes of Nancy Mitford wit … Brigid Keenan is as skittish as a kitten with needle claws, as stricken as a deer in headlights, and as smart as a cage of monkeys.” The Times “Keenan, I suspect, was quite possibly put on this planet with the express purpose of writing.” Katie Hickman, Sunday Times “A new comic genius – the sort that can make you laugh out loud three or four times a page.” William Dalrymple This memoir is a fabulous book to...

Thumb full marks for trying cover 300
06 Jan 2017

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell - an extract

Shortlisted for the Costa Book Award. Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Award. Shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell crosses time zones and continents to reveal an extraordinary portrait of a marriage. A reclusive ex-film star living in the wilds of Ireland, Claudette Wells is a woman whose first instinct, when a stranger approaches her home, is to reach for her shotgun. Why is she so fiercely protective of her...

Thumb tmbtp cover 300
05 Jan 2017

My name is Leon by Kit De Waal - an extract

“Unforgettable, heartbreaking and uplifting – just read it.” “Leon is pure goodwill in a wicked world, and he won’t leave you when you put this unique book down. Authentic and beautiful, urgent and honest.” Chris Cleave, bestselling author of The Other Hand A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you’d least expect to find one. Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has...

Thumb my name is leon 300
05 Jan 2017

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jack Arnopp - an extract

It was no secret that journalist Jack Sparks had been researching the occult for his new book. No stranger to controversy, he’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed. Then there was that video: forty seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account. Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now. Here are some reviews of The Last Days of Jack...

Thumb jack sparks cover 250
05 Jan 2017

Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and a Scattershot World by Brian Brett - an extract

For thirty years, Brian Brett shared his office and his life with Tuco, a remarkable parrot given to asking such questions as “Whaddya know?” and announcing “Party time!” when guests showed up at Brett’s farm. Although Brett bought Tuco on a whim as a pet, he gradually realizes the enormous obligation he has to the bird and learns that the parrot is a lot more complex than he thought. Simultaneously a biography of this singular bird and a history of...

Thumb tuco jacket 300
05 Jan 2017

Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and a Scattershot World by Brian Brett - discussion questions

Brian Brett is the author of Trauma Farm: A Rebel History of Rural Life, which won the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize, and Uproar’s Your Only Music, a Globe and Mail Book of the Year. He has also written numerous books of poetry and fiction. Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and a Scattershot World is biography about a history of bird/dinosaurs and the human relationship with birds, Tuco also explores how we “other” the world—abusing birds, landscapes, and each...

Thumb tuco jacket 300
04 Jan 2017

Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time by Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield - an extract

“Thoroughly engaging.” Sunday Times, Books of the Year “Gripping, unusual, moving.” Times, Books of the Year “An irresistible little byway in 18th-century medical and social history.” Oldie “A scintillating portrait of Barry’s life…that feels almost Dickensian in style.” Guardian These are just some of the reviews about the fascinating non-fiction book, Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time. Dr James Barry was many things in his life:...

Thumb dr james barry jacket 250
04 Jan 2017

Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time by Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield - discussion questions

Dr James Barry was many things in his life: Inspector General of Hospitals, army surgeon, duellist, reformer, lady killer, eccentric. He performed the first successful Caesarean in the British Empire, outraged the military establishment, and gave Florence Nightingale a dressing down at Scutari. At home he was surrounded by a menagerie of animals, including a cat, a goat, a parrot and a terrier. But most astonishingly, long ago in Cork, Ireland, he had been a young girl and a mother. Drawing...

Thumb dr james barry jacket 250