Resources

04 Jan 2017

The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler - discussion questions

We have attached some discussion questions for you to use with your reading group about The Tobacconist. From the bestselling author of A Whole Life, comes a moving account of an ordinary boy living through extraordinary times, and the lengths we will go to in order to protect what we love. “Set at a time of lengthening shadows, this is a novel about the sparks that illuminate the dark: of wisdom, compassion, defiance and courage. It is wry, piercing and also, fittingly,...

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04 Jan 2017

The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler - an extract

When seventeen-year-old Franz exchanges his home in the idyllic beauty of the Austrian lake district for the bustle of Vienna, his homesickness quickly dissolves amidst the thrum of the city. In his role as apprentice to the elderly tobacconist Otto Trsnyek, he will soon be supplying the great and good of Vienna with their newspapers and cigarettes. Among the regulars is a Professor Freud, whose predilection for cigars and occasional willingness to dispense romantic advice will forge a bond...

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20 Dec 2016

LEGO® Winter Wonderland Activity Sheet

Download this free LEGO activity sheet and bring the snowy scene to life! Colour in the elf and his hungry reindeer, and search for some wintery words. Why not print them off for all the family to enjoy!

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20 Dec 2016

A Monster Calls - discussion guide

Download these discussion questions for A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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19 Dec 2016

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher - an extract

If you could bring back just one animal from the past, what would you choose? It can be anyone or anything from history, from the King of the Dinosaurs, T. rex, to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, and beyond. De-extinction – the ability to bring extinct species back to life – is fast becoming reality. Around the globe, scientists are trying to de-extinct all manner of animals, including the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and a bizarre species of...

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19 Dec 2016

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher - discussion questions

De-extinction – the ability to bring extinct species back to life – is fast becoming reality. Around the globe, scientists are trying to de-extinct all manner of animals, including the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and a bizarre species of flatulent frog. But de-extinction is more than just bringing back the dead. It’s a science that can be used to save species, shape evolution and sculpt the future of life on our planet. In Bring Back the King, scientist and comedy writer Helen...

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19 Dec 2016

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker - discussion questions

Edgar Hill is 35 and caught in his own headlock. Overweight slob, under-performing husband and reluctant father – for Ed, the world may as well have already ended. So when it does end in a catastrophic asteroid strike and Edgar and his family find refuge in an Edinburgh army barracks, it comes as something of a relief. His world becomes simpler, life becomes easier, things might just be looking up. But nothing’s ever that simple. Returning from a salvage run in the city, Edgar finds his...

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19 Dec 2016

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker - an extract

This is the ultimate race-against-time thriller. When the world ends and you find yourself stranded on the wrong side of the country, every second counts. No one knows this more than Edgar Hill. 550 miles away from his family, he must push himself to the very limit to get back to them, or risk losing them forever… His best option is to run. But what if your best isn’t good enough? Download and read your extract of The End of the World Running Club today.

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16 Dec 2016

The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe's Refugee Crisis by Patrick Kingsley - discussion questions

We have some discussion questions for your reading group about The New Odyssey. Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II. The author, Guardian’s migration correspondent, has reported on this crisis in depth. Throughout 2015, he has travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail. In this book, he gives an account of who these voyagers are, and why they keep coming, and how they do it. “Patrick Kingsley writes from right inside the greatest...

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16 Dec 2016

The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe's Refugee Crisis by Patrick Kingsley - an extract

This extremely topical, non-fiction book is a fascinating read. Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II – and no one has reported on this crisis in more depth or breadth than the Guardian’s migration correspondent, Patrick Kingsley. Throughout 2015, Kingsley travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making epic odysseys across deserts, seas and mountains to reach the holy grail of Europe. This is...

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16 Dec 2016

Himself by Jess Kidd - discussion questions

Himself is a genre-bending crime story set in County Mayo in the 1970s. Abandoned on the steps of an orphanage, Mahony, a lovable car thief and Dublin charmer, returns to the town of his birth after an anonymous message suggests that his mother was taken from him. With the suggestion of foul play involved Mahony turns up to case the village but his familiar looks and outsider ways cause a stir amongst the locals, who receive him with a mixture of awe (the women) and suspicion (the...

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16 Dec 2016

Himself by Jess Kidd - read an extract

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the lies of his past. No one – living or dead – will tell Mahony what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite his certainty that more than one of the villagers knows the sinister truth. Between Mulderrig’s sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing...

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16 Dec 2016

Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife by Stephen Moss - discussion questions

We have some great discussion questions for your reading group about Wild Kingdom, the non-fiction book by Stephen Moss. Stephen Moss has travelled the length and breadth of the UK, from the remote archipelago of St Kilda to our inner cities, to witness at first hand how our wild creatures are faring, and offers us this complex, heartfelt and often unexpected response. “An absorbing quest into the state of British wildlife today.” The Bookseller “Rich with examples of what...

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16 Dec 2016

Wild Kingdom: Bringing Back Britain's Wildlife by Stephen Moss - read an extract

The newspaper headlines tell us that Britain’s wildlife is in trouble. Wild creatures that have lived here for thousands of years are disappearing, because of pollution and persecution, competition with alien species, changing farming and forestry practices, and climate change. It’s not just rare creatures such as the Scottish wildcat or the red squirrel that are vanishing. Hares and hedgehogs, skylarks and water voles, even the humble house sparrow, are in freefall. But there is also good...

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16 Dec 2016

SHTUM by Jem Lester - discussion questions

We have some great discussion questions for your reading group about Shtum by Jem Lester. As you can see below, other groups have enjoyed reading and discussing this book: “I cannot stress highly enough how much I loved this book. Simply charming, beautiful and gut-wrenching. This would appeal to anyone who is a parent or has a parent! Told from the point of view of Ben a 30-something father of a severely autistic boy, this book grabs your heart strings, pulls them sideways and then snaps...

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16 Dec 2016

SHTUM by Jem Lester - read an extract

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son, Jonah, has never spoken. So when Ben and Jonah are forced to move in with Ben’s elderly father, three generations of men – one who can’t talk; two who won’t – are thrown together. As Ben battles single fatherhood, a string of well-meaning social workers and his own demons, he learns some difficult home truths. Jonah, blissful in his innocence, becomes the prism through which all the complicated strands of...

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09 Dec 2016

False Hearts by Laura Lam - read an extract

One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood. She’s then arrested for murder, the first by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, a powerful drug, and offer her twin sister Taema a chilling deal. Taema must assume Tila’s identity and gather information to bring down the drug syndicate. The police may then let her sister live. However, Taema’s investigation raises ghosts from the twins’ past. The sisters were...

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09 Dec 2016

False Hearts by Laura Lam - discussion questions

We have some great discussion questions for your reading group about False Hearts by Laura Lam. As you can see below, other groups have enjoyed reading and discussing this book: “It was engaging right from the off, brought a wonderful vision of a fairly-dystopian future with its description of advanced technologies…” Library panel “The book prompted lively discussion on the plot and side-discussions on medical dilemmas, cults, dystopian universes, drugs and much...

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06 Dec 2016

DKfindout! Sharks poster

Enjoy this fact-filled poster all about sharks!

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06 Dec 2016

DKfindout! Pirates poster

Download this fact-filled poster all about pirates!

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02 Dec 2016

The Appointment by Graham Easton - discussion questions

We have some discussion questions for your reading group about The Appointment: What Your Doctor Really Thinks During Your Ten-Minute Consultation by Graham Easton. The Appointment is a book which explores the idea that despite the modern trend towards empowering patients and giving them more choice, the nuts and bolts of medical practice largely remain a mystery – a closed box. In fact, the more health information is available on the internet, the more patients can feel swamped and confused....

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02 Dec 2016

The Appointment by Graham Easton - read an extract

Despite the modern trend towards empowering patients and giving them more choice, the nuts and bolts of medical practice largely remain a mystery – a closed box. In fact, the more health information is available on the internet, the more patients can feel swamped and confused. The Appointment offers an intimate and honest account of how a typical GP tries to make sense of a patient’s health problems and manage them within the constraints of their health system and the short ten minute...

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28 Nov 2016

Cosy Winter Reads - Chatterbooks Booklist

Check out these winter reads from our children’s publisher partners. There are books for all ages, plus discussion and activity ideas for your Chatterbooks group.

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28 Nov 2016

Cosy Winter Reads - Chatterbooks Activity Pack

In this Chatterbooks activity pack you’ll find cosy, familiar, and magical stories to keep out the winter chill – and adventures in snow and ice bringing shivers and thrills and wonder. There are books for all ages, plus discussion and activity ideas for your Chatterbooks group, inspired by these winter reads from our children’s publisher partners.

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22 Nov 2016

The Graces by Laure Eve - read an extract

Read an exclusive extract from The Graces by Laure Eve. Everyone said the Graces were witches. They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair. They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different. All I had to do was show them that person was me. Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. Desperate to...

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22 Nov 2016

Thin Air by Michelle Paver - read an extract

Read an exclusive extract of the chilling and dark Thin Air by Michelle Paver. It is 1935, and young medic Stephen Pearce travels to India to join an expedition with his brother, Kits. The elite team of five will climb Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain and one of mountaineering’s biggest killers. No one has scaled it before, and they are, quite literally, following in the footsteps of one of the most famous mountain disasters of all time – the 1906 Lyell Expedition. Five men...

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17 Nov 2016

Holding by Graham Norton - read an extract

Read an exclusive extract from Graham Norton’s debut novel, Holding. Duneen is a quiet place, far enough from the big towns to have kept its own rhythms. Its residents include cast down policeman PJ who lives a lonely, uneventful life punctuated only by the next meal – until now; the beautiful and mysterious family of three spinster sisters each with their own secrets and sorrows; and of course, the town’s gossip who think she knows the answers. When a grim discovery is made on a...

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17 Nov 2016

You Will Not Have My Hate - read an extract

Read an extract from the powerful and moving You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris. On 13th November 2015, Antoine Leiris’s wife, Hélène, was killed, along with 88 other people at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, when three men armed with guns and suicide bombs opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd at a rock concert. Three days later, Antoine wrote an open letter addressed to his wife’s killers, which he published on Facebook. The whole world was in mourning for the victims, but Leiris...

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17 Nov 2016

Peaks and Troughs by Nick Perry - read an extract

We have an exclusive extract for you to read from Peaks and Troughs by Nick Perry. Peaks and Troughs is the story of a naïve young man who is initiated into adulthood through the harsh reality of having to survive in the material world. Despite the hardships, he never loses his belief that there is an alternative way to farm that is sympathetic to the earth and the animals in his care. His neighbours never take him seriously and try to undermine his efforts as he struggles against the...

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17 Nov 2016

Peaks and Troughs by Nick Perry - discussion questions

We have some discussion questions for your reading group about Peaks and Troughs by Nick Perry. Peaks and Troughs is the story of a naïve young man who is initiated into adulthood through the harsh reality of having to survive in the material world. Despite the hardships, he never loses his belief that there is an alternative way to farm that is sympathetic to the earth and the animals in his care. His neighbours never take him seriously and try to undermine his efforts as he struggles...

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