Resources

17 Jul 2020

July 2020 - The Great Outdoors booklist for children and young people

This month our booklist is about books that immerse a reader in an environment, where the setting plays an important part to the plot or shows the beauty of nature. We’ve picked some brilliant poetry, picture books, non-fiction and chapter books that celebrate the great outdoors. You can join in with the conversation online using #TheGreatOutdoorsBooklist and tagging us using @readingagency on Twitter and @SummerReadingChallengeUK on Facebook.

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16 Jul 2020

Parentkind and The Reading Agency - Reading as a Family: Top tips for reading together resources

Reading for pleasure delivers enormous benefits for children of all ages. It builds reading and literacy confidence as well as influencing children’s health and wellbeing, future academic achievement and adult life chances. Evidence shows that families can play a key role in helping develop a reading for pleasure habit, but it’s not always easy to motivate children who lack confidence or enthusiasm for reading. Our webinar discussion with Parentkind can be seen here. It was a chance to hear...

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13 Jul 2020

National Poetry Day reading group resource

This list of ten books is perfect for reading groups thinking of dipping into poetry, often edited or written by great names who love poetry so much that they want to share it – Clive James, John Carey, Kate Clanchy, Cerys Matthews and Carol Rumens.

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09 Jul 2020

Draw with Rob Biddulph activity pack

The viral phenomenon #DrawWithRob is now a brand-new activity book to help you to draw at home with creative genius and official World Book Day illustrator Rob Biddulph! You may have spotted Rob’s brilliant drawalong videos on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok or even on your TV – and did you know that Draw With Rob is now a Guinness World Record breaker too? Rob teamed up with Art World Records to smash the record for the largest ever online art lesson in May… perhaps you joined in...

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09 Jul 2020

The Dordogne Mystery series digital pack

Quercus are excited to invite libraries and reading groups across the country to celebrate Martin Walker’s Dordogne Mysteries series. A hugely popular series in Germany and the United States, Martin Walker’s novels take you to the Dordogne region of France where readers follow Bruno, Chief of Police as he investigates crimes and mysteries in the area. This is not just a gripping crime series as Martin transports you to the gastronomic heart of South-West France by incorporating its rich...

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09 Jul 2020

Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth digital pack

Headline would like to invite libraries and reading groups across the UK to share their excitement about this summer’s hottest debut novel – Hazel Barkworth’s Heatstroke. We don’t want readers across the country to miss this gripping page-turner, described by the Evening Standard this week as ‘a perfect sun-lounger read: a sizzling page-turner with twists, turns and revelations in all the right places’. DIGITAL PACK CONTENTS: - An extract from Heatstroke - Reading Group questions - A Spotify...

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30 Jun 2020

Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valour by Ally Carter - digital pack

FIVE EXTRAORDINARY ORPHANS. ONE INCREDIBLE MYSTERY. Bursting with adventure, mayhem and friendship, this is the first in an action-packed new middle-grade series – from the bestselling author of Gallagher Girls, Ally Carter – and the perfect book for readers who love the mystery of Robin Stevens and the mayhem of A Series of Unfortunate Events… At the Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valour, nothing is what it seems, no one is who they say they are and nowhere is safe. And now a...

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23 Jun 2020

Stay-at-home with Football School - writing competition

A shout out to all sports fans aged 7-12! Do you dream of becoming a sportswriter, commentator or sports presenter in the future? Then this competition could help you reach your goal! The Guardian has teamed up with the authors of Walker Books’ bestselling Football School book series for a game-changing writing competition. Become the Young Sportswriter of the Year by writing no more than 600 words on a match report on any sporting event that has taken place, or a piece of feature...

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12 Jun 2020

Boys and Kids Who Dare to be Different - activity packs, audio extracts and journal

Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different is a beautiful and inspiring collection of stories about boys who changed the world without killing a single dragon or saving a single princess. Stories for Kids who Dare to be Different was born out of the success out of Stories for Boys and it a celebration inspirational and amazing boys and girls who stood up and stood out. This is a beautifully illustrated, evocative and inspiration book of amazing stories of amazing people, that will delights...

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12 Jun 2020

Starfell by Dominique Valente and Sarah Warburton - Digital Activity Pack

Step into the magical world of Starfell in the most spellbinding children’s fantasy series of the year! With beautiful illustrations by Sarah Warburton, Dominique Valente’s Starfell is perfect for fans of Cressida Cowell and Nevermoor. Willow Moss, the youngest and least powerful sister in a family of witches, has a magical ability for finding lost things – like keys, or socks, or spectacles. Useful, but not exactly exciting…until the most powerful witch in Starfell needs Willow’s help to...

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10 Jun 2020

How to host a virtual book club with your class article

Are you wondering how your reading group can continue to meet, even while you’re social distancing? With so many children and families at home, we know that books are so important to provide comfort, solace and escapism. Staying connected and keeping your regular reading group meetings in your diary, is going to be very important in keeping up morale and supporting children as they continue to adjust to a new way of living. In this article we give suggestions on how you can set up and run a...

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10 Jun 2020

How schools can get involved with Summer Reading Challenge 2020 article

The Summer Reading Challenge, presented by The Reading Agency and funded by Arts Council England, encourages children aged 4 to 11 to set themselves a reading challenge to help prevent the summer reading ‘dip’. For the Summer Reading Challenge 2020, we are asking everyone to get silly. The theme for the Challenge is “Silly Squad”- a celebration of funny books, happiness and laughter, featuring bespoke artwork from award-winning children’s author and illustrator, Laura Ellen...

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04 Jun 2020

June 2020 - Pride booklist for children and young people

June is Pride Month, so it is the perfect time to share our favourite LGBTQ+ positive books for children and young people. These books highlight family dynamics and stories to help develop the values of acceptance and kindness towards themselves and others, regardless of identity. You can join in with the conversation online using #PrideBooklist and tagging us using @readingagency on Twitter and @SummerReadingChallengeUK on Facebook.

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04 Jun 2020

June 2020 - Brilliant Books to Share booklist for children

Due to the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the impact of social distancing, sharing books at home has never been more important. To help, we have created a list of some of our favourite books to read with children. We’ve picked some brilliant poetry, picture books, non-fiction and chapter books to read aloud together. You can join in with the conversation online using #BrilliantBooksToShare and tagging us using @readingagency on Twitter and @SummerReadingChallengeUK on Facebook.

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04 Jun 2020

Kiran Millwood Hargrave reading notes, videos and activities

Kiran Millwood Hargrave is the author of three Chicken House novels – The Girl of Ink & Stars, The Island at the End of Everything and The Way Past Winter. Between them, her children’s books have won numerous awards including Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Historical Association Young Quills Award, and the Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Year. Perfect for both middle-grade and YA readers, Kiran’s award-winning...

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04 Jun 2020

Who Let the Gods Out? reading notes, videos and activities

Maz is the author of the bestselling middle-grade series Who Let the Gods Out? – perfect for ages eight and up. The relentless and fast-paced series comprises four books, and is full to bursting with Ancient Greek mythology, adventure and laughs! ‘The laughs come thick and fast’ DAVID SOLOMONS ‘Very, very, funny’ PIERS TORDAY ‘Blistering humour, mortal danger and immortal heart’ KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVE Chicken House has worked with some fantastic teachers to create downloadable...

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03 Jun 2020

Beetle Boy reading notes, videos and activities

M. G. Leonard is the author of Beetle Boy, Beetle Queen and Battle of the Beetles – a middle-grade series that is ideal for children aged eight and up. Grounded in entomology, the Beetle Boy series is mysterious, thrilling, and certain to encourage an interest in creepy-crawlies! ‘Truly great storytelling’ MICHAEL MORPURGO ‘I predict Beetle-mania’ THE TIMES ‘Perfect for fans of Roald Dahl’ BOOKTRUST Chicken House has worked with some fantastic teachers to create downloadable...

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01 Jun 2020

Funny Fiction Chatterbooks activity pack

Ahead of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge when we will all get silly we’re celebrating all things funny. Here’s our Funny Fiction Chatterbooks pack with a bumper collection of some of the latest funny books for children…and some old favourites. The Chatterbooks pack has suggested books, discussion questions and lots of activities!

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14 May 2020

The Dinoteks - Reading Notes and Activities

The Dinoteks by NS Blackman is a beautifully illustrated chapter book for young readers and an excellent read aloud story for families and teachers to share. It is proven to encourage reading for pleasure in both reluctant and enthusiastic readers. The story features antique museum dinosaur models that come to life and befriend Marlin Maxton – together they embark on some amazing adventures. In this activities pack you’ll find lots of fun Dinotek activities, including the famous...

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30 Apr 2020

The Reading Agency Hub

Here you can access The Reading Agency at home. You’ll find ideas, activities and challenges from across our programmes to entertain and educate yourself, your family or those you are teaching remotely. The activities will be refreshed every couple of weeks and we have The Reading Agency Toolkit available for you to download, which gives some great hints and tips for keeping well and reading during this time of isolation.

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17 Apr 2020

A reading group guide to The Porpoise by Mark Haddon

The new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author – the perfect book to read with your book club or reading group ‘ Just downright brilliant… a transcendent, transporting experience ’ Observer A motherless girl grows up in isolated luxury, hidden from the world by her wealthy father. She believes their life together is normal – but as time passes, she has a growing sense that something between them is very wrong. She cannot escape, so she seeks solace in her books. Her...

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17 Apr 2020

On Chapel Sands - reading group guide

Waterstones Book of the Month for April 2020 A deeply moving story of family and community that is striking and unforgettable, On Chapel Sands is part-true crime narrative, part-investigation into the subjectivity of memory and part-witness to a vanishing provincial way of life. Why not start reading with your Zoom book club with Vintage’s reading group discussion pack, available here. More about Laura Cumming Laura Cumming is the art critic for the Observer. Previously, she was a...

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15 Apr 2020

Animal colouring sheets

Get creative with these colouring sheets inspired by three brand new picture books, all published this month: Clem and Crab by Fiona Lumbers, Super Sloth by Robert Starling and A Fox Called Herbert by Margaret Sturton

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15 Apr 2020

Extraordinary - reading notes and activities

A gentle tale about reaching for the stars and being extraordinary . . . but remembering the ordinary too. Extraordinary celebrates the best moments in life: the ones we share with friends and family. They may be simple, they may be ordinary, but they are moments we will cherish forever. New Frontier Publishing has put together reading notes and activities to help children understand and appreciate these moments.

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03 Apr 2020

Stay home with the Walker Bear - Walker Books author videos and activities

Walker Books have LOTS of great resources to keep children entertained. Alex Rider Goes Live To celebrate the publication of Nightshade, the explosive new novel in the Alex Rider series, award-winning writer Anthony Horowitz will be hosting a virtual book launch at 10am BST on Thursday 2 April. Horowitz will be introducing the highly anticipated new novel in a special celebratory live stream hosted on YouTube, reading an exciting extract, and answering lots of questions from fans of the...

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03 Apr 2020

Chicken House's Schools' Hub

Teachers, librarians, kids’ club leaders – gather round! In Chicken House’s Schools’ Hub you’ll find educational resources that sit alongside their brilliant books and align with the Key Stage 2 and 3 curriculums. With content created by teachers and librarians that have a passion for reading, their PDF downloads of chapter-by-chapter guides, schemes of work, videos and useful links to external resources are here to help with class or book club planning. Chicken House’s resource...

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02 Apr 2020

April 2020 children's and young people booklist - Around the World

It is World Book Night on 23 April. World Book Night is a national celebration of reading and books for adults and young people that takes place every year. To help children and their families join in with the celebration we have created a booklist of our favourite books about other cultures, set or written by people around the world. We hope the booklist will help children experience a world outside of their own. You can join in with the conversation online using #AroundTheWorldBooklist and...

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31 Mar 2020

Brain Games: Free Downloadable Learning Resources

The perfect books and brain games for your Bright Spark or Clever Kid! Compiled by puzzle master and author of hundreds of puzzle books Dr Gareth Moore, the Bright Sparks (for ages 7-9) and Clever Kids (for ages 9-11) series will keep your children both learning and entertained – covering everything from brain games and logic puzzles to crosswords and word searches, they’re proving an invaluable help to parents. You can download the free downloadable resources here.

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31 Mar 2020

The Farm - Book Club Kit

The Farm was chosen for the Radio 2 Book Club. Ambitious businesswoman Mae Yu runs Golden Oaks – a luxury retreat transforming the fertility industry – where women get the very best of everything, so long as they play by the rules. Jane is a young immigrant in search of a better future. Stuck living in a cramped dorm with her baby daughter and her shrewd aunt Ate, she sees an unmissable chance to change her life. But at what cost? A brilliant, darkly funny novel that explores the...

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31 Mar 2020

The Farm by Joanne Ramos - First Chapter

The Farm was chosen for the Radio 2 Book Club. Ambitious businesswoman Mae Yu runs Golden Oaks – a luxury retreat transforming the fertility industry – where women get the very best of everything, so long as they play by the rules. Jane is a young immigrant in search of a better future. Stuck living in a cramped dorm with her baby daughter and her shrewd aunt Ate, she sees an unmissable chance to change her life. But at what cost? A brilliant, darkly funny novel that explores the...

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