Last week we introduced a new service: the Reading Doctor.
Today we have a guest doctor - a locum? - our CEO Juliet Blyth, who prescribes some books to surprise and delight young readers.
Do feel free to request further prescriptions, as needed!
If you haven’t come across the acclaimed and beloved chapter book series beginning with ‘My Happy Life’ then your young reader is in for a treat.
Written by Rose Lagercrantz and illustrated by Eva Eriksson these beguiling chapter books are about a young girl called Dani with lots of optimism — even if sometimes life makes it hard to be happy.
Published by Gecko Press, there are three in the series with a fourth stand-alone follow-up called See You When I See You which came out late last year.
Best for around ages 5-7 but will withstand years of re-reading!
Joy Cowley is an undisputed national treasure and no child (or adult for that matter) should be without the fable-like Snake and Lizard in their lives. They're a curmudgeonly pair, and although Snake and Lizard argue a lot, they are the best of friends. A warm and funny story about friendship, young readers and adults alike will laugh out loud at the antics of these two. Also great for reading aloud. These books were my son’s absolute favourites, he returned to them again and again. Published by Gecko Press and illustrated by another national treasure, Gavin Bishop.
The Explorers by Katherine Rundell is published by Bloomsbury and is also great for reading aloud.
Katherine Rundell just gets better and better. I loved The Explorer. On one level it's a very exciting adventure story of four children fighting for survival in the Amazon – but it's also saying profound things about human nature and love and loss.
The War that Save my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is for an older reader (10+). Set during The Blitz in WW1 it tells the story of Ada and her younger brother Jamie who escape the East End of London for the country. Ada has a twisted foot for which she suffers cruelly at the hands of her mother. For her, being in the country, taken in by a complete stranger is hard, but not as hard as her life in London. Slowly over time Ada and her new caregiver forge a strong bond and Ada begins to trust and flourish, helped also by her friendship with a horse called Dumpling. A moving and tender story, the growth of the relationship between Ada and her caregiver Susan is wonderfully told.
Published by Text Publishing, the follow up title, The War that Changed my Life, is equally as good.
And for more sure picks check out our Super Smash Reading Challenge round-up for the all-time favourites as voted by the kids.