November 19

Special Feature

Special Feature
ReadingZone's Children's Author of the Month, Eoin Colfer, returns to the world of Artemis Fowl in The Fowl Twins. Our YA Author of the Month, Simon Mason, follows teenage detective Garvie Smith in Hey, Sherlock. There are spies and mystery in Catherine Constable's The Pearl in the Ice, while Ben Brooks's The Impossible Boy takes us on a fabulous, impossible adventure. We celebrate Non-Fiction November with Lily Dyu's Earth Heroes and Fantastic Female Adventures. We also feature Our Planet by Matt Whyman, based on the new Netflix series. Our Picture Book of the Month is The Little Island by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, which introduces ideas around democracy and politics to young children.

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The best new books, featured authors & Halloween reads!

Latest books reviewed

Browse the latest books reviewed by our Teachers and Librarians this month, including reviews of the latest picture books, books for children aged 5-7, books for children aged 8-11, and books for teenagers and YA readers.


Review for ReadingZone

We're looking for help from teachers and librarians to review books for ages 3-15 years during the break. Find out which books we are sending to reviewers, here. We will draw two reviewers for each book. Closes Friday 6th December.

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Picture Book Competition - January

ReadingZone will be challenging children and young people aged 4-18 to make a picture book. Look out for the competition, launching in January, which also makes a great World Book Day activity. You can find out more and see last year's winners here:

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Picture book series explores 'SEN Superpowers'

Publisher QED has created an inclusive range of picture books for children aged 5-7 years, to explore SEN 'superpowers', including dyslexia, autism, ADHD and anxiety. The books are aimed at SEN children who live with these challenges and will help all children understand the challenges and the special abilities of children with SEN. Author Dr Tracy Packiam Alloway tells us more.

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Booktrust Storytime Prize

Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett has won the 'BookTrust Storytime Prize', a new award to celebrate the best books for sharing with babies and children aged 0-5.

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SLA Non Fiction Awards

The School Library Association (SLA) announced the winners of the School Library Association Information Book Award 2019 during National Non Fiction November.

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Carnegie and Kate Greenaway nominations

Nominations for the 2020 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals have been announced, highlighting some of the year's best fiction and illustrated books for children and young people. Longlists will be announced in February 2020.

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One in eight schools has no library provision

While nine in ten schools in England have a designated library space, that falls to 67% in Wales and 57% in Northern Ireland, leaving 13% of schools with no library provision, according to research commissioned by the Great School Libraries (GSL) Campaign.

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Letter to a Head Teacher

ReadingZone is sharing a letter sent by a parent to their child's new secondary school, asking why it doesn't have a professional school librarian - and what the students will miss out on as a result.

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Follow us on Twitter

...for more news about our upcoming changes, as well as book news and giveaways! You can find us @ReadingZone.

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Special Feature
Special Feature Image


Special Feature

ReadingZone's Children's Author of the Month, Eoin Colfer, returns to the world of Artemis Fowl in The Fowl Twins. Our YA Author of the Month, Simon Mason, follows teenage detective Garvie Smith in Hey, Sherlock. There are spies and mystery in Catherine Constable's The Pearl in the Ice, while Ben Brooks's The Impossible Boy takes us on a fabulous, impossible adventure. We celebrate Non-Fiction November with Lily Dyu's Earth Heroes and Fantastic Female Adventures. We also feature Our Planet by Matt Whyman, based on the new Netflix series. Our Picture Book of the Month is The Little Island by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, which introduces ideas around democracy and politics to young children.

The Fowl Twins
Eoin Colfer

ARTEMIS FOWL fans will be thrilled to hear that author EOIN COLFER has returned to the world of fairies, humans and mayhem in THE FOWL TWINS. Here, he tells us more about the new Fowl adventures!!

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Hey Sherlock!
Simon Mason

A local teenager goes missing and Garvie Smith - bright, rebellious and curious - is drawn to the case. SIMON MASON tells us more about his GARVIE SMITH detective series, for readers aged 14+.Read Interview

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The Pearl in the Ice
Cathryn Constable

THE PEARL IN THE ICE is a mesmerising, adventure-laden story that follows Marina as she travels to the frozen arctic and finds herself on an adventure encompassing spies, sabotage and two warring nations. Behind her journey is the mystery of who she is, and the disappearance of her mother many years before. We ask author CATHRYN CONSTABLE to tell us more about THE PEARL IN THE ICE.

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The Impossible Boy
Ben Brooks

Oleg and Emma miss an old school friend very much, so they decide to invent a new one, Sebastian Cole, to help fill the gap she has left. But they don't expect to actually meet Sebastian later that same day in their secret den...which is also when their impossible adventures begin.

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Earth Heroes: Twenty Inspiring Stories of People Saving Our World
Lily Dyu

Adventurer, explorer and author LILY DYU's new book, EARTH HEROES, will help inspire a new generation of young influences and do-ers. EARTH HEROES reports on some of the inspirational people who are helping to change how we use Earth's resources and to support developing communities.

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Fantastic Female Adventurers: Truly amazing tales of women exploring the world
Lily Dyu

In FANTASTIC FEMALE ADVENTURERS, explorer and adventurer Lily Dyu brings to life some of today's brilliant women explorers, who will encourage children to follow their dreams and not to let anything hold them back. LILY DYU tells us more about her exploring and her writing:

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Our Planet: The One Place We All Call Home
Matt Whyman

The stunning pages of this book take children to icy landscapes, dense jungles and barren deserts, where they can learn how habitats support the plants and creatures living there. This beautifully written and informative read, based on the Netflix documentary, is a call to action to save our world coupled with an ultimate message of hope. Author Matt Whyman tells us more.

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The Little Island
Smriti Prasadam-Halls, illus Robert Starling

THE LITTLE ISLAND, illustrated by ROBERT STARLING, is a brilliant introduction for young children to ideas of democracy and inclusivity. It follows what happens to the geese and ducks that live on a small island within a pleasant farm, after the geese vote to keep all the other animals off their island. Author Smriti Prasadam-Halls tells us more.

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Watch out for...
Bookclub Highlights

We have free copies to give away for reviews. Please email your school details to info@readingzone.com for the chance to win a copy.


Mouse's Night Before Christmas
Tracey Corderoy
In this clever adaptation of the Christmas classic, The Night Before Christmas, Tracey Corderoy tells the moving story of a solitary mouse who is longing for a friend. A great picture book to read aloud.

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The Crayons' Christmas
Drew Daywalt
Christmas arrives at Duncan's house bringing plenty of festive fun - for the crayons. Surprises are to be found in envelope or package style pockets, which make the book an interactive treat.

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Deeplight
Frances Hardinge
Deeplight is a non-stop electrifying, ambitious and magical read about friendship set in an eccentric and fantastical world, and told with Frances Hardinge's unique and inimitable style.

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We would like to thank publishers Nosy Crow Books, Quarto Kids, HarperCollins Children's Books, Vertebrate Publishing, Chicken House Books, Hachette Books, Andersen Press, QED and David Fickling Books for supporting this month's ReadingZone newsletter.

©Readingzone 2020.