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Joy Court - Editorial Expert

About Joy Court

Joy Court is Reviews Editor for The School Librarian journal and Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.

Previously she managed the Schools Library Service in Coventry where she established the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards and the Literally Coventry Book Festival, but now just concentrates on books and libraries as a freelance consultant.  She has chaired and spoken on panels at festivals and conferences around the UK. She is also a Trustee and member of the National Council of the United Kingdom Literacy Association where she sits on the selection panel for the UKLA Book Awards and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of The English Association.

Author of Read to Succeed: strategies to engage children and young people in reading for pleasure (2011) and Reading By Right: successful strategies to ensure every child can read to succeed (2017) FACET and author of several Riveting Reads annotated booklists for the School Library Association, most recently, with Daniel Hahn, Riveting Reads- a world of books in translation (2017)

Latest Reviews By Joy Court

This is the third book from this author and illustrator partnership, after the acclaimed Through the Eyes of Me and Through the Eyes of Us, which focused specifically upon the world of the autistic child and were inspired by Jon’s daughter. Here the scope has been broadened to look at all sorts of difference, both visible and invisible. Each spread is a delightful conversation with a child or children explaining what is different about them and what can be difficult, but most importantly focuses on the positives and what they enjoy and want to do. The text captures ... View Full Review
Adapted from the original poem in the wonderful first poetry anthology A Great Big Cuddle that Michael Rosen says, in his Note to Grown- ups, was inspired by watching his youngest child getting angry, this captures perfectly the all-consuming feeling of being at the epicentre of a toddler tantrum. Robert Starling’s glorious illustrations and the bold design perfectly compliment the brilliant rhymes. I have never seen a fiercer or more grumpy kitten! It is all about the eyes which glare furiously from the front cover and on the opening red endpapers. Hugely expressive eyes and body language also ... View Full Review
Having demonstrated in The Gifted, the Talented and Me a real comic gift for creating believably awkward adolescent males, William Sutcliffe does it again with 13-year-old Luke. His family life has been turned upside down as first his stroppy elder sister and then his father join the climate rebellion activists ‘across the road,’ squatting in a house scheduled for demolition in a controversial airport extension plan. While poking gentle fun at Nimby’s and career protestors alike, there is an underlying core of real science and justified outrage about the environmental crisis for the planet in this ... View Full Review
The eye opening and fascinating true story of Lily Parr, Alice Woods and their teammates  in the Dick Kerr Ladies Football team are the inspiration behind this engrossing story of football obsessed Polly Nabb, who would much rather kick a ball than stay at home and help her mother, which is the role society expects her to fulfil. As men, including her beloved brother, were sent to fight in the war, women and girls took their place in munitions factories. When Polly sees these women playing football in their breaks, she lies about her age to get a job ... View Full Review
Once again Polly Ho-Yen shows her facility at injecting a thrilling element of sci-fi and mild horror into her stories of very real children and authentic depictions of relationships with family and friends. What could be a familiar tale of a young boy dealing with family break up and a parent with what we can see are mental health issues, becomes a nightmare battle for survival. Billy’s mum, Sylvia, is constantly teaching him the rules for how to survive alone, often taking him out of school for practical lessons. But one lesson gets life-threateningly out of hand and ... View Full Review
From the excellent True Adventures series, in which different authors bring to life some exciting but little-known and diverse aspects of history. This is an area where Catherine Johnson absolutely excels and this story of how one woman masterminded a slave resistance against the British in eighteenth-century Jamaica is perfect for her and indeed was shortlisted for the inaugural Jhalak Prize for Children’s fiction. The story grabs the reader from the start with the thrilling chase through the mountains, as Nanny herds her people away from the pursuing British Army. She becomes a fierce and revered leader and ... View Full Review
Set in a perfectly realised East London, the story begins as newly adopted Imtiaz arrives in Usha’s home. Initially misunderstandings abound between the two girls. Sadly, Usha’s beloved gran, Kali Ma has recently passed away. But when first Kali Ma and then other ghosts appear and task the girls to right a past wrong and reveal the hidden secrets of their house, which is also a refugee community centre and under imminent threat of closure, they and their new Roma friend Cosmo must work together. There is rich historical detail in this  complex but very ... View Full Review
From an award-winning author, who knows how important friends can be through his own fight with cancer, and at a time when so many families have faced loss and grief, this is a perfectly pitched description of exactly what empathy means in real life. Even very small children will be able to find and recognise the situations and feelings so well described and captivatingly illustrated. They will know how they feel sad sometimes about such things as a broken toy or a dropped ice cream and know what helps them feel better. What it also captures so beautifully is that ... View Full Review
From the same stable as the very excellent Dosh: How to Earn It, Save It, Spend It, Grow It we have a clear, accessible, fact packed analysis of the crises facing the world, charting the progress that has been made and the grounds for hope. I think everyone has recognised that this generation of young people may feel completely overwhelmed by what they have experienced and be suffering serious mental health issues as a result. This book aims to help re-set their view of the world.  The fascinating introduction explains psychologically the human fascination for bad news and how ... View Full Review
From the 2019 Macmillan prize-winner this is a powerful, dramatic and inspirational story about the difference even a child can make if they take action and get their voice heard.  The delightfully curious Rosa needsa book but her library is closed for redevelopment but Rosa dn her sister decide to protest and not give up , gradually bringing everyone onboard. The vibrant richly coloured pages create a filmic sense of an inclusive community and very real people. It makes a powerful statement about the place that libraries have in a community and the vital necessity that all children can have access ... View Full Review
This is an information text that will be read with great pleasure and is actually as unputdownable as a novel. It is very apparent that the multimillion-copy selling author and medical doctor has never grown out of his gleeful fascination with the human machine and has a real knack for presenting complex facts both clearly and concisely while making the reader laugh out loud. Similarly, the illustrations by Henry Parker combine accurate explanatory diagrams and zany amusing cartoons, often on the same page. Much of the humour is, of course, derived from the more disgusting aspects of the internal and ... View Full Review
Following her Costa winning debut Asha and the Spirit Bird, this is another beautifully written story seamlessly blending authentic realism with other-worldly and supernatural elements which link to traditional mythology and give a real insight into different cultures. Narrated by the occasionally spiky and totally convincing Tamarind who was brought to England as a baby after her mother died and still knows nothing of her heritage. She has also just started secondary school and takes her father’s remarriage badly, especially when they leave her with her unknown relatives in India while they go off on a delayed honeymoon. ... View Full Review