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Joy Court - Editorial Expert

Joy Court is co – founder of All Around Reading, having previously managed the Schools Library Service in Coventry, where she established the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards and the Literally Coventry Book Festival, as well as being the Reviews Editor of The School Librarian and Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. She now just concentrates on books and libraries as a freelance consultant while continuing to be an activist with the Youth Libraries Group and sits on the National Executive of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. She has chaired and spoken on panels at festivals and conferences around the UK as well as delivering keynotes and workshops.

She is 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 is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of The English Association and an Honorary Fellow of CILIP. 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.

Latest Features By Joy Court

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Latest Reviews By Joy Court

A Drop of Golden Sun
With her posthumously published final book Kate Saunders really has given readers a drop of pure gold. It is that rare beast, a story that leaves you with the warmest of glows while dealing frankly with some very sensitive and serious issues, such as mental health, fractured families, bullying, alcoholism and anti-Semitism. It’s 1973 and our 10-year-old main protagonist Jenny has just been cast as one of the lead actors in a feature film (that is strikingly similar to A Sound of Music) She is a quiet, sometimes lonely, child whose dad died when she was three. Her mum ... View Full Review
Where the Heart Should Be
Every new novel from the Carnegie Medal winning author and past Laureate na nÓg is a highly anticipated event and fans will certainly not find themselves disappointed by this outstanding offering. Set in 1846 as the potato famine swept across Ireland, it introduces us to Nell, the eldest daughter of a family that are tenants on the estate of Lord Wicken, a wealthy English aristocrat. She has been forced to give up her studies and start work as a scullery maid in his home to keep her family from starvation. It is here she meets John Browning, the nephew ... View Full Review
Pirates of Darksea
The award-winning author of The Storm Keeper's Island series brings us yet another fantastic magical adventure, full of strong characters, difficult moral choices and challenging quests. With a satisfying amount of piratical swashbuckling, pirate kings, treachery and sea monsters, it also addresses more serious questions about sibling rivalry, loyalty, responsibility, the impact of illness on a family and the nature of attachment and affection. Pirate King, Captain O Malley, needs help to save the secret kingdom of Darksea, which is being terrorised by a fearsome monster intent on its destruction. On the opposite side of the horizon, in our world, ... View Full Review
Sounds Good! Discover 50 Instruments
In this engaging and entertaining musical encyclopaedia, over 50 musical instruments, including voice and computer, are profiled. There is a great representation of different instruments, not only western, but also ones such as the sitar and conga drums and some very unusual instruments such as the lur. Each instrument is showcased in a spread that pairs humorous visuals of animals playing the instruments, with an informative light-hearted descriptive blurb featuring history and fun facts and a QR code. When you scan the QR code, a short track appears via Youtube starring that instrument and giving us just enough to get a ... View Full Review
The Princess and the Pee
A wonderfully appealing and reassuring debut picturebook that deals with the problem of bed wetting, but is anything but a dull issues book. Firstly, it is set in a refreshingly diverse royal family where no character is a stereotype : we see the king fainting, the queen playing knights and the granny hunting dragons for example. Secondly it is beautifully illustrated with vibrant, warm pictures that enhance and extend the text. With clear repetition and enchanting characters, the written words often burst into rhyming lines, that make the story more memorable still. Finally, what a genius idea to tackle a tough, ... View Full Review
Nobody can do colour quite like the award-winning creator of the Draw with Rob lockdown phenomenon, and this watery tale is stunningly illustrated. The intense aquamarine waters contrasting with dark purple stormy skies are spectacular and they are the perfect backdrop for the vivid technicolour underwater inhabitants. The clever design using a variety of layouts, from small vignettes against a white background to full colour pages really engage the reader and sweep the story along. Gigantic is a tiny blue whale having difficulty in living up to his name and his brother Titan never lets him forget it with his ... View Full Review
The Clockwork Conspiracy
In his first solo fiction outing as author, Sam Sedgeman, of Adventures with Trains fame, has produced a quite extraordinary tour de force which combines an intricately plotted classic ‘closed room’ mystery, with some truly mind-bending science and maths, fascinating facts about our democracy, London landmarks and how the world measures time, in one exciting package! The mystery involves the inexplicable disappearance of Isaac’s father, The Chief Horologist, who is responsible for Big Ben, on the night the clocks go back and as the debate over the New Time law is about to go to parliament. ... View Full Review
Reggie Houser Has the Power
Having twice had stories selected for Empathy Day collections, Helen Rutter is becoming known for her capacity to make the reader see the world through another pair of eyes and to walk in the shoes of individuals in challenging circumstances. She is renowned also for her capacity to do this in narratives that are as funny as they are touching - an extraordinary talent that is amply demonstrated in this her latest novel. Reggie has ADHD and is coming to the end of primary school where he has constantly struggled to make friends, to fit in and to ‘be ... View Full Review
The Glorious Race of Magical Beasts
A spectacularly imaginative fantasy adventure seems the very least we can expect from the author of the bestselling Explorer’s Club series, but when the story also has an orphaned apprentice librarian as the hero and with the many and varied libraries of this world being fundamental to his chances of winning the famous race and the magical prize which could cure his beloved grandmother, then we have a story to grab any librarian’s heart! But there is so much more to enjoy in this enthralling, page-turning read. We cannot help but love Eli, the unassuming introvert ... View Full Review
Measuring Me
With her lively child-like illustrations and a bouncy enthusiastic narrator, Nicola Kent really brings important first concepts maths to life for young readers, while telling them just how amazing their bodies are! Ingeniously relating units of measurement to everyday objects and to her own body, the narrator encourages the reader to be as astounded and excited as she is by being as ‘tall as ten tin cans’ or that by unravelling her veins she could stretch them ‘three times around the world’. She is surrounded by a lovely inclusive bunch of friends who are participating and ... View Full Review
Clever Crow
Another of Walker’s renowned Nature Storybooks, which combine a beautiful picture book with genuine learning opportunities from the accessibly presented information, this has striking multimedia, atmospheric pictures from the Kate Greenaway shortlisted artist, which really capture the enigmatic and even slightly sinister creature that is the Crow. Beautifully and accurately rendered images of eggs and full-grown birds from the crow family adorn the end pages, but the internal spreads focus on the anything but ‘common’ crow. The text is well designed (and the typefaces are explained to the reader at the end of the book alongside ... View Full Review
Climate Action
This is a book which follows through on commitment – not only is it sustainably produced, but one tree will be planted for every book sold in the UK. It is also a beautifully designed and illustrated book with a carefully thought out structure and page layout to really aid comprehension and understanding. The first section explains the causes of climate change, from greenhouse gases to deforestation, and the combined effect of agriculture, energy production and consumption, buildings and mining. The next section shows the effects on rising sea levels, biodiversity, storms, flooding, heatwaves, wildfires etc. Each spread includes a ... View Full Review