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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

Inspired by footballer Rio Ferdinand’s documentary about coping with children after the death of his wife and by seeing the positive impact of football on her own son, this is a story that Eve Ainsworth was desperate to write. The difficulty that men and boys often have in expressing emotion and talking about their feelings is well documented and can be extremely harmful to mental health and well-being and she feels that it is vital that we do all we can to change this. The main character, Alfie, a talented young footballer on the brink of being signed, ... View Full Review
This accomplished second YA novel stems from a very personal place for acclaimed author and commentator Nikesh Shukla (The Good Immigrant). Victim himself of a racist attack and resorting to a boxing gym to improve his own self-defence lends unmistakable authenticity to Sunny’s story. He may have had to turn to a fellow author and boxer for advice on the actual match scenes but everything else comes from the heart and it shows. Every character and situation rings true. Sunny already had to cope with a toxic relationship with his terminally ill father and social isolation after a ... View Full Review
As the season of school sports day approaches this is a perfectly timed new outing for the irrepressible and hilarious cake loving heroine of the Waterstones Prize shortlisted I really want the cake! Cakes play an important part in this tale too, but first this little girl tries and tries to win. She really wants to win!  It all starts with a race and she is in the lead but trips. A calamity repeated across every school in the land and so this is very good preparation for little would-be athletes. Time and again her ambition is thwarted. Her ... View Full Review
Everyone’s favourite little dog has graduated to Disney Junior TV which will introduce the extraordinary adventures of the canny canine and his sidekick Sir Bobblysock to a whole new audience and what a treat they have in store! The standing joke throughout the successful series, illustrated in great style by the award winning Alex T Smith, has been the complete ignorance of Mr and Mrs Shiny Shoes (never viewed beyond knee height) who think their pet sleeps all day and young readers delight in knowing better. The appeal of these tales, whether in picture book as here or ... View Full Review
Actor and screen writer Nathan Byron has teamed with illustrator and character designer Dap Adeola to create a stunning and endearing new character called Rocket for their first venture into picturebooks. This is a little girl to inspire us all with her passion for space and the natural world just like she is inspired by her heroine Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space. But Rocket struggles to get people to pay attention particularly older brother Jamal who is hooked on his smart phone and notices nothing around him and she really does not want to miss the meteor ... View Full Review
With superhero films filling the cinema there has never been more interest in mythology and the Norse gods are certainly stranger than most. But although this comic style retelling looks like pure Marvel and DC and the exciting illustrations are indeed from the pen of a renowned comic artist, this is actually a very true representation of the mythology. The story of Baldur is enormously significant since his death marks the first event of Ragnarök and the beginning of the end for the gods. We learn that this has been prophesised and of the lengths that Odin and ... View Full Review
From the cinematic cast of characters’ introduction, we know that this Jack is not quite the gormless idiot often portrayed. In this exciting retelling, with its almost Gothic colour palette and clever use of dramatic full page spreads amidst the more usual comic strip panels, Jack is a bold adventurer capable of persuading the giant’s wife to feed and protect him while stealing a sack of gold as he escapes. So bold in fact that he ventures back two more times to avenge the loss of his father and the family tereasure.  As we learn from ... View Full Review
This could be just the thing to awaken the interest of reluctant readers about to embark on the study of one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies. The author and artist have a long partnership working on comic books and here they reveal their skill in the slick storytelling using different arrangements of panels, frames and speech bubbles to really evoke the characters, setting and story. The language used is straightforward and accessible, but cleverly echoes phrases and refrains from the original text. The useful end matter with notes on the life of Shakespeare and the historical and dramatic ... View Full Review
From a tiny press dedicated to publishing literature from around the world that will ‘broaden perspectives’ and infused with the wonder of the natural environment these stories, which follow the seasons of the year in a remote mountain valley, introduce us to Toletis a true hero of our times. From his passionate interest in Egyptology (hence his adopted name and the names he gives his dog and best friend) to the invented language he shares with Aunt Josefina this boy is endlessly surprising. Both humour and pathos are beautifully portrayed in the jokes and mutual teasing of the ... View Full Review
While other children are busy creating castles and shops for their school project Yasmin, the lively heroine of this vibrant and attractive series, cannot think what to do. A creative block that will resonate with readers who find it hard to get started on a task. But then she realises that by creating pavements and bridges she brings the buildings together and during break time she creates a community for the whole class. The text is Book Banded Turquoise and with the quirky inclusive illustrations will be confidence building for emergent readers. Yasmin and her family come from Pakistan, so ... View Full Review
She may have won the Golden Acorn for eight years running but Squirrel still has a lot to learn about friendship. When a rule change for the annual Golden Acorn Hunt is announced, then Squirrel has to find a team and does not think her friends are up to it. Indeed when they set off she has to keep going back impatiently to rescue them from their comical misadventures. But eventually her need for speed gets the better of her and she zooms off. She gets to the Acorn first only to discover that it is too heavy for her ... View Full Review
I had no idea that Homer in Ancient Greece described the first bot-like creatures to do their master’s bidding! Just one of the brilliant facts in this entertaining and engaging National Geographic Primary Reader. This is graded at Level Four, the equivalent of Book Bands White and Lime for fluent independent readers. They will still find challenging technical language and scientific concepts, but the brilliantly designed pages with Tech Talk boxes and clear captions for the array of amazing photographs from National Geographic, enable them to develop their understanding. A picture glossary and comprehensive index mean that this ... View Full Review