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The People Who Took Care of the World | Every one of us has visited a doctor or nurse, or taken a trip to hospital at some point in our lives, but it took Coronavirus to make us really notice the men and women who look after us when we need it, and to recognise them as heroes. This inspiring and informative book begins with introductions to the very first doctors, nurses and surgeons (starting with Hippocrates), then comes totally up to date. Real, live ‘health heroes’ working in a range of different locations and roles tell us about their working lives, what they do and why they love it. It’s stirring stuff, many of the anecdotes and stories they share are really moving and all are fascinating. This is an excellent book for anyone interested in a career in medicine or care, but a great read too for all who’ve watched, wondered at and applauded the people who have done so much for us during these difficult times.
Book Band: Brown Ideal for ages 7+ | Polly Ho-Yen’s story presents readers with big questions about life and what’s really important to us. Mae suffers from severe asthma and often needs to make frightening dashes to the hospital with her parents. It’s on one of these occasions that she notices a strange black hole opening – it leads to a parallel universe, one where she doesn’t have asthma. That’s not the only thing that’s different however, and Mae has a decision to make about whether being asthma free is worth the other things that would change. In the new Bloomsbury Readers series, this story is written specifically for children growing reading confidence and understanding, with short chapters and frequent illustrations. The telling is simple, effective and guaranteed to catch and hold children’s attention, while the issues the story raises are complex and important, certain to prompt discussion (and there’s a list of questions to put to children at the end to help with this).
Book Band: Lime Ideal for ages 6+ | Dylan dreams that he’s living in a jam jar, cut off from his family, in a silent world. In fact, he’s losing his hearing and that brings all sorts of issues. He doesn’t like how loud the world is with his hearing aids in, doesn’t like the way the others in his class treat him differently now; and he feels that without sound to anchor him he’s somehow floating away. It takes a hair-raising experience, and the quick-thinking and love of his dog Pluto to bring him back down to earth. In the new Bloomsbury Readers series, this story is written specifically for children just growing reading confidence and understanding, with short chapters and illustrations on every page. Nonetheless, the story is subtle and moving, with lots to prompt discussion and reflection. There are questions to share with children at the end to help them get the most from the story.
Book Band: Dark Red Ideal for ages 10+ | Catherine Johnson writes terrific historical novels, and this story of the adventures of Thomas-Alexandre Dumas is more thrilling by far than most fiction. Thomas-Alexandre was the father of writer Alexandre Dumas and believed to have provided the inspiration for his classic, The Three Musketeers. We follow him through his childhood, a mixed-race child growing up in Haiti, sold into slavery as a teenager by his aristocrat father to pay off gambling debts; bought back and trained in swordsmanship, before joining the Dragoons. Johnson brings him vividly to life, a man driven by a passion for equality and liberty, and ready to fight for it. In the excellent new Bloomsbury Readers series, this story is written specifically to help children grow reading confidence and understanding. A separate ‘Reading Zone’ section at the end suggests activities to do while and after reading, and includes a quiz to test your knowledge. .
Book Band: Grey Ideal for ages 8+ | Maxx the alien is sent to earth to study humans and specifically to learn about their feelings. His education comes on in leaps and bounds when he makes a human friend, Jibreel. The two have fun together, but there are real worries and sadnesses in Jibreel’s life too – he’s a refugee and is separated from his mother, and to a group of boys in his class, he’s the ‘alien’. Fortunately, Maxx is there to apply his other-worldly logic to the problem. Zanib Mian has a real gift for comedy and dialogue too and this is extremely funny, while at the same time it makes some very serious points. In the new Bloomsbury Readers series, the story is perfect for children growing reading confidence and understanding, with short chapters and frequent illustrations. A separate ‘Reading Zone’ section at the end lists discussion points and also encourages readers to think about the book’s narrative structure.
Reading Planet KS2 - - Level 6: Jupiter/Blue band | Leap into the fascinating world of Artificial Intelligence, in which cars drive themselves, robots become footballing champions, and tiny nanobots track down and kill diseases within the body! Learn what 'artificial intelligence' actually is and how it can be used to help humans now and in the future. Are you ready to find out more about this brave new world?
Reading Planet KS2 - Level 7: Saturn/Blue-Red band | Get ready to explore the world of William Shakespeare! Your guide is Kit, one of Shakespeare's oldest friends. He will show you around the famous Globe Theatre in London, and tell you the story of the man behind the plays, from his early childhood and his schooldays, to the incredible legacy of his writing. You'll also get to act out some scenes from his best-known plays, including Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth! Read on, and you'll discover why Shakespeare is considered to be one of the greatest writers ever.
Independent Reading Red 2 | Developed with and endorsed by literacy experts from the UCL Institute of Education, Reading Champions are high quality, visually attractive and engaging supplementary reading resources. They are uniquely designed specifically to support independent reading alongside guided reading in the classroom. With clear exterior labelling linked to Book Bands, children can be confident that the carefully levelled text will be accessible to them. Developing readers need to build their reading confidence and stamina by extended practise within levels to embed and secure their skills while experiencing an enjoyable reading opportunity. There are at least six books in each level to offer choice and variety and they are ideal for reading practice at home. Parents and carers will feel supported by the extremely helpful guidance notes in each book on how to share and discuss the book with their child and by the opportunities to extend their learning with some enjoyable activities linked to the subject matter. Most importantly of all these original stories are lively and relevant to children’s lives. They feature a broad range of genres and contemporary topics and both the quality text and the vibrant illustrations reflect genuine diversity, so that every child can identify with characters and settings.
Independent Reading Blue 4 | Developed with and endorsed by literacy experts from the UCL Institute of Education, Reading Champions are high quality, visually attractive and engaging supplementary reading resources. They are uniquely designed specifically to support independent reading alongside guided reading in the classroom. With clear exterior labelling linked to Book Bands, children can be confident that the carefully levelled text will be accessible to them. Developing readers need to build their reading confidence and stamina by extended practise within levels to embed and secure their skills while experiencing an enjoyable reading opportunity. There are at least six books in each level to offer choice and variety and they are ideal for reading practice at home. Parents and carers will feel supported by the extremely helpful guidance notes in each book on how to share and discuss the book with their child and by the opportunities to extend their learning with some enjoyable activities linked to the subject matter. Most importantly of all these original stories are lively and relevant to children’s lives. They feature a broad range of genres and contemporary topics and both the quality text and the vibrant illustrations reflect genuine diversity, so that every child can identify with characters and settings.
Read with Oxford Stage 1 is for children who are ready to start learning to read. KS1 Age 3-4 | With a focus on building phonics skills, this collection includes twelve fun stories with colourful illustrations. It is ideal for children who are taking their first steps in reading. Discover what life is like being small with Bob Bug, find out if Top Cat becomes king of the garden and learn how to make tasty buns! Tips for reading together explain the sounds that each story focuses on and identify any words children may find tricky, helping you to get the most out of the collection. Former Children's Laureate and author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson, has captivated children all over the world with her lively and engaging stories. Songbirds is a phonics programme carefully created by Julia to support children who are learning to read and is used in schools to inspire a love of reading.
Level 5 - National Geographic Kids Reader | Newly adapted to British English and the Key Stage 2 Curriculum and benefitting, as do all the National Geographic Kids excellent series of readers, from their archive of superlative photography, this Face to Face series gives a fascinating insight into the skills, techniques and routines of the wild-life photographers who capture such wonderful images. Brian Skerry here shares treasured family moments as his 11-year old daughter is befriended by a manatee calf and the reader can share his genuine respect and interest in these gentle and increasingly vulnerable sea mammals. A carefully balanced account shows how manatees have in some cases gained from human developments such as power stations providing the warm water and expanding their habitable areas as well as the obvious dangers caused by pollution and increasing numbers of boats. The reader learns about their worldwide distribution and conservation issues as well as fascinating facts about their, place in myth, legend, history and biology. They are, in fact, most closely related to elephants! At Level 5 the text contains some complex, technical language and varied sentence structures suitable for a confident, independent readers, but the image quality, design and layout will engage readers and support understanding. Research skills are also facilitated with the help of all the correct information text features such as contents page, and excellent index and glossary.
Reading Planet - Level 7: Fiction (Saturn) - Reading age: 10-11 years | The Apollo Time Capsule is included in the Rising Stars Reading Planet reading scheme at the Blue-Red level. The book is an engaging fantasy story involving two characters: Ryan and Clare. On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Ryan’s class, 6A, unearth the time capsule buried by the pupils of 6A in 1969. Ryan discovers a letter written by Clare in which she seems to predict the details of several space missions undertaken after the famous events of 1969, and so the mystery unfolds. After much investigation, the now adult Clare is brought back to her old school where she meets Ryan, and both experience an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu. This is a delightful fantasy asking pupils to consider the possibility of time travel whilst framed in the familiar setting of home and the primary school. The book also deals with the themes of aspiration, hard-work and honesty and includes several characters who have fulfilled their potential through pursuing STEM subjects at school and beyond. The Apollo Time Capsule includes comprehension questions from across the range tested in the KS2 tests and provides children with sufficient additional activities to extend and secure their understanding of the text.
Reading Planet - Under a Parrot Sky - Level 6: Fiction (Jupiter) | Under a Parrot Sky is included in the Rising Stars Reading Planet reading scheme at the Blue A level. Keen wildlife photographer, Lily, is disappointed when instead of heading to South Africa for a holiday, her parents take her on a work trip to Norway. Unhappy that she’ll be unable to photograph the abundant and colourful animals of South Africa, Lily reluctantly attempts to join in with the life of her Norwegian hosts. This does not go well, and Lily finds herself isolated in an unfamiliar and unwelcoming new world. Eventually, she discovers that the wilderness of Norway is home to a host of magnificent creatures and so she sets-off to explore its wonders on her own. Disaster strikes when Lily falls into a deep snow drift, far from her hosts’ home and without anyone knowing her whereabouts. Under a Parrot Sky is a story about difference and learning to get along with people from unfamiliar backgrounds. It takes the reader on a journey to the Arctic Circle, introducing them to the natural wonders of this wilderness environment, including the Northern Lights. In keeping with the rest of the books in this series, Under a Parrot Sky includes a set of comprehension questions for readers to complete after reading. There is also an author’s note outlining the inspiration for the story and prompts to encourage readers to further research the Northern Lights and other aspects of the story. A most enjoyable addition to the Reading Planet reading scheme.
Reading Planet - Votes for Women - Level 8: Fiction (Supernova) | Votes for Women is included in the Rising Stars Reading Planet reading scheme at the Red+ level. The book is a fictionalised version of events leading to the suffrage of women in 1918. The main protagonists in the book are Alice, a keen member of the suffragette movement, and her younger sister Rose, who whilst interested in the prospect of votes for women, is less certain about the approaches used to gain attention for the cause. Composed of diary extracts, letters and a third-person narrative, the story is engaging and also enables the reader to appreciate the complexity of the issues from the perspective of different characters. As with all books in the series, there is a set of comprehension questions asking readers to retrieve key information; to consider the meaning and effectiveness of vocabulary; and to evaluate the actions of characters at different points of the narrative. Further research prompts are also provided, ensuring that pupils have the opportunity to extend and apply their understanding of the text. Whilst a fascinating read in its own right, the book offers opportunities to understand the effect of key aspects of British history, such as the impact of World War I on the movement for women’s suffrage, making it a valuable addition to the school history collection.
Reading Planet - Level 8: Fiction (Supernova) | To the outside world, the Smedleys look like any other family: Mum, Dad, son, daughter, hamster ... and a grandpa dozing in the corner. Looks can be deceiving, however, because the Smedleys have a secret ... a very BIG secret. They are actually a daredevil team of crime-solving football ninjas! Throgmorton United are heading to the Inter-School World Championship in Brazil, and the Smedleys are determined to stay focused. Nothing must stand in their way of training for the final showdown of the season ... apart from a school technology project, an evil computer-hacking genius and a disappearing grandpa. Have the football ninjas finally met their match - in more ways than one?
Reading Planet - Beneath the Surface and other Welsh Tales of Mystery - Level 7: Fiction (Saturn) | Beneath the Surface: Tales from Welsh Legend forms one in a series of Rising Stars Reading Planet books retelling traditional tales. In this book, readers encounter the legends of Cantre’r Gwaelod and The Tylwyth Teg through the experiences of two children: Dion and Cariad. Both tales make for compelling reading, with Cantre’e Gwaelod taking the form of an audio account and The Tylwyth Teg being narrated through Cariad’s grandmother’s first-hand experience. Both of these narrative techniques offer the reader opportunities to consider the validity of the stories they experience. In the case of Cantre’e Gwaelod, two versions of the legend are presented within the frame of Dion researching local history for a homework topic. And in The Tylwyth Teg, readers’ first encounter with Cariad’s grandmother suggests she is an unreliable narrator; something that offers scope for discussion as the story unfolds. Both stories are accompanied by full-colour illustrations that support the narratives. A range of comprehension questions asking readers to retrieve key facts, to compare the themes contained in the two stories and offer opinions are provided, which is welcome for teachers looking to develop the comprehension skills required at the end of KS2.
Reading Planet - Level 7: Fiction (Saturn) | Life has not been kind to orphaned Jane Eyre. Treated harshly by her Aunt Reed and bullied by her spoiled cousins, Jane is glad to be sent to Lowood School to receive an education. Finally, she can be free of her uncaring family and learn how to make her own way in the world. Years of studying pass, until finally, Jane takes on her first job as a governess to a young girl in the remote Thornfield Hall. Jane tries to convince herself that the strange noises she hears in the night are just the creakings of an old house ... but soon a deeper mystery begins to unfold, and long hidden family secrets will soon be revealed.
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