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May 2020 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | It’s exactly fifty years since the infamous Apollo 13 space mission took off for the moon. For any young person who doesn’t know what happened – and indeed for those that do too – David Long’s retelling will keep them on the edge of their seats, awed by the challenges of space travel, and by the ingenuity and determination of those who work in it. Survival in Space describes with just the right level of detail, how a broken electrical wire led to the explosion that left astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise stranded 200,000 miles from home, and how they and the team on earth worked to engineer their eventual successful return. In Barrington Stoke style, this is accessible to all readers, including those with dyslexia, but is without any trace of simplification. David Long has a great track record in non-fiction and this will be another firm favourite. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+
April 2020 Book of the Month | Lyla might live in a hi-tech future world in which the moon is colonised and robots a big part of daily life, but the things that really matter are the same they’ve always been: friends, family and learning how to treat them properly. It’s very exciting when Lyla is chosen to look after one of three top-of-the-range cyborg children joining her school and at first Clara 2.2 seems the perfect friend, telling Lyla just what she wants to hear. But real friends do more than pay you compliments, and Clara 2.2’s disregard for anyone other than Lyla soon leads to a fall out with Lyla’s best friend Bianca and then – much worse – puts Lyla’s little brother in danger. There’s lots of fun and humour in the story, but some real tension too and it cleverly delivers a message about what friendship really means, and the importance of kindness.
From the author of Seeing Stars which detailed all 88 known constellations for older children, this stylish and sturdy book introduces just six of the most familiar and recognisable constellations to the very young. Young children like nothing better than books which invite them to guess what is under the flap and here each constellation is introduced by the line-connected star cluster sparkling against the deep blue background of the night sky. As you read aloud the verbal clues, children are asked to guess the creature and the answer is revealed, with more lines filling in the details of the animal, under the flap, alongside more information about the constellation and its major stars. Flaps can be quite flimsy and often considered unsuitable for classroom use but, in this case, it is a solid full-page fold-out that will withstand multiple uses. Children will definitely be inspired to do their own star gazing and to investigate further. Personally, this has helped enormously to understand how constellations got their names and to see the animal properly revealed. I still wonder, however, at the imagination of the Ancients that first connected those dots!
Blast off into space like | Part of the inspiring Work It, Girl series, this eye-catching book tells the life story of Mae Jemison, who in 1992 became the first African American woman to go into space. It’s more than just a biography however, because it picks out ten lessons we can all learn from Mae’s life and apply in our own. These include the importance of dreaming big, of asking questions, and of never letting others’ opinions of you determine your future. It’s inspiring stuff, and cleverly laid out to be accessible and properly thought-provoking to all. A final page poses questions so that readers can think about what they’ve learned and how to use the information.
A mindful fall-asleep book | How to calm down at bedtime is a regular problem for busy children and their parents. The words and pictures of this beautiful book link relaxing sleep exercises with an introduction to the wonder of the stars shining in the night sky. Good yoga exercises and breathing techniques are the foundation of this helpful preparation for bedtime. The book also provides a wealth of scientific and mythological facts about the stars which tie in with the yoga poses. Presented partly in words and partly in pictures these provide the perfect support for learning how the exercises help falling asleep.
This is a superb little book for children telling them all about the planetary system. It is written at a great level for kids and it brilliantly illustrated in a manner that keeps their attention. The author writes in such a way that draws the kids into the book and involves them while teaching them a little science which hopefully will be the building blocks of an interest in science. The book itself is easy to read along with kids and brings the moons to life which is most enjoyable. As an adult, I learned quite a bit about the planets and their moons myself and really enjoyed the book. It is a book to consider buying for kids and I'm sure adult and kid will enjoy reading it together or individually. Time and money well spent if you buy the book. Catherine Bryce, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
An inspiring introduction to the life of one of the UKs greatest scientist, Stephen Hawking. When he was still a young man, Hawking was diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease which he knew would disable him and shorten his life. He was determined to achieve all he could despite this and he did. His research into black holes and the theory of the Big Bang was ground breaking and of the greatest importance to all subsequent scientific study.
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.
October 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2019 | Follow in Greta Thunberg's footsteps and join the global mission to save our planet from climate change. With in-depth text and data, this necessary and timely book will answer readers' questions on what climate change means, what its consequences will be, and what must be done to protect our world.
The Sky at Night presenter Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock was bitten by the space bug as a kid and does an excellent job of passing on her passion in this inspiring book. She encourages us to copy Einstein in his ‘thought experiments’ and follow her on an imagined journey through space to the very edge of the Solar System. The book features amazing NASA photos alongside full colour illustrations and is packed with up-to-date information presented in blocks of text or via charts and diagrams. It does exactly what books like this should: answering all the questions readers will have, while inspiring them to future journeys of discovery.
This year sees the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, so interest in space exploration will be particularly high. Handsomely illustrated with Chris Nielsen’s bold retro images, and packed with information, Balloon to the Moon will answer all the questions any potential astronauts might pose. It covers the entire spectrum, from mankind’s first attempts to get off the ground via balloons in the 1700s to the space race as it developed in the 50s, 60s and 70s, with revealing descriptions of the personalities involved as well as the technology. It all makes for a fascinating story, and one that will appeal to readers of all kinds. Concluding with a page on space careers and the future of humankind’s exploration of our universe this is a book to inform and inspire.
Astrid has always loved the stars and space. I want to be an astronaut! she says. While Mama is away, Papa and Astrid have fun acting out the challenges an astronaut faces on a space mission - eating food from a tube, doing science experiments, living and sleeping in near-zero gravity. Astrid can do it all! Then it's time to meet Mama at the airbase. But where has Mama been?
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