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When Francis Cassavant returns to his home town, his face horribly disfigured during World War II, he is tormented by memories of the conflict. People believe him to be a teenage war hero, not realising that his act of 'heroism' was in fact a suicide attempt. Back home, Francis has a mission to get revenge on the youth leader he idolised, but betrayed him. And he's prepared to do whatever it takes. What are the themes? Heroism, conflict, struggle against evil, guilt, forgiveness, loneliness, loyalty. Teaching points This short novel, with its gripping plot and engaging themes, is accessible to a wide range of abilities. Provides excellent opportunities for exploring structure and narrative viewpoint.
What's the hook? This award-winning title provides a moving insight into life and conditions for a black family in apartheid South Africa. This edition contains a revised introduction by author Beverly Naidoo, which provides an insight into her own experiences and the inspiration for the novel. A sequence of photographs from the period is also included, to help pupils understand the harsh realities faced by Naledi and Tiro. What are the themes? Individual vs. society, families and different cultures. Teaching points Ideal for thought-provoking multicultural work. Provides numerous opportunities for exploring narrative devices, characterisation and the wider historical context of the novel. New versions of the author's essay and introduction provide an ideal opportunity for developing pupils' cultural and critical understanding.
Fourteen-year-old Jim Hawkins has had a difficult time since his father mysteriously vanished a year ago. Recovering from the shock hasn't been easy for him or his mother, and it's all they can do to hold on to their Ontario farm. So when Ruth Rose, the troubled stepdaughter of the local pastor, tells Jim that she believes his father was murdered by her stepfather, he doesn't want to believe her. After all, she is crazy, isn't she? But Ruth's determination is infectious, and soon Jim joins her in a quest for the truth. As they delve into the past, painful secrets come to light, and Jim begins to realise just what the pastor is capable of. The Boy in the Burning House is an excellent novel to explore the narrative techniques of the thriller genre. The beautifully drawn setting also provides opportunities for learning about different cultures. Thematic contrasts between charity and suspicion, love and hate provide good discussion points. 'This is a gripping read and a thoughtful, realistic and sustained examination of trust, guilt and betrayal.' Books for Keeps
According to Ponyboy you're either a Greaser or a Soc. Coming from the wrong side of town, he's a Greaser and his high school rivals are the Socs the kids who have the money, the attitude and can get away with anything. The Socs love to spend their time beating up the Greasers, but Ponyboy and his friends know what to expect and stick together. But one night someone goes to far, and Ponyboy's world begins to crumble. What are the themes? Growing up, friendship, rivalry, loyalty, urban life. Teaching points Powerful themes and skilfully drawn characters will engage young readers and provoke discussion. Feature film version directed by Francis Ford Coppolla provides opportunities for media work.
What's the story? Shanghai, 1920. Doug and Becca Mackenzie's parents have been missing for over a year when they are taken to live onboard their uncle's ship, the Expedient, bound for a research expedition to the South China Sea. Doug is thrilled to have the opportunity to investigate the ship's engines and crankshafts, but the pair soon realise that there is much more going on than first meets the eye. They soon become caught up in an action-packed adventure of an ancient order created to protect the world from evil. The author presents the story as a top-secret dossier compiled from documents he has discovered that tell the truth for the first time. This incredibly engaging and motivating text is ideal for exploring a range of text types and developing pupils' visual literacy, alongside the opportunity to look at the narrative conventions of adventure stories. About as ripping as a yarn can get A multimedia extravaganza. The Mail on Sunday
Everyone seems to be leaving the Welsh village of Manod, and now Dylan Hughes is the only boy left in the village. As he worries whether he will ever find anyone to play football with again, his parents struggle to keep their petrol station afloat. So when the government takes over the old quarry in the mountain to store priceless paintings evacuated from a flooded London, everyone is pleased. The petrol station has customers and Dylan may even get the chance to have a kick-around. But then Dylan's dad leaves home and desperate measures are called for which is how Dylan gets talked into committing 'The Perfect Crime'. 'The writing is full of jokes and touching moments, and the dialogue is as lively and arresting as a film script.' The Times
Felix can't stop wondering what has happened to his parents. He's been living in an orphanage in the mountains for over three years now, and they still haven't come to get him. When men arrive one day and start burning the orphanage's books, Felix is upset and can't understand what is happening. But this is Poland in 1942 and the men are Nazis, come to burn Jewish books. Fearing for his Jewish bookseller parents, Felix escapes and embarks on a dangerous mission across Nazi-occupied Poland, determined to warn his parents about what is going on. A remarkable and powerful novel from one of the most popular children's authors. Gleitzman is a highly skilled comic author; this story proves he can write tragedy as well. The Independent
Maxwell Kane is feared and bullied because of his slowness and enormous size. With his father in jail for murdering his mother, nobody expects much of him. Kevin, the new boy next door, on the other hand, is smart, quirky and funny with an insatiable curiosity and a zest for life. But Kevin suffers from a rare genetic condition, whcih means he has a bent spine and can't walk without crutches. Yet the combination of Kevin and Maxwell is formidable, and together they become Freak the Mighty.
In the twilight world between the luxury of the Invisible City and the terror of the Forbidden Territories, lie the Zones. Abandoned by a divided and ruthless society, Bradley, Victor, Floris and the wild dogs who have joined them must stick together to survive. Their only relief is in the stories told to them by the mysterious Old Woman. Then, an unexpected event turns the children's own world to dust, sending them on a dangerous and difficult journey into the unknown. Can the Old Woman's stories help them survive in the wilderness?
Sixteen-year-old Chanda Kabelo, living in sub-Saharan Africa, knows only too well the truth behind the secret people are trying to keep hidden: that all around her people are dying because of AIDS. When her young stepsister dies, Chanda takes charge, organising the funeral for her grief-stricken mother. But Chanda remains a girl like any other, with hopes, worries and secrets of her own. Can she stay strong while helping her family to survive in the face of this tragedy?
Moose lives on Alcatraz Island, home to the notorious prison and the infamous gangster, Al Capone. But living right down the street from theives and murderers is not Moose's only problem. His Dad's always working and his mum expects him to look after his autistic sister, Natalie. And when Moose gets mixed up with Piper, the warden's daughter, he soon finds out that life on Alcatraz in far from straightforward.
With his father's dying words ringing in his ears, Torak knows that time is running out. Soon, the demon bear will kill again - its evil power strengthened with each slaughter. Nothing is safe. But Torak won't be alone in the Forest for long. Strangers lurk between the whispering trees, eyes watching his every move. With only an orphaned wolf cub for company, Torak must keep his promise to find the Mountain.
A compelling first-person narrator and football theme hooks boys' interest, while a feisty female character ensures that girls have a strong character to empathise with. Themes include family, government oppression, discrimination, asylum seekers, dreams vs. reality, relationships and responsibility. Ideal for mixed ability classes.
Daily brutality is a way of life for Taylor Mase who lives on a country estate with his father, Tom, the gamekeeper. Reg Harris, the land owner, requires Tom to kill animals of prey to keep the pheasant population large enough for the hunting season. While hunting one day, nature-loving Taylor finds a rare Red Kite egg and decides to rear it in secret. However, when the cruel landowner discovers the rare-bird's existence, its fate, and Harris's, are suddenly in question... Compellling, hard-hitting descriptions and riveting dialogue. Manageable length and short chapters makes this book ideal for studying in class.
What's the hook? A jaw-dropping novel by popular children's novelist Anne Fine. What are the themes? Family and friendship raise PSHE issues such as reasons and the effects of bullying and peer pressure. Teaching points? Many excellent passages which are good models for pupils' writing.
What's the hook? Entertaining and highly original, this novel appeals strongly to all young readers. What are the themes? Bereavement, family, grown up, self discovery, responsibility, relationships, social conscience and money and its power to corrupt! Teaching points? Many opportunities for studying framework objectives relating to humour, dialogue, characterisation and openings.
What's the hook? A fascinating and moving autobiographical novel. What are the themes? Different cultures, families/generations, friendship, school life and the individual vs society. Teaching points? Excellent for multicultural work, as it is set against a background of life in Japanese occupied China. Ideal for exploring narrative structure as it is told simply as a series of snapshots. Comparative work opportunities as it includes the original story of Cinderella that originated in the Tang dynasty (AD 618-908).
What's the hook? Relocates the drama of Shakespeare's Macbeth to the school football field. Strikingly original in its approach, MacB grips boys and girls alike. Includes engaging make characters and situations with which disenchanted readers can easily identify. What are the themes? Friendship, school life, mystery and imagination and individual vs society. Teaching points? Excellent way into Shakespeare's Macbeth - opportunities to compare scenes on the football field with the battle scenes in Macbeth and compare the genres of drama and prose. Gripping story line and thrilling writing style provide plenty of opportunities for shared and guided reading.
What's the hook? A humorous novel driven with gritty realism and thrilling imagination. The good mix of girl and boy characters make this book great for whole class work. What are the themes? Social issues such as bullying, self-image and confidence make Fat Boy Swim suitable for cross-curricular use in PSHE Teaching points? Scottish setting and the use of Scottish dialect expressions make it ideal for exploring dialect and cultural diversity.
What's the hook? The realistic and compelling first-person narrative arrests pupils from the beginning. What are the themes? Growing up, family and relationships are presented with deft humour and insight. Teaching points? An excellent model for exploring the use of rhetorical devices in a text.
What's the hook? Fast pace and constant action keeps boys reading. What are the themes? Bullying, loneliness and the nature of heroism. Teaching points? Exciting exploration of the Greek myths to work on myths and legends. Vivid themes can bead to engaging oral and written work.
What's the hook? Action and tongue-in-cheek humour grip even the most reluctant reader. What are the themes? Moral dilemmas, the nature of heroism and individual vs society. Teaching points? Exciting action sequences, convincing dialogue and cinematic imagery make Stormbreaker ideal for modelling and storyboarding. Allows for exploration of the thriller genre and comparison work with Fleming's James Bond.
What's the hook? Mesmerising writing and a stunning story draws the reader in from the beginning. What are the themes? Families, generations, love and other cultures. Teaching points? An excellent model for exploring metaphor and symbolism with lyrical descriptive passages that offer fantastic models for pupils' own writing. This different culture text offers cross-curricular links to History and Geography.
A diverse and engaging collection of literature from different cultures within the UK, including short stories, extracts from novels, drama and poetry, as well as writing from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A vivid and contemporary collection which offers a rich diversity of perspectives on British society.
A selection of stories to support the teaching of English literary heritage and the influence, appeal and characteristics of myths and legends. The text also encourages pupils to read a wide range of styles and genres. Stories include: Persephone in Hell, Garfield and Blishen; The Fight with Grendel, Serraillier; The Princess in the Suit of Leather, Carter; The Invisible One, Leland; What are Friends For?, Dandapa; the Wicked King and His God Son, Jaffery; Whose Footprints?, McGaughrean; Deer Hunter and White Corn Maiden, Long; John Barlecorn, Burns; How Coyote Stole Fire, Sherwood, Haurland; Under Ben Bulben, Paul' Poor Man's Reward, Gratti; Balder, Sherwood; The Death of Gelert, Francis; Anansi and the Mid of god, McGaughrean; Pandora's Box Horowitz; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Morpurgo; What Icarus Saw, Francis
What's the hook? Powerful issues of conflict and adventure are especially compelling for boys. What are the themes? War, adventure and friendship. Teaching points? Gripping storyline and thrilling writing style provides many opportunities for shared and guided reading.
Each story falls into one of five categories. Pre-1914, football, ghost stories, war stories and multicultural stories, ensuring there is material to appeal to all boys, and a match to the new Key Stage 3 Curriculum. Hardback
This is a collection of nine short stories by one of Britain's best-loved writers. This edition is part of a series of pre- and post-1914 works chosen especially for 14-18 year olds. The series features fiction, anthologies, poetry, plays and non-fiction.
Includes everything students need for their first encounter with Shakespeare - well-chosen scenes from his most famous plays, plus lively accessible activities for discussion, drama, language study and comparison. It's the ideal starting-point for exploring Shakespeare, his theatre and his language. Extracts from: Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice.
What's the hook? This hilarious novel has been successfully adapted, by Twentieth Century Fox, into the popular film `Mrs Doubtfire' staring Robin Williams and Sally Field. What are the themes? Family, relationships and responsibility. Teaching points? Provides opportunities for storyboarding, media work and creative writing.
What's the hook? The protagonist's humour and shrewd insight makes this a Gripping novel. What are the themes? Step-families, conflicting generations, home and school life. Teaching points? Many excellent passages which are good models for pupils' writing.
What's the hook? A classic novel charting the moving, often violent events of the 'Votes for Women' campaign with a gritty edge of brutal real History What are the themes? Conflicting generations, individual vs society and friendship. Teaching points? Terrific for exploring cross-curricular links with history focusing on women's rights issues.
What's the hook? This award-winning title provides a moving insight into life and conditions for a black family during Apartheid in South Africa. What are the themes? Individual vs. society, families and other cultures. Teaching points? Ideal for thought-provoking multicultural work. Provides numerous opportunities for exploring narrative devices and charactgerisation.
Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean and lonely businessman who despises the meaning of Christmas until one Christmas Eve when he is visited by the ghosts of his past, present and future... What are the themes? Relationships, individual vs. society and responsibility. Teaching points Many excellent passages which are good models for students' writing.
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