World Book Day 1st March 2012 What is World Book Day? World Book Day is a celebration! It’s a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world. Your World Book Day Token Explained What’s the point in reading? • Some people read for entertainment • Some people read to learn about the world and people in it • Some people read to escape their own world • When you read you give yourself the best opportunity to improve your communication skills which every job in the world needs • You read everyday in school You don’t just have to read books though • Reading magazines, newspapers, the internet and adverts are other texts you can read which will help you to improve your vocabulary and communication skills Not sure what to read? • Ask your friends, your teachers, or your parents • In the meantime, the following are some books recommended by staff and students at Redhill… Some teacher recommendations • Mrs Hartley recommends: ‘Witness’ by Cath Staincliffe • This follows the lives of 4 very different individuals in Manchester who are witness to a young lad being shot dead. It explores how they are affected by seeing the crime and how they cope deciding whether or not to be official witnesses for the police or not. Some teacher recommendations • Mrs Dyce recommends: ‘The Woman In Black’ by Susan Hill • This book has been made into a successful play and a film which is perhaps testimony to how good the story is. If you enjoy a spooky read, this one’s for you. Some teacher recommendations • Mrs Heneghan recommends: ‘Gangsta Granny’ by David Walliams • The plot is great – young boy, whose parents don’t really care for him, gets dumped with cabbage-smelling and eating, granny. He finds something which leads him to believe granny may not be all she seems. Some teacher recommendations • Mr Foster recommends: ‘Pigeon English’ by Stephen Kelman • Loosely based on Damiola Taylor case. Deals with knife crime and gangs in London from the viewpoint of an 11 year old boy. Very good on the everyday concerns of kids at school. Fast-moving and convincing. Older readers would enjoy. Recommended for several awards including Booker Prize but don’t let that put you off. Some teacher recommendations • Mr Holman recommends ‘His Dark Materials’ a trilogy by Phillip Pullman, and has just read all of George RR Martin’s ‘A song of fire and Ice’ series which starts with ‘Game of Thrones’. It’s a bit dark and more suited to older students but really, really good! Some teacher recommendations • Miss Rabey recommends ‘War Horse’ by Michael Morpurgo • Although it has been made famous by the recent Spielberg film, the book is far superior. It is written from the perspective of a horse, Joey, who is sent out to war. It’s an interesting insight into a topic that you possibly wouldn’t have considered before. Some teacher recommendations • Miss Burgess recommends: ‘The Alchemist’ by Paul Coehlo Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalucian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he's off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream. Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman's books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists-men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the "Soul of the World." Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship helps him to stay true to his dreams. Some teacher recommendations • Mr Langford recommends ‘The Hobbit’ by Tolkein • Soon to be made into a film, this story follows hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, on a treasure hunt. There is a reason why this book has stood the test of time. Recommendations from AAS • • • • • • • • • • Harry Potter Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Hunger Games His Dark Materials Georgia Nicolson books Goose Bumps Twilight Alone on a Wide Sea Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Private Peaceful Other currently popular reads… I Capture the Castle: Dodie Smith The first entry in Cassandra Mortmain's diary ends with her feeling happier than she ever has in her life, despite her depressed father and impoverished state. "Perhaps it is because I have satisfied my creative urge; or it may be due to the thought of eggs for tea." The story of the restoration of a degree of the family fortunes unfolds in the same briskly beguiling voice and appeals to the romantic streak in every teenage heart. Trust no one who does not love this or, of course, 101 Dalmatians His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman Bleak, brutal, warm, lush and exhilarating by turns, fiercely intelligent, compassionate and compelling always, it will undo all the harm or all the good you feel was done by letting your offspring loose on Narnia. That's what reading is for. The Chaos Walking trilogy: Patrick Ness An unbelievably thrilling read that nevertheless poses profound questions – about the effects of war, the constraints of love and hate, the competing claims of vengeance and forgiveness – as the epic tale of Todd's efforts to escape various warmongering forces unfolds. Profoundly humane and utterly magnificent. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret: Judy Blume At a time when the disturbingly affectless Gossip Girl series and Twilight books, with their troubling attitudes towards teenage girls' sexuality, have such a stranglehold, Blume's concentration on the lived experience of adolescence makes the books an increasingly valuable corrective to this prevailing mood, as well as continuing to be great reads. Goodnight Mr Tom: Michelle Magorian Any synopsis makes it sound twee – irascible, long-bereaved old man Tom Oakley grudgingly takes London evacuee and abused child Will into his home and their needs and gifts help heal each others' wounds – but it is not. It is beautiful, sad and true. A Little History of the World: EH Gombrich Talking of beautiful, sad and true – Gombrich's short, measured jog through the main civilisations and events that have shaped the world is a warm, witty presentation of vital facts in narrative form, which grew out of a correspondence the author had with his friend's young daughter. And a useful reminder that there is lots of fantastic non-fiction as well as fiction out there too. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Mark Haddon The boy with Asperger's syndrome, who is trying to navigate his way through a family break-up and solve the mystery of who killed the dog next door, provides an unlikely hero whose fresh perspective engages the reader, although he fails to engage with people himself. Little Women: Louisa May Alcott There is something for everyone (or, OK, every girl – much as we hate to admit the possibility of gender division in readers, we sometimes must) in Alcott's bestseller. Tomboys have Jo, wannabe celebs have Amy, homebodies have Meg and drips have Beth. And, of course, because we all contain multitudes, we love all of them equally according to mood. Except, of course, for Beth. Die, drip, die. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Mark Twain And a classic for – ostensibly –the boys. Until they are ready for the greater demands of Huckleberry Finn, whet juvenile appetites with Tom, his entrepreneurial spirit and his taste for treasure-hunting adventure. A paean to true boyhood. Witch Child: Celia Rees n 1659, 14-year-old Mary Newbury travels from England to the New World, where she becomes embroiled in what are effectively the Salem witch trials. It's a completely absorbing account of what happens when suspicion and rumour fuel secret agendas, prejudices and politics. A book to make you sigh with satisfaction Exposure: Mal Peet This contemporary retelling of Othello – the doomed couple now a black Brazilian star footballer and a pampered young pop goddess – will continue to grip young readers for years to come. The Sterkarm Handshake/The Sterkarm Kiss: Susan Price These books cross effortlessly between science fiction and fantasy, depicting life as it might have been in the primitive past with rare and enthralling realism. A British corporation, FUP, has developed the Tube, a means of time-travelling between the 21st and 16th centuries, and made contact with an ancient Scottish tribe. FUP expects no difficulty in negotiating for resources with savages, but the Sterkarms are unexpectedly ruthless – and Andrea, FUP's 16th-century liaison, has complicated matters by falling in love with the Sterkarm leader's son. Not for the fainthearted, and with some decidedly adult language in Kiss, these books never talk down or soften the harshnesses of the past. Unforgettable. The White Darkness: Geraldine McCaughrean Sym is a typical teenage girl in many ways, wrestling with a colossal crush – unusually on long-dead Polar explorer, Captain Oates. When her eccentric uncle offers her the opportunity to go to Antarctica, she's delighted – but Uncle Victor's unnerving behaviour and the dark cold of the South Pole are more than Sym bargains for. Bleakly, heroically romantic.