Now part of Just Imagine School Membership
We are thrilled to announce that all Reading Gladiators resources can now be accessed through a Just Imagine Schools Membership, which also includes access to all Take One Book resources, An Audience With… Book Blast. It also includes a training credit that can be used for any of our online courses. And we’ve kept this affordable for all schools.
Subscribe here to gain access
And here’s a preview of the book choices for this year
New titles added this year are the Fan Brothers Lizzy and the Cloud, a whimsical and sweet tale of a young girl who cares for her pet cloud as it grows. The Fan Brothers are a favourite with Reading Gladiators and we are sure they will love this book. Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre’s new series features too. Adventure Mice: Otter Chaos has a cast of likeable characters and is gorgeously illustrated. This early fiction will have year 2 eager to read more books in the series. Our nonfiction choice is What the Macaw Saw by Charlotte Guillain and Sam Usher. Told in gentle rhyming verse, this beautiful book follows the story of a flock of colourful macaws as they live their lives in the Amazon rainforest. We have retained some of our most popular favourites, too.
For year 3, our new choices are Pippa Curnick’s Indigo Wilde and the Creatures of Jellybean Crescent. Listen to Pippa talking about the book here. Witty and highly imaginative, children will enjoy the neon illustrations. For those who love the story, there is a sequel to keep them entertained. Our nonfiction choice, Arthur Who Wrote Sherlock, is a picture book biography of Arthur Conan Doyle. Picture book biographies are an excellent choice for encouraging life skills, like persistence and resilience. And this is a lovely way into the mystery genre, too. We have plenty of age-appropriate selections listed in the book notes. Maggie O’Farrell (Hamnet) has written an outstanding book for children. Our reviewer Jacqueline Doherty writes, ‘This is a sumptuously illustrated picture book with an engaging story and some important themes to explore, such as moving home, making new friends, struggling with learning difficulties and recognising the importance of talking about your emotions.’
New books for year 4 include Liz Flanagan’s and Joe Todd-Stanton’s, Wildsmith. Our reviewer, Stephen Dilley, writes, ‘Wildsmith: Into the Dark Forest marks the start of an exciting new middle-grade fantasy adventure series about a girl who helps her grandfather rescue endangered animals and discovers that she has hidden magical powers.’ The second book in this series is already out, so you can point enthusiasts in the right direction. Saving Sorya is a powerful graphic novel based on the true adventures of Trang Nguyen, a wildlife conservationist. Fact and fiction are interwoven. For a year 4 poetry choice, we have selected Debra Bertulis’s Where do Wishes Go? You might like to listen to Debra in conversation with Nikki Gamble and Simon Lamb discussing this collection. No doubt you will be pleased to see popular choices such as Lissa Evans’s Small Change for Stuart and Lesley Parr’s The Valley of Lost Secrets featuring among our established favourites.
It is always hard to make selections, and we had so many books that we wanted to include for year 5. But with the best will in the world, we can only produce a set number of new resources every year. So these are the new books that we eventually settled on. By selecting Barabara Henderon’s Rivet Boy, we thought we would have an opportunity to bring this super book to a wider readership. This historical adventure tells the story of 12-year-old John Nicol, who gets a job at the Forth Bridge construction site. He knows it’s dangerous. Four boys have already fallen from the bridge into the Forth below. It’s a gripping read, but don’t just take our word for it, Tom Palmer loved it, too. Ann Turnbull’s retelling of the Greek Myths is a superior collection, skilfully weaving the connections between one myth and another. It’s a go-to book if you want to give children access to extremely well-told classical stories that underpin so much of our cultural heritage. For picture books, we couldn’t resist Levi Pinfold’s enigmatic story, Paradise Sands, with its echoes of fairy tales and layered meanings. Every reader will take something different from this story. Allowing freedom of imaginative response will be rich and rewarding.
For year 6, we have some atmospheric choices. In James Dixon’s The Billow Maiden. Ailsa is staying with her aunt and uncle while her mother recovers from an illness. When she encounters Hefring – a selkie, a mermaid, a billow maiden from ancient myth she has to put her own worries aside to care for the ailing creature. Eve McDonall’s The Chestnut Roaster is a deliciously dark thriller that takes the young protagonists into the Paris catacombs as they track the memory thief, robbing all Parisians of any knowledge of past events. Finally, Shaun Tan’s Tales from the Inner City is an enigmatic collection of stories that comment on human relationships with animals in the modern world.