Jane Austen: Little People, Big Dreams gives a sweet, simple introduction into the world of biographies. The uncomplicated overview of Jane Austen’s life, along with beautiful illustrations by Katie Wilson which subtlety work to add more detail to the context in which Jane lived, make this book very accessible to younger children.
The message of inspiration runs throughout the book, and the subtle comparison between Jane (who challenged thinking and achieved her dreams) to Tom (who made decisions based on his parents’ wishes) would allow for some interesting discussions with slightly older pupils.
I would highly recommend this book for 5-7-year-olds, although I can also see it being used effectively with older pupils too. For example, the timeline at the back lends itself to comparisons with the main body of text and discussions around ‘audience and purpose’. The book could also be used as a stimulus for inspiring further independent and historical study, as the question of why people acted and thought as they did at the time is raised several times throughout the book.
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