Reading Newsletter Eagle PrimarY school - november 2019

Wowsers! November is here!

Welcome to the Eagle Primary Reading Newsletter for November 2019.

Half term is behind us and we are now on the run in to Christmas.

This month, I am sharing a selection of books to enjoy for different reasons, a retelling of traditional tale, a re-imagined classic and a dystopian tale packed with twists and turns.

Whether you share the books with your children or if you encourage them to read them for themselves, it doesn't matter. I would simply like to see children get the opportunity to develop the breadth and depth of books that they see are available to them.

Remember that children need to experience a variety of books. Reading one author or a set of books by the same author is a good thing, but it is important to read wider and discover what else is out there, even if you decide that it’s not for you. There are treasures out there waiting to be discovered!


Mr Watson

EYFS/KS1 Book of the Month

The Secret of the Tattered Shoes - Jackie Morris & Ehsan Abdollahi

The Secret of the Tattered Shoes is a fresh interpretation of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tale about twelve princesses who are locked in at night, yet whose dancing shoes are still worn down by morning. A young soldier is tasked to discover their night-time adventures. But unlike the story told by the Brothers Grimm, this soldier seeks a different ending. Jackie’s dark and poetic text updates this well-known tale and shows how stories evolve and adapt over time.

Beautifully illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi, who has created stunning puppet-like illustrations in rich and delicate detail, this unique illustrative style brings the story to life and perfectly encapsulate the beauty and melancholy of the story.

MR WATSON SAYS: I was lucky enough to read this book before release and I loved it. It is a fabulous retelling of the tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses. It has a great balance of light and dark - not sickly sweet, just a little edge to it that makes it feel a little more 'real'. Abdollahi's artwork is something beautiful and a little different. Well worth picking up to share.

LKS2 Book of the Month

The Iron Man - Ted Hughes & Chris Mould

The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff.

Where had he come from? Nobody knows.

How was he made? Nobody knows.

Mankind must put a stop to the dreadful destruction by the Iron Man and set a trap for him, but he cannot be kept down. Then, when a terrible monster from outer space threatens to lay waste to the planet, it is the Iron Man who finds a way to save the world.

)MR WATSON SAYS: Ted Hughes' Iron Man is a long standing classic story. Originally billed as 'A bedtime story in 5 nights', this tale of a boy called Hogarth and the mysterious Iron Man who terrorizes his community has been told and told again since 1968... 51 years later and illustrator Chris Mould has re-imagined it as a magnificently illustrated version. I have always had some personal issues with the story as a whole, but I have to put them aside for this new version... it is a thing of beauty!

UKS2 Book of the Month

The Middler - Kirsty Applebaum

"I was special. I was a hero. I lost the best friend I ever had."

Eleven-year-old Maggie lives in Fennis Wick, enclosed and protected from the outside world by a boundary, beyond which the Quiet War rages and the dirty, dangerous wanderers roam. Her brother Jed is an eldest, revered and special. A hero. Her younger brother is Trig - everyone loves Trig. But Maggie's just a middler; invisible and left behind.

Then, one hot September day, she meets Una, a hungry wanderer girl in need of help, and everything Maggie has ever known gets turned on its head. Narrated expertly and often hilariously by Maggie, we experience the trials and frustrations of being the forgotten middle child, the child with no voice, even in her own family. This gripping story of forbidden friendship, loyalty and betrayal is perfect for fans of Malorie Blackman, Meg Rosoff and Frances Hardinge.

"Enter Maggie, 11, a middler, wedged between Jed, the eldest, and Trig, the youngest...I thought I'd almost reached my fill of dystopian novels, but Kirsty Applebaum has rebooted the genre. The plot pulls you along and I liked Maggie more and more as she grew in courage. There is a touch of Harper Lee's Scout about her." - Alex O'Connell, The Times

"Strikingly original and featuring a spirited heroine" - Amanda Craig, New Statesman

MR WATSON SAYS: This was a real surprise read for me over the summer. I had heard some great reviews and decided to give it a try. I haven't really read anything like it before or since to be fair, and that is something really impressive. It is dramatic, powerful, incredibly emotional and a roller coaster of a story. Maggie is a really relatable character, the person who wants to feel that they matter, but always feels like they aren't good enough. I was impressed. Lots of clever details thrown in. Shocks and surprises throughout!

Author of the Month

Twitter: @afharrold

A F Harrold

A.F. Harrold is an English poet (1975 - present) who writes and performs for adults and children. He is the owner of many books, a handful of hats, a few good ideas and one beard.

He spends his time showing off on stage, writing poems and books, and stroking his beard (it helps churn the ideas).

He lives in Reading with a stand-up comedian and two cats.

(Some) Books by A F Harrold

MR WATSON SAYS: I have enjoyed several of AF Harrold's books, they range delightfully from the sublime (The Song from Somewhere Else) to the sublimely ridiculous (Fizzlebert Stump)!

His writing has a great balance of fun and thought. You will giggle, think deeply, weep a bit, and smile a lot - I think that is heading towards the perfect balance.

I mean... who wouldn't want to know what's in there?

Your Recommendations...

What book adventures have you been on?

As ever, this Newsletter shouldn't be just about my choices.

I would love to hear recommendations from you too.

If you have read and enjoyed a book and think that someone else might enjoy it too, then share the name of the book and author with me, along with a brief summary of the plot and why you think someone else would enjoy the book.

Share the love of books.

You can E-mail your ideas, recommendations and reviews to: mike.watson@eagle.lincs.sch.uk

How can you help your children with reading?

Remember as always, reading is a beautifully subjective thing... if you don't like a book, think about why before giving up.

Might it be worth another chapter?

Do you understand what is happening?

Use these thoughts to shape your future choices.


Mr Watson

Created By
Mike Watson


Created with an image by Jonas Jacobsson - "untitled image". Book synopsis and author biography from Amazon.co.uk. Other sources cited.