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Choose Usborne for your School - Reason #3 Class Reads

31st May 2018

We have thousands of Usborne Organisers across the UK and Europe working with schools to inspire a lifelong love of reading in their pupils, and to help teachers and parents to find the very best books for their children.

Every month we'll be exploring how creating a partnership with an Usborne Organiser can hugely benefit you and your school. From free and discounted books for your school, to planning personalised reading events to suit you, to recommending the best books for each age range, an Usborne Organiser can be an invaluable support to you and your school.

This month we're looking at class reads. With a growing range of award-winning fiction titles, we know that we have a great selection of books that would be perfect for studying in late Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. With engaging themes and interesting contexts, our recommended titles are perfect for prompting class discussion and analysis.

Your local Usborne Organiser will be able to provide you with teacher resources and more detailed book reviews for each of these titles, so please ask them if you want any further information on any of the titles listed.

Freak the Mighty

Plot

Max is used to being called stupid. And he is used to everyone being scared of him. On account of his size and looking like his dad.

Kevin is used to being called dwarf. On account of his size and being some cripple kid.

But greatness comes in all sizes, and together Max and Kevin become FREAK THE MIGHTY and walk high above the world. 

Key Themes

Friendship, what it means to be human, not judging a book by its cover, the power of stories.

Why choose it

It's an uplifting read about the power of friendship to overcome any difficulties in your life, and about looking beyond someone's appearance to see the greatness beneath the surface.

 

Kick

Plot

Budi's plan is simple. He's going to be a star.

Budi's going to play for the greatest team on earth, instead of sweating over each stitch he sews, each football boot he makes.

But one unlucky kick brings Budi's world crashing down. Now he owes the Dragon, the most dangerous man in Jakarta. Soon it isn't only Budi's dreams at stake, but his life.

Key Themes

The divide between rich and poor, being proud of who you are, hope, the importance of friendship and family bonds.

Why choose it

Kick is a thought provoking novel told through the perspective of a poor boy with big dreams. It's great for promoting discussion about inequality and debate about how to make the world a fairer place.

 

The Wild Folk

Plot

In the land of Farallone, City boy Tin and Country girl Comfrey are guided on a quest by two young hares.

Their task is to save the mystical Wild Folk from destruction. But the Wild Folk don't trust humans, and the children face impossible challenges and meet extraordinary creatures as they battle to save the land they love.

Key Themes

Nature and the environment, friendship and community, division and differences.

Why choose it

The Wild Folk is a beautiful fantasy novel with incredible world building and a strong moral message about looking after our world. It has two brilliant narrators in Tin and Comfrey and is accessible literary fiction for young people. 

 

Mockingbird

Plot

Caitlin misses her brother every day.

Since his death in a school shooting, she has no one to explain the world to her. And for Caitlin, the world is a confusing place. She hates it when colours get mixed up, prefers everything to be black-and-white, and needs to check her Facial Expressions Chart to understand emotions.

So when Caitlin sees the definition of "closure", she decides that's what she needs. And as she struggles to find it, a world of colour begins to enter her black-and-white life...

Key Themes

Loss, friendship, growing up, challenges of childhood

Why choose it

Caitlin is an incredible narrator and is perfect for teaching people to be more understanding and accepting of others. The theme of loss prevalent throughout is dealt with sensitively, and will be very relatable for lots of young readers.

 

Yankee Girl

Plot

It's 1964 and Alice has moved to Mississippi from Chicago with her family. Nicknamed 'Yankee Girl' and taunted by the in-crowd at school, Alice soon discovers the other new girl Valerie - one of the school's first black students - has it much worse.

Alice can't stand the way Valerie is treated, and yet she knows she will remain an outsider if she speaks up. It takes a horrible tragedy to finally give Alice the courage to stand up for what she believes.

Key Themes

Growing up, standing up for what you believe in, race and prejudice, the power of belonging and being inclusive of others

Why choose it 

Yankee Girl is a powerful novel about doing the right thing no matter how hard it might be. It's got a great historical context and would be perfect for promoting debate on differences.

 

Want to know more about how our Organisers can work with you?

Contact your local Usborne Organiser today to find out more about each of the titles above, and for a copy of any teacher resources for the titles you are interested in. Your Organiser can also explain the discounts they can offer you for a school order, and how they can help you to fundraise for new books.

Find your nearest Organiser by typing your school's postcode in here: https://www.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/new-to-usborne/find-an-organiser.aspx or email mail@usbornebooksathome.co.uk to be put into contact with an Organiser.

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