News and Features

Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose latest novel The Strays of Paris is hard to pin down genre-wise. An animal adventure story, it reads like a fable and is perfect for readers aged eleven and over.  Paras is a spirited young racehorse who......

Here’s our latest pick of books to escape with. For ages nine and over to 16 plus. The Humiliations of Welton Blake by Alex Wheatle (suggestion for ages 9+) This book made me laugh out loud. It follows the trials and tribulations of Welton Blake.......

Secondary school librarian Carole Estall, aka The Reading Jackdaw, tells us how she began to read for pleasure. Her story may not be what you expect. People are often surprised at my fractured relationship with reading, I was certainly no Matilda. My parents read, but......

On 13 January 2021, we launched the first #SecondaryBookChat. There are lots of resources about primary school books but fewer resources are available for secondary school teachers. We wanted to showcase Barrington Stoke, a publisher who creates super-readable, accessible books that are ideal for students......

We really enjoyed Kicking Off. The story follows Hettie as she starts work at the Dick, Kerr and Company factory to fill munitions shells, aged just 15.  With her brother Freddie off at war and her dad working on the docks or down the pub,......

Book Clubs in Schools’ digital delivery mechanism makes it very easy for teachers or older pupils to run book clubs. The format translates straightforwardly from in-person to online and can be used as a fun activity to encourage reading for pleasure during lockdown. Book Clubs......

At the end of 2020, we asked friends and supporters of BCiS to recommend a children’s or YA book. We also requested a sentence explaining why they chose this book. There’s quite a collection of titles here. Which have you read? What’s your recommended read?......

Katy Donnelly is one of our school managers. Katy also has a MA in children’s literature and is a fabulous book blogger.  We love the book The Griffin Gate by Vashti Hardy, illustrated by Natalie Smillie.  It’s also published by Barrington Stoke, who publish super-readable,......

This month our What to Read Now recommendations shine a light on important subjects. We also have special reviewers. First up is Seamus, who is in Year 6. Seamus completed an Olympic triathlon over three days and raised over £2,000 to help young people read......

PRESS RELEASE                NOVEMBER 2020 Book Clubs in Schools (BCiS), announces award-winning children’s author Alex Wheatle MBE as its patron. BCiS is a charity that delivers interactive, inclusive and lively book clubs. The charity creates a pathway for young......

It’s true. The simplest ideas are often the best. And this is a straightforward but genius idea! And we think it’s really going to snowball. Unfortunately, coronavirus has put paid to Christmas party plans. But it has left lots of companies with an unused staff......

The story follows Sami, a typical 13-year-old boy living life in a comfortable home in Damascus. Sami has no real worries, apart from whether he will get to play in the football trials with his friends or go to an ice skating party. Although the......

Here are our three What to Read Now recommendations for this month.   The Tigers in The Tower  – Julia Golding (suggestion for ages 9+) It’s 1830, and we meet Sahira, a brave and feisty heroine, newly orphaned on a voyage to England from India. ......

Book clubs can be an important part of providing a rich and varied offer to pupils and help support pupils catch up with literacy skills and build confidence. However, we recognise that there are specific challenges around running book clubs in a Covid-19 secure format.......

When did you first know you were a writer? I guess I first wanted to be a writer when I was 7,8.9 years of age when I wanted to write my own comic strips.  I was inspired by the Beano, Whizzer & Chips and Shoot......

This month our Director, Alison Palmer – no relation of the author, Tom Palmer! –  shares her what to read now recommendations. After the War – Tom Palmer (suggestion for ages 9+) The story follows three boys Yossi, Mordecai and Leo as they travel from......

Although many in-person book and literary festivals have been cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis this year, plenty are moving online so you can participate in virtual events and author talks from the comfort of your own home. Read on to find out more about......

My name is Tabby and I’ve recently started volunteering with Book Clubs in Schools using my background in PR and social media to help with future social media campaigns. After being furloughed at the start of April, there was only so much exercising, baking and......

The education community on Twitter is incredibly vibrant and supportive. Deputy Grocott, founder of #FFBWednesday and @challenge_maths, wrote a blog for us on his healthy Twitter obsession and the Edutwitter cookbook (check out our recipe for chocolate cake, enjoy with a good book!). Over to you......

Here are our latest what to read now suggestions. Happy reading!   Diver’s Daughter: A Tudor Story by Patrice Lawrence ( suggestion for ages 9+) Come on an epic journey to 16th century London, where you’ll meet Eve Cartwright, a young black girl, living with......

Small Charity Week is the perfect time to share our Impact Report. This week is when we celebrate the essential work of the UK’s small charity sector, who make an invaluable contribution to the lives of millions of individuals, communities and causes. We’re a small......