News and Features

The annual Reflecting Realities report by CLPE shows just how underrepresented black, Asian and minority ethnic protagonists are in children’s books. A mere 7% of the children’s books published in the UK over the last three years feature characters of colour. Compare this with the......

The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff, reviewed by Dymphna Flynn Every summer in a holiday house by the English seaside our unnamed narrator and their family fill their days with games, laughter, wholesome outdoor activities, and this year, they’re planning a wedding. But this year......

Sofia, a Sixth Former, at St Albans School wrote about running a Book Club for pupils at Beech Hyde Primary School. Our Book Clubs in Schools model works for secondary schools to run within a single school, but also for state or independent secondary schools......

This month’s glimpse into what we’re reading now. Do get in touch if you – or a young person you know – would like to write a review. Arctic Star by Tom Palmer (suggestion for ages 9+) ‘You do know that some men who go......

We’ve teamed up with Hachette and Speakers for Schools to offer this free exciting activity for children transitioning into Year 7. We know that this year it will be particularly important to support pupils during the summer and that being a confident reader is vital......

This month, we have three very different but equally arresting books. What are your current recommended reads? Featherlight by Peter Bunzl (suggestion for ages 9+) This is a beautiful tale that evokes the stories of the real heroines like Grace Darling and Ida Lewis who......

National Teen Book Club is a free UK-wide virtual book club for teenagers launched by Book Clubs in Schools and educational equality charity Speakers for Schools. Schools and individual pupils can register here  National Teen Book Club aims to make reading and discussing a book......

Jane Austen Investigates is a new series of books by award-winning author Julia Golding. The book arrived in a beautiful parcel with a letter, tea and chocolate – a perfect package. The Abbey Mystery is part glorious historical fiction and part gothic mystery. Add a......

SLS-UK is a collective of Schools Library Services covering the length and breadth of the UK.  Through our subscriptions, consultancy and librarian services, we work with schools to help them develop hubs for learning, exploration and self-development.  In London, our aim is to offer every......

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.......