Download our FREE smartphone app today!
Reads of the Day - Archive
Every school day we're posting a new link to an author or book that we know our boys love. Do email Ms Mead email@example.com if you have a suggestion of a book or author to feature. The latest 'Reads of the Day' are on our Reading at Home page. Here's an archive of previous suggested reads.
Stories from Neil Gaiman
Enter the magical world of Neil Gaiman stories! Hear the author read aloud his classics, Coraline and The Graveyard Book. Or read for yourself four stories from M is for Magic. Find out more.
New Diamond Brothers story from Anthony Horowitz
Anthony Horowitz is publishing the eighth title in his comic mystery series, the Diamond Brothers, in free instalments on his website. Read it now!
New book by J K Rowling
J K Rowling has surprised everyone by announcing a new book which she is publishing chapter by chapter on a new website. This is not a Harry Potter spin-off. Check out the story and the illustration competition here. When the book is published in November, the money will be donated to coronavirus charities. But now it is here for you to read first for free.
Calling all Skulduggery Pleasant fans!
Catch up with all the latest news from Derek Landy's Skulduggery world, take the quiz and listen to the whole of the first book read aloud. Find out more.
Free comics and graphic novels to read online at half term!
Amazon's Comixology site is offering 16 free comics including Black Panther, Sonic and Stranger Things, while DC has 34 free titles featuring Batman, Superman and Justice League. You'll need to put these in your online basket on the sites but when you go to checkout, there is nothing to pay and the comics will appear on your screen.
Prequel to The Hunger Games
This week sees the publication of a new book from Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Set 64 years before The Hunger Games, it focuses on Coriolanus Snow and has already been signed up to be a movie. Click here for 5 things you need to know about this book. And you can have two sneak previews: hear and read the whole of the first chapter and also see Suzanne herself reading an extract from the third chapter.
New from Robert Muchamore
The author of the very popular Cherub series has launched a brand new series, Robin Hood, during lockdown. Updated to the 21st century, Robin is a parkour expert with top archery skills on the run in a Sherwood Forest crawling with bears, snakes and biker gangs. Click here to find out more and read the opening chapters for free, or listen to an interview with the author talking about his new book.
For older readers, Muchamore's stand-alone novel Arctic Zoo is now out in paperback. A story about protest and mental health, it was inspired by the teenagers the author met in a psychiatric hospital during his own period of illness. Find out more.
New book from Michelle Paver
Michelle Paver's Wolf Brother series is a favourite in our library. If you're looking for an exciting adventure read, her new book, Viper's Daughter, works as a stand-alone story as well as a continuation for her characters. Click here to hear her talk about her journey to the frozen north for the book!
How books can help you understand your feelings - Tom Percival
18 - 24 May is Mental Health Awareness Week. Reading books which put you in other people's shoes and help you empathise is a very good way of understanding your own feelings and how important they are. Author Tom Percival explains emotional intelligence - with a few jokes too. Find out more.
Watch Libby Scott, teenage author of Can You See Me? (shortlisted for this year's Southwark Book Award) and the newly published Do You Know Me?, talk about her autism and how she copes with anxiety. Find out more.
The king of animal stories - Michael Morpurgo
From War Horse to Shadow and Kaspar Prince of Cats, Michael Morpurgo's books feature a vast range of noble animals. Click here to see if there are any you haven't read and try these suggestions if you've read them all!
And, it's Friday so don't forget to round off your week with a Bitesize Reading Lesson. This week it's No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton for Year 7, Itch by Simon Mayo for Year 8, and The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge for Year 9.
Museum cats - Holly Webb
Author of over 100 books about animals, Holly Webb shares the stories of real-life cats who live in famous museums. Find out more.
How dogs sort people's lives out - Meg Rosoff
The author of How I Live Now and There is no Dog talks about her own dogs and about reading dogs who visit schools! Find out more.
Try these titles if you like reading about adventures with cats.
Books about dogs
If you're looking for a story with a canine main character, have a look at these suggestions.
When will football be back?
The League Managers Association is due to vote on Monday on proposals for a return to football this season. Don't forget to send me your ideas for what you think should happen. This week's competition closes tomorrow!
Click here to read about how lockdown is affecting youth academy players who are keen to get started on their careers.
Football School - Ben Lyttleton and Alex Bellos
Read how Ben Lyttleton, one of the authors of the popular Football School series, got a lucky break in his career as a football journalist... in the loos at Wembley Stadium! Find out more.
From the Playground to the Pitch
The wonderful Ultimate Football Heroes series, From the Playground to the Pitch, has just added Lacazette with Alisson and Rashford to come this summer. Click here to check out the full list of titles as it stands. Matt Oldfield, one half of the brothers behind the books, talks about his favourite books and why reading is so important.
May the Fourth be with you!
To celebrate Star Wars Day, will you be watching one of the movies, or all nine?! Check out starwars.com for everything to do with the galaxy far far away. Along with creative projects and recipes there is a free e-book, The Queens's Shadow to download. And for an extra chance to win this week, tell me who your favourite Star Wars character is and why by the end of Tuesday 5th May, and enter the draw for a free copy of Where's The Wookie, offering hours of entertainment, delivered to your door.
Celebrity book readings
BBC Bitesize Daily Lessons is posting reading lessons every Friday with celebrities reading book extracts for each KS3 year group. This week you can hear The Uncommoners by Jennifer Bell for Year 7 and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens for Year 8 and Year 9.
Use your own experiences - Onjali Rauf
Onjali Rauf, author of The Boy at the Back of the Class and The Star Outside My Window, suggests you should look inside yourself for the best stories.
Character and plot - Catherine Fisher
Characters are often the most memorable part of a story says award-winning fantasy author, Catherine Fisher. Check out her ideas for how to write a fascinating fantasy story.
Create a fantasy world - Cressida Cowell
The award-winning author of How to Train your Dragon explains how she created the setting for her latest series, The Wizards of Once. Find out more.
Tips on writing - Taran Matharu
Taran Matharu, the author of the wonderful Summoner series, visited our school in 2018 and told us how he got started in writing. Click here for his tips on writing novels, which will also be useful for your short stories!
Reading lessons with celebrity readers
If you haven't already looked at BBC Bitesize Daily Lessons, check them out! On Fridays there are Reading Lessons with celebrities reading from different books for each KS3 year group: Wonder by RJ Palacio for Year 7; Trash by Andy Mulligan for Year 8; and Goggle-Eyes by Anne Fine for Year 9.
Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616 and his birth date in 1564 is historically, though less certainly, marked as 23 April too. I wonder how many of you will be choosing to read Shakespeare during lockdown?! However, he lived through a time of plague epidemics and lost members of his close family. Click here to discover what daily life was like for Shakespeare over 400 years ago. For older readers, Malorie Blackman's recently televised Noughts & Crosses, echoes the story of Romeo and Juliet, and is a must read. The fifth book in the series, Crossfire, was published last year.
Happy Earth Day!
22 April is Earth Day, a global call to take action for the planet and fight climate change. Click here to take the quizzes and see how informed you are, and then explore the rest of the Earth Day website to see how you can get involved and make a difference. The perfect read for today is Tender Earth by Sita Brahmachari, a story about starting secondary school, confronting change and finding your voice. Happy Earth Day!
Today we are also marking Stephen Lawrence Day, celebrating his life and striving to make the world a better place. The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust has created a reading list of books that are available free to read online.
Polly Ho-Yen's Boy in the Tower
Looking for a book that understands what it's like to be kept inside and looking out at the world? Polly Ho-Yen's Boy in the Tower, might be just the thing for you and it's set in South London! Think about how you can use your own experiences to write a short story.
10 brilliant book illustrations
Author and illustrator James Mayhew has selected an interesting and wide-ranging choice of great drawing styles. Click here to view and read about the artists. Ms Mead will be judging our drawing competition at 9am on Monday so as long as your entry is in today or over the weekend, it can be included.
I'm sure many of you are reading manga online and catching up on anime at the moment. I've been looking at lots of amazing manga art online this week. How would you rank your favourite artists? Check out this Top Ten and this one too. Do you agree? Drop me an email and let me know yours. And, don't worry, I'm still ordering all the latest editions of your favourite manga series for when we are back in school - we won't miss any. Keep reading and drawing!
Nick Sharratt - Jacqueline Wilson's illustrator
Nick Sharratt, illustrator of Jacqueline Wilson and her Tracy Beaker books, as well as books by Jeremy Strong and Julia Donaldson, has a very distinctive style, perfect for cartoon stories. His website is a great place to explore his work and get ideas. Click here for his videos on how to draw characters and animals
Quentin Blake - Roald Dahl's illustrator
Today, check out the work of Quentin Blake, the familiar illustrator of books by many authors including Roald Dahl and David Walliams. His own website tells the story of his life and showcases hundreds of drawings. Click here to watch Quentin talking about how he draws or take a Willy Wonka masterclass. Keep drawing and don't forget to send in your work!
Manga fans, click here to find out about the father of modern manga, from illustrator Satoshi Kitamura. And don't forget to work on your drawings for this week's competition! Yesterday's superhero drawing link also features manga. Click here for more tips, or visit www.animeoutline.com.
Graphic novels and superheroes
Those of you in Manga Club last year will know about the Excelsior award, the national award for the best new manga and graphic novels. Click here to see this year's shortlists. If you feel like brushing up on your superhero drawing skills check out this range of characters or you might want to try cute Superman!
Chris Riddell - watch his videos to get you drawing!
Everyone can draw, and pictures can be just as important as words. Chris Riddell is the former Children's Laureate and illustrator of The Graveyard Book, Coraline, Goth Girl, The Beedle and the Bard, and the Edge Chronicles. Click here to see Chris Riddell create a character and start a story.
Rebecca Westcott - more diary reads
The author of Dandelion Clocks and Can You See Me? (shortlisted for this year's Southwark Book Award) talks about diary writing and suggests some very different ones to try. Find out more.
Harry Potter - Always!
Samuel reminded us all that reading familiar books we have grown up with can be very comforting, especially something like Harry Potter, which is so imaginative and action packed it always seems fresh. Maybe now's a good time to reread the series or rewatch the films! Have a look at these suggestions for what to read after Harry Potter.
R.J. Palacio - Wonder
Adam's recommendation of Wonder (see above) led me to this interview with R.J. Palacio on her inspiration for writing the book. Developing empathy by putting yourself in another person's place is one of the most important experiences of reading. Find out more. If you like Wonder, try this great new book, Can you See Me?, which uses extracts from a real teenager's diary.
Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Rayane's excellent suggestion of diving into Diary of the Wimpy Kid stories to entertain yourself and think about how we interact with each other, helped me dig up this fascinating interview with Jeff Kinney and a whole load of suggestions on what to read next. Don't forget your own diary entry for this week's competition!
- "I didn't think kids would read Diary of a Wimpy Kid" - Jeff Kinney
- What to read after Diary of a Wimpy Kid - suggestions.
Ele Fountain - Boy 87
Jackson's winning review (see above) makes us all think about what staying at home means when you don't have a fixed home or are having to leave the one you have known all your life and start again. In today's Read of the Day, Ele Fountain, author of Boy 87 (one of our DEAR Time book sets and winner of the Southwark Book Award 2019) describes the experience that led to her book. There is also a link to other stories about refugees for you to try. Find out more.
Jason Reynolds - Ghost Series
The new series from Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down, has interested a lot of you in the library. Here's what he has to say about his Ghost series. Find out more.
"Why I write" - Alex Wheatle
One of Harris Boys' favourite authors explains how and why he writes. Find out more.
Patrice Lawrence's Top 10 Books.
Many of you have read Orange Boy by Patrice Lawrence. Here are her Top Ten reads.