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    International Women’s Day

    If you were asked who your favourite female character was, who would you choose? It’s a tough one isn’t it! There are so many great women in literature – Jane Eyre, Miss Marple, Elizabeth Bennett – and in children’s literature the list would certainly include Jo March, Lucy Pevensie, Fern Arable, Matilda Wormwood and Hermione Granger. So who would I pick for my favourite heroine? I feel spoilt for choice, so thought I’d look beyond the classics and the names everyone perhaps knows or recognises. I want to point you in the direction of just a few heroines in children’s fiction that I have fallen in love with – those you…

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    Creating A Peaceful Bedtime Routine with Books

    Life can get pretty hectic at times, with busy schedules and lots of opportunities to take part in. We all have good intentions to slow things down, say no to the rush and be more mindful of our time, but we also know that it’s not always possible, or controllable. Whether it’s the late train or busy crowds, the cascade of appointments or parties, lessons, the latest work deadline or the myriad things that can make demands on our time – life doesn’t always go at an ideal pace! In these busy moments, we can often feel like our peace has been lost in the commotion, and the balance of…

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    Stepping Into the Young Adult Section

    “One must always be careful of books and what is inside of them, for words have the power to change us” – Cassandra Clare   As a bookseller I often saw the nervousness that accompanied parents looking at the shelves in the ‘Young Adult’ section with their young tween. Many of these books are unfamiliar – there is less of the solidity of the classics that are a constant presence in the younger sections. Gone are the Pevensie children, talking spiders and chocolate factories. We are into a world of mazes and deadly games, first loves and heartbreak, murders and apocalypses, and find books that deal more explicitly with issues…

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    The Importance of Non-Fiction

    “One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time.” – Carl Sagan   Reference books open the door to the world around us and there are some amazing choices out there for every possibility. They are information treasure chests that create discussion and debate, expand our knowledge and give us a deeper understanding of our past, present and future. What they are not, is dry, dusty tomes that can be found at the back of a classroom cupboard – reluctantly dragged out and worked through (systematically of course) with a test at the…

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    Encouraging Developing Readers

    “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!     There are no hard and fast rules to learning to read – each child does it in their own way, at their own pace. Dangers can set in when we listen to uncertainty – they aren’t learning fast enough for their age, they aren’t learning the “proper” rules, they aren’t doing things “in order”, the neighbour’s son can already read War and Peace… These nagging thoughts can undermine the natural process of reading and stifle their curiosity.…