Hello everybody! Today, I’m taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, for which the theme today is bookish worlds I don’t want to live in. I’ve come up with 5, so onto the post!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, for which the theme today is bookish worlds I don’t want to live in. I’ve come up with 5, so onto the post!
Today’s post is a tiny bit different to usual (more in format than anything else), so onto the post! I hope you enjoy it 💜
Of all the books that I count as favourites, the Geek Girl series is one of the very closest to my heart. There are so, so many reasons why I love this series and I decided, since it’s now almost a year since the final book came out that I wanted to write about it.
It fits my taste perfectly.
Harriet’s voice is incredibly unique, and her dry sense of humour throughout never, ever fails to make me laugh at least once a chapter. We’re very different in a lot of ways, though I see similarities too. I don’t rattle off facts or love maths and Science, but I adore history, and books, and I’m the first to admit I’m not all that into fashion. There is a passage in the first book about that very topic that speaks hugely to me, and I’m often heard saying ‘they’re just clothes!’
That’s something Geek Girl has given me. There are whole sections of this book I can rhyme off by heart; Harriet’s vocabulary has seeped into mine. Ostensibly, which features in one of the most uncomfortable bullying scenes throughout all 6 books is one of my go to phrases in an essay, and it’s one of my favourite words ever. I also try and learn some of the glorious facts sprinkled throughout that always fit just right with the narrative, which never feel jarring as they could be in other hands.
The rest of the cast are just as special. Eccentric agent Wilbur; so bizarre I can’t help but giggle when he’s on the page. Her parents; clever and caring, and undoubtedly my favourite book parents of all time. Toby; initially an irritation, but someone I came to care about by the end of Forever Geek. Best friend Nat; ferociously protective of Harriet, hilarious, a true ‘girl bomb’. Scary fashion designer Yuka Ito, whose terrifying manner provokes Harriet into some of the best moments of the series for me. And Nick. Lion Boy. A character I’m unashamedly in love with. He’s funny, charming, gorgeous and I can picture him so vividly throughout. He’s perfect for Harriet, to me, and she’s perfect for him.
Watching them grow over the course of the series is a pleasure, and letting them go in Forever Geek was difficult (I spent the entire sitting in which I read it in tears, even as I inevitably laughed). I don’t think I’ll ever stop rereading them though. At the end of any especially tough week, or in preparation for something I’m dreading, I go to the drawer in which I keep these (the most easily accessible I have), pull them out and start reading. And it feels like going home.
Why do you love Geek Girl? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl
Today, I have a lovely guest post from my fabulous friend Christina, who blogs about books and modern languages (aka two of my favourite things in the world) all about books she reads with her class at Christmas.
Over to Christina and her lovely post now!
In my classroom we read everyday, several times day. Any time we have a spare minute we read. Read a story, poem or article together as a class, with a friend or alone, we’re always reading. I like to share my favourite stories with the children in my class and consider one of the most important parts of my job is that children leave my class having identified books as sources of joy, inspiration, comfort and information. Books as ‘ uniquely portable magic’ in the words of Stephen King.
I like to match books with what we’re learning about or link them to things that are happening in the real world. Books have started so many valuable, deep conversations with my class and I have seen the impact with children queuing to borrow their own copy, reading more on that subject or in the reports I hear from parents about their once reluctant reader who is now lost inside a book at every opportunity.
The lead-up to Christmas in school is exciting, yet tiring with lots of things going on. To give you an example, in the month leading up to Christmas we have parent-teacher conferences, Arts Week (where each class spends a whole week creating art, culminating in an installation in and around school), Open House (where children perform, then show their parents around school), flu sprays, Christmas pudding cooking, etc etc. I could keep going!
In amongst all these activities and excitement, it is important to have the sanctuary of reading as that quiet, calm place we all enjoy spending time in, even when the sculpture we’ve spent two hours building has collapsed in a crumpled mess.
So, what do we read?
Here are a few suggestions for any KS1 or KS2 class (ages 4 – 11).
Little Robin Red Vest by Jan Fearnle -Little Robin has given all his nice warm vests to seven chilly friends in need. On Christmas Eve, with no vest left for himself, he huddles on an icy roof… until someone very special comes to the rescue.
I first came across this when teaching Year 1 and it has been a firm favourite with every class I have shared it with. A really cute story about the importance of kindness and sharing!
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan and Janet Albert- The Jolly Postman brings a batch of wonderful letters for Christmas, including notes from the Big Bad Wolf and all the King’s men.
If you loved the original Jolly Postman book, you will also enjoy this holiday edition where the postman delivers letters to various fairytale characters.
The Polar Express by Chris van Allsburg- A young boy is awakened from his Christmas Eve rest by a train that magically appears just outside his home.
And so, a magical adventure begins! Truly a classic for Christmas!
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs- Wordless picture book with beautiful soft illustrations – lovely to share with children as you can discuss what is happening on each page.
Yet another classic, The Snowman had charmed and enthralled every child to whom I have introduced him to!
The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffer
Not traditionally Christmas stories, but the storytelling at home fits well with cuddling up with your family during colder weather and The Gruffalo’s Child is set in winter. Stick Man is also a fun read at this time of year, especially as Santa Claus makes an appearance!
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
A cute look at what Santa does before and after Christmas – quirky humour and graphic-novel style illustrations make this a winner!
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
This needs no introduction – remember reading this on Christmas Eve with my parents when I was younger and I’m sure that many other families also have this tradition.
Norman, the slug who saved Christmas by Sue Hendra
This was recommended to me by a friend who is also a primary teacher – I was a bit sceptical at first but the kids loved it! When a big sack of presents lands by Norman the slug, at first he thinks he must have been a very good slug that year. Then he spots the name labels and realises that the presents must have fallen off Santa’s sleigh…
How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
Not strictly a Christmas book, but a beautiful story to share with children at any time of the year!
The Stolen Sun by Amanda Hall
A Native Alaskan story about the changing of the seasons – lovely to share with children who may not be familiar with the original folklore.
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson– This is a classic for a reason and one of my childhood favourites – like most popular fairy tales there have been several different re-imaginings of it, but I always enjoyed Gerda striking of into the snow to save her friend
The Twelve Days of Christmas- A fun way to count down the days with your children – it is just an illustration of the song, but it is fun to read as you sing and talk about what each gift might represent or what they might orefer instead!
The Nutcracker- Another Christmas classic, my family watches the ballet together every year. Did anyone else ever imagine themselves as Clara, dancing with the Sugar Plum fairy?
Walk with a wolf, The Emperor’s Egg and Ice Bear- Brilliant faction (fact but illustrated like fiction) books which have fascinated every class I have ever read them to!
How the Grinch stole Christmas by Dr Seuss- This one probably needs no introduction – the inimitable Dr Seuss takes on Christmas through the eyes of the Grinch who hates everything about it!
Okay, am going to stop here although the more I think about it, the more wonderful books I come up with!
Have you read any of the books above?
Will you add some to your seasonal reading list?
Let me know!
Welcome to day 9 of blogmas! Today, I have my friend Louise here to talk about her favourite winter fairytales!
Peter Pan- Peter Pan has been associated with Christmas since it hit the stage in the Christmas season of 1904. Otherwise it has nothing to do with winter, or Christmas. I think this shows how any story can become a favourite Christmas tale. Lots of us feel like big children at Christmas, and Christmas is never so magical as in those early childhood years, so I think the theme of the boy who doesn’t want to grow up resonates with children and adults at this time of year.
The Match Girl- Why does a story that ends with the death of a child have associations with Christmas? Seasonal reading doesn’t have to be light and fluffy. Dickens was master of that, but The Match Girl predates even A Christmas Carol. These days we’re as likely to be obsessed with presents and wrapping paper, and driving each other up the wall over television watching rights. The Match Girl goes back to a time when a warm fire and the love of a family was a gift, not a … gift in disguise. I think it has the power to get under the frustration caused by modern life, and modern Christmas, and remind us how lucky we are. Everybody begs that final match to provide the miracle. Every. Single. Time.
The Snow Queen- Modern adaptations focus on the queen in her palace. To me, the beauty of Hans Anderson’s story is how Gerda travels through the seasons, and those seasons are personified by the people she meets. My favourite part is the Autumn bandit camp.
The King Of The Swans- Delphine travels into a summery land to find the strawberries which will save her friend Hilda. Delphine is unable to get home, until she gifts some strawberries to the King of Swans. Hilda is cured, and years later the swan king gifts Delphine a crown. Ever after, children go in search of the same strawberries, but none find them. Delphine’s selflessness is rewarded, while the other children go in search of riches and come back empty-handed. This story stays in my memory because of the contrast – the summery land found in the middle of a snowy forest.
The Snow Maiden – An elderly couple believe they have been blessed with the child of their wishes when a girl made of snow comes to life. She grows within days into a beautiful young woman, but evaporates over a fire when she is invited to run through the springtime wood.
The child made of snow is the image which stays with me. We all know what will happen when the girl is invited out into the spring. This is a lovely story to tell aloud, as the twists and turns invite questions. ‘What do you think they found?’ ‘Do you think she’ll return home?’
Don’t these all sound brilliant?! I think my favourite winter fairytale is the Snow Queen for sure. What’s yours?
Hello everybody, and welcome to day 8 of blogmas!
Today, as food is quite a big part of Christmas for lots of people, I thought it would be fun to talk about books which feature lots of it.
Onto the post!
Love, Lies and Lemon Pies by Katy Cannon– this is one of my favourite YA books of all time. It’s about Lottie, still struggling to cope with the loss of her dad, and Mac, who feels trpped by his nightmare home life, and them finding each through the new school Bake Club. The recipes (which the characters cook, and we are given!) are varied and so much fun to read about (even though I probably wouldn’t eat any of them 🙈)
The Secret Cooking Club/Confetti and Cake by Laurel Remington– these are lovely middle grade stories about Scarlett, who has abandoned all her hobnies due to her oversharing mum blogger mum, finding an escape in cooking. This leads to new friendships, a whole lot of fun and her life taking a turn for the better. And it features lots of yummy sweet treats, hence why it’s on this list!
Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries by Robin Stevens– this book (and all it’s equally excellent sequels) introduced readers to the concept of bunbreak, and rarely a day or two goes by where I do not see that word in my social media circle somewhere. I also indulge in one myself from time to time… . I absolutely love all delicious ones we see superstar sleuths Daisy and Hazel indulging in throughout.
Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen– this is an admittedly weird addition to this list given the main food choice (which I shall not tell you) but the scenes where all the characters come together to eat are probably my favourites as they really drive home the message of a struggling community leaning on each other.
Harry Potter by J.K Rowling– the Hogwarts feasts are quite literally magical, and I would seriousky love to attend one if I could (*sobs loudly*). Also, the company would be amazing. I’d get to laugh with the Weasley twins, eavesdrop on the Golden Trio’s crazy plans for whatever they’re doing next and comfort lovely Neville in his lower moments.
Thank you for reading! What books with great food can you think of? Do we share any answers? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!
Today, I’m taking part in the Fall Book Tag, for which I was tagged by Justine. Onto the post!
Crisp Fall Air: A book that felt fresh and new- I think I have to go for the Secret series by Pseudonymus Bosch here. I’ve read some books that were similar in plot/tone, but the style of these is utterly unique (and very hard to explain, as it turns out! You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve read these). If not, it’s essentially a narrator watching the events of the book, but not giving any real details about setting /real names of characters as it is ‘too dangerous’ and it’s very quirky. It didn’t akwqys succeed for me, but when it did it was fabulous.
Howling Winds: An ending that blew you away – This one has to be The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke for me; I still don’t fully understand it but it most certainly left my jaw hanging open in shock. I can remember literally gasping as I read the last line 😂
Pumpkin Spice: Your most anticipated read- I’m going to presume this means of the autumn, of which I had two; the Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud, and Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. I have already devoured both, and they were just as amazing as I expected!
Comfy Sweater: A book that gives you the warm fuzzies- The first thing that sprang to mind for this was Geek Girl, but as I talk about that loads I’m going to say Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, which is a lovely, gentle, funny LGBT contemporary about Simon as he faces problems at school, comes out to his friends and family and falls in love with the mysterious ‘Blue’.
Bright Colours: A cover with either red, orange or yellow- I can think of loads, but I’m going to say Beetle Boy by M.G Leonard!
Not going to tag anyone as autumn is almost over now, but if you feel like doing this, please do send me your link!
Thank you for reading! What do you think of these books? Are any on your TBR? Let me know down in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!
Hello everybody! Today, I’m taking part in the FABULOUS Six for Sunday meme, hosted by the lovely Steph. Today’s prompt was diverse books, so without further ado here are 6 I love!
Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli- I love this book huge amounts. It’s about Simon, who is in love with an Internet correspondent called Blue, as he comes out to his friends and family and everything that happens in his life during that period. It’s so funny and cosy and clever, and Simon is so incredibly sweet.
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli- Becky Albertalli’s 2nd novel is diverse both in terms of race and sexuality, and one of it’s main themes is the main character Molly discovering that being fat doesn’t make her unattractive or inferior, which I think was really refreshing to see in a book!
The Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries by Robin Stevens- These books feature a Chinese main character in Hazel Wong (who I desperately want to be my best friend/sister, please and thank you) and they explore the racism that ethnic minorities would face during the time period. My heart absolutely breaks for Hazel in some scenes; the way she gets treated can be awfully unfair. We also some LGBT romances taking place, and other ethnic minority characters are introduced as the books go on.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman- This book is incedibly diverse; not one of the main characters is straight, and it’s utterly amazing. It starts off with such light humour and gets darker and deeper as it develops, and also features one of the most evil characters I’ve ever read (I won’t say who, cause spoilers, but I really hate them. If you do too, please come hate on them with me! 😠)
Susie Day- One of my favourite things about Susie Day is that her books are incredibly diverse, and I think it’s done very naturally and explored amazingly. They’re also just generally great contemporary MG!
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson- This books features two trans protagonists, David and Leo, and I adore it. They’re both fabulous characters and there are scenes which take my breath away. I highly recommend it!
What are your favourite diverse books? I’d love to hear in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!