At Grace Darling we love to read. We aim to foster a love of reading in all our children and encourage them to seek out texts which interest them. To support this, along with our texts linked to the curriculum and children’s individual reading books we have selected a set of books which we share and enjoy as a whole school.
Our school books are selected to address themes and issues relevant to our children and to support their understanding of wider global issues. We believe children should be able to read, understand and discuss books they have read and it is for this reason each half term children are exposed to new books they might not ordinarily choose to read.
Our school books for 2021 / 2022
‘Town is by the Sea’ by Joanne Schwartz – A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather’s grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea. With curriculum connections to communities and the history of mining, this story brings a piece of history to life.
‘Wisp’ by Zana Fraillon & Grahame Baker-Smith – Idris is a child refugee, born into a world of tents and fences. He has known no other life than this. He has no memories of the world outside. Then the Wisp arrives, floating in on the evening breeze. Everyone who holds it finds their memories reawakened, their hopes of freedom reborn. But what about Idris, who has no memories? What will happen when he holds the magical Wisp?
‘10,000 Dresses’ by Marcus Ewert – Every night, Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows. . . . Unfortunately, when Bailey’s awake, no one wants to hear about these beautiful dreams. Quite the contrary. “You’re a BOY!” Mother and Father tell Bailey. “You shouldn’t be thinking about dresses at all.” Then Bailey meets Laurel, an older girl who is touched and inspired by Bailey’s imagination and courage. In friendship, the two of them begin making dresses together. And Bailey’s dreams come true! A modern fairy tale about becoming the person you feel you are inside!
‘The Boy who built a Wall around Himself’ by Ali Redford – Boy built a wall to keep himself safe. Behind it he felt strong and more protected. Then Someone kind came along. She bounced a ball, sang and painted on the other side of the wall, and Boy began to wonder if life on the other side might be better after all. This book explains how children who have had painful or traumatic experiences sometimes build barriers between themselves and other people and how to start breaking down the barriers.
‘A Boy and a Jaguar’ by Alan Robinowitz – Alan loves animals, but the great cat house at the Bronx Zoo makes him sad. Why are they all alone in empty cages? Are they being punished? More than anything, he wants to be their champion—their voice—but he stutters uncontrollably. Except when he talks to animals…then he is fluent. This is a beautiful story of a boy who overcomes his personal challenges in order to help others.
‘Being Me in Penguin Land’ by Terry Reed – Penguin doesn’t know if he’s a boy or a girl. He doesn’t really feel like either. This story helps children to understand gender identity through a really simple story with a positive message – it doesn’t really matter in the end, it’s who you are that counts!
‘Mixed’ by Arree Chung – The Blues, Reds and Yellows lived in harmony. Reds were the loudest, Yellows the brightest and Blues were the coolest. However when one of the colours proclaims they are the best, discord breaks out and eventually the colours decide to live in different parts of the city. Then one day a Yellow befriends a Blue and they become inseparable, discovering a world of different possibilities and colours.
‘The Invisible’ by Tom Percival – This is the story of a young girl called Isabel and her family. They don’t have much, but they have what they need to get by. Until one day, there isn’t enough money to pay their rent and bills and they have to leave their home full of happy memories and move to the other side of the city. It is the story of a girl who goes on to make one of the hardest things anyone can ever make…a difference. It is the story of those who are overlooked in our society – who are made to feel invisible – and why everyone has a place here. We all belong.