Books for July

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Frederick Douglass

Reading is at the heart of life-long and successful learning.

It improves mental health and wellbeing, but most of all is a fun and enjoyable experience. Reading together for just ten minutes a day will further encourage a love of reading in your child.

By providing your child with the right environment and support for reading at home, you will be giving your child the essential tools for success in school and later life. 

Here are some easy and effective tips to encourage and support the reading habit.

Jersey Library book recommendations for different age groups of children

We are delighted to team up with Jersey Library who will be making book recommendations each month.

The library has plenty to offer for children and adults alike.

You can find out what's on at the library here.

Ages three to five

At this age, children are really curious about books and love listening to stories.
Schools will be focusing on encouraging a love of stories, developing vocabulary and reading aloud to children.
Your children will learn the sounds of alphabets and blending them together to read simple words. 

You can help by:

  • reading with your child every day. 
  • rereading books and talking about the story and the pictures
  • encouraging and praising independent attempts to read 

Here are three books that Jersey Library recommends for your July reading.
The books are part of Reading Champion, a series aimed to encourage independent reading skills, developed with the University College of London's Institute of Education.
Reading Champion offers independent reading books for children to practise and reinforce their developing reading skills.
Fantastic, original stories are accompanied by engaging artwork and a reading activity.
Each book has been carefully graded so that it can be matched to a child’s reading ability, encouraging reading for pleasure.

The best boat by Damian Harvey and Arief Putra

Little Jin and her dad make their own paper boats.
They then take part in a boat race with four other participants.
It's full-on excitement as the boats race downstream, get caught in weeds and, wait for this, a duck makes away with daddy's boat!
Join the excitement and nail-biting suspense to find out who the winner finally is.

Is it Bedtime Yet? by Jackie Walter and Kevin Payne

Mummy is going out for the evening so Grandpa comes to baby-sit.
It's bed-time but grandpa has other plans for the kids.
Lots of fun plans in fact, instead of tucking them under the covers.
What could the activities be?
Read the book to find out.

The Crow and the Pitcher by Sheryl Webster and Emma Proctor

Crow is very thirsty.
It hasn't rained in ages, the ground is hard and the air is dry.
Crow finds a pitcher but his beak cannot reach the water inside.
Read this clever story by Aesop to see how Crow finds a solution to the problem.
And would you like to also find out who Aesop is and why his stories are called fables?

Ages five to seven

At this age, children are rapidly developing their reading skills.
They learn to decode words using their developing phonic skills. They also read for meaning and are becoming fluent and expressive. They may even write and tell their own stories.

You can help by:

  • listening to your child reading every day
  • encouraging more independent reading, whilst supporting when necessary
  • asking them questions to check whether they understand what they read

Here are three books that Jersey Library recommends for your July reading:

Princess Minna: The Best Princess by Kirsty Applebaum and Sahar Haghgoo

Princess Minna lives in Castle Tall-Towers with her parents the King and Queen, Raymond the Wizard and her best dragon friend, Lorenzo.
There are often mix-ups and mishaps in the kingdom and Princess Minna loves to sort them out.
Her mirror always tells her that she's the best princess of all, so she's shocked when one day it says that Princess Sky-Blue is the best.
Princess Minna sets out to put things right again but learns instead that being a good friend is far better and more important than being the best princess.
Full of colourful illustrations, this heart-warming and funny story is perfect for visual readers and those just moving on from picture books.

Wigglesbottom Primary: The Sports Day Chicken by Pamela Butchart and Becka Moor

Year 2 at Wigglesbottom Primary is never boring.
There are races against a chicken at Sports Day and the pupils get to eat green toxic slime at lunch. It's actually Halloween custard!.
And if that's not all, Anne Marie Moor is an ant queen and one of her subjects is called Lady Gaga.
The children simply love it all.
This book about a school full of mayhem and chaos where pupils' imaginations run riot, is perfect for newly independent readers.

Izzy the Inventor and the Unexpected Unicorn by Zanna Davidson and Elissa Elwick

Izzy is an inventor who loves science and does not believe in magic.
That is until the day her Fairy Godmother appears and sends her to Fairytale Land to rescue Prince Charming from the Mountain of Doom.
Izzy's guide is an enthusiastic unicorn.
To succeed, Izzy must use her science skills to outwit trolls, goblins and a bottomless lake of despair.
But her quest will also teach her about the power of friendship and that we all need a little magic in our lives.
Packed full of illustrations and an easy-to-read text, this is book one of three in the series.

Ages seven to eleven

At this age, most children have developed good decoding and comprehension skills.
The focus is now on developing more complex skills such as inference which is reading between the lines, identifying and explaining themes and making comparisons between books.

You can help by:

  • encouraging daily reading
  • helping with fluency and expression, sometimes by modelling the reading
  • discussing the book or text, asking questions and asking for a summary 

Here are three books that Jersey Library recommends for your July reading:

The worries, Leo says goodbye by Jion Sheibani

Leo has always been a very happy little boy, but when his beloved Nana dies, he becomes very sad and very worried.
He thinks what if something happens to him, or his mum or his dad? And what if he begins to forget Nana?
Mum and Dad say Leo's feelings are normal but he doesn't think it is.
That's because a bunch of fretful furry monsters have started causing chaos in his mind. They are the Worries!
But sometimes, Worries are good because they show us that our feelings might be sad and strange, but by paying attention to them, they can help us heal.
This sweet, wise and useful book offers gentle tips on how to discuss serious matters that can cause worry or anxiety in children.

Bellingham by Matt & Tom Oldfield

Jude Bellingham started his football career as an under-8 at Birmingham City.
He made his senior debut at the age of 16 before going on to make history as the club's youngest ever first-team player.
He went on to represent England in the World Cup 2022, at the age of 19.
Scouts at Borussia Dortmund spotted his extraordinary talents in 2020 and he soon he was playing for the German team.
He became the club's youngest ever goal scorer in his first competitive match.
Discover how this midfielder from the West Midlands balanced school and a football career in this exciting and interesting book from the Ultimate Football Heroes series.

The Magic Faraway tree, the new adventure by Jacqueline Wilson inspired by Enid Blyton

The sequel to the hugely popular 'The Magic Faraway Tree' has all the original magical characters at the heart of its story.
The fun gang of Jo, Bessie and Fanny and of course cousin Dick embark on a new adventure with Silky the Fairy and Moonface.
This includes re-visiting the different lands on the Magic Faraway Tree and the Enchanted Wood 
Though it's not necessary to read the original book first, it is highly recommended before embarking on the new adventure.

Age 11 plus

By this age, most young people are independent readers.
The focus in secondary schools is on reading, discussing and responding to a wide variety of texts, both orally and in essay type formats.
These skills are vital for exams in KS4.
You can help by:

  • encouraging your child to continue to read regularly, from a range of different genres
  • discussing the book or text and asking questions
  • talking about your personal reading choices, both as a teenager and as an adult.

Here are three books that Jersey Library recommends for your July reading:

The boy who stole the Pharaoh’s lunch by Karen McCombie and Anneli Bray

Seth is a prankster who picks up a golden amulet from his teacher’s desk.
The amulet's charm whisks him back in time to ancient Egypt.
In a village by the Nile, Seth enjoys working for the tradesmen and has fun playing with the children.
But when he steps in to save a pet hyena that was destined to become the Pharaoh’s lunch, Seth risks turning the villagers against him.
Will he ever be able to escape and find his way back to his own time?
Information for parents and carers: This book has a dyslexia-friendly layout, typeface and paperstock so that even more readers can enjoy it. 

The ministry of unladylike activity by Robin Stevens

The year is 1940 and the world is at war.
A secret arm of the British government called the Ministry of Unladylike Activity is training up spies.
Enter May Wong: courageous, stubborn, and desperate to help end the war so that she can go home to Hong Kong and leave her annoying school, Deepdean, behind forever.
May knows that she would make the perfect spy but when she and her her friend Eric are turned away by the Ministry, they take matters into their own hands.
Masquerading as evacuees, they travel to Elysium Hall, home to the wealthy Verey family - including snobby, dramatic Nuala.
They suspect that one of the Vereys is passing information to Germany. If they can prove it, the Ministry will have to take them on.
And then, someone is murdered!
Join May, Eric and Nuala in the first unputdownable book in a fast-paced, mysterious and adventurous new series.

Clarity Jones and the magical detective agency by Chris Smith and Kenneth Anderson

Mutt gets a job as an apprentice at the leading detective agency in the realm of Rillia.
He discovers he's going to be working with ex-princesses, snow gnoblins and the most notorious assassin of the White Hand Clan.
He's also thrown in the deep end on the agency's toughest and most dangerous job yet - the mysterious case of the vanishing jester.
If you are a fan of Cressida Cowell, Robin Stevens and Disney Pixar, you will love this hilarious and exciting adventure.