Books for May

“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 May reading:

How Weird! by Mark Janssen

One day, the animals find something strange lying on the floor.
It's a mirror but they don't know that.
When they prop it up and go towards it, things get out of hand.
The situation gets weirder and weirder until...
Bet you can't wait to find out!
This delightful and clever book teaches children to reflect on symmetry, identity and the animal world in a very unique and humorous way.
A Mylar mirror at the end encourages children to play with symmetry too.

What's Next Door? by Nicola O'Byrne

Carter the crocodile is not happy as he's lost.
All he wants to do is find his way back home, but he can’t get there by himself — he needs your help.
In this unique interactive book, children are encouraged to take part in the story and use their imaginations to guide Carter on his journey back to his swampy lagoon.
The colourful double-page spreads with cut-outs is also suspenseful and will easily capture the attention of your child and keep them engaged.

The Snowflake by Benji Davies

Noelle wishes for a perfect Christmas tree, and a young snowflake wishes for the perfect place to land.
Exquisitely written and beautifully illustrated, The Snowflake tells the separate stories of one snowflake and one little girl—both longing for their own special place in the world.
The snowflake and Noelle discover that wherever they go, and however they fall, their stories will have a happy ending.
This beautiful story has the uplifting message that no matter the difficulties we face in life, we will all find a way to shine.


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 May reading:

Sleuth on Skates by Clementine Beauvais and Sarah Horne

Eleven-year-old Sesame Seade is an aspiring sleuth.
When student ballerina and aspiring journalist Jenna Jenkins vanishes into thin air, Sesame Seade springs into action.
With her feet firmly planted on her purple roller-skates, she whizzes off on her new detective mission.
Her parents are against it but with help from her friends Toby and Gemma and a conspiratorial duck, Sesame solves the mystery of the missing dancer.
Illustrated throughout with hilarious artwork by Sarah Horne, this series features a smart and sassy heroine with a unique take on life.

Max and Zoe at the library by Shelley Swanson Sateren and Mary Sullivan

Max loves to read, but when his dog  interrupts him, he folds down the corners of the book's pages, creating dog-ears.
Of course, the librarian is not pleased with this.
Zoe explains to Max that folding the pages into dog ears is not good book manners.
So Max thinks of a creative way to show the librarian that he has learned his lesson and will take better care of the books.
This is a great book that gently teaches children about rules and the importance of taking care of books.
It includes discussion questions, writing prompts and a glossary with a pronunciation guide.
The project at the end of the book focuses on making bookmarks.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Vera Southgate

This version of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is designed to help children develop the confidence to read alone.
Vera Southgate retells the classic fairy tale in easy, lively and natural language.
Vera Southgate was a British pedagogist who tried to improve the way children were taught to read English.
She developed a method which taught children to read in a structured step-by-step fashion.
Your child will enjoy reading this story of the beautiful and kind princess sent to exile by her evil step-mother.
She is protected by seven dwarfs until she falls under an evil spell.
A prince breaks the spell and the two marry.
It's a story that we all know and love and Vera Southgate's version offers children the opportunity to read it themselves.


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 May reading:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and illustrated by Alan Marks

Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean-spirited old man who hates everything - even Christmas!
One Christmas Eve, three spirits visit Scrooge and take him on a journey into the past, present and future.
Scrooge learns abot the spirit of Christmas and becomes a changed man.
Charles Dickens' classic Christmas story is re-told beautifully with lovely illustrations.
Usborne books reading level systems help you choose a book that's suited to your child's reading level and this one is perfect for Key stage two children.

Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

Rosie’s beloved Aunt Rose and her friends, the Raucous Riveters are a group of fun-loving gals who built airplanes during World War Two.
Now they need help inventing something new.
And Rosie, whose dream is to become an engineer, grabs the job with both hands.
This is a charming book that places emphasis on not being afraid of failure and persevering in the face of flops and failures.
It also humorously conveys the message to stop and think when you get carried away by excitement or doubt.
The strength of the Rosie Revere series is in the positive portrayal of diverse kids engaging in various arts and sciences.

Wild Song by Candy Gourlay

The year is 1904 and Luki is a warm, optimistic and adventurous girl living a tribal life in the mountains of the Philippines.
Luki dreams of becoming a warrior but she is expected by her family and community to become a wife and a mother.
Luki isn't ready to give up her so when her tribe are offered a journey to America to be part of the St. Louis World's Fair, Luki deides to go.
She will discover that the land of opportunity does not share its possibilities equally.
Candy Gourlay tells this coming-of-age story in a simple, lyrical and unforgettable way.
She succeeds in building a powerful story of courage and bravery out of harrowing events
The ugly truths of colonisation and exploitation are shown to us, but there is also love, fun and fierce friendship.
Wild Song is the very best kind of window onto another world.


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 May reading:

The boss of everyone by Danny Wallace and Gemma Correll

Ten-year-old Joss’s greatest ambition is to be class monitor at school.
But she’s about to go one step further.
It’s Take Your Kid to Work Day, and Joss’s dad takes her to the games company he works for.
Her dad's boss calls a meeting and tells them he’s giving his job away to the person with the best idea for a company game-changer.
Before you know it, Joss has become the boss.
Joss is thrilled but her dad is horrified!
Find out what happens next in this hilarious story where both child and adult preoccupations and problems are discussed and handled beautifully.
The story is told in a delightful and easy manner for children to understand.

Soul eater by Michelle Paver

Torak has survived the summer and his heart-stopping adventure in the Seal Islands.
He and Wolf are together again but not for long.
As mid winter approaches Torak learns that Wolf has been snatched.
To rescue him, Torak and Renn must brave the frozen and dangerous wilderness of the Far North.
It is a world of deceit, treachery and lies and they come face to face with the the most powerful and feared Mages alive.
The Mages want to dominate all living beings and are soul-eaters and Torak sets out to destroy them.
With themes of bravery and friendship, this dazzling adventure story has lots of twists and surprises in the plot.
For fans of the Ancient Darkness series, here is the much awaited book three.

Home by Mark Ballabon

14-year-old Leah loves the wilderness and star-gazing and often wishes she could escape into the wild.
She's fed up with the body image obsession at school and the bullies who pick on her little brother, Aiden.
One day, a profound experience in the woods sparks a burning question in Leah that no one seems able to answer.
The question is : what is home?
Desperate to broaden her horizons, Leah attends an international summer camp.
Will the people she meets there help her find the answer to her question?
The main theme of the story is ‘ Where is home’, a question that is both complex and simple.
Written beautifully with stunning illustrations, this book will take you on a philosophical journey as you find the answer along with Leah to that question.