It’s time to shine a light on the book recommendations of a small team of experts who, whilst invisible to many, may have a a big impact on what your child is reading at school. The Schools Library Service – known internally as SLS (we love our acronyms, we do) – help schools to choose books for their libraries, supply them and offer a wide range of associated advice.
The Greatest Traitor, by Ian Mortimer
This is a biography about a largely unknown historical figure, Roger Mortimer, who ruled England between 1327 and 1330 and is thought to have killed a king and slept with a queen. This well-written and fascinating book reignited my interest in history.
Octopus Socktopus, by Nick Sharratt
Take a collection of brightly coloured octopus, a pop-up format and silly rhyming words and you’ve entered a parallel world peopled by Octopus. Nick Sharratt’s bright, simple format is fun to read and can be enjoyed at any age. Just watch out for the eight legged Socktopus. Imagine sorting the washing! [Pat]
The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follet
If you like medieval history, blood and guts, love, sex, murder and cathedrals, then this is the book for you. It is unputdownable and can put your normal life on hold.
Tadpole’s Promise, by Jeanne Willis (illustrated by Tony Ross)
A tragic tale of love, broken promises and mistaken identity! Great character development (literally), with excellent illustrations and a twist in the tale to remember.
Any Human Heart, by William Boyd
I read this book about a year ago (it’s recently been serialised on TV). It’s a brilliant story, very well written. It charts Logan Mountstuart’s life from his schooldays to his impoverished old age, covering failed marriages, affairs, love, loss, war and famous figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Picasso (of course) along the way. The characters are well drawn and you end up really caring what happens to them. It’s also a great adventure. [Rachel]