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This week, the Junior Librarians, Nethuki (Owl class) and Sadie-Rae (Hawk class) are sharing with us one of their favourite reads. Interestingly, they have both selected books from the current Year 2 Reading Road Map collection.

The Reading Road Map is a Year 2 reading initiative aimed at nurturing reading for pleasure and helping to improve literacy. We believe that promoting a reading for pleasure culture in school is the best way to embed a love of reading in children. Using the Road Maps, children read more. As all the titles on the map have been published in the last 12 months (except the classics genre), they discover and fall in love with new authors and titles. They take a risk on unfamiliar genres and discover that their opinions are valid. Children choose which title or genre they want to read first. We know some readers get stuck on one book or author and find it difficult to move on to something else. The road map genre lines encourage children to try different titles. Competitive energy then prompts children to try new genres: poetry, graphic novels, adventure, classics…

We encourage children to give every book a go. If they dislike it they are not compelled to finish it, there are many other titles to try. It is great to have lots of discourse about reading, even if some of it is negative. This helps with constructive critical thinking and empathy.

Firstly, Nethuki recommends her favourite Reading Road Map story, Nala’s World written by Dean Nicholson and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon..

Nethuki explains her choice: “This is a true story about the power of friendship. I loved it and I hope you will too!”

Mrs Harvey also finds this book very inspiring. This is a heartwarming picture book based on the incredible true story of social media sensation and round-the-world-cyclist Dean Nicholson and his trusty cat companion, Nala. When Dean Nicholson found an abandoned kitten by the side of the road one day, he hadn’t bargained on the lessons he’d learn from his unlikely companion, Nala. Both curious, independent, resilient and adventurous, they were a perfect match – and so together, they set off to travel around the world.

This inspirational true story, with an underlying message about loving and caring for animals, will show young readers everywhere that you can find friendship in the most unlikely places. With gorgeous illustrations from winner of the Waterstones Gift of the Year, Frann Preston-Gannon, and also featuring photos of Dean and Nala’s real-world adventures.

Dean and Nala’s story has become a social media and publishing phenomenon. Dean’s book for adults, Nala’s World, spent two weeks on the Sunday Times‘ bestseller list and has been translated into twenty-five languages.


Sadie-Rae has selected The Magic Feather written and illustrated by Sandra Dieckmann

Sadie-Rae tells us: “This is a really special story about friendship and believing in yourself.”

Mrs Harvey would also recommend this beautifully written and illustrated story. Little Bear has a secret – deep inside, he feels nothing like a real bear. An empowering story about finding your own special spark, woven with magic and wonder by Sandra Dieckmann, the creator of Leaf and Waiting for Wolf.

Little Bear knows that soon the time will come for him to choose his special bear name – but how will he know what it should be, when he has no idea what makes him special? One night the wondrous firebird swoops down and places a magic feather in Little Bear’s paw. Could this enchanted feather help him discover who he truly is . . or was the answer inside him all along?

This is a beautiful and empowering story about finding your own special spark. The text is enriched by the wonderful artwork. The illustrations are lavish, expressive and full of movement and emotion, and deserve particular attention in their own right.

Happy Reading!

Mrs Harvey