Happy World Book Day!
On the first Thursday of March every year, parents across the UK pack their children off to school dressed as their favourite book character. Teachers and librarians organise events, and booksellers welcome grinning readers clutching vouchers through their doors. We love an excuse to find new books, and World Book Day is one of my favourites.
With so many great authors out there for children and young adults, it’s always exciting waiting to hear which will be chosen for the prestigious £1 books, and I think this year’s selection somehow manages to top that of last year.
I’ll talk about my two favourite titles from this year below, but first let’s take a quick look at the full selection. Click on the covers and you’ll see some of our other recommendations for readers who have enjoyed that particular World Book Day book.
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2
Key Stage 3
Finding two top picks was difficult, but I eventually managed to choose one from Key Stage 2 and one from Key Stage 3. Remember to let us know what you thought of them in our #ReadYourAToZ reading challenge by reviewing them for us! (You’ll be in for the chance to win a box of advanced proofs!)
The Boy Who Could Do What He Liked by David Baddiel
Alfie Moore’s life is run on routines. His Dad has written them all out for him. First up is his waking-up routine, followed by his getting-dressed routine, and the day finishes on his going-to-bed routine. Alfie doesn’t mind: all the bits of paper round the house and his two watches make sure he always knows what he should be doing. But when the family’s routine is disrupted, requiring them to find a new babysitter… things take a bit of a turn in the Moore household.
Mrs Stokes, babysitter, “in case of emergencies”. That little card hidden in the chest of drawers was about to change Alfie’s life. What would he do if he could do anything, instead of his routines? And why has no one made a fizzy chocolate drink before?
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this little one. I assumed we were getting a funny story, which we definitely have, but hidden beneath it was a wonderful little story about how a family deals with the loss of a parent. A really enjoyable read that’ll make you wish you had Mrs Stokes as a babysitter when you were growing up.
Spot The Difference by Juno Dawson
High school is a kingdom divided. Allegiances are forged, and boundaries are drawn.
- The A-listers: High school royalty – the dream position for the B- and C-listers
- Sports Teams: Traditionally aligned with the A-listers
- Bad Boys and Bad Girls: Unpredictable in their absense
- Freaks and Geeks: A rag tag bunch with their differences, but one major similarity… they’ve all suffered at the hands of the A-listers
Avery is firmly planted in the “freaks” category, or so she thinks. Plagued with severe acne, she’s always been the butt of jokes, but when a miracle drug comes along she gets a glimpse of what an A-list life can be like.
Dawson’s “Queen of Teen” status is well deserved, Spot The Difference is pacy, bitchy and heart wrenching… very similar to high school, some might say. Even though I’m in my thirties, reading this makes it feel like high school was just yesterday. I laughed out loud, I cried at Avery’s pain… not enough authors can do that with their writing. Juno Dawson has certainly found herself a winning formula.
Happy reading everyone… is it too early to be getting excited for next year’s selection?