Recommended Read: I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson


This month’s Recommended Read comes from our work experience student, Amy Parry who reviews the celebrated Young Adult novel, I’ll Give You The Sun.

Continue reading “Recommended Read: I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson”

Children’s Book Week: The Reader Organisation recommends

We’re in the middle of Children’s Book Week 2014, an annual celebration of reading for pleasure that has been running for over 80 years. Children’s Book Week is all about encouraging children to find the fun in reading, stimulating them to discover new books and extend their reading choices, share and discuss books with their friends and find new, exciting ways to enjoy literature.

All of the groups we run throughout the UK for children and young people are focused entirely upon reading for pleasure, and our Project Workers read a wide variety of books and stories with our young readers of all ages with a list that is growing by the week. For more information about our work with young people and in education settings, see our website:

To celebrate Children’s Book Week this week, we’ve asked some of our Project Workers who work with children and young people to recommend some of their favourite reads. For a bunch that read so much, it was a tough choice but we managed to narrow it down…

For younger children:

The-Dinosaur-That-Pooped-a-Planet-844x1024The Dinosaur That Pooped a Planet – Tom Fletcher, Dougie Poynter and Garry Parsons
A younger kids read but one that everybody can enjoy. It’s especially great for reading with boys, as Danny and Dino’s tale of space, poop and planets is laugh-out-loud ridiculous, with great rhymes and alliteration, and who doesn’t like a bit of space-themed silliness?

What The Ladybird Heard – Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks
A perfect choice to read aloud with all of its various animal sounds, with a good dose of silly slapstick that is sure to amuse adults reading along with little ones. Especially popular at one of our recent Half Term Hijinks sessions.

Green Eggs and HamDr.Seuss
A great story to read aloud with little ones and adults able to enjoy the humour within. A brilliant choice to open up the door to other read aloud stories – and Dr. Seuss books – and delve into more!

The Meg & Mog series of books – Helen Nichol and Jan Pienkowski
Timeless classics guaranteed to raise a smile, as well as including some lessons always worth learning.

Two classics that can be enjoyed by a wide age range are The Witches by Roald Dahl and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, which have been read in our bilingual children’s groups in North Wales. In particular, our young readers loved the suggestion that their teachers might be witches, and could relate to the language barriers between Mary and the Mufela. Pullman is a master of description and his creatures can be imagined perfectly.

Enid Blyton is another classic author that is always worth revisiting or exploring for the first time, particularly The Magic Faraway Tree and The Famous Five series.

Short story collections are always good options to engage children who don’t read regularly, and along with our very own read-aloud anthology A Little, Aloud for Children which is chock full of extracts to inspire and fuel the imagination, another option that has gone down well in our groups is Unbelievable by Australian author Paul Jennings. A story that is especially popular is one called ‘One Shot Toothpaste’.

For older children and young people:

tumblr_ldujw4BkYh1qe9etiSkellig – David Almond
A beautiful story dealing with sensitive issues but told with humour and warmth.

Wonder – RJ Palacio
The story of August Pullman, a 12-year old boy with facial deformities, but one that deals with the universal themes of growing up and finding your place in the world.

Horowitz Horror – Anthony Horowitz
Brilliantly gruesome short stories which are great for bookworms and book haters alike. Suitable for teenagers due to some of the more stomach-lurching content, these stories always leave you wanting more.

Don’t forget that you can also find lots more great recommendations to keep kids reading in our Recommended Reads for Children feature right here on The Reader Online.

There’s also many more titles and lists on the City of Readers blog, inspiring children and young people across Liverpool to become readers. Looking for books to read with babies, for boys or even ones to read before a certain age? Then there’s no other place to be:

Introducing…The Reader Magazine blog!

reader-54-web-coverWhen you’ve read your trusty copy of The Reader magazine cover to cover, are you often thirsting for more literary goodness? Perhaps there’s a poem, short story or feature article that has got you enthused and you want to say more about it?

Well now you can get even more from between the pages as we’re happy to announce that The Reader has gone online with a brand new blog dedicated to bringing readers even closer to quality literature and the wealth of thinking behind it.

Of course you’ll still be able to enjoy the pleasures of ink on paper – Issue 54 is hot off the press and physical copies can be ordered from The Reader Organisation’s website as well as in a selection of bookshops around the UK, including Waterstones Liverpool One – but now if you’ve read something that’s moved, vexed or roused you or you’re simply keen for more of the same, just a few clicks and it will all be at your fingertips.

A spirit of sharing has always been at the heart of The Reader since its first publication in 1997, and the blog gives the perfect opportunity to take that idea further. Online you’ll find a range of additional articles and features to enliven the print version of the magazine with further discussion and audio, though it is intended that the content will also stand alone for readers who prefer their reading in pixels.

The Reader blog is already brimming with topical content available for you to read at your leisure, and with a particular focus on the current hot issue of reading in prisons. Author and TRO patron Erwin James‘s powerful essay detailing the profound effect a book on French artillery officer Alfred Dreyfus had on the state of his mind during his time in prison is available in full – and already gaining a remarkable response from readers online:

An amazing journey of hope, the strength of the human spirit and commitment to personal change.

Following Erwin’s story – and the many other stories that say that reading really does make a difference to prisoners – contributors from Issue 54 including Shauneen Lambe, Sean Elliot and Margaret Drabble recommend the books they would give to a friend in prison exclusively for The Reader blog.

The blog is also where we’ll be building up an archive of poetry readings, our first additions coming from poet and regular Reader contributor Julie-ann Rowell reading two selections from her work.

So much to get you reading already, all to be found on

Don’t forget that you can delve into The Reader archives by purchasing your vintage copies from the website, as well as subscribing for your regular dose of Readerly goodness: