It is Half Term next week and I thought that as I have been integral in my son’s school work this term, he could reciprocate by helping me with my work! He is, of course, only too happy to share his views and join in with this most sacred of undertakings! We were initially going to have a look at ‘What’s New’ on BorrowBox and make some Half Term Reading Recommendations and we still are going to do this but we’re also going to have a look at the Read 21 Reading Challenges to see which books he would choose. I must say it was very rewarding to see how excited he was by the idea of tackling the old Reading Challenge and like the clever fox he is, he immediately set-to trying to fit as many challenges into one title as possible!

We thought we would start with our top tips for reading this Half Term; school is out so there are no rules!

  1. Read what you like, when you like, where you like (so long as it is safe!)
  2. Practice reading out loud – it is fun! Read to your brother or sister or pet cat or dog. You could try reading over Zoom to your Granny or Grandad but try not to read to canaries – they just don’t appreciate the written word.
  3. Try an audiobook, they’re great for relaxing and you can listen while you play with your Lego or draw up plans for world domination.
  4. Read a book when you’re feeling bored!
  5. Try writing your own book and then reading it!
  6. Try our Reading Challenge and see if you can fit all 21 challenges into one book (and make sure you tell us if you do.)

Let’s start with eBooks – we had a look at the ‘New to Library’ Children’s Collection (we have added plenty of titles recently as we know you will all be wanting lots to read in Half Term!!!)

Firstly my son noticed all the Ladybird Young Readers titles which we have added to support children with their reading journey. He liked so many of these titles because there were lots of Classics like Robin Hood and Treasure Island and he listed so many, I said I would reference the whole collection!

I know that many parents are concerned about reading ‘levels’ and trying to make sure that their children’s reading is progressing and these books are a great way of supplementing school reading books and building confidence. My son is older than the target audience for this collection but I think it is important to let him read whatever interests him as all reading is good reading and as it is Half Term reading, it is children’s choice!

There now follows a fair few titles which have been added to an ever expanding TBR pile of a ten year old:

A Case of Grave Danger by Sophie Cleverly Murder on the Safari Star by MJ Leonard

The Train to Impossible Places When We Got Lost in Dreamland The Young Samurai Series

Every book by Rick Riordan (as far as I can tell)

The Wild Robot Escapes We are the Wolves A Wolf for a Spell

eAudio Recommendations

I know I have mentioned this before but my son absolutely loves to listen to audiobooks, he listens in the shower, he listens in the garden, he listens before bed and when he wakes up, he listens when studying and he would listen with breakfast, lunch and dinner, except we have banned this kind of behaviour and insist upon the very old fashioned conversation instead! Here he has tried to choose books which he hadn’t already selected in eBook format (without prompting) although, many titles are available in both formats…

The Tales of Beadle the Bard The Lost Spells by Jackie Morris

Hounds of Penhallow Hall by Holly Webb Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray

Robin Hood by Robert Muchamore The Griffin Gate by Vashti Hardy Lenny’s Book of Everything

Clockwork by Philip Pullman Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

You can find all these recommendations and many more great reads through your BorrowBox app so do have a nosy. As I said at the beginning this post really became a story of two parts once the Reading Challenge idea was seized upon. If you are not familiar with the Reading Challenge – have a read of Read 21 which tells you all about it. My son really engaged with the idea of trying to think of titles that would match the challenges, I’m not sure whether we will cover them all, but here goes:

1. Tom Gates (any) by Liz Pichon

2. Hollowpox by Jessica Townsend (you have to read all three!)

3. Alex Rider Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

4. Time Travels with a Hamster by Ross Wellford

5. Jungledrop by Abi Elphinstone (You must read Rumblestar as well!)

Hopefully these five will get you started, we’d love to hear your suggestions for the first five challenges so let us know in the comments or send us a Tweet!

Reading Challenge Q&As

Which is the most interesting challenge? 8. Read a book with an element of unusual travel. I would read a book from the Explorers’ Club series by Alex Bell; they have Hot Air Balloons, sledges and unicorns!

Which challenge do you think will be trickiest? Possibly 6. Read a book with a link to coal or 16. Read a book with a link to farming.

How long do you think it will take to complete all these challenges? Probably as long as we have. How long do we have? As much time as you need – the challenge never ends!

We have tackled quite a lot in this one post! I hope that you have enjoyed reading and that you will be tempted to one, take part in the Reading Challenge and two, give BorrowBox a try (if you haven’t already).

Happy Reading and remember – if you don’t like your book, find another one!

Stephanie and Boy.