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Children, Reading

October 2020 Reading

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I’ve decided to do a monthly round up for everything we’ve read each month. Himself focuses on science articles and forums and news, so he’s not getting a section – books only!

Large boy

Artemis Fowl

Artemis is this rich kid who captures and studies fairies and robs banks. He gets attacked by the fairy police and its just a good story from there on in.

Wishful Thinking by Ali Sparkes

There’s a kid who finds out that he has his own personal Celtic god called Abandinus. Other gods try to capture the kid, called Kevin but his friends Tim and Gracie help him. Large boy thought this was another good one.

Nine of the Nine Worlds, Hotel Valhalla and The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan

Nine of the Nine Worlds is 9 mini stories about all the 9 realms of viking gods.

Hotel Valhalla tells you about all the viking gods and the books written by them.

The Demigod Files is a Percy Jackson book that tells you some more information about Percy and his friends at camp half-blood. It also has three short stories about Percy, Clarice, Annabeth, Grover and Nico.

Large boy enjoyed these but was a bit disappointed to find that there was no Accelerated Reader quiz for Hotel Valhalla – no points and no extra word count added to his total.

Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling

This book explains all the different Quidditch moves and teams. “It was good” is large boy’s deep and thoughtful analysis.

The Curse of the Chocolate Phoenix by Kate Saunders

The chocolate phoenix doesn’t actually really pop up in this book. Its more about Lily, Oz and Caydon who go time travelling to restart the great fire of London to make sure that the plague gets killed off. He thought it was OK, not brilliant since they didn’t exploded he wanted to the characters to get caught up in the fire of London so it would be more exciting.

Frostheart Escape from Aurora by Jamie Littler

“Excellent!” He was waiting for this for ages, he won’t tell what happened because there are just too many words needed to explain it all. Suffice to say that whatever it was about he really loved it and he’s told me that I need to read the first one and then I can borrow the second one from his bookcase.


He’s a prolific reader and refuses to review everything he’s read, the books above are his best picks. Others featured this month were:

  • 26 and 39 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
  • Mighty Cars by Ian Graham
  • The Solar System by Mike Goldsmith
  • Twelfth Night (abridged by Andrew Matthews)
  • Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
  • The Golden Goose by Dick King-Smith
  • Barry Loser series by Jim Smith: The Case of the Crumpled Carton, The Trouble with Pets, The Best at Footbaland The Birthday Billions
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney: Wrecking Ball and Hard Luck
  • Tom Gates Spectacular School Trip (Really) by Liz Pichon


Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hansen

I’d better confess straight away that I haven’t finished this yet. Its a really interesting and detailed investigation into the evolution of bees, their intricate links with flowering plants and humans and how dependent we are on them. From there it pushes further into the sad decline of some bee populations worldwide, the potential impact of those crises on the human food chain, and what we might be able to do about it.

Its absolutely absorbing but also requires plenty of concentration. I read at bedtime and I don’t want to miss anything by skimming because I’m tired, so I usually just read a chapter and then move on to something less intellectually taxing.

The North Child by Edith Patou

Large boy read this in September and was so impressed and caught up in it that he was asking me a couple of times a week why I hadn’t read it yet. So I put the bee book to one side for some light relief.

This book is totally magical. It ranks right up there with Philip Pulman and Neil Gaiman’s youth books. There’s adventure and mystery and magic, even a bit of romance and destiny. Rose is the kind of girl protagonist I want to see my boys get wrapped up in – she’s strong and intelligent and fiercely independent. I’ve always said, its no good telling our young girls to be like that unless we also teach our boys to expect their female peers to have those attributes that have so long been the stereotypes for male heros in books, TV and culture. The education of equality has to be double sided – whether the author set out to achieve that or not, she’s done a brilliant job.

Small boy

Small boy has just turned 5. He’s just started year 1 and he’s learning to read with the marvellous Read Write Inc phonics scheme. Its brilliant and he’s made huge progress since we began home learning. This month he’s read:

  • The Witch’s Kitchen (Oxford/RWI)
  • A Big Egg (Oxford/RWI)
  • Black Spots (Oxford/RWI)
  • The Best Twin (Oxford/RWI)
  • Ken’s Cap (RWI red)
  • A Bad Fox (RWI red)
  • The Lost Truck (Oxford/RWI)
  • Ed and Rex (Oxford/RWI)
  • Big Blob and Baby Blob (RWI Purple)
  • Fun on Planet Bip (Oxford/RWI)
  • We Can Play (Oxford/RWI)
  • Scruffy Ted (RWI pink)
  • I can see you Dad (Oxford/RWI)
  • A Bad Mood (Oxford/RWI)

Then we’ve had lots of fun and sniggers reading to him, Paddington Bear and several Winnie the Witch compilations.

Himself took small boy to the library and tried to use the school colour bands to pick books for him – thus coming home with books really advanced from where small boy’s reading really is. However, small boy totally blew us away with his determination and readiness for a challenge. He read three pages of a book four levels up from where he’s meant to be – managing tricky words like “kitchen” and “poster” without help but looking to us for assistance with “competition”, then learning “dance” just through repetition. He’s reading out the words he recognises right now while I’m typing.

18 thoughts on “October 2020 Reading”

  1. Wow you guys have read so many books this month. I haven’t read any of the ones you’ve mentioned but there are a couple that have caught my attention and will definitely be reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You guys have read a lot! I’m lucky if I get to finish one book these days. Two at the most when I’m on a reading streak of sort. I chuckled at Large Boy’s thought that the book The Curse of the Chocolate Phoenix characters’ should have exploded and got caught up in a fire to make the story more exciting. A little morbid! LOL!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am always wowed by the amount of reading you guys do! I met some girlfriends at the weekend and we were talking about reading and what we’ve read this year. I was at 20 books, my friend was at 29 and my other friend who has young children said she’d kick our bum because she reads 10 books a day….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve come to trust your book reviews and add your books to my big reading list! I need some escapism and positive reading this month more than ever!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooo some great reads for everyone! I’ve heard of Ali Sparkes before. Is that who wrote the Shapeshifter books? Large Boy has devoured lots of books, that’s fantastic. And Small Boy is speeding along too. Winnie The Witch is new to me. That’s not related to Pooh, like Pooh’s wicked twin sister? 😂

    I think I’d find the bee book would take me longer to read too. I don’t have the concentration levels for things I used to have, even if the book is highly poignant and interesting. I’d take a chapter or two then move to a lighter fiction. I’ve done the same with Becoming by Michelle Obama when I gave in to curiosity, having seen so many good reviews for it. Oops, I really want to finish that one! Hope you enjoy finishing it!

    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Ali Sparkes is the shapeshifter books, I think he’s on a different series now though – honestly I lose track!
      Winnie the Witch is just a silly witch who gets into all sorts of scrapes, nothing to do with Pooh Bear.
      I need something new to read when I finish the bees, not sure where to go next except large boy is hassling me to read Frostheart.

      Liked by 1 person

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