Kindle and mug of tea sitting in the sun
Children, Reading

November 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

The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket

He’s watched the whole TV series on Netflix and the first couple of books, he found this in the library and didn’t seem to mind that he’d missed book 3. Of course, he zoomed through it and aced the quiz for school. This is a brilliant series for young readers.

Mediaeval Europe by John Hayward

He’s been doing William the Conqueror at school and its caught his imagination apparently. This is a book really aimed at year 7 children but he took it in his stride and was popping out facts for a few days.

Antony and Cleopatra by Andrew Matthews

Large boy came home last half term and announced he’d read Henry the Fifth, we were surprised. Then Hamlet and MacBeth and Richard the Third I think, as parents our suspicions were rising. Ah relief, he’s not been Googling Shakespeare and claiming to have read half his entire works in a week or two, they’re abridged versions. His ex-English teacher grandad is certainly proud and I’ll admit to being impressed that an 8 year old hasn’t been put off by the complexity. Maybe when the theatres are back we’ll take him to see A Winter’s Tale just for the bear.

Matt Millz Stands Up! by Harry Hill

There’s a comedian called Matt who went on the T Factor, but he was too young and got disqualified after he’d told his jokes. He goes on TV shows with his boss, Kitty, to tell his jokes. Large boy thought it was OK, he wouldn’t want to like Matt Millz because his doorknob and coat got stolen as souvenirs by his fans.

Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones

Large boy didn’t really get on with this one. He read the whole book but it didn’t inspire him.

Urgum and the Seat of Flames by Kjartan Poskitt

Urgum is a caveman who goes to a battle market and starts the bloodiest fight a Gorgo, a weird sort of birdman thing. He goes to get an award for being the bloodiest savage of the year but the Gorgo gets into a fight and eventually they both get their pants torched. Urgum jumps in fountain to put his bum out. Large boy thinks it was a good book.

The Pursuit of the Ivory Poachers: Kenya by Elizabeth Singer Hunt

Poachers are killing elephants, so Jack Stalwart the GPS agent has to stop them before the elephants become extinct. A Masai tribal leader gives him a prize in return for making the poachers not come to their land anymore – Jack transformed them into black rhinos for an hour. Large boy thought it was a great book.

Other books

  • Mapping Information by Melanie Waldron
  • Dino Egg by Charlie James


Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hansen

Yeah, still going from last month. But in good news, I figured out how to add book links:

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

Oh how I love a good list. This here post is a list. One of my first ever blog posts was a list of things that parent’s shouldn’t beat themselves up over – I even titled it “Manifesto for parents: things that are ok“.

So it was pretty clear before I even began that this one was going to be right up my street.

Atul Gawande is a New York surgeon and he loves lists too. In each chapter, he examines how lists are used in a different domain, from hospitals to structural engineering to aviation. Its so interesting to see how such a simple concept can improve surgical outcomes so dramatically, or prevent accidents. The key part of using the checklists is that they foster communication though. They help people working together to work together, not just in the same room or the same team, but collaborating and respecting each other. Its even giving me ideas for how we could do better in my job, to be more cohesive as a team.

The Stolen Boys by Joy Ellis

Yeah, another Jackman and Evans detective novel. I love these. This is another twisting and turning tale, with several strands woven together. The relationships between the main characters are the pillar of this series, wouldn’t we all appreciate such friendship, loyalty and collaboration with a colleague – I know I’m very grateful for my work wife. As usual, the beautiful fenland scenery provides a scenic backdrop for all the nefarious activities, from kidnapping to theft of designer clothes right off people’s backs. This series is so compelling and I can’t wait to pick up my Kindle at bedtime each night.

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:

  • Sam’s Bag (Oxford/RWI pink)
  • Fright Night (Oxford/RWI orange)
  • Scruffy Ted (RWI pink)
  • Tab the Cat (RWI pink)
  • Up All Night (Oxford/RWI pink)
  • Dads and Karts (Oxford/RWI orange)
  • In The Sun (RWI pink)
  • Rags (Oxford/RWI pink)
  • A House Fit for a Mouse (Oxford/RWI orange)
  • The Dressing Up Box (RWI pink)
  • Yap, Yap! (Oxford/RWI pink)
  • Born on a Farm (Oxford/RWI orange)

Then we’ve had lots of fun and sniggers reading to him as well, mainly Dick King Smith. A breakthrough for him came towards the end of November, when I was reading The Sheep Pig at bedtime he decided he wanted to help and read half a page with just a few long words that he needed me to read. I was bowled over with his ambition and determination. Maybe we’ll have another bookworm on our hands in 6 months time, he’s progressing so quickly!

13 thoughts on “November 2020 Reading”

  1. Thank you for sharing! I’m always looking for a good read. I too live on making lists so that book specifically speaks to me!

    Liked by 1 person

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