TWC's Reading Nook: January Edition
For the recommended reads of January, we curated books based on common themes from the Term 1 journal topics of our Prep Matters English Tuition programme.
Be it hanging out with wacky animals or experiencing wild travel adventures from the perspective of book characters, we are sure you will enjoy these reads as much as your child.
With the International Holocaust Remembrance Day happening this month, we have also selected books suitable for different age groups, where readers will be transported back in time to witness the horrors of living under Nazi occupation.
We hope our January reads will inspire our students to think deeper about the journal topics when they write their entries.
'The Silver Sword' by Ian Serraillier Age Group [10+] "Although the silver sword was only a paper knife, it became the symbol of hope and courage which kept the Balicki children and their orphan friend Jan alive through the four years of occupation when they had to fend for themselves. And afterwards it inspired them to keep going on the exhausting and dangerous journey from war-torn Poland to Switzerland, where they hoped to find their parents. Based on true accounts, this is a moving story of life during and after the Second World War." - Book Depository
'The Explorer' by Katherine Rundell Age Group [8+] "From his seat in the tiny aeroplane, Fred watches as the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass by below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of making history and of reading his name amongst the lists of great discoveries. If only he could land and look about him. As the plane crashes into the canopy, Fred is suddenly left without a choice. He and the three other children may be alive, but the jungle is a vast, untamed place. With no hope of rescue, the chance of getting home feels impossibly small. Except, it seems, someone has been there before them ..." - Book Depository
'Around the world in 80 days' by Jules Verne Age Group [11+] "When Phileas Fogg wagers a bet that he can travel across the globe in just 80 days, little does he know about the epic journey that he is about to undertake. With his faithful French servant, Passepartout, Phileas Fogg embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, travelling across four continents by whatever means he can – train, elephant, steam ship – and experiencing endless surprises and mishaps along the way." - Book Depository
'Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret' by Trudi Trueit Age Group [8-12+] "From the lore of early adventurers to futuristic code breaking and augmented reality... adventure, danger and a thrilling global mission await 12-year-old Cruz Coronado as he joins an elite school for explorers. Puzzles and codes are embedded throughout. Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 20 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. As soon as he arrives, he discovers that his family's mysterious past with the Academy threatens his future. His mother had also attended the Academy and gone on to achieve groundbreaking success in a secret research division, before a tragic lab accident took her life. A near-fatal incident and a cryptic warning confirms his worst fear: his mother's death was no accident. Now, someone doesn't want him in the Academy either. In fact, someone doesn't even want him alive!" - Book Depository
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' by John Boyne Age Group [12+] "Nine-year-old Bruno has a lot of things on his mind. Who is the 'Fury'? Why did he make them leave their nice home in Berlin to go to 'Out-With'? And who are all the sad people in striped pyjamas on the other side of the fence? The grown-ups won't explain so Bruno decides there is only one thing for it – he will have to explore this place alone. What he discovers is a new friend. A boy with the very same birthday. A boy in striped pyjamas. But why can't they ever play together?" - Book Depository
'Sarah’s Key' by Tatiana de Rosnay Age Group [14+] "Paris, July 1942. Sarah, a ten-year-old Jewish girl, is arrested by the French police in the middle of the night, along with her mother and father. Desperate to protect her younger brother, she locks him in a cupboard and promises to come back for him as soon as she can. Paris, May 2002. Julia Jarmond, an American journalist, is asked to write about the 60th anniversary of the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup – the infamous day in 1942 when French police rounded up thousands of Jewish men, women and children, in order to send them to concentration camps. Sarah's Key is the poignant story of two families, forever linked and haunted by one of the darkest days in France's past. In this emotionally intense, page-turning novel, Tatiana de Rosnay reveals the guilt brought on by long-buried secrets and the damage that the truth can inflict when they finally come unravelled." - Book Depository
'Giraffe Problems!' by Jory John Age Group [4+] "From Jory John and Lane Smith, the winner of the 2017 Kate Greenaway Medal, comes a laugh-out-loud companion to the acclaimed Penguin Problems. Edward the giraffe can't understand why his neck is as long and bendy and ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He's tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes ... anything he can think of. But just when he's exhausted his neck-hiding options, a turtle ambles in and tries to help him understand that his neck has a purpose ... and looks excellent in a bow tie." - Book Depository
'Megabat' by Anna Humphrey Age Group [7+] "A sweet and hilarious chapter book about a boy and a bat, two unlikely friends who bond over loneliness, jellyrolls and Darth Vader. Daniel Misumi has just moved to a new house. It's big and old and far away from his friends and his life before. AND it's haunted ... or is it? Megabat was just napping on a papaya one day when he was stuffed in a box and shipped halfway across the world. Now he's living in an old house far from home, feeling sorry for himself and accidentally scaring the people who live there. Daniel realises it's not a ghost in his new house. It's a bat. And he can talk. And he's actually kind of cute. Megabat realises that not every human wants to whack him with a broom. This one shares his smooshfruit. Add some buttermelon, juice boxes, a lightsaber and a common enemy and you've got a new friendship in the making! This charming, funny story is brought to life by Kass Reich's warm and adorable illustrations. There's never been a bat this cute – readers will be rooting for Megabat and Daniel from page one!" - Book Depository