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The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler and Wonder among Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall's back-to-school reading recommendations




Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling...

Dear Reader. It's back to school time! Reading books about school life can help children to navigate educational experiences.

Here are some books about school life to read this week...

Babies and toddlers

Going to School by Rose Blake

Spend the day at school and join the little girl in everything she does in a day - from breakfast to bedtime.

Going to School by Rose Blake (40914102)
Going to School by Rose Blake (40914102)

Meet her classmates and try to spot what each friend is up to in every lesson throughout the book. Can you guess what they want to be when they grow up?

This reassuring introduction to the school day for little ones has bright, friendly artwork and is perfect for children about to go off to school for the first time.

Ages 5-8

The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler by Gene Kemp

One of the greatest children's classics of the 20th century, with one of the most amazing and affirming twists in all of literature.

Tyke Tiler and Danny Price are best friends, much to the despair of the headmaster of Cricklepit Combined School.

Because wherever the pair go, trouble is never far behind. Stolen money, a sheep's skeleton, fights in class - and somehow it's always trouble that Tyke has to sort out.

The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler by Gene Kemp (40914099)
The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler by Gene Kemp (40914099)

Can Tyke help the hapless Danny stay out of trouble for their last term? And what final surprise does Tyke have in store?

Ages 9-12

The School for Good and Evil Book 1 by Soman Chainini

Every four years, two girls are kidnapped from the village of Gavaldon. Legend has it these lost children are sent to the School for Good and Evil, the fabled institution where they become fairytale heroes or villains.

With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she'll join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel and Snow White at the School for Good. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black dresses and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil.

But the two girls soon find their fortunes reversed – Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil to take uglification, death curses and henchmen training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in princess etiquette and animal communication.

But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are?

The School for Good and Evil Book 1 by Soman Chainini (40914096)
The School for Good and Evil Book 1 by Soman Chainini (40914096)

Tweens

Wonder by R J Palacio

"My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse."

Auggie wants to be an ordinary 10 year old. He does ordinary things - eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside.

But ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren't stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it.

All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

Wonder by R J Palacio (40914094)
Wonder by R J Palacio (40914094)

Teens

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky

Charlie is a freshman. And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant rollercoaster days known as growing up.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky (40914091)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky (40914091)

Adults

The Secret Teacher: Dispatches from the Classroom by Anon.

"'I will teach them literature, poetry, culture. I will teach them The Waste Land! I will be the Best Teacher Who Has Ever Lived!' Or so The Secret Teacher thinks. On his first day at an inner-city state school he gets nuked."

The class he is made to cut his teeth on are an unruly mob stuffed with behavioural issues. There's Milosz, who is put in detention for committing the sin of Onan with a Pritt Stick; Kieran, the class rebel; Donnie, a hard-working kid desperate for approval; Mercedes, a volatile rude girl,

and Salim, who loves Bollywood and the number five.

Somehow, The Secret Teacher needs to enthuse this lot with a love of books. Or at least keep them sitting at their desks until the end of the lesson.

And then he's got to deal with the observations, marking, standardisations, book checks, OFSTED, educational consultants, spreadsheets, personal statements, school trips, strikes, class, race, love, death, birth, manhood, dry cleaning, the end of literary culture, the end of the Old World - the whole shebang.

In this vivid account of his first few years in the classroom, The Secret Teacher grapples with the complicated questions of how to teach, how we learn - and how little he actually knows.

He celebrates the world's greatest stories, the extraordinary teachers he has worked with, and the kids: bolshy, bright, funny and absolutely electric. The result is a book brimful of wit, insight and tenderness.

The Secret Teacher: Dispatches from the Classroom by Anon. (40914089)
The Secret Teacher: Dispatches from the Classroom by Anon. (40914089)


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