Books We are Loving – November 2019
Illegal – by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, and Giovanni Rigano
Illegal is a graphic novel co-written by the author of the Artemis Fowl books, which follows a boy, Ebo, as he travels across Africa to Europe in hope of finding his sister.
It highlights the dangers that migrants and refugees face, putting their lives in the hands of people smugglers and human traffickers when crossing both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean. It doesn’t pull it’s punches and it’s not a book for younger children, but it is a great book to use as part of a wider discussion about immigration, and the refugee crisis. (Alongside books written by POC writers. This is not a discussion where white voices should be the loudest.)
Usborne Politics for Beginners by Alex Frith and Rosie Hore
With Brexit dominating… well everything, and an election in the next few weeks, Politics for Beginners is a great overview of how politics works, both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world.
My 11 year old and I have been working our way through it and it has started some interesting and useful conversations, and taught us both a lot. It is well set out and towards the end expands to include ideas about human rights, immigration, political corruption, feminism, and free speech.
(You can see a flick through on my instagram here.)
Return to Wonderland: Stories inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice by various authors
It’s been over 150 years since Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published. Return to Wonderland offers readers a glimpse into the Wonderland of the 21st century through eleven short stories from some of today’s best-selling children’s authors.
Miss Six loved The Sensible Hatter by Maz Evans – a heart-warming story in which the Mad Hatter attempts to be someone he’s not in an effort to please others. Mister Ten favoured The Queen of Hearts and the Unwritten Written Rule by Pamela Butchart in which we get the lowdown on the popular tourist destination Wonderland has become, despite losing a star on TripAdvisor due to the high risk of visitor decapitation! My personal pick was The Tweedle Twins and the Case of the Colossal Crow by Chris Smith, because who doesn’t love the Tweedles?
There is a lot of classic topsy-turvy Wonderland logic to enjoy in these stories. Return to Wonderland is great as a stand alone book (Miss Six enjoyed it though she only had fuzzy memories of the Disney film) or could be read alongside the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the Disney film and/or Tim Burton’s Wonderland films as part of a literature unit study. I would recommend this book for ages seven and up, but under sevens can certainly enjoy it with some additional explanation.
What have you been reading recently?