March’s Booklist – Wonder Women

To mark International Women’s Day (8 March) and celebrate the achievements, triumphs and general brilliance of women and girls from around the world, we have created a booklist that tell the stories of wonder women and girls.

Books

  • Gina Kaminski Saves the Wolf by Craig Barr-Green (author), Francis Martin (illustrator)
  • Speak Up! by Nathan Bryon (author), Dapo Adeola (illustrator)
  • The Kindest Red: A Story of Hijab and Friendship by Ibtihaj Muhammad (author), Hatem Aly (illustrator), S. K. Ali (author)
  • Billie Swift Takes Flight by Iszi Lawrence
  • Bridget Vanderpuff and the Baked Escape by Martin Stewart (author), David Habben (illustrator)
  • Into the Dark Forest by Liz Flanagan (author), Joe Todd-Stanton (illustrator)
  • Friendship Never Ends by Alexandra Sheppard
  • Little Bang by Kelly McCaughrain
  • Where the Heart Should Be by Sarah Crossan
  • Diva by Daisy Goodwin
  • How To Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair
  • The Liverbirds: Our life in Britain’s first female rock ‘n’ roll band by Mary McGlory (author), Sylvia Saunders (author)

Check out the booklist resource to find out more about the books.

Reading Well for children provides quality-assured information, stories and advice to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. Books have been chosen and recommended by leading health professionals and co-produced with children and families.

The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11), but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.

The books are available to borrow from your local library. Selected titles are also available to borrow as e-books and audiobooks. Visit your local library website to find out how to join the library and access books electronically.

You can download our guide to the book collection and our booklist prescriber leaflet to use the collection.

Browse our Reading Well for children resources

Booklist categories

Healthy Minds

Feelings

Book cover of Feeling Angry!

Feeling Angry!

Katie Douglass

Worries

Book cover of Questions and Feelings About: Worries

Questions and Feelings About: Worries

Ximena Jeria, Paul Christelis

Book cover All Birds Have Anxiety

All Birds Have Anxiety

Kathy Hoopmann

Book cover of 
Me and My Fear

Me and My Fear

Francesca Sanna

Book cover of Ruby's Worry

Ruby’s Worry

Tom Percival

Book cover of Worry Angels

Worry Angels

Sita Brahmachari

Book cover of Grobblechops

Grobblechops

Elizabeth Laird

The world around you

Book cover of Dealing With...: Bullying

Dealing With…: Bullying

Jane Lacey, Venitia Dean

Book Cover of #Goldilocks (A Hashtag Cautionary Tale)

#Goldilocks (A Hashtag Cautionary Tale)

Jeanne Willis, Tony Ross

Book cover of Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet: Book 1

Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet: Book 1

Zanib Mian, Nasaya Mafaridik

Dealing with tough times

Book cover of The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself

The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself

Kara Simpson, Ali Redford

Book cover of Mum's Jumper

Mum’s Jumper

Jayde Perkin

Book cover of Michael Rosen's Sad Book

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

Michael Rosen, Quentin Blake

Book cover of If All the World Were...

If All the World Were…

Joseph Coelho, Allison Colpoys

Book cover of 
Up and Down Mum

Up and Down Mum

Child’s Play, Summer Macon

Book cover of The Colour Thief: A family's story of depression

The Colour Thief: A family’s story of depression

Andrew Fusek Peters, Karin Littlewood, Polly Peters

Book cover of 
Clownfish

Clownfish

Alan Durant, Helen Crawford-White

When you have a condition

Book cover of Double Felix

Double Felix

Sally Harris, Maria Serrano

Book cover of M is for Autism

M is for Autism

The Students of Limpsfield Grange School, Vicky Martin, Robert Pritchett

Book cover of The Illustrated Guide to Dyslexia and Its Amazing People

The Illustrated Guide to Dyslexia and Its Amazing People

Kate Power, Kathy Iwanczak Forsyth, Richard Rogers

Meddyliau iach

Book cover of Darllen yn Well: Beth Sy'n Digwydd yn fy Mhen?

Beth Sy’n Digwydd Yn Fy Mhen?

Molly Potter, Sarah Jennings

Pryderon

Book cover of Angylion Pryder

Angylion Pryder

Meinir Wyn Edwards

Book cover of Pryder Glain

Pryder Glain

Tom Percival, Testun

Book cover of Trechu Pryder - Canllaw Plentyn Hyn i Reoli Gorbryder

Trechu Pryder – Canllaw Plentyn Hyn i Reoli Gorbryder

Dawn Huebner PhD, Testun, Kara McHale

Book cover of Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Pryderon

Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Pryderon

Paul Christelis, Ximena Jeria

Teimladau

Book cover of Sut Wyt Ti'n Teimlo Heddiw

Sut Wyt Ti’n Teimlo Heddiw?

Molly Potter, Testun, Sarah Jennings

Y byd o’ch cwmpas

Book cover of Rhywbeth Drwg ar Waith

Rhywbeth Drwg ar Waith

Dawn Huebner, PhD, Testun, Kara McHale

Book cover of Delio a Bwlio

Delio a Bwlio

Jane Lacey, Testun, Venitia Dean

Book cover of 
Elen Benfelen

Elen Benfelen

Jeanne Willis, Eurig Salisbury, Tony Ross

Delio â chyflwr

Book cover of Llyfr Lluniau Dyslecsia a'i Bobl Ryfeddol

Llyfr Lluniau Dyslecsia a’i Bobl Ryfeddol

Kate Power, Kathy Iwanczak

Book cover of Gan Bwyll a Gwyddbwyll

Gan Bwyll a Gwyddbwyll

Bethan Gwanas

Book cover of Ga i Son am ADHD

Ga i Son am ADHD?

Susan Yarney, Testun, Chris Martin

Book cover of Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Awtistiaeth


Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Awtistiaeth

Louise Spilsbury, Ximena Jeria

Book cover of Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Anableddau

Cwestiynau a Theimladau Ynghylch Anableddau

Louise Spilsbury, Ximena Jeria

Book cover of M am Awtistiaeth

M am Awtistiaeth

The Students of Limpsfield Gr, Vicky Martin, Tudur Dylan Jones

Delio ag adegau anodd

Book cover of Y Bachgen a Gododd Wal o'i Gwmpas

Y Bachgen a Gododd Wal o’i Gwmpas

Ali Redford, Testun Cyf., Kara Simpson

Book cover of Siwmper Mam

Siwmper Mam

Jayde Perkin

Book cover of Petai'r Byd i Gyd Yn...

Petai’r Byd i Gyd Yn…

Joseph Coelho, Testun Cyf., Ms. Allison Colpoys

Book cover of Llyfr Trist Michael Rosen

Llyfr Trist Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen, Quentin Blake

Book cover of Mam Lan a Lawr

Mam Lan a Lawr

Summer Macon

Have you used a Reading Well for children book? We’d love you to fill in a short survey to tell us how you found it.

The Reading Agency Presents: Sheena Dempsey

Join Sheena Dempsey as she sweeps us away into a world of creativity and fun with an immersive draw-along and a storybuilding activity.

Yellow graphic that reads, 'The Reading Agency presents... Sheena Dempsey; Create your own Comic'. On the left, a photo of author of Sheena Dempsey, on the right, the book cover of 'Pablo and Splash'.

Length: 60 minutes
Suitable for children aged 7-11
27 March, 10am-11am
Free

About Pablo and Splash
Join time-travelling penguins Pablo and Splash on an unexpected adventure to the time of the dinosaurs in this brilliantly funny full-colour graphic novel. Perfect for fans of Bunny vs Monkey and Bumble and Snug.

Antarctic penguins Pablo and Splash are polar opposites and besties for life. Pablo is a home-bird and a careful planner. Splash is easily bored and hungry for adventure. Sick to her flippers of the harsh, freezing weather, Splash persuades Pablo to go on a holiday with her. But far from the luxury beach destination that Splash has in mind, the pair end up in a time-travel machine that takes them back to the age of the dinosaurs! Suddenly their icy homeland doesn’t seem so dull…

As a graphic novel, Pablo and Splash is perfect for capturing less confident readers, and Sheena’s journey into the world of illustration shows the audience how fun books really can be.

As well as a reading from the book, Sheena will be leading a draw-along, showing you how you can build your own story and answering your burning questions!

About Sheena Dempsey
Sheena Dempsey is an illustrator whose books have won several awards including the Sheffield Book Awards for Yoga Babies by Fearne Cotton and Surrey Libraries’ Children’s Book Award for Dave Pigeon by Swapna Haddow. She has also been shortlisted for the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Award. The graphic novel Pablo and Splash is Sheena’s first work as author and illustrator. It grew out of a web-comic she created during the pandemic lockdowns that featured her and her husband as penguins! Sheena was born in Cork, Ireland, but now lives in Folkestone, Kent.

Find out more here about Sheena
Connect on Twitter (@SheenaDempsey)
Connect on Instagram: (sheenadempsey)

There will be time at the end for questions from the audience so do pop your burning questions into the Q&A chat box. You can also send your questions in advance by emailing [email protected].

This free event will take place via Zoom webinar and teachers and school librarians will be sent a link to join in their confirmation email. Whilst the event will be interactive, children will not be able to speak directly to each other or the presenters. At the end of the event, children will have the opportunity to ask questions via their teacher/librarian. Participants’ cameras and microphones will be turned off for this event.

If you have any questions, please get in touch at [email protected].

What is Chatterbooks?

Chatterbooks reading clubs help children build a lifelong reading habit. Because everything changes when we read. 
 
The groups are run by librarians, teachers, teaching assistants, or volunteers – anyone with a passion for reading. Chatterbooks is a flexible model that can be used with children from 4 up to 12, for all different abilities and in targeted or mixed groups. There are typically 10 to 15 children in a Chatterbooks club. In a library setting, Chatterbooks reading clubs often meet monthly. In a school setting, the clubs meet weekly or fortnightly. 

Graphic with stack of books

Reading for pleasure is more important for children’s cognitive development than their parents’ level of education 

Four icons of people. One of them is white, while the other three are navy.

1 in 4 children don’t reach the expected level of reading by the age of 11


Get involved

To run a Chatterbooks reading club, you need a meeting space, a session plan, and books for the children to borrow.

We offer free downloadable activity packs each month, plus recommended book lists on different themes.

Each session should last a minimum of 40 minutes (many Chatterbooks clubs meet for 1 to 1.5 hours).

Photo of young children and adults sat on a library floor looking at books.

“I’ve always been a total bookworm and practically lived in my local library when I was a child. I wish I’d been able to join a Chatterbooks reading group then. It would have been such fun to make new friends and discuss all our favourite books. Lots of members write to me and send me their stories and drawings and book reviews – they obviously love being part of a Chatterbooks group.”  

– Dame Jacqueline Wilson
Here are five top tips for when you’re starting off your club
  • Buy a Chatterbooks group leader’s toolkit, or invest in a training day for staff. [LINK]
  • Sign up to our Children and Young People’s Reading News newsletter [LINK]
  • If you work in a school, contact your local library and School Library Service and plan what you can do together. 
  • Have a mix of activities available for each meeting (look out for our themed activity packs and publisher promotions. 
  • Ask the children what they want to read and talk about – Chatterbooks is their club! 
  • Read our Chatterbooks FAQs [LINK]

Greenwild by Pari Thomson - digital pack

Embark on an unforgettable adventure through the Greenwild, beautifully illustrated by Elisa Paganelli. Daisy Thistledown has escaped from boarding school and has a mystery to…

The Best Eid Ever - digital resources

A gorgeous picture book to introduce children to Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr written by acclaimed children's author Sufiya Ahmed with beautiful, colourful illustrations by Hazem…

Summer of Reading Resources

Are you looking for activities to keep your family busy over the summer? You’re in the right place. The organisations that are bringing you the Summer of Reading have lots of activities to share. There are read-alongs, games, quizzes, book clubs and so much more.

A photo of two young children making a tower out of books.

What is the Summer Reading Challenge?

1 in 4 children cannot read well by the age of 11. This hugely limits their life choices and skills. We’re on a mission to change this.  

The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to keep reading during the summer holidays, ensuring they are ready for a great start to the new term in the autumn. Children set a reading goal and collect rewards for reading anything they enjoy. Children can sign up at their local library or online, and it’s FREE to take part.

This year’s Challenge is called Marvellous Makers and it’s all about creativity! From dance to drawing, junk modelling to music, there’s something for everyone. This year’s theme has been developed in partnership with a leading arts charity, Create.  

The Challenge starts on Saturday 22 June in Scotland and online, and on Saturday 6 July in England and Wales. 

Who is it for?

The Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at children from 4-11 years old. It supports this age group and their families by:  

  • Preparing children to get back to the classroom in the autumn.  
  • Supporting the move into a new year group or key stage.  
  • Boosting children’s confidence and self-esteem by supporting independent reading. 
  • Providing free access to books and fun family activities during the summer.

Photo of young girl kicking a football on a football pitch while wearing school uniform. There are other school children behind her.

The Summer Reading Challenge is the UK’s biggest reading for pleasure programme for children, and helps get approximately 700,000 children into libraries each year.

In 2023, 75% of children who took part said they now enjoy reading more.

Graphic with stack of books

During the 2023 Challenge, over 14 million books, including eBooks and audio titles, were read and issued through libraries

Four icons of people. One of them is white, while the other three are navy.

1 in 4 children don’t reach the expected level of reading by the age of 11


A photo of two children taking out some books from the library.

Get Involved

In the library 

Visit your local library and sign up. Your child will set a reading goal, choose anything they like to read, and collect special stickers and rewards for their reading. Libraries offer lots of free activities and events throughout the summer.

Online 

Sign up on the official Challenge website to take part online. Children can set a reading goal and get tips for accessing books for free at home. As they read books, they’ll unlock digital rewards, including a printable certificate.  

Email us to find out how your library could deliver the Summer Reading Challenge. 


Volunteering

Help us spread the joy of reading! Contact your local library directly to ask about opportunities to support with this year’s Challenge.

Volunteers at the library can get involved with things like delivering activities for children and families, handing out prizes, and talking to children about their reading.

Please note opportunities and dates vary between libraries.

Are you working towards your DofE Award?

Good news: we’re a DofE Approved Activity Provider, so your Summer Reading Challenge volunteering counts towards the volunteering section of your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award!

Graphic with Duke of Edinburgh logo and text: Approved Activity Provider


Resources

Photos of key materials: Marvellous Makers

At the link below, you will be able to download photos of key Marvellous Makers materials. These photos can be used in your promotional materials…

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Document Borders – Summer Reading Challenge 2024

Download these funky Marvellous Makers borders to create Summer Reading Challenge posters, activities and resources. All illustrations are by Natelle Quek and © The Reading…

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Clip art for Marvellous Makers: Characters (JPEGs)

Download JPEGs of individual characters, created by our brilliant Summer Reading Challenge 2024 illustrator, Natelle Quek. You must credit Natelle Quek wherever you use this…

You must be logged in to access this resource

A graphic reads 'Ready, Set. Read!'. There are illustrations of children on either sides of the words, and an illustration of a cat underneath the words.

Summer Reading Challenge: Reach and Engagement 2023

The 2023 Summer Reading Challenge: ‘Ready, Set, Read!’, delivered in partnership with libraries and the Youth Sport Trust, once again brought the fun and benefits of reading to families across the UK.

Reading Well for Children

Reading Well for children provides quality-assured information, stories and advice to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. Books have been chosen and recommended by leading health professionals and co-produced with children and families.

The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11), but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.

The books are available to borrow from your local library. Selected titles are also available to borrow as e-books and audiobooks. Visit your local library website to find out how to join the library and access books electronically.

You can download our guide to the book collection and our booklist prescriber leaflet to use the collection.

July 2023 booklist – Turning the Page (historical books)

The Council for British Archaeology run the UK’s biggest celebration of archaeology called the Festival of Archaeology which is held from 15-30 July. We also know that historical books are incredibly popular with readers, so we have picked 12 brilliant books that share brilliant stories set in the past. The selected books include different genres with a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, so that hopefully everyone can find a book they’ll enjoy.

August 2023 booklist – Escape with a Book

As lots of people head off on their holidays, we selected books that can transport a reader somewhere else even if they’re not going away. We have picked 12 books to help carry you away with stories (or help to create your own) mainly set in different locations. The selected books include different genres with a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, so that hopefully everyone can find a book they’ll enjoy.

The Reading Agency

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