‘The Ickabog’ by J.K.Rowling
The first two chapters of J.K.Rowling’s new children’s book – ‘The Ickabog’ – have been published online and free of charge. Here’s what the Harry Potter author says:
I had the idea for The Ickabog a long time ago and read it to my two younger children chapter by chapter each night while I was working on it. However, when the time came to publish it, I decided to put out a book for adults instead, which is how The Ickabog ended up in the attic. I became busy with other things, and even though I loved the story, over the years I came to think of it as something that was just for my own children.
Then this lockdown happened. It’s been very hard on children, in particular, so I brought The Ickabog down from the attic, read it for the first time in years, rewrote bits of it and then read it to my children again. They told me to put back in some bits they’d liked when they were little, and here we are!
‘The Ickabog’ will be published for free on this website – https://www.theickabog.com/home/ – over the next seven weeks, a chapter (or two or three) at a time.
This page showcases all the reading for pleasure that Malvern families are doing while children are not in school.
Can you spot anybody that you know ?
Can you see any books that you’ve read ?
What are you reading at home ?
Casey from Y4 has been reading ‘The Scribes from Alexandria’ by Caroline Lawrence. Here’s his review:
I would give this book 10 out of 10 for being factually correct. It is a historical detective story that takes you down the River Nile during the time that Egypt was under Roman occupation.
Four friends – Flavia, Johnathon, Nubia and Lupus – are on the run from the Emperor Titus because they have been accused of kidnapping Nero’s Eye. They are shipwrecked, Nubia is kidnapped and their quest can only end in death or riches.
You should read this if you like facts and history – and a very good story that will keep you reading until midnight – because once you start, you won’t want to stop. The batteries on my head torch ran out while I was reading this !
Here are some other Caroline Lawrence books that I would recommend: her ‘Roman Mysteries’ series; her ‘Roman Quests’ books; ‘The Night Raid’.
Enjoy….and toodle pip!
Abigail from Y5 has been reading ‘The Ice Monster’ by David Walliams. She put together a review for us. Thank you, Abigail.
The Book of Hopes
This has been edited by children’s author Katherine Rundell and is completely free for all children and families. It is an extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures and has contributions from more than 110 children’s writers and illustrators, including Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Greg James and Chris Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon, Jacqueline Wilson – and Katherine herself.
The collection, published by Bloomsbury, is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals. You can read the book here: https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/9-12/book-hopes/.
Amelia from Y4 has sent a message to tell us all about what she’s reading at home. Here’s what she says:
‘Right now I’m reading Clean Break by Jacqueline Wilson. My Auntie gave me four Jacqueline Wilson books to read – so I’ve started reading them! I have finished a book called Midnight by Jacqueline Wilson and I loved it . It had long pages and it’s a great book. I recommend it to my class – and if anybody has got it at home, they should have a read of it. The main character is a little girl called Violet and she has a brother called Will. Clean Break is a sad and happy story because of the way it starts. I give it ten out of ten so far. I hope everyone has a great day ! And always be happy and don’t give up.’
A message from Mr. Kynaston: ‘I have finished ‘Uki and the Outcasts’ and loved it. It was every bit as good as the previous three books in The Five Realms series. The next book – ‘Uki and the Swamp Spirit’ – will be published in January. I can’t wait!
I’m now reading ‘The Well of Ascension’ by Brandon Sanderson. This is the second book in the ‘Mistborn’ series of fantasy novels. The first book – ‘The Final Empire’ – was recommended to me by Daniel in Year Five. There are currently six books in the series – plus a companion story to go with the original trilogy – and one on the way! If you’re a fan of fantasy novels, you’ll love these books. I think Daniel (and his family) have read all of them! The start of ‘The Well of Ascension’ is breathtakingly exciting. I can’t put it down! Thanks for the recommendation, Dan!’
Children’s author Maz Evans recently visited our school. Eve has been inspired to read Maz’s ‘Who Let the Gods Out’. Eve tells us that it’s a brilliant book ! ‘Who Let the Gods Out’ is the first book in a series. When she was in school, Maz signed copies of her books….and they’re in our school library.
Megan from 4PK has read ‘Dog Man – Brawl of the Wild’ by Dav Pilkey. She really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it. Here’s what Megan says: ‘Lil Petey is my favourite character because he is cute and really kind and I love his superhero costume. In the book, the fleas are a group of bad guys and they dress up as Dog Man and steal something from the shops. Everyone thinks it was Dog Man and he gets sent to doggy jail. And Dog Man is saved from the jail when the cinema goes on fire ! My favourite part of the book of when Dog Man gets arrested and is taken away to doggy jail.’
More news from Year Four ! Poppy has been reading ‘The Twits’ by Roald Dahl. Here’s what she’s got to say about it:
‘There are a few characters in the story: Mr. Twit, Mrs Twit, the Roly Poly Bird and the Monkey family. Mr. Twit is very mean and he always gets food in his beard. The story is set in England, but the Roly Poly Bird and the Monkey family live in Africa. My favourite part is when the monkeys and the birds put everything on the ceiling. In the story, Mr. & Mrs Twit trained four monkeys to stand upside down for hours on end. The monkeys didn’t like that….and they also didn’t like the birds getting stuck in the tree because Mr. Twit put sticky glue on it for his bird pie ! But one day, the Roly Poly Bird came and told all of the birds not to go on the tree. The Roly Poly Bird also got the key to the monkey cage. When they were free, all the birds helped to put everything on the ceiling…..and everybody had to stay upside down for ever.’
Poppy says that she would give this book nine out of ten and that her next book is going to be ‘The Ice Monster’ by David Walliams.
Scarlett from 4PK has sent a book review. Here’s what she says: ‘I have just finished ‘The Beast of Buckingham Palace’ by David Walliams. I enjoyed the book because it’s like an adventure story and you meet the characters at the beginning. The Queen gets taken to the Tower of London. Alfie – the main character – has to try to save his mother from the Lord Protector. Alfie has a nanny who is good at the beginning of the story – but at the end, she turns evil. I would recommend this book to Key Stage Two children.’
Mr. Kynaston says: ‘I finished reading ‘Deeplight’ by Frances Hardinge yesterday. I think it’s very good….a kind of fantastical adventure story that takes place on and around a mysterious group of islands. I’d recommend it for Y5 and Y6 children. I’m now reading ‘Uki and the Outcasts’ by Kieran Larwood. This is the fourth book in The Five Realms series. Many Key Stage Two children will be familiar with these books. I know that lots of children – like me – have read and loved the first three: ‘The Legend of Podkin One Ear’, ‘The Gift of Dark Hollow’ and ‘The Beasts of Grimheart’. Kieran Larwood’s website has some fab resources – including a demonstration of how to draw a fantasy map. Go to www.kmlarwood.com Happy Reading !’
On World Book Night, Sanna had a fab time reading David Baddiel’s ‘Head Kid’. David Baddiel has written several books for children.
Casey from Year Four reports that he has been reading, reading and reading some more. While we’ve not been in school, he has read 15 books – including three by David Walliams and 12 of Caroline Lawrence’s Roman Mysteries.
Sadie from Year Four has been telling us about her reading at home. She’s reading ‘Dork Diaries – Birthday Drama’ by herself. And with her mum she’s reading ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’. Sadie tells us that they’re up to chapter four which is called ‘At Flourish and Blotts’. Sadie says, ‘Up to now we’ve met all of the characters and Harry has met Dobby the House Elf. Ron and his brothers have broken Harry out of the Dursley’s house. Everyone is staying at the Dursley’s house until school starts. It’s starting to get really exciting !’
Ellouise in Y3 has been busy with her love of reading and has been lucky enough to receive some lovely new books! And because she has lots of books, she came up with a fantastic idea……to put some outside her house with a sign saying: Free to children. Please take one as you pass by! Ellouise’s family thought it was a lovely idea – but decided that it wasn’t the best thing to do at the moment. Her mum said, ‘She just wants other children to share the books she’s loved.’
Ellouise’s family also had a virtual Easter parade and they all made bonnets and masks, and there was even a hand knitted Peter Rabbit from Ellouise’s Nanna!
Miss Baker says: ‘I’m reading a book by Alexander McCall Smith called ‘Espresso Tales’. It’s one of his ’44 Scotland Street’ series. I’ve read a few of these and I think they’re fab. The books are about all of the quirky characters who live at number 44 Scotland Street in Edinburgh. I hope you’re all enjoying the books that you’re reading…..and that you’ll be taking part in World Book Night’s Reading Hour. Stay safe and well !’
Mr.Kynaston says: ‘I’ve finished reading ‘Wolf Hall’ (Please see below.)….and I loved it. It’s pretty long – over 600 pages – so I needed lots of reading stamina. But the story, the characters and the pictures it paints of Tudor England are fantastic. I’m now reading ‘Deeplight’ by Frances Hardinge. It’s all about a boy called Hark and his best friend who is called Jelt. The boys live on an island called Lady’s Crave….and from what I’ve read so far, they’re in for one massive adventure. Happy reading !’
Knowsley Library Service
While children are not in school, Knowsley Library Service is offering an audio and e book service to families. Members can borrow up to 10 downloadable e books or audio books for a period of 21 days. Available titles can be browsed via this link:
If you are not already a library member, there is a link that will enable you to join via email.
Reading Update from Mr. Kynaston: ‘I’ve finished reading the three books that I mentioned previously. (Please see below.) Key Stage Two children…..’The Girl Who Stole an Elephant’ and ‘The Land of Roar’ are really good – well worth checking out. Adults…..the first of C.J. Sansom’s Shardlake books is called ‘Dissolution’ – if you like historical fiction, you’ll love it. I’m now reading ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel. This another book set in Tudor times. It’s a fictional tale about the rise to power of Thomas Cromwell – who was Henry Vlll’s chief minister between 1532 and 1540. Happy reading, everybody !’
Poppy in Y4 has been reading ‘Fing’ by David Walliams. She says: ‘Fing is a tale about a spoilt little girl called Myrtle Meek and her mum and dad – Mr. & Mrs. Meek. My favourite character is the Fing. The Fing is a round ball with one eye and two balls at the side – one is the bum and the other is the mouth ! And nobody knows which is which – even the Fing doesn’t know. At the start of the story, Myrtle demands everything – and when she has everything, she starts asking for a Fing. So her dad goes to the deepest, darkest jungle and gets the Fing and gives it to Myrtle. I really like this story. I would recommend it because it is funny and silly and quite chaotic.
Mr. Kynaston says: ‘At the moment, I’m reading ‘Heartstone’ by C.J.Sansom. It’s set in Tudor times and it’s about a lawyer called Matthew Shardlake – who is also a bit of a detective. I’m also part way through two other books. Before school closed, I was reading Nizrana Farook’s ‘The Girl Who Stole an Elephant’ as my class reading time book. And with our Year Five and Year Six Book Club children I was reading ‘The Land of Roar’ by Jenny McLachlan. I’m concentrating on ‘Heartstone’ at the moment, but I’m really looking forward to finishing the other two.’
Miss Murphy gave her class the chance to do a Book Scavenger Hunt. As you can see, Mason’s been busy !