Reading for Pleasure

Reading for pleasure with your child is a rewarding and delightful experience. Apart from the enjoyment that comes with the smell and feel of opening a new book, the excitement of the latest novel by a favourite author or genre, reading is beneficial to children’s learning and progress. If you look at the back of every new £10 note, you will see the great author Jane Austen who stated that ‘I declare after all that there is no enjoyment like reading!’ and we at North Durham Academy could not agree more.

How can reading a book help my child?

Every book has a specific format; chapters, pages and paragraphs – this helps your child with literacy because they learn how to structure their own writing.  Your child will also develop their understanding of sentence constructions, including the use of punctuation, while improving their word power.  If your child is encouraged to read aloud, he/she will improve the tone and pace of their voice; this is essential for future employment interviews.  Reading also supports numeracy due to the logical ordering of the story (beginning…middle…end) and the cohesion or sense of the storyline - and you thought it was just reading a book!

What’s hot?

In the 11-14 age range, unsurprisingly, Philip Pullman novels are very popular as is Tom Gates.  ‘The Maze-Runner’, by James Dashner, now a Hollywood blockbuster, is a must read while ‘Artermis Fowl’ by Eoin Colfer is always on the LRC loan list.

In the 14-16 age range, fantasy genres are increasingly popular: ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth and ‘City of Bones’ by Cassandra Close.  Also, in the top ten is ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ by children’s favourite author John Green and ‘The Book-Thief’ by Markus Zusak.

In the 16-18 age range, horror fiction dominates alongside cultural texts by Khaled Hosseini, ‘The Kite Runner’, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and ‘And the Mountains Echoed’. 

Favourite authors

Like the trends for different genres, children have their favourite authors – Enid Blyton has made a comeback over the last few years; the recent Poirot movie has made Agatha Christie popular and J.K Rowling remains as prevalent as ever. .

Another popular, and unlikely author, is the one and only David Walliams, the modern day Roald Dahl.  There are a selection of books by Walliams available in the Learning Resource Centre including ‘Gangsta Granny,’ Billionaire Boy’ and ‘Mr Stink.  Other popular titles include; ‘The Boy in the Dress’, ‘Awful Auntie’ and ‘Demon Dentist’; shortlisted for the Red House Children’s Book Awards.

Michael Morpurgo and Roald Dahl retain their position in the ‘Top Ten’ and remain as popular as ever! 

Recommended Reads

If you are looking for books for your children, the list below may be helpful.  Several of the books have been shortlisted or nominated for the Cilip Kate Greenaway Awards, Smarties Book Awards or Man Booker Prize. 

‘The Bomber Day’

Megan Rix

‘Noble Conflict’

Malorie Blackman

‘Split Second’

Sophie McKensie

‘The Coldest Girl in Coldtown’

Holly Black

‘The Company of Ghosts’

Berlie Doherty

‘The Color Thief’

Gabriel Alborozo

‘We are all Completely Beside Ourselves’

Karen Joy Fowler

‘The Rooftoppers’

Katherine Rundell

‘Stay Where You Are and then Leave’

John Boyne

‘The Dog’

Joseph O’Neill

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC):

Here at North Durham Academy we have a well-stocked Learning Resource Centre that is open to all students from 8am until 4pm. The LRC has a plethora of books from a range of authors and genres; all books are free for students to loan for a specified period. The LRC is a calm and quiet environment in which students can read for pleasure before school, at break time, lunchtime or after school. In addition, students can use the LRC to complete homework, there is always a member of staff available to help students and there are ICT facilities available for students to use if this is needed to complete homework.

And finally…

We could not sign off without mentioning some of the classic novels that deserve a place on North Durham Academy’s ‘Bucket List’…

‘Wuthering Heights’ – Emily Bronte

‘A Christmas Carol’ – Charles Dickens

‘The Woman in White’ – Wilkie Collins

‘Dracula’ – Bram Stoker

‘The Great Gatsby’ – F.Scott Fitzgerald

‘Frankenstein’ – Mary Shelley