Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Tag: LeytonStories

Street Heroes by Joe Layburn

jl2This is a book with real energy.

The story is about a real big issue…. set in the streets of East London where different communities live and work together. But for one boy, whose father is deeply involved with a fascist group, life is hard. His friends are what really matters to him and yet he can’t seem to change his father’s attitude.

He hears a voice from his friend, Fatima, in his head, helping him, like a voice of reason when life gets tough, and tough it certainly gets. Especially when the street is filled with an intimidating march led by his father to drive non whites from their homes.

Fatima and her friends make a stand to stop the march.
Where will Georgie be? Whose side will he be on?

‘For a second I could hear cries of anger and confusion from some of the Fascists close by him. They were soon drowned out by an enormous cheer from behind me…….. But soon, like a receding tide, they all began trudging back the way they had come.’

Joe Layburn at his best, and with a flair for excellent story writing and dialogue that all children will relate to.

Street Heroes is a new publication from Frances Lincoln. This book deserves to be read by children and adults alike.

Joe had joined us at one of our City Stories events called Leyton Stories – a great success.

Ifeoma Onyefulu

ifeomamainpicIfeoma Onyefulu is more than just a children’s writer. Her books show the colour and vibrance of Africa just as it is, a wealth of culture and life that produce riches all of their own.

The books are made using high quality photographs which Ifeoma has taken on her travels across the continent. She has a real flair for spotting the things that make life meaningful and for some beautiful images of people and children. If anyone can make you smile Ifeoma can.

She has recently won the Children’s Africana Book Award (in the USA) for her book called Ikenna Goes to Nigeria. (Amazon link).  In November, last year she went to the ceremony in Chicago to receive her award.

A isOther titles she has written are A is for Africa, which is a complete alphabet of places in Africa. (Amazon link). The Big Book version is a brilliant book to have. We have used it in our homes for children just to look at, they love the size!  It’s also great as a coffee table book.

Then there’s Chidi Only Likes Blue. My favourite! (Amazon link). Beautiful pictures and a lovely story, but I ‘ll let you read it to find out. Other titles include, One Big Family, (Amazon link), Ebele’s Favourite, (Amazon link), plus many more, published by Frances Lincoln.

We first met Ifeoma, when she came as a writer to our author and book event, LeytonStories. Ifeo At a Children’s Centre opening, where we were holding a City Story event.  Ifeoma was famously doing some games with the children on the floor. Ed Balls,  Secretary of State for Children and Families was opening the Centre and he joined in too, as well as the head teacher.

Ifeoma is always pleased to go to schools and meet with the children and can be contacted through her web site. You can buy her books direct from Ifeoma’s web site or from the Dolphin Booksellers Amazon links. Her books will give your ideas on Africa a whole new meaning! To view the Dolphin Booksellers home page click here.

Night Flight by Michaela Morgan

T3042Stump the white horse, bedraggled and forlorn has a stump in the middle of his forehead. It takes Danni to recognise that he is more than just a horse. Amazon link.

Danni is new to this country, he has made it over here, a terrible journey, which he can only remember with pain. His family are left far behind, the ways that he knew are not a part of the world he finds himself in. In the city, there are no wide open spaces to play, no freedom to run and, it seems no places to hide.

Being picked on by the class bullies is not what Danni wants at all. But then he finds Stump or as he re-names this special horse, Moonlight.  A friend and a friend in need.

But Danni is just a bit too late….

A wonderful ending with lots of sadness and promise, but you will need to read it to find out.

A great book for children of any age from about 7-11 years.

Michaela Morgan has written lots of really good books, she writes for a number of publishers, including Frances Lincoln and Barrington Stoke.


Try ‘Respect’ also by Michaela. Amazon Link

Michaela joined us at LeytonStories at Newport Primary School in East London. We had some great workshops and terrific questions from the year 6 students.

Visit our home page at Dolphin Booksellers.  Lots of information and you can buy books too.

Dan and the Mudman

T3053The Golem of Prague, emerged through a clay model as a fierce looking giant. It gave Dan some courage when he knew he was being bullied. He had felt alone and isolated. Amazon link.

His friend, Lucy was there but even she wasn’t convinced that Dan was anything but okay when he started to tell her that his clay model could talk.

Being zapped back into the 16th century, going where
danger was beating at the door and finding just how tough he was, could only be the best thing for Dan. Hard as it was!

Jonny Zucker, author of Dan and the Mudman, has captured a real sense of what it is like to be bullied and singled out for something you can’t escape from. Amazon link.

The adventure, and links with the historical setting of the 16th century make this both an exciting read and a story which lots of children will relate to.

flPublished by Frances Lincoln the book has a band reading of 9+, but as a story it’s a great read for younger or older children.

It was recently read by 10 and 11 year olds at LeytonStories, in East London,they had some really rave reviews. Jonny was one of three authors, giving workshops and talking about books. leytonstoriesLogo2

Visit our home page at Dolphin Booksellers.co.uk

Ghostscape by Joe Layburn

ghostscapeGhostscape is the first novel of Joe Layburn. (Amazon link)

Joe works as a teacher in London’s East End, a far cry from his time as a journalist and televsion reporter. But maybe there are lots of connections between his book and what he had to report for the TV.

Ten year old Aisha is trying to make a life in London’s East End. But she had lived in Somalia and had seen war and dead bodies. Now she was just a girl in a headscarf.

But she had never seen a ghost before, well that was about to change…..

An exciting time slip novel when Aisha is transported back to the Blitz in the 1940’s.

In a world full of changes Aisha comes to rely more and more on her new ghost friend and together they work it out. But you should read the book, its really a great story.

This quotation taken from the first chapter of Ghostscape, called Bombs and Bullies, gives a little idea of the feelings the book fosters.

“Don’t let her get you down,  Aisha. You’re worth more than that.” I liked that.  He was right.  I was worth something.  I fell asleep, leaning against him, still with a smile on my face.”

Ghostscape, written by Joe Layburn and illustrated by John Williams is published by Frances Lincoln, first edition in August 2008.

Joe is a great author to have working with children and is part of a team delivering workshops directly with Year 6 children in Newport Primary School, Leyton, East London. This is part of LeytonStories, an exciting new initiative bringing children’s books direct into the community.

See Dolphinbooksellers.co.uk home page here.

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