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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Book of the Month - Lift-the-Flap Fractions and Decimals

With over 130 flaps to lift, this hardback book includes lots of information about fractions, decimals and percentages; what they are and how you can use them.
From Fractions' Pizzeria to discovering decimals with robots, children are sure to love the bright illustrations and the fun of finding out what's behind each flap.
The text is easy to follow throughout and there is even a handy Conversion Chart to highlight the differences between common fractions, decimals and percentages for readers to refer back to.
For further help and practice, children can go to the Usborne Quicklinks website and simply type in Lift-the-Flap Fractions and Decimalstoo.
This book is bound to make learning maths fun!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Now You See Me - Young Adult Book Review

So this week I'm still on a YA Mission. I've just finished reading, 'Now You See Me' by Emma Haughton. 

Once again Usborne YA fiction did not let me down. The suspense is created from the beginning and the emotions are displayed brilliantly.

We find Hannah is left with lots of questions when at the age of 12 years old, her mum dies. Then a year later, her best friend disappears. She and Danny were like family. Three years later Danny is still missing. Hannah is still very close to Danny's mum, dad & sister, Alice. She spends much of her time with them. Her father has never been the same since her mum died. He is always working and there is obvious tension between her father and Danny's parents. Every chapter in the book had me asking questions about what would happen next. What was going on with her father? What happened to Danny? Would her life make sense?

Even though the book is from Hannah's point of view, being a parent I could understand how Martha must feel. She is utterly torn apart when her son disappears. I don't think any parent could give up hope until some kind of conclusion was drawn. 

Emma has written a very dramatic thriller that is un-put-downable. I loved Hannah's character. I loved her loyalty, her ability to care for others through her unselfishness, especially when it comes to looking after Alice. Particulary when she has so many mixed emotions herself. A teenage girl - her mother sadly passed, her best friend missing and her father taking little interest in her. She has lots of unanswered questions and deals with life amazingly. But I love that she still shows her teenage tendencies too.

I also love the structure of the book; the beginning giving us a great insight into what happened. The second part is full of even more suspense. I couldn't put it down.

If you're interested in purchasing this fantastic debut novel by Emma Haughton, please see 'The Story Explorers Club Book Shop'.

Can't wait to read her next one, 'Better left Buried'.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Young Adult Fiction Giveaway

It's got to be said, I'm very impressed with Usborne's Young Adult Section. The books are aimed at 14 years + and I'm just working my way through some of their books at the moment. I would definitely say they are suitable for adults too!

In my excitement for this wonderful collection, 

I have a giveaway!  

paperback for 1 lucky reader!

The Memory Chronicles, was the first Usborne Young Adult book I read. It was a bit different to the usual type of thing I would read, a mixture of sci-fi and fantasy, but with the added element of contemporary gave it a completely different twist.

When Felicia Ward finds herself trapped between what seems to be earth and heaven, she spends endless days replaying memories and trying to understand how she ended up dead! The replaying of the memories is my favourite part. It is a great way of finding out more about Felicia without actually telling us about her character.

When she meets the guy that broke her heart, but yearns for the one she thought she left behind, her emotions run high.

The pressure is on when Felicia finds out she is the key to breaking free from Level 2.

It was interesting to read about how afterlife could be. In a way that I've never thought about it before. It was an intriguing read. I think this is a fantastic debut novel that has the thrill of the chase, addicatable characters and a plot that is full of suspense.

The second book in the series, 'Chasing Before,' is available as an ebook, and again Lenore Appelhans didn't disappoint when it came to finding out what happened next.

To enter the giveaway, simply complete the contact form on Victoria J Brown's website, advising you want to enter the prize draw. You'll also be entered into the Usborne Books £100 Monthly Prize Draw.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Our time with All Saints Primary School

Vicky had fun visiting All Saints Primary School in Thirsk in November. She held some creative writing workshops with YRs 3-6 followed by a writing competition. 
Winners were taken from each year group, they definitly used their imaginations well.

The school decided to do a sponsored write rather than a sponsored read. They all put pen to paper, taking ideas from the creative writing session and wrote their own stories. Vicky wasn't looking for the best writing, spelling, grammar etc. although those things are important, she wanted the children to use their creative skills and imagination.

Each child who participated received a certificate, each child who raised over £15 or more received a an Usborne Creative Writing Book.

The younger children participated in storytelling, joining with singing and actions throughout the sessions.

Mary Davies, YR 5/6 Teacher, English Co-ordinator & SENCO

of ‘All Saints Roman Catholic Primary School, Thirsk’ says
‘This was a great opportunity to develop my pupils’ English skills in a fun and exciting way. The children were really enthusiastic about the competition element of the story writing, but learned some important new skills through Vicky’s input in school. Furthermore, the whole school were thrilled with the fantastic selection of new books we acquired for our library through the sponsorship!! Thank you Vicky!’ 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Our time with The Village Primary School

In October, Vicky enjoyed a day with The Village Primary School, Thornaby. She spent time with some pupils from Years 3 - 6 working together on some creative writing. She also enjoyed time with the younger children with some magical storytelling.

The school had decided to take part in an Usborne Sponsored Read, where they raised an amazing £740 and due to the huge 60% on top they received from Usborne Books, the school had over £1000 to spend on books!

Claire Park, The Deputy Headteacher says: 
'The sponsored read really helped to promote reading further in school and reinforced the importance of reading at home for pleasure. The children loved receiving recognition for participating, in our school assembly. Groups of children from across school were also really inspired to write stories in the workshop led by Vicky. This is a fantastic project and our school would welcome the opportunity to participate in future events.'

Here's a few photos from some delightful children when their new books arrived!

If you're interested in helping your school receive more books, 
please contact Vicky at

Monday, 18 January 2016

Free Books for Schools

Ready, Steady…READ! is Usborne’s simple sponsored reading challenge that helps to promote literacy in the classroom, introduce the importance of reading at home to parents AND get FREE BOOKS for school. 

Even if your children are in the younger classes they can still participate with the 
Ready, Teddy, Listen

The more your pupils read, the more money will be raised to buy books for your library and classroom, and the more FREE BOOKS your school will earn.

Free Usborne Books

The money raised is used to purchase Usborne books for your school. On top of this, you can earn up to 60% in EXTRA FREE BOOKS:

Raise £100 or more            You get 10% extra in free books
Raise £250 or more            You get 30% extra in free books
Raise £600 or more            You get 60% extra in free books
That’s an extra £360 in free books for every £600 raised!

That means £600 in sales would get you £960 in free books!

How Ready, Steady… Read! Works

Children are sponsored to read as much as they can in a given time.

Whether it’s in school time, at home, during the school holidays or in a 24 hour race, children of all ages can spend any amount of time reading to raise funds for books.

They can read books, comics, magazines, newspapers, menus, recipes, poems, leaflets, instructions – anything with words.

 The money raised can be used in a variety of ways – the choice is yours:

·         Books for the school
·         Books for each child and the school
·         Books for each class
·         Books for the school and a charity
·         Books for prizes

Contact Vicky at 
if you're interested in your school participating.

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Story Explorers Club

The Story Explorers Club has been designed for babies, children and young adults (aged 14+ yrs) to explore stories that they love.

You can like our page on facebooktwitter  and pintrest.

Why follow The Story Explorers:

*It's free
* See when there are special offers on Usborne Books
* Book reviews on children's books of all ages
* Join in the adventures with Molly and Max, your child can vote on what they will explore next

Why join the The Story Explorers:

* It's only £10 per month, per child.
* They receive a book in the post every month with a newsletter
* They can enter competitions and see special offers that are not available to non-members

Email: if you would like further information.

Happy Reading