Mrs T's English Blog

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Mrs T’s Class Reads

I am an avid reader of fiction written for children and teenagers. Since the age of about 17, I have been building up a large personal library of books which children are welcome to read and discuss with me. I am going to try to create a bibliography of books to help you choose a book that you will enjoy or even a book to use in class 🙂

These are the books that I have read with my classes over the years. We have read these chapter by chapter over school terms and school years. I have read every one from cover to cover with a group of children and they have all been enjoyed!



I am number four

  • Title: I am number four
  • Author: Pittacus Lore
  • Year Group read with: Year Six (whole class)
  • When? 2011-12
  • Why? Book week based on supernatural fiction

What did we think?

We loved it! Many of us went to read ‘The Power of Six’ including Miss Copelton, Mrs Edmonds and Miss Dennett (all year six LSAs). We had to be very mature as there were one or two swear words but we liked the story line and our favourite character was definitely Bernie Kosar! It got a bit embarrassing at times with John and Sarah though!

What next?

If you enjoyed I am number four, then try reading the rest of the series, The Lorien Legacies. You can read: The Power of Six and The Rise of Nine. There are also a few ‘Lost Files’ books to read too if you have an e-reader. These are in Mrs T’s personal library if you’d like to read them.

If you enjoyed this you’ll also like some other science fiction titles like The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. This is quite a new book about an alien invasion but it’s amazing! I loved it and can’t wait for the next installment. This is in Mrs T’s personal library if you’d like to read it.

You may also like Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. This is also a good sci-fi read about an alien invasion. This is also being made in to a film so watch out for it in a cinema near you soon!




  • Title: Stormbreaker
  • Author: Anthony Horowitz
  • Year Group read with: Year Three (whole class)
  • When? 2008-09
  • Why? Learning to write adventure and mystery stories

What did we think?

We really enjoyed this book although it was a little gruesome at times. We thought Alex was a very brave character and we liked how he found solutions to problems. The ending was amazing – we loved Alex’s entrance at the end!

What Next?

If you enjoyed Stormbreaker, then try reading the rest of the series, The Alex Rider series. Have a look at this website for information about the series:

If you like stories about spies, you may also like Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. This is a little more fantastical than Alex Riders – it has pixies and fairies – but Artemis Fowl is a cool, clever character like Alex Rider. This is in the school library and Mrs T’s personal library if you’d like to read it.

For younger children you may also enjoy Spy Dog by Andrew Cope. This is based around a dog Lara, who has the job of a spy. She gets involved in lots of dangerous  missions but is hunted by the scary Mr. Big so she has to pretend to be a normal dog – very funny and entertaining! This is in the school library and Mrs T’s personal library if you’d like to read it.




  • Title: Holes
  • Author: Louis Sachar (pronounced ‘Sacker’)
  • Year Group read with: Year Five (whole class)
  • When? 2009-10 and 2010-11
  • Why? As a whole class reader in our English lessons

What did we think?

We laughed, we cried, we loved X-Ray and Zero. We loved how this book seemed SO confusing at first and then it all came together at the end. There were lots of lessons to be learnt in this book about bullying, crime, racism and friendships so don’t read it unless you’ve got someone to talk to about the book. It can be quite upsetting at times.

What Next?

Louis Sachar is an amazing writer and we also read The boy who lost his face one year. Again, there are lots of very important moral lessons to learn in this book – it’s funny too! This is in Mrs T’s personal library if you’d like to read it.

Louis Sachar has also written Small Steps, a book that follows on from Holes. It’s good but no where near as good as Holes, in my opinion. This is in Mrs T’s personal library if you’d like to have a look for yourself.

Lastly, Louis Sachar has also written The boy in the girls’ bathroom which is a fabulous, entertaining book, again with VERY interesting lessons to learn. Mrs T is trying to get this for the school library as soon as possible!


Friend or Foe

friend or foe

  • Title: Friend or Foe
  • Author: Michael Morpurgo
  • Year Group read with: Year Six (whole class)
  • When? 2012-13
  • Why? To add to our World War II topic


What did we think?

This was a nice, short book which we were able to read in just a few weeks. We loved the characters David and Tucky and we liked discussing their friendship. It really helped us to understand what life was like for evacuees in World War II and although it was very scary at times, it could have also been a little exciting too! It made us think a lot about the war and changed some of our ideas.

What Next?

If you liked Friend or Foe then you might like some of Michael Morpurgo’s other books – he’s written LOADS! He wrote one based in World War II called The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips and is about the war through the eyes of the main character, Lily and her cat, Adolphus Tips. It’s a bit longer than Friend or Foe but just as good.

If you like stories about World War II you may also like The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Interestingly, this book is narrated by Death himself and is set in Nazi Germany and also deals with the treatment of Jews during WWII.

There’s a good graphic novel called Maus by Art Spiegelman. It is told like a comic strip and using animal characters rather than people. It is very interesting to discuss but talk to Mrs Tunnicliffe first if you’d like to read this.


Carrie’s War

carrie's war

  • Title: Carrie’s War
  • Author: Nina Bawden
  • Year Group read with: Year Six (whole class)
  • When? 2011-12 and 2012-13
  • Why? In English lessons as part of our WWII topic

What did we think?

We really enjoyed this book. We found Nick hilarious and we loved to hate Mr Evans. It helped us to learn more about WWII and what life was like for evacuees. It also helped us to learn new vocabulary and new ways to write our sentences. Nina Bawden is very good at showing us what is happening rather than telling us and we tried to recreate this in our own writing.

What Next?

This book is a classic, which means that it was published in the last decade and has stood the test of time and is enjoyed by generations of children. If you like ‘classics’ you may like to read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell or Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce.


 King of Shadows


  • Title: King of Shadows
  • Author: Susan Cooper
  • Year Group read with: Year Five (whole class)
  • When? 2010-11
  • Why? When studying the Tudor period and Shakespeare

What did we think?

We read this as part of a topic on the Tudors. It tells the story of a young actor who is due to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream with his drama group. The teenage boy, Nat (Nathan), experiences a time swap with another boy from Tudor England. This means that Nat ends up as a young actor playing the part in Midsummer Night’s Dream in Tudor England next to William Shakespeare himself! In this book, we learnt more about what life was like in Tudor England and how it was different to today. We also felt like we got to know Shakespeare and we learnt a lot of the storyline to A Midsummer Night’s Dream too!

What Next?

If you like books about Tudor times, you might like VIII by H.M Castor which is a story of Henry VIII from a young boy in to an adult. It tells of the relationship he had with his brother and his father and then later on with his wives. Henry VIII is usually remembered for his numerous wives but this book lets you get to know the man behind the crown. It also gives you some information about Tudor England too and the great number of changes that took place during this time.


Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Percy jackson

  • Title: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
  • Author: Rick Riordan
  • Year Group read with: Year Five (whole class)
  • When? 2009-10 and 2010-11
  • Why? In our topic about mythical creatures (myths and legends)

What did we think?

We loved this book so much, Mrs Tunnicliffe read it to her classes twice! We loved the three main characters Percy, Annabeth and Grover and we learnt loads about Greek myths and the mythical creatures that have come from them. Something happens in every chapter so it’s really interesting to read. We watched the film after reading the book but the book was soooo much better!

What Next?

This book is the beginning of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series so you can carry on reading the rest of them! Mrs Tunnicliffe has read ALL of the books along with a few children who first read Percy Jackson with her. Check out the rest of the series here:

If you like stories about Greek Gods and Goddesses, check out Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. It’s got a little more love and romance  in it than Percy Jackson but it’s also based on children of the Greek gods. This is one of Mrs Tunnicliffe’s favourite series so chat to her about Lucas and Hector!


Grk and the Pelotti Gang


  • Title: Grk and the Pelotti Gang
  • Author: Joshua Doder
  • Year Group read with: Year Three (whole class)
  • When? 2008-09
  • Why? In our topic about rainforests and Brazil

What did we think?

We absolutely LOVED this book! We laughed out loud non-stop for minutes on end and Mrs T laughed so much she couldn’t continue reading! It’s based in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and is about a boy, Tim and his dog, Grk. They go on a trip to Brazil and end up getting caught up with the notorious Pelotti gang and end up crash landing in the Amazon rainforest. This book isn’t too long so it’s a nice, easy read and very, very entertaining!

What Next?

If you liked the adventures of Tim and Grk, there are a whole series for you to read! Some of the titles include:

  • A Dog Called Grk
  • Grk and the Gang
  • Grk and the Hot Dog Trail
  • Grk: Operation Tortoise
  • Grk Smells a Rat
  • Grk Takes Revenge
  • Grk Down Under
  • Grk and the Phoney Macaroni

Mrs Tunnicliffe has some of these in her personal library. Talk to her if you’d like to read one.


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About Me

 I am Mrs Tunnicliffe and I am a teacher at Riders Junior School. I trained to be a teacher for four years at the University of Brighton and  have been teaching at Riders since September 2007. During the six years I have been at Riders, I have taught in year 3, year 5 and year 6 so I’ve been teaching/training to teach for 10 years now!

I work across Riders Infant and Junior School as an English leader (among other things). This means that I work hard to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening of children at Riders Infant and Junior School. I work with the children, teachers and support staff in both schools to make sure that children are getting better at English every day.

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question and I will be more than happy to help!

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