Too Much Trouble – by Tom Avery

Unspoken menace stalks almost every chapter of this book. A modern day version of Oliver Twist, it tells the story of brothers Emmanuel and Prince Anatole and deals with the very contemporary issues of child immigration, gun crime and street survival. The brothers find their secure lives suddenly dislocated when violence threatens their African homeland.

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Titanic: A Very Peculiar History, with added iceberg – Jim Pipe, illustrated by David Antram

Prepare for an information explosion with every turn of the page when you read Titanic, A Very Peculiar History. If you like facts, lots of facts, then this is definitely a book for you. The story of the Titanic from planning to building to sinking is told in narrative form. Interspersed text boxes provide information about everything from the design and construction of the ship to the vast quantities of food which were taken on board, the animals who travelled and those few lucky people who missed the boat and so lived to tell the tale.
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Teaching Early Reading and Phonics: Creative Approaches to Early Literacy – Kathy Goouch and Andrew Lambirth

This book is not for the faint-hearted.  It is not a manual.  It will not tell you how to teach phonics.  Firmly rooted in socio-constructivist beliefs and values, it argues passionately for a ‘whole language – whole child’ approach to the teaching of reading.  Every page is permeated with the authors’ holistic learning philosophy, underpinned by a practical understanding of the need to translate philosophy into secure pedagogy.  And this is where the challenge lies for the reader – a significant challenge if you genuinely believe in the current political one dimensional, reductionist view of synthetic phonics.
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Talking Beyond the Page ed. Janet Evans

Written in three accessible sections, this book is a series of chapters examining multimodal texts and their place in contemporary primary education. The chapters, which reflect the specialisms of some of the world’s leading researchers, combine to present a powerful, persuasive case for teaching visual literacy to all children, regardless of their ability to decode and understand the linear format of written text.

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Teaching Media in Primary Schools – ed. Cary Bazalgette

All Primary teachers, English managers, advisors and consultants should read this book.  Written in short, accessible chapters, it presents clearly the vital role of media studies in 21st century education.  Rooted in best practice, a range of practitioner researchers, advisors and experienced media teachers present a compelling case for media education not just as an ‘add on’ to current literacy teaching, but as an integral part of language and communication in its own right.

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Using Talk to Support Writing – by Ros Fisher, Debra Myhill, Susan Jones and Shirley Larkin

This book represents a new departure in education literature by its demonstration of a powerful partnership between theory and practice in early writing. It is an outcome of the ‘Talk to Text’ action research project centred on the University of Exeter and led by the co-authors. Its uniqueness rests not only in the effective collaboration between professional researchers and teachers, but also in the inspiring way that this collaboration is portrayed.

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Language and Literacy in the Early Years – by Marian Whitehead

This fourth edition of Whitehead’s book updates both research on early language development and best practice in Early Years settings.  Regular summary boxes encourage reflection and simplify the location of strategic points, whilst key arguments are amply supported with examples from professional practice.  It also demonstrates the range of skills that young children possess for handling language interactions in social settings and their intentionality in speaking, mark making and communicating.

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