Here at Scottish Book Trust, we know how important teachers and learning professionals are to helping children and young people develop a love of reading. That's why we've launched #ChildrensBookChat, a regular Twitter chat to share recomendations for school aged children and help get books in readers' hands. There are so many exciting new books out there, it is hard to know which books are worth your time. #ChildrensBookChat will help you stay up to date with new releases in a quick and easy way.
Twice a term we will be sharing new books with you, and ideas for sharing the books with your pupils. You can join by following @ScottishBkTrust on Twitter(this will open in a new window), and using the hashtag #ChildrensBookChat. We'll be tweeting short videos about books we've read and loved, sharing links to resources and ideas you can use in the classroom, and giving away copies of the books featured.
The first #ChildrensBookChat took place on 25 February at 4.30pm. We shared recommendations for reluctant readers and talked about digital literacy and diverse representation.
Join in with #ChildrensBookChat
Meet the experts
#ChildrensBookChat is run by Hannah Sycamore and Sarah Mallon. They work on Scottish Book Trust programmes such as Authors Live, First Minister's Reading Challenge and Read, Write, Count, working closely with teachers and creating learning resources to bring books to life in the classroom. Both Hannah and Sarah also review children's books for The Scotsman, so they are always up to date on the latest books for children and teenagers.
The research behind #ChildrensBookChat
Reading for pleasure can have a tangible impact on closing the attainment gap, as shown by research by Professor Sue Ellis(this will open in a new window). Teachers need a wide and varied knowledge of children’s books to be able to support their pupils and allow them to access the benefits for attainment, wellbeing, enjoyment and a host of other outcomes. We also know that teachers have a lot on their plate and many demands on their time. Keeping up to date with what is new in children’s literature can be a real challenge, and we hope that #ChildrensBookChat will help teachers feel more confident reading and recommending new releases in class.
Recent research(this will open in a new window) from The Open University’s Reading Rich Pedagogies programme(this will open in a new window) has shown that teacher knowledge of contemporary children’s books is very important to young people’s reading lives and fostering reading for pleasure. Using contemporary books in the classroom allows the children to see themselves on the page and to read about a wide variety of experiences.
Our experience at Scottish Book Trust of sharing contemporary books with children also highlights their unique benefits and ability to ring true to the experiences of today’s young people. When sharing Look Up by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola with primary schools recently, the children noticed the older brother’s tendency to be on his phone ignoring his younger sister. This was an experience that many recognised from within their own families, and it prompted a lot of discussion.