Top Texts for August 2021

Anoara Mughal selects three delightful Upper KS2 Novels

How I Saved the World in a Week

by Polly Ho-Yen and Illustrated by George Ermos

From the author of Boy in the Tower, comes another fantastic read! How I Saved the World in a Week is a timely adventure of hope and courage.

Trust no one, rely on yourself and never give up…

Billy’s mum is a little different and thinks that Billy needs to be taught survival skills such as: how to build a shelter, how to find food and how to make fire. However, one day her skill-building lessons go a bit too far and Billy is sent away to live with his father, whom he hardly knows. He begins to settle into his new environment and starts teaching his new found friend Anwar skills from how to use a heliograph and to how to make a snare trap.

Suddenly, the world is thrown into chaos as a mysterious virus sweeps across the city. It is only then that Billy realises that all this time his mum has been preparing him for what is to come- to save the whole world!

This book is a compelling page-turner with the themes of resilience, family, hope and survival.

The Astonishing Future of Alex Nobody

by Kate Gilby Smith

A truly unique and engaging read, this time-travelling adventure story of friendship and courage is set to be revisited time and time again.

Algebra-loving Alex is an inquisitive and feisty character struggling to fit into school just like her uncle who struggles to fit in the norm. Little does she realise that she will be famous in the future and meet many historical figures from the past.  Alex’s life has been far from ordinary; crowds surrounded the hospital on the day she was born; people spied on her on her first day at school and then hordes of people came to watch her in the school play, as she played the part of a llama!

Suddenly, a mysterious boy named Jasper starts school but disappears into the future before Alex can find out the truth.

Can Alex muster all her courage to travel to the future to find out what has happened to her friend in order to resolve the truth of her own destiny before time runs out?


by Thomas Taylor

This is a fast-paced novel with all the ingredients of a fantastic read! With its clever play on words, subtle humour and quirky characters, the illustrations capture the feel of this fantastical, energetic mystery bringing the book to life.

Set in present time, together with the map at the front of the book and the descriptive language, it creates the illusion that it is a narrative set in the past and draws the reader in straight away.

In the remote seaside town of Eerie-on-Sea, Violet Parma stumbles through the lost and found department of the Nautilus Hotel, where she meets Herbert Lemon and they both get caught up solving the mystery of the disappearance of Violet’s parents twelve years ago.

No one knows what happened on the night Violet’s parents vanished but there are rumours that their disappearance might be something to do with the vicious sea-monster: the Malamander!

Anoara Mughal image 2

About this month's reviewer

Anoara Mughal is an Assistant head teacher and Year 6 teacher, in a primary school in East London. A skilled practitioner, Anoara has lead on many areas of school leadership and has led English across three schools. She is passionate about reading, language acquisition and closing the disadvantage gap.

Anoara is a former writing moderator and has created two school libraries. She is a founding member of the Chartered College of Teaching, is a network leader @WomenEdLondon and serves on the steering group @HealthyToolkit.

She is the author of Think!: Metacognition-powered primary teaching due for publication on 9th October 2021. You can follow her @anoara_a and @IMetacognition.