Top Texts for July 2023

Rebecca Kennedy has chosen a delightful mix of texts for July

The Song Walker

by Zillah Bethell

The Song Walker is a beautiful and moving tale. It deals with themes of identity, discrimination, culture, loss and friendship. When we meet the narrator, she is confused and alone, lost in the Australian Outback, with no idea who or where she is. She is saved by Tarni, a First Country girl. Tarni is resourceful, confident and kind. But over the course of their journey together, we learn that she too is vulnerable. Through flashes of memory, our narrator learns about her life, revealing uncomfortable truths. Truths she keeps hidden from Tarni. As the children journey across the Northern Territory together, they encounter many dangers, and their secrets unfold for the reader and characters at the same time.  I loved every sentence of this novel for upper key stage 2 children!


by Helen Scales & Illustrated by Rômolo D’Hipólito 

In this engaging and vibrant non-fiction book, we join a team of scientists on a research ship and follow their expedition to study and survey the wildlife of the Galapagos on land and in the sea.  Each double page provides the reader with a variety of fascinating information about different aspects of these incredible faraway islands and their surrounding seas and is presented differently.  Scientists in the Wild Galapagos is a book for young conservationists, budding travellers, geographers and naturalists.  It is a rich and informative book suitable for upper key stage 2.

The Big Amazing Poetry Book

by Gaby Morgan & Illustrated by Chris Riddell

In the foreword of The Big Amazing Poetry Book, Roger McGough describes the anthology as an Annualogy because it contains 7 poems (one for each day of the week) by 52 poets (one for each day of the year).  He also warns the reader: ‘The danger of entering this maze of poetry is that you may enjoy yourself so much that you decide to stay where you are and never come out!’  He has a point! This collection contains quirky, thought-provoking, fun and wise poems by a wide array of children’s poets.  It is a book to dip into and return to, to share and to get lost in.  Chris Riddell’s distinctive, detailed drawings accompany the poems and I love it!

Rebecca Kennedy

About this month's reviewer

Rebecca Kennedy is an independent English consultant with a range of experience teaching and supporting primary schools across the sector.  Rebecca works closely with subject leaders through different networks.  She writes reviews of children’s books for Just Imagine and was previously part of the Open University Reading for Pleasure team, working as an associate consultant.

Passionate about children’s literature, Rebecca’s pile of new books never seems to decrease!