Top Texts for November 2021

Tom Brassington has selected three of his favourite choice of texts this month.

The Haunting of Aveline Jones

by Phil Hickes

It’s almost Halloween, and Aveline Jones is stranded with her aunt in a small coastal village. As she seeks to distract herself from her cold, bossy aunt, she stumbles upon some ghost stories in a local bookshop… stories that prove Malmouth has secrets of its own.

This is a great UKS2 page-turner, which will frighten and amuse those who love the horror/mystery genres. Aveline is a rich protagonist and the writing offers plenty to explore and discuss.

Escape: One Day We Had to Run

by Ming & Wah and illustrated by Carmen Vela

Using 12 action verbs, this book introduces us to groups of refugees and individuals who were left with no choice but to escape their own country.

Spanning both the geography and history of our planet, this book is a compelling look at refugeeism and its history. Its stories are charted on a map and timeline and each one offers new insight for young readers. This would be a book I’d relish sharing with KS2 and KS3 students, again another book rife with talking points.

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners

by Joanna Ho and Illustrated by Dung Ho

I adore a poetic picture book and they don’t come much more captivating and lyrical than this stunner. It’s a magical celebration of diversity that mirrors a similar message to that of Hair Love by Matthew A Cherry (another great modern picture book worth exploring!).

Buy this for your classroom and let children get lost in its beauty!

Tom Brassington

About this month's reviewer

Tom Brassington is a primary school teacher from Staffordshire. Tom is a keen lover of children’s literature and has recently written and crowdfunded his own children’s picturebook with his brother. To find out more about Bottled book, visit: or you can find Tom on Twitter at @Brassoteach.