Reading with meaning

What sort of books do your children read?

Are they into a particular author? Or type of book perhaps?

My children enjoy a range of different books and they are also good critics. It is very easy to tell how good they consider a book to be by how engaged they are. For example, with the big kids, if it is a really good book then it will stay beside their bed ready for the next night. If they are not so keen, it gets returned to the bookshelf quickly. If it is a book that they are reading alone and enjoying, they are keen to tell me what has happened and also what they think might happen next.

The books that spark the most discussion are those that have a moral to the tale or strong themes. The Special Susie books do just that. Susie is an eight year old school girl who is assertive, feisty, inquisitive and resourceful – sounds much like my daughter! She always wears a ribbon in her hair, and whenever she’s pondering the solution to a problem, she instinctively plays with the ribbon. According to one of the children, Susie playing with her ribbon to think is like when a grown up scratches their head when they are thinking or pondering something.

Special Susie is very interested in solving mysteries. These charming books make a great bedtime read from four upwards but these are perfect for independent readers from around seven years old. These make a a great addition to a bookshelf at home but would be superb in classrooms as well.

Our big kids love a good mystery, so one of these books with a torch under the covers is perfect.


There are currently two books available in the series but more will soon be following, so keep you eyes peeled.

The background to the series is quite something. The author Stephen A. Adams lost his wife to cancer and has written the books in her memory. They are inspired by the tales she told him about her childhood, which means he is able to keep her memory alive through the books.

These are superb books for children who love to ask questions, they are engaging and charming tales with strong messages about being kind and thoughtful.

In an age where television, tablets and smartphones are everywhere, we should encourage our children to read stories like these by torchlight and be lost in the words of the author for a while.

What do your children like to read?

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