International World Book Day - 3 weeks to go!

International World Book Day - 3 weeks to go!
World Book Day

With three weeks to go to World Book Day, 🌏📚here we are again with our reading recommendations for this week. We want to share some more recommendations from Matt Dickinson with you, as well as some top choices from Dr. Maria Osowiecki and Mr. Rob George.

Here is Matt Dickinson, explorer and writer, with the second of three videos recommending some more reads:



  • Matts WBD picks 3 weeks to goMalorie Blackman, 'Blueblood'
  • S.F. Said, 'Varjack Paw'
  • Mark Haddon, 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time'
  • Sita Brahmachari, 'Kite Spirit'
  • Sarah Crossan, 'Apple and Rain'
  • Matt Dickinson, 'The Death Zone: Climbing Everest through the Killer Storm'


Dr. Maria Osowiecki and Mr. Rob George are here to share some suggested reading with you all:

Lord of the Rings cover

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (1954-55)

Genre - Fantasy Fiction

"There are some books that you remember reading for the rest of your life - you can even remember where you were when you read it. The Lord of the Rings is that book for me, or rather it is three books in one: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Writing in the years following World War II as the world was still spinning on its axis, Tolkien creates a whole new world with its own peoples, languages, mythology and histories. Set against the background of Middle Earth, Frodo Baggins begins an epic journey to destroy Sauron’s ‘one ring to rule them all’ and, in the process, save Middle Earth from darkness. Frodo’s journey is an internal one as well as a physical one as he battles the ring’s influence over him and travels across many lands, finding unlikely allies along the way. In my humble opinion, this is a book that everyone should read at least once in their lives."

Dr. Maria Osowiecki


October, October book cover

October, October by Katya Balen (2021)

Shortlisted for The Yoto Carnegie Medal 2022

Genre - Realistic Fiction

"This is a great read for KS3 students. An eleven-year-old girl's world is turned upside-down when she has to go and live with her mother in the city after her father, with whom she lives in the woods, is seriously injured in an accident. Wonderfully warm and lyrical, with vivid and imaginative characters and an unusual story with universal themes. Great for promoting discussion on the value of nature to well-being. This is a real treasure of a book, I love it!"

Mr. Rob George

When Christ and his Saints slept boo cover

When Christ and his Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman (1994)

Genre - Historical Fiction

“Sharon Penman is a fantastic author - she picks up history and creates a window into other times and places, through which we get swept up into the turmoil and drama of lives once lived. When Christ and His Saints Slept is my personal favourite of her many excellent historical novels. It is set amidst the ashes of 1135 and the death of Henry I in England. As church bells tolled for the death of England's King Henry I, his barons faced the unwelcome prospect of being ruled by a woman: Henry's sole surviving daughter Matilda, Countess of Anjou. Before Matilda could claim her throne, her cousin Stephen seized it. In their long and bitter struggle, all of England bled and burned in a civil war that waged for 20 years. This is a riveting read in which pivotal historical characters are brought to life - Eleanor of Aquitaine, Empress Matilda, Henry II and more. Welcome to the drama of the past!”

Dr. Maria Osowiecki

Guard your Heart book cover

Guard your Heart by Sue Divin (2021)

Shortlisted for The Yoto Carnegie Medal 2022

Genre - Romance & Relationships Fiction

"This is a great read for KS4/5 students. Set in Londonderry, Ireland in the summer of 2016. Aidan and Iona, now eighteen, fall in love, but can their love survive their very different backgrounds? Compelling 'opposite side of the tracks' love story, with two believable protagonists. Some knowledge of the political context of Northern Ireland helps, but isn't essential. First person narrative from both points of view works well. Very good."

Mr. Rob George

Follow this link for a video from author Sue Divin talking about her text.

Sarum book cover

Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd (1997)

Genre - Historical Fiction

"Rutherfurd writes extraordinary historical fiction - expansive sagas across huge periods of time. He takes a single place and uses a mixture of creative storytelling and historical detail to walk from one generation to the next. Sarum was the first of Rutherfurd’s books that I read and it has left a lasting impression on me. Beginning in pre-historic times when Britain was still attached to Europe by a land bridge, Sarum follows the interweaving stories of five families living in the ancient town of Old Sarum - the now ruined and deserted original site of Salisbury in Wiltshire. The stories of the Wilson, Mason, Porteus, Shockley and Godfrey families reflect the changing character of Britain - each chapter is the story of a new generation. As their fates and fortunes intertwine over the course of the centuries, their greater destinies offer a fascinating glimpse into the drama, tragedy and joy of the past and human nature.”

Dr. Maria Osowiecki

A discovery of witches book cover

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (2011)

Genre - Historical Fantasy

“For this choice, think Twilight, but better and more sophisticated. A Discovery of Witches is the first in a trilogy which is followed by Shadow of Night (2012) and Book of Life (2014). The trilogy focuses on Diana Bishop - a descendant of a line of witches made famous by the seventeenth-century Salem witch trials. Set in the present day, the academic Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell. Harkness mixes magic, fantasy, history, mythology, romance and adventure in this gripping novel - you will whip through the trilogy in no time as it is impossible to stop once you start reading!”

Dr. Maria Osowiecki

The Crossing book cover

The Crossing by Manjeet Mann (2021)

Shortlisted for The Yoto Carnegie Medal 2022

Genre - Verse Novels /  Multicultural Fiction

"Here’s an opportunity to challenge our more sophisticated readers to dip into the realm of Verse Novels.
A teenage girl struggling with her mother's death and an Eritrean refugee find hope when fate throws them together.

Powerful & often visceral style of writing really works well with the two interweaving narratives offering unusual parallels between the characters' lives & drawing out the big issues in a harrowing, compelling way."

Mr. Rob George

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency book cover

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (1998)

Genre - Detective Fiction

“This is the first in a series of 22 novels set in Botswana (Africa) and featuring the character Mma Precious Ramotswe, who sets up a detective agency in the capital city, Gaborone, using the inheritance from her father. She buys a house and premises for her business and solves cases for her clients with her secretary Grace Makutsi and good friend, the excellent mechanic, Mr J. L. B. Matekoni. She feels a detective needs to know about people more than anything to solve problems for them. In this way, the books are all beautiful portrayals of life and relationships - they are kind and gentle and McCall Smith is so adept at creating characters you bond with as a reader. Presented with intriguing mysteries and adventures, we are taught through Mma Ramotswe how to walk through life with grace and humility, even in the face of that which is unjust. The country of Botswana is a character in and of itself, with the reader made familiar with the culture, landscape and beauty of the country.”

Dr. Maria Osowiecki

Stasiland book cover

Stasiland: stories from behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder (2002)

Genre - Historical Fiction

In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. With this momentous event, the two Germanies reunited and East Germany ceased to exist. And yet, the shadow of the wall and the experiences of those ‘Ossis’ who lived in former East Germany linger still. Stasiland is about individuals who resisted the East German regime and others who worked for its secret police, the Stasi. It tells the story of what it was like to work for the Stasi and it describes how those who did so now deal with their past. Funder, an Australian, used classified ads to reach former members of the Stasi and anti-Stasi organisations and interviewed them extensively in her research for this gripping and, at times harrowing, journey through Stasiland. As a historian and someone who has lived through the Cold War - who lived in Berlin just prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall - this book was an eye-opening read. I have taken students to the Stasi camp in Berlin and the stories of Stasiland have followed me down those corridors each time. It is a reminder to us all that history is happening all around us and we are part of it.” 

Dr. Maria Osowiecki

Check back after Easter for Matt's next video and more book recommendations!