August 2022’s set of recommendations for book clubs features eight titles with a call to action for protecting whales, a larger than life cartoon adventure, a daring campaign to save a school library, a cracking poetry collection and a stunning middle-grade sea faring adventure. August 2022’s picks include titles by Dougie Poynter, Tom Ellen, Anna James, Maz Evans, John Hegley, Judith Eagle, Lauren Wolk and Intisar Khanani.
August 2022 book club recommendations
The Whale Watchers by Dougie Poynter
In this compelling story of conservation and climate change, KS2 readers will learn about the importance of protecting whales. This book stands out for several reasons. The highly legible and accessible typeface and clever emphasis of key phrases make for easier reading, particularly for those who struggle with longer texts, and the frequent use of illustrations helps to break the text into shorter blocks. We particularly liked the non-fiction section after the story, featuring autobiographies of real whale watchers, the science section that explains the impact of plastics and climate change, and the career advice for children interested in protecting the environment.
The Cartoons That Saved The World by Tom Ellen
The sequel to “The Cartoons That Came To Life”, doesn’t disappoint as Finn and Isha are thrust into the toon world and need help to find their way out again, in this story where the marker really is magic. Highly recommended for less confident readers and graphic novel fans in KS2. Read our full review.
Hetty and the Battle of the Books by Anna James
When the headteacher decides to close the school library, booklover Hetty just isn’t having it. But can she bring together friends past and present to rise up, raise money, and save her favourite place? This charmingly light-hearted, yet emotive, chapter book that celebrates libraries is perfect for guided reading in KS2. We think it will also inspire less confident readers to want to explore the bookshelves.
VI Spy The Girl With The Golden Gran by Maz Evans
The VI series ends on a high note with this riotous quest into space to save the world and her seriously ill gran. Packed with 80s film references, laugh-out-loud moments and a deft plotline that includes family life during divorce, The Girl With the Golden Gran is a great read-aloud. With masterful cliffhangers, rocket-paced dialogue and plenty of plot twists, this story will keep readers gripped until the end. It’s unbearably good fun for children in KS2.
I Am A Poetato by John Hegley
This larger format illustrated collection features rhyming poems, shape poems, narrative poems, cartoon poems, acrostics and conversation poems – all about people, pets and other creatures. We particularly liked “Differences Between Dogs and Deckchairs”, “Isabella’s Complaint” and “Roo the Day”. Engaging typography, quirky backgrounds and a scrapbook feel make this a great book for children to sit and read in book clubs, or dip into. Teachers will love the sheer variety of poems that make this an ideal resource for modelling poetry or developing an animal-themed literacy unit.
The Accidental Stowaway by Judith Eagle
The RMS Glorious seems like the perfect hiding place for young Patch to evade the police. That’s until it sets sail with her still on board. Set in Liverpool in 1910, this is a gripping and immersive adventure on the high seas. The richly drawn and empathy-inspiring characters will appeal to Year 6 teachers looking for a high-quality text to teach as a narrative literacy topic or alongside Titanic-era cross-curricular work. Highly recommended.
My Own Lightning by Lauren Wolk
When Annabelle is struck by lightning, she wakes up with a strange and inexplicable memory and unique gift – a connection to the animals around her. Cleverly woven into a mystery, the plot challenges our perceptions of trust, morality and first impressions. A tautly written and compelling middle-grade novel ‘My Own Lightning’ is perfect for 11+ readers and upper KS2 and lower KS3 book club discussions. A spectacular companion novel to the Carnegie shortlisted Wolf Hollow. Highly recommended.
A Darkness at the Door by Intisar Khanani
Feisty heroine Rae must battle corruption, slavery and betrayal in this richly woven drama blending dark magic with an epic quest for freedom, not just for Rae but for all her people. The highly anticipated sequel to The Theft of Sunlight does not disappoint. With enchanting characters and radiant descriptive prose, ‘A Darkness at the Door’ is absorbing until the final paragraph. A rewarding read for KS3 and KS4 students.
Themed day / social media opportunities for August 2022
These hashtag days might provide current and relevant talking points for secondary-aged pupils aged 13+ in KS3, KS4 and KS5, especially when linked to related literature.
- #NationalBookloversday is celebrated on August 9th and is a great excuse to buy a lot of books, organise a reading challenge, share your favourite authors on social media or arrange your paperback spines into a visible colour spectrum sequence.
- #LefthandersDay on August 13th is a great opportunity to celebrate the superpower that is left-handedness. There’s a comprehensive website devoted to everything left-handed, including activities and biographies of amazing lefthanded people.
- #NationalDogDay takes place on August 26th and there are lots of details and activity ideas on the National Dog Day website.
- PoetryBearsPicnic on 20th August is celebrated in libraries across the UK – find an event near you – and #PoetsDay is held on 21st August.
- #ToothFairy day takes place on August 22nd. The British Dental Association has a great article on the history and legend behind the tooth fairy.
- #InternationalCatDay takes place on August 8th to raise awareness for the protection of cats.
- Have a look at our writing competitions for August 2022.
Other recently released titles to have a look at:
- Our latest August 2022 books of the month.
- Our rundown of the best books coming out in summer 2022.
- Our August 2022 books of the day on Twitter.
- Our guide on how to run a school book club, which covers both primary school book clubs and secondary school book clubs.
Click the button below to buy all this month’s recommended book club titles, or class sets of any of these books, from Bookshop.org UK.