March 2023’s set of recommendations for book clubs features an engrossing pile of enchanting fiction with strange characters, contemporary YA drama, a flamboyant feline, an eye-catching 3D pop-up extravaganza and an interactive wordplay book for toddlers featuring an unforgettable bare bear butt. March 2023’s picks include titles by John Kane, Julia Patton, Kazumi Yumoto and Komako Sakaim, Dean Lomax and Mike Love, Ruth Lauren, Stephanie Sorrell, Tia Fisher and Christine Pillainayagam.
March 2023 book club recommendations
I say Oh, You say No by John Kane
The third in a series, this clever call-and-response story will make nursery storytimes come alive. The disco colours, funky typography and eleven mentions of the word ‘butt’ will make this wildly fun and interactive picture book a hit with EYFS classes and younger children.
The Fixer of Broken Things by Julia Patton
Bea loves to fix things. But one day she comes up against something she cannot mend and this story follows her as she makes use of friendship, support and cooperation to resolve a problem. With fascinating detailed illustrations, clever typography, diverse characters and accessible text this book will inspire younger minds. The Fixer of Broken Things is an inspirational text for children who yearn to know about how things work and is highly recommended for children in EYFS and KS1.
The Bear and the Wildcat by Kazumi Yumoto and Komako Sakai
When the little bird dies, a bear is beside himself with grief at the loss of his friend in this moving picture book. Dealing with loneliness, grief and loss with great sensitivity, The Bear and the Wildcat highlights the positives of remembrance and hope. A modern classic, this is a memorable book to read and revisit. The clever and fleeting use of colour among the atmospheric monochrome illustrations is particularly impressive.
5+ year-olds | Author’s Wikipedia
Prehistoric Beasts by Dean Lomax and Mike Love
Packed with information in an accessible and engaging format, children aged 5+ won’t be able to get enough of this spectacular hardback. Behold the awe and wonder as children peer behind the flaps and unfurl a 3D prehistoric horned Elephant, a toothy shark leaping from the page, a tree-hugging sloth, a dragonfly with flapping wings, a bone-crunching alligator mid-bite and Waddle, an expert penguin related fishcatcher.
Tourmaline and the Island of Elsewhere by Ruth Lauren
When intrepid Tourmaline sets out to find her missing archaeologist mother, they stumble upon a fantasy land with talking fauna and Captain Violet’s crew of pirates. Are they all searching for the same thing? With strong and relatable female characters, a compelling plot and immersive fantasy settings, this imaginative middle-grade novel is unputdownable. The eye-catching cover – complete with a sparkling silver finish – is absolutely stunning, and will leap out from your library displays. Highly recommended.
Dandy the Highway Lion by Stephanie Sorrell
With a lustrous flowing mane and immaculately attired in a well-cut tailcoat and red cravat, Mr Dandy Paws robs people who are cruel to animals with suave panache. But in masterminding a breakout at Tower Zoo, he might have bitten off more than he can chew. With richly characterful talking animals, quirky snippets of 1920s London period history and whimsical illustrations, 9-12-year-olds will be enthralled. And, of course, Dandy deserves a sequel.
Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher
Written in verse, this gritty and visceral narrative follows teenaged Erik who juggles a difficult home life, school work, and the consequences of being groomed by and owing money to a dangerous county lines gang. Crossing the Line is a memorable story of manipulation that will be useful to read and discuss alongside anti-exploitation resources in PSHE and book clubs. Highly recommended.
Ellie Pillai is (Almost) in Love by Christine Pillainayagam
This light-hearted yet heartbreaking teen rom-com blends idealised young love with the confusing truths of reality and teases the reader into wondering if love, and all it entails, is really worth it. The use of QR codes to create an instant smartphone soundtrack is an interesting and innovative touch.
Themed day / social media opportunities for March 2023
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.
- March is Women’s History Month. BBC Teach has a great range of free resources for schools including videos and activities.
- March 3rd is World Book Day. The World Book Day website has lots of ideas for teachers and schools, and we have a page with lots of World Book Day costumes and activities.
- British Science Week is a 10-day celebration of science and STEM that takes place in the middle of March. There are lots of free downloadable activity packs for both primary and secondary educators on the organisation’s website.
- March 16th is Young Carers Action Day – the Care Trust has a range of toolkits for schools and educators.
- March 21st is World Poetry Day. Unesco has more information about this international celebration.
- The third week of March is Neurodiversity Celebration Week. Here’s a comprehensive and diverse range of resources for teachers.
- March 20th is World Storytelling Day. OUP has published a useful set of free resources for primary schools on their blog.
- March 25th is Wear a Hat Day. To highlight brain tumour research, schools are encouraged to fundraise by wearing a hat at school.
- March 25th is Tolkien Reading Day. #TolkienReadingDay Combine it with World Hat Day and dress up as Gandalf. The Tolkien Society has lots of ideas.
- March 27th is World Theatre Day. Break a … no don’t – call everyone ‘luvvie’ instead – much better for health and safety.
- March 27th is Earth Hour Day #EarthHour. Find out how to take part.
- March 30th is national Bellybutton appreciation day which encourages everyone to stop for a moment, clear their minds of all worries and anxieties and consider their navel(s).
- March 31st is Transgender Day of Visibility #TDOV. There’s more information and printable resources on the LBGT foundation website.
- Have a look at our writing competitions for March 2023.
Other recently released titles to have a look at:
- Our latest March 2023 books of the month.
- Our rundown of the best books coming out in spring 2023.
- Our March 2023 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.