May 2023’s set of recommendations for book clubs features a distinctive book pile of fun, excitement, positivity, empowerment, and young adult rom-com. May 2023’s picks include titles by Richard Scarry, Linda Newbery, Catherine Ard, Matthew Hodson, Nona Willis Aronowitz & Caribay Marquina Caribay, Lex Croucher, William Hussey and Melissa Welliver.
May 2023 book club recommendations
Richard Scarry’s Postman Pig and His Busy Neighbours by Richard Scarry
Join Postman Pig and experience his exciting day in this hardback adventure that’s full of life, colour and enthusiasm. Packed with fun, quirky details to spot and an engrossing illustrated narrative, this classic will keep younger children gripped. A warm-hearted depiction, this story will show classes how people could and should get along together in harmony as part of a community where everyone looks out for each other.
Rubbish?: Don’t Throw It Away! by Linda Newbery & Katie Rewse
Combining a brightly illustrated narrative with a series of tips and resource ideas, children in 3+ will be inspired by the raft of creative ideas for making unwanted rubbish into castles, puppets, masks, mobiles and more. With diverse characters and accessible short chunks of dialogue, this hardback is perfect to read and share in EYFS settings or at home. Packed with imaginative and meaningful upcycling fun, ‘Rubbish?: Don’t Throw It Away!’ is a joyful antidote to waste and leftovers.
Little Explorers: Let’s Go! Hospital by Catherine Ard and Ben Whitehouse
This chunky hardback is packed with facts and exciting comic strips and information-filled graphics. 3-6-year-olds will learn about all the highly trained people who work in hospitals and what they do. Peering into different rooms, readers can explore inside. Under the flaps inquiring minds will find answers, insight and surprises! ‘Let’s Go! Hospital’ is the perfect book to share and discuss in ‘People Who Help Us’ topics. Also newly released in the series is Little Explorers: Let’s Go! Building Site. Both are highly recommended.
Forwards Always by Matthew Hodson
Incisive, clever and thought-provoking, this collection of poems is not only perfect to read aloud in KS1 and lower KS2 classes but ideal to spark questions and discussion. A goldmine for circle time, ‘Forward Always’ is highly recommended for imaginative 4-8-year-olds who like to let their minds wander. The highly accessible font and vibrant illustrations will appeal to children who otherwise find longer texts a challenge. We loved ‘Glue’, ‘Poemtry’ and ‘Wait for it’.
Growing Up Powerful: A Guide to Keeping Confident When Your Body Is Changing, Your Mind Is Racing, and the World Is … Complicated by Nona Willis Aronowitz and Caribay Marquina
Explaining exactly what it’s like to grow up in 2023 in a positive and unflinching style with accessible chunks of text and bold graphics, this impressive text for 8-14-year-olds covers mental health, body image, family dynamics, friendship issues, being positive, and achieving life goals. Comprehensive, personal and sensitively written, Growing Up Powerful is not just an invaluable book, but a friend, confidante and superpower resource for girls. Highly recommended for individual reading, book group discussion and KS2 & KS3 classroom libraries.
Gwen and Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher
A hilarious and modern LGBTQ+ historical romance with a twist. Gwen and Art – two reluctant allies – face contemporary issues in a medieval world filled with knights, princesses, and political intrigue. With a witty writing style and engaging characters, this YA debut is a must-read for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Alice Oseman. Read Melanie Dillon’s review.
Broken Hearts & Zombie Parts by William Hussey
Jesse has just one month to do the seemingly impossible – complete an epic zombie flick to get into film school and fall in love before his looks are ruined. This dialogue-driven LGBT+ romcom will leave readers gasping as well as laughing out loud. Tackling the pervasive pressures of body image and expectations among gay teens and young men, Broken Hearts & Zombie Parts by William Hussey promotes positive body acceptance, trust and reality. It’s a YA book with a big heart that will encourage teens to accept people for who they are.
My Love Life and the Apocalypse by Melissa Welliver
With all the humans asleep after an apocalypse, the cities are being looked after by robots. But some robots are almost human and when Echo finds Pandora they are both searching for answers and meaning to their lives. This exhilarating read combines humour and romance with a dark, dystopian setting, pop culture references and a sense of positivity – setting the scene for a unique and unforgettable love story. A rewarding and pacey read, it’s highly recommended for KS4 book clubs.
Themed day / social media opportunities for May 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.
- Mental health awareness week. The Mental Health Foundation has an excellent set of free resources for teachers and schools.
- #World Baking Day 2023. STEM learning has a set of useful downloads for primary schools.
- International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia #IDAHOT 2023. Stonewall offers a presentation explaining why this day is important and needed throughout the world.
- National Vegetarian Week 2023. Vegetarian For Life has a set of fun resources for the classroom.
- #RelativesDay 2023. Why not arrange some intergenerational shared reading with picture books or favourite classics?
- #ThankATeacherDay – thank your teachers, especially the ones who recommend great books! There are some great ideas to help show your appreciation here.
- World Cushion Plumping Day held annually on May 5th celebrates and promotes well-being, mindfulness, self-worth and taking time out to take care of yourself.
- Have a look at our writing competitions for May 2023.
Other recently released titles to have a look at:
- Our latest May 2023 books of the month.
- Our rundown of the best books coming out in summer 2023.
- Our May 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.