September 2022’s set of recommendations for book clubs features eight titles including the inspiring life journey of an acorn, a fun yet thought-provoking allegory about fat cats, a rich collection of stories about kindness, an empathetic story about the life of a Showman, a spectacular story of stitching and magic, a Halloween ready horror mystery for KS3 and a highly imaginative adventure about saving the human race.
September 2022’s picks include titles by Elena Mannion, Donna Barba Higuera, Katie Sahota, James Nicol, Deborah Chancellor, Elizabeth Laird, Kory Merrit and Richard O’Neill.
September 2022 book club recommendations
Old Oak and Little Acorn by Elena Mannion, illustrated by Erin Brown
Little Acorn clings to Old Oak, not wanting to leave the tree he thinks of as his father. But one day a gust of wind carries Little Acorn into a new world of squirrels, hedgerows, moles, new life and the future of the countryside. Old Oak and Little Acorn is a beautiful picture book to read to EYFS, or for KS1 children to tackle independently. A large format hardback with evocative double-page illustrations by Erin Brown, it’s a great resource to read and discuss in forest schools and outdoor classrooms. A wonderful companion story to ‘The Happy Hedgerow’.
Granny Pip grows fruit by Deborah Chancellor and Julia Groves
Readers are treated to a little girl’s awe and wonder planting, feeding and harvesting food to eat with her green-fingered grandma in this charming and informative picture book. With bright and exciting illustrations, each spread informs and advises children about how to grow and look after a garden. A worthwhile resource for EYFS and KS1 non-fiction libraries and classrooms. There are free teaching resources available on the publisher’s website.
The Cats Who Wanted More by Katie Sahota and Naomi Tipping
When a group of cats hatch a plan to hoard all the food when the humans are inside at home, they didn’t anticipate a rodent revolt. Rats and mice join forces to take down the lying fat cats in this refreshingly satisfying and loosely veiled allegory. A fun story to read to children in EYFS and KS1, this is also an interesting text to analyse and discuss themes of panic buying, hoarding, greed and manipulation with older children in KS2 and KS3 P4C lessons. Highly recommended.
Stories of Peace and Kindness For a Better World by Elizabeth Laird
This diverse collection of folk tales, including traditional stories from Ethiopia, China and Afghanistan is also ideal to use as a resource for primary school assembly storytelling or reading to whole classes in KS2 PSHE. With enchanting illustrations by Mehrdokht Amini and lyrical text by Elizabeth Laird, Stories of Peace and Kindness is a wonderful storybook proponent of the maxim “be kind”.
The Show Must Go On by Richard O’Neill
Follow Mary Ann and her adventures in this engaging and thought-provoking first-person story about living in a family of travelling Showmen. A useful book to read with KS2 groups, the diary-style format will stimulate discussion about travelling communities, and help students empathise with diverse traditions and the history of Showmen during World Funfairs Month in September.
The Spell Tailors by James Nicol
Hen wants to follow his Nana and become a traditional spell tailor. But his dreams are threatened by machines, factories and a downturn – until Hen discovers an incredibly powerful and dangerous magic stitch. Eyecatching and presented as an alluring flapped paperback with glowing metallic titling, ‘The Spell Tailors’ is an extraordinary and inventive middle-grade fantasy novel. Children will never look at sewing stitches the same way again. A cracking mystery story, we highly recommend this for readers in KS2.
The Last Storyteller by Donna Barba Higuera
Petra awakes after hundreds of years to find herself on a distant planet, one of the few emigrant survivors from the long ago doomed planet Earth. She is also the only person to remember stories of their past world, and the only person who can tell them. A sweeping and epic vista of a novel that blends history, science, traditional Mexican tales and philosophy, this middle-grade novel is a tour de force for 9-12-year-olds. The thought-provoking premise will fire children’s imaginations and is a perfect starting point for book club discussions. And for English teachers, if you need a good example of a novel first-person narrated in the present tense, this is a compelling choice.
No Place For Monsters by Kory Merritt
When the children of suburban Cowslip Grove begin to disappear, Levi and Kat are the only people who remember them. And they are determined to find out why in this totally engrossing, and deliciously creepy mystery with a pervasive and lingering sensation of nearby evil. The trials and tribulations of middle-grade relationships, clashes with authority, and of course, saving the world, propel this engrossing and quirky read. The dialogue-driven story and the part graphic novel combination will be a real winner with less enthusiastic readers. Read it around a dimly lit library with your next year 7 book club around Halloween!
Themed day / social media opportunities for September 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.
- September is #BackToSchoolMonth – the perfect opportunity for parents and classroom teachers to stock up on children’s books for the year ahead. Our most popular recommended book guides at the start of the school year are our lists of year 1 books, year 6 books and year 7 books.
- #WorldLetterWritingDay is held on September 1st and there are lots of ideas and sources of inspiration on the World Letter Writing Day website.
- September 15th is #OnlineLearningDay. We have a comprehensive online learning resource page with ideas and websites to support online learning.
- September 6th is #ReadABookDay and September 8th is UNESCO’s #InternationalLiteracyDay – both great opportunities to revitalise whole-school reading, set up a reading challenge or take part in a writing competition.
- Avast ye! Get your pirate books out and put on your best cod Cornish accents! It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th. Perhaps arrange a teacher-sponsored talk like a pirate for the entire school day!
- International Podcast Day is held on September 30th. Listen to our children’s literature podcast which features new bookpost reviews and previews, ‘blast from the past’ author features, current themes in literacy and English teaching and much more.
- And finally, September is #NationalSewingMonth – ideal for kick-starting an extracurricular needlework club and reading The Spell Tailors by James Nicol with your KS2 class.
- Have a look at our writing competitions for September 2022.
Other recently released titles to have a look at:
- Our latest September 2022 books of the month.
- Our rundown of the best books coming out in autumn 2022.
- Our September 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.