September feels like the month of new beginnings, it’s a back to school, back to life, back to reality month. The summer is over and it’s time to get serious! This month our book choices are super serious, we are obsessed with the ramifications of AI, Alternate Eighties and Annihilation! But we always make time to think about our mums!
It’s game over for the Summer Reading Challenge – this year over 5000 children took part. If your child hasn’t collected their prizes yet there is still time – just pop in to your local library.
If you wanted your child to receive their certificate in school, then log in to their library account and fill in the details.
We are gearing up for Libraries Week – an annual showcase and celebration of the best that the nation’s much-loved libraries have to offer. To celebrate, we have the fabulous Mama G panto dame, telling stories to children and families about being who you want, and loving who you are, Wendy Shearer’s African folktales, writing workshops, poetry events and eDevice lessons.
Top Fiction: Machines like me by Ian McEwan
chosen by Claudia
What makes us humans? Our outward deeds or inner lives? These are the big questions McEwan is pondering in his latest novel, set in an alternative 1980s London, in which Britain has lost the Falklands War and Alan Turing is still alive and achieving a breakthrough in Artificial Intelligence.
Lazy day-trader Charlie is in love with his upstairs neighbour Miranda, a bright student with a dark secret. When Charlie inherits a sum of money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. As the two work on designing Adam’s personality, a love triangle begins to form.
A provocative and intriguing tale, for fans of Klara and the sun by Kazuo Ishiguro and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Top Non-Fiction: Mother : a memoir by Nicholas Royle
chosen by Nicola
Royle’s mother, Kathleen, had Alzheimer’s and died in 2003. At least to start with, she was aware of what was happening to her: “I’m losing my marbles,” she pronounced one day in the kitchen of the family home in Devon.
Royle’s writing style is very poetic in style and his writing is graceful and sensitive.
What shines through is his immense love for his mother, the way she cared for him. Alzheimer’s robbed not only Kathleen of her marbles but also Royle of the mother he knew. You can’t help but empathise.
Top Audio: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
chosen by Helenka
For 30 years, Area X has remained mysterious, remote, and concealed by the government as an environmental disaster zone – even though it is, to all appearances, pristine wilderness.
Yes, this is a horror science fantasy, don’t let that put you off! Its also a wonderfully creepy page turner where all is not as it seems. I’ve not read anything quite as strange as this before, it reminded me of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s creepy feminist classic The yellow wallpaper. Is it a tower? Is it a tunnel? And how is the moss writing words?
It works perfectly as an audio, I dare you to listen to this and not be creeped out by the Crawler!
Top Comic: Joyama by Daniel Isles
chosen by Colin
In the lively city of Joyama, long-time friends Ringo, Arwen, and Silas work together to shake down organised crime. This is genre-bending sci-fi for fans of manga, fantasy and cyberpunk.
If you loved Blade Runner and want to immerse yourself in a techno fantasy world then this is the book for you.
Top children’s fiction: African & Caribbean folktales, myths & legends by Wendy Shearer
chosen by Jim
Wendy is a magical storyteller. From the trickster tales of Anansi the spider, to the story of how the leopard got his spots; from the tale of the king who wanted to touch the moon, to Aunt Misery’s magical starfruit tree. This book includes traditional favourites and classic folktales and mythology.
Top children’s non-fiction: The Pronoun Book. She, He, They, and Me! by Jem Milton Cassandra Jules Corrigan
chosen by Isaac
He? She? They? Xe? Zir? Hir?
Join Ellie and Casey as they introduce you to the wonderful world of pronouns. Learn about what pronouns are, how they relate to us, and why it’s so important to get them right!
This fun, engaging and empowering children’s book is the perfect introduction to pronouns in relation to gender diversity and identity for children aged 5+.
It gently encourages us to learn pronoun etiquette and includes a dedicated section at the back with a pronoun table and pronoun labels.