Animal Agents!

It’s week three of the six-week holidays here in Norfolk and even though our county’s schools aren’t in session, we’re keeping busy with our usual summer tasks, the most of important of which is making sure our stock is in tip-top shape for the new term (which is already hurtling towards us at an alarming rate…!)

Our public library colleagues are keeping busy too, with this year’s Animal Agents Summer Reading Challenge. The annual reading game encourages children to read six books over their summer break, at the end of which they’ll be rewarded with a medal and a certificate in recognition of their achievement. It’s not too late to sign up, so if your children haven’t yet started, why not go along to your nearest Norfolk Library (find it here). Many branches are hosting Animal Agent themed events (listings here), so make sure you pop along to join in with the fun and pick up some books while you’re there!

Our librarian, Harriet, has put together a list of books she thinks would accompany this year’s challenge particularly well and if any take your fancy, why not check the Norfolk Library catalogue online to see if they’re in stock for you to borrow?

Animal stories to enjoy

  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Now serialised on TV this gives renewed interest to the classic story about a boy’s love for all sorts of animals, encountered on his beautiful Greek island home – all the better to enjoy if your summer holiday has taken you somewhere similar! For KS3 and above.

  • The Homeless Kitten by Holly Webb

If you can get beyond the ghastly cover, this is a reliably good animal story from this prolific author. There are lots of great titles to look out for, not all animal related.

  • The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

I really enjoyed this as a child though I was not a great animal lover, because it is a gripping tale, based on fact, about 3 pets who cross 300 miles of Canadian wilderness to get back to their homes, after being left by their owners with another family while they are away. Originally written in 1960 it is still a good read for upper KS2.

  • Scoop! by Cathy Tincknell, illustrated by John Kelly

This is quite a sophisticated picture book for older readers, with its references to old crime movies and its many puns, but it’s still good fun for any child who enjoys looking for visual clues and reading between the lines.

  • Spy Dog series by Andrew Cope

Perfect summer holiday reading to go alongside the SRC Animal Agents theme. A light-hearted but exciting series.

  • Finding Black Beauty by Lou Kuenzler 

If you love the classic Black Beauty by Norfolk author Anna Sewell, you will enjoy this brand new story about a young girl disguised as a boy so that she can be a groom, who takes care of Beauty as a colt and then has her own adventures as well as following Beauty’s destiny.

  • Atticus Claw series by Jennifer Gray

Atticus is the cleverest cat detective you could hope to employ to solve any mystery. Great fun this has developed into enough of a series to keep young readers happy for weeks.

  • Wings & Co series by Sally Gardner, illustrated by David Roberts

And talking of clever cat detectives, Fidget is an equally smart cat in this series featuring fairy agents Wings & Co. All the stories are ingenious and fun, and make perfect holiday reading at KS2 level.

Don’t forget, if you’re after EVEN MORE recommended reads, you can find our Friday Read archive just here.

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