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Great Reads


Stuck at home with nothing to read, Yalla’s not going to let that happen over this break. Who better than school librarians to poll about great books, so we’ve turned to the experts and will offer a weekly series on what to read right now!

Yalla turned first to Carrie Hanspaul, the librarian for Brighton College Abu Dhabi for her go to reads to get just about any kid into reading. Here are Carrie’s top picks for what to read right now!

1. Holes by Louis Sachar – Holes is an award-winning Young Adult novel by the renowned author Louis Sacher, which follows the main character, Stanley Yelnats, as he is sent to a juvenile corrections facility. It deals with some complex themes such as racism, but is an enjoyable read none the less;





2. Wonder by R. J. Palacio – Many children may have seen the movie, but the book is definitely a must read. The plot follows Auggie, a boy with facial deformities, and details his struggles living with being different. A moving read for primary school aged children;





3. A Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens – This series is based around two schoolgirl detectives who attempt to solve various crimes taking place at their school in 1930’s England. An exciting read providing hours of entertainment;





4. The Scarlet and Ivy series by Sophie Cleverly – These books are amongst the most borrowed from the BCAD Library. The series begins with The Lost Twin which centres around the mystery of Scarlet’s death. A real nail-biting read.






5. One of Us is Lying/Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus – These novels are definitely for slightly older children as they deal with some more mature themes. Teenagers will find them hard to put down, and parents looking for a good murder mystery will also not be disappointed. McManus has also just released her newest book, One of Us is Next, which I can’t wait to get my hands on!




6. David Walliams – The great thing about Walliams’ books is that you can pick up any one of them and know that you will be entertained. From Gangsta Granny to The Ice Monster, I have found that even the most reluctant reader can find something that they enjoy.





7. Hamish and the Worldstoppers by Danny Wallace – This is the first book in the series and will be adored by any child who picks it up. A brilliantly written, funny book with engaging characters and lots and lots of naughtiness!






8. The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy – I read the Worst Witch series when I was a young girl, but I believe these books have stood the test of time. Following Mildred Hubble’s misadventures is a source of constant amusement, and the reader will find themselves laughing out loud!





9. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – A personal favourite of mine, this is the book where all the magic began. I know most children have seen the movies, but I promise you that nothing beats reading the books. I know the books later on in the series are long and can appear daunting, but they are truly worth the read.





10. Roald Dahl – Although there are so many amazing new authors out there, I still believe that Roald Dahl is one of the best. From shorter books for beginner readers like The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me, to hilarious laugh out loud books like The Twits, to more serious offerings like Boy and Going Solo, any Roald Dahl book is hard to beat.

About Carrie Hanspaul

Originally from England, Carrie has lived here in Abu Dhabi with her husband and three daughters for seven years, after previously living in The Bahamas and the USA. She started working as the Prep/Senior Librarian at Brighton College in January 2019 and loves being surrounded by books all day! In her spare time, Carrie can always be found reading, or spending time with her family.

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