Barrowcliff School

'Learning Together Growing Together'

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Barrowcliff Bookshelf

Check out our recommended books!

Every month we give away a copy of our recommended reads to our most well mannered pupils! Could this be you?

April 2023

Love Grows Everywhere by Barry Timms


Meet a green-fingered family whose diverse community is bursting with love in this lushly illustrated and lyrical picture book.

This beautiful and warmly-told story teaches us that love really does grow everywhere, in all shapes, forms and sizes.



The Arrival by Sean Tan


This classic, wordless graphic novel perfectly expresses what it means to leave your country and your family and start a new life in a new country. Beautifully illustrated with black and white photo realist illustrations, and infused with surreal elements, it has a dreamlike atmosphere in which nothing is what it seems, and domestic appliances and landscapes transform themselves into strange beasts.

March 2023

February 2023

Gareth Southgate (Football Legends #7) by Ed Hawkins

Be inspired by Football Legend, Gareth Southgate! Discover more about this incredible player's journey from his early career at Southampton F.C. to his role as manager of England's national football team and his triumphant leadership that got England to the finals at UEFA Euro 2020. Football Legends: Young readers will love finding out all about the lives of their favourite players in this incredible biography series. Packed with footie facts and match stats plus Southgate's career highlights.


Saving Mr Hoot by Helen Stephens 


Sometimes the smallest people make the biggest difference. This warm and inspiring picture book is perfect for every little one's bookshelf. 

A beautiful owl lives in the tree outside Ben’s house. Ben calls him Mr Hoot.

Every night Ben calls to him: "Hoo-hoo!" and Mr Hoot calls back: "Hoo-hoo-hoooo!" But when grown-ups want to chop down Mr Hoot’s tree, can Ben act fast enough to save him?

January 2023

Scientists are Saving the World by Saskia Gwinn


A little boy is watching TV with his mum one day and starts asking questions about scientists. What are they doing to save the world right now?

So, Mum starts to explain all the brilliant ways that scientists are helping us right now, from meteorologists like June Bacon-Bercey predicting sizzling summers, to acoustic biologists like Deepal Warakagoda who listen to and record the sounds of animals in different parts of the world. There are also robotic engineers, marine biologists, geologists, botanists and climatologists all working incredibly hard to protect the earth, develop new ways of working alongside nature and assuring a healthy future for humans.


The Book of Legends by Lenny Henry


Twelve-year-old twins Fran and Bran and their mum live in a small town in the Midlands, Dad having mysteriously disappeared one stormy night on a family camping trip.  At least the stories Mum tells them, the tales of the Nine Dominions, provide some much-needed consolation.

But four years on, history repeats itself when Mum disappears in similar circumstances, apparently taken by a fork of lightning.  The children find themselves left with eccentric local bookseller Madge as a guardian and their mother’s book of fantastical tales for comfort, unsure what to do next. However, stories are magical things – and it is not long before the pair discover that the Nine Dominions are of course real. Their mother’s book will provide a portal to transport them there on a quest to solve the mystery of their parents’ double-disappearance and reunite the family.

December 2022

The Jolly Christmas Postman


The Jolly Postman delivers Christmas letters and presents to several famous fairy-tale characters such as the Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Three Bears. This is a great interactive for everyone!


Virtually Christmas by David Baddiel


It used to be the most WONDERFUL time of the year, but for years Christmas has been taken over by Winterzone.

All the things that made Christmas special are gone: the human connection, the baubles passed down through generations, even the rubbish cracker jokes.

Instead, Christmas is run by robots, while 3D holograms of Santa Claus called Santavatars check if you’ve been naughty or nice—and on Christmas Eve, all of the presents are delivered by ZoneDrones instead of Santa’s reindeer!

October 2022

You Can Do It by Marcus Rashford


Marcus uses the power of his voice to shine a light on the injustices that he cares passionately about, and now he wants to help YOU find the power in yours! From surrounding yourself with the right team, to showing kindness to those around you, to celebrating and championing difference, You Can Do It shows you that your voice really does matter and that you can do anything you put your mind to. You don't have to be an International footballer to make a difference - even the smallest changes can have the biggest impact.

Packed with more inspiring stories from Marcus's own life, brilliant advice, and top-tips from social justice educator Shannon Weber, this book will show you how to use your voice and make a difference in this world.


Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg 


In this, the first ever Funnybones book of all, we are introduced to the wonderful humour and fun of the much-loved series. The Funnybones books are a must for children just starting to learn to read - these funny skeletons are definitely not the scary sort!

Allan Ahlberg has published over 100 children's books and with his late wife Janet, created many award-winning children's picture books. The Ahlbergs' books are nursery bookshelf standards and have been the recipient of worldwide acclaim and awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal.

September 2022

Our Tower by Joseph Coelho


This magical story follows three children living in a tower block, as they embark on a fantastical adventure which helps them see their home in a new light.


The Book of Stolen Dreams by David Farr


An exhilarating, awe-inspiring debut from a master storyteller writing for children for the first time, perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Katherine Rundell and Eva Ibbotson.

When Rachel and Robert are passed a stolen book by their librarian father, they have to go on the run and protect it at all costs. With their father captured and everyone hunting for the Book, they must uncover its secrets and track down the final, missing page. But the cruel and calculating Charles Malstain is on their trail.

July 2022

A Planet Full of Plastic by Neal Layton


 Our world is drowning in plastic, and it's a big problem. Award-winning author-illustrator Neal Layton is here to explain where plastic comes from, why it doesn't biodegrade, and why that's dangerous for animals and humans alike. But he's also FULL of ideas for how you can help! From giving up straws in juice cartons to recycling all we can and taking part in a beach clean, A Planet Full of Plastic will get young readers excited about how they can make a difference to keep Planet Earth happy.



Desirable by Frank Cottrell-Boyce


A hilarious comedy from award-winning Frank Cottrell Boyce. George is so unpopular that even his own grandad won't come to his birthday party. Instead, his grandad sends him a bottle of aftershave that expired years ago. But the aftershave seems to have developed extra properties since its sell-by date...Now George is irresistible to all the girls in school - and even the teachers can't get enough of him!

June 2022

Aalfred & Aalbert by Morag Hood


Aalfred sleeps all day and Aalbert sleeps all night, so the two seem destined never to meet. They could both do with a friend, so a small, blue bird devises plan after plan to try and get them together.

Unfortunately, schemes involving string, broccoli and very loud alarm clocks all fail, and it is a happy accident that finally unites the pair.

Fabulously imaginative and very funny, dynamic illustrations characterise this wryly comic tale of two lonely aardvarks and their unlikely match-maker. Featuring cheese, picnics and a happy-ever-after ending, there will be smiles all round at this unconventional love story.



Pride- An Inspirational Journey Through The LGBTQ Movement by Stella Caldwell


Take a walk through the ages with this colorful history of the LGBTQ+ movement. From prominent historical figures to pushes for equality, this book gives readers an in-depth look at how society has changed over the centuries. With full-color photos, illustrations, and inspiration, it’s a must-read for anyone who wants to celebrate LGBTQ+ history.

May 2022

Shine by Sarah Asuquo 


With the help of his parents, Kai learns to be proud of himself and his unique qualities and values. Kai s mother explains how although the moon and stars are different they both shine beautifully in the sky. He learns an important lesson: that everyone is special and valuable in their own way. He realises that the things that make him different are the things that make him special. He makes a decision to use his qualities to shine his light


A Boy Called Hope by . Lara Williamson


Dan Hope is 11 years old. His dad left his family when he was little. One day, after arguing with Dan's mother, his dad walked out the door and never came back. Dan is starting to feel his dad's absence more and more. His best friend Jo, who is crazy about saints, and his new-found friend Christopher, expert at Taekwondo, help him get through his sorrow over his dad, and find a way to accept his mum's new boyfriend into his life. And through all this he has his annoying older sister to worry about as well.

April 2022

Grandad's Camper by Harry Woodgate


A long time ago, Grandad and Gramps spent many happy days travelling the world together in a camper van. But now Gramps isn't around any more, Grandad doesn't feel much like having adventures. As she listens to his wonderful stories, Grandad's granddaughter has an idea to cheer him up...

A perfect story for Grandad on Father's Day

Through The Mirror Door by Sarah Baker


Since the accident, Angela has been alone. When she is invited on holiday with her cousins, it is her chance to be part of a family again if she promises to behave herself. But secrets lie in the walls of the crumbling French holiday home and the forbidden rooms draw Angela in. Soon night-time footsteps, flickering candlelight and shadows in windows lead her to a boy who needs her help. To save him Angela must discover the truth about what happened in the house all those years ago . . . and face the terrible secret of her own past.

March 2022


Hike by Peter Oswald

Take to the trails for a celebration of nature -- and a day spent with dad.

In the cool and quiet early light of morning, a father and child wake up. Today they're going on a hike. Follow the duo into the mountains as they witness the magic of the wilderness, overcome challenges, and play a small role in the survival of the forest. By the time they return home, they feel alive -- and closer than ever -- as they document their hike and take their place in family history

 Loki: A Bad God's Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowell

After one trick too many, Loki is banished to live on Earth as a "normal" school boy. Forbidden from using his AWESOME godly powers, Loki must show moral improvement. As he records his lies THE TRUTH in his magical diary, it becomes clear Loki hasn't a clue how to tell good from evil, trust from tricks, or friends from enemies.

February 2022


The River by Tom Percival 


Rowan loves the river; it's just like he is. On some days, it's quiet and calm, on others it's light and playful, and then there are the days when it roars along, wild and angry. But when Rowan goes through a particularly difficult winter, the river freezes - just like Rowan. Can Rowan find a way to release his frozen feelings, and allow the river to flow freely once more?

The Hatmakers by Tamsin Merchant


Cordelia comes from a long line of magical milliners, who weave alchemy and enchantment into every hat. In Cordelia's world, Making - crafting items such as hats, cloaks, watches, boots and gloves from magical ingredients - is a rare and ancient skill, and only a few special Maker families remain.

When Cordelia's father Prospero and his ship, the Jolly Bonnet, are lost at sea during a mission to collect hat ingredients, Cordelia is determined to find him. But Uncle Tiberius and Aunt Ariadne have no time to help the littlest Hatmaker, for an ancient rivalry between the Maker families is threatening to surface. Worse, someone seems to be using Maker magic to start a war.

January 2022



Oceanarium by Loveday Trinick


If you prefer non-fiction........


With remarkable illustrations that will make anyone want to dive in and learn more about the wondrous oceanic realms, this is a brilliant addition to the now extensive “Welcome to the Museum” series, which has featured the planets, plants, history and more.

My Skin. Your Skin by Laura Henry-Allain



This important non-fiction book explores the concept of racism for a young audience, explaining what it is and why it is always wrong. It examines what makes people unique, from skin colour to family set-up and religious beliefs, emphasising that these differences make the world a richer place and should be celebrated.

December 2021

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher


This is a story about a boy named William Trundle and a dinosaur named the Christmasaurus.

It's about how they meet one Christmas Eve and have a magical adventure. It's about friendship and families, sleigh bells and Santa, singing elves and flying reindeer.

It's about discovering your heart's true desire, and learning that the impossible might just be possible . . .

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig


You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.


It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible.


If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you.

Because this book is FULL of impossible things.


Are you still reading?


Then let us begin . . .


A tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an eleven-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn't afraid to believe in magic.





November 2021

Boy Giant by Michael Morpurgo


War has forced Omar and his mother to leave their home in Afghanistan and venture across the sea to Europe. When their boat sinks, and Omar finds himself alone, with no hope of rescue, it seems as if his story has come to an end.
But it is only just beginning.
Because in the end, a little hope makes a big difference…
A thrilling adventure inspired by the classic story of Gulliver’s Travels, this is also a gripping modern narrative of rescue and refuge, from a writer at the height of his powers. A book about breaking down walls, at a time when many are trying to build them. And a timeless reminder of humanity’s infinite capacity for good… even when those humans are very small indeed.

The Day War Came by Nicola Davies


Imagine if, on an ordinary day, war came. Imagine it turned your town to rubble. Imagine going on a long and difficult journey – all alone. Imagine finding no welcome at the end of it. Then imagine a child who gives you something small but very, very precious...

A great book to introduce the concept of refugees to your child. 

October 2021

Pink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman 


Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone!


Pink Is for Boys encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it's racing cars and playing football, or loving unicorns and dressing up.

The Girl of Ink & Stars by Kiran Millward Hargrave 


When Isabella’s best friend Lupe vanishes into the vast forbidden forest of the island of Joya, as a cartographer’s daughter Isabella knows she is the only chance of bringing back Lupe alive. Joining the search party venturing into the island’s interior - a land brimming with monsters and legend - she must draw on every ounce of courage and knowledge she has to overcome the impossible.  


A fabulous adventure story!

September 2021

The Pencil by Alan Ahlberg 


Say hi to Banjo! Once a pencil draws him, there's no telling what will come next – a dog, a cat, a chase (of course), and a paintbrush to colour in an ever-expanding group of family and friends. But it's not long before the complaints begin – "This hat looks silly!" "My ears are too big!" – until the poor pencil has no choice but to draw … a rubber. Oh no! 



The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates by Jenny Pearson 


Freddie Yates likes facts. Just not the one staring him in the face - that his secret plan is not, in fact, secret.

Because Freddie's journey wasn't meant to involve Big Trev and the onion-eating competition or the loo-exploding pear-and-potato turnovers. And Freddie definitely didn't expect to end up, with his two best friends, on national television in a supergirl costume.

But journeys never take you where you think they will. And for Freddie, that fact might just have to be enough...