February Book Recommendations I Oxford Open Learning


    February Book Recommendations

    This February, my recommendations are another useful piece of non-fiction for teenagers, looking at the importance of wellbeing, both physically and mentally; and also a great bit of fiction that handles magic better than Harry Potter.

    Positively Teenage by Nicola Morgan

    Positively Teenage gives you tools to approach your teenage years with optimism and understanding and to develop real wellbeing for life. Written by Nicola Morgan; author, public speaker and commonly known as The Teenage Brain Woman, this book is a reflection of what she knows best; everything from the struggles of being a teenager, teenage brain changes, stress and wellbeing. She’s very much an expert in how teenagers think, work and worry. So you’re in very good hands here. The media loves to talk about how bad things are for teenagers, but this book will go a long way to flip the script on that.

    You’ll find simple strategies to develop a positive attitude, growth mindset, self-understanding, determination and resilience and you’ll see how those strengths will help you cope with any challenges, enjoy life and achieve your potential.

    Full of practical, proven strategies for physical and mental health, Positively Teenage will show you lots of ways to flourish physically and mentally – from doing things you enjoy to learning new skills; looking after your diet, exercise and attitude to being healthy online; getting great sleep to understanding your personality—allowing you to take control of many areas of your life. With these new strengths and skills, you can survive any storms and thrive on the challenges of your exciting life.

    It’s full of quick ideas for actions you can take to build positivity and well-being. Use them as tools to help you better understand yourself and others and really build a sense of mental resilience in a time of your life that any adult will tell you isn’t the easiest.

    Positively Teenage is written in such a way by Morgan that it isn’t preachy. She doesn’t come across as a parent nagging at you to eat your vegetables, but more of a helpful and judgement-free guide to understanding your body and mind. And it’s all based on science too—without being boring!

    The Nowhere Emporium by Ross Mackenzie

    After all that serious talk of mental health and teenage brains, how about a lovely little bit of escapism? You’ll get plenty of that with this great magical adventure by Ross Mackenzie. What’s better yet is that it’s recommended by teachers across the country and also has a couple of sequels!

    When the mysterious Nowhere Emporium arrives in Glasgow, orphan Daniel Holmes stumbles upon it quite by accident. Before long the ‘shop from nowhere’ and its owner, Mr. Silver, draw Daniel into a breath-taking world of magic and enchantment. Recruited as Mr. Silver’s apprentice, Daniel learns the secrets of the emporium’s vast labyrinth of passageways and rooms – containing wonders beyond anything Daniel has ever imagined.

    What’s so great about The Nowhere Emporium is not just the relatable Daniel, but the magic itself. So often magic can be too technical, or be little more than magic wands, flashes of light and silly phrases. But here, it’s more clever, and yet not bogged down with tiny details. And the best part is how the story itself revolves around it—and how it should be used. It’s got more twists than a Turkey Twizzler and it’s such an easy read you’ll be flying through it.


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