A Little Half Term Reading I Oxford Open Learning


    A Little Half Term Reading

    With half term upon us, and possibly cooped up, a good way to use some time can be to delve into a book. There’s a lot out there, though. So a couple of recommendations might come in handy. As such, here are two reading recommendations I put forward…

    Lightfall: The Girl & The Guardian by Tim Probert

    Out on the 29th October, this is a must read for all those who love Sci-fi and expansive worlds.

    Bea, the adopted granddaughter of the Pig Wizard, is a keeper of the Endless Flames. Their tranquil life is abruptly disrupted when Bea meets Cad, a member of the Galdurians, while walking through the woods. Cad explains that he is an ancient race; he wants the Pig Wizard to assist him in finding his people. When the two arrive at Bea’s home, the Pig Wizard is missing. Bea and Cad must join forces to rescue the Pig Wizard and prevent darkness from winning.

    Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (Awesomely Austen – illustrated and Retold)

    With fantastic black-and-white illustrations, that suit the tone of the story, this is an accessible retelling of Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’. When Elinor and Marianne Dashwood’s father dies, they must start a new life in an unfamiliar place. While Elinor must tragically leave behind her love, Marianne falls in love with their neighbour. With such differing emotions, Elinor and Marianne must come together as sisters to support one another, as they deal with the great changes thrust upon them.

    Going Bovine by Libba Bray

    Set in America, Libba Bray modernises Miguel De Cervantes’ classic, Don Quixote, through her protagonist, Cameron. Sixteen year old Cameron is an average teenager; however, he is diagnosed with an incurable illness. That is when he meets Dulcie, a partially-hallucinated angel, who tells him there is a cure. On Cameron’s journey to obtain a cure, he learns the lessons on life that 16th Century Spanish Hidalgo learnt in Cervantes’ classic.


    A Secret of Birds and Bone by Kiran Millwood

    If you like mystery, then A Secret of Birds and Bone will be right up your street! Set in an Italian city, the inhabitants are dying from the plague. To help people grieving for their loved ones, Sofia’s Mama, an ossuarist (a bone builder), carves beautiful mementoes from the bones of the deceased. When Mama does not return home one night, Sofia and her younger brother Ermin are sent to the convent orphanage. However, all is not what it seems, and their suspicions are verified by their new found friend – Corvith the crow. Corvith helps the pair to escape. Can they cross the city’s underground, which is like a labyrinth, and discover the truth about what happened to their mother?

    The Institute by Stephen King

    Masterfully crafted, The Institute will have you on the edge of your seat. When Luke Ellis’ parents are murdered, he is kidnapped and taken to The Institute. There he meets other kidnapped children, who have remarkable talents. Can Luke escape? Or, will the director of The Institute successfully mature Luke’s abilities and dispose of him, as they have done to countless other kids?

    Graphic Novel

    Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

    Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. What does this mean? Only that they have a long-standing tradition of teaming up in autumn to create the best pumpkin patch? On Halloween, they say their farewells, but are reunited on the 1st September. Now that they are seniors in High School, though, this is their last pumpkin patch! Will these two reveal their true feelings for one another; or, will they say their customary farewells on the 31st?

    The Hound of The BaskervillesA Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel by Petr Kopl

    Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic is transformed into this brilliant graphic novel. Get ready to experience this classic like never before! You will experience the freezing fog, the suffocating silence and the malevolent feeling of evil that lurks on the journey to the Baskervilles. Although an adaptation, due to Petr’s outstanding artistry this can be seen as a great unique work in its own right. For fans of Doyle’s original masterpiece, this will only add to your love of the story and characters through Petr’s intricate designs, and ability to capture the plot twists in each panel.

    Personal Experience

    The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

    This is about a young Latina girl, Esperanza, who’s trying to figure herself out while growing up in the Hispanic quarters of Chicago. Through poems and stories, Esperanza’s private thoughts and feelings are captured. An eloquently written piece that challenges stereotypes of the immigrant experiences that are still valuable today. This will open up teens and adults’ minds to different perspectives.

    Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon

    As told from the point-of-view of fifteen-year-old Lillian, the reader is able to gain first-hand experiences of racism, isolation and intolerance. Indeed, when Lillian is accepted at Westburg, she becomes a minority. With that, she must try to make her new schoolmates and teachers feel comfortable by adopting what they want. But, when she discovers that her father is being held in Guatemala, Lillian must decide whether to continue to hide her true identity; or, be true to her heritage.

    Relax When Reading Them!

    It can take time to get through a full novel, so choosing one to cover a week gives you time, and removes any sense of pressure to finish, which will only optimise your enjoyment. Reading is meant to be a relaxed, considered experience, after all.



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    Kellie McCord is a private tutor with over eight years of experience. Having been a lecturer and educator in China, India, Finland and the UK, she has a wealth of teaching experiences, allowing her to build rapport with students from all walks of life. Respect and inclusivity is at the heart of Kellie's tutoring, which is why she has Diplomas in the Pedagogy of Dyslexia and Mindfulness, allowing her to work with SEND learners. Kellie's mission is to empower students with the self-belief and confidence to achieve their academic goals and set them up for a life of success. She is also the founder of Uplevel Academy, which you can find more about by following the link below her blog -https://www.uplevel-academy.co.uk/.