By Wendy Andersen
READING a book is a great way to relax.
It can also help us to understand those around us, and help us stop feeling like we are alone with our problems.
So, here the Olive Press has put together our Top Ten Books for kids who are trying to fit in: whether its expats in their adopted country, modern families with modern ways, or just being the odd one out, all of you will enjoy reading these stories that remind us we’re not the only ones…
The Suitcase Kid
by Jacqueline Wilson
Like so many of Jacqueline’s books, the topics are quite hard, emotional themes – taking head on the real life stresses that some kids have to face.
“When my parents split up they didn’t know what to do with me,” says Andy, a girl caught between the two new families of her divorced parents.
One week with her mother, step-father and older step-siblings.
One week with her dad and step-mum, sleeping on the sofa after the birth of their twins.
All her things are kept in her suitcase.
This is gripping reading for any child living in the wake of shared custody.
by Roald Dahl
A classic, about Matilda, who is the super-bright daughter of horrible parents.
She helps free her schoolmates and her lovely teacher Miss Honey from the tyranny of Miss Trunchbull, the headmistress.
Getting through school is easier when there’s a glimmer of hope: if Matilda can take on the world given her lousy circumstances – so can you.
There’s a Boy In the Girl’s Bathroom
by Louis Sachar
Bradley Chalkers is a true outcast – he’s a bully, a pathological liar, he spits, he hurts people.
And yet you will fall in love with him.
As you realise that Bradley is as much a victim as a bully, you begin to understand the complexity of his situation.
The story documents the gentle relationship between Bradley and the school counsellor, Carla.
You are completely on Bradley’s side and feel every up and down of his journey.
Noughts and Crosses
by Malorie Blackman
Noughts and Crosses is a powerful look at racism in a parallel world where young Callum is about to become the first white pupil at an elite all-black school.
Things only get worse as his friendship with a black girl, Sephy, deepens.
Injustice, discrimination, violence…
For anyone who feels like they’re not fitting in to their new school, this is the book for you.
a trio of fantasy novels
written by Cornelia Funke
The books chronicle the adventures of teenager Meggie Folchart whose life changes dramatically when she realizes that she and her father, a bookbinder named Mo, have the unusual ability to bring characters from books into the real world when reading aloud.
It’s a great concept – with twists and turns between characters entering the real world, and vice versa, and amusing to see famous characters from literature popping up.
a book series published by Edizioni Piemme
Geronimo Stilton is a fun and colourful book, perfect for five to 11-year-olds.
Geronimo is the editor of the Rodent’s Gazette, the Daily Newspaper in New Mouse City.
It’s not about fitting in, but has the added benefit that most kids here in Spain are currently addicted to these books, so you can swap with others in your class – English and Spanish.
by David Walliams
Joe Spud is very rich, but given that the family money comes from his dad’s invention: ‘Freshbum’, a loo roll that is wet on one side and dry on the other, he tries to keep it a secret and just fit in.
His parents have already bought him everything (the hamster cage in his bedroom is lined with 50 pound notes rather than newspaper!).
He has everything apart from the thing he actually wants: friends.
He changes to a new school, with a secret identity, to try and get some genuine friends.
The humour is bang up to date.
Hilarious and very, very British.
Have you read any of the books above?
What did you think of them?
What would be on your top ten list and why?
Have you read a book that helped you through something difficult?
We’d love to hear from you.
The best letters will be printed in upcoming issues of OPX!
Please send to [email protected]
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