Tuva Kahrs

Interviews by Tuva Kahrs

The Best Finance Books for Teens and Young Adults, recommended by Darren Collins

Financial literacy is an essential life skill, but it is not routinely taught at school and not everybody has good role models to look to for financial behaviour. Reading can certainly help. Finance teacher Darren Collins recommends his top books for teens and young adults to learn the fundamentals for making sound personal finance decisions in life.

Best Verse Novels for 8-12 Year Olds, recommended by Alison King

Verse fiction gets to the heart of a story without much text, the immediacy of the characters and the storyline making it instantly appealing to readers, including reluctant ones. Here, school librarian Alison King explains why everyone should read verse novels, and recommends her top picks for 8-12 year olds.

The Best Baby Books, recommended by Barbara Band

Barbara Band, librarian and former President of the UK’s Library and Information Association, explains why reading aloud for babies is not only a great bonding experience but also an important part of early childhood development. She shares some tips on reading with babies and introduces her top baby book recommendations.

The Best LGBT Novels for Young Adults, recommended by Cassie Kemp

Good books for teens and young adults are often about identity and figuring out who you are. Novels with LGBTQ+ characters are some of the best examples of (fictional) young people learning to be themselves while navigating the world. Here, librarian Cassie Kemp shares her top picks of LGBT novels for teens and young adults.

Best Manga for Children and Teens, recommended by Oscar

Long associated with Japanese popular culture, manga are now found in translation across the world. In North America, this dynamic form of visual narration is overtaking comics and graphic novels in popularity. Oscar, age 13, recommends his favourite manga for children and teenagers.

The Scariest Books for Kids, recommended by Jack Meggitt-Phillips

Scary children’s books give kids the pleasure of immersing themselves in an exciting page-turner, and are an excellent way to get reluctant readers to read novels. As long as you pay attention to individual children’s sensibilities, it shouldn’t be hard to find books that give them thrills rather than nightmares. Children’s author Jack Meggitt-Phillips talks us through his favourite scary books for kids.

Best West African Fantasy Books for Teenagers, recommended by Efua Traoré

Fantasy inspired by West Africa is taking the literary scene for teens and young adults by storm. These books have strong world-building and all the usual fantasy ingredients. At the same time, drawing on rich seams of mythology and magical traditions such as juju, they bring something entirely fresh to the genre. Author Efua Traoré talks us through her pick of West African fantasy novels for teenagers.

Best Human Body Books for Kids, recommended by Sonia Joseph

An understanding of the human body can help children nurture both physical and mental health, as well as build knowledge and vocabulary about this fascinating topic. Paediatrician Sonia Joseph talks us through her pick of five books about the human body for kids, with something for every age from baby board books to middle grade non-fiction.

Best Books for Preschool Kids, recommended by Janice Stewart-Yates

With travel restricted in much of the world due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, it is more important than ever to open children’s minds through books. Janice Stewart-Yates, a passionate Montessori educator, shares her recommendations for books that bring the world to children. These are some of her favourite picks for preschool classroom story time, as well as for reading with her own daughter.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – Inspiring a Lifelong Love of Reading, recommended by Marion Gillooly

Dolly Parton is an iconic singer and songwriter, but many children around the world know her as their librarian. Through the Imagination Library she nurtures a love of books in young children. Marion Gillooly, Executive Director, The Dollywood Foundation UK, talks us through the background of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and highlights five of her favourite books in the catalogue (which she admits was really hard: “all the books are my favourites”).

The Best Classics Books for Children, recommended by Annelise Gray

Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire continue to fascinate children and provide fertile ground for historical novels that resonate with today’s readers. Author and classicist Annelise Gray talks us through some of her favourite books for children set in the ancient Mediterranean world and Roman Britain.