Opening up the world through fiction

A group of teachers, advisers and other educational professionals met regularly at the Tide~ Centre to look at fiction suitable for KS2 and KS3 learners.

This page features the books they chose.  

Click on the cover below for our review:

Today a story, tomorrow the world! ~ broadening horizons in the primary classroom Claire Finkel, Brookvale Primary School

Resources for using story

Tide~ has produced resources to support work on story.  Click on the covers below to find out more and to download publications:


Activities for using story. 

Click on the links below:

Drama and role play, looking into an issue

English and ESD [Education for Sustainable Development],   ~ CPD materials for primary teachers

Talking with children when the talking gets tough ~ useful advice on handling sensitive issues

Stories, place and sustainable development ~ planning a Year 2 locality study

Supporting and evaluating speaking and listening, …for global learning in primary schools

Using fiction to explore identity and diversity issues at KS3

Using story…for global learning ~ Professional development ideas for primary schools

Reading List

All the books discussed are listed alphabetically by title with a link to the relevant page on

We recommend you read the books yourself before sharing with a class to be aware of the issues they raise. 

See the section Activities for using story for useful teaching ideas. 

All in the Family, Tony Bradman
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John Boyne
Boy Overboard, Morris Gleitzman
Burn My Heart, Beverley Naidoo
Caught in the Crossfire, Alan Gibbons
Chalkline, Jane Mitchell
Double Crossing, Richard Platt
First Crossing, Donald R Gallo
Floodland, Marcus Sedgwick
Give Me Shelter, Tony Bradman
The Heaven Shop, Deborah Ellis
Hoot, Carl Hiaasen
Jupiter Williams, S I Martin
The Kites are Flying, Michael Morpurgo
Noughts and Crosses, Malorie Blackman
My Kind of School, Ed. Tony Bradman
The Other Side of Truth, Beverley Naidoo
The reluctant fundamentalist
This is Birmingham, Jan Bowman
Private Peaceful, Michael Morpurgo
Refugee Boy, Benjamin Zephaniah
Skin Deep, Ed. Tony Bradman
Stories from Asia, Ed. Madhu Bhinda
Surprising Joy, Valerie Bloom
Trash! On Ragpicker Children and Recycling, Anushka Ravishanker
Web of Lies, Beverley Naidoo
Walking a Tightrope, Rehana Ahmed
When a girl is born, Pamela Grant

Recommended Publishers and Websites

We have come across great books from mainstream and independent publishers.  This is not a comprehensive list, but just a few suggestions of places to start when looking for fabulous fiction!

The links below take you through to relevant pages on their websites.

Tara Books is an independent publisher based in South India, with distributors in the UK and beyond.  Tara works with authors and artists to produce richly illustrated children’s picture books.  Many of the books are handmade with silkscreen printed illustrations.  Titles we recommend include The London Jungle Book and Toys and Tales from Everyday Materials.

Walker Books has an extensive range of titles. This link takes you through to their catalogues.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page for books endorsed by Amnesty International and a list of Green Books.  Recommended titles include Chalkine and Where the forest meets the sea

Frances Lincoln’s collection of books includes illustrated books for adults and children.  In 2008 they established the Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award to further their mission for publishing children’s titles that celebrate cultural diversity in the widest sense.  Frances Lincoln also distribute Tara books.  The link takes you through to the Cultural Diversity listing on the website.  Recommended titles include the From Dawn to Dusk series [eg Yikang’s Day – From Dawn to Dusk in a Chinese City] and The Island.

Mantra Lingua publishes bilingual resources including books, toys, DVDs and so on in over 50 languages.  Mantra aims to “connect languages for children” by providing resources in their first language, wherever they are.  As well as publishing their own titles, Mantra also produces well-known titles in bilingual editions.  Recommended titles include Lima’s Red Hot Chilli and That’s my mum!

Letterbox Library is a co-operative started by two women who wanted to make multicultural and non-sexist books available to children through homes, school libraries and other educational organisations.  Letterbox offers a book selection service on themes such as Refugees & Migration, Looking after the Planet and Peace & Conflict.

IBBY The International Board on Books for Young People represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together.  IBBY produces an e-newsletter and a journal of international children’s literature called Bookbird.  It also organises an International Children’s Book Day.

Books for Keeps.  This popular children’s book magazine is now available online.  A great place to start when looking for good quality fiction, it features reviews from adults and children, author interviews, extracts and articles to help you keep abreast of what is happening in children’s literature.


Thanks - in particular to:

  • Judy Clark, Talk for Writing Adviser, National Literacy Trust
  • Roland Clark, Adviser, Ethnic Minority Achievement, Staffordshire
  • Claire Finkel, Teacher, Brookvale School, Birmingham
  • Juliet Fry, Head of Projects, The Playhouse
  • Angela Horton, Teacher, Erdington Hall Primary School, Birmingham
  • Deborah Hull, Artistic and Educational Director, The Playhouse
  • Lyn Johnson, Literacy Adviser, Warwickshire
  • Carol Phillips, Erdington Hall School, Birmingham
  • Judith Stubbs, Literacy Consultant, Stoke on Trent
  • Gillian Twaite, Artistic Director, Open Stage Productions
  • Jenny Wilkie, Teacher, Moseley School, Birmingham
  • Rosie Wilson, Director of Learning, Lifeworlds Learning
  • Jackie Zammit, Centre Coordinator, Tide~