We’re delighted to welcome to the blog Georgina Atwell, founder of book review website Toppsta.
Georgina introduces the main aims of the site and tells us more about how teachers can tap into the resources on offer.
from Georgina Atwell, founder of Toppsta.com
Toppsta.com was set up in 2014 by Mum of two, Georgina Atwell to help children recommend books to each other. With no photos, no forums and no real names, it provides a space where every opinion matters and has over 100,000 reviews from young reviewers, parents, teachers and librarians.
The website is used by thousands of teachers to encourage reading, writing and comprehension skills in class.
Here are SIX ways you can use it in school:
1. We have a free Book Review template that you can download and use in class, plus a handy list of tips for how to write a good book review. Writing a book review has many benefits, including encouraging children to think about the book more deeply and checking their comprehension of the story. Plus it’s an easy way to help children work out what they’d like to read next, by making them think about things that they did and didn’t like about the book.
2. Teachers and parents can set up a free profile and enter our free book giveaways on behalf of children. There are usually more than 10 copies of each book to win and the book is sent in the post by the publisher. Children love winning the books and receiving their post and it’s important that the children know that their opinion matters even if they didn’t like the book. The more books children review, the more they win!
3. Teachers and students can browse the Readers’ Favourites Chart to see which books children are really enjoying (not just those books we think they should be reading!). More than 70 new reviews are added each and every day and you can filter by the age of the child, publication date and more. We love that the children don’t care how famous an author is or how big the marketing campaign; they give their honest opinion and love debut authors, lesser known authors and more.
4. Each month we have free resource packs for schools to win. These often include posters, bookmarks, lesson plans and more. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear (they normally get snapped up very quickly) or keep an eye on our Schools page here for current offers.
5. We have thousands of resources free to download from our website, including author videos, lesson plans and activity packs. If you have a particular book in mind already, just search for the book on our website and see what resources are available for that title, or you can also see a full list of books with resources here.
6. We’re constantly adding new articles to our blog, including Author Q&As, 13 Tried and Tested Ideas to Engage Reluctant Readers, 50 Fundraising Ideas for your School Library, Writing Competitions for Children and more…
Many thanks to Georgina for sharing this guest blog post with us.
Where next? > Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub
> Browse our Topic Booklists
> View our printable year group booklists.
> See our Books of the Month.