Book Title: The Threads of Magic (available here)
Author: Alison Croggon
Publication Date: March 2020
Most Suitable For: Years 5-6
Reviewed By: Caroline Relf
Set in the heart of the city of Clarel, The Threads of Magic follows the adventure of Pip, a determined and courageous pickpocket, as unbeknownst to him, he has pickpocketed the wrong person and lands himself in a whole lot of trouble. With twists and turns at every chapter, this book is bound to keep children captivated. The Threads of Magic is rich with beautiful and challenging vocabulary and provides many opportunities for teachers to stop and discuss words in context. The short chapters are perfect for using as a read aloud in the classroom, meaning you can use even small windows of opportunity to share it with your class. It is full of mystery and keeps you guessing throughout, providing ample opportunities for discussion and predictions. The narrative is unpredictable which will keep readers engaged. What I particularly enjoyed about this book was the opportunities children are given to see events unfold from varying perspectives. In my experience, it is sometimes difficult for children to identify whose perspective it is written from and also how the retelling of these events would change depending on that person. By changing this throughout the book, it also presents a challenge for more able readers as they need to ensure they follow the narrative accurately whilst giving them opportunities to further develop their understanding of the characters. Croggon has taken inspiration from history with her portrayal of witches, and their plight. This is a great opportunity for children to delve into the Tudor and Stuart era and how people perceived ‘witchcraft’. By learning about this, it would allow pupils to have a better understanding of the motives of some of the characters in the book.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Caroline for reviewing it.
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