RM Books partners with Pan Macmillan to make ebooks available to UK schools

macmillan lib rentPan Macmillan, UK Publisher of the Year, today announced that children’s and young adult fiction titles are now available for schools via RM Books.

Pan Macmillan’s authors available in ebook through RM Books include children’s favourites Chris Riddell, Eva Ibbotson and Andy Griffiths, as well as the poet Brian Moses.


We are delighted to partner with RM Books in order to help school librarians and teachers to spread the joy of reading for pleasure,” said Anna Bond, UK Sales Director at Pan Macmillan. “We hope that the platform will allow school students to try new authors as well as enjoy their favourite books inside and outside the classroom.

macmillan book packsRead the full press release:
RM Books partners with Pan Macmillan to make ebooks available to UK schools

To find out how you can make Pan Macmillan ebooks available for your school elibrary and for individual rental, click here.

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Engage all your students in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge via ebooks in Glow

FMRC header for blog

RM Books is delighted to be supporting the First Minister’s Reading Challenge – Scotland’s brand-new reading initiative to encourage all pupils in Primary 4-7 to develop a life-long love of reading – through your ebook platform within Glow.

FMRC Intro 4All students within schools in Scotland have 24/7 access to borrow and read ebooks from their school’s RM Books elibrary via their Glow launch pad, so delivering the First Minister’s Reading Challenge couldn’t be easier!

Ebook versions of the Scottish Book Trust’s recommended titles are available for cost-effective rental and RM Books’ reading reports make it easy for schools to complete their First Minister’s Reading Challenge Reading Passports.

There are lots of additional benefits of using the RM Books ebook system within Glow to deliver this challenge:

  • Reading ebooks can engage students who do not normally see themselves as readers – great for encouraging your reluctant readers to take those first steps to reading.
  • With our offline apps, students can read their chosen ebook anytime, anywhere… not just in the classroom.
  • Our short-term rental options make using RM Books a cost-effective way of providing a wide range of titles for students to choose from.
  • Our reporting facility allows you to track reading progress and support pupils in their reading journey.

FMRC Intro 3RM Books is proven to improve reading and attitudes to reading based on a recent 40-school study by the National Literacy Trust.

If you want to take part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge, firstly you will need to register your school.

Then you have the fun of selecting the titles you would like your students to read on RM Books, and support them on their Reading Journey. You can choose titles one-by-one from the recommended list, or speed the process up by renting the two reading challenge book packs covering all ebook titles.

Happy Reading!


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How to combat the summer reading slump

A big thank you to our guest blogger, Bev Humphrey, for her top tips on how to combat the summer reading slump.

“The countdown to the summer holidays has now started and I’m sure for many of us it can’t come a moment too soon! Pupils eagerly await the long holiday too, but it’s always a shame when you realise that they haven’t seen reading as a pleasurable activity during the (hopefully!) hot summer days, and that their reading ability and their enthusiasm for books has dropped by the time they come back to school in September. How can we help prevent this?

Roald Dahl book pack 2Well, for primary age children the public library summer reading challenge is always a good place to start, and this year’s ‘Big Friendly Read’ that celebrates Roald Dahl’s centenary promises to be fun and exciting. Children agree to read 6 books over the summer and they can collect incentives and take part in events along the way. Show them the brilliant trailer that is on the front page of the website to stir up interest, or download the Big Friendly Read Resource Pack for schools from the Reading Agency website.

For older children, introducing them to Reading Hack would be a great way to keep them reading. This is a scheme run by the Reading Agency for young people aged 13 – 24 that involves taking part in activities with reading at their heart. The activities range from volunteering to work with younger children on the Summer Reading Challenge (perfect for the volunteering component of the Duke of Edinburgh Award), to running a poetry slam, organising a reading group, or incorporating reading into the very popular Minecraft. There are pages of hack suggestions on the website, as well as competitions, a book recommendation page, opportunities for socializing, and a leader board for ‘most hours spent hacking’ for the competitive type.

Book blogging and vlogging (video blogging) are incredibly popular at the moment, so encouraging your students to share the books they enjoy in this way could be good fun for them. Show them successful vlogger channels on YouTube like Benjamin of Tomes to get them started, or introduce them to teen Lucy Powrie’s book blog.

PRH launchOf course your RM Books platform is a great way to combat that summer reading slump. Open 24 hours a day all through the summer, and accessible from the beach or poolside, your school e-library can be used to complement any of the ideas above or to create your own summer reading programme. You could offer a prize for the most books read via the platform, or devise a scheme whereby students need to read a book from each of certain set categories – poetry, biography, non-fiction, mystery etc to win an incentive. Promoting books on your platform to parents, especially in primary schools, can also work very well. Mums an dads who are tired of hearing the usual cry of ‘I’m bored!’ will appreciate some new ideas from books like The Holiday Activity Book or 101 Great Science Experiments.

The easy access that your RM Books platform provides can be used to encourage GCSE and A level students to read their set texts or do some wider reading over the holiday, giving them a head start for the new term. Teachers could assign these books to students before breaking up.

Model.nodeNameHaving an ebook platform allows you to provide a service to all of the young people in your school all of the time, whilst you relax on the beach or catch up on your ‘to be read’ pile – which, if you’re anything like me, is probably ridiculously long!


May your summer be filled with relaxation and reading.”

Bev Humphrey

Literacy, school library and technology consultant


P.S. If you live anywhere near Bristol, Birmingham or London, Foyles is running an interactive children’s and YA festival during the summer called Storybox.There are many and varied events being run that include meeting the Gruffalo, having a Where’s Wally picnic and a conversation event with YA authors Jenny Mclachlan and Sarah Crossan.

Personally I am most excited about the day-long Harry Potter celebrations that are taking place on 31st July, Harry’s birthday, and also the day that the book of the play ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is published. For YA fans, the Young Adult Literacy Convention is a must visit. It runs from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st July at Olympia and there are over 80 authors taking part. The convention is part of the London Film and Comic Con and there’s always so much to see and enjoy that the day will be absolutely packed with good things. I’m going on the Friday and Saturday, see you there!


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Using Football to Promote Reading

Football and Reading: not usually considered the best of friends. But as Danny Scott, author and football fan, pointed out in his recent article in The Guardian – maybe they should be:

Books train your brain to think faster, harder and smarter. They will help you spot patterns where others see chaos. Reading about characters with different views on life than your own will help you get the most out of talented teammates who others have given up on. Who knows, reading might just give you the edge you need to reach the top…”

You can also read Danny’s guest blog on how reading makes you better at football.

So, here is a selection of football titles to ensure that young readers can give their brains a bit of a work out while feeding their passion for the Beautiful Game. For more football titles please see our Football booklist.

Books for Younger Readers

calums new teamWe’ll start with Danny’s own series Scotland Stars FC, featuring the trials and tribulations of Calum Ferguson as he struggles to fit in to a new town and secure his place on the school football team. There are three books in the series, with another three to follow in the autumn. Ideal for newly developing readers (6+).

great save

Great Save
by Rob Childs – The first in a series of 4 football stories aimed at new readers by one of the established masters of football stories (5+)


the story of football
The Story of Football
– A lively history of football from its beginnings in the Roman Army to the modern day premiership. Perfect for readers who are developing a bit more confidence and who prefer facts and figures to fiction. (6+)


Books for Older Readers

Theo Walcott certainly knows a thing or two about playing football. He has used his own experience to create a well-received series of stories for other football fans aged 7+.
Good on detail, nicely written with a light humorous touch, Theo shows as sure a foot in print as on the pitch.” Julia Eccleshare.

fitter funnier faster football
Fitter, Faster, Funnier Football
by Michael Cox is packed with hilarious, weird and just plain silly facts from football’s history. Did you know that a goalie once dropped a bottle of after-shave on his foot, injuring it so badly that he was forced to miss an entire World Cup? Joe Hart take note! (9+)

jake cake
Another humorous entry is Jake Cake: The Football Beast by Michael Broad. Jake Cake is the star of several books, but in this one he meets Bigfoot, the football beast, who, amongst other things, helps him become a better football player. (8+)


county cup Rob Childs is the author of several best-selling football series. The County Cup is a 7-story series that follows the fortunes of the school football teams competing in Medland County’s most prestigious tournament as they work their way through the round-robin stages to the semi-finals and then the Final. (9+)

foul playWhat do you get if you mix football with a pinch of Sherlock Holmes and a dash of a young James Bond? The answer is Foul Play – the first in a series of football detective stories by Tom Palmer, official writer for The Premier League Reading Stars scheme. (11+)
“…scores with the precision of a Ronaldo free kick” Sunday Times

pro footballer

For anyone dreaming of making it into football’s big time, Being a Pro Footballer tells you just what is required. (9+)


the war game
This July not only sees the climax of the Euros, it will also mark the Centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme. Terry Deary’s The War Game, tells the story of that famous Christmas football match, when German and British soldiers put down their guns for a brief respite from the horrors of trench warfare. (8+)

The National Literacy Trust has created a toolkit of ideas and resources for teachers that combines this important historic anniversary and Euro 2016. For more information visit Euro 2016 and Battle of the Somme Literacy Toolkit.

Happy Reading!

Sian and Bron

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NACE 2015 poetry competition

NACECongratulations to Eppie Andrews from Bute House Preparatory School for Girls and Kyle Huish from Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, winners of the NACE 2015 Poetry Competition.

The Poetry Competition is an annual event sponsored by the National Association for Able Children in Education and is open to all schools. The 2015 competition took “Summer” as its theme and pupils across the country sharpened their pencils, mulled over metaphors and wrestled with rhyme to capture what summer meant to them.

NACE sunscreanFor many of the young poets, summer meant freedom and holidays – whether by the sea, or coping with camping. For others, it was the sensations of summer that proved their inspiration – the heat of the sun, the sound of insects, and the colours of the flowers. For most, summer is clearly associated with good times, but that wasn’t the case for all. And for some of the poets, their own experiences of summer acted as a trigger to reflect on summers gone by or what summer might mean to people in other countries.

Best-selling author Adele Geras was set the difficult task of choosing the overall winners from an impressive range of shortlisted entries.

“ …I really feel that any of these shortlisted poems would be a worthy winner. But when it comes right down to it, you can only apply one standard on these occasions and choose poems that speak to you. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular but the ones I have picked have

  1. Stayed in my mind
  2. Made me smile or cry… in other words: stirred some emotion or
  3. Used language and form to great effect which is something I admire very much.”

NACE comp 2015
You can read all the winning and highly commended entries from this year’s competition here in our specially produced ebook. We hope you enjoy the poems as much as we did. Details of the 2016 competition will go live on the NACE website in the autumn. (www.nace.co.uk)


Many thanks



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Branford Boase Award 2016 – shortlist announced

Branford Boase logoThe Branford Boase Award is given to the author and editor of an outstanding debut novel for seven year-olds and upwards. It has an impressive record of identifying talented authors at the start of their careers. Meg Rosoff, who recently won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, won in 2005 with How I Live Now.

The shortlist of six outstanding debut novels includes the following titles that can be read on RM Books:

Congratulations to all authors, editors, illustrators and publishers.

branfordboase blog.png

The winner of the Branford Boase Award 2016 will be announced on Thursday 7th July.

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Celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary

shakespeare blogIn 2016 the world will commemorate 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare. The famous British playwright is believed to have been born on or near April 23rd 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was baptised a few days later on 26th April 1564 in Holy Trinity Church. His plays were performed for both Queen Elizabeth I and King James I, and he wrote around 40 plays and 154 sonnets.

This special anniversary year is an ideal opportunity to visit his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, and possibly see one of his plays performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company, tour his birthplace and explore the place he called home. A special Birthday Celebrations weekend and parade will take place there on 23rd and 24th April 2016  There will also be an array of events taking place in London and across the world.

At KS2, pupils are encouraged to read a wide range of books including fiction from our literary heritage. Shakespeare is studied by many students as part of their upper KS2 curriculum. They tend to really enjoy the quality of language used, as well as the word play, characters and twisty plots. Our Primary Resources for April 2016 book list contains suitable Shakespeare titles. Available is an Usborne Shakespeare Stories book pack, a collection of seven of his best-loved plays, beautifully illustrated and retold for readers growing in confidence and ability. The Shakespeare Retold series contain six of his plays simply retold. The Short, Sharp, Shakespeare Stories allows children today to be as enthralled by Shakespeare’s tales as audiences were 400 years ago.  Extraordinary Lives: William Shakespeare explores his life, from his marriages and plays through to where and how he gets his inspiration. A Practical Guide to Shakespeare for the Primary School is an essential resource for all primary teachers, trainee teachers and drama practitioners, offering guidance, insight and schemes of work for the study of Shakespeare through drama in the primary classroom.

At KS3, students should be reading a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including in particular whole books, short stories, poems and plays with a wide coverage of genres, historical periods, forms and authors. This includes 2 plays by Shakespeare. Our KS3 English Curriculum book list contains titles that students will enjoy. The Arden Shakespeare titles contain fresh insight into the work and world of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and are very well received in schools. For your A level students, 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare is an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of an inspiring moment in history.

We have a wide range of Shakespeare’s plays available on RM Books and you can also differentiate by reading age so that all students can experience his work. See the full range of his titles here.

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