Fiction for BoysChatterbooksActivity packGreat new titlesfrom Simon & Schuster!
Simon and Schuster Fiction for Boys 2013About this packHere is a new Chatterbooks activity pack from The Reading Agency and Simon and SchusterChildren’s Books with ideas for Chatterbooks reading group activities, discussion, and furtherreading, inspired by four great new books for boys:Academy Attackby Jack Carson 978-0857075598Canyon Clash by Jack Carson 978-0857075611 (Battle Champions series)Magic Ink by Steve Cole 978-0857078704Geek Inc. investigating the impossible: TechnoslimeTerrorby Mark Griffiths978-0857075376Chatterbooks[ www.readinggroups.org/chatterbooks] is a reading group programme for childrenaged 4 to 14 years. It is coordinated by The Reading Agency and its patron is author DameJacqueline Wilson. Chatterbooks groups run in libraries and schools, supporting and inspiringchildren’s literacy development by encouraging them to have a really good time reading and talkingabout books.The Reading Agency is an independent charity working to inspire more people to read morethrough programmes for adults, young people and children – including the Summer ReadingChallenge, and Chatterbooks. See www.readingagency.org.uk.Jack Carson Academy Attack 978-0857075598(Battle Champions)About the book: Tommy Titch Darwin enrols at Marshall Johnsons BattleAcademy. Training is tough, but Titch is determined to become a battle championand follow in his fathers footsteps. As battle lessons commence, Titch and hisfellow students are unaware that baddie Wyatt Thorne is watching. He has twogrudges - against Marshall Johnson and Titch (whose father defeated Wyatt on hisfirst attempt to become a mech champion). Can Titch save the Academy fromWyatt and make the grade? Or will he fail at his first attempt to become a mech fighter on thechampionship trail?About the author: Jack Carson is a pseudonym for the two writers who have worked collaborativelyto create the BATTLE CHAMPIONS series: Matt Whyman is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Michelle Misra has helped create and develop many successfulchildrens fiction series, including the bestselling Rainbow Magic fiction series. This is her firstfiction series under herown name.Taster: Sometime in the future, a war destroys the world as we know it. As people struggle torebuild their lives, a new sport emerges from the ruins. In the Battle Championship, giant robotsknown as ‘mechs’ square up to one another and fight like gladiators. They’re controlled from theinside by talented pilots, in a fight that tests man and machine to the limit.
All kids grow up dreaming of piloting a mech, and Titch Darwin is no exception. But for Titch it’spersonal. He is the son of one of the greatest Battle Champions – a man who went missing on theChampionship trail – and the only way for Titch to find out what happened is to follow in his father’sfootsteps…Jack Carson Canyon Clash978-0857075611(Battle Champions)About the book: Titch Darwin and his Battle Champions team, Martha and Finn,have graduated from the Mech Academy and are finally on the ChampionshipTrail! Titch hopes that following in his missing fathers footsteps will help himdiscover the truth about his disappearance, but first he has to fight his ownbattles. The first battle round sees the gang overcome their rookie nerves andreach the final, but now they face fighting one of the deadliest mechs of all: Scorpion. Before theycan compete, Titch and his trusty Mech, LoneStar, come across a group of school children trappedin a rock fall. Titch knows he has to save them - but if he does, he risks forfeiting his place in thecompetition. Can he beat the odds and still win?About the author: See Academy Attack aboveTaster: Later that day, Titch stood nervously at the foot of the steps to his mech. Martha had justfinished fitting the machine with the weapons delivered from the scavenger store. She returned awrench to her toolbox and then wiped the oil from her hands with a rag.‘It’s taken much longer than I expected,’ she said, ‘but at last we’re battle-ready!’The sun was setting over Rust Town. Behind the Armoury, in the canyon, mechs could be heardtrying out their weapons. It was official practice time for the Battle Championship competitors – achance for the pilots to get comfortable with their machines and make sure they’d picked the rightfirepower. While Martha struggled to fit the FlingNet, Finn had gone off to take a sneak peek at theother competitors. Just as Titch prepared to climb into the cockpit, Finn returned, looking worried.‘The storekeeper was right about Eagle Slam,’ he said. ‘It’s an awesome machine.’‘What can it do?’ asked Titch.‘Get yourself into the canyon and see for yourself,’ replied Finn.Steve Cole Magic Ink 978-0857078704About the book: Stewart Penders is a 12-year-old kid who loves comics. He lovesdrawing his own creations, especially the adventures of his fantasy alter ego,Stupendous Man! Part of his passion for comics comes from his late granddad,who was a great comic book artist. Granddad has just died, leaving his house andits contents to Stews family. But when his family move in, they are greeted by apig in a top hat running amok through the house. When Stew explores the house
later, he finds a discarded comic strip in the attic - featuring an image of the very same pig they justsaw - and beside it a mysterious pot of ink. When Stew starts drawing with it, his artwork springsinto life - and so begins a hilarious adventure that could only have come from the madcap mind ofMr Steve Cole, bestselling author of Astrosaurs, Cows in Action and Slime Squad!About the author: Born in 1971, Steve Cole spent a happy childhood in rural Bedfordshire beingloud and aspiring to amuse. He liked books, and so went to the University of East Anglia to readmore of them. Later on he started writing them too, with titles ranging from pre-school poetry toYoung Adult thrillers. In other careers he has been the editor of Noddy magazine, the voice of aDalek and an editor of fiction and nonfiction book titles for various publishers.Taster:AAARRRGHHHHH!!!!!!!Yep, that was whatmy scream was like – rightdown to the bold capital lettersand seven exclamationmarks.Well, you try meeting a pig in fancydress in the middle of the night on yourfirst day in a new home!See how youlike it!Besides, I wasn’t really scared formyself. All I could think was—Don’t touch my superhero comics!Please! It took me my whole life tocollect them and some of themare worth a bit, and bite-marksand trotter-prints are going toseriously reduce their value...In case you hadn’t figured it out, action comicsare kind of important to me. What could be moreimportant than super-powered characters in longunderwear having fights?My mum’s always despaired of me for being sucha comics nut. If I’m not reading aboutsuperheroes,I’m drawing my own strips. But, right now, with allof us yelling and shrieking andswearing and fallingover, that’s exactly what me and my family needed:a superhero.Someone to answer our cries and comebounding to the rescue.But at that moment, it all boiled down to just twothings – a boy in bed, and a pig in top hat andtailswith a dodgy ’tache. Each staring at the other.And then, suddenly, unexpectedly, the pigWINKED. . .Mark Griffiths Geek Inc. – Technoslime Terror978-0857075376About the book: Somewhere in the small, dull town of Blue Hills, the impossible ishappening. Inanimate objects are coming to life. Time travellers from the futureare mingling unnoticed with the shoppers in the high street. School children aredeveloping uncanny powers. Strange creatures are lurking within the grounds of aforgotten stately home. And with each of these mysteries comes a terrible threatthat just might endanger the entire world...Fortunately, help with these extraordinary phenomenais at hand in the form of Gabby Grayling and Barney Watkins aka Geek Inc.! Gabby and Barney areset to investigate all the odd happenings in their town and find out the truth...In the first book inthe series, Barney and Gabby meet and form a friendship when they investigate a top secretGovernment technology that brings inanimate objects to life. They also have to contend with the
evil machinations of Gloria Pickles, the terrifying eleven-year-old editor of the school newspaperand would-be dictator.About the author: Mark Griffiths writes comedy and drama for radio, TV and stage. His first evercommission was for Radio 4s Week Ending programme at the age of seventeen, closely followed bya stint writing material for Smith & Jones for BBC 1 aged eighteen. His interests include dinosaurs,tea-drinking and staring up at the sky through the branches of a tree. Space Lizards Stole MyBrain!is his first childrens book.Taster: The door to room U13 was ajar. Barney peered round it and saw a girl sitting at a deskreading a magazine. Her pale skin had olive undertones. A tangle of thick brown curls reached pasther shoulders. Perched on the bridge of her thin nose was a pair of small circular glasses thatreminded Barney of one of the men on the cover of his mum’s Beatles CDs. Barney guessed that shewas at least a year older than him. The girl toyed absently with a strand of her hair.Barney tapped at the door lightly with his fingertips.The girl looked up. ‘Yes?’ She did not sound welcoming.‘Is this Geek Inc.?’ He felt subconscious saying the words out loud.‘Yes.’‘I’d like to join I think. I need to do something at lunchtimes.’The girl fixed him with a look. ‘Do you believe in ghosts, werewolves, vampires, flying saucers, ESP,time-travel, reincarnation and the Loch Ness Monster?’‘Er, well,’ said Barney. ‘Dunno.’‘Good,’ said the girl. ‘Then you’re in.’ Barney blinked. ‘Oh. Thanks.’‘The thing is,’ said the girl, putting down her magazine, ‘that most people have already made uptheir minds on those issues, even though they haven’t looked at all the evidence. That’s reallystupid. And it’s one reason why this planet is in the state it is. But clearly you’re an intelligent sort.You want to investigate, find out the truth for yourself. That’s good. What’s your name?’‘Barney,’ said Barney. ‘Barney Watkins.’‘Gabby Grayling,’ said the girl, extending a hand. ‘Pleased to meet you.’ContentsAbout this packAbout the books and their authors – plus a ‘taster’ from each bookTop Tips for a Successful SessionBook List – more reading ideasWarm Up and Introductory activitiesLonger activitiesAbout this packThis pack introduces you to four fantastic new books from Simon and Schuster – stories that boyswill enjoy, and which will appeal to girls too.
As well as tasters from each book there are warm up and introductory activities to get your groupinterested in reading these titles. The activities in the second part work best when children haveread the book.There is also a booklist of more books to enjoy – some more by these authors, plus further titleswith similar themes.The activities will engage members into lively discussion. Start your session with some fun warm upicebreakerswhich aim to get children thinking and talking.Then move on to longer activities, linked into the themes and exploits in each book.Top Tips for a Successful SessionLook at the pack and use the material to suit your groupRemember that some Chatterbooks children will whizz through all the activities while someChatterbooks groups will only need a couple of activities to keep them busy throughout thesession.Be flexible and have funPhotocopy sheets to use as handoutsUse the Chatterbooks ‘Bookbites’ post-its to make simple reviews about the booksTalk to parents and carers at the end of the session to let them know what your group hasbeen doingOrganise activities as individuals, in pairs or as a whole groupMake a display of ‘Stories for Boys’ – use our booklist to help you do thisA Suggested Chatterbooks session plan (times approx)Welcome – juice & biscuits (5 mins)Getting started - simple warm up activities(10 mins)Activities to get your group talking about the book (35 mins)Goodbye, and dates for the next meeting (5 mins)Fiction for Boys Book ListHere are some more great books for boys – and girls -to enjoy!AUTHOR TITLE PUBLISHER ISBNBooks like ‘Battle Champions’Barlow, Steve &Skidmore, SteveI Hero – Code Mission(more titles in this series)Franklin WattsEDGE978-0749676674Barlow, Steve &Skidmore, SteveHero Quests – Air Blast: TyrannoQuest(more titles in this series)Franklin WattsEDGE978-1445108759Briggs, Andy Hero.com the Rise of the Heroes(more titles in this series – and seealso the series Villain.net)OUP 978-0192755438
Cameron, Niall Mobot High David Fickling 978-0385619080Dahl, Michael Green Lantern – the Last Super Hero(chapter books series)Raintree 9781406227239Harrison, Zac Hyperspace High – Robot Warriors(more titles in this series)Curious Fox 978-1782020028Hughes, Ted The Iron Man Faber 978-0571226122Hyland, Tony Go Turbo – Robot World Franklin Watts –EDGE978-0749686628Murphy, Glenn Robots, Chips and Techno stuff(Science Museum)Macmillan 9780330508964Walden, Mark H.I.V.E – Higher Institute of VillainousEducation (more titles in this series)Bloomsbury 978-1408815908Books like ‘Geek Inc’Colfer, Eoin Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian Puffin 9780141340760Gray, Jennifer Atticus Claw Breaks the Law(more titles in this series)Faber 978-0571284498Kastner Emil and the Detectives Vintage Children’sClassics9780099572848Landy, Derek Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of theWicked (more titles in this series)HarperCollins 978-0007480210Meister, Carl Clues in the Attic(My First Graphic Novel series –detective stories)Raintree 9781406225471Palmer, Tom Foul Play: Dead Ball (FootballDetective series)Puffin 978-0141323688Sharmat, MarjorieWeinmanNate the Great and the Missing Key(more titles in this series)Random House 978-0440461913Thomson, Jamie Dark Lord: the Teenage Years Orchard 978-1408315118More books by Mark GriffithsSpace Lizards Ate my Sister! Simon & Schuster 978-0857071323Space Lizards Stole my Brain! Simon & Schuster 978-0857071316Books like ‘Magic Ink’ – and booksabout comic book heroesBarlow, Steve &Skidmore, SteveAction Dogs – Ocean of Peril(more titles in this series)Usborne 978-1409520191DK DC Comics Ultimate Character Guide-from Batman to Wonder WomanDorling Kindersley 978-1405367783DK Spiderman Ultimate Sticker Book – Dorling Kindersley 978-
Amazing Adventures 1405394536Etherington, Robin& LawrenceMonkey Nuts David Fickling 978-0385619066Meister, Carl My First Graphic Novel series (see eg.above) – set of fourRaintree 9781406225501Peirce, Lincoln Amp! Comics for Kids books – eg. BigNate All Work & No PlayAndrew McMeelpublishing9781449425678Templeton, Ty&Slott, DanFree Man (Batman adventures –more titles in this series)Raintree 9781406254051Turner, James Super Animal Adventure Squad(see more titles in the DFC comicbooks series)David Fickling 978-0857560278More books by Steve ColeAstrosaurs: Riddle of the Raptor(more titles in this series)Red Fox 978-1849411493Cows in Action: First Cows on theMoon (more titles in this series)Red Fox 978-1849413961Slime Squad versus the FearsomeFists (more titles in this series)Red Fox 978-1862308763Warm Up ActivitiesHere are a few shorter activities to get your group thinking and talking – and to introduce them tothe books.Use big sheets of paper to write and draw on and keep these on hand for thewhole session toinspire and motivate.First Lines of a BookThese are the first lines of the books featured in this Chatterbooks activity pack.BOOK ALewis Grome awoke to find himself on fire.He stared, bleary-eyed and blinking, at the bright yellow flame dancing along the leg of his shabbyschool trousers and wondered what, if anything, he should do about it.BOOK BCHAPETR ONEA MYSTERIOUS PIG IN FANCY DRESSRUNS WILD!If you noticed I spelled ‘chapter’ wrong at the topof the page, CONGRATULATIONS! I’m just makingsure you’re awake.You may think it’s a bit crazy to start a book with awrongly-spelled word. Well, with the story I’mtelling,you’d better get used to crazy.
BOOK CTitch Darwin wriggled under the fence surrounding the old air-force base. He wasn’t supposed to behere. There would be trouble if he was caught.His eyes narrowed as he looked first one way and then the other.Read each one to the group and then talk about them.What do you think the book is going to be about?What sort of book do you think it will be?Why do you think this?Do you think you will like it or not? What are your reasons?Which book does each opening come from?Have a look at some more opening lines of books in the library – including favourite books. Talkabout whether they make you want to read the book.Get your group to think up opening lines forAn adventure about wild animalsA funny family storyA scary ghost storyOnomatopoeia!Onomatopoeia is a word, or the use of a word, that sounds like the thing it is describing – egcuckoo; bang; splash…Match the right onomatopoeia words to the following phrases:The sound of old wooden floorboards when someone walks on them CLICKThe sound of heavy iron chains CREAKA cat crying SLURPA bell ringing MIAOWThe sound of someone drinking soup from a spoon CLANGThe sound of a light being switched on DINGGet your group to think of more onomatopoeia words – as many as possible in 3 minutes!Make up some of your own onomatopoeia words – on Page 34 of Magic Ink there are some brilliantmade-up words to describe the sound of attacking an iron padlock with a hammer and chisel!
Eg: BAMP! CLUNKLE! Ker-PLING!In 5 minutes think of as many different words as you can forCHAMPIONTERRORMAGICLonger Activities- for each bookBATTLE CHAMPIONSWord searchFind the words listed in the gridbelow. They can run forwards, backwards, up,down and diagonally.Q E T M U O L J G CC B M E N V X A D AT Z S C O R P I O NE S F H H A K P I YN Y R A Q T W R Y OP I P K L S H F S NO C R A T E R C H ZR B M N V N X W C RD A R T P O I E T YE L G A E L P U I RJ G D M B C Z A T MS C A V E N G E R F
MECH SCORPION LONESTAR ALEXEITITCH EAGLE CRATER DROPNETDART SCAVENGER CANYONBattle Championship Contenders!Titch, Martha, Finn and Alexei are the four young people in this story who are competing in themech Battle Championships.What are they each like? Find out as much as you can from the two Battle Champions booksAcademy Attack and Canyon Clashand write a description of each character.Character’s Name What does he/shedo in the story?What sort ofperson is s/he?Anything else abouthim/her?TitchMarthaFinnAlexei
The Honour of Winning the ChampionshipsThere is big prize money in the mech Championships but more than anything else a Championshipcontender seeks honour (see Academy Attack p34).What important Games do we hold now which is also about the honour of winning for yourself andyour country?Using reference books and the internet, have a go at these questions:Name of the Games:When was the very first Games?What was awarded to the winners in the first Games?Give the name of a winner in the early days of the Games:Give the name of a winner in the 2012 Games:Name two events in the early days of the Games:
Name two events in the 2012 Games:Design a Dragon Mech!Mechs are often like their name – eg the Eagle mech can fly, powered by rockets under its steel tailfeathers; and the Scorpion mech has a tail with its tip loaded with a computer virus which canfreeze its opponent’s computer system.Have a go at designing a Dragon mech! Describe and/or draw it in the space below.What kind of head might it have? What is its body and limbs like? What special dragon-like thingscan it do? What special weapons or attacking features could you invent for it?DragonMechMAGIC INK
Quiz1. What is the name of Stew Pender’s sister?a) Lizzieb) Libertyc) Lilibethd) Lilly2. What was snuffling at the bedroom door at night?a) A ghostb) A pigc) A dogd) A horse3. What did Stew’sGrandad lock up in the attic for 20 years?a) A framed oil paintingb) Tins of paintc) A magic brushd) An artist’s smock4. Which character does Stew first bring to life by drawing him?a) Merlinb) Spidermanc) King Arthurd) Lancelot5. Which of these is not one of the characters brought to life by Stew?a) Lantern Girlb) Harvest Manc) War Commanderd) Wonder Woman6. What superhero does Stew draw himself as?a) The Iron Hulkb) Tremendous Heroc) Stupendous Mand) The Stupefying KnightAnswers: b. b. c. a. d. c.Your Comic Book Cover
Get together a collection of comics and comic books for everyone to look at and talk about. Whichones do you like best? Why?Which are your favourite characters?Then have a go at creating your own comic book character – it could be a super hero, or maybe acomedy character like Posho the pig.Draw the front cover of a comic book with a picture of your character - and don’t forget to giveyour comic book a name!How do you measure up as a Super Hero?
Have a look at the super hero fact-files for Stew’s family (see p8) – and then try doing a super herofact-file on someone in your family, or a friend – or yourself!Here’s the template for you to use.SECRET IDENTITYKNOWN ALIASESHOW HE/SHE BECAME A SUPER HEROPOWERSCHANCES AGAINST PIG (OR ANY OTHER SCARY OPPONENT)GEEK INC.
Geek Inc. Mix-upUnscramble these mixed up letters to get some of the main characters and objects in this story:LIROGA YEBRAN SINE CLUBHOTELMEBOYHCK-ROCCKY CAR SWILE SWANEPPERBYGBA GANTERCHARD FLOCKBalducci Levitation!Read on page 24 how Gabby seems to be floating above the floor – how does she do it?Look up Balducci Levitation. Wiki-How has a really good description of how to do it in 6 simplesteps: http://www.wikihow.com/Perform-the-Balducci-LevitationThen let everyone have a go at doing it for themselves!The Power of TechnoslimeIn Geek Inc. the blue technoslime has the power to bring objects to life – Barney uses it on a penciland can then give orders to it to draw things, while Lewis makes a paper dart become a real flyingmissile.What object/s would you bring to life using technoslime? And what would you get it/them to dofor you?Writing for a NewspaperFor discussion by your groupIn Geek Inc. the school newspaper The Blue Hills High Examiner is run and edited by Gloria, who hasvery definite views about what she wants the newspaper to do:‘If people break the school rules, it all goes in the Examiner, Barney,’ said Gloria. ’It’s my job toreport it. Every last embarrassing little thing. People have a right to know, don’t you think, whatgoes on in their own school? What kind of person they might be sitting next to in a lesson?’Barney shrugged.
‘Our readers love it,’ continued Gloria. ‘The more disgraceful the revelations about their classmates,the more they lap it up and the more the Examiner’s circulation increases. If I want, I can utterlyhumiliate anyone I choose simply by telling the right unhappy truth about them. And believe me, Iwill find out what that is.’Do you think that publishing embarrassing things about people is the job of a newspaper?If so, when do you think it would be ok to do this?What else is the job of a newspaper?Discuss this in your group and collect on a flip chart everyone’s thoughts about what a newspapercan do – eg. keep people up to date about what’s happening in their area; in the world.Get hold of 4 or 5 national daily papers, all for the same date. Choose a story that’s reported in allthe papers, and read it in each paper – compare how the story is told in each paper. Are theredifferences? Are some things left out/different things added in? Is anything shown in a differentlight in different newspapers?Talk about what you find out.Name of paper Anything left outof/added to thestory?Anything told in adifferent light?Other thingsnoticedDaily ExpressDaily MailDaily TelegraphGuardianSunNewspaper advertsAdvertisements are an important source of income for newspapers.‘…Yes, I’d love to run the advert for your shop, but I’m afraid our rates have increased…Times arehard for us all economically I’m afraid.’ (Gloria in Geek Inc.)
Get a local paper and have a look at the adverts – make a list of the things people are advertising.Which items have the biggest adverts? Which adverts are the most attractive?Is there any advert which really gets you interested ? Why?Your Chatterbooks group’s newspaper – front page!Write and put together a front page for a newspaper produced by your Chatterbooks group!What will you call the paper? What will it be about? Your school? What your group is doing?Things happening in your town or village? What sections will it have? – eg letters section; bookreviews; favourite films; sport……Decide on the contents, then share out who will write what – and don’t forget pictures, anddesigning the format and look of the newspaper.Some things to think about including:Name of the newspaperDecide the headline storyDecide on 3-4 max more stories for the front pageContents list for what else is in the paperEditorial (editor’s opinions)– you could highlight the beginning of this on the front pageWeather