Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Second Eviction!

Once again, we are saying goodbye to another group of excellent books.

Reception and Key Stage1  have lost Tiny And Teeny by Chris Judge. Glengadget is the teeniest, tiniest town around. Deep down, in between the blades of grass, lives Tiny with her best friend, her pet Teeny in their apple home. Every day of the week, they have a different neighbour to meet – they do some gardening for Mandy Small, read to Bitsy McGee and give Minkin a hand with her lively twins. Then disaster strikes. Tiny and Teeny find their teeny-tiny world turned upside down, when their house is destroyed by a falling rock. They are helped by their neighbours and other townsfolk  to find a new home.  A real celebration of community and ingenious uses for everyday objects.

Year 3 and 4 say goodbye to Derek The Sheep: Danger Is My Middle Name by Gary Northfield. Grumpy but lovable sheep, Derek, is always looking for the greener grass in life, but he is constantly thwarted in his plans by the other meddlesome (and tiresome) animals on his crazy farm]. From the legendary pages of the Beano, Bog Eyed Books presents the third graphic novel in the popular Derek the Sheep series. These outrageously funny and increasingly loopy stories can finally be savoured by fans old and new.

Year 5 and 6 lose the heart-breaking graphic novel When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Mohamed Omar, illustrated by Iman Geddy. Omar and his brother Hassan, two Somali boys, have spent a long time in the Dadaab refugee camp. Separated from their mother, they are looked after by a friendly stranger. Life in the camp isn’t always easy. The hunger is constant, but there’s football to look forward to, and now there’s a chance Omar will get to go to school… A stark look at the lives of child refugees that is sure to spark much discussion. The stunning illustrations tell the moving story when there are no words to express what is happening.

You can vote to keep your favourite book in the competition at

And finally, it’s Deaf Awareness Week in the UK this week, so I’ve chosen a brilliant book that has a hearing impaired main character – Max And The Millions by Ross Montgomery. 

Max hates life at St. Goliath’s Boarding School. The Headmaster, Mr. Pitt, is nothing like the caring teacher he portrays himself as. Every assembly Max is made to sit in the SPECIAL SEAT because he wears hearing aids. He’d far rather hide away with the caretaker, Mr Darrow, making miniature models. But, hours before the summer holidays are due to begin, Mr Darrow disappears, which means Max has to put their emergency plan into action.

When Mr Darrow still hasn’t returned as the start of the new term looms, Max discovers a miraculous transformation in the caretaker’s room, and finds himself in a race against time and Mr Pitt to save the new world and its inhabitants.

The inhabitants of The Floor have even more to worry about as the three tribes are locked in a battle for resources and all-out war seems ever more likely. Can newly crowned King Luke bring the Tribes together and keep the peace while Max battles Mr Pitt to save them all?

Brilliantly written, Ross Montgomery combines great characters, a pacey plot and huge handfuls of humour to create a rip-roaring adventure that had me howling with laughter from beginning to end in one sitting.

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Cannon Park Virtual Book Fair

Cannon Park Primary School is pleased to announce that our new Scholastic Book Club is up and running!

Go to to browse the latest books and order online.

It’s quick and easy to browse and shop in the online fantastic selection. Simply select the tabs to see each selection for different age groups – add books to your basket and check out securely online. Many of the books can be purchased at a cheaper price than the recommended retail price.

For every £1 you spend on this month’s Book Club, our school will earn 20p in Scholastic Rewards. This will enable the school to buy new books, which will go directly into our class libraries.

Please place your order online by June 25th, 2021. All ordered books will be delivered to school after this date and distributed to the relevant children.

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Year 6 interview with Arctic Star author, Tom Palmer.

Tom Palmer’s historical fiction is guaranteed to be excellently researched and packed with emotion; his new book,  Arctic Star, excels on both counts.

From the very first chapter, you are drawn into Frank, Stephen and Joseph’s lives aboard HMS Forgetmenot. Dark humour peppers their voyage across the freezing seas where the dangers are not only from the enemy.

It’s winter 1943 and teenagers Frank, Joseph and Stephen are Royal Navy recruits on their first mission at sea during the Second World War. Their ship is part of an Arctic Convoy sailing to Russia to deliver supplies to the Soviets. The convoys have to navigate treacherous waters, sailing through a narrow channel between the Arctic ice pack and German bases on the Norwegian coast. Faced with terrifying enemy attacks from both air and sea, as well as life-threatening cold and storms, will all three boys make it home again.

The intricacies of the three men’s friendships are expertly highlighted, which makes some of the conversations more harrowing for more sensitive readers. They create a myriad of discussion points too, from how friendships survive a fall out, to dealing with loss and grief, why people chose to go to war and how they survived their experiences

The differing perspectives are never clearer than when discussing their convoy’s destination, Murmansk in Russia. The ideology in theory doesn’t match the reality they find on shore leave, opening up a huge discussion on different political ideologies and ways of life

For a very different perspective on WW2 and a very different battlefield, Arctic Star is an all action, heart-breaking story of friendship and survival. Tissues are a must. Here’s what Year 6 thought:  

  • I love how it goes straight into the action and doesn’t stop!
  • I like how every chapter ends on a cliff hanger which makes you think a lot.
  • I love how there is humour even though it is a really serious story.
  • The description is so good it puts images in my head.
  • I like the chemistry between the characters and that they have such a strong friendship.
  • I like that it’s based around an aspect of WW2 we don’t normally get to read about.
  • I love that it is based on real events and you can feel the emotion in the story.

Now for the interview!

Miss Cleveland has lots of books on her bookcase. Why should we pick Arctic Star?

I’d say you don’t have to. But, if you like stories of war, adventure and danger – that feature friendship – then you might enjoy it. But compare it to some of the other books and choose the one you like the sound of most.

How would feel if you were one of the characters from Arctic Star, and how would you deal with that emotion?

I don’t know is the honest answer. I’ve never been in a shipwreck, but my job is to try to imagine it. To be honest, I compared it with the time I was in a ship in the North Sea in a force 9 gale and another time that my best friend died (aka Stephen). Then I drew from those emotional situations. Not easy, but it is good to use traumatic things you have been through when you write, I think. Most of the time.

Why do you think it’s important to write about things that have happened in history?

So that we are well informed about the past, meaning we can deal better with the future. There are lots of misconceptions about history and I think it is our duty to understand it properly and be respectful to those involved – and their memory.

Are there any other historical periods you would like to write about?

The Iron Age, in particular Queen Cartimandua.

Which of your books are you most passionate about and why?

After the War. Because I met some of the Holocaust survivors it is about and they told me they wanted me to write about their story because – to be quite honest – as they were very old, they would be dead soon and the story needed to be told when they were gone.

How long does it usually take you to write a story?

Football books = 2 months. History books 6 to 9 months.

Do you have any unfinished writing projects?

Yes. They are ones that didn’t work out.

What do you do if you are struggling for ideas?

Make a scrap book of images and ideas. Do lots of plans. Play with different ideas and juxtapose them until I find the right idea for me.

If you weren’t an author, what would you like to be instead?

An explorer.

Which children’s book characters would you like to go on a socially distanced picnic with?

The Cat in the Hat. That’d be a good laugh.

About Tom Palmer Tom is the multi award winning author of over fifty children’s books including three Puffin football series, Football Academy, Foul Play and The Squad, and 15 books for Barrington Stoke.

Huge thanks to Tom Palmer for answering our questions and to his publisher, Barrington Stoke, for arranging it for us.  

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Year 6 and the Olympic torch handover to Finham Park School.

Yesterday, the Year 6 children enjoyed holding an Olympic torch dating back to 1948. We were passed the torch by Stivichall Primary School and were entrusted with it until it was our turn to pass it on. They learnt about the history of the Olympics and the values associated with the event.

Today, a selection of children proudly carried the Olympic torch to Finham Park School. They demonstrated all the values expected of them and shared carrying duties along the way. Upon being greeted by Finham Park Staff, they were given the opportunity to do a short relay race along the running track where they were then greeted by welcoming Finham Park students at the other end. One of our children even gave a rousing speech to their headteacher upon arrival!

Mr Young and Mr Sawbridge couldn’t be prouder of how the children conducted themselves throughout this event and truly believe this once in a life time opportunity will leaving many lasting memories.


Well done everyone.



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Cookie excavation

In our learning of the pre-historic period, Year 3 had an exciting afternoon finding out about the job of an archaeologist. Using cookies and cocktail sticks, the children carefully chipped away at the dirt (the cookie) to slowly reveal the hidden artefacts (chocolate chips). Any findings were recorded on grids, noting the exact point where they were found using co-ordinates and axes. The children used great precision and realised how long the process can take and how careful archaeologists need to be. Well done Year 3 for showing great enjoyment in our learning in History.




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Coventry Inspiration Books Awards – First Out!

The evictions have started for this year’s Coventry Inspiration Book Awards, and these are the first books to leave the competition.

Reception, Year 1 and 2

Otto Blotter Bird Spotter by Graham Carter

Otto’s family are keen bird spotters, indeed they are so keen they have turned their house into a hide. Otto, though, loves exploring and on one of his trips he finds a very unusual baby bird and brings it secretly into his home. He is able to hide it from his family because the bird is very good at camouflage. As the bird grows and grows, Otto realises that it’s missing its family and recruits help to track them down.

A really lovely picture book celebrating the natural world with stunning illustrations. I’m really surprised to see this go out so early!


Year 3 and 4

My Other Life by Polly Ho-Yen, illustrated by Patricia Hu

Mae spends a lot of time in hospitals. She’s had asthma since she was little and sometimes she just can’t breathe. She was in hospital the very first time she saw the hole – a tear in the universe which seems to appear only to her. Before she knows it she is drawn into a parallel world, where things aren’t quite the same…

This powerful fantasy story is full of big ideas and a great way to talk about chronic illness with children. With beautiful black-and-white illustrations throughout, it is ideal for children who are developing as readers.




Year 5 and 6

Fire Girl, Forest Boy by Chloe Daykin

Maya has to escape. Abandoned in the cloud forest, she’s on the run in a country she doesn’t know and has no idea who to trust. Raul is escaping too – travelling back to his home where a terrible tragedy happened, ready to stir up trouble. When their paths collide in the middle of the jungle, the sparks begin to fly. As modern world corruption meets the magic and legends of ancient times, can Maya draw on her hidden light to find the way through to the truth?

An amazing, thought provoking adventure set in the Peruvian rainforest, highlighting the plight of our Earth’s lungs. Told in dual narrative, this has magic, crime and mystery all wrapped in in a stunning setting. Sad to see this one exit so early.



If you want to make sure your favourite book isn’t evicted make sure you keep voting! You can vote here !

And finally, here’s a non-fiction book celebrating all things sport including all three Olympic Games – the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Winter Olympics. Sportopedia by Adam Long, illustrated by Mark Long features over 60 sports from around the world, and looks at the rules, kits and fascinating facts. A brilliant book to dip in and out of with captivating illustrations!


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Olympic Torch Visit

As part of Coventry City of Culture and leading up to the Tokyo Olympics this summer, we were visited by a group of children and staff from Stivichall Primary School, who brought with them the Olympic torch, which was used in the London Olympics back in 1948. All the children went outside in their bubbles to greet the torch runners, waving flags and holding banners. The torch will spend some time in each class before a group of Year 6 children take the torch to Finham School on Friday afternoon.

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Why are flowers important?

Year 5 have started a new topic in science looking at how plants reproduce and why they are important. We explored the school grounds looking at the different types of plants and trees we have, concentrating on the ones with flowers.

Then, we hid seeds (raisins) in the meadow to see how they might be distributed by the wind and animals. We will be going back down to the meadow later in the week to see what has happened to them.

We also planted a sunflower seed in biodegradable bags ready to plant at home. We will be measuring them each week to see who has the tallest sunflower by the end of the summer term.

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