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Books for big change: transition to secondary school

Added 09 Jun 2023

books big change 2023

Big changes and new challenges

The transition from primary to secondary school is a big change for many children. As they prepare to leave their familar primary school and start somewhere new, it's understandable that they may feel nervous, excited, or confused - and sometimes all three! There are likely to be challenges ahead, but also a new world of opportunities.

Reading, and finding a book, character or circumstance that they connect with, can help children to manage and understand their feelings about making the transition between schools, or coping with other big changes in their lives.

It can allow children to explore experiences of challenge and change, testing out how they might respond. It can also help them to know that they are not alone, and to build empathy with others.

Read more about the links between reading and empathy in our blog.

Reading recommendations for big change

Our Books for big change list is designed for teachers and school librarians to explore and share with your pupils.

We've included a wide range of titles and genres so that you can make recommendations to help all children find something that is right for them, whether from the school library, or by exploring their public library collection during the holidays.

The list includes top 10 picks plus a further selection of titles that cover:

  • fiction
  • non-fiction
  • graphic novels
  • poetry.

If you are logged in you can download the booklist from the available files list on this page. Or set up a free login to access this list and many more free resources for schools.

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