Reading4Normal 
Reading Guides
2021-2022

We have developed Reading Guides for the UK YA novels being read by this year's Book Clubs. We will be making these Guides available here throughout the year. To download, please click on the relevant PDF logo.
 

Simon James Green’s You’re the One That I Want

We hope you enjoy reading You’re the One That I Want. It is a warm-hearted story set in London about a teenage boy who decides to reinvent himself for the start of the school year. It explores what it means to have good friends, to fancy the new boy in your class, and to find your passion. It is a light and funny read, but it also asks some important questions about what really makes us who we are and what it means to be normal. The Reading4Normal Book Club is all about your responses to the novel, especially how it makes you feel about your own life. 

 

As you read You’re the One That I Want, you might want to note down any examples of things that seem normal or ordinary to you:

  • write down the page number 

  • add a short description of what’s going on in your example

  • add a sentence or two about how this example makes you feel and how it is similar or different to your life now.

 

Here are some suggestions of everyday things and experiences from the book:

  • p. 19: going out for a meal with friends

  • p. 33: getting coffee from the sixth form common room

  • p. 69: getting home from school

  • p. 222: description of London

  • p. 327: pizza night

 

There are no right or wrong ways to complete this activity, so just have some fun reading and thinking of your responses. You can also make some notes about other bits of the novel that interest you if you would like – how you feel about the characters, the storyline, or the style. You can share your thoughts with the Reading4Normal Book via our social media.


 

Danielle Jawando’s And the Stars Were Burning Brightly

We hope you find And the Stars Were Burning Brightly interesting. It is a story about family and friendship, creativity and communication, and how to be true to yourself. The book features topics you might find difficult, including suicide and mental health issues, and asks some important questions about what it can mean to be a teenager, a sibling, and a friend. The Reading4Normal Book Club is all about your responses to the novel, especially how it makes you feel about your own life. 

 

As you read And the Stars Were Burning Brightly, you might want to note down any examples of things that seem normal or ordinary to you:

  • write down the page number 

  • add a short description of what’s going on in your example

  • add a sentence or two about how this example makes you feel and how it is similar or different to your life now

 

Here are some suggestions from the book to get you started:

 

p. 33: A family kitchen

p. 47: Getting on a bus

p. 66: Finding someone on Facebook

p. 99: Getting ready for school

 

There are no right or wrong ways to complete this activity, so just have some fun with your responses. You can also write about other bits of the novel that interest you if you would like – how you feel about the characters, the storyline, or the style.


 

Lisa Williamson's First Day of My Life

We hope you enjoy reading First Day of My Life. It is a fast-paced story set in Nottingham and Swindon about three teenagers and a missing baby. Filled to the brim with mystery and drama, this book explores some of the messy ups and downs of friendship. It also asks important questions about how to do the right thing and whether adults always know best. The Reading4Normal Book Club is all about your responses to the novel, especially how it makes you feel about your own life. 

 

As you read First Day of My Life, you might want to note down any examples of things that seem normal or ordinary to you:

  • write down the page number 

  • add a short description of what’s going on in your example

  • add a sentence or two about how this example makes you feel and how it is similar or different to your life now

 

Here are some suggestions from the book to get you started:

 

p. 9: Getting exam results

p.30 Watching the news

p. 97 Travelling by train

p. 115: Being in hospital

 

There are no right or wrong ways to complete this activity, so just have some fun with your responses. You can also write about other bits of the novel that interest you if you would like – how you feel about the characters, the storyline, or the style.


 

Nikesh Shukla's The Boxer

We hope you find The Boxer engaging. The novel is set in Bristol and features seventeen-year-old amateur boxer, Sunny. It is a story about friendship, community, and discovering your own strength. The book features topics you might find difficult, including racism, violence, and far-right radicalisation, and asks some important questions about how to find your place in the world. The Reading4Normal Book Club is all about your responses to the novel, especially how it makes you feel about your own life. 

As you read The Boxer, you might want to note down any examples of things that seem normal or ordinary to you:

  • write down the page number 

  • add a short description of what’s going on in your example

  • add a sentence or two about how this example makes you feel and how it is similar or different to your life now

 

Here are some suggestions from the book to get you started:

 

pp. 24-55: Lying in bed

pp. 45-46: Going to the gym

pp. 75-76: Mum cooking breakfast

pp. 188-89: Meeting in town

 

There are no right or wrong ways to complete this activity, so just have some fun with your responses. You can also write about other bits of the novel that interest you if you would like – how you feel about the characters, the storyline, or the style.


 

Yasmin Rahman This Is My Truth

We hope that you enjoy reading This Is My Truth. The novel features best friends Amani and Huda, who are jealous of each other’s seemingly easy life until they become aware of the worries and hardships that the other experiences. It is a story about friendship, family, being brave, and telling the truth. The book incorporates important and sometimes challenging themes, such as religion, the care system, and domestic abuse. It also asks important questions about how to do the right thing. The Reading4Normal Book Club is all about your responses to the novel, especially how it makes you feel about your own life. 

 

As you read This Is My Truth, you might want to note down any examples of things that seem normal or ordinary to you:

  • write down the page number 

  • add a short description of what’s going on in your example

  • add a sentence or two about how this example makes you feel and how it is similar or different to your life now

 

Here are some suggestions from the book to get you started:

 

pp. 1: Waking up in the morning

pp. 2: Having breakfast

pp. 17: Social media

pp. 60: Hobbies and homework

pp. 92, pp. 293: School

 

There are no right or wrong ways to complete this activity, so just have some fun with your responses. You can also write about other bits of the novel that interest you if you would like – how you feel about the characters, the storyline, or the style.