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Reading for Pleasure

Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo

Last term our focus text in Guided Reading was Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo. This term we will finish reading it together for pleasure. 


Using what you know already, why do you think the whales come? What do you think they will come to do?


Explain what you know about the key characters so far; Gracie, Daniel and the Birdman.

Which words would you use to describe them?


The whales on the front cover are narwhals.

What do you know about this type of whale?


Click on the link above to read more about them.




Other books by Michael Morpurgo

Read more about the author here.


The House of One Hundred Clocks

I can't wait to share the first class novel with you, there were so many to choose from! I recently read The House of One Hundred Clocks and think you will love it as much as me.


Just by looking at the cover, what do you predict it might be about? The title might give you a very good clue!

The House of One Hundred Clocks

JUNE, 1905.

Helena and her parrot, Orbit, are swept off to Cambridge when her father is appointed clock-winder to one of the wealthiest men in England. There is only one rule: the clocks must never stop.

But Helena discovers the house of one hundred clocks holds many mysteries; a ghostly figure, strange notes and disappearing winding keys… Can she work out its secrets before time runs out?

How can we apply our reading skills?

How would you describe each of the characters so far? What gives you that impression of them?


Helena is.... because...

I would describe Mr Westcott as... because...


What is Helena's most prized possession? Why is it so special to her?


Where have Helena and her father come to? Why?


Do you predict Helena will enjoy living here? Why

Meet the Author

A.M. Howell completed a BA and MA at the University of Manchester and now writes policy documents for local government. In 2015, she was one of fifteen writers selected to take part in the Curtis Brown Creative Writing for Children Course, tutored by children’s author Catherine Johnson.

Her first novel, The Garden of Lost Secrets is loosely inspired by the discovery of a 100-year-old gardener’s notebook at Ickworth House. She lives in rural Suffolk with her husband and two sons.

Other books by A.M.Howell

The Garden of Lost Secrets

It is 1916 and twelve-year-old Clara’s father has gone to Devon to recover from gas poisoning. Clara, and the terrible secret she keeps hidden in her pinafore pocket, are sent to stay with her formidable aunt and uncle at Gardener’s Cottage in the grounds of a country estate.


Clara soon discovers that her new surroundings hold secrets of their own: a locked room and a hidden key, a mysterious boy who only appears in the gardens at night, covert meetings on misty mornings, and a fruit thief who is stealing precious pineapples from the Earl’s exotic hothouses.


But for Clara to unravel the garden’s secrets, she will have to face up to a truth she can’t bring herself to acknowledge and a war she’s desperate to forget.


Mrs Smith has a copy of this book too if you would like to read it.

I loved reading this book as it reminded me of visits to Belton House and other stately homes, it was very similar to Moondial which is set at Belton. The character of Clara is very likeable, I loved her adventure, curiosity and stubbornness to solve the mystery. I am sure lots of you would love to read it too- it certainly kept me guessing until the end!