Season’s Readings!

By Kerry McGuire, Editor

The countdown to Christmas has begun and, as ever, we’d like to share with you some of our favourite Christmas reads with recently published quizzes, to get your students in the mood for their upcoming break. We are feeling very festive here in the Renaissance office; check out some of the Content team sporting our cheesy Christmas jumpers!

We’d like to wish all of our customers a happy holiday this winter, whether you’re celebrating Christmas or just having a well-earned rest. We are looking forward to another year of reading and quizzing in 2019!


Dinosaurs Go Christmas Shopping by Timothy Knapman is a hilarious tale of mischief and mayhem. When a child sees dinosaurs while out Christmas shopping, it’s clear that the dinosaurs are only up to trouble! Can the child help the dinosaurs learn to be good? The book, published by Scholastic, is a laugh-out-loud tale with illustrations filled with surprises.

Little Robin Red Vest celebrates its 20th anniversary with a new edition from Nosy Crow. The new illustrations by author Jan Fearnley are very sweet and filled with wintery imagery. It also has a poignant lesson for children.

“I loved Robin!” said the quiz writer. “He selflessly gives away his vests to his cold friends, reminding children to always be kind to others in need.”




This non-fiction book from Raintree’s Holidays Around the World series introduces young children to the meaning behind the Christmas holiday, and some of the traditions that are followed at this time of year. It uses very short sentences and features eye-catching festive photographs.

In The Dog that Saved Christmas by Nicola Davies, Christmas time is a nightmare for Jake. The bright lights and noise disrupt his routine and he struggles to cope with it all. When he finds a lost dog, who he names Susan, his family notice a big change in him, and it seems like they might actually get to experience a calm, enjoyable Christmas together. It is a heart-warming story which had me in tears at the end, and as it’s a Barrington Stoke Hi/Lo text, it can be accessed by a range of ages and abilities, too.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the classic Christmas story. There are many ways to engage readers who are either too young for the original text or are looking for a new twist on the tale.

The Baker Street Readers series from Baker Street Press offers many retellings of classics in lower reading levels. Gill Tavner’s version of A Christmas Carol perfectly captures the Christmas spirit. The book also includes more information about Dickens’ original text and historical information about the Victorian era.


For older students, David Levithan’s Marly’s Ghost: A Remix of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol published by Electric Monkey turns the tale on its head. Here, Marly isn’t an old business partner, but an ex-girlfriend. When Ben’s girlfriend Marly returns from the dead, he must go through a painful journey to find peace. By visiting his past, present and future, Ben learns to heal and love again.


We’d love to see your library’s Christmas display or hear which Christmas stories your students have loved reading and quizzing this winter. Share your pictures and experiences of Accelerated Reader over on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Happy quizzing and Merry Christmas!

Kerry McGuire

Posted on 14 December 2018 at 11:17 am
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