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Years 3 & 4

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Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was determined from a very early age to learn everything that she could, and her sharp, active mind and passion for education meant that she became a star student.

Michelle’s parents hadn’t been to university, but they made sure Michelle and her brother Craig knew how important it was: sometimes they would drive around the more affluent neighbourhoods of Chicago and say: “This is what life could look like if you go to a good college and get a good job.” Yet when Michelle went to see the university advisor at her school and told her she wanted to go to Princeton, one of the best universities in the USA, the woman told her she “wasn’t Princeton material”.

Fortunately, the young Michelle was very determined, so she went straight to the Assistant Principal and asked him to write her a letter of recommendation. A few months later, she was accepted to Princeton, and her life changed forever. After university she became a top lawyer in Chicago (where she met her future husband and President of the United States, Barack), and then got more and more involved in local politics and charities, all informing her work as First Lady and beyond.

A perfect introduction to Michelle Obama’s inspiring life, this book is a must for anyone with a dream, and a reminder that with hard work and focus, everything is possible. Just wonderful.

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Robin is an eccentric family robot, built by grandma to look after Jess and Jake. Robin wakes up after a reboot one day convinced he’s a teacher and is hired as a supply cover - for Jess and Jake’s class! 

Robin and the class enter a science competition and invent a car fuelled by waste. The children are proud and hopeful so when the project begins to fall apart, Jess suspects their nasty neighbour Mr Burton may be involved - and when Robin disappears on the eve of the science fair, Jess fears the worst.

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Sam Wu has faced plenty of challenges in his short life – the dark, ghosts, spiders and sharks – but when his worst enemy, Ralph Zinkerman the Third, admits that he has a zombie werewolf living in his basement, Sam’s bravery is put to its greatest test ever. Luckily, he has a team of friends to help him tackle the horrors that lurk beneath Ralph’s enormous mansion.

This is the latest in a funny, energetic series that children aged around seven will love. Like the others in the series, it is highly illustrated and each page is bursting with visual interest. Beneath the humour, there are positive messages about team-work, acceptance and friendship. Sam has to get to grips with the idea that his worst enemy might actually become his friend. Another well-handled theme which will resonate with readers is wealth disparity – Sam and his friends are amazed, though not cowed, by Ralph’s enormous house.

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