The Power of Sharing Stories

National Share-A-Story Month (NSSM) is an annual celebration that takes place throughout the month of May. It provides the perfect opportunity to recognise the importance of storytelling and story sharing, bringing families and friends together.
Three children gathered around a table and reading a book together.
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The start of May brings with it the beginning of National Share a Story Month, a wonderful initiative by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups to encourage shared reading.

Sharing stories is one of the most fundamental ways we make connections, from sharing the story of our day to reading books aloud to one another. One of my own favourite memories of my childhood is my dad reading to me before bed every night. He chose to share favourite tales from his own childhood, The Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome, and I can vividly remember going to the bookshop to buy the next book in the series time and time again.

We actively need to make time to share stories and in my view it’s especially important that we read to children, whatever their age. Often, even where sharing stories has importance, we only share stories in English but I would argue that sharing stories should be across the whole curriculum. Stories can inspire, send you to different worlds, provide escapism and a myriad of other things. What better thing could we share? Reading is so important, not only as a lesson but as a life skill.

This year’s One Education Literacy Conference is all about Reading across the curriculum. One of our keynote speakers this year is Karl Duke, Headteacher at Blyton-cum-Laughton Church of England School who will be inspiring delegates with his school’s approach to using picture books across the whole curriculum. Find out more and book your special early bird tickets to #LitConf19.

This year’s theme for NSSM is ‘Travelling Tales’ and with that in mind, here are some of our favourite contemporary texts to share across the curriculum.


A selection of Early Years books.
  1. Across the Savannah by Libby Walden and Clover Robin
  2. A First Book of the Sea by Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton
  3. All Aboard for the Bobo Road by Stephen Davies and Christopher Corr
  4. All the Way Home by Debi Gliori
  5. Hello World by Jonathan Litton
  6. Let’s Explore with Ted by Sophy Henn
  7. Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
  8. My City by Joanne Liu
  9. The Journey Home by Fran Preston-Gannon
  10. The Wall in the Middle of the Book by John Agee

Key Stage 1:

A selection of books for readers in Key Stage 1.
  1. All Around the World by Geraldine Cosneau
  2. Atlas of Adventures by Lucy Letherland
  3. Dogs in Space: The Amazing True Story of Belka and Strelka by Vix Southgate
  4. Emma Jane’s Aeroplane by Katie Howarth and Daniel Rieley
  5. Grandad’s Island by Benji Davies
  6. Space Tortoise by Ross Montgomery
  7. The Marvellous Moon Map by Teresa Heapy and David Litchfield
  8. The Parrot and the Merchant (Tales by Rumi) by Pippa Goodhart and Marjan Vafaian
  9. The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers
  10. Walk this World by Lotta Niemenen

Key Stage 2:

A selection of books for readers in Key Stage 2.
  1. Coming to England by Floella Benjamin
  2. Everest: The Remarkable Story of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay by Alexandra Stewart and Joe Todd-Stanton
  3. Migration: Incredible Animal Journeys by Mike Unwin
  4. Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers
  5. Race to the Frozen North: The Matthew Henson Story by Catherine Johnson
  6. Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill
  7. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
  8. The Boy Who Biked the World by Alastair Humphreys
  9. The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
  10. The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

Key Stage 3 and Young People:

NB. Please read for content and theme as many of these texts deal with challenging topics.

A selection of books for readers in Key Stage 3.
  1. Alpha by Bessora and Barroux
  2. Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowes
  3. Illegal by Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin and Giovanni Rigano
  4. In a Perfect World by Trish Doller
  5. Opposite of Always by Justin Reynolds
  6. Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon
  7. Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd
  8. The Art of Holding On and Letting Go by Kristin Bartley Lenz
  9. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
  10. Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

How will your school celebrate Share a Story Month?

You could encourage parents to come into school to share their favourite childhood story as a ‘mystery reader’; start to hold storybook assemblies each week or even start recording a ‘bedtime story’ every week.

Take a look at one of our One Education Reading Award schools, Russell Scott Primary School, for more ideas.

You can also tweet us your activities at @oeschooldevelop for the chance to win a bundle of lovely books to read aloud!

Please get in touch or visit our literacy page for more information.

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