Library Services for Schools - Cumbria's primary schools book award

Spellbinding Winner - 2020!


Congratulations to Jenny McLachlan for her fabulous, thrilling adventure book 'The Land of Roar' which has been chosen by Cumbria's primary school children in year's 5 and 6 as their favourite book.

A message from Jenny McLachlan


I just wanted to write and say how thrilled I was to discover that The Land of Roar had won the Cumbria SLS Primary Book of the Year award! I can't tell you how much this means to me. Being a writer is a funny job. We sit at home, making up imaginary worlds and filling them with people and making adventures happen to them, and all the time we are thinking about children just like YOU, and hoping you will love our story just as much as we do. Nothing means more to a children's writer than winning an award that our readers, children, have voted for. So thank you very much! I know that Arthur, Rose and Win would be doing cartwheels through a meadow filled with bright yellow butterflies if they heard the news. Even Crowky might manage a smile...although I'm sure it would be a slightly sinister one!

I also want to thank Rachel, and all the teachers and librarians involved in running this year's award. It must involve a huge amount of work. I really wish something like this had existed when I was at school. I would have loved to take part!

I hope you all have a lovely summer and get to read some really exciting books and maybe write some stories of your own....

Best wishes
Jenny McLachlan" 


About the book

"Believing is just the beginning....When Arthur and Rose were little they were heroes in the Land of Roar, an imaginary world that they found by climbing through the folding bed in their grandad's attic. Roar was filled with things they love - dragons, mermaids, ninja wizards and adventure - as well as things that scared them. Now the twins are eleven, Roar is just a memory. But when they help grandad clean out the attic, Arthur is horrified as grandad is pulled into the folding bed and vanishes. Is he playing a joke? Or is Roar....real? A fabulous, thrilling adventure story that will make you believe in magic!"

Primary Spellbinding web site - participating children can log in and leave comments about their favourite books, visit author web sites or try out the activities and quizzes. The staff section includes book review templates, bookmarks and activity ideas to download.

"We would like to take part again as it really gets the children excited about reading different genres of books."  St Bridget's CE School Brigham

"We have done it since the beginning and think it is brilliant." Staveley CE School

"The year 5 children have taken part in the awards this year and have really enjoyed it. Their enthusiasm to read the books and talk about them has been fabulous to hear. Many of them have found books, that they wouldn't normally choose, to be great fun and this has given them the confidence to try new and different genres." Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Barrow.

"Once again our children are really enjoying the Spellbinding experience and it's lovely to see some "reluctant" boy readers actively involved." Victoria Academy, Barrow

"I was very impressed by a year 6 less able reader who persevered to read all 7 books and had a great sense of achievement. All the children who read 7 books were really proud of themselves."

"It certainly raised the profile of reading amongst the children and their parents."

"Children were introduced to other authors and this will lead them to read a wider range of genre."

"Part of our project allowed time for follow up and discussion which developed useful skills in thinking about reading and thinking beyond what they read."

"Many children commented on the fact that they wouldn't have selected some of the books if they'd seen them in the library, yet they were surprised by how much they enjoyed them."

"All the pupils seemed to enjoy the variety and the poorer readers were keen to have a go at the more complex texts."

"Our year 6 are really enjoying the selection - two "reluctant" readers both spotted at playtime reading their books!!."

"My class have really enjoyed taking part in such an exciting project and just before the lockdown happened, reading and discussing the books and rewarding stickers for passports was the highlight of our day"! Broomfield Primary, North Yorkshire