David Rainford

David Rainford, Independent Usborne Organiser

March Picks for Schools

20th February 2020

Reading Schemes


With simple rhyming text and phonic repetition, Usborne's Phonics Readers are specially designed to develop essential language skills and early reading. This month's new title is Ted's Shed.

First Reading

Specially written for children who are just starting to learn to read, the First Reading series is divided into four levels that increase in difficulty. March's new titles are: The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (Level 3) and The Ugly Duckling (Level 4).


With lots of illustrations and fact-filled text, this series is great for readers who are growing in confidence and prefer non-fiction. This month's new titles are Baby Animals and Seeds and Flowers.


Young Fiction

Anisha is all set to be a (reluctant) bridesmaid at Aunty Bindi's wedding... until a secret ransom note arrives. Bindi's groom has been kidnapped and will only be released IF THE WEDDING IS CALLED OFF! Can Anisha solve the mystery before the big family wedding of the year becomes a disaster?

Following a huge and hilarious multi-generational British Indian family, Anisha, Accidental Detective is the first book in a fresh and deeply funny new series for 7+ readers.

Billy is an ordinary boy until one night, when he finds five Mini Monsters living in his sock drawer! From the moment he discovers Gloop, Peep, Fang-Face, Captain Snott and Trumpet, Billy's life will never be the same again...

Complete with vibrant comic strips, Billy and the Mini Monsters is a wonderfully entertaining series for young readers. March's new paperback editions are Monsters in the Dark and Monsters go to School.

Meet Knitbone Pepper, the dead special ghost dog haunting Starcross Hall! Knitbone Pepper's beloved owner Winnie is fascinated by the stars after Knitbone digs up an ancient telescope. So when a heartbroken ghost horse asks for help finding her owner – a world-famous astronomer – Knitbone looks to the skies for a dazzling answer. 

Now available in a very collectible new format, Knitbone Pepper Ghost Dog: A Horse Called Moon is book three in the much-loved series.

Young Adult Fiction

Sarah is used to spying in the champagne-fuelled parties of Nazi Berlin. But her new mission is infinitely more deadly. Her enemies think she is a terrified child, but the deadliest weapon is a girl with nothing to lose...

A hugely addictive thriller combining adrenalin-fuelled action with a timely reminder of the horrors of war, Devil Darling Spy is the sequel to the award-winning Orphan Monster Spy.

Graphic Novels

A fantastic resource for reluctant readers, our graphic novels series provide a modern and accessible interpretation of classic tales in a colourful comic book format.

March's new addition is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare's timeless masterpiece, Hamlet. When Hamlet receives a visitation from the ghost of his father, his quest for revenge leads him into a world of mayhem, madness and murder...



What really happens when we breathe? How does growing work? With over 80 flaps to lift, Lift-the-Flap How Your Body Works is a fascinating introduction to the amazing machine that is the human body. Written in consultation with a practising doctor, this informative book is a fantastic support for KS1 science lessons!

Home Learning

Key Skills

Written to support the National Curriculum, our Key Skills series is ideal for helping children to gain confidence in the skills they are learning at school, and is perfect for providing that extra support at home.

This month's new titles are: Wipe-Clean Animals 5-6Wipe-Clean Weather and Seasons 5-6 and Wipe-Clean Adding and Subtracting 7-8.