By now, many of you haven’t been to school for five or six weeks. It’s perfectly natural that you may be feeling impatient, fed up or demotivated. But there is help to be found in words and rhythm!
Here are our top tunes, rhymes and reads to reinvigorate you for the week ahead!
9 songs to fire you up
Harder Better Faster Stronger by Daft Punk
I Get Knocked Down by Chumbawumba
Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Written in the Stars by Tinie Tempeh
Stronger by Kelly Clarkson
Pump It by Black Eyed Peas
Pressing On by Relient K
Fighter by Christina Aguilera
Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
8 poems to inspire you
For the ultimate motivation: If by Rudyard Kipling
If you’re wondering why you’re still bothering with any of it: O Me! O Life! By Walt Whitman
For an idea of what school might be like with everyone at home: The School in August by Philip Larkin
To remind yourself of how annoyed teachers get with, well, everyone: Please Mrs Butler by Allan Ahlberg
And do you really miss that annoying student who disrupts everyone else? Spitwads by Michael McFee
An ode to words: Words are Birds by Francisco X. Alarcón
They may get annoyed, but you can’t help missing them: Ode to Teachers by Pat Mora
For anyone who is really, really missing the screen break that PE class gives them: A Boy Juggling a Soccer Ball by Christopher Merrill
7 books about feeling trapped or overcoming adversity
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Ally has a secret: she never learned to read. In fact, she has pretty serious dyslexia. She uses humour and cunning to prevent people finding out, but there will always be those who find ways to shame you. This story tells of how finding the right support empowers you to embrace and own your differences.
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. If you think you’ve got it bad, being stuck at home instead of at school, spare a thought for poor Madeline. She has a disease that keeps her trapped in a sealed, sterile room 24/7. But when a cute boy moves in next door, she starts to question what she values most, and what she is prepared to risk.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio. Ten-year-old August has been homeschooled all his life. He has a facial disfigurement, and there were concerns he’d be bullied; but his parents decide it’s time for him to live a more realistic existence, and enrol him in school. Of course, as soon as he starts, the token Mean Kid makes his life miserable – but there wouldn’t be much of a story if Auggie weren’t prepared to work hard and overcome adversity.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. The ultimate “locked-door” murder mystery, this story by the Queen of Crime tells of 10 strangers who are invited to stay in a house on a remote island. One by one, they are found dead, but there is no way anyone can reach the island – or leave it. Puts the school suspension into perspective.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Thomas wakes up in an enclosed fortress, with walls kilometres high, and a labyrinth outside that changes shape each day. Oh, and killer monsters live along its winding paths. Thomas and the other teens who have been trapped within want to escape their prison, but how can they ensure they all get out safely?
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. On the eve of his wedding, young sailor Edmond’s is set up by his enemies, falsely accused of treason, and imprisoned without trial on a remote island. Over the next several years, he plots his escape – and his revenge. On the surface, this is a swashbuckling adventure, with treasure hunts and pirate ships, but also an important message: the likeable characters feel happiness and satisfaction with their lives, while the characters we don’t like focus on what they don’t have.
The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. The Boy Who Lived has it tough: when he’s not living in a cupboard under the stairs, some evil wizard is trying to kill him. But that doesn’t stop him from persevering, learning, making lifelong friends, and (spoiler alert, but who are you if you haven’t read these?) basically saving the Earth.