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Books for an Alternative Provision Library

A recent thread on EPNET sought suggestions for a school library to support pupils attending Alternative Provision Schools (AP/APS).

We’ve reproduced the list of books developed by EPNET members and compiled by Dr Jagdish Barn (EP). We’ve attempted to theme the list, provided a brief summary of the books, and links to where you can get them from.

Be sure to add your suggestions for more books to the comments section below!

Attachment and trauma focus

Attachment and emotional development in the classroom edited by David Colley and Paul Cooper
This book furthers understanding of attachment and its influence on a child’s learning and emotional development and regulation, and how interventions can be shaped to develop these.

Settling troubled pupils to learn: Why relationships matter in school by Louise Bomber and Dan Hughes
In this book, the authors explain the importance of relationships and why these need to be in place before any learning can happen.

The boy who was raised as a dog by Bruce Perry
The book introduces the concepts and principles, as well as the effects, of trauma on the brain. It uses real-life stories to describe brain development and the science behind it.

The simple guide to child trauma by Betsy de Thierry
This book aims to generate understanding of how it feels to be a child who has experienced trauma, and the outcomes and incidents which occur following this, which may be familiar. Ideas and strategies are suggested, located within theoretical frameworks and evidence-bases.

Brain-based books

Blame my brain: The amazing teenage brain revealed by Nicola Morgan
This book discusses the teenage components of emotions, sleep, risk taking, addiction, depression, and gender differences.

Brainstorm: The power and purpose of the teenage brain by Dan Siegel
This is accessible to both the adolescent and those supporting or working with young people. It is a positive outlook on how experiences in adolescence, and all that it entails, can create a future involving adventure.

Inventing ourselves: The secret life of the teenage brain by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore
Sarah-Jayne acknowledges the stage of adolescence as one worth exploring; she explains the role of the adolescent brain in this experience which leads us into the people we become.

The whole brain child by Dr Dan Siegel and Dr Tina Payne Bryson
This book is aimed at any person supporting or nurturing children or young people. It focuses on developing these interactions for the child to survive and thrive.

Tools and techniques to support talking and listening

Brief coaching with children and young people, a solution focused approach by Harvey Ratner and Denise Yusuf
This book provides a practical approach to working with children and young people with case examples from real-life work. The practitioners introduce coaching and theories behind it before considering its application.

How to talk so teens will listen and listen so teens will talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
The emphasis in this book is on the importance of open, honest conversations between parents/ carers and young people. Some of the chosen topics are feelings, friendships and sex.

Motivational Interviewing by Eddie McNamara
Motivational Interviewing is a technique and intervention designed to encourage awareness of ‘readiness to change’. This book outlines the theory of MI and what the stages of change look like; it includes examples of the application of this technique with children and young people.

Story and metaphor

These three words by Jess van der Hoech
This is described as a therapeutic novel which follows the story of Luna-Ray, her anxiety, and her sessions with a counsellor. They explore feelings, behaviours, coping strategies and ways to self-regulate and increase confidence.

Using stories to build bridges with traumatised children by Kim Golding
Kim uses helping stories to show their power in supporting those who have experienced trauma. The stories are written for a range of ages, from young children and up to adults and this book considers their use as, and within, therapeutic interventions.

Books for teens

The teenage guide to friends by Nicola Morgan
This is written for adolescents and those who work and care for them. It discusses the creation and maintenance of friendships, including those made online, along with information on empathy and personality traits.

The teenage guide to stress by Nicola Morgan
This is written for adolescents and those who work and care for them. It discusses a wide range of stressors that adolescents may encounter and describes how they can support themselves during stressful times and protect their mental health.

Interventions and approaches

Transforming the difficult child: The nurtured heart approach by Howard Glasser and Jennifer Easley
This book advocates channelling the intensity seen in some children and young people, rather than trying to dampen it. Their approach supports the formation of strategies to develop success within children’s activities and relationships.

Video Interaction Guidance by Hilary Kennedy, Miriam Landor and Liz Todd
This explains the VIG method as a strength-based intervention and how it can be applied. The book introduces the theory behind VIG and its evidence-base, and is a must read for a VIG practitioner.

You think I’m evil by David Taransaud
This provides professionals with evidence-based practices to help them connect with teenagers and adolescents described as ‘rebellious’ or ‘aggressive’.


What every teacher needs to know about psychology by David Didau and Nick Rose
This book explores psychological perspectives and principles about learning, thinking, motivation, behaviour and assessment, all relevant to the complex role of a teacher.

Visible learning for teachers by John Hattie
This book focuses on aiding teachers in understanding the importance of their role in developing children’s learning: learning that consists of personal developments and an understanding of the self, a love for learning and an understanding of the benefits of learning.

Closing the vocabulary gap by Alex Quigley
In this book Alex provides experience, insight and strategies to support those who are interested in promoting vocabulary development to harness academic and communicative tools and confidence.


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About Emily France

Emily is an LA EP with an interest in social and emotional needs and staff wellbeing. Emily is also an editor for edpsy and looks after the Events pages.

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2 Comments so far:

  1. […] We’re going to mull this over because we think it’s something that could be relatively easy to do and very useful. In fact… we’ve already started by reproducing a recent EPNET conversation where members suggested books for an Alternative Provision library. […]

  2. […] Books for an Alternative Provision Library […]

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