Just Imagine

Upper KS2

International Port (stories from around the world)

Welcome to International Port, one of 20 exciting themes featured in The Reading Journey App.

Each pack consists of 10 carefully selected titles, designed to support independent reading and to encourage reading for pleasure and wider reading.

Packs are curated to include a selection of accessible, challenging books, with the core matching the expected range.

Please note that our themed packs are a selection of books from the core Reading Journey packs.

The Reading Journey app was launched in October 2019 and is free for UK schools.

The app is currently available for both Lower & Upper Key Stage 2.

All schools signing up to The Reading Journey app will receive a monthly newsletter, dedicated to sharing new ideas for getting the most out of the app and supporting continued reading for pleasure. Of course, you can unsubscribe from this newsletter at any time.

Most of the book choices children make are stories set in the UK, USA or in fantasy worlds. The books in this pack are carefully selected to include a range of settings from or inspired by different places from around the world. They raise interesting questions about culture and community. While themes of hardship and survival feature, there is also much to discover about what we have in common with peoples across the globe.

Book introductions

The way new books are introduced into the class book corner or library can make a huge difference to children’s interest and engagement.  For each of our themes, we have asked class teachers to introduce the books and then make some suggestions for ways of presenting them to the class

  • Before introducing the children to the books in this pack you may wish to discuss which countries they have visited around the world and plot these on a map.
    • Identify the most common locations and discuss why these are the most visited places.
    • Ask the children to share what they remember about the culture and environment of these locations.
    • Some children in the class may have lived in other places before coming to the UK. Invite them to share their knowledge, with due sensitivity to those who may have moved to escape conflict or other disasters and may therefore not want to share.
    • Move on to identify places that are less well visited. Can you find any places in the world where no one in the class has been? Make the point that we can explore places in stories, even if we can’t visit them in real life.
  • Present the children with a world map with the locations where the books are set shaded in.
    • Use atlases to work out which countries/continents/location have been shaded in.
    • Share holiday brochures in order to decide which of these children would most like to visit.
  • Browse the books before making them available for children to borrow
    • share initial thoughts as to what they books might be about
    • display the books with related items

Book talk

When children are reading different books it can still be beneficial to have book conversations which make connections across a range of reading material. Here are some suggestions for talk about books that link by focussing in one way or another on the past.

Some questions to consider:

  • From the books that you have read have you fund out how life is different in other countries?
    • What are the basic essentials of life?
    • What sorts of things might happen, if people don’t have access to the basic essentials?
    • What would life be like without technology? Can you think of some ways in which life might be improved? What challenges would be created if we lived in a digital free world?
  • What is a community?
    • What is your community and what makes it special?
    • How is community depicted in the books you have been reading?
    • What are the roles of men and women in your community?  Do the roles of men and women differ in different countries?
    • In what ways are children’s lives similar and different to yours in the books that you have been reading?
  • Art, music, food and culture
    • Have you learnt anything about the art, music and culture from the books that you have been reading.

Use a ‘Making connections’ table to draw comparisons and stimulate discussion about text to self,  text to text and text to world connections.


Text to self



Text to Text



Text to World


Text to Self: Reminds me of things that have happened to me

  • How is this similar to my life?
  • How is this different to my life?
  • What did I feel when I read this?
  • Do you empathise with any characters in the books? Why?

Text to Text:  Reminds me of books I have read, pictures or films that I have seen

  • Which books and why?
  • Which films and why?
  • In what ways is it different to books that you have read before?

Text to World: Reminds me of things that are happening in the world

  • How is this story similar to things that happen in the real world?
  • How is this story different to things that happen in the real world?
  • You could encourage reading articles in First News or The Week Junior if you have them in school.
  • What are the main themes in the books that you have been reading?
  • Have you learnt anything interesting from the books that you have been reading?
  • Encourage children to find and share key quotations that refer to the important incidents in the plot or significant decisions made by the characters.

The Reading Journey: Stories from Around the World (International Port) Years 5 & 6 - Single copies/10 Books

Welcome to "International Port", one of 20 exciting themes featured in The Reading Journey App. Each pack consists of 10 carefully selected titles, designed to support independent reading and to encourage... Read more


Darryl Crawley is Deputy Headteacher at Rodings Primary School, where he has designed a whole school mastery curriculum balancing skills and knowledge. He is passionate about reading and children’s literature and has recently redeveloped the school’s library and is leading the school’s new radio station. Darryl welcomes working collaboratively with colleagues on projects to promote reading and writing across the primary curriculum.