Meet the experts

Find out more about our independent panel of experts who selected the titles that appear in the All publishers tab. They include Teresa Cremin (Professor of Education, Open University) and David Reedy (Principal Adviser for Primary Schools for Barking and Dagenham Local Authority) who are past and current Presidents of the United Kingdom Literacy Association, as well as Nikki Gamble, Founder and Director of Write Away and Just Imagine. Our experts also include children’s librarians, class teachers and Literacy consultants. They all have one thing in common – a passion for reading.

Barbara Derbyshire

Teacher and Literacy Subject Leader, Stenson Fields Primary Community School, Derby

Barbara has worked across Key Stage 1 and 2 since joining Stenson Fields Primary Community School in 1989. For much of that time, Barbara has been the Librarian, and has been involved in developing boys’ reading through the Reading Challenge, introducing a Junior Librarian and having the exciting job of buying great books for children to enjoy!

Barbara has worked as a Literacy Consultant and a Regional Advisor for the National Strategies on the Every Child a Writer project. As a member of the UKLA, Barbara has been involved in judging the book awards for 3–6 and 7–11 year olds, both as a group member and as a group leader.

Why did you get involved in Oxford BookMatch? There are so many books which children should be introduced to and this was an opportunity to share with others some of the great books I have read and enjoyed with my classes over the years!

Dawn Finch

School Library and Literacy Consultant, Children’s and YA author

Dawn has spent over 26 years working with children’s books both in public and school libraries. She established a hugely successful library at a large primary school in Hertfordshire which was considered an “Outstanding feature” by Ofsted. During this time she chose primarily to focus on the process of reader development, from EYFS to adulthood.
Dawn now works all over the country as a Literacy Consultant, and spends most of her time writing and delivering lively training courses for teachers on all aspects of children’s literacy and their development as readers. She is passionate about reading and libraries and is the current vice-chair of the London and South East School Libraries Group. She advises schools on how best to set up and utilise school libraries, and is a keen campaigner for school library issues.

Why did you get involved in Oxford Book Match? All my life I have been passionate about books and reading and this is far more than just a job to me, it is a lifestyle. Being able to read with confidence, enjoyment and flow can change a person’s life for the better, and I firmly believe that the habits of being a natural reader should start in infancy.

Gill Trueman

Chartered Librarian

Gill Trueman started her professional career working for the BBC and then in the HE/FE sector. Since 2004 she has been working at Peasedown St John Primary School, near Bath, where she loves to enthuse children about the joy of a good book and develop their research and digital literacy skills. She spends a lot of her day finding “just the right book” for children and teachers.

In 2012, she reached the Honours List of The School Librarian of the Year Award. Since then she has written articles on the role of a qualified librarian in primary schools, assisted with book selection in the Read for My School Book Trust Initiative, and been a School Librarian of the Year judge. In September 2013, she was part of the opening night discussion panel at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival with David Almond, Cressida Cowell and Julia Green.

Why did you get involved in Oxford BookMatch? I have daily first-hand experience working with teachers who come and ask me, “Have you got an appropriate book for…?” I know how much time it saves them when I can both suggest titles and give them the actual books a short while later. This database will be a great way for teachers to find appropriate book titles to match their needs, particularly if they don’t have a librarian at their school.