Books About Town

How would you like to sit on this bench?

 Catherine Monaghan


Sitting on the bench in London, England is one of our blogging partners. Mrs. Monaghan runs the fabulous classroom blog A Room with a View from Middleham, England. She and her family visited London this summer and sent us a photo for our reading blog because she thought we would like one from another country! She said she was thinking of us as she and her daughter went on a book trail hunt!  They went on the Books About Town hunt for benches hidden in different parts of London.

bench with girl


Here is what Mrs. Monaghan wrote to us:

Artists had been commissioned to illustrate benches to depict a book or author – and you could follow a map trail around the city to discover them – mainly in parks and leafy spaces. Needless to say we whiled away many happy hours obsessively searching!


The first picture is not very good but at least I remembered to get a book out! The last one is my favourite bench… thought you’d like a little quiz to see if you can guess it!


Now the challenge is of course to figure out which book this bench depicts.  Talk about a puzzle. I think I am going to need help!

Who can help me figure this out?

 Can you help me please??? Do some research, with your parent’s permission of course, and figure out what book is featured on the bench. Then leave a comment on the blog and let us all know what you found out and how! Maybe you think you know it in your head. You still need to do research to verify your idea. Please, please, leave us a comment and give us all the scoop on the mysteriously, colorful bench! Inquiring minds want to know!

Thank you so much Mrs. Monaghan for sharing these fabulous reading photos from London, England. We hope you will also visit Mrs. Monaghan’s blog A Room with a View as well. They have just started school again for the 2014-2015 school year and always have great posts to read.

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Hembree

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9 thoughts on “Books About Town

  1. My dear friend Mrs Monaghan appears everywhere! Her whole family is book crazy. The book benches in London were a good idea. I wonder what ten books you’d select for your own book benches?
    Mr E

    • Dear Mr. E,
      Thanks for visiting our blog again! Do you have a classroom/school blog still? I can’t seem to find the URL for it. We are all lucky to know Mrs. Monaghan and have her share her book craziness with us. I like that kind of crazy.
      You ask a great question! If I had to choose ten books for benches, I think they would be these. They are listed in no particular order.
      1. The One and Only Ivan
      2. Wonder
      3. Nancy Drew
      4. Julie of the Wolves
      5. Hatchet
      6. Mo Willems with Elephant and Piggie
      7. The Dot
      8. Go Dog Go
      9. Hunger Games
      10. Gone with the Wind
      What would be your choices Mr. Eldridge? I know I’m missing an important book, but I can live with this list right now! Do we have any books in common?
      Mrs. Hembree

  2. Dear Mrs Hembree,
    I like your book choices! I recently read, loved and wept through Wonder – and then my daughter made me read The Fault In Our Stars – I wonder if you have read that? It came out as a film this summer and was very popular in the UK.
    One of the lovely things about discovering the book benches was remembering books you’d read ages ago and getting an urge to read them again – like The Day of the Triffids, or The Railway Children.
    Mr E, I would make book benches of…
    Little House on the Prairie
    The Secret Garden
    Five on a Treasure Island
    Brave New World
    Ballet Shoes
    Of Mice and Men
    Tess of the D’Urbevilles
    Sense and Sensibility
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
    David Copperfield

    Gosh, is that 10 already??!!

    What was your favourite book when you were 10? Our teachers have answered that question for our library wall display!

    Thank you for putting my pictures in your blog post – and good luck with guessing the books/authors!

    Kind regards,
    Mrs Monaghan

    • Dear Mrs. Monaghan,
      Oh my goodness – Fault in our Stars???? That novel is unbelievable. My family went to see it this summer on a rainy day (all adults) and not one person left the theater dry-eyed. We were all blubbering messes, and I knew ahead of time what was going to happen. I also wept through Wonder.
      My favorite books when I was 10 was My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. She introduced me to the joy of adventure stories.
      I’d love to have my photo taken on the Of Mice and Men bench (if there was one). I’m a Steinbeck fan.
      Happy Reading!
      Mrs. Hembree

      • We obviously share a love of novels that make you weep hopelessly, then! Sadly no Steinbeck book bench… I love his books too.
        Mrs Monaghan

  3. Okay…with a little help from a magnifying glass we figured it out and then double checked on the website:
    Fun to think about what benches would be in our top 10…hmm…it would have to include a Beverly Cleary and From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E….
    Josa says The Hobbit would be on his list.

    Judy and Josa

    • Dear Judy and Josa,
      I had no idea either which bench it was, so I went online and scrolled through the benches until I spotted it. I’m surprised that there wasn’t a Harry Potter bench in London.
      Mrs. Hembree

  4. Hello Julie, we’d share ‘The Dot’…
    Perhaps I’d also include:
    – Danny Champion of the World
    – Jonathon Livingston Seagul
    – Ish
    – Quick Let’s Get Out of Here (poetry)
    – Charlotte’s Web
    – The Empty Stocking (wonderful)
    – Frog in Love
    – Voices in the Park
    – Holes
    – Grimm’s Fairy Tales

    I have retired unfortunately through ill health, but browsing all these lovely blogs keeps me feeling refreshed!
    Best wishes
    Mr E

    • Dear Mr. E,
      These choices bring back lots of memories, and you surprised me with some choices I am not familiar with (Empty Stocking, Voices in the Park). I will have to find out more about those. I also have to add My Side of the Mountain. It was the first novel that sparked my interest in adventure style novels.
      I am flattered that you will visit our blog and extend conversations with us! So thoughtful of you in your retirement!
      Happy reading!
      Mrs. Hembree

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