Winner of the Whitbread (Costa) Children’s Book Award
“Brilliant and inspirational. The plot was light and perfect.”
–Whitbread Award Judging Panel
Winner: Silver Smarties Book Prize
“While bunking off on a geography field-trip, Tom and Geoff have found Aquila (it means ‘eagle’ in Latin) a vehicle that has lain hidden for centuries. It turns out to be a fantastic flying machine that can travel incredible distances, take them wherever they wish and even make itself invisible.” Andrew Norriss
‘A wonderful, story… bags of humour and deft plotting with a very satisfying twist!’ – Telegraph
Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers.
It began when Geoff disappeared.
The last words he said were, ‘Where do you want to go then?’ And then Tom was about to reply that he couldn’t really think of anywhere worth going when, without warning, with barely even a sound, the entire wedge of earth and grass on which Geoff had been sitting came away from the side of the hill and slid with astonishing speed down the side of the quarry in front of them.
Tom watched in astonishment. Geoff had his rucksack on his lap, a can of drink poised in one hand, and there was scarcely time for the look of surprise to register on his face before the earth hit the bottom of the quarry. There was a rumble like passing thunder….
And he disappeared.
Information, Resources & Reviews
The Teaching Library: Excellent cross curriculum teaching resources
Badger Guided Reading Year 5 The basis for guided, shared and group reading – including guided reading sessions using narrative texts and challenging follow-up activities for independent work.
Aquila Guided Reading on PrimaryResources.co.uk
TES Teaching Resources – various including a scheme of work as an accompaniment for Aquila when used as a class reader.
Accelerated Reader ATOS Book Level: 5.4; Interest Level: Middle Years, Ages 9 to 13 (same book different cover)
Info about the Yrrillian Battle Cruiser on Wikia (Aquila mothership)
Aquila 2 chapter 1 Youtube (with appropriate images)
Aquila 2 chapter 1: click here to read, download & print.
Examples of Teaching Resources to be found at The Teaching Library
In Chapter One, the author switches between two different situations (the boys in the cave and the teachers back at school). Discuss why he has chosen to do this. Can you think of other situations when this might make a story exciting for the reader?
Find out about the different planets in our solar system. Which ones might be capable of supporting life? What do living things need to be able to survive?
Discuss what is meant by the term ‘phobia’. Which characters in the story suffer from phobias? Do any of the children, their friends or family members have phobias? How can we help to overcome them?
There are many more ideas like these for all aspects of the curriculum at The Teaching Library
Books for Keeps: Jenny Nimmo – ‘I wish I’d written Aquila’
My son, Ianto, is dyslexic. When he was ten he read very slowly, but given a book that engaged his interest he would persevere and win through. He begged me to write a story about a space-ship. All my attempts failed. I wish I’d written Aquila. more
Aquila is without a doubt one of the best children’s books I’ve ever read (I have 3 children, 2 boys), especially for boys. I’ve given it to several friends. Not only does it explore what I think must be every boy’s dream (an invisible flying machine and the heady freedom it brings) but there’s a hilarious subtext written just for parents. That part explores the cranky British headmistress, the nervous parents and the other incredulous characters. If you have a young boy, you can’t go wrong with this book. Read it aloud for a great time with your son. Westernwoman
Entertainingly written, prize-winning Aquila is an exciting adventure. On a boring school trip, Tom and Geoff discover an ancient flying machine. Determined to find out more about it but also desperate to keep their find a secret, the boys return to the spot and, having mastered how to fly the thing, are soon off on incredible travels in a ship with strange powers including the ability to make them invisible. Along the way, they even have to learn some Latin for purposes of communication. Soundly based in a convincing everyday setting, Aquila is also a tightly plotted and well-imagined adventure.Julia Eccleshare