Browse through our ready-made booklists by well-known authors including Jeremy Strong’s Funny Reads and Michael Morpurgo’s Classic Fiction. Look out for further lists appearing here soon!
Reading in a winter wonderland
The evenings are growing darker and the air is becoming colder and crisper. Winter is on its way. What better way to take shelter from the weather than curled up with a good book? Take a look at James Clements' top winter reads.
Top summer reads
Keeping children reading over the summer holiday can be quite a challenge. We've assembled some of our favourite summer stories for all ages to keep your class motivated and enthusiastic about reading throughout those six long weeks. Take a look at our top summer reads.
Jeremy Strong’s Funny Reads
Author Jeremy Strong has written over a hundred humorous stories including the award-winning Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog series. He is much sought after as a speaker at schools, libraries and book festivals around the world to talk to children and adults about writing and books, exciting their interest and their imagination and getting them writing and reading too. He feels it is important to catch children’s interest in books at a young age, just as they are becoming independent readers. Here he gives us his top funny reads.
Photo © Richard Cannon
Michael Morpurgo’s Classic Fiction
Michael Morpurgo was born in St Albans in 1943 and was educated at Kings School Canterbury and Kings College London. In 1963 Michael became a teacher, teaching in schools all over the country, until 1975, when he and his wife Clare moved to Devon to set up and run the charity Farms for City Children at Nethercott House. The couple wanted to enable children from inner-cities and urban areas to have the experience of living and working on a family farm, learning where their food came from and gaining an understanding of a farmer’s life. In 1998 the couple were awarded the MBE for their work.
Michael’s first book was published in 1975 and since then he has published over 130 books including War Horse, Private Peaceful and The Butterfly Lion. Animals and children are often at the heart of his stories. Michael was Children’s Laureate from 2003 – 2005. He is a passionate campaigner for children’s literature, the rights of children and for peace. In 2006 he was awarded the OBE for services to children’s literature. Here he recommends classic stories with enduring appeal for generations of children.
Lauren St John’s Adventure Stories for Girls
Lauren St John is the author of the bestselling White Giraffe series, inspired by her childhood on a farm and game reserve in Zimbabwe. Dead Man’s Cove, the first in her mystery series featuring eleven-year-old detective Laura Marlin, who lives in St Ives, won the 2011 Blue Peter Book of the Year Award. Fire Storm, the third book in her One Dollar Horse trilogy for older readers, was published by Orion on 1 March 2014. Here she recommends exciting adventure stories that will appeal to girls.
Marcus Sedgwick’s Spooky Reads
Marcus Sedgwick is a widely-admired writer of YA fiction; he is the winner of many prizes, most notably the Branford-Boase Award for a debut novel (Floodland), the Booktrust Teenage Prize (My Swordhand is Singing), and the Blue Peter Book Award (Lunatics and Luck). His books have been shortlisted for over 30 other awards, including the Carnegie Medal (five times), the Edgar Allan Poe Award (twice) and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (four times). In 2011 Revolver was awarded a Printz Honor. Here he gives us his top spooky reads.
Ali Sparkes’ Great Sci-Fi Stories
Ali Sparkes is best known for her Shapeshifter series of fast paced action adventures with a paranormal twist and for her Blue Peter Award winning sci-fi novel Frozen In Time, published by Oxford University Press. Her SWITCH series for younger readers, illustrated by Ross Collins, is in translation all over the world – and features Scratch The Rat. Here she recommends her favourite sci-fi stories.
Tony Bradman’s Great Historical Adventure Stories
Tony Bradman has written many books for children of all ages, including a large number of titles in the highly successful Project X series from OUP. Other recent titles include: Viking Boy (Walker) and Is That a Coconut? Yuck! (Egmont). The Royal Baby (illustrated by Tony Ross) was published by OUP in July 2013. Here he recommends exciting adventure stories with a historical setting.
Joanna Nadin’s selection of Fiction Tackling Girls' Issues
Joanna Nadin is the author of nearly forty books for children, including the bestselling Rachel Riley series (OUP) and the award-winning Penny Dreadful series (Usborne). She was a journalist as well as a special adviser to the Prime Minister. She lives in Bath with her daughter. Here she gives us her pick of fiction dealing with difficult issues for girls.
Tom Palmer’s Great Sports Stories
Tom Palmer writes books about football, rugby, spies and detectives for children aged 5 to 15. His Football Academy and Foul Play series are published by Puffin Books. Here he gives us his top sporting stories, with a range of sports to appeal to all children.
Adèle Geras’ Historical Fiction
Adèle Geras has been writing books for children since 1976 and has published more than 90 books for readers of all ages from babies to teenagers. In 2003, her first adult novel, Facing the Light, was published by Orion. She has also published poetry and reviewed books for the Guardian and the Times Educational Supplement. Here she gives us her pick of historical fiction.
Photo © Alexander James
Sue Mongredien’s Great Magical Stories
Sue Mongredien has had over 100 books published for children including the Oliver Moon and Secret Mermaid series. She also writes books for grown-ups under her glamorous pseudonym, Lucy Diamond. She lives in Bath with her husband and three children. Here she recommends exciting stories full of magic and mystery.