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A Sleigh-ful of Chapter Books: 2020 Christmas Round-Up for 7-11s

With Christmas time approaching, now is a great time to check out some brand Christmas new books for this year.


Futher to our Christmas Picture Book Round-Up, this week we’ve hand-picked some of our favourite new titles this year that will get readers aged 7-11 into the festive mood…


See also: Christmas Gift Guides (Printable)

Festive funny business for 7-11s

Children aged 7-9 often fall between the cracks of picture books targeted at a younger audience and the longer chapter books, but this year we’ve seen a handful of brilliantly festive titles that are especially suited for the Lower KS2 age group.


For children who love to laugh (and who doesn’t?), Santa Gets a Second Job (Macmillan) by Michele D’Ignazio & Sergio Olivotti (translated by Denise Muir) offers a good dose of ho-ho-ho. When budget cuts at The International Postal Service mean that Santa is a bit stretched for cash, there’s nothing for it but to look for a new way to supplement his income. But what kind of transferable skills can the jolly man in a red suit really offer to the modern workplace? A series of hilarious attempts to settle into a second job follows, until Santa finds the perfect fit – and it’s an environmentally friendly one too. This witty story with plenty to giggle about and an eco theme too is a great addition to Christmas lists this year.


More trouble for Santa abounds in Kate Saunders’ and Neal Layton’s Trouble on Planet Christmas (Faber). The follow up to The Great Reindeer Disaster, this is a quick read charting a turbulent ride through Jake and Sadie’s attempts to help salvage the Christmas operation on Father Christmas’s home planet, Yule-1. The humour is just a bit bonkers and there’s a good dollop of action and adventure scattered among the whacky comedy.

Ben Miller’s The Night I Met Father Christmas (Simon and Schuster), illustrated by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini, is back this year with special edition gold jacket for 2020 and bonus Christmas content.

It’s Christmas Eve and young Jackson thinks that he knows all the old stories about Father Christmas, including the secrets of flying reindeer and the physics-defying magic of delivering presents all around the world in just one night. But when Father Christmas reaches Jackson’s house in the middle of the night and has a bit of a mishap, Jackson embarks upon a thrilling adventure that allows him to see a whole new side to the jolly man with the red suit, including his surprising personal history. Take A Christmas Carol and mix it with ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and you might be somewhere close to the plot of this enjoyable tale that is proving popular with readers in the 7-10 age bracket.

Santa meets girl-power in Sibéal Pounder’s cracking new Christmas story Tinsel (Bloomsbury). A rewriting of the Father Christmas narrative, this is the story of Ms Blanche Claus, an orphan-turned-social-entripiser who masterminds the most impressive Christmas operation imaginable. This is a delightful story with a strong female lead who triumphantly actions a desire to make life better for others in a tale that celebrates friendship, kindness and the spirit of Christmas.


Head to our Bookshop store to purchase these online.

Cosy Stories for Winter Days

Sarah Lean’s The Good Bear (Simon & Schuster) is a superb story to snuggle up with in the winter months. Illustrated by Fiona Woodcock, the story explores themes of families, relationships and ‘togetherness’ through the tale of a young girl and a life-changing visit to the Norwegian winter.

When young Thea receives an invitation to spend the Christmas holidays with her estranged father in Norway, she never expects to arrive to news that an escaped bear is lurking nearby. Over time, Thea’s relationship with the bear becomes central to the story and gives the book a sense of Christmas magic that is warm and gentle; a welcome contrast to the more overtly tinsel filled Christmas books.


Nature lovers will quickly be drawn into Helen Peters’ A Donkey Called Mistletoe (Nosy Crow), illustrated by Ellie Snowden. Jasmine is no stranger to caring for animals, with her parents being a farmer and a vet. When Jasmine discovers that old Mr Hobson is no longer able to take care of his pet donkey, Mistletoe, she is desperate to help. It might take a bit of work to persuade her parents that a donkey won’t cause too much trouble at Christmas, by Jasmine is determined to make it work. Fans of animal rescue stories will also enjoy Susanna Bailey’s Otters’ Moon (Egmont), which sees an otter pup rescued on a remote Scottish island, or Holly Webb’s Luna (Little Tiger Press), which transports readers back in time on a mission to save a captive bear cub from a Christmas market.




Time slip adventures are the order of the day in A Christmas in Time (Nosy Crow) by Sally Nichols and Rachael Dean. Alex and Ruby fall through a magic mirror and land just before Christmas in 1873. There’s plenty of fun to be had preparing for a Victorian Christmas and a host of old traditions are explored. The two children also learn of the misfortune and peril faced by many during this period. Good will and festive spirit abound though, and this makes an enjoyable and fast-paced Christmas time read for fans of historical fiction.


Head to our Bookshop store to purchase these online.



See also:

Christmas Gift Guides (Printable)

Christmas Picture Book Round-Up

Thank you to the publishers of these titles for kindly sending us copies to review.

Looking for more newly published books? Check out our top fiction texts or our new non-fiction round-up from this term, too!


Where next?

> Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub

> Browse our Topic Booklists

> View our printable year group booklists.

> See our Books of the Month. See also:

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