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Best Primary Books for Children

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50 Books for Primary School Children

Newly Updated – April 2024

Browse our reading list of 50 recommended books for Primary Schools. Update your class library or home book collections with our list of the best Primary School books, featuring everything from intergalactic snail adventures and unexpected unicorns to secret agent chameleons and mountain explorers.

This primary reading list includes books to read with children alongside books for them to read themselves. Featuring popular storytime reads like Gigantic and Pop!, early chapter books like Magic Faces, action-packed adventure books like The Glorious Race of Magical Beasts and top-notch non-fiction like How Do Meerkats Order Pizza?, this list really does have something for everyone.

This list has been put together based on a mix of titles taken from our popular individual year group reading lists and with the help of the team of librarians and booksellers at Peters.

If you’re a parent or teacher looking for the best books for Primary School children, look no further than our list. Whether you are looking for funny read-alouds, new releases or educational reads, we have something to suit every young reader’s interests. Our Primary School booklist includes both fiction and non-fiction recommendations to offer primary school children a deliciously tempting offering of reading-for-pleasure choices.

There is also a downloadable checklist and a printable poster, and schools can purchase full packs of these books from Peters or select packs of the KS2 books or KS1 books from the list.


best books for primary school children posterbest books for primary school children checklist














If you are looking for more specific recommendations, you may like our Year Group Lists (see below) or Curriculum Topic Booklists.

Browse the primary school reading list below or scroll down to find more purchasing options and printable resources.

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Younger Picturebooks for Primary School Children

Matt Carr

Pop follows the story of some corn as it falls from its storage bag into a warm pan. As the pan begins to heat up, the corn kernels can feel something happening to them. Happily, they begin to transform into popcorn. Initially, there is just one piece of popcorn but throughout the book, more popcorn is made until all the corn is popped. The pun-filled story ends with all the popcorn watching a ‘corny’ movie.

This bright and fun story provides a great opportunity to practise basic counting as one piece of corn transforms at a time. The book has the numbers displayed clearly to support children with number recognition. The book has a wonderful rhyming verse that makes it a great read-aloud book. The repeated use of the word Pop throughout means younger children can help read the word themselves and get involved with the storyline.

The bright and engaging illustrations bring to life this interesting story and make this book a joy for younger children to look through and a must-read for Early Years story times.

Rachel Bright
 & Nadia Shireen

Gail is determined to get more out of life than the other snails. She’s not content with keeping her foot on the ground, eating greens and growing old; she’s not your average snail, she wants to blaze a different trail. This snail wants to go into space! Accomplishing her ambition will take perseverance and hard work, overcoming last-minute hurdles, but, as Gail shows, if you have a dream anything is possible.

Bold, bright illustrations complement this humorous, rhyming story from two skilled picture book creators, about the power of purpose and persistence, showing that resilience is key to success.

Gail is an endearing snail, standing out from the rest with her leopard print shell. Her character is brought vividly to life with her emotions and thoughts conveyed solely through the illustrations of her eyes, providing a masterclass in how important it is to read the pictures as well as the words. Featuring a sparkling, inviting cover, this is ideal for sharing with Early Years and KS1 children to enjoy and encourage self-belief.

Rob Biddulph

Gigantic by Rob Biddulph is a heartwarming tale that casts a vast net, capturing themes of perseverance, friendship, and self-belief in a vibrantly illustrated, marine-filled adventure perfect for the primary classroom.

Biddulph transports the reader into an ocean teeming with life, where we meet our unlikely hero, Gigantic, the smallest blue whale in the stormy Atlantic. Despite his size, Gigantic’s journey is one of might and mettle, where his diminutive stature in the ocean’s vastness doesn’t deter his big-hearted valiance.

The rhythmical prose lends itself beautifully to read-aloud sessions, with the alliterative play and evocative imagery poised to capture children’s imaginations. Biddulph’s illustrations are equally engaging, using a palette that mirrors the stormy yet spirited oceanic setting. Beyond the narrative, the book serves as a springboard for discussions on marine life, ecosystems, and the importance of determination. It illustrates that even the smallest creature has value and strength, a message that resonates with children navigating their place in the world.

‘Gigantic’ aligns well with lessons focused on resilience and teamwork. It also provides ample opportunity for cross-curricular activities, from exploring oceanography in science to creative writing tasks inspired by Gigantic’s aquatic escapades. ‘Gigantic’ is a tale of little fins and a lesson in big hearts and the power of believing in oneself. It’s a testament to the notion that no one is too small to make a difference, making it a standout addition to any educational setting or library.

Axel Scheffler
Short story collection

A compendium of well-known fairy tales illustrated with the instantly recognisable style of Axel Scheffler, whose work many young children will know from Julia Donaldson’s books like The Gruffalo.

These short fairytales form the very foundations of our literary cannon and Axel’s new treasury includes traditional stories that preschool children love to learn, like the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Puss in Boots, as well as a handful of illustrated nursery rhymes.

Subtle details in the illustrations pay homage to the place of storytelling, rhyme and music in our culture. On one page, one of the three little pigs is listening to headphones while another is reading a book.  On another, a Willy Wonka -esque hare appears with his tailcoat and cane, and on another still unfolds a woodland scene that will look very family to the illustrator’s fanbase.  Meanwhile, the stories are told through simple language with enough repetition and predictability for young children to feel ownership of the tales after one or two readings.

A must-have for nursery and preschool book collections.

Pip Jones
 & Ella Okstad

Ava has a very special cat that no one else can see! His name is Squishy McFluff and he loves going on adventures. Ava and Dad are off on their first-ever camping holiday and, of course, Squishy McFluff is going too. Dad tells Ava about the serious business of camping and they spend quite some time getting everything packed and ready. When they arrive, Dad is shocked to discover that the tent isn’t in the car. Ava and Squishy McFluff thought that building a den to sleep in would be much more fun!

Told through rhymes and bright illustrations, younger readers will love reading about Ava and Squishy McFluff’s camping adventures.

Linda Newbery
 & Katie Rewse

“Rubbish? Don’t Throw it Away” is a delightful, innovative book for early years education in the 21st century. It is a wonderful resource to introduce concepts of recycling and sustainability to children. It’s a story that invites young readers to think differently about the ‘stuff’ around them, fostering an early respect for the environment and teaching the value of resourcefulness and creativity.

Linda Newbury’s narrative skillfully introduces young readers to the Dragonflies Nursery, a group of industrious children who brilliantly transform what most consider ‘trash’ into treasured items. The book’s lively prose is peppered with imaginative ideas, showcasing how everyday waste items can be repurposed and brought to life again. It’s a testament to the power of creativity and problem-solving, underpinned by a clear, essential message about recycling and reducing waste.

Katie Rewse’s vibrant illustrations perfectly complement Newbury’s text, adding depth, character, and life to each page. Each illustration is eye-catching and detailed, offering opportunities to explore and engage with the transformation of pine cones into decorative owls or turning old curtains into amazing costumes.

“Rubbish? Don’t Throw it away” is a must-have addition to any preschool library or classroom. Parents and carers, too, will find the book enjoyable and inspirational. It’s not just about telling children what they can do with their ‘rubbish’ – it’s about sparking their imagination to develop their own ideas. It’s about laying the foundation for a generation that sees not waste but potential, reinforcing that every object, no matter how seemingly trivial, has potential value if approached with creativity and ingenuity.

Picturebooks for Primary Libraries

Carol Ann Duffy
 & Jane Ray
Chapter book

This is a unique picturebook by celebrated poet Carol Ann Duffy and illustrated by Jane Ray.

A witch steals a girl’s sack of happy endings, which she has collected to carry through the forest before bedtime. Now, without the happy endings, children all around are sad and distressed because their bedtime stories are ending unhappily. Resourceful Jub finds a golden pen and creates her own happy endings instead.

With fairy tale motifs and an original concept, this fascinating picturebook is well suited for KS2.

Baroness Floella Benjamin
 & Diane Ewen

Baroness Floella Benjamin offers her own story of the 6000-mile journey from Trinidad to England, told for the youngest children in a picture book called Coming to England – An Inspiring True Story About the Windrush Generation.

The story explores and celebrates what it means to be a British person with Black Caribbean heritage, as well as opening doors to learning about the impact of Operation Windrush and experiences of racism. Speaking about the background to the book, Baroness Floella says,”Britain has always been a nation that’s evolved due to different races coming in, from as far back as you can go. I hope Coming to England makes people of colour feel worthy, appreciated and that they belong and that it makes white people say, ‘That could be me, what would it be like if I moved somewhere else?’.”

Katie Cottle
From author-illustrator Katie Cottle comes a breath-taking journey about light pollution and saving the birdsWhen Ellie moves from her quiet village to a bustling city, she finds that the many different birds she loves to watch are missing. She stares out of her window, searches the skies on walks, but they are nowhere to be found. Then one night, she's visited by a giant starling which asks for her help. The birds are lost because of the shimmering glow from the city's bright lights.Night Flight is a hopeful, inspiring story about the power of using your voice.
Zeba Talkhani
 & Abeeha Tariq

A colourful and heartwarming picturebook story about celebrating Eid.

Safa is excitedly getting ready for Eid-al-Fitr. The preparations are fun to make and include drawing henna patterns on her hands, putting up decorations and eating delicious foods. She’s also looking forward to her favourite part – the presents. While she celebrates, Safa isn’t keen to share her present of a new bike, but her Mum helps her to learn how Eid is about sharing and to see the wider meaning of celebrating with family and loved ones.

A warm story about Eid that EYFS and KS1 children will love to read all year round.

Smriti Halls
 & Erika Meza

Have you ever read a fairy tale and thought… that’s not my story?

The latest treat from Smriti Halls and Erika Meza is a joyful celebration of stories that invites children to reimagine, rewrite and reinvent traditional tales to mirror themselves – and then to step into their personalised narrative.

The central character accidentally falls into four stories in turn – Goldilocks, Jack and the Beanstalk, Sleeping Beauty and Red Riding Hood, only to reject each one in favour of her own ideas. There’s a simple but sophisticated blend of language. When she is in the old-style story, the tale is narrated in a gently archaic idiom with knights on chargers and girls with locks of gold. Then the style becomes suddenly modern and animated as she tumble-tips down a beanstalk, races through tingle tangle trees or slip slides down a tower.

The expressive illustrations fit perfectly, with a similarly subtle mix of traditional and contemporary. Throughout, the rhymes and sound effects make it ideal for a vibrant read-aloud for Year 1, with lots of opportunity for joining in, as well as for giggling at the horror of being peered at by bears (Eek!) or kissed by a prince (Yuck!).

This absolutely brilliant story is one of my favourite books so far this year. It would be huge fun to share with children and would perfectly complement any work on traditional tales.

John Kane
What is black and white? A penguin. What is black and white, and can't fly? Still a penguin.A hilarious, deceptively simple, interactive picture book which plays on a much-loved memory game - brought to life by the award-winning picture book maker John Kane.A master of child-centric humour, John Kane's best-selling series I Say Ooh, You Say Aah won the English Picture Book Awards 4-7 category and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Children's Book of the Year.

Short Illustrated Chapter Books to get Primary Children Reading

Sinead O'Hart
 & Rachel Seago
Chapter book

Lola and Larch Fix a Fairy Forest is an enchanting short chapter book perfect for independent readers aged 7 and up.

When Lola stumbles upon a mysterious rabbit in the middle of a storm, little does she know that it’s the beginning of an extraordinary adventure. With heartwarming moments, the story follows Lola and her new friend, Larch the tree fairy, as they embark on a quest to save the forest from the clutches of the evil fairy, Euphorbia Spurge, and her beetle army.

Filled with captivating illustrations, this book not only sparks the imagination but also teaches valuable lessons about friendship, bravery, and the importance of helping others. From the moment Lola discovers the tiny, grumpy fairy in place of the rabbit, readers are drawn into a magical world.

With its delightful characters and engaging plot, Lola and Larch Fix a Fairy Forest is sure to be a favourite among young readers who love adventure and fantasy. Join Lola and Larch on their journey as they navigate challenges, overcome obstacles, and ultimately, save the day. This book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys tales of courage, teamwork, and the magic of friendship.

Alex T. Smith
Chapter book

This is the first book in the new Early Readers series from Alex T. Smith.

The Space Cadets, Astrid, Zoink, Beryl and Dr. Quackers must complete tasks assigned to them to earn gold stars to be in the running for the grand prize. It is the Space Cadet mission to help at all times, no matter what – so when they get a distress call from the Planet Hortensis while cleaning the Milky Way, they rush to help. Snailiens have invaded the garden of Flora Mulch and are headed for her prize-winning Astro Potatoes. The cadets must figure out how to save the day in their own unique way.

This early chapter book is all about teamwork and helping people, which is a great message for young readers. The series contains easily accessible vocabulary and gorgeous illustrations to add to the appeal for young readers exploring short, illustrated chapter books. There is also a good deal of humour which also adds to the fun factor. I’m looking forward to more adventures from the crew!


Esi Merleh
 & Abeeha Tariq
Chapter book

Alanna and Austin are at their Aunt Kessie’s art studio and find a magic face painting set that transports them onto a pirate ship and takes them on a grand adventure. As the two see a small ship approaching with two thieving pirates, they take on the task of protecting the New Leaf pirates.

This magical story is so vibrant and full of imagination. It is exactly the kind of story that children with wild imaginations love. This story transports the reader to a whole new  world with something as simple as a magic face-painting set

.This book would make a fantastic independent reading book for those just starting out with chapter books and is also perfect for anyone with a vivid imagination or who loves adventure stories.

!This is the first in an exciting new series starring the twins and their magic face paints along with their loveable dog Ozzy. In each book, they have an adventure in a different world, with superheroes and monsters following pirates. With friendly illustrations in colour on every spread plus short chapters, this is a recommended choice for newly confident readers looking for gentle adventure.

Polly Ho-Yen
 & Sojung Kim-McCarthy
Chapter book
Ita is afraid of lots of things. She’s afraid of talking to her classmates at her new school. She’s afraid of walking through her new town. But most of all she is afraid of water.When one day she realises the river in her new town turns her into a fish, she is forced to face up to her fears. In doing so, can she bring her family together again?With themes of change, and deftly tackling the topic of fear for younger readers, this is another heart-warming and beautifully-written early reader by Polly Ho-Yen, filled with charming artwork by Sojung Kim-McCarthy.
Zanna Davidson
 & Elissa Elwick
Chapter book
Meet Izzy the Inventor in the first of a laugh-out-loud series that brings together science, magic and a very lovable unicorn. Packed full of illustrations and easy-to-read text, this series is perfect for beginner readers and fans of Isadora Moon and The Naughtiest Unicorn.Izzy the Inventor LOVES science and does NOT believe in magic. That is until the day her Fairy Godmother appears and sends her to Fairytale Land to rescue Prince Charming from the Mountain of Doom, with an enthusiastic unicorn as her guide. To succeed, Izzy must use her science skills to outwit trolls, goblins and a bottomless lake of despair. But her quest will also teach her about the power of friendship and that we all need a little magic in our lives...Every book contains ideas for science experiments and a QR code with links for more to try at home. Coming soon: Izzy the Inventor and the Curse of Doom Izzy the Inventor and the Time Travelling Gnome

Aisha Bushby
 & Kubra Teber
Chapter book

This is a sweet short chapter book, but it manages not to be saccharin-sweet.  I am sure it will have wide appeal.  A little person, Tiny, is born in the sunflower patch of Oakwood Primary School’s garden, human in every respect but her size.  That’s why the garden’s animal residents are are so hostile towards her, at least initially.  They suspect she will be like the other human children who, apart from kindly Nour, are all rather clumsy.  When frog’s habitat is destroyed, Tiny has a chance to show she is friend not foe and, when she risks all to help him, all opposition melts away and the garden community is united as never before.

For the discerning reader there is a message here: about cooperation, friendship, and perhaps even prejudice, making it suitable for sharing in class.  Equally, it will give much pleasure to the child who reads it at home, and to the parent or librarian eager for alternatives (or follow-on) to the Daisy Meadows series.

Popular Chapter Books for Primary Children

Jenny Pearson
 & David O'Connell
Chapter book

A heartwarming and funny story ideal for Upper KS2. Grandpa Frank’s Great Big Bucket List takes the reader on a journey of excitement, adventure, humour and discovery and leaves them understanding life just a little bit more.

Frank sets off to meet his grandpa with high expectations. What he finds is a very sad and lonely old man living in a nursing home who has no interest in establishing any kind of relationship. Not wanting to give up on his chance for happiness (and because Davenport men don’t quit), Frank comes up with the idea of a bucket list of activities to inject some joy back into Grandpa Frank’s life, secretly harbouring hopes of a grand family reunion somewhere along the line. Soon, Grandpa Frank finds himself participating in a whole array of activities most OAPs wouldn’t be expected to do. As they venture together through hot air ballooning, parkour, synchronised swimming and monster truck driving, Grandpa Frank learns that maybe there are more opportunities for joy (and bruises) in life.

Despite the blossoming relationship with his grandfather, it seems that Frank’s dream of a family reunion will never happen. However, after the middle Frank steps a little further over the line than usual, it will take all of Frank Senior Senior and Frank Junior Junior’s newly learned skills to save the day.

Alongside the humour in this story, there are many opportunities for the reader to see through societal stereotypes of older people and also begin to understand the impact of dementia.

Serena Patel
 & Louise Forshaw
Chapter book Dyslexia-friendly
Arun is very anxious about a maths test that his class will be taking next week. This is partly because it will be on everything they have learned so far, but mostly because it is timed. He struggles with completing tasks against the clock, even if it is just getting ready for school in the morning, and also finds it impossible to concentrate on one thing at a time. Arun’s family tries to make him feel more positive, but he thinks they don’t take his worries seriously.
So Arun comes up with a plan to avoid taking the test. Unfortunately, his first attempt gets him into trouble with the Headteacher, and then fate gifts him an opportunity where he has to wrestle with his conscience. It takes an unexpected conversation with a neighbour and a friend-in-need to bring clarity to his thoughts.
This has themes of facing your fears and doing the right thing. It highlights the expectations that families have for their children and how young people compare themselves to siblings and classmates. I could see this being a useful class read when assessments are on the horizon, and it also provides children with some useful strategies for dealing with their anxieties.
Olaf Falafel
Chapter book

Trixie Pickle is an arty ‘sort-of-superhero’ and this is her second adventure (the first being Trixie Pickle, Art Avenger). Trixie and her best friend, Beeks, have a lot going on in their lives. First, there is the latest edition of their comic, Blammo, to work on. Then there are the ‘mean girls’ to avoid or they will cause all sorts of trouble for Trixie and Beeks. There is also a new mystery illness doing the rounds; nicknamed ‘Wormwood fever’, it makes the patient very ill and can be briefly summed up by the words ‘it’s coming out both ends’. Could the mystery illness have anything to do with someone Trixie sees dumping toxic waste in the local reservoir? Who is it and can they be stopped? Trixie has a comic to finish, a mystery to solve and enemies to get revenge on . . . but all in an artistic way of course and with plenty of scope for mishap.

Full of fantastic, detailed fact files of the real artists who inspire Trixie and fully illustrated by the author, it was great to discover some artists I hadn’t been aware of before. This is a fast-paced, funny, fact-filled book which will appeal to art lovers, adventure lovers and humour lovers. It would also lend itself extremely well to a variety of art projects based on the artists featured.

Frank Cottrell Boyce
 & Steven Lenton
Chapter book

It’s show time! Meet Blackpool’s very own Nathan and Middy, together they are The Wonder Brothers! Of course they couldn’t perform their acts without a support team comprising of the steadfast Brodie and his giant white rabbit, Queenie (the real star of the show!). Together the children have spent summer holidays in Blackpool, perfecting the art of magic, but when a legendary magician comes to visit and makes Blackpool’s prominent landmark vanish, they go on a mission to get it back. The Blackpool Tower has disappeared, and when Middy is interviewed by the press she promises that they will return it.

Little did she know that they would end up in Las Vegas, building new tricks, performing street magic, befriending some nuns, eating burgers in an exclusive spa and winning 4.9m dollars! But along the way, the children are guided by a magical code of conduct, channelling their energy into positive outcomes and using their somewhat limited resources effectively. Eventually the police do catch up with them and Captain Jimenez provides part of the narration for the story, because quite frankly he does not believe a word of it.

This is Frank Cottrell-Boyce at his very best. Alongside the glorious illustrations by Steven Lenton, the magic and mystery falls off the pages. The story is fast paced and engaging, with a fantastic cast of characters who will leave even the most sceptical reader wondering just how the tricks are done. Great for Year 4 and up.

Jenny McLachlan
Chapter book

An absolutely first-class, laugh-out-loud, cartoon-filled adventure series for 7+ readers.

This book is part of the ‘Stink’ series and features the world’s funniest fairy. The story is packed full of comedy, wit and cartoons on every page!

Danny’s life hasn’t been the same since a real fairy flew out of a fairy door, attached herself to his hair and turned his life upside down. Now, school is chaotic, home is chaotic and life is chaotic!

So Stink tries as hard as she might to get things changed for both herself and Danny. But life, school & fairy adventures don’t always go to plan. Wanting to land himself the next role in the school play is Danny’s dream, but Stink has other ideas! What’s more, thanks to a misadventure in the science cupboard, a giant all-powerful wizard is released into the world.

Jenny has done it again – comedy claims the reader’s attention in this illustrated laugh-out-loud book and another KS2 favourite is born.

Laura Ellen Anderson
Chapter book

I’m a really big fan of Rainbow Grey so I was really excited to review this first book in the new series from Laura Ellen Anderson. It certainly didn’t disappoint!

Marnie is a very young moth, who finally having gained her wings, is off to Mini Beast Academy to learn what being a mini beast is all about. She has always dreamed of visiting the moon like her hero Lunora Wingheart, who was lost on a mission to the moon. When she arrives at school, Marnie soon begins having visions and hearing Lunora calling for help. However, whenever she asks about the moon, the adults go quiet. Marnie and her friends Floyd and Star discover that their teacher Mr. Atlas has a devious plot to destroy the moon. Can they stop him in time and save Lunora?

I enjoyed how the characters lived in a world that was just like ours, except hidden from human sight. Marnie, Floyd and Star are brilliant characters. They have completely different personalities, but they become the best of friends. This is a fabulous book for ages 6-9 for teaching friendship, determination and resilience. The world building and descriptive language are exceptional, making it easy to picture the book in your mind; perfect for young readers. I think this is going to be a fantastic series for engaging young readers exploring short, illustrated chapter books.

Joseph Coelho
 & Freya Hartas
Chapter book Poetry

We love a fairy tale with a twist and so eagerly welcomed the arrival of this new illustrated middle-grade series from poet Joseph Coelho and Freya Hartas, with this first instalment placing a deviously dark twist on the Rumpelstiltskin – told in verse.

Coelho’s treatment of the story – which adds a Frankenstein twist to a traditional tale – is as delightfully amusing as it is deliciously dark. After years of Disneyfication and a ‘softening up’ of well-known fairy tales for a generation who often find their stories served up with a little more happily-ever-after and a little less goriness, Coehlo’s series takes a direct step in the colder and creepier direction that you might expect from Roald Dahl’s fairy tales or the original Grimm stories.

There’s plenty to shock and also an enjoyable streak of dark humour and plenty of wit in both the author’s free verse and Freya Hartas’ stylishly expressive black and white illustrations.

Simon Mugford
 & Dan Green

We love the Football Superstars series, which is responsible for getting a lot of football fans reading!

Simon Mugford’s informative text set alongside Dan Green’s fun and realistic illustrations make for an engaging read that will leave children knowing a lot more about the history of football around the globe.

The text is designed in such a way that it can engage a range of children, including readers embarking on their first chapter books as well as older reluctant readers. Interspersed throughout the book are a range of jokes that children will enjoy. The text is displayed in a range of interesting ways, including speech bubbles, fact boxes and comic style sequences. The variety on layout keeps readers engaged, while the narrative is simple to follow.

This book is a member of a fantastic series of ‘Football Superstars’ books, showcasing the best modern-day footballers around. The books in the series lend themselves well to being collected, swapped and shared like football cards.

Popular Graphic Novels for Primary School Children

Joe Todd Stanton
Graphic Novel

Perfect for those who adore adventures, history, mythology or a strong lead female character.

Luna grapples with strange forest creatures, exciting and dangerous challenges, along with a young Atzec girl called Atzi. Following their journey, in which Luna had ulterior motives, she learnt the important moral ‘there were more important things than just looking out for yourself’

This graphic novel style book follows in the format of the other Brownstone’s Mythical Collection and is accessible for even the most reluctant reader; each time the book is read, you can spot a new detail. It is a beautiful book to hold, with its detailed illustrations, it makes you want to dive straight in with the promise of treasure and adventure on the cover.

This book is great to share with primary year groups and recommended for any book corner.

Steve Webb
Graphic Novel

This graphic novel is based on a very silly story and one that will go down a treat! Firstly, it’s about pizza – always a popular topic with children! Secondly, it stars two likeable, somewhat barmy characters (the good guys) and several creepy, villainous ones.

Its comic strip style is super appealing and colourful and the story is crammed with jokes and high jinks. The storyline is interesting (read fun, surprising, wacky, and inventive) and there’s a drawing tutorial at the end. Readers will be pleased to see the promise of future Peng and Spanners books.

This book will fly off the graphic novel shelf and is perfect for fans of the Investigators, Sparks and Cool Dude in KS1 and KS2.

Guy Bass
 & Pete Williamson
Graphic Novel

Stitch Head is a loveable little character – almost human – who has been created, and then forgotten, by his master the mad Professor Erasmus Erasmus. When Stitch Head inadvertently saves the professor’s latest monstrous creation (who has one eye, two noses and three ears) and calms him down with an anti-werewolf potion, the monster immediately vows to be Stitch Head’s ‘bestest friend’.

Stitch Head, who has never had a friend before and lives to serve his crazy master, is at first overwhelmed with the idea of friendship but the pair work together to save the town of Grubbers Nubbin and its fearful residents including the spunky Arabella Guff, from the arrival of a mysterious travelling carnival as well as from the mad Professor’s creations. Stitch Head recounts to his new friend how he was made out of leftovers by the professor, many years ago, when he was just a boy. But those idyllic early years ended abruptly when Stitch Head, along with all the boy’s toys, was locked away and the boy was instructed to take over his father’s work. Stitch Head now lives in the shadows, helping the Professor from afar and ensuring that his creations don’t escape, ‘for what humans fear…they will destroy.’

This graphic edition of Guy Bass’s novel will be highly popular with KS2 children. Both the style and the storyline are likely to win over previously reluctant readers; Stich Head has just the right mix of strong storyline and action-packed illustrations. The text, although mainly delivered using speech bubbles, builds a fun, fast-paced coherent narrative and Pete Williamson’s rollicking illustrations lend emotion and detail to the characters in this, the first of six Stitch Head graphic novels.

John Patrick Green
 & Pat Lewis
Graphic Novel

We are big fans of the InvestiGators graphic novel series. This pun-filled action series is a hit with younger fans of the graphic novel format and has hooked in lovers of Dog Man and The Bad Guys through its full-colour animal antics, funny cases to solve, and clever wordplay.

Now, a new standalone spin-off story featuring Cilantro the Chameleon has landed. Cilantro is a newly appointed Agent of S.U.I.T (Special Undercover Investigation Team), and as she faces her first big case involving a sheep revolt and an alien cover-up, she learns to step up and prove her place on the team.

We love the good, clean fun of this series, and parents and teachers know that young graphic novel fans are in good hands with these books. Author John Patrick Green said of the series, “Of all the comics I’ve created in my professional career, making InvestiGators has come closest to recapturing that feeling of being 11 years old, drawing comics in my bedroom, with the sole intention of making my friends and classmates laugh.” John’s commitment to child-centred visual humour and puns has clearly paid off and is reflected in the popularity of this series, which teachers and librarians tell us is flying off primary bookshelves at lightning speed. For children, the books are funny from the get-go, and pun-loving grown-ups like us can’t help but smile at the non-stop wordplay woven through the action scenes, too.

This new series of standalone adventures sees appearances from familiar faces from the previous InvestiGators books, while new characters are fleshed out too. The end of the book hints at adventures to be continued with new agents taking centre stage, and we’re already looking forward to the next mission.

Chapter Books for Older Primary School Children

Radiya Hafiza
 & Kaley McKean
Chapter book

Aya has always loved stars ever since she can remember and is extremely excited when the Perseids meteor shower is supposed to happen right by her house. Aya and her best friend (Naznen) plan to sneak out in the middle of the night to see the meteor shower up close. Their plan is going well but just as they start to enjoy watching the stars, Aya gets struck by a shooting star, and this is where her simple life starts to unravel as she develops special star powers which are beyond her control.

At the yearly royal ball, on a quest to find someone to cure Aya of her powers, Aya and her mother witness the royal family being taken hostage and the evil Abnus takes over the region of Alferra and she is looking for the star’s power with the help of the bhoot monsters. Will Aya be able to defeat the evil and fulfil the prophecy before being consumed by her own powers?

This story takes its origins from Bengali folklore, which shines through in different ways as you read the story. The story is easy to read and very hard to put down as the story starts to unravel and you start to learn the secrets of Alferra and Aya’s family. The story starts to take a dark turn when Aya and Abnus meet up towards the end and the story reaches a dramatic – if a little scary – crescendo that will keep readers hooked.

The book draws on the author’s South Asian cultural heritage, It was enjoyable to read and there are black and white illustrations dotted throughout the pages. Upper Key Stage 2 children will enjoy listening to this as a class reader.

Pari Thomson
 & Elisa Paganelli
Chapter book

Pari Thomson’s debut novel takes the reader into an imaginary world of nature, mystery and magic.

This gripping tale weaves through the many adventures and challenges of Daisy Thistledown, who discovers the spellbinding world of Greenwild, following the strange disappearance of her mother. When entering a hidden doorway, Daisy is faced with a mysterious, yet magical setting, where she is acquainted with milk chocolate trees, zither roots and a rare, but deadly, ghost-moth orchid. Here, while grieving from a terrible loss, she creates precious friendships which go on to change the world she thought she knew to a different place entirely.

While juggling solving the mystery of her mother’s disappearance, Daisy attempts to learn green magic and navigate the land of Greenwild as much larger, darker mysteries begin to unfold. Not all is as it first seems in Greenwild, and the author has seamlessly created a tale brimming with twists and turns.

This book will leave the reader scratching their head with curiosity, on the edge of their seat with shock and sobbing with heartbreak by the end of their journey through ‘The World Behind the Door’. Thomson creates an incredible balance between the luscious, botanical beauty described, and that of deep evil and darkness; her imagination is truly commendable. Readers of Greenwild will not be left disappointed as they experience a journey of friendship, growth and good vs evil. I would highly recommend this for Upper KS2 readers and adults alike, in a book that teaches us that ‘Nature is wilder and stranger than you know, more miraculous than you can imagine’.

Tony Bradman
 & Tania Rex
Chapter book

World War 2 is the setting for this short, dyslexia-friendly chapter book and is a common history topic in schools. Many of the great books for primary-aged children set in this era may be too challenging for some readers and so this book enables children to catch a glimpse of life during the war and also learn about some of the important features of life: rationing; schools; the changing roles of adults; evacuation and the black market (through the unique storyline of a girl trying to get hold of a banana in times when all food was in short supply).

Vocabulary that may be unfamiliar to children is explained as part of the storyline, for example explaining who the ‘yanks’ were. In addition, there are a few ‘notes’ at the end of the book that provide a simple overview of the period in history and also a clear explanation of money before decimalisation.

The focus of the story is a young girl’s concern and care for her mum at a time of great stress and strain on family life, where dad is away fighting in the war and mum has taken on a new job, working long hours in the factory. There are many parallels that the modern reader could draw with their own experiences. The print is clear without too many words on the page. The book is illustrated by Tania Rex and the pictures will support the reluctant readers’ engagement as well as enable a child’s first step into reading a chapter book, to be scaffolded.

Author Tony Bradman also visited our blog recently to talk about why there should always be a gap on the shelf for books that help readers see the bigger picture of the war from a new lens.

Christopher Edge
Chapter book

Adventure in a sci-fi setting ensues with the usual edge-of-your-seat fast pace of a Christopher Edge story. If you liked Escape Room and Maisie Day or Jennifer Killick’s Dreadwood horror series, then you’ll love this.

Five friends find themselves sucked into the screen to become part of the 4D interactive film they were hoping to watch at the Black Hole Cinema club – so-named due to a spelling error.

The friends have to complete a mission to find their way out of the film, but to do that they have to work out what the mission is! Some of the descriptions are thrilling (if a little scary!): ‘… a jet black tidal wave, a tsunami of darkness surging towards us without a sound.‘ and ‘…as the curtains kiss the music stops and the lights go out…

The book is beautifully presented and laid out with some bold text, simple line illustrations for items such as the cinema tickets and feature-framed chapter title pages. The text is well-spaced and easy to read, broadening the appeal to a wider range of readers in KS2.

Alex Bell
 & Tim McDonagh
Chapter book

The Glorious Race of Magical Beasts is an absolutely spellbinding read for anyone who loves adventure, magic and unlikely friendships.

The story begins with Eli, a book-loving introvert, who works at the Royal Library. As the story unveils, we learn that our hero, the unassuming underdog, has more to the eye than it seems.

There is not one page in this story that isn’t filled with the most spectacular imagination! For a start, you can’t help but fall in love with Eli’s sidekick, a moon turtle called Humphrey, who loves nothing more than a poem and an easy life. Needless to say, they embark on an adventure which couldn’t be further from the ordinary. Before they died, Eli’s parents were famous for entering and winning The Race of Magical Beasts, which is renowned for its danger and cunning contestants. After a recent discovery, Eli is left with no choice but to risk everything to enter the race himself and win the iconic prize. Will he be able to show people that a ‘bookish boy with a briefcase can achieve remarkable things’?

Bell’s imagination and incredible story-telling will leave any reader in awe. From fictional characters who have been transported from the pages of books to ships with pulsating tentacles, there is plenty to keep the reader turning pages. I loved every word on every single page, particularly the heart-warming friendships built throughout! This story is a triumph in every sense.

Jess French
Chapter book

Kayla, Alethea and Rustus could not be more different and, growing up in different parts of the kingdom, they could not be less likely to meet, let alone become friends. But when circumstance throws them together, their individual quests become entwined and they soon realise that the fate of the whole kingdom could lie with them. Can they overcome the evil upon them or will they fail like others expect them to?

Jess French is a vet, zoologist, entomologist, naturalist and TV presenter. Her knowledge of animals has made her a successful children’s author, producing several books that make understanding animals and the importance of protecting them easily accessible and enjoyable to even the youngest readers. This appears to be a new departure into middle school fantasy writing for French, although her knowledge is still interwoven into the fantasy world.

The text neatly flips per chapter to continue the story from each of the lead character’s perspectives, which works really well and she builds up the story behind each character and what leads them to come together, building tension and the desire to read on. The first half of the book evolved naturally and the second half gallops along to the end point – a springboard to the next novel. The story leads to great discussion points about bullying and family expectations, as well as what it looks like to have preconceived ideas about other cultures.

This story is aimed at an audience of UKS2 with a love of fantasy or animals, who will enjoy the quest and look out for the next one in the series.

Dan Freedman
 & Kajsa Hallstroem
Chapter book

Lenny Brown is a beautiful, emotionally uplifting and powerful story. It focuses on Lenny who, due to his mum changing jobs, has to move house and school. In the story, Lenny not only navigates the rollercoaster of change that comes with a new school and new friendships but tackles this as a child who only will speak to his mum and his dog, Rocky.

The book is so sensitively written. The characters draw you in and allow you to consider Lenny’s situation and how he decides to overcome his own challenges. It celebrates friendship and tolerance…and football.

It is a wonderful novel and would be perfect for a lower KS2 class reader. Many children will share a class with a child like Lenny or have to face their time at primary school with selective mutism. I am Lenny Brown recognises this group of children and opens the conversation about this condition.

Anne-Marie Conway
Chapter book

Lily loves animals and has a stammer.

Themes of family and friendship are explored throughout the story, which is told from Lily’s point of view. Lily is in Year 6 and her new teacher sets a project about ‘One World’, where the children work together to research an issue and present it to the class – a task that feels challenging for Lily when she has a stammer. This thought-provoking and beautiful story reels the reader in to Lily’s journey from being the victim of cyberbullying to standing up for herself and ‘becoming more hedgehog.’

From friendship changes, cyberbullying and new family additions, this unique story leads to lots of discussion for KS2 classes. The story is inter-woven with animal facts and at the beginning of each chapter is a fact about hedgehogs, as well as an illustration. This book is captivating from the first page and is a must-read for celebrating differences, overcoming adversity, and having hope and courage.

I really enjoyed this story and read it in one day, as I couldn’t put it down. It would make a good class read for children in Year 5 or 6 or for children who love animals and celebrating who we are.

Younger Non-Fiction Books for Primary School Children

Libby Walden
 & Ekaterina Trukhan

This book is a fantastic resource with something in it for all primary-school-aged children. The topics are varied – from telling the children what a body is and naming parts of the body, to specific chapters on the heart, lungs, five senses etc. The book is aimed at children from 4+ and would suit this age group well.

Many of the pages contain technical vocabulary but are aimed at Reception and KS1. The explanations and text are very clear but there is also a further level of detail to explore for those children who are interested in science or the human body, or for older children who will still get something from the book.

The illustrations in the book are simple and very effective. They are clearly labelled and easy for children to understand. All in all, this book is perfect for a classroom non-fiction collection.

Peter Arrhenius
 & Ingela P Arrhenius
Non-fiction Picturebook

This is a rhyming non-fiction book with flaps to lift and oodles of details to spot. The concept of the book is about people who work at night time. It could fit well with topics about People Who Help Us or Light and Dark. Children enjoy the peek-inside nature of the flaps, gaining insights into a world that is not normally accessible to us because we are sleeping!

The simple language, gentle rhyme and warm illustrations make this a good choice of non-fiction to share with Nursery, Preschool and Reception aged children.

Mary Auld
 & Dawn Cooper

Little Brown Nut is the newest addition to the series, ‘Start Small, Think Big’ covering growth and life cycles. This non-fiction picture book tells the story of the Brazil nut tree and shows why the rainforest is important to local people and the wider world. The book features full-colour illustrations, a textured cover with a peep-through hole and giant fold-out map, and covers themes of life cycles, tree germination, photosynthesis and habitats,

The reader is instantly transported through the peep-hole cover into the Amazon Rainforest to experience the story of the brazil nut, as told through first-person (or first-nut!) narrative. The journey spans from the nut falling from its tree, to encountering a wide variety of animals on the forest floor and being buried to finally meeting humans, who will use the nuts they gather in the forest in different ways. The non-fiction/story blend explains the life-cycle of the nut with questions for the reader to explore further, such as ‘Can you see…?’ sparking interest and interaction. The interaction continues through to the end pages, with an impressive six-page fold-out section inside the back cover that will go down a treat in the classroom (including a life-cycle diagram and map of South America) and an I-Spy type game to encourage readers to have a second look.

The main text is aimed at emerging readers, with additional information for confident readers and shared reading with an adult. We particularly like learning new vocabulary, eg: agouti (rodent-like guinea pig of the rainforest) and that it’s filled with facts about how something as small as a single brazil nut is so interconnected with both its local habitat and the wider world. Schools will value this as an interactive non-fiction text that immediately captures children’s interests as well as one that aids learning in topics about rainforests, life cycles and habitats.

Chitra Soundar
 & Jenny Bloomfield

We All Celebrate is a brightly coloured non-fiction book about communal festivals and celebrations. The book explores all kinds of celebrations from around the globe, including well known special festivals like Eid-al-Fitr, Diwali and Dia de los Muertos and less well-known traditions, such as Nowruz (the Persian New Year) and Inti Raymi, which is the Winter Solstice festival in Peru.

The author showcases the joyfulness of community celebrations, the comfort of traditions and the excitement of preparing for planned festivities. The last part of the book explains that in many cultures, the way things are celebrated evolves over time, and that there are vast variations in the way people and places acknowledge festivals that to many children may sound familiar (like ‘New Year’).

Jenny Bloomfield’s uplifting illustrations highlight people gathered together and show some of the food, places, musical traditions and clothing associated with each festival.

Nicola Davies
 & Catherine Rayner

‘Emperor of the ice’ is a beautifully written story based on fact. The book informs the reader about the life of penguins through the year and the struggles they face.

The illustrations are stunning and help to make it clear what time of year each event takes place. The information at the back of the book about climate change and how it is affecting emperor penguins was clear and well-explained.

This is a great book for children in Year 2 and beyond to learn about the topic of polar regions. Highly recommended for the classroom.

Older Non-Fiction Books for Primary School Children

Mick Manning,Brita Granstroem

In ‘Women Who Led the Way’, you are invited into the world of some of the world’s most influential female adventurers. from Iceland to the South Pole, and from the depths of history to outer space, the women of this book have helped to shape the understanding of the universe we have today.

Each double-page spread invites the reader to engage with the explorer through a first-person narrative and, while written in a way which is accessible for younger readers, each is captivating and inspirational. The illustrations give the reader a sense of the intense focus within each of the women depicted, along with contextual clues about the time and place in which the women lived.

On each page is a short paragraph that challenges the reader to learn more about another woman who also led the way in their field or some additional insight into the challenges faced by these phenomenal women.

It is a superb book and would be a perfect addition to a class library, used as part of a topic on famous explorers or famous women in history.

Brooke Barker

Have you ever wondered how to pet a yeti crab or whether dogs can tell if you’re smiling? This book answers these questions and so many more that inquisitive minds may be pondering.

‘How do meerkats order pizza? ’is a brilliant book full of funny and fascinating facts about different animals around the world and the scientists who study them. Presented in a fun mix of comic book style images, illustrations, colours and fact boxes, this is a perfect read for any animal fan or science enthusiast. This book provided many giggles and ‘did you know’ conversations after reading.

The colourful map in the opening pages acts as a contents page to help readers navigate their way through the text. With a diverse group of scientists and a multitude of animals covered, this book would complement learning in science lessons. Ideally suited for KS2 children to read independently, the bite-size chunks of text and high ratio of illustrated elements make it an easy read and will appeal to children who don’t enjoy the heavier blocks of text found in many non-fiction books for this age group.


Marchella Ward
 & Asia Orlando
Chapter book

‘Beasts of the Ancient World’ is a phenomenal illustrated book, which will appeal to any child who loves to learn about history, animals or mythology. The book contains an array of stories about monsters from all over the ancient world, while including facts and illustrations about them.

From the very beginning of the book, the content page taps into the reader’s interests, by including subheadings for each group of stories. Are you interested in terrifying monsters? Then look at the ‘Our worst fears’ section. Love to hear about epic wars? ‘Battles with monsters’ is for you! A bit of a scaredy cat? There is also a section titled ‘Kind beasts’, which would suit the less brave!

The stories throughout claim to remind us that ‘things are never really as simple as brave human defeats monster’. They have been carefully selected from around the world and allow readers to learn about the creatures within them, as well as the cultures they came from. There are many unique features within it to help gain a breadth in children’s learning about mythology and cultural legends from around the globe. For example, there is a world map with a key, which explains where each of the mythical creatures was created by ancient storytellers. Interwoven through the stories are fact pages with beautiful illustrations of different creatures. There are snippets of non-fiction fact files, which include anything from beasts that fly, great guardians and creatures from under the sea. There is something in this book for everyone!

Dr Sheila Kanani

Have you ever wondered why frogs are green? Or if the sun is really yellow? Or maybe why the sea is blue? Well, this colourful science compendium suitable for KS2 may hold the answers!

Written by author and astronomer, Dr Sheila Kanani, this fascinating book starts by explaining what colour is and how we see it, before taking us on a journey of big colour questions. Each section is based on a colour of the rainbow (plus some added extras ‘beyond the rainbow’ such as black, white and fluorescent colours) and, after an introduction to that colour, asks five colour-based questions. Red, for example, explores why blood is red, why Mars is known as the red planet, why flamingos are pink, why some monkeys have red bottoms and why hippo’s sweat is red.

Each question is explained clearly, with lots of added information and ‘did you know’ sections to keep the reader engaged. This all leads to the big question of the book: Can you Get Rainbows in Space? As well as being a captivating read, it is the design, layout and illustrations that will get children picking up the book and delving in.

Unsurprisingly, in a book about colour, every spread is full of glorious images that celebrate each colour in turn. A feast for the eyes as well as the mind, I would highly recommend this engaging text for bookshelves in every school library.

David Long
 & Stefano Tambellini
Dyslexia-friendly Non-fiction

Nearly everyone has heard of Mount Everest. Towering over the Himalayas, it is probably the most famous mountain in the world. Equally, Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, became household names when they became the first climbers to reach the top and descend safely again in May 1953. But what of all the climbers who tried and failed? What are the challenges and obstacles facing a team trying to reach the 8,849 metre-high summit of the ‘Peak of Heaven’?

This fascinating book by the award-winning David Long looks at the history of the race to reach the top. It is packed full of fascinating information about the challenges climbers face on the mountain, about the differences between modern climbing equipment and that used in the past, as well as the personal stories behind some of the attempts (he goes into detail about the failed attempt by Mallory and Irving in 1924, as well as the successful Hillary/Norgay expedition).

The illustrations by Stefano Tambellini not only help to set the scene but also provide extra information. The picture comparing Mount Everest to other well-known mountains, for example, is simple yet effective. The book ends on a thought-provoking note – apparently, Everest is now littered with rubbish. At such a high altitude doing a litter pick is dangerous, yet there are teams of intrepid people trying to safeguard Everest’s natural beauty. Even at these high altitudes, humans are still managing to leave their mark, and not always in a good way.

Patrick Kane
 & Sam Rodriguez

Human 2.0: A Celebration of Human Bionics is an engaging and informative exploration of the fascinating world of human bionics for young readers. Authored by Patrick Kane and Samuel Rodriguez, this children’s non-fiction book seamlessly blends education and entertainment, making it an excellent resource for curious minds.

The book’s narrative is centred around medical engineering presenting complex concepts in a way that is generally accessible and captivating for children for older children in KS2. Kane employs a clear, friendly but formal writing style, ensuring that young readers can easily grasp the concepts of human bionics but still appropriate for an explanation text.

One of the book’s strengths is its use of vibrant illustrations and visuals. The colourful and dynamic images effectively complement the text, helping to explain intricate details about technology that mimics biology. These visuals not only enhance the learning experience but also keep young readers engaged throughout the book. The author does a commendable job of introducing young readers to the history of human bionics, starting with the first prosthesis, almost 3,500 years ago. The book also covers recent advancements in the field, such as neural implants and electronic chips, sparking curiosity and encouraging readers to envision the exciting possibilities of the future.

The organization of the book is well thought out, with sections logically arranged to build upon each other. Furthermore, the book successfully balances scientific information with real-world examples and stories of individuals benefiting from bionic technologies. These personal anecdotes add a human touch to the subject matter, making it relatable for young readers.

Human 2.0 is a great addition to children’s non-fiction literature, offering an accessible and captivating introduction to the world of human bionics. Whether used as a classroom resource or enjoyed at home, this book has the potential to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators. Recommended for young minds eager to explore the wonders of technology and the human body. A must-have for Year 6 book collections.

Rob Wilsher
 & Sophie Williams

Stones and Bones: Fossils and the Stories They Tell is a captivating non-fiction text, perfect for independent readers in UKS2. Its curriculum links to rocks and soils and the Stone Age makes it a good text for teachers or parents to read aloud to younger readers.

Stones and Bones is like having a friendly guide to show you around Earth’s past. You’ll learn how fossils are made and what life was like during different periods of history. Each page is full of exciting discoveries waiting to be uncovered. It is full of stunning illustrations, accessible language and rich content, making it sure to ignite a spark of curiosity for Natural History.

With amazing pictures that make dinosaurs and ancient worlds come alive, this book is packed with fun facts and cool stories.

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Guidance: About the Primary Booklist

How should you encourage primary school children to read?

The heart of fostering a love for reading in primary school lies in the power of choice. Making available for children a range of different books is key, including a variety of styles, formats, and genres to enable them to shape their identity as readers. By exploring various options, children have alternatives if a particular book doesn’t resonate with them but also gain the ability to make informed decisions about the reading books that most make them enjoy reading. This essential process plays a pivotal role in nurturing children’s intrinsic motivation to read for pleasure, laying the groundwork for a lifelong passion for books.

Whether it’s popular bestsellers like the Football Rules series or magical realism like Aya and the Star Chaser, it is best to make sure that a wide range of appealing and age-appropriate books are available for primary children to choose from. Many children gravitate towards picturebooks, from the earliest stories for children like Squishy McFluff and Snail in Space to picturebooks that keep older readers intrigued too, like The Lost Happy Endings. Also popular with primary children are illustrated chapter books like Trixie Pickle and graphic novels like Peng and Spanners.

Our list also includes poetry books like Frankenstiltskin by Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho as well as a good selection of non-fiction including Women Who Led the Way and Human 2.0.

All of the books on this primary school reading list have been selected for our individual year group booklists.

How are the Reading for Pleasure booklists selected?

Each of our Year Group Recommended Reads lists contains 50 books specially picked out for reading for pleasure in each primary year group, from Preschool to Year 6 and everything in between. With the help of reviews and feedback from our Review Panel and input from the experienced librarians and booksellers at Peters, the lists are designed to provide recommendations of age-appropriate and accessible books across a range of genres and styles. These lists differ from our topic booklists, as the books are purely selected to read for pleasure at each age group rather than to support specific curriculum study.

In curating each primary booklist, we strive for diversity across various genres and styles. Recognising that children have unique preferences, some gravitating towards non-fiction while others favour graphic novels or poetry, we ensure that each list provides a well-rounded selection. Our curated lists encompass age-appropriate fiction, picture books, non-fiction, poetry, and graphic novels, complemented by a sprinkling of novelty or tactile books. Our goal is to compile lists that accommodate different reading styles, cater to varying interest levels, span different publication dates (featuring both timeless classics and contemporary titles) and include books with diverse characters and settings. This approach allows schools using our lists to present children with a rich array of high-quality reading options tailored to their individual enjoyment.

Where can I purchase the books on the BooksForTopics Primary Booklist?

What other book lists for children in primary schools are available?

The booklists on the BooksForTopics website mostly feature books suitable for the primary school age range (4-11).
Many of our booklists are based on topics found on the primary school curriculum, like the Romans in history or growing plants in science.

Some of the booklists on the website are themed on children’s special interests – like football or superheroes – or seasonal events such as Christmas or Chinese New Year.

Our most popular booklists are the Recommended Reads lists for each year group from EYFS to Year 6. In addition, we have a number of targeted Reading for Pleasure booklists, such as graphic novels, storytime favourites, reluctant readers or first chapter books. Our Branching Out lists are popular for moving readers on from a particular book or series they love, and also come with printable posters.

We also have a diversity hub in which we feature diverse and inclusive booklists for different age groups.

If you are looking for lists of brand new recommended children’s books, you may also like our Books of the Month or Ones to Watch lists.

Can I download a printable version of the Primary School Book List?

All of our Year Group Recommended Reads lists come with a printable poster and checklist. Schools are very welcome to display the posters or to share the printable resources with their community.



Printable Poster – Best Primary Books PDF

best books for primary school children poster


Printable Checklist – Best Primary Books PDF

best books for primary school children checklist

Where can I find recommended reading lists for other primary key stages?

Discover recommended books for primary school key stages at BooksForTopics. Our expert team has curated a top-quality collection of books for each stage, reviewed by our school-based Review Panel. Each booklist includes recommended titles, a printable poster, and checklist. Schools can buy full sets of each Year Group’s list through our trusted partner, Peters.

Don’t miss these recommended reading lists for other key stages – find them using our quick links:


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Stone Girl Bone Girl


Year group(s) the book is most suitable for:

Year group(s) the book is most suitable for:

Does the book contain anything that teachers would wish to know about before recommending in class (strong language, sensitive topics etc.)?

Does the book contain anything that teachers would wish to know about before recommending in class (strong language, sensitive topics etc.)?

Would you recommend the book for use in primary schools?


Curriculum links (if relevant)

Curriculum links (if relevant)

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