Recommended children's booklists sorted by age or topic

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FAQs

Want to find out more about BooksForTopics?

Here we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions, including information about how the books on our lists are selected, how to purchase packs as a school and how to save your favourite booklists by becoming a site member. If you can’t find an answer to your question here, please get in touch.

Questions about BooksForTopics

BooksForTopics is a popular website featuring children’s booklists sorted by age or topic.
The BooksForTopics website was first launched as a means of helping primary school staff to find the best books to use in classrooms.
The booklists on the site now help millions of users each year to find recommended children’s books, including booklists for primary curriculum subjects like history and science, recommendations of the best new children’s books, specific booklists for reading for pleasure like graphic novels and early chapter books and recommendations of the best books by age or year group.

BooksForTopics was created by Alison Leach, a trained primary teacher and book-lover with experience of teaching across KS1 and KS2 and leading English. In addition to a team of freelancers who keep the site running well, we work with a panel of 50 reviewers from across the primary education sector, made up of teachers, librarians, TAs, literacy consultants, headteachers and education lecturers. You can find out more about the history of BooksForTopics here. 

We also work closely with a range of publishers, children’s book industry experts and booksellers to make sure our lists offer the very best recommendations. This includes our partners Peters, who supply packs of books from our lists directly to schools.

To get in touch with BooksForTopics HQ, you can use the contact form on our website or email [email protected].

The best way to find out about new booklists and BooksForTopics news is to sign up to our mailing list. We are also active on social media and you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn or TikTok.

The review panel is a group of 50 people from across the primary education community, including teachers, librarians, headteachers, English advisers and education lecturers. Picked out from hundreds of applications, we have selected a panel that have a clear passion for and working knowledge of children’s literature and those who are active in sharing information and expertise with others to help them select the best children’s books to read.

Each month we send the panel books to read and review. The panel’s insights are invaluable in helping us to decide which books to feature on the website.

Questions about our booklists

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.
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 booklists.

Our school-based review panel help us to best identify which age groups the books on our booklists are suitable for.

The booklists on the website are categorised by year group or key stage. Some booklists are specifically aimed at particular year groups, like our 50 Recommended Reads lists or age-specific lists like starting school or Y6 transition.

Most of the curriculum lists have key stage or year group tags near the top of the page to help you to identify which age group the books are most suitable for. 

We love children’s books at BooksForTopics HQ and one of our favourite parts of running the website is finding the best books to recommend on our booklists, whether it’s for curriculum topic booklists, year group booklists or reading for pleasure recommendations.

We receive hundreds of books each month from our publishing partners, who send us newly published titles or copies of books relevant to the topics and ages we cover. Many of the books that we receive from publishers are then reviewed by our school-based panel of reviewers. With a panel of 50 reviewers from across the primary education community, we are able to try out new books in a variety of school settings before we recommend them on the website, making sure that we are recommending the most suitable books for your classrooms. Our review panel feeds back to us information about which books are most popular in their school libraries and which books support the curriculum effectively, as well as writing detailed reviews for some of the books that we feature too.

When we are assessing the quality of books to consider them for our website, we take into account a number of factors – including age suitability, quality of text, visual appeal, readability, level of interest for children, underlying values, curriculum relevance and print production quality. When we put together our curated booklists, we also look to find a balance of different text types, character representation, genres and styles.

In addition to our Review Panel feedback, we work with the booksellers at Peters to make sure that the books on our lists are readily available from publishers in order to supply them to schools and classrooms. 

Read our recent blog post to find out more about the processes behind booklist selection.

The BooksForTopics website is evolving and growing with new books being added every month. We are currently working through a wishlist of new booklist topics, and you can contact us if there is a booklist that you’d love to see added to the website.

We’ve made it super easy for you to find out more about each book selected for our lists. Simply click on any book cover image from the booklist and you will be taken to a specific book information page – like this one.  There, you can find a synopsis of the book, purchasing links, any comments from our review panel, age suitability, links to relevant booklists and any related resources provided by our publishing partners.

Questions about using the website

We love to see our booklists being used by schools and libraries across the country and it really helps us to spread the word about our website when you share links with your community.  While you can’t copy content from our website without permission, there are a number of ways you can share our helpful resources with your school community:

  • Share direct links to the BooksForTopics website or to particular booklists on your school website or social media.
  • Share our printable resources with your school community, like our Recommended Read checklists or Christmas gift guides.
  • Display our posters in your classrooms or school library, like our popular Branching Out posters or Recommended Read year group posters (we love to see your photos when you do!). Some schools hand copies out to parents, too.
  • Include links to our website in an email or newsletter to your school community.

There is a special section on the website with printable resources. There you’ll find posters and checklists to support our Year Group Recommended Reads lists. Our printable Branching Out posters are very popular as display materials. You’ll also find Storytime Online sheets, which enable children to access online videos of stories being read out loud by their authors, and seasonal resources like Christmas Gift Guides or Summer Reading Bingo.

You’ll also notice that some of the books we feature on our site have links from the book information page to downloadable resources (like this one). These are usually worksheets or teaching packs that have been provided by our publishing partners.

Becoming a member of the website will enable you to create your own account and log in. It’s absolutely free to become a member and once you’ve signed in, you will be able to save your favourite books or booklists in your own account area. That way, you can keep track of the booklists and books that are most relevant to you, and quickly find them again when you log in.

Once you are a member, you will also have access to our newsletter archives and be able to vote for books in important book selection events like our Books of the Year award.

Membership is entirely optional and you can still access all of our booklists, book information pages and blog content without being a member of the site.

On the Members Area log in page, click on Lost Your Password. You’ll then be taken to a password reset page, which will send a link to your email address with instructions on how to reset your password.

If you need to change the email address associated with your account, please contact us.

In order to use the Favourites function, you’ll need to be a member of the website. Once you’ve signed in to your member account, you will be able to save your favourite books or booklists in your own account area. That way, you can keep track of the booklists and books that are most relevant to you, and quickly find them again when you log in.

To save a booklist in your member account, click on the ‘Add to Favourite’ link near the top of any booklist or book page (find the book pages by clicking on any individual book cover image on a booklist). 

You’ll then get a drop-down box giving options of where to save your favourites. You can either select a pre-existing category (e.g. My Favourites), or create and organise your own categories by selecting ‘Add New Category’ (like ‘Science Picturebooks’ or ‘Class 2 Wishlist’).

When you return to your Member Area, you’ll find all of your favourites and categories in the ‘View Your Favourites’ section.

Questions about purchasing books

Here at BooksForTopics HQ, we love recommending the best books and curating booklists for you, but we don’t directly sell the books ourselves. Our booklists contain links to purchase the books from selected online retailers.

If you are looking to purchase individual books from our lists, you can use the links to Amazon or BookShop.Org on each booklist. You’ll also find most of our lists in our BookShop.Org store.

We also work in partnership with Peters to supply book packs to schools, including our popular 50 Recommended Reads for Each Year Group lists and curriculum topic packs. Schools can easily purchase full packs in one go. Find out more about purchasing book packs for schools here.

Absolutely! Just use the Amazon or BookShop links on our lists to purchase the books you wish to buy.

Schools have the option to purchase full packs of the books from our lists through our partners at Peters. 

This means that if you want a full set of topic books about the Stone Age or a whole pack of recommended reads for Year 2, you can purchase the whole set of books from our lists in one go.

To purchase the packs, follow the ‘Purchase Book Pack’ links on our booklists, or visit the Peters website to see the packs available.

Peters offers top quality customer service to schools, including speedy delivery, a school invoicing service and 20% off RRP for schools purchasing BooksForTopics packs. For questions about setting up school accounts with Peters or placing your order, you can contact their team directly.

If you order a BooksForTopics pack from Peters, the team will do their best to make sure the books they supply match our booklists as shown on the website.
 
If a book from the list becomes unavailable or temporarily out of print due to unforeseen circumstances, the expert team of librarians and booksellers at Peters may substitute it with another similar title. For more information on substitutions in the packs, contact the Peters team directly at [email protected]
All school orders of the BooksForTopics book packs from our website are handled and fulfilled by Peters, and they are best placed to help you as they will be the supplier.
 
Peters offers a school invoicing service and the team will be happy to assist with setting up an account for you to order BooksForTopics packs. You can contact them directly on 0121 666 6646 or email [email protected]

Questions about working with us

At the current time, applications to join our review panel are closed and the panel is full. We have a waiting list for school-based reviewers who would like to be involved and you can contact us to request to be added to the list. Our reviewers are usually bookloving teachers, librarians or school staff with an appetite to read and review children’s books and to comment on how they have been received in their school setting. The best way to hear about upcoming opportunities to get involved when they arise is to sign up to our email newsletter or follow us on social media.

Here at BooksForTopics HQ we are always delighted to hear from authors and publishers who want to get more involved. The main aim of the BooksForTopics website is to recommend fiction and non-fiction to UK teachers working with pupils in the primary school age range (4-11). We are on the look-out for books that will excite and inspire young readers and that are age-appropriate in terms of language and content. Find out more about BooksForTopics here.

We are happy to receive print review copies of children’s books suitable for ages 4-11. We are particularly interested in picture books, non-fiction children’s books, early readers, middle-grade chapter books, graphic novels and poetry. Please do not send books with content that is inappropriate for the primary age range (in particular, no swearing please). Please note that we no longer accept e-books or self-published titles and we are not willing to make exceptions on this. Our full review policy can be found here.

We also accept some guest blog posts from our author friends and run social media giveaways at our discretion. 

To find out more about getting involved, please ask your publicist to contact us on your behalf or use our contact form to get in touch.

 

We love working with our UK publishing partners to help the best books to find their way into the hands of young readers. We reach thousands of schools every month with our book recommendations – through the website, our social media channels and our mailing list.

Many of our publishing partners work with us by sending review copies and information about their latest titles. We also work with selected partners to host guest blog pieces or giveaways. We are happy to receive print review copies of children’s books suitable for ages 4-11 and our full review policy can be found here.

If you are a publicist looking to get involved, please contact us here. While we try to stay up to date with the fast-moving world of children’s publishing, there will always be books and authors that we have yet to discover. You can drop us an email or connect with us on Twitter to let us know about your books that primary schools will love and where we can follow your latest news.

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Your Review

Stone Girl Bone Girl

review

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?

yes

Curriculum links (if relevant)

Curriculum links (if relevant)

Any other comments

Any other comments