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NEWS: BooksForTopics Launches 2024 Year Group Booklists

The BooksForTopics team is delighted to publish the 2024 Reading for Pleasure booklists for each primary year group. Now in their seventh year, these Recommended Reading lists are widely used in primary schools, with each list containing 50 books selected to match the age and stage of every primary year group, from Preschool to Year 6. In this blog, we tell you more about the booklists and explore what’s new in the 2024 updates…
new year group lists launched

year group booklists updated

NEW! Year Group Recommended Reads booklists launched

year group recommended reads booklistThe BooksForTopics Year Group booklists contain 50 Recommended Reads for each primary year group and the 2024 lists have been published today!

Launched annually in April, each Year Group Recommended Reads list contains 50 books specially picked out for reading for pleasure in each primary year group, from Preschool to Year 6. 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 for the purpose of reading for pleasure at each age group. As many of the BooksForTopics community of teachers, librarians and families will know, these booklists are some of the most visited pages on our website and are a popular choice for schools looking to purchase full packs of year-group recommended reads from Peters. Individual books from the lists can also be purchased via Amazon or our Bookshop Store.

The new updates welcome a handful of brilliant newer titles into the collection. This year, we have more primary graphic novels than ever, a sprinkling of the very best newly published titles that our review panel loved, some new high-quality non-fiction to add to your collections and more illustrated, early chapter books to hook in newly independent readers. Themes of environmental sustainability, inclusion and new technologies are particularly well represented on the list, reflecting the appetite in schools for children to engage with topics of social responsibility, including in the online world. Themes of cyberbullying, AI, global warming, immigration, genetic engineering, social media and gaming all notably crop up among this year’s books.

We’re also excited to share new-look posters and checklists to download, an increase of printable book-based resource sheets or planning packs, more purchasing options for schools (such as the new addition packs or Key Stage collections) and an exciting giveaway to celebrate.

Now in their seventh year, the booklists are a useful resource for educators and caregivers looking to find age-appropriate book recommendations for children in the primary years. These collections of books have taken months to put together, carefully curated by our team of experts with the help of our Review Panel members, who have tried and tested hundreds of titles in their primary school settings to bring you only the best of the best.

The booklists are curated with a huge amount of care and attention and schools know that they can trust us to only recommend the most classroom-suitable and top-quality, engaging books for each age group.


We’ve been incredibly busy in recent weeks compiling the new lists for you, which launched live on our website on Tuesday 16th April 2024.

Here are the quick links to the lists:


Schools can share the lists or posters with their community and they also have the option to order the packs now from our partners at Peters.


Year Group Booklists 2024: Five Things to Spot

Here at BooksForTopics HQ, we’ve been counting down to launch day and are delighted to share the new updates with you. In this blog, we highlight five NEW things about the updated lists that we’re most excited to share.


year group booklist updates

1. Oodles of New Titles!

Here at BooksForTopics, we strongly believe in the power of reading for pleasure in the primary years and in the unique position of schools to cultivate the joy of reading. Reading for pleasure can provide entertainment and delight as well as opening up a host of new worlds to children. Books provide children with opportunities to stretch their imagination as well as to consider what life might be like in a myriad of different settings and situations. Moreover, research has shown that reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, parents’ educational background or income  (Source: OECD).

At BooksForTopics, we receive book submissions from a variety of children’s book publishers who hope to have their books featured on our website. We’re in a position to review the very latest books and find the best ones to recommend on our lists.

We received a record number of submissions from publishers for this year’s lists and we have expanded our review panel with extra members to make sure we could thoroughly choose the best new titles to add to this year’s booklists. This means that out of the thousands of books out there, the titles that make it onto the 50 Recommended Reads lists deserve their place on merit, based on our assessment of the books as genuinely top quality ‘read for pleasure’ options for the relevant year groups, and we know that schools love to be able to offer brand new books to the lists too.

Look out for newly published additions like Matt Carr’s delightful new picturebook Pop!, Rachel Bright’s Snail in Space, the empowered fairytale-themed picturebook Stop! That’s Not My Story, Katie Cottle’s beautiful illustrated Night Flight, the early chapter book Lola and Larch, Serena Patel’s Test Trouble and Christopher Edge’s sci-fi thriller The Black Hole Cinema Club.

We’ve also tweaked the balance of the books on each list. Balance is really important to us when we curate these lists, and nothing on the list is added without due consideration. When we put together each list, we look for a balance across different genres and styles. Some children naturally navigate towards non-fiction, while others find graphic novels or poetry the most enjoyable forms to pick up and read. We’ve also aimed to collate lists that cater for different reading styles, interest levels, publication dates (you’ll find some true golden oldies as well as brand new titles on each list) and books that represent a diversity of characters and settings. This way, schools using our lists can offer children access to a wealth of quality reading choices to enjoy.


new books for each year group books


The balance we’ve achieved also for the 2024 lists reflects the trends in the year’s publishing and children’s interests according to feedback from schools. There’s a record number of graphic novels on the list and we were particularly eager to add more graphic novels for the younger year groups. Look out for new additions like Rise of Invisidog and Peng and Spanners for Year 3, and KS1 early graphic novels like Bumble & Snug or Peanut Butter and Crackers. Another pleasing trend is the increasing of submissions of high-quality, colour-illustrated short chapter books for newly independent readers, and we are pleased to see a much higher number of options on the Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 lists – including Magic Faces, Izzy the Inventor, AdventureMice and Kate on the Case.

Schools needn’t worry that all their favourites will have disappeared – many year group classics remain where there is good reason. New additions to the lists can be seen on our separate New Additions booklists, which schools can also purchase as ‘top up’ packs from Peters if they wish just to  acquire the newly added books.


pdf posters booklists

2. New-Look Posters and Checklists

We love seeing our printable resources being used in schools and libraries around the world, and we’ve had great feedback from schools that love to have the option of downloading the lists in a printable format. Some schools display the posters in their classrooms and libraries, while others hand out printed copies of the checklists or add the download links to their school website. These resources are valuable tools that can help facilitate reading engagement and book talk as well as sharing age-appropriate recommendations of quality books with the wider community.

This year, we’ve given our posters a facelift! With a fresh new design, you can print this year’s posters and checklists here.

We have some exciting new printables also in the pipeline for later this year, so watch this space if you love to download and share the recommended reads.


Quick links:



3. More bookpack options

school book packsWe know that schools love the option of purchasing book packs of the recommended reads from Peters. Over the last year, we’ve been working with our partners at Peters to offer more versatility to schools to suit different needs and budgets.

The Peters team has stocked up on thousands of copies of the books from our updated booklists, and they have been busy putting together packs for school orders. They handle all school book pack orders on our behalf, including managing school accounts and invoices, stocking new books, packing, shipping, and even creating posters and checklists. Schools can easily order the books from Peters, and they will receive a fantastic 20% discount on the packs as well.

Check out the wider range of purchasing options for schools this year:

You can also find out about our easy fundraising platform, enabling schools to set up a fundraising campaign for their book packs.


4. More book-based insights and extra resources

book information pageOne feature of our booklists is a tremendous hit with teachers looking for added information about the books on our booklists.  We know that our regular users love our Year Group booklists, so we have made it super-easy to find even more information about each book selected for our lists with individual book information pages. Instead of taking you to third-party purchasing sites, clicking on any book cover image from the BooksForTopics booklists will take you to a specific book information page – like this one.

Each year, we see thousands of visitors to our book information pages. We’ve been working hard to add value by including review panel reviews, purchasing links, age suitability, linked booklists and printable classroom resources provided by our publishing partners wherever possible. The book information pages are designed to inform book choices by providing extra details when users browse our lists. We’re thrilled by our community’s positive responses to these pages.

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 activity sheets or teaching resource packs that our publishing partners have provided.

We’ve worked extra hard to source resources for you by partnering with publishing colleagues to bring printable resources, lesson ideas and activity packs for a much higher number of the books on our Year Group booklist this year. We’ve added resources for classic books like Elmer and Paddington, teacher plans and schemes of work for books like The Proudest Blue, Harley Hitch and An Emotional Menagerie, and printable activity sheets for popular favourites like Grimwood, Tom Gates and the 13 Storey Treehouse. In fact, we’ve added over a hundred new linked resources for the 2024 lists!


5. A giveaway to celebrate!

win author visitOur favourite part of the process is seeing schools receive the books from the lists. We LOVE hearing from happy schools who use our recommended reads year group packs to boost reading for pleasure in their schools.

There’s nothing quite like the magic and excitement of new boxes of books to explore! Some schools conduct staff meetings and unbox the packs together to give teachers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the books. Other schools assign the task of unpacking the books to enthusiastic students, while some schools load the books directly into libraries and classrooms and invite students to browse the new selections. We’ve also seen some amazing library displays to showcase the range of titles in each collection.

Because we love this part so much, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Peters to offer an exciting giveaway to schools ordering the new book packs. We’re giving schools the chance to win a school visit from Tom Percival – whose books feature on the new Year Group lists!  Tom Percival is a popular children’s author and illustrator, whose books include books include the Big Bright Feelings series, the Dream Defenders series, and the award-winning The Invisible. His upcoming publication, The Wrong Shoes, is out in May,

How to Enter: To celebrate the BooksForTopics updated Year Group Recommended Reads lists for primary schools, we’re offering you the chance to win a free school visit from author and illustrator Tom Percival. All schools that purchase at least one of the new packs by Friday 24 May will be automatically entered into the prize. Find out more information here.






To browse the newly updated Year Group lists, click here. Schools can order the books now from Peters.


booksfortopics websiteWhere next?

> Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub

> Browse our Topic Booklists

> See our Books of the Month.

>View our Year Group booklists

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