Recommended children's booklists sorted by age or topic


Reading For Pleasure: Give me 5

Andy Shepherd’s Top 5 Dragon Books

Author Andy Shepherd picks out some of her own favourite books featuring dragons.

Andy says, ‘Ever since Puff, I’ve loved dragons. And of course I’m not alone. There is magic in dragons. And mystery. Which makes them perfect for readers and authors alike.

Whether it’s the fierce and majestic dragons found in Tolkien and J.K Rowling’s books or the gentler, kinder dragon in Kenneth Grahame’s The Reluctant Dragon, the rather demanding companion of Toothless, or the wonderful accident-prone Zog. There’s a dragon for everyone. But often dragons are found in fantastical worlds and I wanted that magic in everyday life. Because how cool would that be? To have a dragon in your house…to have a friend who could fly…

So my own twist on the dragon story was to ask, what if all dragons didn’t come from eggs, what if some of them grew on trees? And what if you were lucky enough to find a dragon-fruit tree in your garden and grow your very own dragon?

Then, I wonder what your dragon would be like?

There are so many books about dragons that I love, but here are some of my absolute favourites….’

With internet safety always on the minds of parents and teachers, BooksForTopics founder Alison has picked out five great children’s books for exploring the concept of e-safety with primary school pupils.

Following the launch of Aliens Invaded My Talent Show! (you can read our review here) we are delighted to host a guest post from author Matt Brown.

In this blog post, Matt tells us about some of his own favourite funny books.

My new book, Aliens Invaded My Talent Show!, is what is known in the publishing trade as “a funny, middle grade book”. In fact, there are some who whisper that it might be THE funniest middle grade book OF ALL TIME. That’s not for me to say. What I will say though is that if you’re thinking to yourself, “Wait, what does ‘middle grade’ mean?”, then ‘middle grade’ is a phrase of, I think, American origin and means ‘suitable for kids aged roughly between 7 and 12’. Okay, so now that everyone is up-to-speed, then I’ll begin.

Disclaimer: Even though I loved reading Roald Dahl’s books when I was younger I haven’t included any here. Well, I mean, you already know which ones you love of his, don’t you?

Disclaimer No. 3: There is no Disclaimer No. 2

Disclaimer No. 4: These are my top five funny books as of right now. Ask me tomorrow and you might get five different ones. I’m afraid I’m like that.

Disclaimer No. 5: This top five list has no particular ranking system. I love them all equally.

Disclaimer No.6: No. No, it’s gone. Sorry, I’ve completely forgotten what I was going to say. I’m sure I’ll think of it later.

Throughout my life I have loved reading (and watching) funny stories. A funny plot, or character, or bit of dialogue is a jewel to be treasured. But as well as making you laugh, funny books can tackle difficult emotional subject matter too. As Neil Gaiman so wisely observed, “the opposite of ‘funny’ isn’t ‘serious’, the opposite of ‘funny’ is ‘not funny’”. Quite right. If you don’t believe me/Neil Gaiman then just read the way the Secret Diary of Adrian Mole deals with the impact of divorce on a teenager. It’ll break your heart. So, with that in mind, here are my top 5 fave funny middle grade books.

With the Adventures on Trains series launching this week, author Sam Sedgman has picked out his own top 5 children’s chapter books about trains.


Top Five Books featuring inventors and inventions – Holly Rivers

My debut mystery-adventure, Demelza and the Spectre Detectors, focuses on a young inventor named Demelza, who loves nothing more than spending time in her attic bedroom creating weird and wonderful contraptions. As a child, I too was forever making, drawing and imagining — in fact, some of the gadgets in the book are actually things I attempted to make when I was a little girl. So put down your soldering iron and screwdrivers and take a look at my top 5 books featuring inventors and inventions.


5 Picture Books Celebrating The Joy Of Childhood – Ashok Banker

With his own new picture book ‘I am Brown’ celebrating being a child, Ashok Banker picks out 5 favourite picture books that celebrate the joys of childhood.

Top Five City Stories – Judith Eagle

For as long as I can remember I have loved stories set in cities. Cities are full of hustle and bustle, noise and life, movement and change and – best of all – jam-packed with places to get lost in and find adventure!

 Five Books that Made Me Laugh – Martin Howard

I never get tired of banging on and on about funny books, because they’re important books. (I swear I’m not just saying that because I write funny books!)

Whatever your brand of humour – dark, silly, clever, snippy, absurd – laughter has a bazillion benefits from relieving stress to helping people connect with each other. Researchers have even shown it helps us live longer. If the emotional, mental and physical benefits aren’t enough, ask yourself – is there anything that makes life feel as great as a laugh that leaves your face aching? Well, alright, maybe, but you won’t find it in a book. So, when BooksforTopics asked me to pick a theme for my five books, I was a rat up a drainpipe. Here are five funny books I couldn’t do without …

Top Funny Books for 6-9 – Angela Woolfe

To celebrate her new book ‘Roxy & Jones: The Great Fairytale Cover-up’, author Angela has picked her top 5 funny books, all short chapter books suitable for readers aged 6-9.


5 books on big topics for small children, selected by author Donna David.

Donna says ‘Picture books are my favourite thing! They can make me snort with laughter or quietly chuckle. They can inspire me to visit somewhere or learn a new skill. Sharing books with my young children make up a large portion of my favourite memories. And sometimes, picture books can help us teach big topics to small children. They open discussions and provide a safe space for questions and exploration. Here are five of my favourites…

Subscribe to our newsletter

Your Review

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)

Any other comments

Any other comments