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12 brilliant books to get your child reading

Are you on a never-ending hunt for books that might get your kids reading more? Join the club! So who better to tap up for some insider knowledge on books than the librarian at one of Surrey's top prep schools.

Here, Mrs Jenny Bennett, the Librarian and Clubs Coordinator at Rowan Prep School in Claygate, gives us her top choices for kids aged from 6 to 12 years.

Books for kids in Years 2 & 3 (age 6+ )

Hotel Flamingo

By Alex Milway

The perfect series for children starting out on the chapter book journey, Hotel Flamingo is a delightful and fanciful tale that follows the adventures of Anna, a bright young girl who runs a hotel for animals.

Harper and the Scarlet Umbrella

By Cerrie Burnell

Good for new confident readers, this is the first in a series of four books about a girl called Harper who lives in the City of Clouds with her Great Aunt Sassy and her cat, Midnight. It’s a charming story, that’s beautifully written.

Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat

By Ursula Moray Williams

A lovely classic tale that’s been a favourite for many generations of children – it’s about a little cat called Gobbolino, who doesn’t want to follow in the witchey paw prints of his mother.

Picklewitch and Jack

By Claire Barker

The first in Claire Barker’s series about brainbox Jack and a mischievous young witch is clever, very funny and at times touching, and touches on themes of friendship. It’s also beautifully illustrated.

Mr Majeika

By Humphrey Carpenter

A magical adventure for children who have developed reading fluency. It’s part of a series which revolves around an extraordinary teacher with magical powers.

Books for kids in Years 4 -6 (age 8+)

The Children of Castle Rock

By Natasha Farrant

Perfect for lovers of Enid Blyton novels, The Children of Castle Rock is both funny and heartfelt following the adventures of Alice Mistlethwaite who is shipped off to an unusual boarding school in Scotland.


By R J Palacio

Year 5 pupils love this emotional story about a 10-year-old boy called August, or Auggie, with a worthy message about friendship and about not judging people by their looks.

Being Miss Nobody

By Tamsin Winter

A popular book among the Year 5 and Year 6 girls, it covers friendships and bullying issues. It’s about a girl called Rosalind who has selective mutism, which makes it hard for her to speak.

A Place Called Perfect

By Helena Duggan

A creepy adventure story full of twists and turns about a girl called Violet who lives in a place called Perfect, were nothing is quite as it seems.

The Midnight Guardians

By Ross Montgomery

A mixture of historical fiction, myths and legends, and fantasy. It’s set during the Blitz in World War Two and follows an evacuated boy, Col, as he races back to London to save his sister from a bombing raid – supported by his guardians, his childhood imaginary friends.


By Michael Morpurgo

Ideal for kids who like a quick read, this emotional short story is about a young boy who ends up in a coma after getting hit by a car.

Listen to the Moon

By Michael Morpurgo

Set during the First World War, it’s the story of a girl who is stranded on the Scilly Isles and saved by a local family.

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