A selection of books especially selected for children in Year 3 (7 - 8 year olds) of average reading ability
If your child is a competent reader or has read all these titles then try the books from the Year 4 list. Alternatively if these books are a little challenging try books from the Year 2 list. Our overall mission is to promote reading for pleasure with quality texts that are perfectly pitched for the age group and the curriculum. We have particularly avoided blockbusters, classic or set texts, known to everyone, so that we can include poetry, stunning information texts and inspirational books in which all children and young people can find themselves reflected.
Thanks to our partnership with Browns Books For Students we are able to offer all the books on this list at an exclusive price.
Tara Binns never knows what will happen when she opens her old dressing up box in the attic. In this first of her anti-stereotypical adventures she suddenly finds herself the pilot of a jet plane flying high above the ocean and scarily responsible for the lives of passengers and crew. Luckily she is always accompanied on these adventures by Ayesha and Ortez who encourage her to have faith in her abilities and work through the problems ahead. Even a tropical storm and an emergency landing can be tackled by this quick witted heroine. Aimed at readers ready for longer chapters with more complex ideas and with a diverse and representative cast of characters this colourfully illustrated and engaging series is an excellent choice for the classroom or library. I can see that Tara Binns is all set to be the Mr Ben of this generation and this time we have a female role model! David McKee’s book and TV series no doubt inspired many boys in the 1980’s to reach for their dreams- whatever they may be. But as the WISE campaign for gender balance in STEM professions, which endorses this series from Collins Big Cat, tells us: only 8% of girls go on to study STEM subjects and only 22% of women are employed in STEM careers. Tara Binns could help to change that and inspire girls to open their eyes to their full potential! Each story in this book banded series has a reading guide at the back providing practical support and stimulating activity ideas. There is a full teaching guide and lesson plan available on the website https://collins.co.uk/pages/tara-binns and WISE are providing real life case studies for each of the careers featured. Double-quick Doctor and Big Idea Engineer are available now and 3 more STEM career titles will follow later in the year.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2018 | | Based on the true American story from World War One the atmospheric illustrations and simple text of Stubby gives a moving insight into the horrors of the war as seen through the story of the exceptional contribution of a stray dog. When Stubby, a little dog with no home of his own, wanders into an army training camp he quickly becomes a much loved mascot for the young soldiers. Taken overseas to the battlefields, he shows incredible bravery and loyalty, including barking a warning to the soldiers when he can smell the deadly poisonous gas and alerting his soldiers to the presence of enemies. When peace is declared, Stubby is given his very own special coat with medals on it as a reward for his courage. On his return to the US with his soldiers friends Stubby is even taken to the White House to meet the President.
It’s over forty years since publication of Jill Murphy’s first Worst Witch story but you’d never know it from reading the books; certainly this new story is as fresh and sparky as anything around and magical reading for youngsters. Neatly observed friendships and classroom rivalries plus Mildred’s accidental mishaps are the basis of the stories, all cleverly mixed up of course with magic. Mildred’s broomstick handling improved considerably when she found little dog Star, with him perched behind her she’s much better at flying and when his real owners arrive to claim him, she is heartbroken. But, as headmistress Miss Cackle points out, Mildred has an extraordinary knack for sorting things out – can she find a way to keep Star, and frustrate arch enemy Ethel in the process? The plot zooms along as smoothly as a broomstick at top speed, realism, fantasy and humour in perfect balance. It’s an absolute treat for young readers, spellbinding early reading.
By the always-current Sophy Henn this new series for children just starting to read on their own is to be celebrated. Jeanie, aged 7 ¾, has a special relationship with her grandma, known to the family as Bad Nana. She doesn’t mind her name, in fact, Jeanie says, ‘I think she quite likes it’. Bad Nana isn’t really bad, and if she’s often up-to-no-good, completely embarrassing or a little bit cheeky, she’s always good fun. There’s certainly lots of fun to be had in the different stories Jeanie shares with us. Children are fascinated by the way old people have a license to misbehave, and they will be delighted by Bad Nana’s exploits which break all the rules of good behaviour. The illustrations, also by Sophy Henn, are stylish and distinctive, but children will immediately recognise themselves in Jeanie. This lovely, hugely appealing book is one to recommend to fans of Lauren Child and her Clarice Bean stories in particular.
This is the fourth adventure for Ottoline and her best friend Mr Munroe, and it is every bit as enchanting, witty and surprising as the first. The emphasis is on friendship in this story: with her parents still roving the world for interesting items to add to their ever-growing collection of objects, Ottoline holds a dinner party. Guests include the dashing Purple Fox, a new friend, who has introduced Ottoline to some of the city’s most exciting inhabitants and hidden secrets. She’s able to repay him by drawing his attention to something lovely that he’s failed to see. Chris Riddell’s illustrations are as dazzling as ever; it’s worth lingering over every page to revel in the fluency of his line and to look out for the myriad little details. Ottoline is a delight for readers of all ages.
UKLA Longlist Book Awards - 2019 | 21 wonderful retellings of classic Muslim folktales featuring the character of Mulla Nasruddin with superb and humorous collage style illustrations.
Whether as villains in fairy stories or heroes of ancient myth, wolves have a special role in our imaginations, and this handsome information book will further inspire and intrigue the young. Inviting readers to decide whether wolves are “beautiful or bloodthirsty”, it describes their lives in great detail, from pack life and behaviour to physical appearance as well as facts on geographical distribution, food and how they raise their young. It acknowledges our fear and fascination but gives readers real insight into wolves’ actual lives. Jonathan Woodward’s cut paper and collage illustrations are beautiful to look at and wonderfully atmospheric, and complement the text perfectly.
A masterclass in how to make history come to life with trademark cartoon style illustrations and lots of fascinating facts and detail - this is a triumph.
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | In a nutshell: hilarious courtly adventure from one of our funniest, most inventive writer-illustrators | Elys Dolan fills her first adventure story for young readers with the madcap invention and humour that are the trademark of her picture books. Dave is a dragon, but not a typical one: he’d much rather bury his nose in a book than a treasure hoard and when he picks up a second-hand copy of How to be a Knight, he knows he’s found his calling. Ably assisted by his trusty steed Albrecht who, though a goat, has all the requisite attributes – attitude, looks, glossiness, not to mention the ability to speak, and a decidedly colourful past – he sets out to win his knighthood. There’s something funny on each page either in the text or illustrations and this will have every reader laughing. Underneath the humour is a lovely message about being true to yourself. ~
Shortlisted for the Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award 2018 | Get ready to join in the Poetry Olympics, question a snake, talk to a toad and learn 20 ways to avoid monsters and mythical beasts. Where Zebras Go will lead you leads you on a magical journey across the savannah, into fairytale realms, back into the playground and through the seasons, introducing a whole host of animals along the way. An exciting debut collection from an up-and-coming poet, covering wide-ranging themes with humour and fun.
Shortlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | Arthur is understandably surprised when Mr P turns up at his door expecting to stay: Mr P is a huge polar bear with small black eyes, and long sharp teeth. Fortunately for Arthur and his family Mr P is polite and friendly and his stay as a guest brings about all sorts of changes for the better. Having to look after him makes Arthur see things differently while Mr P’s uncritical, tolerant presence is a calming influence on Arthur’s brother Liam, who finds it difficult to act the way others do. This is all mixed up in a funny, often surreal story about the challenges of managing a polar bear at school, and with a sub-plot concerning a tense football match. Readers will be entertained as well as moved, and there’s depth beneath the humour. Readers who enjoy this story would like Lob by Linda Newbery, or The Last Polar Bears by Harry Horse.
Shortlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | Award winning author partners Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre head north for their latest adventure. Shen the cabin boy is abandoned by his shipmates when their ship is stranded in the ice. He’s completely alone, except for 64 little pugs, part of the ship’s cargo! He soon teams up with Shika, a girl desperately seeking dogs to pull her grandpa’s sled in the Race to the Top of the World, a once in a lifetime contest to win your heart’s desire. The eccentric competitors mean there’s something of the Wacky Races about all of this, but amongst the crazy – and very entertaining -scenes there are surprising notes of poignancy, as well as some lovely descriptions of the True Winter, fifty types of snow and all.
Shortlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | Giraffe is bored, as usual. He’d love a friend to share things with. So he writes a letter and sends it as far as possible across the other side of the horizon. There he finds a pen pal—Penguin. Giraffe knows nothing about penguins and his letters are full of questions. What does a penguin look like? Where is a penguin’s neck? And so the letters begin to fly from horizon to horizon.
In a Nutshell: silliness – disguises - dogs Jeremy Strong continues to set the standard in comic writing for children and his Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog series is a tour de force of silliness. Trevor’s dog Streaker is behaving as badly as ever and after a particularly unfortunate incident involving Trevor’s dad, a stepladder, wallpaper paste and an escaped chicken called Captain Birdseye, she’s threatened with dog boot camp. Trevor is determined not to let this happen and with his NOT-girlfriend Tina works out a clever plan. Meanwhile, someone is kidnapping dogs, the fancier, the better. The plot proceeds at the kind of speed even Streaker would be pushed to match and this is joyfully, inspiringly ludicrous. Fans will be more than satisfied.
Join Dave Pigeon and his sidekick Skipper on their quest to defeat the most evil cat in town. There will be funny bits, scary bits and biscuity bits. It is perfect for 6+ readers to share with an adult as it has short speech bubbles running with the text for youngsters to read plus there are some brilliant laugh-out-loud black and white illustrations on every page by the superbly talented Sheena Dempsey.
Winner of the Blue Peter Prize 2007 'Most Fun Story with Pictures.' Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2007 and Joint winner of the Richard and Judy "Developing" 7+ category | Mr Gum may well be a ‘bad man’ but rest assured the author Mr Stanton is a ‘funny man’. There’s a wonderful sense of humour throughout. Fans of Roald Dahl will love it. This special edition comes with lots of stickers, a brand new bonus story and an exclusive introduction from the author.
A deliciously funny version of the familiar story of Little Red Riding Hood. Cat tries to read Little Red Riding Hood, one of his most-favourite stories, to his friend Dog. But Dog is a discriminating and inquisitive listener! He questions every aspect of the story and, as cat tries to explain why it makes sense, readers will find themselves questioning things they have always taken for granted!
One of our Books of the Year 2015 - A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 | Comedian, entertainer and ‘national trinket’ Julian Clary now turns out to be a talented children’s writer too. The Bolds, his first book for children, is a real treat – a funny story with a ludicrous but hugely enjoyable plotline, lots of jokes, some nail-biting moments and wonderful characters. The Bolds live happily in Teddington where Mrs Bold sells hats and Mr Bold writes the jokes for Christmas crackers, jobs for which they are perfectly suited. Hardly anyone knows they are actually hyenas! Their secret nearly comes out when they attract the attention of their grumpy next-door neighbour, but maybe he’s got things to hide too. David Roberts’ illustrations are a joy to behold and perfectly catch the stylishly dressed Bolds’ blithe, carefree happiness. A very special book.
Shortlisted for the English Picture Book Award 2016 | Powerful and moving, this collection of some of the most famous quotes about freedom including the words of Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela make thoughtful statements about the global fight for human rights. Illustrators including Chris Riddell, Oliver Jeffers and Shane Evans have contributed stunning illustrations capturing the different ways of being free.
A wonderfully emotional but heart-warming tale from the pen of one of the foremost writers for children. Brilliantly interwoven in historical fact at the time of the sinking of the Titanic is the story of Kaspar the Savoy cat, who we also discover is a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic. The story is utterly compelling and brought to life still further by some really dreamy illustrations by Michael Foreman. A story to read aloud during those cold wintry evenings as much as a story to cuddle up with alone. Wonderful.
Winner of the 2008 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal | This award winning author-illustrator continues to create some of the most innovative and imaginative illustrated children's books. Through nursery rhyme stories follow Little Mouse as he confronts his many fears including Ablutophobia (Fear of Bathing) and Ligrophobia (Fear of loud noises). You can even make lists of your own fears to overcome! - Winner of the 2007 Nestle Children’s Book Prize Bronze Award (6 to 8 category) Click here for a Little Mouse related activity sheet ! Be sure to check out Emily Gravett's other titles by clicking here.
Winner of the Carnegie Award in 1985. | A wonderful story of drama and adventure that is beautifully unraveled by award-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland. The characters are superbly drawn and the narrative is simply but lyrically told. And there’s a surprise at the end. (7+) To find out more about this book CLICK HERE to visit the Carnegie Greenaway site
The alphabet is gloriously brought to life by international best-selling picture book creator, Oliver Jeffers. This beautiful paperback edition is based on Once Upon an Alphabet which won the CBI Book of the Year Award. From an astronaut afraid of heights, to dynamic detectives the Owl and the Octopus, by way of some rusting robots, you will find within this book a short story inspired by every letter of the alphabet. By turns funny, sad, mischievous and surprising, these entertaining mini-tales are accompanied by Jeffers' witty and inviting illustrations.