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A selection of books especially selected for children in Year 3 (7 - 8 year olds) of average reading ability for the 2020/21 academic year.
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.
This collaboration, between the first American Olympic medallist to compete wearing a hijab and an award-winning Muslim YA author, is a beautiful story of sisterly love as well as a thoughtful depiction of the significance of wearing the hijab. Expressed in terms of family pride and self determination rather than in terms of faith, makes the message particularly accessible to all young readers regardless of their background. Faizah is excited for her first day of school, with her light up shoes and new backpack, but even more excited for her older sister, Asiya with her brand-new blue hijab. As Faizah walks to the school she admires her sister who looks like ‘a princess’ in her blue head scarf. Their mother has prepared the girls with wise words, which they remember as they encounter different reactions, and these are shown on dreamy spreads of Faiza’s thoughts and their mother’s words. When the kids in the school bully Asiya, she remembers her mother’s advice to not carry hurtful words as “they are not yours to keep. They belong only to those who said them” The bullies are cleverly depicted as faceless, raceless, anonymous shadows thus avoiding apportioning blame to any one sector. The vivid colour and expressive illustration are just as powerful as words in conveying the passionate message of how to be proud of one’s culture, individuality, and religion and how to stay strong protected by the armour of family love. This is an excellent book about identity and self-confidence for young readers who can see themselves in Asiya or know someone like her and essential for Empathy collections.
Justin Anderson is a film maker who has been involved in high quality film production for the likes of Planet Earth II in his 18-year career of filming wildlife for the BBC. This book is born from his passion to share his fascination with the snow leopard – one of the creatures on the Red List of endangered species – the snow leopard is listed as ‘vulnerable’. This is a very simply told tale of how Anderson went looking for snow leopards and what he saw, but the strength of the book lies in the “footnotes” and the glorious illustrations by Patrick Benson. Benson is a multi-award-winning illustrator, known for the realism of his illustration – the almost photographic detail, rendered in such a simple palette with detail that makes you think you might actually be able to stroke the leopards (If you dare!). The “footnotes” are details about the leopards, in a different font on the relevant page of the book, so that the reader has good quality information to support the simple story – telling us more about the mysterious creature. For instance, I had no idea snow leopards sang in the moonlight – did you? The final spread of the book is devoted to a page of information about snow leopards, where you find more information about them and that ever important short index making the book useful and accessible for information retrieval. A useful and beautiful book.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | Award-winning author-illustrator Oliver Jeffers’s simple but unforgettable fable of one man’s greed to possess everything is beautifully told in an exquisitely designed book of only a few words complimented by some striking lithographic print images. As ever, Jeffers knows how to use both words and pictures in a way that allows readers to enjoy his story as well as making it their own.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2020 | On the day before the valley is to be flooded to form a reservoir, a girl and her father play and dance in the deserted houses, remembering the people who have lived there. This is an exquisite book in which words and pictures interweave to evoke wild beauty and a deep mystery. You’ll want to want to keep this one for ever.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Shortlisted for the Children's Book Awards 2019, Books for Younger Readers Category | Patrick is delighted to go to stay at his grandparents’ house, especially when he is told he can choose a rescue puppy. Oz, the puppy has had a terrible start but Patrick is determined to help, until his own life falls apart and he daren’t love his dog. Colfer explores his subject with an empathy which makes the characters and dilemmas very real. A great read.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | A fascinating guidebook to bears large and less large, this quirky book is packed with information but full of humour too. It introduces readers to the eight different species of bears living in the world, and there’s a section on each one, with a very useful illustrated panel showing ‘how they size up’. This is followed by pages on things all or most bears do, from eating and swimming (all) to hibernating (not all). There’s a mix of text and Katie Viggers’ characterful illustrations and alongside the facts, she has lots of fun – sloth bears for example, whose long, shaggy coats mean they often look untidy, are depicted at the bear hair salon. It’s comic but memorable too. Even if you didn’t love bears at the beginning of the book, you will by the end and either way you’ll have learned a great deal.
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.
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.
Julia Donaldson writes...A Squash and a Squeeze started its life as a song on BBC Children’s Television.The song was subsequently used on “Playdays” and included on a BBC album, sung by Floella Benjamin and Derek Griffiths. Unknown to me, a future editor of children’s books heard this recording when her children were small and she couldn’t get it out of her head. Thirteen years later she succeeded in tracking me down via the BBC. When she phoned to ask my permission to publish an illustrated version of my words I immediately agreed – while attempting to sound as if this sort of thing happened to me every day. I loved Axel’s pictures straight away. Axel Scheffler writes...A Squash and a Squeeze was only my second picture book. I recently learnt that before me, two other illustrators were asked to do the pictures, but perhaps they were too busy because they turned it down. If this is true, I have to be grateful to them, because this book started my long-term collaboration with Julia.
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.
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. Books in The Bolds Series: 1. The Bolds 2. The Bolds in Trouble 3. The Bolds to the Rescue 4. The Bolds on Holiday 5. The Bolds' Christmas Cracker 6. The Bolds Go Wild 7. The Bolds Go Green
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