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A selection of books especially selected for children in Year 5 (9 - 10 year olds) of average reading ability for the 2019/20 academic year.
If your child is a competent reader or has read all these titles then try the books from the Year 6 list. Alternatively if these books are a little challenging try books from the Year 4 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.
Readers first met Louisiana Elefante in Kate DiCamillo’s unforgettable Raymie Nightingale, now she has her own story, and what a tale it is. Louisiana has always believed that her parents were high wire stars, killed in an accident when she was very young, but driven by terrible toothache and an urge to come to terms with her own past, her granny suddenly reveals that everything Louisiana knows about her life is a lie. Abandoned in a motel miles from her old home in Florida, Louisiana is left to decide who she wants to be. She is befriended by a boy called Burke Allen and his family including his seventeen cake baking mother, and the kindness of strangers helps her to new happiness and security. A story of grief and confusion becomes one of love, hope and resilience. DiCamillo writes with extraordinary sensitivity and perception, and readers of all ages will be touched and moved by Louisiana’s story. Readers who enjoy this book should also read The Road to Ever After by Moira Young.
January 2019 Debut of the Month | It’s not every day that a magical train drives through your hallway but that’s what happens to Suzy at the opening of this terrific adventure story. She discovers it’s the Impossible Postal Express, responsible for making deliveries throughout the Union of Impossible Places. Being something of a scientist, and deeply inquisitive, Suzy can’t let this opportunity pass and climbs aboard. It’s not long before she’s been deputized as a Postal Operative (by the troll in charge), which in turn embroils her in an even bigger adventure, and one of those magical good versus evil power struggles that are central to all the best fantasy adventures. This rattles along at top-speed and features one of the most varied cast of characters since Hogwarts welcomed young Potter. Fans of magical stories mustn’t miss this train! One to recommend to fans of Nevermoor and The Last Chance Hotel.
Award-winner Katherine Rundell has already taken readers on thrilling journeys over rooftops, across the Russian steppes and of course deep into the forest. She understands absolutely children's longing for wild adventure and no-one is better suited to write new stories for Kipling's Jungle Book characters. This very handsome book, which features beautiful colour illustrations by Kristjana S Williams, tells five different stories, and with each perfectly-imagined episode adds to what we love about Kipling's unforgettable characters, including Bagheera, Baloo, Shere Khan and Kaa. It opens too with a story about one of the most interesting characters, Mowgli's fierce wolf-mother Raksha, who has long deserved more time in the spotlight. These are stories of bravery and cunning, full of excitement and danger, but most of all they are stories of loyalty and community, and by the time they reach the end, readers will be daydreaming themselves into the jungle family. Mowgli links all the stories, and has his own of course, and is exactly the same impetuous, selfish, boasting but warm-hearted, generous boy drawn so vividly by Kipling. In fact the book does exactly what sequels should but seldom manage - it tells us new stories that grow out of the originals, and enhance and enrich them.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Rachel Rooney brings a class to life with poems for all the different characters. There is a rich vein of understanding of children here: never sentimental, always intriguing. Children will delight in the ways in which the styles and patterns of the poems enhance the exploration of each child. The wonderful illustrations draw readers into this magical anthology.
Chosen by Cressida Cowell, Guest Editor May 2020 | Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2019 | Winner the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019, Best Story category | The arrival of a new boy in class sparks a funny, moving and quietly powerful story for young readers. Our narrator – we only discover her name in the last chapter – is immediately intrigued by her new classmate, who doesn’t speak, or smile, and disappears at break times. She’s determined to become his friend and as she gets to know him learns that Ahmet is a refugee from Syria. Finding out that his family are lost somewhere in Europe she decides to help – something that exposes both the prejudice and generosity of those around her. The plotline is very lively – it includes some excellent comic scenes at Buckingham Palace – and Raúf manages to keep the story positive and uplifting while still illustrating the cruelty and bigotry that refugees face. Our Guest Editor, Cressida Cowell said, "This is a lovely, warm book that is all about kindness, and putting yourself into someone else’s shoes."
Max is used to spending time alone - it's difficult to make friends in a big, chaotic school when you're deaf. He prefers to give his attention to the little things in life... like making awesome, detailed replica models. Then Mr Darrow, the school caretaker and fellow modeller, goes missing. Max must follow his parting instruction: 'Go to my room. You'll know what to do.' There on the floor he finds a pile of sand ... and in the sand is Mr Darrow's latest creation... a tiny boy, no bigger than a raisin, Luke, Prince of the Blues. And behind the tiny boy... millions of others - a thriving, bustling, sprawling civilization!
Join a group of school children on this voyage of discovery and discover the answers to lots of questions as well as fascinating facts about lighthouses and how they work. How Does a Lighthouse Work? provides a fascinating journey through the science and history of lighthouses around the world. Through history a lighthouse has been an important, in fact essential tool for sailors to navigate safely and this remains so today in order to protect all sailors from the dangerous coastlines and rocky outcrops out to sea that are found all over the world. Modern technology may have changed the way that lighthouses work but still their USP remains the same: to deliver a light as far as possible to forewarn sailors of potential dangers. This a terrific book to share with inquisitive children and the combination of stunning illustrations and interesting text makes this a well worthwile read both at home and to use in the classroom.
UKLA Longlist Book Awards - 2019 | Unusually, Jessica Townsend’s book opens with the funeral of her central character. No-one seems particularly upset, not even her family, and that’s because Morrigan Crow is a Cursed Child held responsible for any and all mishaps and was expected to die before her 12th birthday. Fortunately for Morrigan and readers, she has been mysteriously saved from her gloomy family and swept into a wonderful new world by one Jupiter Crow, magic-maker, hotel-owner, umbrella-flyer. All sorts of tests await Morrigan in Nevermoor, and she faces them all with intelligence, good-humour and, thanks to her new extended family, the resilience that comes from knowing you are loved. There are echoes of other favourite fantasy adventures in the book, but Nevermoor and its inhabitants are still wildly original and this is an impressively constructed, lively, satisfying story. One to recommend to fans of Harry Potter or of Katherine Rundell’s Rooftoppers.
This is an absolutely stunning book. Not only is it an absolute treat visually but it's also a feast for the imagination for lovers of fairy tales and the ever elusive happy ever after. Hilary has brought her own unique touch to well known and loved fairy-tales. Fairy-tales that we know so well and yet with her refreshing, imaginative touch have been made new for us. The ten retellings including Rapunzel, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood , The Princess and the Pea, Rumpelstiltskin, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, The Swan Brothers. Hansel and Gretel, amongst others.This is a selection that lovers of fairy tales, old and young, will love to read again and again. Combined with beautiful illustrations by Sarah Gibb, this will be a collection to treasure. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.
Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | A sequel to the award winning Aubery and the Terrible Yoot, Horatio Clare tells an entertaining new story about his hero Aubery, who this time wants to get away from his parents’ fighting – and gets involved in trying to save the world while he is about it. Aubery’s special gift is that he can talk to animals and understand everything that they say so, when a spider invites him to help her save the world, he sets off on an amazing adventure across time and space. From the animals Aubrey learns much about relationships the vagaries of and about how everyone must share if the world is to be a better place.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | With all the invention, originality and insight that is typical of his writing for children, Frank Cottrell Boyce takes the sad story of Laika, the first living creature to orbit Earth, and uses it as inspiration for a story about the importance of home. As ever, it’s both brilliantly funny and extraordinarily moving. Prez is living with a temporary foster family when he opens the door to Sputnik. Prez sees an alien – in a kilt – everyone else sees a dog. Over the course of the summer Prez and Sputnik have some amazing adventures and break a lot of laws, including some of the laws of physics, but in the process they save the world, and reunite Prez with his grandfather. As wild as a cartoon strip, this wonderful story pinpoints all the best things about life on Earth.
Prize-winning Neil Gaiman tells a witty and touching story about gods and magic in Viking times. Having run away from home, Odd finds shelter in a little hut in the forest. Here, he meets a bear, a fox and an eagle all of whom seems determined to befriend him. Soon, Odd discovers these are no ordinary animals and that they badly need his help to save the City of Asgard from the Frost Giants who have invaded it. With his cheerful temperament and quick thinking, Odd is just the kind of imaginative hero they need and a wonderful battle for power unfolds. Chris Riddell's enchanting pen and ink illustrations throughout bring the magic to life.
Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | Award-winning David Almond tells a lively story which captures the exuberance of a trio of lads and one girl who set off one hot summer morning to run from their homes in Newcastle to South Shields. There’s no training, no special kit, no crowds – just the gang enjoying the freedom to run and the kindness of many who keep them fed and watered along the way. And it is a distance of thirteen miles so exactly half a marathon. Old Harry, now walking with a frame and on his way to a care home, tells young Liam, a boy in the present who has just got a place in the junior Great North Run, all about the trip and the magic of it. In doing so he shows a slice of a different kind of childhood set in David Almond’s home ground of Newcastle and the surrounding area. In this beautifully produced new edition, Salvatore Rubbino’s illustrations also capture the period and the sense of place brilliantly. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2017 | Shortlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | This moving story of looked-after children describes the difficulties they face, but is nonetheless uplifting. Ira and her little brother Zac live in Skilly House, what Tracy Beaker would call a dumping ground. There are things they like about it including the staff, kindly Hortense and Silas who was in care himself, though not stern Mrs Clark. They love the garden, with its huge tree. Carved into the trunk is a name, Glenda Hyacinth, 1947. Ira decides Glenda must be a ghost (the story is set in the late 1980s) and imagines she sees her playing in the garden. Holiday visits to a lady in the country lead to a permanent home, but Ira is sad to leave Skilly House, especially as by then she’s learned something surprising about Glenda. Children will be caught up in Ira and Zac’s story from the first page, and will understand them perfectly by the last. Subtle and beautifully told this will appeal to readers who have enjoyed The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson.
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Older Readers category Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2014 The Costa Judges described Morpurgo's novel, which begins in May 1915, as "a captivating, utterly transporting war novel that lives on powerfully in the memory". | A beautiful and captivating tour de force of family, love, war and forgiveness, this is a major new novel from the author of War Horse and Private Peaceful, Michael Morpurgo and is set in World War One on the Isles of Scilly. A tale in which things that were lost may still wash up, once again, on the shore. As ever with Michael it is always a story of family and stories.
Winner of the UKLA Book Awards 7-11 category 2014 | A whimsical fairy tale that will appeal to fans of Maurice Sendak, Dr Seuss and Hans Christian Andersen, The Story of the Blue Planet is a critically acclaimed global hit being published in the UK for the first time. It's the story of two children who live on a planet inhabited only by children who never grow old but in other ways it's a world not unlike our own. There's a powerful underlying message about caring for our environment whilst at the same time telling a wonderfully entertaining story that is combined with bright, magical illustrations.
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal - Shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2015 8-11 age category | In a beautifully told story packed with emotion and action, Elizabeth Laird tells how eleven- year- old Solomon turns his dreams of becoming an International runner into reality. Solomon runs everywhere – and always especially fast to school. He knows he is good and is convinced that he could join the roster of the great Ethiopian runners but he also knows that growing up in a small village, he’ll never have the chance to train as an elite athlete. When Solomon’s grandfather insists that he accompanies him on a trip to Addis Ababa, everything in his life changes. Solomon’s story is funny, touching and inspiring.
April 2013 Debut of the Month Do not miss this magical and astounding debut: The Last Wild by Piers Torday (yes mums and dads, his Dad Paul wrote Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) - a wonderfully imaginative tale of magical self-realisation and endless possibility. A truly inspirational book for kids that they'll love. It also introduces a bold new voice in children’s fiction with a story destined to be loved by readers of all ages. Perfect too, for children who love Michael Morpurgo, Eva Ibbotson and Roald Dahl. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Last Wild a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I found the book very easy to read and very interesting. I am taking it into school where I will let some other kids in my class read it because I think they will enjoy it too.' Scroll down to read more reviews...
Shortlisted for the Galaxy Children's Book of the Year Award 2011. | Award winning Eva Ibbotson’s poignant and beautiful last book celebrates a boy’s passion for a dog. All Hal has ever wanted is a dog but his parents refuse to contemplate the idea. A dog would mess up their beautiful house and disturb their busy routine. When they discover East Pets, they hire Hal a dog for a weekend thinking that will do the trick. But they don’t know Hal! Hal takes matters into his own hands. Soon Hal and all the dogs he has released from Easy Pets are out on the road – with a price on their head. How Hal makes his escape is both thrilling and moving as it marks his growth from sadness to great happiness. ***Eva's son, Toby Ibbotson, is now continuing the tradition of storytelling with his debut novel Mountwood School for Ghosts which is based on an original idea by Eva Ibbotson.
A moving and convincing child-eye view of what happened to the children of Poland after the Germans invaded. Felix has been placed by his parents in an orphanage for safe-keeping but, when the Germans come and burn the books in the orphanage library, Felix knows he must set out to return to his parents who are booksellers and make sure they are safe. Felix’s journey is dangerous and desperate but also full of courage and hope in a world where friendships and loyalty are the glue that hold things together.
This is a book that is enduringly funny, wonderfully poignant and at times quite rude. Beautifully described through stunning illustrations and hand written text is the story of the bogey men – and in particular Fungus - who live underground and whose day starts as we all go to bed, is a story that will live long in the memory of all those who read it, or indeed dip into from time to time. Living long in my memory is the food eaten by them – Scab and matter Custard, Snot and Bogey Pie, Dead Dog’s Giblets, Green Cat’s Eyes – how can one ever forget names like this!!!