1. Summer Reading
Here we are again at the countdown to summer holidays!
And it’s time to think of things to keep your little darlings occupied… in between the swimming,
sports and lure of all things Apple, we have some top tips from the Library. Here is a list of books
that have been whizzing off the shelves and new books/authors we have heard about.
Happy Summer Reading!
GRAPHIC NOVELS: all the content of the real thing in an engaging, fun format
This is what we have in the Library so far but look
for your favourite titles in graphic novel format at
your local bookstore or library – there is often a
separate section. The second Percy Jackson
Graphic Novel is published in July, and Star Wars
Jedi Academy is released in August.
HUMOUR: everyone likes a bit of silliness in the summer!
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (Jeff Kinney / Puffin books)
Written in popular diary format, follow the often hilarious and mostly embarrassing
trials and tribulations of Greg Heffley, age 9, as he navigates his life through school
and dealing with family.
We’ll have the new Diary in the Library when it comes out in November, so that
leaves plenty of time to catch up on the first 7 books!
Big Nate (Lincoln Pierce/HarperCollins)
Where there's Nate, there's trouble! This series is perfect for those who loved Diary of
a Wimpy Kid and want more of the same. Newest title GAME ON! is out this month.
2. Dork Diaries (Rachel Renee Russell/ Aladdin Books)
This is the diary of Nikki and her musings on her on her Not-So-Fabulous Life. With a new school,
and a new mean girl and a new crush her diary spills all the beans. The new book is just out, so now
there are 6 books to read.
Dear Dumb Diary (Jim Benton/Scholastic)
Another diary format, this time from Jamie Kelly. She's
cool (sometimes), nice (mostly), and funny (always).
Twelve books in the first series (one for each month of the
year) and another for Year 2 – it’s laugh-out-loud funny.
Mr Gum (Andy Stanton/Egmont Books)
Read about the nasty old Mr Gum and a host of lively characters including a little girl
called Polly, an evil butcher and Jake the dog who must be saved from terrible,
terrible evil… a rollicking series that is always popular in the Library this term (top
Gangsta Granny (David Walliams/HarperCollins)
Charming and hilarious, these are wonderful reads for both boys and girls. They
are perfect for reading aloud. Check out Walliams’ other titles, Mr Stink and
Billionaire Boy. 8+
My Weird School (Dan Gutman/HarperCollins)
These zany books are fun and easy to read… laugh out loud school day
antics will make you happy you are on summer holidays…
Mystery: there’s nothing like a ‘whodunit?’ to leave you hanging in the
39 Clues (Scholastic)
Amy and Dan Cahill discover that they are part of the most powerful family in history but the source
of this power is hidden in 39 Clues scattered around the world.
Sleuth or Dare (Kim Harrington/Scholastic)
When best friends Darcy and Norah have to create a fake business for a school
assignment, they come up with a great idea: a detective agency! But then their
pretend agency gets a real case. Someone is missing, and it's up to Darcy and
Norah to take on the search. Unfortunately, there's someone else out there who
doesn't want the two detectives stirring up any trouble....
3. The London Eye Mystery (Siobhan Dowd/Scholastic)
When Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye, he turned and waved
before getting on. After half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off - but no Salim. Where could
he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air?
Nancy Drew/The Hardy Boys (Grosset & Dunlop/Papercutz)
With graphic novel format and a movie release a few years ago, these classics can still
find appeal after all these years…
Ballet and Horse
We get asked a lot about ballet, princesses and horses… so here are a couple of ideas.
Magic Ballerina series (Darcey Bussell/HarperCollins)
Written by UK’s prima ballerina, these lovely stories will delight 8- 10 year olds.
Mustang Mountain (Sharon Siamon/Whitecap)
Each book in the series is a thrilling read filled with stories of
friendship, adventure and intrigue. And horses, of course!
Not something that immediately comes to mind when you think ‘summer reading’ but these can’t be
missed from a Great Reads list. Moving, funny, poignant, witty – to share, read aloud, read alone, or
steal from your children and read yourself.
Written in diary format, in the perspective of a young boy who
resists poetry assignments from his teacher, we learn about
how he loved his dog, hates that black cat outside and slowly
discover who he really is.
And more from last summer…
Jack Stalwart (Elizabeth Singer Hunt/Red Fox Books)
A series of books about secret agent Jack Stalwart, age 9, whose adventures take him to the far
reaches of the world. 7+
Beast Quest (Adam Blade/Orchard Books)
Tom, Elena and their faithful wolf and horse fight magical beasts in the Land of Avantia and beyond.
These have proven very popular with the Year 2’s and 3’s. There is also another series by the same
author called Avantia which expands on this imaginary world. 7+
4. Conspiracy 365 (Gabrielle Lord/Hodder Children’s Books):
For older readers, this is a series of 12 titles where Callum Ormond must survive for 365 days. Each
month is an exciting race for survival… 10+
Artemis Fowl (Eoin Colfer/Puffin Books):
Holly Short is a spunky fairy detective on the case of Artemis Fowl who is the most clever child-villain
in fiction –is he really as bad as he seems? Eight books in the series (one will be published this
summer) and also graphic novels (see above). 9+
Alex Rider Adventures (Anthony Horowitz/ Penguin):
James Bond for young readers. 14 year old Alex Rider stormed into our consciousness with his first
adventure in Point Blank and the series continues to entertain readers who enjoy spy thrillers. Also
in graphic novel format. 9+
The Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness (Michelle Paver/Orion Books)
A heart-stopping adventure in the wilds of the ancient world this is the story of a boy, a wolf and the
legend of their struggle to survive among feuding tribes. These six books have been constantly on
loan in the Library and are hugely popular and very well written. Sensitive souls might find the death
of the boy’s father in the first 10 pages distressing. 9+
His Dark Materials Trilogy (Phillip Pullman/Scholastic)
Comprising Northern Lights (published as The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife
and The Amber Spyglass. It follows the coming-of-age of two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry,
as they wander through a series of parallel universes against a backdrop of epic events. 10+
Skulduggery Pleasant (Derek Landy / HarperCollins):
Skulduggery Pleasant is a detective, magician and warrior who ‘lives’ in skeleton form and spends his
time saving the world. This is a fast-paced series with a host of colourful characters that both girls
and boys will find thrilling. 9+
Cirque Du Freak (Darren Shan/ HarperCollins):
Not for the faint-hearted, this fairly gruesome tale starts when ordinary schoolboy Darren Shan visits
the Cirque Du Freak and gets bitten by a vampire. He becomes his assistant and so starts the Saga of
Darren Shan and his struggle to come to terms with his frightening new identity. Be warned: there
are spiders and creepy crawlies and rather horrible creatures throughout, but that is the appeal! 9+
Jenny Valentine has written award winning novels for 9-12 year olds… Broken Soup, Finding Violet
Park, Iggy & Me and The Ant Colony all of which are delightful and different in their own way.
Lauren Child who is known for her Charlie And Lola picture book series has just written a fantastic
spy thriller story entitled Ruby Redfort about a teenage code-cracking girl genius for 10+ readers.
Ellen Potter has written a great series called Olivia Kidney about a little girl living in a crazy and
fantastical apartment building where a new magical world exists behind every door. 7+
And no book list would be complete without mentioning Michael Morpurgo or Roald Dahl.
Morpurgo (former Children’s Book Laureate) writes stories for all ages… picture books, young
readers and older readers… go to his website www.michaelmorpurgo.com to find something that is
5. guaranteed to entertain and move you. The latest movie blockbuster War Horse was based on his
Roald Dahl (www.roalddahl.com) is sure to have written something to make you laugh. From
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory to The Minpins and everything in between he is the classic
children’s author who constantly gets borrowed in the Library.
For reluctant or young readers try Aussie Nibbles, Aussie Bites and Aussie Chomps, a fantastic
Australian series that starts small and moves up to more challenging reads, or anything published by
Barrington Stoke (The 5 Lords of Pain series have been popular with the boys).
If you want to introduce your child to the classics try the Usborne Young Readers – they have a huge
selection of favourites from Shakespeare’s Macbeth to The Adventures of Ulysses and fantastic
abridged versions of some of the greatest classic novels. Try Great Expectations or Tom Sawyer, but
there are loads to choose from!
There is a great list here that you can get even more ideas from: