Southborough Church of England Primary School

Southborough Church of England Primary School

Top Books

Top Books

If your child is reluctant to read, sometimes it is just a matter of finding the right book to capture their interest – be it football or magic, or books crammed with facts that they can dip in and out of, rather than fiction. If your child already enjoys reading, sometimes it’s hard to know in which direction to point them for their next book as there are so many books available. This page of Top Books should help everyone. Have a look at the list of some of the top titles and authors, and look at the book reviews produced by children at Southborough where books are recommended by children for children.


Book Reviews

If your child has really enjoyed a book, we would love you to encourage them to write a short review of it (guidelines and templates below). They can give a copy to their class teacher or send it by email to By writing a review of the book they have just read, your child can help someone else decide whether they would like to read it too – and they may be chosen as Southborough School’s ‘Reviewer of the Month’.


How to write a Book Review

1. What is the name of the book and who wrote it? Start with the name of the book and the person who wrote it (the author).

2. What is the book about? Is it fiction or non-fiction? Describe what the book is about, or outline the story (the plot); in other words, describe the main things that happen in the story. Think about the beginning and the end of the story and what happens in the middle to link the first and the final scenes.

3. Where and when does the story take place? This is the setting of the story, for example ‘where’ – does most of the story take place in England, or in another country (real or imaginary), or in a school or a museum or on a farm? ‘When’ - is the story set in the present or the future, or a long time ago?

4. Who are the main characters? Describe one or two of the characters in the story - perhaps the funniest, the kindest, or the most evil? How did the character make you feel? What is their role in the story?

5. Describe your favourite part of the book.  What are the best bits of the book? Was there a particular piece of action you really enjoyed, or a really funny part, or perhaps a scary part?

6. Do you recommend this book? Did you choose to read this book whenever you had a spare moment? Did you read it rather than playing computer games or watching TV? Or maybe you found some of the plot a bit slow and boring? Perhaps you read the first chapter then gave up? Give your rating out of 5 stars.

Recommended Reading

The suggested age ranges below are intended as a very rough guide. It doesn’t matter if your child prefers to read books outside of the suggested age range; what matters is that it is the right reading level for them.


Use the ’Five-Finger Rule’ to check.  First get your child to read one page of a book they want to try. Hold up  a finger every time they see a word they can’t read or don’t know the meaning of:

0-1 fingers = the book is too easy

2-3 fingers = just right

4 fingers = okay to try

5+ fingers = too hard.

Ages 6 - 8 (Years 1 - 3)

The Enchanted Wood – Enid Blyton

Five on a Treasure Island – Enid Blyton

A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond

The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook – Joyce Lankester Brisley

Flat Stanley – Jeff Brown

Clarice Bean, That’s Me – Lauren Child

Princess Smartypants – Babette Cole

That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown – Cressida Cowell

The BFG – Roald Dahl

The Story of Babar – Jean De Brunhoff

My Naughty Little Sister – Dorothy Edwards

Asterix the Gaul – René Goscinny

Amazing Grace – Mary Hoffman & Caroline Binch

The Abominables – Eva Ibbotson

Finn Family Moomintroll – Tove Jansson

The Queen’s Nose – Dick King-Smith

The Sheep-Pig – Dick King-Smith

Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren

Winnie-the-Pooh – A A Milne

The Worst Witch – Jill Murphy

Football Academy series – Tom Palmer

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs– Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith

A Boy and a Bear in a Boat – Dave Shelton

Horrid Henry – Francesca Simon & Tony Ross

The Arrival – Shaun Tan

Charlotte’s Web – E B White

Little House in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Mister Magnolia – Quentin Blake


Ages 9+ (Years 4 - 6)

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken

Skellig – David Almond

Carrie’s War – Nina Bawden

How to Train Your Dragon – Cressida Cowell

Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer

Millions – Frank Cottrell Boyce

The Witches – Roald Dahl

Matilda – Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake

Flour Babies – Anne Fine

Once – Morris Gleitzman

The Adventures of Tintin – Hergé

Young Bond: Silverfin – Charlie Higson

Journey to the River Sea – Eva Ibbotson

Stig of the Dump – Clive King

Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C S Lewis

Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian

Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo

Pinocchio – Michael Morpurgo

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

The Borrowers – Mary Norton

Keeper – Mal Peet

Over the Line – Tom Palmer

Truckers – Terry Pratchett

South Sea Adventure – Willard Price

Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J K Rowling

Holes – Louis Sachar

The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Five Children on the Western Front – Kate Saunders

Dead Man’s Cove – Lauren St John

Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfeild

The Hobbit – J R R Tolkien

Demon Dentist/Mr Stink/Awful Auntie/Billionaire Boy/Gangsta Granny – David Walliams

The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson

Ages 11/12+ (Year 6 plus)

Watership Down – Richard Adams

Noughts and Crosses – Malorie Blackman

Forever – Judy Blume

Junk – Melvin Burgess

Looking for JJ – Anne Cassidy

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

Maggot Moon – Sally Gardner

The Owl Service – Alan Garner

Coram Boy – Jamila Gavin

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

Stormbreaker – Anthony Horowitz

The Kite Rider – Geraldine McCaughrean

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

Northern Lights – Philip Pullman

The Ruby in the Smoke – Philip Pullman

Witch Child – Celia Rees

Mortal Engines – Philip Reeve

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging – Louise

How I Live Now – Meg Rosoff

Revolver – Marcus Sedgwick

I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith

The Fellowship of the Ring – J R R Tolkien