WITH a huge range to choose from, children’s books have never been better.
Thousands of youngsters enjoy the tales of David Walliams, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney and many other talented writers. But pupils in secondary school are picking “easy” books.
A survey found 13 to 16-year-olds are reading titles more suited to kids who are at least three years younger, on average.
The report may concern parents who want their kids to be as literate as they can. And the University of Dundee’s education expert Professor Keith Topping said the findings provided by learning programme company Renaissance UK are “rather depressing”.
Help is at hand, though, with our top ten books for children, which tells you the age range for each one. And the choices have something for everyone, from classics to contemporary young adult fiction.
Here, children’s reading charity Booktrust reveals the best titles for your child — whatever their age.
CELIE is 14 and lives in America’s Deep South. She is repeatedly raped by the man she calls “father” and has two children taken from her before being forced into marriage.
But when she meets jazz singer Shug Avery, Celie realises life can be joyous. Brace your teen for tears when reading this incredible tale.
The boys patiently wait to be rescued – but as time passes, they become savage as rules are forgotten and it is down to survival of the fittest.
McKAY doesn’t have it easy living on the South Crongton Estate. His mum is dead, his dad works all day and his brother likes trouble.
But one night he finds himself knee-deep in grief because he tried to help a girl in need. Will things come good or do boys like him not deserve it? A gripping insight.
MARGARET has moved from her childhood home and is trying to fit in at a new school. What’s worse, she is a late developer and fears that her body isn’t ever going to be womanly.
So, thinking God must have all the answers, she asks him the important questions. A funny, relatable coming-of-age story.
CHRISTOPHER BOONE is 15 and has Asperger’s syndrome. Although he knows a lot about maths, he struggles with social situations and what makes us tick.
When a neighbour’s dog is killed, Christopher is determined to find out what happened, even though he has never gone further than his own road alone.
STARR CARTER, a 16-year-old black girl from a poor neighbourhood in the US, attends a school mainly for children from affluent white families.
She becomes the only witness to the shooting of her friend Khalil and must decide whether to fight for justice. A gritty modern-day classic that won’t be forgotten quickly.
IN this true-life tale, author Rex Ogle was happy to be starting middle school until he realised his mum enrolled him in the free-lunch programme – and that the teachers were not too friendly.
He navigated the daily humiliation that comes with being poor – while working hard and trying to make the right choices.
SEPHY is a Cross. Her life is full of privilege but she can’t bear the way the world is ruled. Callum is a Nought, so his purpose in life is to serve Crosses.
The two friends know love is out of the question – or is it? Former Children’s Laureate Blackman pushes boundaries with themes of racism, suicide, kidnap and terrorism.
GHOST’S dad chased him and his mum with a gun. His dad went to prison – and Ghost learnt the advantage of being able to run fast.
Now he has a place on a running team, but he can only keep his spot if he stays out of trouble – which isn’t easy for him at school. Will his coach be able to help him stay on track?
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PIA lives in a zoo which is a floating armada in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Her parents are two angels and have the strangest collection of animals you could ever imagine.
When the angels go missing it’s all hands to the wheel to find them. An incredible fantasy fiction book full of humour.