Parenting / 23 May, 2023 / My Baba
Independent booksellers across the UK have just announced the best summer reads for kids.
Best summer reads for kids – voted by UK independent booksellers
Summer is the perfect time to explore new worlds, discover the joy of reading, and keep them engaged during the break. Consider visiting your local library or bookstore to explore even more adventure and involve your child in the decision-making process to encourage their enthusiasm for reading.
Here’s a quick round-up of the best summer reads for kids, including picture books and chapter books.
The Lost Whale, Hannah Gold
Rio has been sent to live with a grandmother he barely knows in California, while his mum is in hospital. All Rio wants is for Mum to get better so he can return home. But everything changes when he joins a whale-watching trip and meets White Beak, a gentle giant of the sea. Rio forms an instant bond with the whale, and for the first time in ages he feels a spark of hope. Then White Beak goes missing and Rio may be the only person who can help.
Can Rio draw on their special connection to somehow find and save his whale…?
Hedgewitch, Skye McKenna
Step into the magical world of Hedgewitch, where the land of Faerie lies just beyond our own, in this enchanting new series for children age 9+ and readers of Nevermoor, The Worst Witch and The Dark Is Rising.
Cassie Morgan has run away. After seven years spent waiting for her mother to return, she flees her dreary boarding school and sets out to find her. But the world outside her school is full of hidden magic and children have been going missing.
With the help of a talking cat and a flying broom, Cassie escapes to the enchanted village of Hedgely.
There she will begin her training in the practical skills of witchcraft with the Hedgewitch, who watches over the Hedge, the vast forest that marks the border between England and Faerie.
Will Cassie discover the truth about her mother? Can she find the lost faery treasures before the wicked Erl King gets his hands on them? And what will it take to save her new home – and Britain itself – from the shadowing magic of Faerie?
Marv and the Pool of Peril, Alex Falase-Koya
When ordinary boy Marvin wears his super-suit he becomes MARV. A superhero with infinite powers . . .
Marvin and his friend Joe are at the brand-new super-spectacular waterpark – WAVE WORLD! But despite the excitement, Marv’s reluctant to get in the water. Although Marv can swim, sometimes he gets struck by a fear of the water that he calls ‘The Panic’. Marv uses excuse after excuse to stay out of the pool. Then someone shouts ‘SHARK!’ Shark!? It looks like a supervillain is up to mischief again. It’s time for Marvin to become MARV.
But, even as a hero, overcoming his fear of the water is going to be a challenge. Can Marv defeat supervillain Shadow and her army of robot sharks to save the day?
Skandar and the Unicorn Thief, A F Steadman
Thirteen-year-old Skandar Smith has only ever wanted to be a unicorn rider. To be one of the lucky few selected to hatch a unicorn. To bond with it for life; to train together and race for glory; to be a hero.
But just as Skandar’s dream is about to come true, things start to take a more dangerous turn than he could ever have imagined. A dark and twisted enemy has stolen the Island’s most powerful unicorn – and as the threat grows ever closer, Skandar discovers a secret that could blow apart his world forever . . .
Get ready for unlikely HEROES, elemental MAGIC, sky battles, ancient secrets, nail-biting races and FEROCIOUS UNICORNS, in this EPIC ADVENTURE series that will have your heart soaring.
The Elemental Detectives, Patrice Lawrence
Step into a London lit up by the Elemental spirits: the fiery Dragons, the airy Fumis, the watery Chads and the earthbound Magogs.
But humans have been causing chaos for centuries, trampling through the landscape trailing noise, mess and pollution. What if the Elements could slow down this new world… or stop it all together?
The revenge-fuelled Shepherdess, who moves between the everyday and the supernatural London worlds, is the perfect weapon. She brings a sleeping sickness down on the city with the destruction of society in her sights.
Marisee and Robert are the Elemental Detectives chasing the clues to avoid catastrophe: they must face the ghosts of Hyde Park, the monstrous coiled snake of the Serpentine, and a whole host of other fantastical creatures in their mission to stop the Shepherdess and prevent London slumbering for all eternity…
Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Ruling the World, Louie Stowell
Loki’s third doodle-packed diary in the number one best-selling series.
When Heimdall and Hyrrokkin abandon their “children” to go on holiday, Odin sends Baldur – Thor’s half brother and god of making Loki look bad – to babysit.
As Baldur and Thor bond, Loki’s attempts to prove he’s good start getting a bit desperate. After the drama teacher casts him as the villain in the school play, Loki starts to wonder whether there’s any point in being good when everyone seems convinced of his villainy.
That is until he discovers a rather unusual ring among the costumes and props. A ring that looks suspiciously like the cursed ring of Andvari, one that promises Loki the world if only he gives in to his deepest, darkest desires…
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A Hero Like Me, Jen Reid and Angela Joy
A Hero Like Me is inspired by the events of 7 June 2020, when a statue of seventeenth-century slave trader Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown into Bristol Harbour during an anti-racism protest. Co-author Jen Reid was one of the protesters that day, and despite being afraid of heights, she spontaneously climbed onto the empty plinth and raised her fist high above her head – a moment that was captured on camera and shared around the world.
A Hero Like Me empowers children to have courage to stand up for what is right and be their own hero.
It shows every child that they have a voice in their community and a say in who is on their streets. That they too have power, just like Jen.
John Agard’s Windrush Child, John Agard
With one last hug, Windrush child waves goodbye to his Caribbean home and sets sail across the ocean to Britain. In this powerful picture book, full of hope and promise, celebrated poet John Agard and illustrator Sophie Bass movingly evoke the journey made by children and their families as part of the Windrush Generation.
The Boy With Flowers in His Hair, Jarvis
His name is David. He’s the boy with flowers in his hair and he’s my best friend…
David is the boy with flowers in his hair. He’s sweet and gentle, just like his petals. But when David’s flowers begin to fall – a single petal at first, then every last blossom – his best friend never leaves his side. And through kindness and creativity, he even finds a way to give David his colour back…
Beautifully illustrated and sensitively told, this story is about being there for someone when they are at their most vulnerable and brings to life a pure and poignant friendship that children will never forget.
Frank and Bert: The One Where Bert Learns to Ride a Bike, Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
Bert is CERTAIN he can ride his bike as well as Frank, but he is very wobbly! And even when they BOTH try riding Frank’s bike . . . it still goes very wrong! Will the best friends make it all the way down from the big hill? Of course! All they need is a little bit of confidence and trust in each other!
This warm and entertaining story about friendship is guaranteed to get children giggling!
Every Nosy Crow paperback picture book comes with a free ‘Stories Aloud’ audio recording – just scan the QR code and listen along!
The Gecko and the Echo, Rachel Bright & Jim Field
Goldy wants one thing, and one thing only – to be a STAR. On the sunny island this gecko calls home, it’s always THE GOLDY SHOW, morning ’til night.
But when you’re dazzled by the limelight, it’s easy to lose sight of the world around you. And when Goldy’s performance starts to go wrong, the little gecko discovers that friendship means so much more than fame. Because when you treat the world with love, then love will come echoing back.
This funny and touching rhyming story is perfect for sharing, reminding us all that treating others with kindness makes the whole world a better and happier place.
Timid, Harry Woodgate
Timmy absolutely loves to perform, but only when there isn’t an audience! Most of the time, they struggle with their shy inner lion who seems determined to keep them out of the spotlight. This vibrant and uplifting picture book explores how to overcome shyness in a gentle and familiar way.
When Timmy’s classmates begin to prepare for the school play, Timmy longs to be a part of the performance. However, feelings of shyness and fear threaten to stop Timmy from doing what they love. With a bit of help from their friend, Nia, and a whole lot of bravery, will Timmy ever be able to strike up the courage to perform on stage?
By depicting these feelings as a roaring, wild lion, Harry Woodgate poignantly and vividly describes how it feels to be overwhelmed with anxiety. This picture book is perfect for readers who struggle with their confidence and is a warm reminder that we can do anything we put our minds to.
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