Best Verse Novels for 8-12 Year Olds, recommended by Alison King

Verse fiction gets to the heart of a story without much text, the immediacy of the characters and the storyline making it instantly appealing to readers, including reluctant ones. Here, school librarian Alison King explains why everyone should read verse novels, and recommends her top picks for 8-12 year olds.

The Scariest Books for Kids, recommended by Jack Meggitt-Phillips

Scary children’s books give kids the pleasure of immersing themselves in an exciting page-turner, and are an excellent way to get reluctant readers to read novels. As long as you pay attention to individual children’s sensibilities, it shouldn’t be hard to find books that give them thrills rather than nightmares. Children’s author Jack Meggitt-Phillips talks us through his favourite scary books for kids.

Best Human Body Books for Kids, recommended by Sonia Joseph

An understanding of the human body can help children nurture both physical and mental health, as well as build knowledge and vocabulary about this fascinating topic. Paediatrician Sonia Joseph talks us through her pick of five books about the human body for kids, with something for every age from baby board books to middle grade non-fiction.

The Best Classics Books for Children, recommended by Annelise Gray

Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire continue to fascinate children and provide fertile ground for historical novels that resonate with today’s readers. Author and classicist Annelise Gray talks us through some of her favourite books for children set in the ancient Mediterranean world and Roman Britain.

The Best Science Books for Kids: the 2020 Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, recommended by Mike Kendall

To find the best science books for kids, the judges of the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize look for books that are not only accurate but also entertaining. Mike Kendall, Professor of Geophysics at Oxford University and chair of this year’s judging panel, talks us through the six fabulous books that made the 2020 shortlist (the final winner will be chosen by the real experts: more than 13,000 kids).

The Best Rick Riordan Books, recommended by Alex (age 13)

This is a big week for Rick Riordan fans as The Tower of Nero, the final book in his Trials of Apollo series, is published. Here, Alex, a 13-year-old boy living in Oxford, explains what Rick Riordan’s books are about, why he finds them so mesmerizing, and which book you might want to start with if you’re interested in reading them.

The Best Kids’ Books in Translation, recommended by Adam Freudenheim

There is no shortage of great kids’ books written in English, but reading books in translation can open up whole new worlds and surprising perspectives. Adam Freudenheim, managing director of Pushkin Press, talks us through some of his favourites among the many books he’s published for kids, translated from other languages.

The Best Audiobooks for Kids of 2020, recommended by Emily Connelly

Whether you’re on a car journey or sitting on the sofa together at home, listening to audiobooks with kids can be an incredible experience. Some will make you laugh, some will make you weep. Many will help us develop empathy for other human beings in the world around us. Here Emily Connelly, Assistant Editor at AudioFile, talks us through the magazine’s choices of the best audiobooks for kids of 2020.

Best Shakespeare Books for Kids, recommended by Natasha

Are you longing to get your children as excited about Shakespeare as you are? There’s a lot of books out there to introduce kids to the Bard. Here, Natasha, a 10-year old living in Oxfordshire, recommends some of her favourite retellings of Shakespeare stories.

The Best Viking History Books for Kids, selected by Janina Ramirez

Celebrated Anglo-Saxonist and art historian Janina Ramirez has written her first book for children: a Viking mystery with a fearless young heroine, Alva – both detective and shield-maiden. Here, Dr Ramirez recommends five superb history books to help young readers get an in-depth understanding of this exciting and often misunderstood era.

Best Football Books for Kids and Young Adults, recommended by Dave Cousins

As World Cup fever builds to irresistible levels, there is no better time to get kids reading by presenting them with a few books about ‘the beautiful game.’ Award-winning children’s author and self-confessed football fanatic, Dave Cousins, recommends five fantastic football books for kids and young adults.

The Best Science-based Novels for Children, recommended by Alom Shaha

There are umpteen science textbooks out there to help kids with their science homework. But what about the broader picture, the creativity, the advantages of becoming a scientifically literate individual? Alom Shaha, teacher, filmmaker and science communicator, recommends five great novels to inspire your kids with the wonder of science.

Fierce Girls in Tween Fiction, recommended by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Books like Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls popularise the many different ways women and girls can be strong, and as strong as they need to be. Award-winning children’s author, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, talks us through some of her favourite strong female characters in children’s fiction.

Cressida Cowell on Magical Stories for Kids

From wizards to alchemy and fairies to folklore, Cressida Cowell reveals the magical stories that were most important to her as a child (and which she now delights in sharing with her own children), and her own inspirations for writing about magic and magical worlds today.

Best Series for 10 Year Olds, recommended by Izzy

Everyone wants to get their kids reading, and a really gripping series is a great way of developing their inner bookworm. Izzy, a 10-year-old girl living in the UK, talks us through her favourite series for kids.