- Key Stage: Reception, 1, 2
- Year Group: Reception, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
- Type of Book: Fiction, Poetry
Age 4–11: Hottest New Titles for Summer 2023
Roll up! Roll up! Calling all Literacy Co-ordinators and teachers looking for brand new high-quality texts that really hit the mark. Here we have the very best fiction published in the last term for readers from reception up to year 6. If you are looking for stand-out, high-quality books to bring a flurry of excitement to your library, or for class texts that offer plenty to pore over and pick apart, then look no further, as this pack has all the ingredients you need to promote reading for pleasure.
Look out for next term’s recommendations.
Learn more about these stunning books from one of our Badger book specialists, Marcia, and find out why they've earned their place in this highly sought-after collection...
I Am Hungry by Michael Rosen
With expressive illustrations that jump off the page, and a lively, ridiculous, rhyming text from poet Michael Rosen, this book is a stand-out read aloud text ideal for your reception class.
The Boy With Flowers in His Hair by Jarvis
This beautiful and poignant picture book, by award-winning illustrator Jarvis, is a gentle tale of inclusivity, kindness, and creativity. It is a simple story with a variety of associations to explore from seasonal change to wellbeing. We would love to be a fly on the wall to see what this book draws out of your reception class.
Ada and the Galaxies by Alan Lightman and Olga Pastuchiv
This magnificent picture book beautifully integrates mesmerising Hubble Telescope images with gorgeous illustrations to depict the enchanting and magnificent wonders of the sky at night. Simultaneously, the text effectively conveys the thrill and anticipation of an eagerly awaited experience, as a young child and her grandfather share their love of stargazing. This resplendent portrayal of the night’s sky will mesmerise and enthral your year 1 pupils.
The Girl Who Noticed Everything by Jane Porter
The bright artwork in this engaging picture book plays with the reader’s point of view, and zooms in and out to great effect, giving us lots to notice each time we revisit this book. The text reminds us how irresistible curiosity is, when to keep it to ourselves and when to voice it. Encourage your year 1 class to look at the world around them and make connections with this appealing book.
Adoetee by Lydia Monks
Imagine the changes the trees around us have seen with this celebration of our arboreal neighbours from award-winning author-illustrator, Lydia Monks. This beautiful book encourages pupils in year 2 to think about local history and fosters a sense of community and responsibility, and a respect for trees. There is so much to explore and respond to that this book is a pleasure to revisit many times over.
Not Now, Noor! by Farhana Islam
This joyful celebration of the hijab and the women who wear them introduces us to the different members of a busy family. Our young protagonist is full of funny questions as she tries to work out why her relatives are wearing their hijabs and becomes increasingly exasperated until her ammu gently and beautifully explains. An enjoyable, funny, and tender read for all your year 2 readers.
My Father is a Polar Bear by Michael Morpurgo
Michael Morpurgo’s gentle tale of the search for a post-war missing father has a slightly surreal feel as he is revealed, by an article on a Snow Queen pantomime, to be one of the polar bears. The father remains a distant and mysterious figure but a constant one and is seen reading a picture book about a polar bear to his great granddaughter at the end. This new edition features the same evocative illustrations as the original and supports the readers understanding of a family growing through the decades.
Budgie by Joseph Coelho
Joseph Coelho, the Children's Laureate and a poet, presents a stunning and vividly illustrated short story that packs a powerful punch in spite of its small size. The tale involves the discovery of a stunning little bird and the sorrow experienced after its loss. This is set against a backdrop of two tower block neighbours, an old man and a young boy, who end up having more in common than they could ever have imagined. For those in Year 3, this book is a delightful and fulfilling read brimming with beautiful descriptive language and heartfelt emotions.
The Wishkeeper's Apprentice by Rachel Chivers Khoo
This extraordinarily entertaining and rewarding read for children in year 4 combines the thrillingly scary with the comfortingly cosy. Our hero is unsure of himself and his place in the world until he becomes a Wishkeeper’s Apprentice, shows great courage, and discovers how very dearly his teenaged sister had wished for him. May all your wishes be received and granted by your invisible Wishkeeper and may they keep you safe from the Wishsnatcher! Enchanting and exciting in equal measure.
Tiggy Thistle and the Lost Guardians by Chris Riddell
This exciting, stand-alone, adventure is set in an established rich magical world that has frozen over. Previous stories are brilliantly whispered of as history, or mythology from before the freezing, in this book. It features stunning world building, glorious illustrations, and gorgeous language. As you would expect from former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, it is a truly immersive book for readers in year 4.
The Magic of Endings by Tom Avery
This short and satisfying magical quest is reminiscent of E. Nesbit, with beautifully drawn themes of loss, memory, and family. It is poetically written and there is plenty to discuss here regarding themes, author intention, character development, language use and metaphor. Our hero, JoJo, can’t remember his father, he is a blank space because a fairy stole him away at the point death. JoJo has to go on a quest to find him to restore balance. Ultimately, he has to say goodbye to his father, but his families memories are returned and celebrated. A poignant and magical book for readers in year 5.
The Book of Legends by Lenny Henry
This amusing and action-packed fantasy adventure boasts intriguing and challenging language that will captivate readers. Lenny Henry’s skill as a character creator and his talent as a writer are evident in this novel, which follows twin protagonists from the midlands as they embark on a perilous journey through a mystical realm filled with wizards, Viking armies, and mud monsters. The narrative is interspersed with stories from a separate book featuring mythical black heroes and heroines, providing valuable guidance for the twins as they navigate their adventure. A must-read for year 5 students.
Harville by Justin Davies
This engrossing maritime fantasy is also an exciting mystery as our young hero is robbed of his inheritance and pieces together his family history to regain it. The brilliant world-building, wonderful characters and gorgeous use of language summons an intriguing and elaborate world. It is threaded with themes of greed, inequality, ecology, and community. Imagine a novel by Dickens collided with Malamander!
Rivet Boy by Barbara Henderson
This gripping story of a boy sent to work on the Forth Bridge is rich in historical detail. The captivating, high-quality writing transports readers completely into this world of precarious rivet gangs and grandiose Victorian engineering. Just superb.
|Key Stage||Reception, 1, 2|
|Year Group||Reception, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6|
|Type of Book||Fiction, Poetry|