A moving image of book covers drawn by school children on brightly coloured backgrounds
Features

Best books to read on World Book Day, recommended by young readers

Fancy picking up something new? We asked some little bookworms for their best recommendations. 

Happy World Book Day! What are you reading?

We thought we'd go directly to young readers for their recommendations of what books to pick up and celebrate reading with this year. This is what the pupils of Brandling Primary and St Wilfrid's schools had to offer.

A drawing of Wave Me Goodbye

Wave Me Goodbye by Jacqueline Wilson

We said: Jacqueline Wilson has captured the hearts of young readers for decades by tackling big subjects with warmth and humanity. In Wave Me Goodbye, she approaches the grief and confusion of War through the eyes of Shirley, a 10-year-old evacuee.

You said: I recommend this book because it makes you understand what it was like to live in WW2. Also, it gives you experience of what the children needed to go through, for example, if they didn’t get picked while getting evacuated. If I could read it again I would. – Yusuf, aged 11.

A drawing of Judy Moody's book cover

Judy Moody by Megan McDonald

We said: For those unaccaquainted with Judy Moody, you're in for a treat! This unforgettable character is always in a mood: sometimes good, sometimes bad, something in-between. In this, the first in the Judy Moody series, Judy is encouraged to do a project at school – and has so much fun she forgets to be moody altogether!

You said: I would recommend this book because it would entertain the reader and make them feel good. Also Megan McDonald, Judy Moody's author, makes a lot of series. – Haseeb, aged 10

A drawing of the Land of Roar cover

The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan

We said: Welcome to the Land of Roar! Jenny McLachlan's heartwarming fantasy is the imaginary world of Rose and Arthur, discovered by climbing through the folding bed in their grandad's attic. As the children age, they remember – rather than visit – the Land of Roar, but when Grandad disappears they must venture there once again. 

You said: It’s very funny because the author says the silliest things in the book – Olivia, aged 10.

How to be a genius

Matilda’s How to be A Genius by Roald Dahl

We said: As those who have encountered Roald Dahl's delightful Matilda will know, she's a smart cookie. It's near-impossible not to finish her titular tale without wanting to possess her mind-boggling skills: and now this book can help you! 

You said: I think other people should read this because it gives you good tips on how to be smart. – Casey, aged 10

A book cover drawn by a child

JK Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic

We said: Fascinated by film? This in-depth and fun non-fiction book will give you the behind-the-scenes details behind the Harry Potter cinematic universe.

You said: Because it tells you everything you need to know about mythical creatures. You can also learn what they like and tons of facts about the movies. – Thomas, aged 11

Goodnight Mister Tom

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Margorian

We said: Michelle Margorian's poignant portrayal of an unlikely friendship between evacuee Willie Beech and Tom Oakley, a cantankerous elderly man, has become a firm favourite with young readers over the years. 

You said: I found reading this book at school really fun and I think other people who enjoy reading about the War will love this book too. – Lucy, aged 10

Midnight Gang cover

The Midnight Gang by David Walliams

We said: The clue to The Midnight Gang is in the name: when people are meant to be tucked up in bed, members of The Midnight Gang are up and about, trying to escape te confines of their hospital ward in search of adventure!

You said: I think people should read this book because it’s about young children which sneak out at midnight to make their gang members' dreams come true. Meanwhile, they are trying to not be caught by the hospital as they are suspected of sneaking out of bed at midnight. – Oliver, 10 years old

A book cover drawn by a child

This book is very good. The main character is in hospital and goes in a gang with others who have been in there for months. – Kieran, 11 years old.

The diary of a wimpy kid meltdown cover

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney

We said: Everybody loves a snow day, but a celebration of a school cancellation turns into something more dramatic when Wimpy Kid Greg Heffley and his friend Rowley find themselves caught in a snowball fight of epic proportions.

A book cover drawn by a child

You said: I think other people should read this book because it is funny, it is interesting and you don’t get sick of it. The characters are funny. This book is engaging. – Lola, aged 8

78 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

We said: If you could build anything, what might it be? For Andy and Terry, it's a towering treehouse, boasting a drive-thru car wash, a scribbletorium, a sports stadium and a high-security crisp storage facility: and you're invited to check it out!

You said: I like it because it has lots of different books.

A child's drawing of the book cover of Letters from the Lighthouse

Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carol

We said: Set in coastal Devon in the midst of war, Emma Carol's gripping story of evacuees and mystery will have adventurous little minds hooked.

You said: I think people should read this book because it imagines what it is like to be a child in WW2 and what it is like when you get evacuated. – Layla, aged 11.

A child's drawing of the book cover of Letters from the Lighthouse

It is about people who have been evacuated to the countryside, and is really fun to read about how people lived during the war – Lacey, aged 10.

Brandlings and St Wilfrid's are just two of 150 schools taking part in our programme to transform primary school libraries across the country. Find out more at www.worldofstories.co.uk

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more