Must-read books for 6-9 year olds

Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney (2020)

From the GIGANTIC imagination of Rowley Jefferson comes an Awesome Friendly Adventure! On a quest to battle an evil warlock, Roland and his best friend Garg The Barbarian (any resemblance to any Wimpy Kid characters is purely coincidental...) fight evil and work to rescue Roland's mum from a terrible fate. Will our heroes survive?

The Worries: Sohal Finds a Friend by Jion Sheibani (2021)

Sohal is a natural-born worrier. He just can’t help it. Most things make him worry: there’s the dark, his lack of friends, mutant alien sheep! His parents try to help but it just gets all too much sometimes. So, one night, Sohal decides to draw his worries to make himself feel a bit calmer. But when he makes up the next day, his worries at sitting at the end of his bed as five furry creatures! In a world where there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment, this is a fun tale about not letting your worries get the better of you.

Kiki's Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono & Joe Todd-Stanton (1985)

At age 13, witch-in-training Kiki is determined her magical powers will bring happiness to the seaside village of Koriko. But she soon learns it's much harder than she expected... and maybe people with powers aren't the only ones with magic! This classic tale from Eiko Kadono is perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli and anime.

Charlie Morphs into a Mammoth by Sam Copeland & Sarah Horne (2020)

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but scrap that for this book, because everything inside is just about as hilarious and brilliantly bonkers as the cover suggests. Not only can Charlie turn into a mammoth, but he can turn into ANY kind of animal: a flea, a pigeon, a rhino – you name it! Charlie seems to have finally mastered his strange power. However, his parents keep arguing (which makes him worry) and there have been a string of mysterious animal disappearances throughout his hometown. Can Charlie, with the help of his best friends, unravel this mystery and keep his power a secret?

Evolution Colouring and Activity Book by Sabina Radeva (2020)

Following on from Sabina Radeva’s adaptation On the Origin of Species, this fun activity and colouring book will let budding scientists put their newfound knowledge into practice. Filled with Radeva’s beautiful illustrations, there are detailed pages to colour, scientific questions to answer on the theory of evolution as well as a ton of facts about variation, competition and how animals have evolved to where they are today.

Lizzie and Lucky: The Mystery of the Missing Puppies by Megan Rix (2021)

Lizzie really, really wants a dog. She’s making a list of 101 reasons why she needs one so she can convince her parents. Dogs are smart; they make you happy; they’re cuddly; they can be trained to be hearing dogs (which would be especially useful for Lizzie as she’s deaf) – but she’s still got a long way to go before she reaches 101 reasons. In the meantime, Lizzie also has to track down a mysterious-looking man she saw making off with a dalmatian puppy. Will Lizzie be able to solve the case, finish her list and potentially find herself a puppy friend?

The Witches by Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake (1983)

You might think your teacher is an ordinary woman... same for your neighbour, or the lady who works in your local supermarket... but you could be wrong. You see, WITCHES look like ordinary women, but they are far from it. They are evil, bald, ugly things who HATE children and simply want to SQUELCH them. Only by reading this book will you know how to spot them and avoid them - your life depends on it!

The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance by Clare Balding (2019)

If you’ve been following Noble Warrior’s journey up until this point, you won’t need us to tell you that Charlie’s racehorse is certainly well-deserving of his name after winning the Derby against all odds and besting a bunch of nasty kidnappers. But will his valiant reputation help him – and Charlie – take on this latest hurdle? Charlie’s best friend Polly is recovering from a serious accident that left her almost paralysed. But Polly has a wonderful talent with horses and Charlie is determined to help her bestie live out her equestrian dream. But this dream isn’t going to come true overnight; it’s going to take some thinking, creativity and stepping – or perhaps dancing – outside of the box.

Mummy Fairy & Me: Mermaid Magic by Sophie Kinsella (2020)

So, for those that need a recap – Ella’s mummy looks pretty normal, but in short, she’s not. She can turn into a fairy just by stamping her feet, clapping her hands, wiggling her bottom and saying ‘Marshmallow’. Sounds cool, eh?! Well, yes and no. You see, sometimes Mummy Fairy’s magic goes wrong and it’s up to Ella to help. If magic colouring pencils, catching robbers and swimming with mermaids sounds like fun, then stamp your feet, clap your hands… actually, don’t – we know what happens.

The Creakers by Tom Fletcher & Shane Devries (2017)

In this novel from author extraordinaire Tom Fletcher, readers meet Lucy. Lucy’s always wondered about the strange creaking noises that we all hear at night when we’re trying to doze off, or at least she did until all of the adults in town mysteriously disappeared – leaving the kids in charge! Lucy’s determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance and nothing is going to stop her… except for maybe a few Creakers. Fans of The Christmasaurus will love this darkly magical adventure story.

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy (1974)

Popular with trainee witches and wizards all over the world, hold on to your broomsticks because this magical book is bound to cast a spell over you. Mildred Hubble, she’s the worst witch in question; she’s a trainee at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches and she’s, well… the worst. She gets spells wrong and she’s constantly crashing broomsticks. But things go from bad to WORSE when Mildred turns Ethel – the teacher’s pet – into her worst enemy.

The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith (1983)

The Sheep-Pig tells the tale of young piglet Babe, who is won by a farmer at a fair and adopted by his sheepdog, Fly. Babe wants to learn everything he can from Fly and although he understands he can never be a sheepdog, he asks himself: “Why can’t I learn to be a Sheep-pig?”. This classic by Dick King-Smith went on to inspire the timeless family film Babe, it’s a heart-warming animal adventure with a truly timeless message.

Weirdo by Zadie Smith, Nick Laird & Magenta Fox (2021)

Maud is a guinea pig who likes judo. She is also a little girl called Kit’s birthday present. When Maud meets Kit’s other pets, things get off to a rocky start. She’s not a cat or a dog or a bird like them, so she’s a weirdo. But a chance meeting with a kind neighbour helps Maud see that it’s ok to be different as, after all, life’s too short not to be a weirdo. This is a wonderful and powerful tale for both kids and grown-ups. 

The Extraordinary Life of Amelia Earhart (2020)

Get to know some of the world’s most influential heroes like never before through a nifty combination of biography and storytelling-style, facts and timelines – throw in a dash of eye-popping illustrations and you’ve got something nothing short of extraordinary! Amelia Earhart (who broke flying records and fought for the rights of female pilots), Alan Turing (a mathematician and scientist who decoded secret messages sent by the Nazis during the Second World War) and Katherine Johnson (one of the most influential people in the history of space travel) are just three of the extraordinary people throughout history that you’ll get to know in this series

Wild Cities by Ben Lerwill & Harriet Hobday (2020)

When we think of cities, we think of traffic, towering skyscrapers and lots of people. But humans are not the only ones who make urban areas their homes. As cities grow larger, so do their number of animal residents. This gorgeous picture book explores the wildest metropolises on our planet and reveals their animal city dwellers. From the harbour seals of London to the flying foxes of Sydney, next time you find yourself in an asphalt jungle, watch out for the wildlife.

Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson (1946)

If you haven’t already met legendary Finnish author Tove Jansson’s Moomins, allow us to introduce you. There’s Moomintroll, Moominpappa, Moominmamma, Snufkin, Sniff, Snork Maiden, the Muskrat, as well as a great many other weird and wonderful characters. In this story, there are rumours that a comet is on a collision course with Earth. Moomintroll and Sniff head towards the observatory on the Lonely Mountains to confirm whether this is true and on their journey, they meet many interesting people and creatures, and have some narrow escapes!

Daisy and the Trouble with Coconuts by Kes Gray (2020)

Uh oh! Here comes trouble. Daisy cannot wait to go to the funfair! But the trouble with funfairs is all of the coconuts - which Daisy firmly believes are the WORST TYPE OF NUTS. They’re too big and too hairy, and if you win one they just get you in trouble. Which DEFINITELY isn’t Daisy’s fault!

The Bear in the Stars by Alexis Snell (2020)

A great white bear, known as the Queen of Beasts, rules over an icy kingdom. It’s cold but breathtakingly beautiful. Gradually, the ice begins to melt and the kingdom’s inhabitants leave for new homes. It’s soon time for the Queen of Beasts to leave her snowy realm but on her journey, she finds that despite the growing temperatures, others hearts are growing colder. Created with lino-printed artwork, The Bear in the Stars is a striking modern fable that addresses the issue of climate change.

Best Friends by Jacqueline Wilson & Nick Sharratt (2004)

Gemma is a larger-than-life tomboy whereas Alice is quiet, calm and loves the colour pink. Despite their differences, Gemma and Alice are the best of friends. They have the same birthday and see each other practically every day. But then Alice and her parents move to Scotland – the other end of the country! Both girls are devastated, and Gemma is terrified Alice will find a new best friend. Can their friendship survive the distance?

A Songbird Dreams of Singing by Kate Hosford & Jennifer M. Potter (2019)

This one is for all you poetry lovers out there. And for those who may have never even read any poetry! From flamingos to chimpanzees, this spectacular collection of poems by Kate Hosford are odes to animals and how they sleep. Plus, alongside each poem is a fascinating fact and gorgeous illustrations by Jennifer M. Potter. A great book to read together at bedtime.

Stig of the Dump by Clive King & Edward Ardizzone (1963)

Barney is staying with his grandparents when he falls over the edge of an old chalk pit and finds himself in a cave. Extraordinary as this is, what’s even more extraordinary is that a caveman (who Barney calls Stig) lives there. Although Stig can’t speak English, the pair learn to communicate in other ways and become great friends. This iconic story about an unlikely friendship will delight every young reader.

Stuart Little by E. B. White (1945)

Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Unlike other mice, Stuart was born to a family of humans and despite his parents being concerned over how Stuart would survive in a human-sized world, he’s adapted perfectly. It’s only the family cat Snowbell he has to watch out for! One winter’s day, Stuart and his family find a half-frozen songbird called Margalo on their doorstep. They nurse her back to health and she and Stuart become firm friends. But a plot by Snowbell and another cat to eat Margalo results in the songbird fleeing in the middle of the night. Stuart is heartbroken so he ventures out into the big wide world to find her.

Tales of Amazing Animal Heroes by Mike Unwin (2019)

We all love fictional stories about remarkable animals. But there are plenty of real-life tales about animals that are even more remarkable! There’s Tirpitz the pig who survived the sinking of the SMS Dresden in World War 1. GI Joe, the homing pigeon who flew a very important message that prevented innocent villagers in Italy from being bombed by the US Airforce. And Roselle the guide dog who led her owner and 30 other people safely out of the North Tower of the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001. Mike Unwin’s anthology features 34 amazing stories that will inspire any reader.

The Hundred-Mile-an-Hour Dog by Jeremy Strong & Nick Sharratt (1996)

In this pawsome story, we meet Streaker, a mixed-up kind of dog – she’s a rocket on four legs with a woof attached. And her owner Trevor has until the end of the holidays to train her. Otherwise, he’ll lose his bet with Charlie Smugg and the loser’s forfeit involves frogspawn. Gulp.

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