50 Books Every Child Should Read
Recommendations from Michael Morpurgo:
- The Star of Kazan – by Eva Ibbotson. The heroine is blessed with such wonderful friends.
- A Christmas Carol – by Charles Dickens. Marley’s ghostly face on the knocker of Scrooge’s door still gives me the shivers.
- Just William – by Richmal Crompton. A must for every child.
- The Happy Prince – by Oscar Wilde.
- The Elephant’s Child from Just So Stories – by Rudyard Kipling. I loved the sheer fun of it, the music and the rhythm of words. It was subversive too.
- Treasure Island – by R L Stevenson.
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. A classic tale of man versus nature.
- The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono. I loved the humanity of this story and how one man’s efforts can change the future for so many.
- The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy. The story of two children who go to find their father who has been listed missing in the trenches of the First World War.
10. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson-Burnett. I loved this story of a girl’s life being changed by nature.
Recommendations from Michael Rosen:
- Skellig by David Almond. Brings magical realism.
- Red Cherry Red by Jackie Kay. Poems that reaches deep into our hidden thoughts.
- Talkin Turkeys by Benjamin Zephaniah. Poems that demand to be read aloud.
- Greek Myths by Geraldine Mc Caughrean. Superheroes battle with demons and gods.
- People Might Hear You by Robin Klein. Freedom and the rights of all young people.
- Noughts and Crosses by Malory Blackman. Tough stuff to do with race.
- Einstein’s Underpants and How They Saved the World by Anthony McGowan. A crazy adventure.
- After the First Death by Robert Cormier. The personal meets the political all within the framework of a thriller.
- The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd. Difference is part of the plot and not a point in itself.
10. Beano Annual. A cornucopia of nutty, bad, silly ideas, tricks, situations and plots.
Recommendations from Katy Guest – Literary Editor:
- Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah. A young Ethiopian boy, whose parents abandon him in London to save his life.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney. It’s funny and will chime with every 11 year old who’s ever started a new school.
- I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith.
- The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – by JRR Tolkein. Tales of hobbits and Middle Earth are dangerously addictive.
- The Tygrine Cat (and The Tygrine Cat on the Run) – Inbali Iserles. A cat seeking his destiny.
- When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit –by Judith Kerr. A family fleeing the Nazis.
- Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett. Mythological imagery and a background based in real science.
- The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson. A great writer for children.
Recommendations from John Walsh – author and columnist:
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Irresistible puzzle-solving tales of the chilly Victorian master-sleuth and his dim medical sidekick.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Both funny and sad.
- Mistress Masham’s Respose by TH White. Magical story of 10 year old Maria, living in a derelict stately home.
- Little Women – Louisa May Alcott. A 1868 classic.
- How to be Topp by Geoffrey Williams and Ronald Searle. Side-splitting satire.
- Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. Action packed adventures with Alex Rider.
- Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo.
- The Silver Sword –Ian Serraillier. Inspiring wartime story of the Balicki family in Warsaw.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell. A brilliantly told fable.