41 of the best new fiction titles for your primary school Library, aimed at years 5 and 6.
The Must Read Book list is one of our annual selections of the best fiction for primary schools chosen by librarians from the Schools Library Service and primary and secondary schools, and is a suggested list to buy for your school library.
For fiction for years 3 and 4, take a look at our Takeoff! booklist.
The book list represents a selection of the best new fiction first published in paperback within the last year, and aims to cover as diverse a range of subjects, genres, authors and interests as possible.
Titles from the 2018 Teen and Primary lists will be chosen for the Tower Hamlets Book Award short list in July. Don’t forget to register for this event!
A set of posters and bookmarks for the book list will be sent to all subscribing primary schools.
Please contact the library for any further information about the book list.
To request additional posters/ bookmarks email firstname.lastname@example.org (subject to availability)
|9781848126169||A Storm of Strawberries||Jo Cottrill||An engaging story from the point of view of a young girl with Down’s Syndrome. A storm is raging on their strawberry fruit farm but that’s not the only storm brewing. Her sixteen year old sister is embarking on a blossoming relationship with her girlfriend and not everyone approves.|
|9781474927291||The Amber Pendant||Imogen White||Rescued from a miserable life in the workhouse, Rose Muddle finds that her new mistress has a plan for her, involving a magical amber pendant and evil, mysterious enemies.|
|9781406342284||Caleb’s Cab||Sally and Sylvain Chomet||Trapped in a surreal, parallel world where money means more than happiness, Caleb needs to find his father before the evil Money Mongers get to him first. His only hopes – a fake moustache and his dad’s taxi cab.|
|9781782117049||Dragon’s Green||Scarlet Thomas||After the Worldquake, Effie learnt about magic – time in her grandfather’s library made sure of that. But there’s still much she has to learn. About the Otherworld and about the Diberi, a secret organisation with plans to destroy the entire universe.|
|9780552576239||Fly Me Home||Polly Ho-Yen||London is cold and grey and the neighbours are noisy and there’s concrete everywhere. Feeling lost and alone in a strange new city, Leelu wishes she could fly away back home – her real home where her dad is, thousands of miles away. But Leelu is not alone; someone is leaving her gifts outside her house – wonders which give her curious magical powers. Powers which might help her find her way home . . .|
|9781848125643||Giant||Kate Scott||Eleven year old Anzo, is short, very short. Which makes it difficult to be noticed in a noisy family who are unusually tall. If only he could grow a bit taller. With the help of his best friend, Elise, he harnesses the power of positive force. Anzo eventually gets up the courage to follow his dream and find his place in the world.|
|9781783443826||His Royal Whiskers||Sam Gayton||Something bad has happened to Prince Alexander, the only heir to the mighty Petrossian Empire. Somehow, the Prince has been miraculously transformed into a fluffy-wuffy kitten. Why has this terrible catastrophe happened? Who are the boy and girl and how will they avoid getting their heads chopped off by Alexandra’s father, the Fearsome Czar?|
|9781474921305||Just Call Me Spaghetti-Hoop Boy||Lara Williamson||Adam Butters has decided he’s going to be a Superhero. He’s going to solve problems and make people happy and that’s good because his adoptive Mum needs cheering up. This is a story about the power in us all to be extraordinary.|
|9780571327584||Letters from the Lighthouse||Emma Carroll||Enthralling story of evacuees Olive and Cliff who have plenty of mysteries to solve: secret codes, their sister’s disappearance in an air raid, and why is the lighthouse so important to the enemy and to the allies?|
|9781444929096||Miraculous Miranda||Siobhan Parkinson||Miranda Maguire is the creator of a land where stories never end. As she writes down her fantasy world, small miracles start to happen in real life. Can miranda write a miracle for her poorly sister?|
|9781510103825||Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow||Jessica Townsend||Morrigan is due to die on her twelfth birthday, and is less than happy when it turns out that her death is coming a year early. Unless, that is, a different fate is planned for her, involving the Wundrous Society, a giant cat and the phenomenally ginger Jupiter North.|
|9781910959589||Overheard in a Tower Block||Joseph Coelho||An astonishing new collection of powerful and moving poems about growing up in the city. A disappearing father and a Mermaid Queen mother; bullies that kick you under the table and the things that lurk in the library….|
|9781510102088||Running on the Roof of the World||Jess Butterworth||Tash has to follow many rules to survive in Tibet, a country occupied by Chinese soldiers. But when a man sets himself on fire in protest and soldiers seize Tash’s parents, she and her best friend Sam are determined to escape Tibet – and seek the help of the Dalai Lama himself in India.|
|9781444013931||Scaredy Cat, Scaredy Cat||Phil Earle||Kay Catt has a nickname Scaredy Catt because you’ve never met a more anxious girl in your life! Then she meets a mysterious old man on Storey Street and begins to come out of her shell. Wilf Wilkinson isn’t your average old man but has a cloak, a strange pointy hat and some extraordinary cats.|
|9780192749826||Stunt Double||Tamsin Cooke||Free-running champion and karate black belt, Finn’s ideal job is as a stunt double in the movies. But director Agatha Novak wants the stunts to become more and more daring and dangerous – what secrets is she hiding?|
|9781910989951/ 9781910989814||Tamsin and the Dark / Robo Rumble||Neill Cameron||Alex and Freddy are brothers. They’re also robot (not so) secret agents defending East London from rampaging villains! Schoolgirl Tamsin Thomas has a part-time job as the last Pellar: magical protector of Cornwall’s human population from creatures ancient and uncanny…|
|9781407159690||The Bookshop Girl||Sylvia Bishop||Property Jones lives in a bookshop, and her secret is that she can’t read. When her family win the incredible Montgomery Book Emporium in a raffle, things seem too good to be true, until the mysterious Eliot Pink turns up…|
|9781910655757||The Elephant Thief||Jane Kerr||Offered a job by a zoo keeper, pickpocket Danny’s task is to ride an elephant, Maharajah, from Edinburgh to Manchester. But Danny’s past, and a ruthless criminal, can’t be left behind so easily.|
|9781407138558||The Everything Machine||Ally Kennen||Olly, Stevie and Bird have just had a very special delivery. It’s a machine that has a name, can speak and is able to print anything they want. But getting everything you’ve wished for isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!|
|9781408882191||The Explorer||Katherine Rundell||When their plane crashes four children are stranded in the Amazon jungle. Now they have to survive alone, but was someone there before them?|
|9781848126473||The Girl Who Drank the Moon||Kelly Barnhill||The people of the protectorate don’t realise that instead of eating them, Xan rescues all the babies they leave as a sacrifice to her. Luna, one such child, accidently drank moonlight instead of starlight and so became extraordinarily magical. When the people from Protectorate decide to kill the witch instead of offering more sacrifices, can Luna’s magic save her?|
|9780141377025||The Guggenheim Mystery||Robin Stevens||Three months ago Ted Spark solved the mystery of how his cousin disappeared from a pod on the London Eye. Now his Aunt has been accused of stealing a painting from the Guggenheim Museum and it’s up to him to find the real culprit.
Read more at https://www.penguin.co.uk/puffin/books/304196/the-guggenheim-mystery/#TlbqekTmpIxoZlIC.99
|9781911490043||The Ice Garden||Guy Jones||Jess is allergic to the sun. She lives indoors in a world of shadows, peeking at other children from her house. One night she sneaks out and discovers an impossibility – a magical garden made of ice.|
|9781510201255||The Incredible Billy Wild||Joanna Nadin||When Billy Wild’s teacher asks the class to write a letter to their god, Billy’s request is simple:
Please send me a dog.
So when he discovers a greyhound hiding in the shed, he decides someone must really be listening. With the help of his brothers, Billy sets out to hide her from Dad.
|9781910002766||The Island at the End of Everything||Kiran Millwood Hargrave||There are some places you would not want to go . Even if there are oceons filled with sea turtles and dolphins. Even if there are forests lush with parrots and the air is warm and fragrant. Nobody comes to the island because they want to. The island of no return|
|9780857638403||The Jamie Drake Equation||Christopher Edge||It’s really cool to have a Dad who’s an astronaut, but actually Jamie misses having him around. When Jamie picks up a strange signal on his phone, he realises aliens are getting closer and his Dad is in danger. Can he save the day?|
|9780571340200||The Legend of Podkin One-Ear||Kieran Larwood||Podkin is the son of a warrior chieftain, so when the warren is attacked, Podkin has to rise to the challenge of protecting the rabbits and defeating Gorm, the most horrifying enemy rabbitkind has ever known.|
|9781407171289||The Light Jar||Lisa Thompson||In the dead of night, Nate and his Mum run away to a tumbledown cottage in the middle of a forest. When Mum heads off for food and dosen’t return, Nate is left alone and afraid with shadows all around him. But comfort comes from an unexpected place and the reappearance of someone from his past.|
|9781509810727||The Never-Ending Birthday||Katie Dale||When Max and Anni have the worst birthday ever, as they blow out the candles on their cake they make one wish – to be able to do that day again. And again. Until they get things right.|
|9781911370048||The Pavee and the Buffer Girl||Siobhan Dowd||Jim is a teenage traveller, whose family have stopped at the town of Dundray in Ireland. Jim is made to go to school but it proves a hostile place for traveller children except for one girl, Kit, who tries to help him find some peace. A moving story based on many true accounts of travellers’ lives . Illustrated with stunning ink-and -wash artwork bringing the story vividly to life.|
|9780571332540||The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club||Alex Bell||When Stella joins the Polar Bear Explorers on an expedition to the Icelands, her eyes are opened to a world of danger , adventure and snow pirates! There are giant yetis, magical golden geese and important friendships to be made.|
|9781471146244||The Pudding Problem||Joe Berger||Sam Little declares he is NOT a liar but that might not be completely true! Maybe he tells the odd porky pie or stretches the truth now and again. An hilarious graphic novel where Sam’s experiments with the truth get him into all sorts of trouble.|
|9780440871170||The Silver Boy||Kristina Ohlsson||The curious silver boy outside Aladdin’s parent’s restaurant leaves no footprints when he runs away and always seems to disappear. Aladdin and his friends are drawn into a web of secrets, treasure and crime when they set out to investigate|
|9781681197883||The Song from Somewhere Else||A. F. Harrold||Frank doesn’t know how to feel when Nick Underbridge rescues her from bullies one afternoon. No one likes Nick. He’s big, he’s weird and he smells – or so everyone thinks. And yet, there’s something nice about Nick’s house. There’s strange music playing there, and it feels light and good and makes Frank feel happy for the first time in forever.|
|9781444936728||The Wizards of Once||Cressida Cowell||Xar is a wizard. Trouble is, he has no magic at all and will do anything to get it. Wish is a warrior. She has too much magic for her own good and will do anything to hide it. Sooner rather than later, their worlds are going to collide.|
|9781784292744||There May Be a Castle||Piers Torday||On Christmas Eve, Mouse and his family set off in the snow and freezing temperatures to his grandparents. They never arrive. Thrown from the car, Mouse finds himself, along with a sheep and a bossy horse in a strange, magic land. Together they set off on a journey, somewhere, to find something very important…|
|9781910989449||Wed Wabbit||Lissa Evans||Fidge and her awful cousin Graham (and his ‘transitonary toy’ plastic carrot), have somehow ended up in the garish land of the Wimbly Woos that is straight out of her little sister’s picture book. Battling against brightly coloured political correctness and an evil, giant, phonetically challenged rabbit, they need to find their way home before they wind up dead or completely insane.|
|9781509840472||Welcome to Nowhere||Elizabeth Laird||Twelve year old Omar is from the beautiful and bustling city of Bosra, Syria. Omar wants to become a successful businessman but soon bombs are falling and Omar and his family have to flee their home and homeland. But where do you go when you can’t go home?|
|9781406371703||William Wenton and the Luridium Thief||Bobbie Peers||William is in hiding with his family after the mysterious disappearance of his Grandfather. His talent for cracking codes gets him kidnapped and taken to the secretive Institute for Post Human Reasearch. What secrets are the Institute hiding? Impossible puzzles, cybernetic creatures and bloodthirsty robots all try to stop him finding out the truth.|
|9781406373189||Raymie Nightingale||Kate DiCamillo||Raymie has a plan – a plan that will surely bring her desperately-missed father back into her life. After all, what father will not sit up and take notice when his daughter wins the State baton-twirling contest? But life does not always go according to plan…|