Must Read Booklist 2017

MustRead2017banner40 of the best new fiction titles for your primary school Library, aimed at years 5 and 6.
The Must Read Book list is our annual selection 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.

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 2017 Teen and Primary lists will be chosen for the 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 jacob.turner@towerhamlets.gov.uk (subject to availability)


Read the full list
Authors Title Synopsis
Murphy, Adam Lost tales An invisible warrior longing to be seen; a greedy king trying to cheat fate; a lonely princess who became friends with a sea monster. Eight lost stories from around the world.
Boyce, Frank Cottrell Astounding broccoli boy Rory Rooney is prepared for anything, up to and including a hippo attack. What he’s not prepared for is discovering that he’s turning green. Broccoli green. Is he turning into a super hero, or has he just eaten something that disagrees with him?
Bradman, Tony Master Will and the Spanish spy All young Will Shakespeare wants is to join the troupe of players, but there’s a dangerous reality to the drama…
Bunzl, Peter Cogheart Lily’s father is missing and silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her? With her friends – Robert, the clockmaker’s son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox – Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing Victorian world. Too soon Lily realises that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart…
Caldecott, Elen Spooks and scooters A dream holiday is cancelled because of the theft of the blueprints for a revolutionary new scooter. Now it’s up to the Marsh Road investigators to solve the mystery!
Cooke, Tamsin Cat burglar As a result of slipping her hand into an Aztec bracelet, a race-against-time ensue for Scarlett as she tries to find and release her father from his captivity in the hands of an evil gang, in time for him to take his diabetes medicine.
Cotterill, Jo Electrigirl Holly used to be an ordinary girl, but a rogue lightning bolt has given her the superpower of accidentally blowing things up. Now she needs to learn to control her powers in time to stop a really creepy mobile phone company…
Crossley-Holland, Kevin Heartsong Laura is an orphan abandoned by her mother in 18th century Venice. She has no voice but she does have a gift for music which is discovered by the composer, Vivaldi.
Day, Susie Pea’s book of best friends When Pea Llewellyn’s dizzy but dazzling single mum becomes a bestselling author, everything changes. It’s time to leave their tiny flat in Tenby for a proper house in London, and a whole new life – but Pea also needs a new best friend…..
Delahaye, Rachel Jim Reaper, son of Grim Jim’s problems start off simple – he doesn’t have the latest scooter. Then things become more tricky, from Mum’s anchovy tea to finding out exactly what Dad does for a living…
Dodd, Amber We are giants Sydney really doesn’t want to move house, she doesn’t want to have to make new friends and she certainly doesn’t want to grow taller than her dwarfish mum, but life has to go on, even if you don’t want it to….
Earle, Phil The war next door The Milners own Storey Street – well they want to – but right now they just bully everyone on it. Until the Jessop’s caravan arrives and fearless Jemima threatens to end their reign of terror…
Easton, T S Our house Chloe lives in a less than perfect house. The front door has a mind of its own, one room is decorated with a heavy metal mural and there are enough bats in the attic to keep Batman busy. Her family is less than perfect too, though, so perhaps it’s a good home after all?
Fisher, Justin Ned’s circus of marvels Ned Waddlesworth has always considered his world to be exceptionally ordinary. Until the day he discovers it ISN’T. AT ALL. Because on Ned’s thirteenth birthday he discovers that everything magical he’s ever read about or imagined is REAL.
Gardner, Lyn Rose Campion and the stolen secret Rose was left by her mother at the door of Campion’s Palace of Variety and Wonders as a baby. When murder threatens to destroy the music hall, Rose will need all her performance skills to crack the crime and delve into a murky past of blackmail, subterfuge and abduction…
Gemin, Giancarlo R Sweet pizza Joe’s Italian great-grandfather opened his cafe in Wales in 1929. Today, inspired by stories of persecution of his family during the war, Joe vows to save the cafe, and bring Italian culture back to the high street.
Gibbons, Alan The lion roars Jimi knows the names of all the great African footballers, and he wants nothing more than to wear the kit of the Lions of Senegal. Can his daydreams be more than just dreams?
Green, Julia The wilderness war The wilderness is the perfect place for building dens and inventing games. And it’s the perfect place for the wildlife that have made it their home. Everything seems perfect until the day that the ‘Land for sale’ sign appears…
Haig, Matt A boy called Christmas This is the true story of Father Christmas. It’s impossible, and it gets a little bit dark, but by the end you’ll believe in magic.
Hargrave, Kiran Millwood The girl of ink & stars The world beyond Isabella’s island is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Setting off to find her friend, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.
Harrison, Michelle The other Alice What happens to stories if they are left unfinished? Do the characters stay within their pages? Or do they wander, and make their own ending?
Ho-Yen, Polly Where monsters lie Legend tells of monsters living in the depths of Mivtown loch. When strange things begin happening in the village, Finn and Effie discover that darkness is not limited to the deep waters…
Jones, Rob Lloyd Jake Atlas and the tomb of the emerald snake The Atlas family is in trouble. Jake hides an addiction to stealing and his twin sister, Pan, has to conceal her genius for fear of bullies. The siblings can’t stop fighting – with each other and with their parents. But Jake’s and Pan’s lives take a dramatic turn the day they discover the truth about their boring mum and dad.
Kaaberbøl, Lene Wildfire (Wildwitch series) Having barely recovered from her last adventure (Wildwitch: Oblivion), Clara barely has time to adjust to her new powers and a strange cat companion before she receives a cry for help…
Khan, Joshua Shadow magic Lilith Shadow rules Gehenna from Castle Gloom, an immense windowless citadel. Once Lily’s ancestors commanded spirits, communed with the dead and raised armies from out of the grave, but now her country is about to be conquered by the lords of light.
Leonard, M G Beetle boy Darkus Cuttle can’t believe that his father is the sort of man to just ‘disappear’. He also can’t believe it when a giant beetle seems to want to communicate with him – how can a boy be friends with a beetle? And can the beetle help him find his father?
Montgomery, Ross Perijee & me The shrimp-like alien creature Caitlin discovers on the shores of her island home just won’t stop eating and won’t stop growing! When the authorities try to hunt him down Perijee disappears and starts causing trouble. Caitlin must leave home and travel across the country to try and convince Perijee to stop destroying everything before it’s too late.
Palmer, Tom Wings : flyboy Jatinder, always one to play it safe, finds himself transported into the past – into the life of Sikh fighter pilot Hardit Singh Malik…
Reeve, Philip Pugs of the frozen north Competition is fierce to win the race to the top of the world… but Sika and Shen have something the other contestants don’t have – they have a 264 pug-powered sled!
Rosen, Michael Uncle Gobb and the dread shed Nobody likes Uncle Gobb and Malcolm can’t work out why he polishes his face. Gobb thinks he’s trying to save the world, but he doesn’t like people asking (or answering) the wrong questions. Only bamboozling will stop him! (any resemblance to education ministers is purely coincidental).
Rundell, Katherine The wolf wilder Wolf pups can fetch a thousand roubles and are said to bring luck to a household, but they can never be truly tamed. Feodora is a wolf wilder, who takes wolves when they outgrow their household and teaches them to be as strong and as wild as the country where they were born.
Sedgwick, Julian Shadow of the Yangtze Ruby and Charlie must follow the Yangtze river for thousands of miles to rescue Fei, but it is a dark and dangerous journey….
Solomons, David My gym teacher is an alien overlord Luke resents not having superpowers (unlike his brother) and it doesn’t help matters that he knows that aliens are attacking Earth and no one believes him. Will Luke’s jealousy of his brother be our planet’s downfall?
Stewart, Paul Mind warp 500 years ago the robots turned on the humans and pushed them to the edge of extinction. Now, the final battle is beginning.
Woodfine, Katherine The mystery of the jewelled moth Edwardian London high society is fancy enough, but it gets even more exciting when our heroines follow a trail of clues and cucumber sandwiches leading to a criminal mastermind…
Pearson, Luke Hilda and the midnight giant When invisible creatures bombard Hilda’s house with eviction notices, it looks as though she might be moving to the town. And who is this giant who only appears at midnight, and why is Hilda the only person who can see him?
Murty, Sudha Serpent’s revenge India’s greatest epic, the Mahabharata, introduced through a collection of extraordinary tales
Cliff, Tony Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling A graphic novel set during the Naoleonic Wars with a female adventuress who’d rather fight a duel with her twin swords than put on a ballgown, her ever-patient and introverted friend Mr Selim (who basically is the God of Teamaking) and a turncoat British Army major. Also swordfights, motherly disapproval and occasional explosions.
Halahmy, Miriam Yasmin’s journey Syria is at war. After losing their father, Yasmin and her brother, Ali, are forced into a perilous journey in search of safety.
D’Adamo, Francesco Oh! Freedom Peg Leg Joe can lead Tommy and his family to Canada and to freedom along the secret underground railroad, but it is a dangerous journey and runaway slaves when caught are dealt with very severely
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