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Great Books Guide 2016: age 8+

The Bubble Boy

We've just published the Great Books Guide 2016 for Children's Book Week: a round-up of 60 books from over the last year, which we think your child will love.

These are our favourite books for children aged 8+:

  • The Girl of Ink and Stars

    Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    Publisher: Chicken House

    When her closest friend disappears into the island's Forgotten Territories, Isabella Riosse volunteers to guide the search. A stunning debut, full of myth, magic and mapmaking.

  • The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair

    Author: Lara Williamson
    Publisher: Usborne

    Becket Rumsey decides to investigate the reasons behind the strange actions of some of the adults in his life. With the help of his brother Billy and his pet snail Brian, he uncovers some difficult truths - and some beautiful ones.

  • An Eagle in the Snow

    Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Michael Foreman
    Publisher: HarperCollins

    Stuck on a train, a boy listens to a stranger’s story about one moment that could have stopped World War II. A thought-provoking story that young history enthusiasts will especially welcome.

  • The Wolf Wilder

    Author: Katherine Rundell
    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.

  • The Epic Book of Epicness: The world’s most epic facts in pictures

    Author: Adam Frost
    Publisher: Bloomsbury

    In full colour throughout with great, modern design, this book is extremely well written and fun. Every page is full of genuinely fascinating and unusual facts.

  • The Many Worlds of Albie Bright

    Author: Christopher Edge
    Publisher: Nosy Crow

    A son of two scientists, it's only natural that Albie uses quantum theory when his mum dies, to find a parallel universe where she's still alive. Considering the topics covered, it's a light read that even reluctant readers might be tempted to try.

  • Superhero Street

    Author: Phil Earle Illustrator: Sara Ogilvie
    Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

    Superhero Street is a heartwarming and laugh-out-loud read that celebrates mums as the everyday superheroes they are. Sara Ogilvie's illustrations add an even more warm, hilarious background to Earle's realistic family.

  • The Scarlet Files: Cat Burglar

    Author: Tamsin Cooke
    Publisher: Oxford University Press

    Scarlet McCall is schoolgirl by day and a cat burglar by night. Her father has taught her to help him burgle houses and return artefacts to their rightful owners. When her father vanishes she must use all the skills he has taught to find and rescue him.

  • The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth

    Author: Katherine Woodfine
    Publisher: Egmont

    In the follow up to The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, we are reunited with Sophie, Lil and the rest of the gang, and Woodfine introduces some fantastic new characters. Perfect for fans of Chris Riddell, Enid Blyton and Robin Stevens.

  • Perijee and Me

    Author: Ross Montgomery
    Publisher: Faber

    When 11-year-old Caitlin discovers a shrimp-like alien creature on the shores of her island home, she takes responsibility for teaching it about the world. Perfect for fans of Roald Dahl and Studio Ghibli films.

  • The Bubble Boy

    Author: Stewart Foster
    Publisher: Simon and Schuster

    Joe has always lived in a sterile room in a hospital. He's the 'bubble boy': documented on TV because of a rare condition, affecting his immune system, that keeps him vacuum-packed from the rest of society.

  • Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure

    Author: Dr Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman
    Publisher: Flying Eye Books

    Laid out beautifully, covering a science topic on each double-page spread, with information in bite-size chunks, this book will give you activities and brain teasers to keep you occupied for hours.

  • Pax

    Author: Sara Pennypacker Illustrator: Jon Klassen
    Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

    Peter's dad is joining the war, and Peter must leave his pet fox Pax behind. This is a touching story of the bond between a child and his pet, as well as the devastating and often unseen consequences of war.

  • Rent a Bridesmaid

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt
    Publisher: Doubleday

    Tilly's dream is to be a bridesmaid at her mum and dad's wedding, but until mum comes back, Tilly decides to offer to be a bridesmaid for hire. Jacqueline Wilson weaves a magical, tale of love, loss, diversity and friendship.

  • Wings: Flyboy

    Author: Tom Palmer
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke

    On the football field and off it, Jatinder always wants to excel, but he always takes the easy option instead of the risky one.

    Then Jatinder reads a book by a World War 1 pilot - and finds himself transported into battle.

  • Mega Robo Bros

    Author: Neill Cameron
    Publisher: David Fickling Books

    Brothers always find something to fight about. Alex and Freddy are no different - even though they're also the most powerful robots in the universe.

  • The Bone Sparrow

    Author: Zana Fraillon
    Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

    Focusing on a friendship between two young refugees, The Bone Sparrow is one of those rare, special books that will break your heart with its honesty and beauty - but is ultimately hopeful and uplifting.

  • How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury

    Author: Cressida Cowell
    Publisher: Hodder

    This is the final instalment in the How to Train Your Dragon series and it packs an emotional punch. It brings together every adventure Hiccup and his friends have had, as well as reintroducing old characters and tying up loose ends.

  • Smart About Sharks

    Author: Owen Davey
    Publisher: Flying Eye

    Presenting an ever-popular topic, this fantastic, high quality illustrated book is fascinating and attractive.

  • The Sword of Herobrine

    Author: Jim Anotsu
    Publisher: Puffin

    Arthur's sister Mallu is obsessed with Minecraft. When a mysterious code sucks her into the Overworld, he has no choice but to follow her. This unofficial fan story has all the thrills and spills of an accessible adventure story.