Great Books Guide 2016: age 8+
Kiran Millwood Hargrave
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.
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.
Michael Morpurgo Illustrated by Michael Foreman
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.
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.
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.
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.
Phil Earle, Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman
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.
Sara Pennypacker, Illustrated by Jon Klassen
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.
Jacqueline Wilson, Illustrated by Nick Sharratt
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Presenting an ever-popular topic, this fantastic, high quality illustrated book is fascinating and attractive.
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.