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Great Books Guide 2017: for 8-9 year olds

Good Dog McTavish

The Great Books Guide is published as part of Children's Book Week, a celebration of reading for pleasure at school.

Here's a round-up of books from over the last year (2017), which we think any child will love.

For children in Year 4 or 5 (aged 8-9), check out our recommended books below.

Check out the full Great Books Guide

  • Bad Mermaids

    Sibéal Pounder, illustrated by Jason Cockroft
    Bloomsbury

    Beattie, Mimi and Zelda will change the way you see mermaids forever as they attempt to save their home of Swirlyshell in this delightfully silly story from the author of Witch Wars.

  • Dog Man: Unleashed

    Dav Pilkey, interior colour by Jose Garibaldi
    Scholastic

    Dog Man – a policeman with the head of a dog, thanks to innovative surgical procedures – is the greatest cop ever. A zany cartoon story delivered in short, colourful chapters in Dav Pilkey’s brilliantly irreverent style. 

  • Good Dog McTavish

    Meg Rosoff, Illustrated by Grace Easton
    Barrington Stoke

    When fluffy pooch McTavish moves in, he finds his new family in quite a pickle. But not to worry because he's sure he’ll have them retrained in no time at all. A charming and heartwarming short novel, full of spark, keen observations and sly humour.

  • My Mum’s Growing Down

    Laura Dockrill, illustrated by David Tazzyman
    Faber & Faber

    What do you do if your mum loves nothing better than complaining in restaurants and calling museum guards fruit bats? What if she makes you hold hands in the cinema, won’t stop playing on the PlayStation, has custard on her dress and insists on you telling her a bedtime story? The little boy that describes his creative, warm and often embarrassing mum is (de…

  • Knighthood for Beginners

    Elys Dolan
    Oxford University Press

    This brilliantly illustrated and truly hilarious yarn about Dave the dragon (who is terrible at being a dragon) is great fun to read out loud. It will also make a fabulous first chapter book for a child to read alone.

  • Tales From Weird Street

    Anne Fine, Illustrated by Vicki Gausden
    Barrington Stoke

    Interspersed with black-and-white illustrations to complement the super readable text, this masterclass in storytelling from a distinguished author is fascinating, entertaining and just creepy enough to leave readers feeling a little bit uneasy.

  • The 78-Storey Treehouse

    Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton
    Macmillan

    There’s tons of zany fun in this illustrated novel, which is the fifth in the series. With minimal text per page and brilliant black-and-white illustrations taking up most of the space, the story zips past at lightning speed and is a really easy, funny read.

  • The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart

    Stephanie Burgis, Illustrated by Freya Hartas (chapter headings)
    Bloomsbury

    When spirited young dragon Aventurine is tricked into drinking some enchanted hot chocolate, she is turned into a human girl. Dragons, magic and chocolate combine in this captivating fantasy adventure.

  • Lyttle Lies: The Pudding Problem

    Joe Berger
    Simon & Schuster

    Sam Lyttle likes to skirt around the truth - but, lately, it seems like lying to avoid getting into trouble is making things even worse. Laugh-out-loud moments and a very cute cat – what more could you want?

  • There’s a Werewolf in my Tent!

    Pamela Butchart, Illustrated by Thomas Flintham
    Nosy Crow

    Izzy and her friends are excited about their camping trip - until they realise there may be a dangerous creature in their midst. Full of humour and tension, as the children's wild imaginations construct a hilarious back story to make sense of events.

  • Crazy About Cats

    Owen Davey
    Flying Eye Books

    This beautifully produced hardback with great quality, thick paper pages isn't too long but has plenty to fascinate anyone even halfway interested in any catty creature, from lynx to lion.

  • Stuff You Should Know About The Human Body

    John Farndon, illustrated by Tim Hutchinson
    QED (Quarto)

    What do you need to make a body? How do you breathe, get strong, speak and move? What does your liver do, and where does your food go? Each one of 32 questions are answered in a lively double-page spread, entertainingly illustrated with bright cartoon-like imagery that is nonetheless very detailed: cell activity is depicted as a factory, and the fold-out sec…