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Suggested reading for Year 7 and Year 8: Autumn Term

Bone Talk

Here are some of our favourite books that are perfect for pupils in Year 7 and Year 8 to read during the Autumn term.

Tips for teachers

Programmes for schools

  • The Wordsmith

    Author: Patricia Forde
    Publisher: Little Island Books
    Interest age: 13-17
    Reading age: 11+

    Letta is a Wordsmith: responsible for handing out words to people who need them, she has never questioned why language is rationed. This post-apocalyptic thriller is full of jeopardy, nail-biting tension and some profound themes.

  • No Fixed Address

    Author: Susin Nielsen
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 11-15
    Reading age: 11+

    If Felix can win Canada’s biggest junior quiz show, he and his mum can stop living in a car park. Or is that just wishful thinking? Felix’s story is hard to put down and the gritty issue of homelessness is tackled with sensitivity and gentle humour.

  • Kerb-Stain Boys: The Crongton Broadway Robbery

    Author: Alex Wheatle
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 12+

    Briggsy, his best friend Terror and the love of Terror’s life, Caldonia, are 14 year olds living on the wrong side of the tracks. Soon, their vague fantasy of robbing a post office descends into farce. A hilarious, thrilling and uplifting read that's a breath of fresh air.

  • The House in Poplar Wood

    Author: K E Ormsbee
    Publisher: Chronicle Books
    Interest age: 10-14
    Reading age: 12+

    Thirteen-year-old twins, Felix and Lee, live in the same house but lead very separate lives. Skilfully combining a gripping plot, intriguing characters and a convincing alternative world, populated by sinister beings, this is a dark and compelling novel.

  • Banana Sunday

    Author: Paul Tobin Illustrator: Colleen Coover
    Publisher: Oni Press
    Interest age: 11-16
    Reading age: 9+

    Fitting into a new school isn’t easy, as Kirby discovers. This full-colour graphic novel in a school setting has an intriguing mystery and a trio of wacky, talking primates, which wittily explores "otherness" in a number of ways. 

  • Stay A Little Longer

    Author: Bali Rai
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 8+

    Since Aman’s father died, nothing has been the same. Then she befriends a new neighbour, who is lonely too. This warm, optimistic book carries a vital message about the importance of confronting and resisting homophobia in all parts of society. 

  • Conspiracy of Ravens

    Author: Leah Moore / John Reppion / Sally Jane Thompson
    Publisher: Dark Horse Comics / Penguin Random House
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 10+

    Anne Ravenhall is just trying to get through her exams at boarding school - until a mysterious aunt leaves her a mysterious locket. Soon, she's caught up in a roaring supernatural adventure...

  • Firebird

    Author: Elizabeth Wein
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 10+

    The atmosphere and setting of World War Two Russia are brought vividly to life through Anastasia: she’s a young woman full of hope and dreams, yet entirely a product of her country. This novella packs a real punch.

  • Lou Out of Luck

    Author: Nat Luurtsema
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 10+

    Lou’s life is not going to plan, but maybe she can rescue the situation with a little help from her performance club and a second-best friend who is into stuffed stoats. A great choice for anyone looking for light reading that will make them laugh out loud.

  • Bone Talk

    Author: Candy Gourlay
    Publisher: David Fickling Books
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 10+

    Samkad is a boy from a remote Filipino "headhunter" tribe called Bontok in the highlands of the Philippines, back in around 1899 – on the brink of invasion by American invaders. A brilliant, exciting and fascinating adventure story.

  • Sheets

    Author: Brenna Thummler
    Publisher: Cub House Press
    Interest age: 11+
    Reading age: 11+

    At just 13, Marjorie has to run the family launderette. When a plan emerges to turn it into a posh yoga retreat, unexpected help comes from some sheet-wearing ghosts. A beautiful, modern, clever and funny graphic novel about bereavement and family.

  • For Every One

    Author: Jason Reynolds
    Publisher: Knights Of/404 Ink
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    The wonderful Jason Reynolds has written this seamless long-form poem about achieving your dreams and reaching your potential. A small but perfectly formed and utterly delightful book: an ideal pick-me-up for everyone.