New children's books we love

Every month, we review dozens of books for children and teenagers. Here are the ones we liked best in October: guaranteed to get your child reading... 

Whether they're a teeny toddler or a very particular teen, this is where you can find your child's next amazing book: just scroll down to find books for a range of ages. 

You can also keep track of the latest titles by looking at our past reading recommendations for:

SeptemberAugustJuly | JuneMayApril

We've sorted our favourite new books into rough age ranges, but this is just a guide and readers might find something they'll love in a different category. 

For ages 0-3 and up

Trace the Trails: Follow That Truck!

Author: Georgie Taylor Illustrator: Sam Meredith

A truck makes its way through a busy city, heading to a construction site and passing houses, farms and children on their way to school. A chunky board book with thick pages for little ones to grasp and hold.

Read more about Trace the Trails: Follow That Truck!

For ages 4-5 and up

A Story About Afiya

Author: James Berry Illustrator: Anna Cunha

Afiya’s fine black skin contrasts beautifully with her flowing white dress, as she skips through the landscape and encounters a variety of plants and animals in this lyrical picture book.

Read more about A Story About Afiya

Be Kind

Author: Pat Zietlow Miller Illustrator: Jen Hill

Tanisha is so embarrassed when she spills grape juice on her dress at school, but the little girl telling the story thinks of lots of ways she can show kindness to someone in trouble. A wonderful picture book that reminds us that being kind is one of the simplest and most profound things we can do.

Read more about Be Kind

Creature Features: Oceans

Author: Natasha Durley

Organised into eleven double page spreads of creatures with enormous eyes, snazzy spikes, black and white markings, fantastic fins and many more, this large board book is the perfect introduction to ocean wildlife for young readers. 

Read more about Creature Features: Oceans

Jonathan the Magic Pony

Author: Stuart Heritage Illustrator: Nicola Slater

Jonathan the pony has been practicing his magic tricks and he's ready to show the world! But things don't quite go to plan, and when he accidentally makes everyone disappear, it's up to Sarah to save the day.

Read more about Jonathan the Magic Pony

Rapunzel to the Rescue

Author: Lucy Rowland Illustrator: Katy Halford

Expecting the story of the princess trapped in a high tower? Well, this Rapunzel sets out to rescue a prince being kept prisoner by a mercenary witch!

Read more about Rapunzel to the Rescue


Author: Laura Gallagher Illustrator: Nicci Martin

A thoughtful and entertaining, robot-themed, picture book for early years and preschool children that can serve as a foundation for conversations about premature birth, adoption, surrogacy and IVF.   

Read more about Robo-Babies

Say Goodbye... Say Hello

Author: Cori Doerrfeld

Even the most difficult times, like saying goodbye to a pet when it dies, or a friend when they move house, can lead to saying hello to a heart full of emotion and letting go. Cori Doerrfeld's beautiful picture book is perfect to talking to children about feelings of sadness or in times of change.

Read more about Say Goodbye... Say Hello

The Monstrous Tale of Celery Crumble

Author: Ben Joel Price

A witty, dynamic, cautionary tale about a seemingly angelic little girl who doesn’t like saying sorry. 

Read more about The Monstrous Tale of Celery Crumble

I Say Boo, You Say Hoo

Author: John Kane

The rules are simple: if you see the colour blue, you must shout out Stinky Poo! If you see a tree, you have to shout ME! Sounds easy enough - but things get sillier and sillier in this hilarious call and response book.

Read more about I Say Boo, You Say Hoo

For ages 6-8 and up

Baller Boys

Author: Venessa Taylor Illustrator: Kenneth Ghann

The big football trial to join All Cultures United is coming up, and football-crazy besties Shay and Frankie can't wait to join the team. But can their friendship survive when only one of them gets a spot?

Read more about Baller Boys

Dream Team: A Case of the Jitters

Author: Tom Percival

Erika and the Dream Team are on a mission to help Chanda, a girl who has too many worries - but can they defeat the insidious Jitter before Chanda's spark is lost forever?

Read more about Dream Team: A Case of the Jitters

Pretend Cows

Author: Nicola Davies Illustrator: Cathy Fisher

When Maxy's beloved herd of cows has to be killed for suspected disease, Maxy refuses to believe they're gone, choosing instead to sit in her favourite tree and talk to them as if they're still there. But when Mum falls ill and Maxy starts to help Dad with his chickens, she finds a way to heal.

Read more about Pretend Cows

Rock Bottom: A Midsummer Nightmare

Author: Ross Montgomery Illustrator: Mark Beech

When Nick discovers that his crush, Jessie, is leaving at the end of term to go to drama school, he devises a plan  - show off his acting talents and ensure that she falls madly in love with him. There's only one problem - he's been cast as the donkey in the school play...

Read more about Rock Bottom: A Midsummer Nightmare

The Goody

Author: Lauren Child

Chirton is an angelic child who helps out, eats his greens and looks after his little sister Myrtle. Myrtle, however, is very naughty, and nobody ever lets her forget it. But what happens when they decide to swap places?

Read more about The Goody

The Monster Doctor

Author: John Kelly

There's chaos at the local monster doctor's surgery - so Ozzy steps in to help out. It's one calamity after another in this fast-paced story, packed with oddball characters and irresistible illustrations.

Read more about The Monster Doctor

Dear Ugly Sisters and Other Poems

Author: Laura Mucha Illustrator: Tania Rex

A stunningly original collection of accessible poems from the witty and wry to more thought-provoking and wise.

Read more about Dear Ugly Sisters and Other Poems

Season of the Witch: A Spellbinding History of Witches and Other Magical Folk

Author: Matt Ralphs Illustrator: Nuria Tamarit

This beautifully illustrated book provides an introduction to a variety of magical cultures, from Haitian vodou and Central American brujeria to more well known practices such as Wicca.

Read more about Season of the Witch: A Spellbinding History of Witches and Other Magical Folk

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright!

Author: Various (selected by Fiona Waters) Illustrator: Britta Teckentrup

A lavishly illustrated, hardback gift book with an animal poem for every day of the year.

Read more about Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright!

For ages 9-11 and up

Boy, Everywhere

Author: A. M. Dassu

The story of Sami, a Syrian boy who is forced to leave his home with nothing when war strikes. 

Read more about Boy, Everywhere

Jungledrop: The Unmapped Chronicles Book Two

Author: Abi Elphinstone

A riotous and witty fantasy adventure in which miserable, warring twins must find a way to work together if they are to save two worlds from being swallowed up by dark magic.

Read more about Jungledrop: The Unmapped Chronicles Book Two

Life of Riley: Beginner's Luck

Author: Simon James Green

Following a badly timed sneeze at a funfair, Riley finds himself cursed - everything he does is doomed to be a complete disaster, whether it's wetting himself onstage or losing the school rabbit. Could his cool new friend Brad Chicago be the antidote?

Read more about Life of Riley: Beginner's Luck

Lori and Max and the Book Thieves

Author: Catherine O'Flynn

Ten year old Lori wants to be a detective when she grows up, and she's got all the kit - but crimes are a bit thin on the ground. That is, until her best friend Max's phone is stolen and the pair leap into action!

Read more about Lori and Max and the Book Thieves

My Story: Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan

Author: Sufiya Ahmed

This is the incredible true story of Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim woman who spied for Britain during the Second World War. Noor is written by Sufiya Ahmed as a brave and fiercely impassioned young woman, painting her life with meticulous detail and a realistic first person voice.

Read more about My Story: Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan

October, October

Author: Katya Balen

October has a happy life living with her dad in the forest - but when Dad gets injured in an accident, she's forced to go and live with her estranged mum in the city, where nothing is natural and everything feels new and frightening. Can October let her mum into her heart?

Read more about October, October

My Life as a Cat

Author: Carlie Sorosiak

Leonard isn’t a cat; he is an alien who has fallen to earth and he needs to get home. So Olive sets out on a road trip to get her pet home to his family.

Read more about My Life as a Cat

Tamarind and the Star of Ishta

Author: Jasbinder Bilan

Tamarind's mum died when she was a baby, so when she goes to stay with her family deep in the Himalayan mountains she's destermined to find out all she can about her. But the house - and family - holds many more secrets than Tamarind thought...

Read more about Tamarind and the Star of Ishta

The Midnight Swan

Author: Catherine Fisher

This gripping conclusion to the compelling Clockwork Crow magical trilogy is set in a dream-like fantasy world, reminiscent of Alice’s Wonderland and rich with elements from Welsh folklore.

Read more about The Midnight Swan

The Night Bus Hero

Author: Onjali Q. Raúf

Hector is a bully who reports an innocent homeless man to the police because he thinks he's probably responsible for a spate of thefts - but when Hector discovers he's got it wrong, he must race to restore justice.

Read more about The Night Bus Hero

The Otherwhere Emporium

Author: Ross MacKenzie

11 year old Mirren is dismayed to learn that her mother is being held captive inside the Nowhere Emporium, an enchanted shop which appears at will in any time or place. Mirren and her friends must race against time to save her from the evil overwhelming the shop. This is a thrilling conclusion to the award-winning Nowhere Emporium trilogy. 

Read more about The Otherwhere Emporium

When Life Gives You Mangoes

Author: Kereen Getten

Twelve year-old Clara can’t remember what happened last summer, or understand why her best friend is so angry with her. What mysteries will she uncover this summer?

Read more about When Life Gives You Mangoes

For teens (12+)

Cane Warriors

Author: Alex Wheatle

This story is inspired by a real life rebellion in British-owned slave plantations in Jamaica in 1760. Moa has spent his entire life on the slave plantation in horrific conditions - but a charismatic leader offers the chance to seize freedom.

Read more about Cane Warriors

I, Ada

Author: Julia Gray

Ada Lovelace is widely regarded as the world's first computer programmer, but did you know she also had a part to play in the history of computer technology? This fictionalised memoir of an important historical figure is smart, funny, and totally relatable.

Read more about I, Ada


Author: Finbar Hawkins

After their mother is murdered by witch-hunters, fifteen year old Evey and her little sister Dill must flee their home and find safety in the Coven. Grief stricken and vowing revenge, Evey heads to the nearby town - where the witch trials are about to begin.

Read more about Witch

BookTrust HomeTime

Looking for something fun as a family? Enjoy storytime with our free online books and videos, play games, win prizes, test your knowledge in our book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.

Go to the HomeTime hub

You might also like...

Themed booklists

Looking for a great book on a theme? Our booklists cover a large range of subjects, from everyday issues to genre, disability, diversity, sporty books, funny books and more.

Great Books Guide

Looking for new books to get kids hooked? The Great Books Guide gives you the lowdown on the ONE HUNDRED best children's books published in 2020.

100 best books over 100 years

This is our list of the 100 best books for children from the last 100 years. It is the ultimate booklist to read before you're 14, with books for children across a wide range of ages.