Great Books Guide: best new children's books from 2018

Here are 100 books from the last year that we think are great – and so will children.

These are not the "best-ever" books or a list of must-reads. We don’t believe in those.

Instead, they are books to engage and excite children all the way up to age 11. They're funny, sad, informative, scary and silly (and everything inbetween). 

If reading is fun, children will want to do it. That's why we believe that the "right" book is always what a child actually wants to read – and we hope this guide helps families and schools to find that book. 

Check out the books by age below, or download the full Great Books Guide 2018 (PDF, 6.02MB).

Search great children's books by age

We've grouped together the books by interest age. Click on the list to see the books and read our reviews.

Great Books Guide 2018: for children aged 0-3

Here's a round-up of new children's books from the last year (2018), which we think any baby or toddler aged 0-3 will love.

Great Books Guide 2018: for 4 to 5 year olds

Here's a round-up of new children's books from the last year (2018), which we think any child aged 4 to 5 will love. We definitely do!

Great Books Guide 2018: for 6 to 7 year olds

Here's a round-up of new children's books from the last year (2018), which we think any child aged 5 to 6 years will love. We definitely do!

Great Books Guide 2018: for 8 to 9 year olds

Here's a round-up of new children's books from the last year (2018), which we think any child aged 8 to 9 will love. We definitely do!

Great Books Guide 2018: for 10 to 11 year olds

Here's a round-up of new children's books from the last year (2018), which we think any child aged 10 to 11 years will love. We definitely do!

Trying to find books for children 12+?

Looking for even more books that older siblings or more advanced readers will love? Here are some suggestions!

Mike

Author: Andrew Norriss

Mike is a smart and humorous take on mental health and figuring out how to follow your own path in life. But it’s also so much more: a brilliant, pacey and engaging story packed with highly relatable characters and an enormously uplifting coming-of-age story.

Read more about Mike

Bone Talk

Author: Candy Gourlay

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.

Read more about Bone Talk

Big Bones

Author: Laura Dockrill

Big Bones is a truly refreshing read, and Bluebelle is a wonderful, honest and utterly hilarious narrator to fall in love with. This book will make readers think about body image in a whole new way, and about the importance of self-respect.

Read more about Big Bones

Below Zero

Author: Dan Smith

When Zac and his family arrive at Outpost Zero in the Antarctica, they are expecting a community in training for a mission to Mars – but they find no one. The tension and sense of dread build rapidly in this brilliantly constructed horror thriller.

Read more about Below Zero

Optimists Die First

Author: Susin Nielsen

Petula's life is ruled by anxiety, fear and pessimism after her little sister died two years before. Then she meets Jacob, and an unconventional love story unfolds. Another five star read from Susin Nielsen: one of the most talented teen writers working today.

Read more about Optimists Die First

Summoner: The Outcast

Author: Taran Matharu

This prequel to the Summoner series is an excellent introduction to the world of Hominum for new readers, and a welcome “what happened before?” for fans. A page-turning battle fantasy with a sensitive consideration of class and corruption.

Read more about Summoner: The Outcast

The Trilogy of Two

Author: Juman Malouf

Fans of Philip Pullman’s sophisticated fantasy will love Juman Malouf’s intricate, strange world of urchin children in a shadowy world full of evil cats, mysterious spheres, circus performers and a remarkable cast of ragtag characters.

Read more about The Trilogy of Two

Rebound

Author: Kwame Alexander

It’s 1988 and Charlie Bell is 12 and going through the hardest time in his life. But while staying with his grandparents, he is introduced to basketball and jazz – and everything changes. Rebound is funny, moving and almost impossible not to read in one sitting.

Read more about Rebound

Secrets of a Teenage Heiress

Author: Katy Birchall

If you were grounded just when you had the chance to hang out with a superstar celebrity, would you risk sneaking out to have some real fun? This first book in a new series about Flick’s life offers engaging, entertaining escapism.

Read more about Secrets of a Teenage Heiress

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Why not celebrate reading for pleasure at a time that suits your child's school? Discover our tips, advice and suggestions for teachers and school librarians. 

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