#HookedOnBooks: your recommendations

Published on: 07 February 2019 Author: Robbie Hunt

When SF Said put together his list of 30 books to help find a breakthrough book for reluctant readers he asked for your recommendations too... and boy did you guys deliver.

Illustration: Erika Meza

We asked for your recommendations and you responded with a deluge of fantastic books. With contributions from authors and illustrators to teachers and parents, there is definitely at least one book amongst these lists and piles to get any reluctant reader #hookedonbooks.

So without further ado, let's get stuck in:

Our recommendations

Some of our brilliant staff couldn't contain their excitement when asked to recomend some books (surprise, surprise).

The all knowing (when it comes to kid's books anyway) Emily Drabble gave us this stack of books, including some real standouts such as The Novice, Liccle Bit and Chasing the Stars.

Emily Drabble's recommendations

@EmilyDrabs - Which books will get a child hooked on reading? @whatSFSaid shares his brilliant choices with @BookTrust and here is a photograph of some of mine! Share yours too #hookedonbooks

Our Books Editor Anna McKerrow's recommendations include The Song From Somewhere Else, I Can Only Draw Worms and Survivors.

Anna McKerrow's recommendations

@AnnaMcKerrow - How do we get kids #hookedonbooks? @whatSFSaid has inspired me to share some recent BRILLIANT books that kids will love

Our resident books guru Isabel aka BOOKY THOUGHT came along with two comprehensive lists, one for older children and one for teens. Our key picks being Murder in Midwinter, Roller Girl, Booked and How I Live Now.

Isabel aka Booky Thought's recommendations

@bookythought - Some more suggestions for #HookedOnBooks! The ones in blue I was thinking about for readers aged 10-14 or thereabouts, and the ones in green for teens (or thereabouts!)

Authour recommendations

The hilarious Andy Stanton, creator of the Mr Gum series, gave us his recommendations including Coram BoyHow to Train Your Dragon and Ribblestrop.

Andy Stanton's recommendations

@AndyStanton15 - Here's my list of 30 books to get kids #HookedOnBooks.

Our former Writer-Illustrator in Residence, the fantastic Sarah McIntyre, gave us a pile of some beautifully illustrated books, including Bunny vs Monkey, Curse of the Werewolf Boy and Goblins.

Sarah McIntyre's recommendations

@jabberworks - Ten books to get kids reading, for #HookedOnBooks (as rummaged up just now in my studio).

Swapna Haddow, creator of the side-splittingly hilarious Dave Pigeon series, just couldn't get it down to 30 and gave us 32 books including The WitchesPax and El Deafo.

Swapna Haddow's recommendations

@SwapnaHaddow - Here are my 30 books to get young readers #hookedonbooks

The awesome Ross Montgomery gave us his list (also showing off his fancy grown-up books) with some great recommendations, including OneNorthern Lights and Mortal Engines.

Ross Montgomery's recommendations

@mossmontmomery - Here are my choices for @Booktrust #HookedOnBooks - some of my fave kids books, MG and YA, old and new, famous and not so famous! Haven't even *thought* about picture books...

The award-winning Metaphrogs, Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, gave us a graphic novel bonanza, including The ArrivalMaus and Persepolis.

Metaphrogs' recommendations

@metaphrog - Inspired by @whatSFSaid's great #HookedOnBooks article on  @Booktrust, here are 30 books we recommend to get kids hooked on graphic novels!

The officially funny (Blue Peter recognised), Andy Seed, argued for poetry and non-fiction being the key, with a list including You are AwesomeFootball School and Joan Procter Dragon Doctor.

Andy Seed's recommendations

@andyseedauthor - For many kids, especially the more reluctant readers, the hook will be funny poetry and highly visual factual books #HookedOnBooks

Rashmi Sirdeshpande, whose debut novel is due to be published this year, came with a fat stack of awesome books, including Ada Twist, ScientistOi Frog and The Bear and the Piano.

Rashmi Sirdeshpande's recommendations

@RashmiWriting - Agree with @whatSFSaid @Booktrust: “I believe there's a book for every single child out there: a book that will get them #HookedOnBooks”. Here are my 32 picture book picks - from factual and funny to lyrical and uplifting. Something for every child (and adult).

Matt Carr, author/illustrator of Spyder and Superbat, drew his recommendations in to an awesome picture, including The Tiger That Came to TeaNot Now Bernard and The Hobbit.

Matt Carr Designs' recommendations

@mattcarrdesigns - Hey @EmilyDrabs @Booktrust @whatSFSaid I spoke to the family about their favourites and here they are along with mine...#HookedOnBooks Apologies if i've got some names wrong!👍

Zana Fraillon, author of the fantastic Bone Sparrow, chose her pile of books including A Monster CallsWolf Brother and The London Eye Mystery.

Zana Fraillon's recommendations

@ZanaFraillon - Oh there are so many!!! Here are the ones I could get my hands on that have hooked my kids and me (and many a friend...), and haven’t even started on the picture books yet!

Sara Grant, author of the fantastic Chasing Danger series, gave us a smaller selection perfect for older children and teens, including Last Chance HotelA Gathering Light and Every Day.

Sara Grant's recommendations

@AuthorSaraGrant - I’ve partnered some old favourites with some of my new favourites. Just devoured NIGHT OF THE PARTY by & THE LAST CHANCE HOTEL by . ACCIDENTAL PIRATES by is magical, page-turning action.  

Elaine Wickson, author of the super funny Planet Stan, showed off her books (and book balacing skills), including Which WitchArtemis Fowl and Muddle Earth.

Elaine Wickson's recommendations

@elainewickson - "I believe there's a book for every single child out there: a book that will get them " - is right, EVERYONE can be a reader. Here’s my selection of 30-ish books that will definitely hook you like a lil fish on a sort of book fishing line.

The wonderful Christopher Edge, author of The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, chose his 30 books, including Wed WabbitThe Legend of Podkin One Ear and Fortunately the Milk.

Christopher Edge's recommendations

@edgechristopher - Totally agree with and that "everyone can be  reader… when they find their favourite book" and here's my pile of 30 books that I'd recommend to hook a reader - plus a bonus pic of three more that might do the trick!

Zoe Armstrong cheated on her 30 books having her actual child suggest them (we should have thought of that!) and her pile included The JourneyStig of the Dump and Dave's Cave.

Zoe Armstrong's recommendations

@MsZoeArmstrong - Here’s my  stack inspired by @booktrust and . All breathtakingly brilliant and approved by a real life kid

Emily Gale took to Instagram (fancy!) to give us her suggestions including Dog ManThe Bad Guys and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. She also gave us some great reasons for each book too!

Emily Gale's recommendations

@EmilyGale – (cont...) Then there are the series that have pushed his reading ability without him noticing - Paladero by Steve Lochran, How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Wings of Fire by Tui Sutherland, and The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D'Lacey. If you have a young dragon/dinosaur/animal lover at home, maybe some of these will get them hooked on books. Parents and teachers showing an interest in the books their kids enjoy is the main thing.

Recommendations from parents, teachers, librarians and others

The Blackman family smashed their reccomendations, also giving us some strong book shelf envy, including Wizards of OnceThe Jamie Drake Equation and The Explorer.

The Blackman Family's recommendations

The Blackman Family's recommendations

@blackerschat - Thank you so much for putting this brilliant list together! Sharing some of our son's favourites, who got  after meeting an author. We hope there is a book for someone to get 'hooked' for life

Simon Smith, Headteacher extraordinaire, suggested some fantastic books based of his career experience including Finn Family MoomintrollWolf Wilder and Nightlights.

Simon Smith's recommendationsSimon Smith's recommendations

@smithsmm - Here are my 30  for the @BookTrust. Old, new, pictures or words...one thing in common...They all carry memories and moments. They are all amazing. 

Roth Library delivered their recommendations in the form of this brilliant display, including Crossover and Charlotte's Web.

Roth Library's recommendations

@roth_library - We have our first Hooked on Books challenge complete! Way to go!

The guys over at Parrot Street Book Club stopped mid-work to give us their suggestions, including Hilo and Phoenix.

Parrot Street Book Club's recommendations

@parrot_street - Loving this thread! Here are a few of the amazing #kidsbooks that have really helped get my boys 

Hounslow School Library Service just could not choose their favourite 30 and instead showed off aplethora of brilliant books.

Hounslow School Library Service's recommendations

@HounslowSLS - Look at all our lovely, shiny, new fiction books! We're absolutely  here, so it was hard for us to pick just thirty to recommend!

Isabel Thomas gave us a some brilliant suggestions, all of which helped get her three boys in to reading, including Stormbreaker, Rooftoppers and Penguin.

Isabel Thomas' recommendations

@isabelwriting - It hasn't been a breeze getting my three sons ... Or to write / draw themselveshere are some that they've formed strong attachments to past and present, that have sparked desire to collect a series or seek out all titles by a writer / illustrator...

Anna Gurevitch picled not only one, but two stacks of books ranging from picture books to YA, including Young, Gifted and BlackMatilda and The Art of Being Normal.

Anna Gurevitch's recommendations

@gurevitchesque - A wee selection for various ages ... but a library, of course, will have more books ...

Laura, mum of the amazing Book Faith, gave us their 'cream of the crop' including Lockwood & Co, The State of Grace and Sawbones.

Laura and Book Faith's recommendations

@272BookFaith - A selection of Faith's "all time favourite" books for  📚 As she's read well over 3000, these really must be the cream of the crop 😍

The brilliant staff at Raines Reed School Library, came up with three piles of books that have helped their students fall in love with reading, including Kerb-Stain BoysThe Recruit and Children of Blood and Bone.

Raines Reed Foundation school library's recommendations

@RainesReads - We enjoyed @whatSFSaid's suggestions so here's our recommendations 

The lovely Lib with Attitude drew on her wealth of experience to come with her suggestions to engage reluctant readers, including Amazing GraceTell Me a Dragon and Skulduggery Pleasant.

Lib With Attitude's recommendations

@LibWithAttitude - Well that was fun! In response to @whatSFSaid article for @BookTrust, my top 30 books to get kids reading taken from my home book shelves 

Wellington College Belfast Library gave us their amazing suggestions recommendations, including Un Lun DunPercy Jackson and Tape.

Wellington College Belfast Library's recommendations

@WCBLIBRARY All great reads. 

Wellington College Belfast Library gave us their amazing suggestions recommendations, including The DreamsnatcherThe Goldfish Boy and Goth Girl.

Rebecca Rouillard's recommendations

@rrouillard - These are some of the books that got my kids ...plus a special mention of The Tiger Who Came to Tea - the first book my daughter remembers reading herself. @BookTrust @whatSFSaid

From the otherside of the world Megan aka NZ Book Hoarder, gave us some wonderful suggestions that have helped her dyslexic son, including Tom's Midnight GardenA Series of Unfortunate Events and The Marvels.

Megan's recommendations

@nz_book_hoarder - I spent my childhood with my nose in a book so it was a bit of a shock when my eldest son (now 14) was diagnosed with dyslexia. He still can't read a chapter book but is nonetheless  ! Here are some of his favourites...

The Chandlings Library gave us some brilliant suggestions, including The Graveyard BookThe Last Wild and The School of Good and Evil.

Chandlings Library's recommendations

@ChandLibrary This is such a wonderful list - thank you for all your recommendations! Here are some popular suggestions from the Chandlings Library :)

Anna the Bookworm drew on both her work as a TA, as well as her enjoyment of reading books, to come up with a great batch of suggestions, including Witch WarsRabbit and Bear and Hamish and the Worldstoppers.

Anna the Bookworm's recommendations

@ScoutFinch_75 - These are some of the books that I have personally seen get children 


A massive thank you to everyone who got involved. Please continue the chat to help us get kids #hookedonbooks

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