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By Oxford Owl, posted on 14th July 2020

Summer reading for kids: recommended books

The summer holidays are bound to be busy, but 10–15 minutes of reading with your child every day is one of the best ways you can help them with their learning. Aside from the educational benefits, regular story time can also be ten minutes of respite from hectic family life to curl up, read and talk together.

Our Summer Reading books for kids are accompanied by a variety of fun activities to keep even the most reluctant of readers entertained. From island adventures to stories about twin detectives, here’s our list of favourite children’s books to read this summer.

Summer highlights

Please note: all book links lead to more information on Amazon.co.uk

The Children of Swallow Fell

 Julia Green
Suitable for Age 9+

A compelling story of resilience, resourcefulness, and hope.

Driven from her home by war, Isabella must make the daunting journey from Italy to England. In Swallow Fell, Isabella meets other children like her – surviving in an uncertain world. But can Isabella and her new found friends learn to not simply survive but to thrive?

Pre-order on Amazon >

The Island that Didn’t Exist

Joe Wilson
Suitable for Age 9+

When twelve-year-old Rixon’s great-uncle leaves him a mysterious island in his will, he sets off to see it for himself. What Rixon finds there might hold the key to the future of the planet: four children brought up with a different set of values.

Can Rixon save the island when he is beset by dangers and soon fighting for his own life?

Pre-order on Amazon >

The Soup Movement

Ben Davis
Suitable for Age 9+

When Jordan finally gets invited to go to the chippy with the cool kids, he feels stupid carrying around a flask of mum’s wholesome soup. He decides instead to give it to a homeless man called Harry.

It’s this one act of kindness that leads to a host of new friendships and a community movement.

Pre-order on Amazon >

Age 2+

Mole Hill

Alex Latimer

When three huge diggers arrive one day on Mole Hill, it’s up to Mole to stop them in their tracks and save his home from destruction. But can one tiny mole defeat such big mean machines? Where there’s a mole there’s a way!

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Winnie and Wilbur: The Bug Safari

Valerie Thomas / Korky Paul

Winnie and Wilbur are fascinated by the creepy-crawlies in the garden and decide it could be fun to shrink right down to their size. But when you’re knee-high to a caterpillar, there can be some very hairy moments. And when a humongous wand is too big to handle, will things ever get back to normal?

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Ages 5–7

Mirabelle Gets up to Mischief

Harriet Muncaster

Meet Mirabelle, Isadora Moon’s cousin. Her mum is a witch and her dad is a fairy, and Mirabelle is a bit of both. She likes casting spells with her fairy wand and flying around on her witchy broomstick, but most of all, the thing she really, really likes to do, is cause mischief.

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Pippi Longstocking and the Snirkle Hunt

Astrid Lindgren

For very young readers, this is a new edition of one of Pippi’s adventures, now with glorious two-colour illustration throughout.

Do YOU know what a snirkle is? Pippi doesn’t either – but she is going to find out!

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Super Happy Magic Forest: The Humongous Fungus

Matty Long

A Super Happy Magic Forest chapter book packed with illustrations and plenty of humour-this is the perfect read for fans of Dog Man and Captain Underpants.

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Isadora Moon Goes on Holiday

Harriet Muncaster

When Isadora wins an amazing holiday for her whole family she’s ready for sun, sea, and sand! But there’s work to be done when she and her mermaid friend Marina discover a baby turtle in trouble.

Can Isadora help the turtle find a way home?

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Kitty and the Treetop Chase

Paula Harrison / Jenny Løvlie

Join Kitty and her cat crew on the rooftops for a series of enchanting adventures by the light of the moon. Kitty is a superhero-in-training with feline super powers. She dreams of being just like her superhero mum, but she’s still got a lot to learn.

In Treetop Chase Kitty must follow a trail of destruction to find a missing dog called Ludo.

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Ages 7–9

Leo Wilder and the Map of Monsters: The Armoured Goretusk

Kris Humphrey / Pete Williamson
Suitable for ages 7–9

Armed with a slingshot of magical stones and a strange map, Guardian in-training Leo is sent on his very first mission-to battle with an Armoured Goretusk.

Pre-order on Amazon (released 6 August 2020) >

Extra content:

Max Takes a Stand

Tim Allman / Nick Shepherd

In this brand new series Max is on a quest to make the world a better place. From hiding his parents’ car keys to preparing vegan dinners, Max is determined to help save the planet through positive direct action!

But with hilarious and often disastrous results can Max’s enthusiasm pay off in the end?

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Mickey and the Animal Spies

Anne Miller / Becka Moor

Mickey is the type of kid who’s always on the lookout for a code to crack. So it’s her lucky day when she spots a strange poster on the bus home from school written completely in code. Within the strange jumble of letters is a curious message, one that leads to an exciting adventure-with diamond thieves, dognappers, and an extraordinary group of animal spies!

This book contains real coded messages, can you crack the codes before Mickey does?

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Kevin’s Great Escape: A Roly-Poly Flying Pony Adventure

Philip Reeve / Sarah McIntyre

Kevin is a roly-poly flying pony. He has everything he needs-a constant supply of biscuits and his best friend, Max. Misty Twiglet is a famous pop star. She has everything she needs except for a perfectly quirky, one-of-a-kind pet. The roly-poly flying pony kind…

When Kevin is kidnapped, Max and his sister Daisy must come to the rescue!

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Willow Wildthing and the Swamp Monster

Gill Lewis / Rebecca Bagley

When Willow meets the Wild Things she knows her life is never going to be the same again. Strange things happen in The Wilderness. It holds more than you could possibly imagine: secrets, shadows, a witch. Even a monster.

Are you brave enough to come? Because the moment you step across the boundary, you’ll be changed forever.

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Pippi Longstocking

Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking lives in a house with a horse, a monkey, a suitcase full of gold, and no grown-ups to tell her what to do. She’s wild and funny and full of crazy ideas!

One of the most popular children’s characters of all time, Pippi’s unique spirit and wonderful tales have been entertaining readers for 75 years.

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Oliver and the Seawigs

Philip Reeve / Sarah McIntyre

Along with his friends, a grumpy old albatross, a short-sighted mermaid, and a friendly island called Cliff, Oliver sets out to rescue his missing parents. On their perilous journey the friends meet evil islands, a boy called Stacey (not a girl’s name), and more sea monkeys than you can wave some seaweed at.

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Ages 9–11

A Double Detectives Medical Mystery: The Cure for a Crime

Roopa Farooki

When Ali and Tulip’s mum becomes unnaturally sleepy and forgetful, the twins become suspicious of her new boyfriend.

Luckily they’ve picked up lots of medical knowledge from their mum, who works at the local hospital, so they are totally on the case to solve this medical mystery!

Buy on Amazon >

The Accidental Prime Minister

Tom McLaughlin

Grown-ups have had their turn at running things, and let’s face it, they’ve been rubbish! It’s time that a kid was in charge.

Where there is grumpiness, may we bring giggles, where there is jelly, may we bring ice-cream, where there are chairs, may we bring whoopee cushions!

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

Tom’s Midnight Garden

Philippa Pearce

Lying awake at night, Tom hears the old grandfather clock downstairs strike… eleven… twelve… thirteen… Thirteen! How strange! When Tom gets up to investigate, he discovers a magical garden. A garden that everyone told him doesn’t exist. A garden that only he can enter…

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

The Demon Headmaster (Now on CBBC)

Gillian Cross

Something weird is happening at school. The children are too well behaved – almost like robots. What strange power does the eerie headmaster hold over them, and can anyone resist? Or are Dinah, Lloyd, and Harvey doomed to become part of the Demon Headmaster’s dark plan? 

Buy on Amazon >

Extra content:

OCC: The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame

Join in the delights and disasters on the riverbank with Mole and friends.

If you like great adventures, then The Wind in the Willows is for you! Not only does this edition include the unabridged text, it is also full of extra material to help you get the most from the story and gives lots of recommendations for other things you might enjoy.

Buy on Amazon >