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Age 10-12

Overall Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019

Waterstones Children's Book of the Month for April 2019

A story of friendship, hope and the importance of kindness, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a story full of heart and humour, told from a unique perspective. Featuring illustrations from Pippa Curnick, this is an exceptional book by an emerging voice in children’s writing.

When a new boy joins their class, a group of children try to befriend him. They soon learn that Ahmet is a refugee and has been separated from his family. None of the grown-ups seem to be able to help him, so the friends come up with a daring plan, embarking on an extraordinary adventure.


They told him his uncle died in an accident. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt, they said. But when fourteen-year-old Alex finds his uncle's windshield riddled with bullet holes, he knows it was no accident. What he doesn't know yet is that his uncle was killed while on a top-secret mission. But he is about to, and once he does, there is no turning back. Finding himself in the middle of terrorists, Alex must outsmart the people who want him dead. The government has given him the technology, but only he can provide the courage. 

Or why not  meet the Diamond Brothers, the world's worst private-detective agency.


'I cannot praise Anthony Horowitz's writing enough: he is a master at creating suspense, twisting plotlines and always keeping the reader entertained. Public Enemy Number Two is a fantastic book, though I would recommend reading the first in the series, The Falcon's Malteaser, just to experience Horowitz's full genius.'

Wolf Brother: Book 1 (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness) - by Michelle Paver

The first, bestselling novel in the million-copy-selling CHRONICLES OF ANCIENT DARKNESS series, WOLF BROTHER is a compelling page-turner like no other written by renowned author Michelle Paver.

Thousands of years ago, the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and powerful magic. Until an ambitious and malevolent force conjures a demon: a demon so evil that it can be contained only in the body of a ferocious bear that will slay everything it sees, a demon determined to destroy the world.

Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer

Join the world of Artemis Fowl, the number one bestseller by Eoin Colfer.


No scheme is too dastardly, no plot too devious. And he's just discovered that fairies are real.  Poor fairies.

But these are not the cuddly creatures of bedtime stories. They are armed. They are dangerous. And when Artemis captures Captain Holly Short for her fairy gold, he messes with the wrong elf.

Holly isn't armed but she's incredibly dangerous, and pretty annoyed with all the kidnapping.

Artemis Fowl is about to find out that fairies fight back . . .
Let the misadventure begin.

'Fast-paced, tongue in cheek . . . laugh-out-loud' - Sunday Times
'A huge hit' - The Guardian
'Artemis is a brilliant creation' - Anthony Horowitz

Book Trailer: Varjak Paw

"Varjak the kitten doesn't fit in with his family. With his amber eyes and dreams of The Outside, he's different - and he doesn't suit city life either. That is until he befriends a tough alley cat called Holly. Can they survive in the city where gangs of cats are ready to kill them?

Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Dylan is the only boy living in the tiny Welsh town of Manod. His parents run the Snowdonia Oasis Auto Marvel garage - and when he's not trying to persuade his sisters to play football, Dylan is in charge of the petrol log. And that means he gets to keep track of everyone coming in and out of Manod - what car they drive, what they're called, even their favourite flavour of crisps.

But when a mysterious convoy of lorries trundles up the misty mountainside towards an old, disused mine, even Dylan is confounded. Who are these people - and what have they got to hide?


A story inspired by a press cutting describing how, during World War II, the treasured contents of London's National Gallery were stored in Welsh slate mines. Once a month, a morale-boosting masterpiece would be unveiled in the village and then returned to London for viewing. This is a funny and touching exploration of how art - its beauty and its value - touches the life of one little boy and his big family in a very small town.

'Heart-warming - a delight.' - Guardian

'Full of jokes and touching moments.' - Sunday Times

'Ingeniously comic.' - Independent

Cogheart - Peter Bunzl

Lily’s life is in mortal peril. Her father is missing and now silver-eyed men stalk her through the shadows. What could they want from her? With her friends – Robert, the clockmaker’s son, and Malkin, her mechanical fox – Lily is plunged into a murky and menacing world. Too soon Lily realises that those she holds dear may be the very ones to break her heart... Murder, mayhem and mystery meet in this gripping Victorian adventure.

Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotson

It is 1910 and Maia, tragically orphaned at thirteen, has been sent from England to start a new life with distant relatives in Manaus, hundreds of miles up the Amazon. She is accompanied by an eccentric and mysterious governess who has secret reasons of her own for making the journey. Both soon discover an exotic world bursting with new experiences in Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson's highly colourful, joyous adventure.

Winner of the Smarties Gold Medal.
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award.

Who Let the Gods Out?  - Maz Evans

Elliot’s problems are getting worse. Mr Boil is desperate to expel him from school, his mum is sick and he has no idea how to make her better, his nosey neighbour is snooping around their farm again, and there's the Really Scary Letter that arrived three weeks ago. And if all that wasn't bad enough, an immortal constellation crashes through the roof of his cow shed leading to a whole new set of problems, namely the accidental release of Prisoner 42, and the arrival of the Olympian Gods to recapture him...


Evans' debut novel is a breathless roller-coaster ride ... Reminiscent of Rick Riordan with a hint of Neil Gaiman's Stardust ... fans of Percy Jackson will devour this and hope that the gods send a sequel. (Kirkus)


This book is packed full of classical gods brought bang up to date with wonderfully ironic humour. (The Guardian


Blistering humour, mortal danger & immortal heart, epically clever. Loved it. (Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of Girl of Ink & Stars)

The Wee Free Men - Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett's "Wee Free Men" is the 30th Discworld Novel (written for adults) and the first book in the Tiffany Aching Series (written for your 10+, but also read by adults!)

Tiffany wants to be a witch when she grows up.
A proper one, with a pointy hat. And flying, she’s always dreamed of flying (though it’s cold up there, you have to wear really thick pants, two layers). With a horde of unruly fairies at her disposal, Tiffany is not alone. 

The dialect of the Nac Mac Feegle is hilarious and you'll find yourself mimicking their way of cursing and threatening.
"Crivens! I kicked meself in ma ain heid!".
"We've got a cheap lawyer an' we're not afraid to use him!"

'Terry Pratchett vocabulary is amazing, he plays with words, makes them musical.
Reading out loud this book was so easy and fun. Sometimes I had to stop 'cause I kept laughing.'

Only You Can Save Mankind (Johnny Maxwell trilogy)  - Terry Pratchett

This is the first book in the Johnny Maxwell trilogy, once you read this you won't want to wait to read the rest!

Johnny Maxwell is just an ordinary boy – not smart, popular or rich.
But he does love video games. And as his parents argue themselves out of a marriage, Johnny plays at becoming humanity’s last hope, shooting invading aliens out of a pixelated sky. 
Then comes a message from the last remaining alien spaceship: 'We Wish to Talk'.

And suddenly Johnny is thrust into the very real world of the video game, and comes face to face with an alien race that needs his help.

Only Johnny can save them. And this isn't a game anymore . . .

Wonder - Book Trailer

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid-but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face.

Books set during WW2 - recommended to accompany our Y6 History topic


Goodnight Mister Tom - Michelle Magorian

Goodnight Mister Tom - winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award - by Michelle Magorian has delighted generations of children. It's the story of young Willie Beech, evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of the Second World War. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley - but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London. 


The Machine Gunners - Robert Westall

'Some bright kid's got a gun and 2000 rounds of live ammo. And that gun's no pea-shooter. It'll go through a brick wall at a quarter of a mile.'

Chas McGill has the second-best collection of war souvenirs in Garmouth, and he desperately wants it to be the best. When he stumbles across the remains of a German bomber crashed in the woods - its shiny, black machine-gun still intact - he grabs his chance. Soon he's masterminding his own war effort with dangerous and unexpected results . . .

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak   (Year 6 and above)


1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. This is the story of Liesel, who steals books, and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.


SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH It's a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery. ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES


"Extraordinary, resonant and relevant, beautiful and angry." (Sunday Telegraph)

"...a beautifully balanced piece of storytelling...Unsettling, thought-provoking, life affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told. It is an important piece of work, but also a wonderful page-turner." (Guardian)

"A moving work which will make many eyes brim." (Independent on Sunday)

"Brilliant and hugely ambitious ... the kind of book that could be life-changing" (New York Times Book Review)

Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment by James Patterson

Max Einstein is a typical 12-year-old. She…

goes to college every day;

plays speed chess in the park;

builds inventions that help the homeless;

and talks to Albert Einstein.

All normal stuff, right?


Until one day when Max is recruited by a mysterious organisation! Their mission: solve some of the world’s toughest problems using science. She’s helped by a diverse group of young geniuses from around the globe as they invent new ways to power the farthest reaches of the planet.


But that’s only if the sinister outfit known as The Corporation doesn’t get to her first…


In #MaxEinstein, Max is thinking about attending a lecture on Schrodinger's Cat. Tiffany's here to explain more! đź’ˇOfficially Approved by the Einstein Instituteđź’ˇ Max Einstein The Genius Experiment combines science and adventure in the first of this new kids series by James Patterson. Find out more here:

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman 

When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?


If you like The Graveyard Book, then you should also read other books by Neil Gaiman. 



Sometimes funny, always creepy, genuinely moving, this marvellous spine-chiller will appeal to readers from nine to ninety * Books for Keeps *
I was looking forward to Coraline and I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I was enthralled. This is a marvellously strange and scary book -- Philip Pullman * Guardian *
If any writer can get the guys to read about the girls, it should be Neil Gaiman. Coraline is a dreamlike adventure. For all its gripping nightmare imagery, this is actually a conventional fairy story with a moral * Daily Telegraph *


Neverwhere (12+ but worth the wait!)

Under the streets of London lies a world most people could never dream of.

When Richard Mayhew helps a mysterious girl he finds bleeding on the pavement, his boring life changes in an instant. Her name is Door, she's on the run from two assassins in black suits and she comes from London Below.

His act of kindness leads him to a place filled with monsters and angels, a Beast in a labyrinth and an Earl who holds Court in a Tube train. It is strangely familiar yet utterly bizarre.

Beyond Year 6....

Don't stop reading when you get to the grand old age of 11! There's a whole world of amazing books at your finger tips. Here's some authors and further recommendations - but be warned, you need to check with an adult that they are happy for you to read them. They are taken from the world book day website.