'Flotsam and Jetsam' Series by Tanya Landman-two little characters living beneath an upturned cove at the seaside who make amazing things out of 'found materials' and have a crab friend called Sainsbury.
'Oliver and the Seawigs' by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre'
Little boy who would really love just to settle down and have his own bedroom + go to school ends up following his adventuring parents towards some islands which appear to have floated away...they have in fact floated away. He discovers they are all after the title of best 'sea wig' to win authority over the other floating islands. There is also a short sighted mermaid too who I have every sympathy with! (not that I can swim like a mermaid at all).
'A boy and a Bear in a Boat' by Dave Shelton
'Good dog, Bad dog' Book 1 by Dave Shelton-graphic novel, great way to entice reluctant readers especially those who are phased by a wall of text.
'The Invisible Boy' by Sally Gardner
'Fortunately the Milk' by Neil Gaiman-Dad goes out to retrieve forgotten milk for cereal and has adventures with pirates, dinosaurs, a volcano and an alien amongst others but 'fortunately the milk' is always OK!
'Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane' by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy
'The Charlie Small Journals' are in same vein as popular Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates in the sketchy/journal layout which appeals to everybody BUT these ones are not about school. There's a bit of a small Indiana Jones feel as there are adventures and missions a plenty.
'Ally's World' series by Karen McCrombie will probably be more for girls 9+ but popular, quick reads.
Don't dismiss 'Harry Potter' by JK Rowling even if you've seen the films...books are worth reading as there's a lot more in them. Would suggest 1st 2 'The Philosopher's Stone' and 'The chamber of secrets' before 9 as it gets a bit darker with 'The Prisoner of Azkaban'.
'Warrior Cats' by Erin Hunter are a great series about cat clans. Book shops are stocking these because they're asked to by children themselves. Worth a look at, again 9+ as some scary and sad bits in there so be warned if you're an animal lover.
'The Edge Chronicles' by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell will appeal to anybody who likes reading about different worlds but they also have those wonderful illustrations by Chris Riddell just like the map header on this blog page!
'The Demon's Watch' and 'The Goblin's Gift' by Conrad Mason-heard Conrad speak last year...would be lovely for all children to hear more writers speak. These are both fantasy adventure focussing on Port Fayt and the main characters who are in the watch-on a mission to protect the Port and whoever lives there whether human or NOT.
'Spooks' series by Joseph Delaney-starts with a boy apprentice learning to rid villages of spooks. There's enough scariness in it but it's OK for readers to be scared I think...that's imagination for YOU!
'Spiderwick chronicles' for all those fantastical creatures with a great story to go with it.Watch out for those hag stones....
'His Dark Materials' trilogy; 'Northern Lights', 'The Subtle Knife' and 'The Amber Spyglass' by Philip Pullman are a MUST READ for 10+ .EVEN if you've seen the Golden Compass.don't be lulled into not reading it because it's not a patch on the books.
'Strong Winds Trilogy' by Julia Jones - Julia is a local author and these books are set on the River Orwell+surrounding areas. Don't let the sailing put you off. You don't need to sail to enjoy the story-part adventure but also with a hard hitting social care story which makes it very much NOT 'Swallows and Amazons' in that sense.
The Boy who Swam with Piranhas' by David Almond is a delightful and quirky must read about a boy who runs away to the circus from his canning obsessed Uncle. The warmth and the colour of the people he meets is, as always by David Almond, expressed in a spot on way for young readers + there's great humour there too.
'The History Keepers' by Damian Dibben for great adventures going back in time if you like history-I don't know many children who don't!
'Journey to the River Sea' by Eva Ibbotson,'The star of Kazan' + 'The Dragonfly pool' are great stories, all very different. The reason I'm carrying 'Journey' around is it's set in the Amazon and Manaus which I thought to be topical. Just great good from the heart STORIES. I don't want to say too much- I wish I'd come across her when I was at primary school but it's OK...found her now.
'The Laura Marlin Mysteries' by Lauren. St. John which I'm always mentioning (pic on Recommended reads). You can't get much better than buying it as a leaving present for Yr4 then their class teacher had to read the next one and, when she left they made their next teacher promise that their class book would be the third! Good girl role model, good role model characters in a detective/mystery solver role.
'Jamie Johnson' series by Dan Freedman with the latest WORLD CUP read for interested football fans
'Itch' by Simon Mayo (yes the Simon Mayo) about a secondary school child who's nuts about chemistry. Refreshing change from all action heroes and good twist on adventure action with use of chemical elements in there too.
Talking of action adventure 'Young James Bond' series by Charlie Higson + 'Stormbreaker' by Anthony Horowitz are all ripping page turners-prob (incl Itch) 10+
'Wonder' by R. J Palacio is a 'must read' for 10+ I think...really great for transition. It's set in USA so concerns middle school but that doesn't matter. What does is the way it's written so you can see what it is like not only for August himself (who was born with a severe facial disfigurement) but also for his friend, sister etc. Really moving and though provoking.
'The Giver' by Lois Lowry is another book to make you think-pre runner of the many dystopian novels for young adults around at the minute and another about to be turned into a film BUT please read this first as the film looks quite different and the book is a really though provoking read in itself...for 11+ I think, worth reading at same time for some interesting discussions. Also for a thought provoking, emotionally scarring read so 11+
'Looking for the Stars' by Jo Cotteril. It's worth reading yourself but just to tell you that there is a very upsetting scene at the beginning which leaves 2 sisters to try and find their way to a refugee camp. This is there books play such a powerful part in widening children's minds and experiences in without (we hope) actually facing such difficulties in reality.
If you think they're a bit tricky read them to your child-better that than not at all. I think we maybe get 'hung up' on ensuring children are actually physically reading which can sometimes become a battle and is more and more away from the purpose of reading fiction which is to widen our imagination and open doors into other worlds. Don't panic if you're doing the reading....that means doors are opening and dreams are evolving.