Children's Must-Read Lists

  • AWI2 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    With her book A Wrinkle in Time, gifted children's author Madeleine L'Engle has created an absorbing science fiction novel that revolves around the likeable, misfit characters of Meg and her brother, Charles.

    Criticised by her teachers for doing badly at school and worried about her missing father, Meg is struggling with how wrong her life is when events take a mysterious turn. Together with Charles and her friend Calvin, she stumbles upon a gap in time through which the children embark on an amazing and dangerous adventure.

    A gripping read for any young adult fiction fan aged 11+ who have ever felt like the odd one out!
  • RJP2 11 years +
    RJ Palacio
    11 years +
    (13)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    A poignant book that made all of us laugh and cry in equal measure, R.J. Palacio's Wonder is told using different voices but at its centre is the honest and courageous character of 10-year-old August, a boy who was born with a severe facial disfigurement.

    August is about to start middle school after being home-schooled by his mum for years. The challenge is a tough one for someone like August and he has to tackle bullies and childish cruelty in his journey. But August's resilience, humour and bravery really shine through, making this an uplifting novel that will linger in the reader's thoughts for a long time to come.
  • New Dork Diaries Collection - 12 Books - Collection - 9781471168642 - Rachel Renee Russell
    DKDI 9 years +
    9 years +
    (9)
    • £13.99
    • RRP £83.88
    • Save £69.89Save 82.9999999999999971578290569595992565155029296875%
    • Just £1.17 per book
    Meet Nikki Maxwell and prepare to read some truly a-dork-able stories with this 12-book collection of Dork Diaries stories by Rachel Renee Russell.

    Written in a fun-filled diary format, these books offer an insight into the life of the tween dork, Nikki. When she moves to a new school she decides it's the perfect time to leave her old lame ways behind - but things are never that simple.

    With fun sketches and doodles, the diary entries find Nikki opening up her heart as she battles with her arch-nemesis Mackenzie over her dreams of becoming a pop star and tackles the subject of love with hilariously dorky consequences.

    These books will be enjoyed by any child aged 9 or over who enjoys (or endures!) the sparklier side of tween life.
    Format: paperback
  • TMU2 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Tamar is Mal Peet's astonishing novel about love, lies and secrets in a time of war.

    When her grandfather dies, Tamar inherits a box containing a series of clues and coded messages. Out of the past, another Tamar emerges, a man involved in the terrifying world of resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Holland half a century earlier.

    His story is one of passionate love, jealousy and tragedy set against the daily fear and casual horror of the Second World War. Unravelling it will transform the younger Tamar's life...
  • PYM2 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    Nine-year-old Bruno knows nothing of the Final Solution and the Holocaust. He is oblivious to the appalling cruelties being inflicted on the people of Europe by his own country, his own father. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate area where there is nothing to do and no one to play with. Until he meets Shmuel, a boy who lives a strange parallel existence on the other side of the adjoining wire fence and who, like the other people there, wears a uniform of striped pyjamas.

    Bruno's friendship with Shmuel will take him from innocence to revelation. And in exploring what he is unwittingly a part of, he will inevitably become subsumed by the terrible process.

    John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is poignant, heart-warming and illustrates how friendship knows no boundaries - a beautiful book!
  • Judy Blume Collection - 5 Books - Collection - 9781509891214 - Judy Blume
    JDYB 12 years +
    12 years +
    • £7.99
    • RRP £34.95
    • Save £26.96Save 76.999999999999998863131622783839702606201171875%
    • Just £1.60 per book
    Judy Blume is an important author whose books have resonated with so many teens (and older readers!) over the years. Tackling important issues including bullying, peer pressure and prejudice, the five books in our collection are vital reads.

    Blubber follows Linda as she reads out her class project and unwittingly becomes the victim of a sustained and cruel campaign of humiliation. Eventually, her friend Jill stands up for Linda but by the time she does, the bullies are ready to move on to their next victim - and now Linda's on their side...

    Deenie is all about the pressures of looking perfect; Iggie's House tackles neighbourhood prejudice; Here's to You, Rachel Robinson covers family conflict; and Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret is a classic story about fitting in - both at home and at school.
  • 6DYG 11 years +
    11 years +
    (4)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is a haunting book that will stay with the reader for ever. Thirteen-year-old Anne spent two years in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Her diary combines honesty and humour with typical teenage enthusiasm, but ultimately it's a harrowing and poignant read as it ends abruptly when she and her family are discovered by the Nazis and taken to a concentration camp. Suitable for readers from 11+.

    This children's book has been hand-picked for you by Red House.
  • FUL2 13 years +
    13 years +
    (7)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    John Green, the author of Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, is one of the most popular voices in contemporary young adult fiction and The Fault in Our Stars became an instant classic.

    You will probably have been in tears watching the big-screen adaptation that starred Shailene Woodley and Ansel Engort as the devoted teenage lovers Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters and the book is just as heart-wrenching and poignant, but keeps a fine line in self-depreciating humour - especially from the wise-beyond-her-years Hazel.

    After meeting at a cancer support group, the cynical sufferer Hazel unexpectedly finds herself falling for the charms of Augustus and the novel follows the two as their relationship develops - taking in a romantic trip to Amsterdam in the process.

    Full of wit, sensitivity and observations about life and illness, this profound book will make readers of any age (especially teens) laugh and cry in equal measure.
  • AYDLA 14 years +
    14 years +
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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    A powerful and brave YA novel about what prejudice looks like in the 21st century. Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.

    Joint winner of the British Book Award Children's Book of the Year 2018

    This title has been shortlisted for 2018's CILIP Carnegie Medal.
  • AXZ2 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £4.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £2.00Save 27.99999999999999971578290569595992565155029296875%
    Joe has never been 'cool' or 'hot' - he'd rather slog over a brand new recipe than spend hours obsessing over an Instagram image. When dating app Mate Match is launched to connect with teens at other schools, suddenly Joe has got to learn the rules of the dating game and big sister Georgia and her boyfriend Aaron are on hand to teach him everything he needs to know. And it seems the trick to success is to lie - about being in a band, about his hobbies (no cooking to be mentioned!), even his name. But when Joe gets matched with self-obsessed stunner Tania, his lies look set to unravel fast. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+
  • DAM2 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00Save 42.0000000000000005684341886080801486968994140625%
    For a pimples-and-all look at teenage life, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 has it covered. Spots, embarrassing parents, unrequited love, bullies and bad poetry feature in abundance in Sue Townsend's modern classic.

    Loveable outsider Adrian Mole's pseudo-intellectual observations on all aspects of teenage life will have young adult readers in stitches, but there are some thoughtful and sensitive observations that will strike a chord, too.

    A simply fantastic and very funny book from the much-missed Sue Townsend that introduced one of the most-loved characters of recent times.
  • Geek Girl Collection - 6 Books - Collection - 9780007968039 - Holly Smale
    GKGI 11 years +
    11 years +
    (2)
    • £9.99
    • RRP £35.94
    • Save £25.95Save 72.0000000000000017053025658242404460906982421875%
    • Just £1.67 per book
    Partly inspired by her own experiences growing up in the fashion industry, former model Holly Smale's Geek Girl is a bestselling and award-winning series that will appeal to any child who is a proud geek that also appreciates the glitzier side of life.

    Harriet Manners is the font of all knowledge when it comes to facts. She knows a cat has 32 muscles in each ear and that the average person laughs 15 times a day, but boys remain a mystery.

    When she's spotted by a top modelling agent, her world is turned upside down. She believes this could be the start of something special, but her eyes are opened by just how cruel the fashion industry can be... Will she be able to hold everything together and stay true to herself?

    Funny, feisty, smart and sassy, this collection of books has a strong message at its heart and is very entertaining.
    Format: paperback
    This collection includes books 1-6 in Holly Smale's Geek Girl series.
  • AAAWZ 11 years +
    11 years +
    (2)
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60Save 20.00%

    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?

  • HOZ2 11 years +
    Louis Sachar
    11 years +
    (2)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    Award-winning author Louis Sachar is a terrific storyteller who always has an original and interesting perspective.

    Holes tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, whose family has a history of bad luck. Stanley's not too surprised when he's sent to a juvenile detention centre in Texas for a crime he didn't commit, but even he can't believe that all he and the other boys have to do is dig holes all day.

    Before long, Stanley realises that what he must actually uncover is the truth... Readers from 11+ who love a good story will find this totally unputdownable.
  • URI2 13 years +
    13 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    The narrator of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is 15-year-old Christopher who has a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome.

    His obsessive and unusual take on life creates lots of hilarious situations but also brings incredible poignancy to the story. Christopher finds it hard to relate to people, particularly their emotions and feelings, so when he finds a dead dog and decides to solve the mystery of its death, his quest leads him into a difficult and unfamiliar territory that threatens to upset his carefully ordered existence.

    This is an intriguing and insightful novel that will appeal to readers from 13+.
  • MCX2 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    The winner of both the Carnegie Medal and Kate Greenaway Medal in 2012, Chaos Walking author Patrick Ness' A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel about the difficult subject of terminal illness and coming to terms with loss.

    Based on an idea by the late Siobhan Dowd, this is an unforgettable read. 'The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do...' is how the book begins, but it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. This monster is something different - something ancient and something wild.

    Now an acclaimed film starring Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson, A Monster Calls is a heartbreakingly beautiful read.
  • NOU2 12 years +
    12 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    Praised by Benjamin Zephaniah and widely regarded as one of the most inspiring and influential teen series of recent years, former Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses is a book that tackles prejudice, racism, distrust and terrorism.

    Sephy and Callum have been friends since they were both very young and despite their feelings for each other indicating they want something more, that's as far as it can go...

    However, romance cannot be stopped even in a world full of anger, division and separation. Their love story ends up leading them both into terrible danger...
  • AIIJK
    (2)
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £0.10Save 1.0000000000000000621724893790087662637233734130859375%
    Stanley's dad hasn't been the same since his wife died and his eldest son went off to fight in the war. Now Stanley is either invisible to his dad or the object of one of his rages, and his only friend is his dad's prizewinning greyhound, Rocket. But one day Rocket escapes, and the result is a litter of non-thoroughbred puppies that Da says will all have to be drowned, even Stanley's favourite puppy, Solider. Stanley is so angry with his father that he runs away and enlists in the army to train as a messenger dog handler, and despite being far too young he's soon heading to France with a great Dane called Bones by his side. As the fighting escalates and Stanley experiences the horrors of war, he comes to realise that the loyalty of his dog is the one thing he can rely on. But his father hasn't given up on him, and extraordinary circumstances will bring them together once more ...
  • KNV2 13 years +
    13 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    The Knife of Never Letting Go has won many awards for author Patrick Ness and will score an instant hit with teenagers readers aged 13+.

    First in the Chaos Walking trilogy, this novel covers big issues of identity and trust with lots of skill and wit. The plot unfolds at breakneck speed as Todd Hewitt is forced to go on the run from his town when he uncovers a secret that puts his life at risk. The strange dystopian world throws up a series of nightmare encounters that Todd struggles to survive.

    This is an unbeatable read for the young adult market - and those who are a little bit older!
  • MOX2 13 years +
    13 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    Monsters of Men is the concluding novel in Patrick Ness' bestselling and highly acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy. This special edition of the novel comes with a bonus short story called Snowscape - which picks up the events shortly after the events of the book.

    Three armies are marching on New Prentisstown and they're all intent on destroying each other. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle with no chance of escape. Can they stop the fighting and find peace despite being hopelessly outnumbered?

    This is a heart-stopping read all about power, survival and the realities of war.
  • FDR2 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £2.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £4.00Save 56.9999999999999994315658113919198513031005859375%
    Friendship, love and dancing collide in Jenny McLachlan's Flirty Dancing - a book that will appeal to fans of Louise Rennison and Holly Smale's Geek Girl series.

    Shy but fiery Bea Hogg wants to sign up to the national dance competition Starwars when it comes to her school, but her best friend has agreed to enter with school bully Pearl Harris... Meanwhile, Pearl's boyfriend, the school hottie Ollie Matthews, decides to enter the competition with Bea. This couldn't possibly go wrong, could it?

    Very funny and full of Jenny's bubbly personality and highly observational style, the book's dancing theme means it may inspire reluctant readers, while the strong characters make it a great book for those who already love books.
  • Red Queen Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781407251158 - Victoria Aveyard
    VICA 13 years +
    13 years +
    • £5.99
    • RRP £23.97
    • Save £17.98Save 73.9999999999999982946974341757595539093017578125%
    • Just £2.00 per book
    Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen series is a young adult fantasy that will appeal to teens (and older readers!) who enjoyed The Hunger Games and Divergent.

    The world is divided by those who have red blood and those who have silver. Living under the leadership of the Silver elite (who have extreme powers), the Reds are commoners and Mare Barrow doesn't believe this way of life will ever change. This changes when she lands a job working in the Silver Palace. She's surrounded by people she hates and soon learns that she also has a deadly power of her own...

    With a rich world and compelling characters, this is a page-turning series of novels that are intelligent, full of surprises and sure to leave you eager to find out more.

    This collection contains books 1-3 in Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen series
    Format: paperback
  • ABKNI 12 years +
    12 years +
    (2)
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60Save 20.00%
    Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight. Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences far beyond her own world...
  • NSD2 11 years +
    11 years +
    (2)
    • £6.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £6.00Save 46.00000000000000142108547152020037174224853515625%
    Alex Rider is making a comeback - and things are more explosive than ever before in Anthony Horowitz's latest book in the hugely popular series

    Alex is still trying to piece his life back together after the traumatic events of his last mission. But even he can't fight the past - especially when it holds a deadly secret.