Children's Must-Read Lists

Coming-of-age Books for Children

  • 6DYG 11 years +
    Anne Frank
    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.
  • AADWX 9 years +
    Mark Twain
    9 years +
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
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    Huckleberry Finn had a tough life with his drunk father until an adventure with Tom Sawyer changed everything. But when Huck's dad returns and kidnaps him, he must escape down the Mississippi river with runaway slave, Jim. They encounter trouble at every turn, from floods and gunfights to armed bandits and the long arm of the law. Through it all the friends stick together - but can Huck and Tom free Jim from slavery once and for all? With an inspirational introduction by Darren Shan, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is one of the twelve wonderful classic stories being relaunched in "Puffin Classics" in March 2008.
  • ACMRQ
    Lois Lowry
    • £5.59
    • RRP £6.99
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    In Nazi-occupied Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen is called upon for a selfless act of bravery to help save her best friend from a terrible fate. Winner of the Newbery Medal, newly reissued in the Essential Modern Classics range. "They plan to arrest all the Danish Jews. They plan to take them away. And we have been told that they may come tonight." It is 1943 and life in Copenhagen is becoming complicated for Annemarie. There are food shortages and curfews, and soldiers on every corner. But it is even worse for her Jewish best friend, Ellen, as the Nazis continue their brutal campaign. With Ellen's life in danger, Annemarie must summon all her courage to help stage a daring escape. Inspired by true events of the Second World War, this gripping novel brings the past vividly to life for today's readers.
  • AWOKA
    Emily Barr
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
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    HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO TO TRUST WHEN YOU CAN'T EVEN TRUST YOURSELF? I look at my hands. One of them says FLORA BE BRAVE. Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can't remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is. Then she kisses someone she shouldn't, and the next day she remembers it. It's the first time she's remembered anything since she was ten. But the boy is gone. She thinks he's moved to the Arctic. Will following him be the key to unlocking her memory? Who can she trust? THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS is the unforgettable YA novel to take home in 2017.
  • ADDPD 7 years +
    CS Lewis
    7 years +
    (1)
    • £15.99
    • RRP £19.99
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    The Chronicles of Narnia have enchanted millions of readers over the last fifty years and the magical events described in C.S. Lewis's immortal prose have left many a lasting memory for adults and children alike. All seven Chronicles are bound together in this new paperback edition (rebranded with HarperCollins logo). The Chronicles of Narnia have enchanted millions of readers over the last fifty years and the magical events described in C.S. Lewis's immortal prose have left many a lasting memory. For here is a world where a witch decrees eternal winter; where there are more talking animals than people; and where battles are fought by Centaurs, Giants and Fauns.
  • ADQLP
    Natalie Babbitt
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
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    Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten year old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks kidnap her and explain why living forever at one age is less than a blessing that it might seem. 'Intense and powerful, exciting and poignant, Tuck Everlasting will last forever - in the reader's imagination.' Amazon.com 'Someone ought to start spreading the word that Natalie Babbitt is not only a children's writer the style is so fine and subtle that grownups too will take real pleasure. 'Tuck Everlasting' is one of the best books ever written - for any age.' Anne Tyler, New York Times Featured in Elle Hot 100 "This refreshing and original story throws up all sorts of moral dilemmas, not least the question of whether one would like to live forever. Children in Year 4 and above will find much to ponder here." Times Educational Supplement "Babbitt's economy of style is such that she can use a single gesture or detail to convey great swathes of meaning She understands perfectly the sense of powerlessness felt by children and her message is whether your name is Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins or Winnie Foster, young people with courage and a sense of rightness can 'make a difference'. " Herald (Glasgow) 'A welcome reissue of a book previously published in 1977. Long regarded as an American masterpiece, Natalie Babbitt's novel deals with a weighty subject - everlasting life, no less - with a lightness of touch and a simplicity that never descends to the pedantic or the condescending. Sounds fanciful, but is told with all the cool, sharp, clear-eyed 'realism' that represents the best of American writing. And don't be influenced in any way by the fact that a Disney version is in production - just read it. It's breathtaking.' Chris Stephenson, Carousel 'This novel is both lyrical and provocative and a timeless
  • AGUAX 9 years +
    LM Montgomery
    9 years +
    • £4.79
    • RRP £5.99
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    My dislikes: Being an orphan, having red hair, being called 'carrots' by Gilbert Blythe. My likes: Living at the Green Gables with Marilla and Matthew, my bosom-friend Diana, dresses with puff sleeves. My regrets: Dying my hair green. Smashing a slate over Gilbert Blythe's head. My dream: To tame my temper. To be good (this is an uphill struggle). To grow up to have auburn hair! Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can find out about the real Green Gables, the plucky author and more! Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from Peter Pan and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
  • AKJIN 9 years +
    Charles Dickens
    9 years +
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60
    The classic story of a young boy who seeks his fortune on the streets of London. After Oliver Twist asks nasty Mr Bumble for more food, he has to flee the workhouse for the streets of London. Here he meets the Artful Dodger, who leads him to Fagin and his gang of pickpockets. When a thieving mission goes wrong, Oliver narrowly avoids prison and finds himself in the care of kind Mr Brownlow. But Fagin and the brutal Bill Sikes go in search of the young orphan, determined to drag him back...With an inspirational and light-hearted introduction by Garth Nix, "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens is one of the twelve wonderful classic stories being relaunched in "Puffin Classics" in March 2008.
  • ALTSQ 9 years +
    9 years +
    • £4.89
    • RRP £4.99
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    What are you looking for? Excitement! Fun! Adventure! Trouble! If there's mischief in the air and trouble brewing you can bet your bottom dollar that Tom Sawyer will be right there in the thick of it! Oxford Children's Classics present not only the original and unabridged story of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but also help you to discover a whole world of new adventures with an amazing assortment of recommendations and activities.
  • AOHWL 9 years +
    Katherine Paterson
    9 years +
    • £5.59
    • RRP £6.99
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    Jess Aarons wants to be the fastest boy in the class, but when a girl named Leslie Burke moves into the neighbouring farm his life changes forever. Even though she runs faster than him, Jess begins to think Leslie might be okay - she's clever and funny and not a bit soppy. And it is Leslie who invents Terabithia, the secret country on an island across the creek where he can escape his troublesome family. The only way to reach Terabithia is by rope-swing where Jess and Leslie become King and Queen, defeating giants, sharing stories and dreams, and plotting against their enemies. They are invincible - until tragedy strikes. It is more dreadful than anything Jess had ever dreamed of, but as he struggles to cope with his grief and anger, he finds that his family value him more than he'd thought and that, still King, he could even save Terabithia for the future.
  • AWI2 11 years +
    Madeleine L'Engle
    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!
  • CWE2 7 years +
    EB White
    7 years +
    (2)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    A much-loved story by Stuart Little author E. B. White, and beautifully illustrated by Garth Williams, Charlotte's Web is the ideal book to read aloud and share with all the family.

    One spring morning, a little girl called Fern rescues a piglet and names him Wilbur. But then Wilbur is sent to live on a farm where he meets Charlotte: a very clever and very beautiful large grey spider. They become the best of friends and, when Wilbur is faced with a dreadful fate - the butcher's chop! Charlotte must come up with a very clever way to try and save him...

    The perfect gift for young readers aged 7 and above, the poignant and touching tale continues to entertain and engross readers over 50 years since its original publication. Quite simply, a children's classic!
  • LWN2 9 years +
    Louisa May Alcott
    9 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    Little Women is the warm and touching tale of the four March sisters: sensible Meg, tomboy Jo, shy Beth and fiery Amy and the trials they face struggling to make ends meet while their father is away from home. This classic tale is perfect for reading aloud to youngsters or ideal for confident young readers aged 9+ to tackle independently.

    Little Women is narrated by Jo, who is fiercely independent and desperate to become a writer, but she and her sisters' ambitions are frustrated by lack of money and a series of misfortunes. Absorbing and inspiring, Little Women is a must-read classic that is guaranteed to make you laugh and cry.
  • SRH2 9 years +
    Frances Hodgson Burnett
    9 years +
    • £2.99
    • RRP £5.99
    • Save £3.00
    What are you looking for?

    Friendship! Mystery! Adventure! Secrets!

    When spoiled, selfish orphan Mary Lennox is sent to live at lonely Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire, she discovers a magical world on the other side of a locked garden door. Mary decides to bring the abandoned garden she finds there back to life; and in doing so, changes her own forever.

    Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden is a children's classic that has enchanted generations.
  • AAEAC 14 years +
    Charlotte Bronte
    14 years +
    • £7.99
    Orphaned Jane Eyre grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, where she endures loneliness and cruelty, and at a charity school with a harsh regime. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane's natural independence and spirit - which prove necessary when she finds a position as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving the man she loves? A novel of intense power and intrigue, "Jane Eyre" (1847) dazzled and shocked readers with its passionate depiction of a woman's search for equality and freedom.
  • ACDFR 14 years +
    William Shakespeare
    14 years +
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60
    The Oxford Shakespeare offers authoritative texts from leading scholars in editions designed to interpret and illuminate the plays for modern readers * a new, modern-spelling text, collated and edited from all existing printings * on-page commentary and notes explain meaning, staging, allusions, and much else * detailed introduction considers composition, sources, performances, and changing critical attitudes to the play * illustrated with production photographs and related art * full index to introduction and commentary * durable sewn binding for lasting use not simply a better text but a new conception of Shakespeare. This is a major achievement of twentieth- century scholarship. Times Literary Supplement
  • AFVFD
    Stephen Chbosky
    (2)
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60
    Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie is attempting to navigate through the uncharted territory of high school. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and music - when all one requires to feel infinite is that perfect song on that perfect drive. Standing on the fringes of life Charlie has a unique perspective of the world around him, but there comes a time to stop being a wallflower and see what it looks like from the dance floor. This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion has become a modern classic. Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating and through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.
  • AARIR 9 years +
    Charles Dickens
    9 years +
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £0.10
    As a small boy at Joe Gargery's forge, Pip meets two people who will affect his whole life - an escaped convict he is forced to help, and the eccentric Miss Haversham, whose beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella young Pip adores. But when a secret benefactor pays for him to go to London to become a gentleman, Pip never dreams he will meet the dreadful Magwitch again, nor just how wrong his expectations are.
  • AKOLZ
    Lois Lowry
    • £6.89
    • RRP £6.99
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    In a perfect world, Jonas begins to see the flaws...THE GIVER is the classic award-winning novel that inspired the dystopian genre and a major motion picture adaptation for 2014 starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift. It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in the community wants for anything. Everything needed is provided. And at twelve years old, each member of the community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders. Twelve-year old Jonas has never thought there was anything wrong with his world. But from the moment he is selected as the Receiver of Memory, Jonas discovers that their community is not as perfect as it seems. It is only with the help of the Giver, that Jonas can find what has been lost. And it is only through his personal courage that Jonas finds the strength to do what is right...The Giver is the award-winning classic of bravery and adventure that has inspired countless dystopian writers as the forerunner of this genre.
  • ALTIE 12 years +
    Ann Brashares
    12 years +
    • £7.89
    • RRP £7.99
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    Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget have been best friends all their lives. They live in the same small American town and usually spend every moment of their long summer holidays together. The year they turn 16 is the first time they have separate plans for the summer but the girls are determined to keep in touch. Tibby buys a pair of jeans in a second-hand shop and the girls discover that the trousers magically fit each of them perfectly, despite their different figures and heights. They hit upon a wonderful plan of sharing the jeans throughout the vacation - sending them on to the next friend when they feel the time is right. From Baja California to Greece, from film-making to football, the girls - and the travelling pants - encounter first love, family upset and fatal illness. Secure in the knowledge that their friendship is constant - and the symbol of it need never be more than a parcel-delivery away - the girls survive their summer and return home with a wealth of new experiences to share. This is a perfect teen-chick summer read; a quirky, humorous and memorable cut above the rest.
  • AMDOA 12 years +
    12 years +
    • £7.89
    • RRP £7.99
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    An all-new edition of the tragicomic smash hit which stormed the New York Times bestseller charts, now featuring an introduction from Markus Zusak. In his first book for young adults, Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school. This heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written tale, featuring poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, is based on the author's own experiences. It chronicles contemporary adolescence as seen through the eyes of one Native American boy. "Excellent in every way". (Neil Gaiman). It is illustrated in a contemporary cartoon style by Ellen Forney.
  • AMODE
    Andrew Smith
    • £7.89
    • RRP £7.99
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    If you're a fan of John Green, Michael Grant, Stephen King or Sally Green's Half Bad, get your pincers stuck into this. In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend Robby have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things. This is the truth. This is history. It's the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it. Funny, intense, complex and brave, Grasshopper Jungle is a groundbreaking, genre-bending, coming-of-age stunner. Praise for Grasshopper Jungle: "A cool/passionate, gay/straight, male/female, absurd/real, funny/moving, past/present, breezy/profound masterpiece of a book." (Michael Grant, bestselling author of the GONE series). "If you only read one book this year about sexually confused teens battling 6 foot tall head-chomping praying mantises in small town America, make it this one." (Charlie Higson, author of the bestselling Young Bond series). "I devoured @marburyjack's wonderful." (cool/passionate). "Grasshopper Jungle." (Sally Green, author of Half Bad). "Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. You must read immediately. It's an absolute joy. Scary, funny, sexy. Trust me." (Jake Shears, lead singer of The Scissor Sisters). "Not for the faint-hearted. Mutant grasshoppers, rampant lust - a tale of teen self discovery that grips like a mating mantis." (Metro).
  • ASMEI
    Jerry Spinelli
    • £5.59
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £1.40
    She's as magical as the desert sky. As mysterious as her own name. Nobody knows who she is or where she's from. But everyone loves her for being different. And she captures Leo's heart with just one smile. STARGIRL is a classic of our time that celebrates being true to ourselves and the thrill of first love. A life-changing read that touches souls of all ages.