Children's Must-Read Lists

Stories About Heroes & Heroines

  • PJA2 9 years +
    Rick Riordan
    9 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    A previous winner of the Red House Children's Book Award, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was the first book in a thrilling fantasy series that has inspired two hit Hollywood films.

    Taking as its hero, the unlikely character of Percy, a troubled kid who has dyslexia and ADHD, the story rapidly moves from a school outing for mortals from the 21st century to a quest to reach the gates of the Underworld with a satyr and a daughter of Athena.

    Fast-paced fantasy and adventure that will appeal to children from 9+.
  • CDX2 9 years +
    Berlie Doherty
    9 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    Berlie Doherty's Street Child is a powerful and moving story with themes of cruelty and injustice. Set in Victorian times, it follows the plight of orphan boy Jim Jarvis, who struggles to survive in the face of poverty and homelessness.

    This is a classic book about humanity and resillience and is based on a real-life story of the boy who inspired the establishment of Dr. Barnardo's children's homes. Berlie Doherty has twice won the Carnegie Medal.
  • HSD2 7 years +
    7 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    How to Steal a Dragon's Sword, the ninth book in Cressida Cowell's How to Train Your Dragon series, finds Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third finding it hard to be a hero.

    The woods of Berserk have burned down and it feels like the world is cursed: Dragons are revolting against their Masters, the water is rising and the wicked witch Excellinor has returned....

    Will Hiccup be able to find the King's Things and win a sword-fighting contest to save the day?
  • EAK2 9 years +
    Jacqueline Wilson
    9 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    The Story of Tracy Beaker introduces Jacqueline Wilson's most popular character ever!

    Ten-year-old Tracy lives in a care home but frequently escapes from her annoying surroundings with the help of a vivid imagination.

    Accompanied by brilliant illustrations from Nick Sharratt, The Story of Tracy Beaker is essential reading for children from 9+.
  • DAM2 11 years +
    Sue Townsend
    11 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    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.
  • CRX2 7 years +
    Roald Dahl
    7 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    With its refreshed look to celebrate the Roald Dahl 100 celebrations, this special edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is perfect for introducing children to the wonderful and weird world of Roald Dahl.

    With Quentin Blake's illustrations, this is the story of a boy from a poor family who wins a golden ticket to visit the elusive Willy Wonka's secretive chocolate factory.

    When Charlie Bucket arrives at the tour - hosted by none other than Willy Wonka, the owner of the factory - he finds himself surrounded by nasty, spoilt brats. There's the greedy Augustus Gloop; arrogant Veruca Salt; repulsive Violet Beaurgarde; and TV-obsessed Mike Teavee.

    But when the tour starts, what mysterious secrets will the group discover? Everything from oompa-loompas to a glass elevator await... this is a classic children's story from the world's No. 1 storyteller.
  • OYD2 9 years +
    David Walliams
    9 years +
    (2)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    Now widely regarded as one of the most talented children's authors around, funnyman David Walliams, previously best known for his Sport Relief challenges and Little Britain, released his debut novel, The Boy in the Dress, to tremendous acclaim in 2008.

    Full of heart, wit and a touch of Roald Dahl-style anarchy, it finds 12-year-old Dennis living unhappily after his mum leaves the family. A crack of light shines through as he strikes up a friendship with a girl based on their mutual love of Vogue magazine - and soon Dennis is trying out some of her dresses...

    Covering an important and timely subject with no judgment and plenty of wit and insight, this fantastic novel is great for reluctant readers and any child who's felt like they're the odd one out...
  • HOI2 9 years +
    JRR Tolkien
    9 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    Likeable and unassuming hero Bilbo Baggins is unwittingly caught up in an epic adventure in one of the most imaginative and captivating children's classics ever written. Although Bilbo sets out on his quest for a dragon's gold rather reluctantly, as he is a cautious hobbit who likes a quiet life, his journey helps him find courage, strength and hidden resources that are sure to inspire readers young and old.

    The Hobbit is a fantastic book for confident readers aged 9+, but it's also a great book for parents to read aloud to their child at bedtime, especially with the success of An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug - the first two of Peter Jackson's award-winning trilogy of films based on The Hobbit starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo - bringing the story to a new audience.
  • JOR2 9 years +
    Eva Ibbotson
    9 years +
    (3)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    A huge favourite with us at Book People and described by the Sunday Times as 'the most perfect children's book', Eva Ibbotson's Journey to the River Sea is an enchanting read that proves that every kid should live their life full of adventure.

    The story of an orphan shipped to her distant relatives, Maia is disappointed when she is not welcomed with the open arms she was expecting... but the wonders of the Amazonian rainforest soon make up for this!

    When she meets a mysterious boy who lives alone on the wild river shores, things become even more extraordinary. A beautiful, traditional adventure story, we just know you will adore this book.
  • WOZ2 9 years +
    L. Frank Baum
    9 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum is more than 100 years old but still has the power to transport its reader to another world.

    Dorothy and her dog Toto are hit by a tornado which deposits them in the strange and magical Land of Oz. To return home to Kansas, Dorothy must follow the Yellow Brick Road and find the elusive Wizard of Oz but her journey is full of obstacles - not least the Wicked Witch of the West...

    The Wizard of Oz is an unmissable read for children aged 9+ and a must-read book for fans of classic The Wizard of Oz film starring Judy Garland and the hit Disney prequel Oz: The Great and Powerful, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz.
  • TMX2 9 years +
    Philippa Pearce
    9 years +
    (3)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    A Carnegie Medal-winning children's book from Phillipa Pearce, Tom's Midnight Garden is a haunting and evocative tale that will stay in the reader's memory for a long, long time.

    Tom is packed off to stay with relatives when his brother catches measles. Boredom and loneliness plague Tom until one night he hears the clock strike thirteen and something magical starts to happen.

    An enchanting and beautiful tale that will live with you for a very long time.
  • HPF2 9 years +
    9 years +
    • £5.99
    • RRP £7.99
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    Head to Hogwarts and discover where it all began with this special children's edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

    Living at number four, Privet Drive, Harry Potter has never even heard of the Wizarding school when the letters start arriving (and are subsequently confiscated by his aunt and uncle, Petunia and Dudley Dursley). On his 11th birthday, Harry learns from a giant of a man named Rubeus Hagrid that he is, in fact, a wizard... And that's when the most magical adventure really begins!

    Compete with Jonny Duddle's eye-catching, new artwork - this is a wonderful introduction to the Wizarding World.
  • CPD2 4 years +
    Michael Bond
    4 years +
    • £2.99
    • RRP £5.99
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    In Michael Bond's A Bear Called Paddington, Mr and Mrs Brown stumble across a small, polite bear in Paddington Station with a label around his neck which reads, "Please look after this bear. Thank you." It's the start of lots of hilarious stories in which Paddington Bear encounters all kinds of adventures, leaving his inimitable sticky imprint wherever he goes. The ultimate in funny and endearing classic chapter books to read with children aged five and older!

    This children's book has been hand-picked for you by Red House.
  • 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+.
  • OUG2 9 years +
    Joan Aiken
    9 years +
    (2)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    In The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, award-winning author Joan Aiken has created a wild, imaginative adventure that follows the fortunes of cousins Bonnie and Sylvia who have been turned out of their home by a sinister governess. The novel is set in 1832 and England is plagued by droves of ravaging wolves. The cousins must get help, but their future looks grim...This is a nail-biting, suspense-filled adventure with witty and likeable heroines. Readers from 9+ will be gripped!
  • RJP2 11 years +
    RJ Palacio
    11 years +
    (13)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £4.00
    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.
  • Alex Rider Collection - 10 Books - Collection - 9781406364835 - Anthony Horowitz
    ARCC 11 years +
    Anthony Horowitz
    11 years +
    (9)
    • £13.99
    • RRP £79.90
    • Save £65.91
    • Just £1.40 per book
    Cool, contemporary and brave, bestselling author Anthony Horowitz created a phenomenal character in Alex Rider - and now you can own the entire collection of his exciting adventures.

    Action packed from the first book to the last, the teenager is recruited to help on a MI6 mission after his uncle is killed in a car crash. Having looked after him since he was a baby, Alex is devastated by this tragedy but in the aftermath of his death, Alex discovers his uncle was actually a spy...

    Told at breakneck pace and with tons of suspense, this series is irresistible.

    This collection contains books 1-10 in Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series.
    Format: paperback
  • 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.
  • MTV2 9 years +
    Roald Dahl
    9 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    From the genius mind of Roald Dahl, Matilda Wormwood is a heroine with a love of books and some truly magical powers. Her parents may call her terrible things all the time, but the truth is she's a very special little girl.

    Forming a special bond with her caring teacher Miss Honey, both her parents and the angry, spiteful headmistress Miss Trunchbull soon find out they were wrong to underestimate Matilda so much...

    In 1996, this magical book was adapted into a popular film directed by and starring Danny DeVito and it's also now an award-winning musical across the world. Complete with Quentin Blake's illustrations, Matilda is a timeless classic that will be returned to again and again.
  • Anne of Green Gables Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9780349010632 - L.M. Montgomery
    AOGG 9 years +
    L.M. Montgomery
    9 years +
    • £4.99
    • RRP £20.97
    • Save £15.98
    • Just £1.66 per book
    L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables is a classic run of children's books that has recently been adapted into a popular Netflix series. This collection, presented in a cute slipcase, includes the first three books in the series.

    In Anne of Green Gables, the scrawny, freckled girl with bright red hair arrives on Prince Edward Island and takes Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert by surprise. They were expecting a quiet boy to help them with their farm work, but instead they welcomed a chatty girl full of hope and wonder.

    Anne of Avonlea takes place five years later and finds Anne starting a job as a teacher at her old school. She's not much older than the pupils and has so much to prove. Can she inspire a love of learning?

    Finally, there's Anne of the Island, a story that finds her leaving Green Gables for university. She's always dreamt of this moment but her feelings are bittersweet - she's excited to see the world and broaden her horizons but also anxious about leaving her home, family and friends behind.
    Format: paperback
  • What Katy Did Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9780349010649 - Susan Coolidge
    WKTD 9 years +
    Susan Coolidge
    9 years +
    • £4.99
    • RRP £20.97
    • Save £15.98
    • Just £1.66 per book
    Originally published in the late 1800s, the lively nature of the What Katy Did trilogy has inspired so many classic children's books - with Jacqueline Wilson stating it's one of her favourite stories.

    The original story introduces Katy Carr; a girl who has grand plans to be beautiful, graceful and ladylike - but all of that can wait. She's now happy to have tangled hair and to wear a torn dress. She's got a wild imagination and is always up to mischief. However, when she's involved a terrible accident, it takes a lot of courage - and patience - to keep her dreams alive.

    What Katy Did at School finds Kay and her sister Clover leaving for boarding school, but they're weighed down by worries that their father won't cope without them; and What Katy Did Next has Katy exploring the beautiful sights of Europe.

    Presented in a slipcase, these are beloved stories your children and you will both enjoy in equal measure.
    Format: paperback
  • WAM2 9 years +
    Michael Morpurgo
    9 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
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    In War Horse, award-winning children's author Michael Morpurgo allows readers to understand the horror of the First World War by recounting the experiences of a farm horse who is commandeered to join the front line.

    The unbeatable storytelling skills of Michael Morpurgo make War Horse a stunning, unputdownable tale that won't fail to move all readers from 9+.

    As Steven Spielberg's epic film version gained a whole new audience for this stunning novel, there's never been a better time to read the book.
  • EFN2 8 years +
    Guy Bass
    8 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £5.99
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    Guy Bass, the author of My Brother is a Superhero and Astrosaurs, kicks off another laugh-out-loud series with Spynosaur!

    Spynosaur was created by top spy-entists when they insered the mind of a secret agent inside the body of a dinosaur. Together with daughter Amber, Spynosaur protects the world from evil.

    Department 6 learns all-round bad guy Ergo Ego has made a super-secret weapon known as the McGuffin and puts Spynosaur on the case to rattle Ego's bones. Will he succeed without blowing everything up?

    This roar-some chapter book is packed with prehistoric fun.
  • AGW2 6 years +
    Benjamin Harper
    6 years +
    • £2.99
    • RRP £4.99
    • Save £2.00
    You've never read a Hansel and Gretel story this sweet!

    The Undead family have run out of brains as the tourists have stopped visiting their graveyard home. They're pretty hungry so they disguise themselves as tourists and try to lure tourists back to their house...