Children's Must-Read Lists

Books with Strong Female Characters

  • Judy Blume Collection - 5 Books - Collection - 9781509891214 - Judy Blume
    JDYB 12 years +
    Judy Blume
    12 years +
    • £7.99
    • RRP £34.95
    • Save £26.96
    • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • New Dork Diaries Collection - 12 Books - Collection - 9781471168642 - Rachel Renee Russell
    DKDI 9 years +
    Rachel Renee Russell
    9 years +
    (5)
    • £13.99
    • RRP £83.88
    • Save £69.89
    • 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
  • EAK2 9 years +
    Jacqueline Wilson
    9 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    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+.
  • Geek Girl Collection - 6 Books - Collection - 9780007968039 - Holly Smale
    GKGI 11 years +
    Holly Smale
    11 years +
    (1)
    • £9.99
    • RRP £35.94
    • Save £25.95
    • 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.
  • EIL2 9 years +
    Neil Gaiman
    9 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    Widely regarded as a modern classic of children's literature, and also the inspiration for a major film adaptation directed by Henry Selick, this is a special tenth anniversary edition of Coraline.

    Written by the bestselling Neil Gaiman, this edition comes complete with a new foreword from the author, as well as visually striking illustrations from Children's Laureate Chris Riddell.

    There's something strange about Coraline's new home, and it's not the constant mist or the cat that keeps watching her, it's the other house... The one behind the old door in the drawing room, where a mother and father with black-button eyes and papery skin want Coraline to join them. But if Coraline steps through that door, she knows she may not come back...

    A gripping and dark contemporary fairy tale with just the right amount of creepiness.
  • GGG2 7 years +
    Chris Riddell
    7 years +
    • £6.99
    • RRP £10.99
    • Save £4.00
    Deliciously dark but also ghoulishly good, Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is a Costa Children's Book Award-winning and CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal-shortlisted novel from the Children's Laureate, Chris Riddell.

    Ada Goth lives unhappily with her father, Lord Goth, in the gigantic Ghastly-Gorm Hall. The Lord believes that children should be heard but not seen, so Ada is forced to wear clumpy boots so he can hear her coming... this makes it hard for her to make friends.

    When William and Emily Cabbage come to stay at the Hall - along with a ghostly mouse called Ishmael - Ada is relieved to have some company and find her loneliness drifting away. But that's just the start, soon, the new friends find themselves unravelling a dastardly plot that the gamekeeper has planned...
  • HEDI 7 years +
    Johanna Spyri
    7 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    Go on a journey high up into the Swiss Alps with Heidi, one of the most lovable characters in children's fiction and a long-time favourite with every member of the Red House team!

    When little Heidi goes to live with her grandfather in his lonely hut high up in the Alps, she loves her new life tending the goats and making new friends. But her strict aunt decides to send her away again to live in the town. Can Heidi manage to escape and return to the mountains and her happy life with her grandfather?

    This Puffin Classics edition features an introduction by Eva Ibbotson, further reading ideas, questions to consider and a gorgeous cover. Definitely one for every child's bookshelf!
  • HET2 9 years +
    Jacqueline Wilson
    9 years +
    (3)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    Warm, moving, funny and totally fascinating, Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson is the perfect book for young readers aged 9 and over.

    It's London, 1876, and Hetty Feather is just a tiny baby when her mother leaves her at the Foundling Hospital. The Hospital cares for abandoned children - but Hetty must first live with a foster family until she is big enough to go to school. Life in the countryside is hard but with her 'brothers' Jem and Gideon, she helps in the fields and plays imaginary games. Together they sneak off to visit the travelling circus and Hetty is mesmerised by the show, especially Madame Adeline and her performing horses. But Hetty's happiness is threatened once more when she is returned to the Foundling Hospital. The new life of awful uniforms and terrible food is a struggle for her. But now she has the chance to find her real mother. Could she really be the wonderful Madame Adeline? Or will Hetty find the truth is even more surprising?

    Jacqueline Wilson will surprise and delight old fans and new with this utterly original take on a historical novel. Set in Victorian times and featuring a brand new feisty heroine, Hetty Feather, this is a Tracy Beaker-esque tale that will thrill young readers.
  • JAC2 7 years +
    Jacqueline Wilson
    7 years +
    • £2.99
    • RRP £5.99
    • Save £3.00
    In Jacqueline Wilson's book, Sleepovers, five friends plan out themed sleepover parties for their birthdays. The only problem is that Daisy is new to the school and the gang of girls, and she's unsure about how the others will react when they meet her sister who has special needs. With her trademark tact and sensitivity, Jacqueline Wilson tackles the issue of disability and friendship with humour and warmth. This is a wonderful book that will strike a chord with a lot of girls and boys aged 7+.

    This children's book has been hand-picked for you by Red House.
  • MTV2 9 years +
    Roald Dahl
    9 years +
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    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.
  • OUG2 9 years +
    Joan Aiken
    9 years +
    (2)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    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!
  • World Elite Dance Academy Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9780603574054 - Kimberly Wyatt
    WEDA 9 years +
    9 years +
    • £4.99
    • RRP £20.97
    • Save £15.98
    • Just £1.66 per book
    Written by former pop star and Celebrity MasterChef winner Kimberly Wyatt (in collaboration with Girl Online author Siobhan Curham), the World Elite Dance Academy books will appeal to children who love nothing more than dancing to the beat.

    Billie and her friends all come from very different backgrounds but that doesn't stop them from coming together in an empowering way as they express themselves through dance. They're not on the lookout for fame and fortune, but do want to have fun!

    Diverse in the truest sense, these books will appeal to fans of everything from Malory Towers to Holly Willoughby's School for Stars series.

    Format: Paperback
  • EIM2 5 years +
    Michaela DePrince (Author)
    5 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    Beautifully illustrated and adapted for a younger audience, this edition of professional ballerina Michaela DePrince's memoir, Hope in a Ballet Shoe, is sure to capture your heart. It tells her almost unbelievable life story with wit and candour.
  • EII2 7 years +
    Helen Cresswell
    7 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    This is a brand new edition of Helen Cresswell's Moondial - a beloved classic full of magic and mischief.

    Minty Cane has always known she's a witch as she notices things no one else seems to - cries on the wind, cold air on stairways and ghosts. On a walk home one day, she stumbles across a moondial which can take her back in time.

    She finds Tom, a sickly kitchen boy, and Sarah, a girl with a birthmark that her family believe is the mark of the devil. Will Minty be able to save her new friends?
  • EIH2 7 years +
    Harry Heape
    7 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00
    Pippin thinks she's an ordinary girl but then she learns her Granny used to be a secret crime fighter... It turns out she has a gift, too. She's Shiny who can talk to animals.

    When animals start going missing, it's up to Pippin to catch the culprit. She ends up confronting kidnappers, evil scientists and potential diamond thieves. This is a quirky and funny read full of surprises. We think you'll enjoy it as much as the children!
  • EFI2 7 years +
    7 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £5.99
    • Save £2.00
    Fans of Scarlet and Ivy will love devouring St Grizzle's School for Girls, Geeks and Tag-along Zombies.

    Dani introduces her best friend to so many of her new classmates from St Grizzle's but the realises mixing an old and new life is not that easy. Soon, there are mysterious disappearances and all sorts of spooky happenings...
  • MRX2 8 years +
    Alf Proysen
    8 years +
    (5)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £4.00
    Alf Proysen's Mrs Pepperpot is a resourceful character, but then this is important if you're liable to shrink to the size of a pepperpot at any moment! In Mrs Pepperpot Stories, readers will enjoy the gentle humour and ingenuity of our pint-sized heroine as she encounters a monstrous mousetrap, a crafty fox and a mountain of ice-cream! Readers from 5+ will be charmed by Mrs Pepperpot.

    This children's book has been hand-picked for you by Red House.
  • EFH2 7 years +
    Linda Chapman
    7 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £5.99
    • Save £2.00
    Maia and her friends enjoy all kinds of magical adventures as they try to stop dark forces in this fantastic and fantastical read.

    When Maia's older sister starts acting strangely, the Star Animals are concerned and they soon discover her new pocket mirror is to blame. Can they use Star Magic to set things right.

    Similar in tone to Rainbow Magic and The Rescue Princesses, this is the ideal bridging gap between early readers and chapter books.
  • APGQY 11 years +
    Malala Yousafzai
    11 years +
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60
    Written by Malala for her peers, this is the girl behind the Nobel Prize-winning icon. Film tie-in edition with HE NAMED ME MALALA, released 6th November, which tells Malala's story from Nobel Peace Prize to netball courts. Malala is the most significant teenager of the twenty first century. She was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren't allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn't go to school. Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on 9 October, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause. She was shot point-blank on her way home from school. No one expected her to survive. Now she is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. This is the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world-and did. It will open your eyes to another world and will make you believe in hope, truth, miracles, and the determination of one person to inspire change. 'It's a searing and personal portrait of a young woman who dared to make a difference' PW
  • AAJME 4 years +
    Ludwig Bemelmans
    4 years +
    • £7.89
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £0.10
    'In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines...' Pepito lives next door to Madeline and her friends. When he moves to London, he pines for the twelve little girls terribly. So Miss Clavel and her charges pay him a visit in London...and come home with a new friend! This title features the small but feisty heroine, Madeline, and her charming Parisian world.
  • ABKNI 12 years +
    Philip Pullman
    12 years +
    (2)
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60
    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...