12 Fantastic Books for Children to Read in Primary School

As a parent, one of the best ways you can support your child’s education from a young age at home is through encouraging them to read. Reading is required in order to learn and understand most other topics, be it from a blackboard, in textbooks or worksheets and that means that ensuring your child not only has the ability to do so but is also passionate and enthusiastic about expanding their reading skills is of the utmost importance. The better a child can read, the easier it will make learning new things for them and supporting them with this from a young age will help them to make the most out of every aspect of their education to be the best that they can be.

Establishing a good relationship between children and books is essential to them wanting to read as opposed to having to read, and it is, in part, this distinction that will differentiate those who are passionate about books in later life and those who are not. Trying to make reading as fun and engaging as possible from a young age will give you a head start on creating this willingness to learn, and ensure you treat books like a treat as opposed to a chore. For those who are keen to encourage reading for their child, we have created a list of some of the best books that you can buy or borrow to further enhance this skill and we have organised this list by age. That said, it’s important to remember that the ages provided are guidelines as opposed to set in stone and, if you find your child is ahead or behind of the list, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Each child will develop and flourish in their own time and are likely to advance at a different rate to their peers.

Age 0-5

The Tiger Who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr

A family-favourite that was published 50 years ago and, after being enjoyed by generations of children, still proves popular with young children today. The unexpected dinner guest, a tiger, helps to fuel the imaginations of younger children and the magic at teatime will continue to delight for years to come.

Gorilla – Anthony Browne

This innovative book is about Hannah, who loves gorillas, but has never seen one in real life. She is disappointed to learn that the gorilla she requested for her birthday is just a toy, but then it turns into a real gorilla and takes her for a magical visit to the zoo. A complex story with fantastic images surrounding themes of loneliness and friendship – a book that everyone can enjoy!

The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson

An award-winning rhyming tale of monster and mouse that has proved popular all over the world. A little mouse goes for a walk in the dangerous forest and invents a magical creature called The Gruffalo to scare off all his enemies. Imagine the surprise when he comes across a real-life Gruffalo…

The Snowman – Raymond Briggs

Christmas is fast approaching, and there’s no better way to encourage reading than with this festive classic. A snowman comes to life on one unforgettable winter’s night for an adventure like no other flying high up in the sky. This book is sure to capture the imagination of children who are excited about the festive season.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury

Follow this family’s excitement as they encounter all kinds of barriers on their search for a bear and share in their joy at what awaits them on the other side of the dark forest! A book that’s bound to transform family walks forever, this memorable chant brings joy to many and will also encourage children to spend more time outside.

Age 5-8

The True Story of Three Little Pigs – Jon Scieszka

A hilarious re-telling of a classic story, this book claims only one person knows the real story of what happened there, and that person is a wolf. Starting with a birthday cake for his granny, a bad cold and a bad reputation, the wolf finally gets his side of the story heard – and about time too!

The BFG – Roald Dahl

As the world sleeps, big gruesome giants guzzle up whoopsy-whiffling human beans, and the only way to stop them is with help from the BFG. The kindest, most thoughtful giant around and, with Sophie in his top pocket, he sets out to save the world from the likes of all the evil giants forever.

Winnie the Pooh – A A Milne

Winne the Pooh is just an average bear, living in the forest with an appetite for honey, but thanks to his friends Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Christopher Robin and others, an adventure is never far away. Reading this story is essentially a part of our literary passage and can be enjoyed by both adults and children alike.

Charlotte’s Web – E B White

A time-honoured classic, this book tells the story of Fern, her friend Wilbur the Pig and Wilbur’s friend Charlotte, a grey spider. Through the unlikely help of Templeton the Rat and a cunning plan of her own, Fern attempts to save the life of Wilbur.

Books available at our school library

Age 9 -11

The Chronicles of Narnia – C S Lewis

Children who read this book will be lost in a world of eternal winter, talking animals and battles between Centaurs, Giants and Fauns – what more could you ask for? C S Lewis has captured the imaginations of children for over fifty years and will continue to do so with this timeless classic.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken

A time that never happened saw England overrun with wolves, but that was the least of Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia’s worries when they discover the dangers of their new governess, Miss Slighcarp, and must outwit her and her network of criminals, forgers and snitches for the greater good.

Stig of the Dump – Clive King

Barney is renowned for wandering off by himself and leading a fairly solitary life, but this all changes when he falls into a cave and meets Stig, a cave boy with shaggy hair, bright black eyes and they become great friends, despite no one else believing that Stig is real. The unlikely duo embarks on an array of adventures, each as exciting as the next.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J K Rowling

The first of seven, the Harry Potter books are fantastic for children to begin at primary school. Follow wizard Harry as he discovers an entire world he never knew existed and get lost in the magic of Hogwarts in this tale that tells of friendship, bravery and love. Prepare to buy the next six books, for this series is undeniably addictive.

Books at our school library

We hope you have enjoyed reading our list of 12 of the best books to read during primary school and that it has given you some options for what your child can read next, as well as providing a trip down memory lane for many! Do you have a favourite not on our list? Feel free to share it with us and other parents with children at our private school in Devon via the comments on social media!


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