Recommendations based on the books you already love
Have your children really enjoyed a book or series, but they aren’t sure what to read next? We know that building a child’s reading identity is a crucial part of developing their reading enjoyment and book choice skills. So, whether they already love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, the Match annuals or Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses, we’ve got some engaging recommendations to help them enjoy exploring their reading preferences.
What to read next if you already like...
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
Julia Donaldson’s heart-warming tale of The Gruffalo has been a favourite among so many young readers. For more charming and amusing stories to read together, try Donaldson’s Zog books or Shearring’s Anna and Otis. For a similar story that also introduces children to thinking about animals and the environment, try Mini Grey’s The Last Wolf.
- The Last Wolf by Mini Grey
- The Oi! series by Kes Gray and Jim Field
- Going to the Volcano by Andy Stanton
- Anna and Otis by Maisie Paradise Shearring
- The Zog books by Julia Donaldson
- PODCAST: Sleepy Stories on BBC Sounds
- Come All You Little Persons by John Agard.
Where’s Wally? by Martin Handford
Find-and-discover books like Where’s Wally? are great for a range of reading ages. For more find and discover books, Find Tom in Time and Catch the Creeper! are great. For young readers who love books that will give them activities to do whilst they read, Andrea Beaty’s Ada Twist’s Big Project Book for Stellar Scientists is fun. Also, for readers who like quick-fire learning without having to sit still, then why not try a podcast like BBC Sounds’ Homeschool History.
- Find Tom in Time by Nosy Crow
- Ada Twist’s Big Project Book for Stellar Scientists by Andrea Beaty
- Catch the Creeper! (Minecraft) by Stephanie Milton
- I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles by Walter Wick and Jean Marzollo
- PODCAST: Homeschool History on BBC Sounds.
Bananas in my Ears and other books by Michael Rosen
Readers who love Michael Rosen's should definitely give the anthology, I Bet I Can Make You Laugh a go. For younger readers, Derek the Sheep is a good funny option. A Kid in My Class is great for readers who like some personality to their poetry. For more of a challenge, T S Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is a good one to try.
- How to Write a Poem by Jospeh Coelho
- Derek the Sheep: Let’s Bee Friends by Gary Northfield
- You’re Snug with Me by Chitra Soundar
- I Bet I Can Make You Laugh by Joshua Seigal (ed.)
- A Kid in My Class by Rachel Rooney
- Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot.
The Beano from DC Thomson
The Phoenix is a great option for Beano fans. Young readers looking for more laughs and big characters, My Magical Life and Claire: Justice Ninja are great fiction choices in book format. For young readers who just love all things comics, they could try award-winning Eco Kids Planet, or attempt some of their own writing with Write and Draw Your Own Comics.
- The Phoenix from David Fickling Comics
- The Eco Kids Planet magazine from Eco Kids Planet Ltd
- Claire: Justice Ninja by Joe Brady
- Write and Draw Your Own Comics by Louie Stowell
- My Magical Life by Zach King
- Glitch by Sarah Graley.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a wonderful story for all ages. Older readers who are looking for something that will make them think could try I Will Not Be Erased and younger readers who enjoy mindful reading could try Ruby’s Worry or Your Mood Journal.
- Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival
- The Book of Hopes by Katherine Rundell (ed.)
- Your Mood Journal by Fearne Cotton
- Something Bad Happened: A Kid’s Guide to Coping with Events in the News by Dawn Huebner
- I Will Not Be Erased by gal-dem
- The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
Jeff Kinney’s hilarious, awkward and relatable Diary of a Wimpy Kid books continue to be popular with young readers. For similar laugh-out-loud silliness, children should try the Barry Loser series or the World of Norm series. For a bit of a twist, try El Deafo and Anisha, Accidental Detective.
- Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
- The Barry Loser series by Jim Smith
- The World of Norm series by Jonathan Meres
- El Deafo by Cece Bell
- Anisha, Accidental Detective by Serena Patel
- Shona, Word Detective by John Agard
- Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick.
Gangsta Granny and other books by David Walliams
If your young readers love the outrageously silly David Walliams books full of fart jokes and daft gags, then they should definitely try Who Let the Gods Out? and Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties. For readers who really enjoy the funny characters at the heart of Walliams’ books, then The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop would be a good one to try. For books with the same chaotic adventures, try The Parent Agency.
- Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties by Henry White and Humza Arshad
- The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop by Clare Balding
- The Parent Agency by David Baddiel
- Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans
- Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans.
Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst
There is an increasing number of brilliantly inspiring, activist fiction and non-fiction choices for children. For more real-life inspiring figures, try Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara’s collectable Little People, Big Dreams series. For powerful role models in a fictional story, try a classic like L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, or, for a new choice, Weirdo.
- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo (also available as a podcast with the same name)
- The Little People, Big Dreams series by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
- Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
- Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
- Weirdo by Zadie Smith and Nick Laird
- Greta and the Giants by Zoe Tucker.
The Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
The magical world of Harry Potter transports children’s imaginations as they develop their reading skills. For more magical tales to be entranced by, try Pullman’s The Northern Lights or Larson’s The Pennroyal Academy series. For slightly older readers ready for slightly deeper themes, why not try Ursula K. Le Guin’s quiet, absorbing A Wizard of Earthsea.
- Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
- The Pennroyal Academy series by M. A. Larson
- The Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman
- A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
- The Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (older readers, 14+)
- The Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi.
The Horrid Henry books by Francesca Simon
If your children love laugh-out-loud, fiendish fun, there are plenty of places to go after the Horrid Henry books. Dirty Bertie, Burping Bertha and Tom Gates are all perfect follow-ups for more mischief, while Two Weeks with the Queen provides the humour in amongst some more touching themes.
- Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine
- Dirty Bertie by Alan MacDonald
- Burping Bertha by Michael Rosen
- The Tom Gates books by Liz Pichon
- Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman
- The Thirteen-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
How to Train Your Dragon is a warm, fun fantasy series from Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell. For more magical fantasy, your children could try Dragon Rider or The Wizards of Once. For a good long series to get stuck into, the Beast Quest books are great. For children who just love everything dragons, why not try Douglas Florian’s How to Draw a Dragon.
- The Beast Quest books by Adam Blade
- Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
- The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell
- The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Shephard
- How to Draw a Dragon by Douglas Florian
- PODCAST: Story Pirates by Gimlet
- Falling Out the Sky: Poems about Myths and Monsters by Emma Wright
The Match Annuals by Various
The Match Annuals are fantastic for football fans – and they’re a brilliant way to encourage reluctant readers. Superfans of football who aren’t yet super keen on reading could try the non-fiction How to Be a Better Footballer or Women in Sport, or a podcast like BBC Sounds’ Sporting Superstars. For a fiction choice, the Football School books are great.
- The Football School books by Alex Bellos
- Football Academy: Boys United by Tom Palmer
- Women in Sport by Rachel Ignotofsky
- How to Be a Better Footballer by Andrew Henderson
- PODCAST: Sporting Superstars on BBC Sounds
The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr
Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came To Tea is a longstanding classic for young readers, with its gentle, quirky humour enjoyable for both children and their adults. For more books with memorable characters to make your children chuckle, try Princess Smartypants or The Littlest Yak. For more animal books with a little bit of chaos thrown in, try Sadiq and the Pet Problem or Room on the Broom.
- Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole
- My Hair by Hannah Lee
- Sadiq and the Pet Problem by Siman Nurali
- The Littlest Yak by Lu Fraser
- Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
- Whatever Next! by Jill Murphy
The Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz
If your children love the action, adventure and intrigue of Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider books, they should try Robert Muchamore’s teen spy thriller series, Cherub. For an equally exciting read, but this time set in a dystopian world, they could try Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.
- The Cherub series by Robert Muchamore
- Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
- Silverfin by Charlie Higson
- When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
- PODCAST: The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel by Gen-Z Media
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
If your young readers love the action and adventure of The Hunger Games, then Noughts and Crosses and The Explorer would be great next books to try. For readers who enjoy exploring more thoughtful themes, we recommend The Girl of Ink & Stars. You could also suggest they try a piece of classic literature that looks at some of the same themes of identity and growing up, such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
- The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
- The Girl of Ink & Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
- Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
- Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
The Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket
Lemony Snicket’s witty, alternative and darkly humorous Series of Unfortunate Events is an enduringly popular choice among young readers. For more books that capture the same weird and wacky adventures, young readers could try Malamander or Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. For readers who especially love the bizarre and clever wordplay running through Snicket’s writing, this could be a good chance to try Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
- Malamander by Thomas Taylor
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Harley Hitch and the Iron Forest by Vashti Hardy
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (adapted by Hope Larson)
Tracy Beaker and other books by Jacqueline Wilson
Jacqueline Wilson’s books offer a mix of heart-warming fun, touching themes and relatable stories for lots of children. Younger fans of Jacqueline Wilson could try Darcy Burdock and the Chocolate Box Girls series. For older readers who love Wilson for her more serious themes and nuanced protagonists, Orangeboy and Little Women are both good choices.
- Darcy Burdock by Laura Dockrill
- The Chocolate Box Girls series by Cathy Cassidy
- White Dolphin by Gill Lewis
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence (older readers)
- Rumaysa: A Fairytale by Radiya Hafiza
- Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Wonder by R J Palacio
For more touching, thoughtful reads that celebrate difference, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a fantastic read. For superfans of Wonder who just want more R J Palacio, the short-story collection Auggie and Me would be a great place to go next. Readers interested in more inspirational figures should try the anthology The Hero Next Door.
- The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf
- The Hero Next Door by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (ed.)
- Auggie and Me: Three Wonder Stories by R J Palacio
- Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
- PODCAST: But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids by Vermont Public Radio
- New Kid by Jerry Craft
- Smile by Raina Telgemeier
The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
Young readers who love stories in fantasy school with lots of mischief could try You Can’t Make Me Go to Witch School or New Class at Malory Towers, which includes updated content for today’s young readers. For more books with super-cool main characters, Pippi Longstocking is a great classic, and Amari and the Night Brothers is also great. For some fun poetry that still has a magical feel, Dear Ugly Sisters and Other Poems is brilliant.
- New Class at Malory Towers by Various
- Witch Wars by Sibéal Pounder
- You Can’t Make Me Go to Witch School by Em Lynas
- Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
- Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston
- Dear Ugly Sisters and Other Poems by Laura Mucha