Parents often ask me what books their children should be reading. It's a difficult question to answer as every child is different. I usually suggest that they start with the child's hobbies and interests and pick books linked to those things. Yet with so much focus on technology in the modern world, it can be hard to convince a child that they should be reading when so many of their peers aren't.
Below I have listed 5 great books for young readers, generally aimed at children under 10. I believe that the words leap off the page and will capture the imagination of even the most reading-averse child.
Goodnight Mister Tom
Goodnight Mister Tom is one of the most touching and powerful stories ever written. As the relationship between Willie and Tom begins to transform them both, Magorian's powerful yet gentle writing tugs at the heart, taking the reader on an incredibly emotional journey that never once stoops to unnecessary sentimentality
If A Bus Could Talk
In this book a bus does talk, and on her way to school a girl named Marcie learns why Rosa Parks is the mother of the Civil Rights movement. At the end of Marcie's magical ride, she meets Rosa Parks herself at a birthday party with several distinguished guests. Wait until she tells her class about this!
Afghanistan: Parvana's father is arrested and taken away by Taliban soldiers. Under Taliban law, women and girls are not allowed to leave the house on their own.
Parvana, her mother, and sisters are prisoners in their own home. With no man to go out to buy food, they face starvation.
So Parvana must pretend to be a boy to save her family. It is a dangerous plan, but their only chance. In fear, she goes out - and witnesses the horror of landmines, the brutality of the Taliban, and the desperation of a country trying to survive. But even in despair lies hope . . .
The Butterfly Lion
Bertie rescues an orphaned white lion cub from the African veld. They are inseparable until Bertie is sent to boarding school far away in England and the lion is sold to a circus. Bertie swears that one day they will see one another again, but it is the butterfly lion which ensures that their friendship will never be forgotten.
The Village By The Sea
A story of survival set in a small fishing villlage near Bombay. Lila and Hari, aged 13 and 12, struggle to keep the family, including two young sisters, going when their mother is ill and their father usually the worse for drink. When Hari goes to Bombay to find work, Lila seems to be responsible for everything. Although the book paints a picture of extreme poverty, it demonstrates the strength of the family even in the most extreme circumstances and offers a powerful picture of another culture.