The best books for children which are also loved by adults

Who am I?

I love writing and illustrating all sorts of children's stories. The only thing my stories have in common is that none of their heroes eat meat, drink milk, or take part in the egg and spoon race. I write the kind of stories I want to read. I don't want to read about sex or violence. And I don't want to read foul language. I want something meaningful, something with a concluding note of optimism. Consequently, well-written children's stories often appeal to me. In fact, I've come to the conclusion that these are not just children's stories, they're good stories that anyone can enjoy.


I wrote...

Little Chicken Classic - Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er

By Violet Plum, Miranda Lemon (translator),

Book cover of Little Chicken Classic - Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er

What is my book about?

Eight-year-old Luke Walker is confident, outspoken, and defiant. He's a maverick, as brave as Robin Hood, and as logical as Commander Tuvok. Determined to do the right thing, Luke has to disobey, vandalise, lie, steal and sabotage. He thinks aloud, he acts aloud, and he doesn't suffer fools. He's a hero. He's a role model. He's a self-declared outlaw who will stop at nothing to save and protect animals, even if it means he gets into trouble. And it usually does.  

This Little Chicken Classic contains all sixteen funny and exciting chapters from the first two Luke Walker books.

The books I picked & why

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Millions

By Frank Cottrell Boyce,

Book cover of Millions

Why this book?

This is very hard to put down and an absolute joy to read. Two boys find themselves swimming in cash that was destined for destruction and decide to make the most of it. Problem is, in a few weeks this dosh won't be legal tender, so they've got to spend it fast! Anthony wants to invest in real estate, but younger brother Damian wants to do good with it and earn rungs on the ladder to Heaven, where his mum is. Sadly, doing good is not as straightforward as it might seem. My favourite bit is when he buys two dozen birds from a pet shop and sets them free. The liberated birds reappear from time to time throughout the story. 

Millions

By Frank Cottrell Boyce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Millions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What's the hook?

Entertaining and highly original, this novel appeals strongly to all young readers.

What are the themes?

Bereavement, family, grown up, self discovery, responsibility, relationships, social conscience and money and its power to corrupt!

Teaching points?

Many opportunities for studying framework objectives relating to humour, dialogue, characterisation and openings.

The Long Winter

By Laura Ingalls Wilder,

Book cover of The Long Winter

Why this book?

My favourite of all the Little House books - I can't tell you how many times I've read it. The Ingalls family have to move off their isolated homestead and into town to survive a freezing, seven-month winter. Their resourcefulness is hugely inspiring. Depleted of supplies, they make lamps out of buttons, string, and axle grease; they spend hours every day grinding wheat in a little coffee mill in order to have enough flour to make a small loaf of bread; and they get blisters twisting hay into sticks for the fire. The danger from sudden blizzards makes the short walk home from school potentially fatal. A perilous expedition for desperately needed supplies is too scary for most. And a hazardous, unnecessary journey undertaken by Laura, reveals just how much she misses her family.

The Long Winter

By Laura Ingalls Wilder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Long Winter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Classic tales by Laura Ingalls Wilder about life on the frontier and America's best-loved pioneer family.

When a blizzard cuts the town of De Smet off from the railroad, the community is left for weeks without food or fuel deliveries and the Ingalls family are forced to eke out the last of their supplies.

As the terrible winter drags on, things begin to look desperate, until Almanzo Wilder and his friend brave the icy storms in search of help from another settlement.

The timeless stories that inspired a TV series can now be read by a new generation of children.…


The Good Bear

By Sarah Lean,

Book cover of The Good Bear

Why this book?

Thea's Christmas visit to her estranged father and his new family in Norway is disappointing and infuriating, until she meets the bear. In this fiction, Sarah Lean conveys so much truth. Her beautiful, mistreated, hungry, lonely bear is so real, he brings tears to my eyes. Thea tries desperately to protect her new best friend from the locals who consider him a threat, because she knows “They would not take the time to look into his eyes, to question and discover what he was really like." I wish everyone would take the time to look into animals' eyes, to see who they really are, and let them be.

The Good Bear

By Sarah Lean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Good Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A story of friendship to treasure this Christmas . . .

From the bestselling author of A DOG CALLED HOMELESS, this is the perfect Christmas gift for fans of Michael Morpurgo, Lauren St John and Sara Pennypacker's PAX.

It's the Christmas holidays and Thea is looking forward to spending them with her father. She can tell him all about her plans to become a writer, and maybe he'll buy her the typewriter she's been dreaming of.

But when Thea arrives in snowy Norway, everything feels . . . wrong. Her father is as distant as ever and now she has…

Small Steps

By Louis Sachar,

Book cover of Small Steps

Why this book?

Armpit (aka Theodore), after his release from Camp Green Lake Juvenile Correctional Facility, follows his counsellor's advice to take small steps to get his life back on track. Unfortunately, because of how other people perceive him, one of his steps – avoiding situations that might turn violent – is not always easy to do. I've read this a few times and love it because Theodore is such a kind character. If you've ever been in a situation where you're trying to do the right thing while juggling the conflicting needs of a friend who wants help, and a boss who depends on you, you'll relate. The story is fast-paced, funny at times, filled with diverse characters, and has plenty of dialogue, which I love.

Small Steps

By Louis Sachar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Small Steps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Armpit and X-Ray are living in Austin, Texas. It is three years since they left the confines of Camp Green Lake Detention Centre and Armpit is taking small steps to turn his life around. He is working for a landscape gardener because he is good at digging holes, he is going to school and he is enjoying his first proper romance, but is he going to be able to stay out of trouble when there is so much building up against him? In this exciting novel, Armpit is joined by many vibrant new characters, and is learning what it takes…

A Kind of Spark

By Elle McNicoll,

Book cover of A Kind of Spark

Why this book?

This book is gripping. From the first sentence I was hooked as the autistic heroine showed me what life is like when no one understands you. When no one thinks like you. And when almost everyone underestimates you. I have learned so much from this book and am grateful for it. I love Addie. I love how empathetic she is as she campaigns for a memorial for the accused witches executed by her village centuries earlier. And I love her passion for sharks and her desire for them to live free and natural lives. I am certain that she would not visit aquariums because she knows how cruel captivity is. She is a bright, brave soul and I highly recommend that you read her story.

A Kind of Spark

By Elle McNicoll,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Kind of Spark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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