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Recommended Reads for Children: A Series for Summer

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 15th August 2013

As the long summer holidays continue in full swing, there's no better time to get children hooked on one of the many fantastic series of books currently available. Our regular Recommending Reader Marianne returns with some of her favourites for kids of primary age right up to teens, giving them lots to stay occupied while school is out.

Remember, you can take a look through all of our previous Recommended Reads for Children here on The Reader Online.

Age : 6+

The Trouble with ChickensThe Trouble with Chickens - Doreen Cronin (Balzer & Bray, 2011)

J. J. Tully is a former search-and-rescue dog, and even though he's retired, he's tough and knows the business. So he doesn't like the chances of finding two missing chicks for their mother and siblings (who look like popcorn on legs). But with a cheeseburger as his reward, J.J. is going to do his best. An absolutely hilarious mystery for new readers and a great read aloud. The target audience, as well as adults who read this novel, are in for a treat! Don't miss the sequel The Legend of Diamond Lil: A J.J. Tully Mystery.

Ivy and BeanIvy and Bean series - Annie Barrows (Chronicle Books, 2007)

Ivy and Bean couldn’t be more different but end up becoming best friends. Together, these 7-year-olds share all kinds of adventures in this popular early chapter book series (9 books in the series so far). There escapades often get them into trouble but always involve fun. Vibrant characters and lots of humor make this a charming and addictive introduction to Ivy and Bean. These books are just right for kids moving on from beginning readers.

Age 8+

Mysterious Benedict SocietyThe Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart (Little, Brown and Company, 2007)

Don't miss these clever books about a misfit group of children recruited to save the world by the Mysterious Mr. Benedict. Written in a Dickens-meets-Roald Dahl style with loveable characters and a kindness running throughout I was enthralled from the first page. The books are pretty long (500 pages long in fact) but are filled with challenging puzzles and wacky adventures that will keep readers busy all summer long.

Ashton PlaceThe Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series - Maryrose Wood (HarperCollins Children, 2011)

Discovered running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children. Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess and embraces the challenge of her new position to tame their canine tendencies. How the children were found like this is just one of the many mysteries Miss Lumley must solve. Full of wonderful Lemony Snicket-humour this book is storytelling at its best and leaves the reader rushing to read the next installment! The fourth book of this series is published early 2014.

Age 12+

TThe Apothecaryhe Apothecary - Maile Meloy (Andersen, 2012)

It’s 1952. Janie Scott has to move from California to London with her parents. She’s not thrilled at the prospect but soon forgets her homesickness when she stumbles upon a mysterious apothecary, his handsome son Benjamin, and a murder! Maile Meloy’s Apothecary is a wonderful mix of historical fiction (post-WWII Britain, cold war spies and knee socks) and fantasy (mystical book, magical spells and impossible adventures) that culminates in a race to save the world. A fantastic gem for Harry Potter fans! The Apprentices is the much anticipated sequel.

among the hiddenAmong the Hidden (Shadow Children series) - Margaret Haddix (Simon & Schuster, 2000)

In the future it is forbidden to have more than two children, and the Population Police are there to ensure everyone follows this law. Luke is a third child and has been forced to spend his life in hiding. He is alone in the world - until he sees another child's face in a window where two known children already live. Luke is pulled into an underground network of Shadow Children where adventures follow. This is the gripping first book in the bestselling Shadow Children series.

Age 14+

divergentDivergent - Veronica Roth (HarperCollins Children, 2012)

Set in an unknown future, at the age of 16, every citizen must choose in which faction of society to spend the remainder of their lives practicing: The Honest, The Selfless, The Intelligent, The Peaceful or The Brave. Tris was born among The Selfless but chooses to join The Brave, and as part of her initiation she must learn to embrace danger and control her fears. The biggest risk she takes by far however, is the secret she keeps - a secret that could have her killed or worse. There are a number of dystopian novels recently published since the huge success of the Hunger Games Trilogy and in a future post I will recommend some of my favourites. Divergent caters to the crowd who want more action in their dystopias. And action this novel delivers!

the escapeThe Escape (Henderson Boy's Book 1) - Robert Muchamore (Hodder Children's Books, 2009)

What an exciting read for boys – and girls! Three children are trying to escape France during World War II just as the Germans are invading. Their only hope lies with Charles Henderson, a British spy who is kind but deadly! This series is a prequel to Robert Muchamore's gripping Cherub Series which is very much worth a read too.

You can buy any of these books through The Reader Organisation’s Amazon Bookshop link or track them down in your local independent bookshop: you can search through The Bookseller’s Association website to locate the one closest to you.

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