Now that book shops are open again, and with one week left of the Easter break, we thought now would be a good time to share some great reads to inspire and amaze your Prep School-age children. Mrs Manning, Head of English at the Prep School, has put together a useful reading list of great books for pupils in Prep School age to read.

Years 1 & 2

The Storm Whale
This book features a little boy who watches his father go off to work long hours. He is lonely all day and, when a storm comes, it leaves a whale beached on the shore. The little boy thinks the whale is a good listener and so brings the whale back to his house to live with him. However, when the father discovers the whale, the pair return the whale back to the ocean and the little boy realises his father is a good listener too. A good story made great by stunning illustrations of the coastal town and the whale and definitely one which parents will enjoy reading as much as children. 

Avocado Baby
Avocado Baby is a book about a family called the Hargraves who were expecting a baby. When the baby came, it would not eat and was weak until the other children suggested to their mother that she should feed the baby avocadoes. So she did, and the baby ate it all up. Suddenly the baby became so strong after eating all those avocadoes that he even ran a burglar out of the house. Avocado baby is a humorous book with excellent illustrations.

Years 3 & 4

The Boy who Grew Dragons
When Tomas discovers a strange old tree at the bottom of his grandfather’s garden, he doesn’t think much of it. But he takes the funny fruit from the tree back into the house and gets the shock of his life when a tiny dragon hatches. The tree is a dragon fruit tree, and Tomas now has his very own dragon, Flicker! While Tomas finds out that life with Flicker is fun, he also finds that it is very unpredictable. Yes, dragons are wonderful, but they also set fire to your toothbrush and leave your underwear hanging from the TV antenna. Tomas has to learn how to look after Flicker then, just as Tomas gets to grips with Flicker, mor dragon fruits start to sprout and it’s official, Tomas is growing dragons.

The Way to Sattin Shore
A story about discovering the past to determine future perspectives, the theme of this book is a mystery about Kate’s family, but her family either knows nothing or will tell nothing. Her two brothers, her grandmother, her new friend Anna and her missing father all have a part to play in Kate’s search to fit the jigsaw pieces of past and present to find a new picture for the future. This short children’s novel is an exciting adventure book full of mystery and discovery and is beautifully illustrated.

Years 5 & 6

Race to the Frozen North
When orphan, Matthew Henson, ran away from his violent stepmother to find a new life in the big city, no one could have predicted that he would become the first man to reach the North Pole. A little luck and a lot of hard work led to a life of adventure on the high seas and in the Arctic, but back home in America, where all things in society are not equal, his achievements were ignored due to the colour of his skin.

As Brave as You
Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia. The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. The story follows Genie’s evolving perceptions until he is eventually left to wonder about what it truly means to be brave.

Years 7 & 8

A Pocketful of Stars
Safiya and her mum have never seen eye to eye. Her mum doesn’t understand Safiya’s love of gaming and Safiya doesn’t think they have anything in common. As Safiya struggles to fit in at school, she wonders if her mum wishes she was more like her confident best friend, Elle. But then her mum falls into a coma and, when Safiya waits by her bedside, she finds herself in a strange and magical world that looks a bit like one of her games. And there’s a rebellious teenage girl, with a secret, who looks suspiciously familiar.

There were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck that left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive. So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian, threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, they takes matters into their own hands and flee to Paris to look for Sophie’s mother, starting with the only clue they have, the address of the cello maker. Evading the French authorities, she meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers, urchins who live in the hidden spaces above the city. Together they scour the city in a search for Sophie’s mother, but can they find her before Sophie is caught and sent back to London? Or, more importantly, before she loses hope?

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