Top Ten Summer Reads for Primary School Kids

For the last post of the year I would like to welcome our first official Guest Blogger, Katrina Whelen.

Katrina has three kids at KPS (Patrick in grade 4, Finn in grade 3 and Edward in grade 1), works as a freelance writer and has her own book review blog at booksaremyfavouriteandbest.

She started her blog as a simple online reading journal but found that it quickly turned into a wonderfully distracting time-waster.

Katrina also reviews books and music for children at the parents’ lifestyle blog, Babyology.

As the last two posts have been very hi tech – a review of the school’s iPad program – I thought it would be good to finish the year by getting back to basics. Katrina has come up with a list of Top Ten Books for Primary-aged kids.

Top Ten Summer Reads for Primary School Kids

In putting together this list, I tried to pick titles that kids may not have discovered yet. I’ve selected stories that aren’t gender-specific – after all, there’s no shortage of fairy books and dragon stories but finding something that appeals to boys and girls alike can be trickier. I’ve also included two books for ‘reluctant’ readers (although I always say that there’s a book for everyone, it just takes some people a little longer to find their topic!).

kps-prep-grade-1 1. The Claude series by Alex T. Smith – perfect for Prep-Grade 1 kids who want to read ‘chapter books’ but aren’t quite there yet.

2. Figaro & Rumba and the Crocodile Café by Anna Fienberg & Stephen Michael King – Grade 1+. The adventures of a cat and a dog by the author of the hugely successful Tashi series.


3. The 13-Storey Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths – Grade 2+. A great mix of text, illustrations and cartoons plus Griffiths’ particular style of humour.

4. Wonder by R. J. Palacio – Grade 3+. This is one of those rare books that everyone should read, regardless of age.

5. The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart – Grade 3+. The theme of these stories is problem-solving and they’re written in such a way that the reader can ‘help’ find clues and solutions along with the characters. The books are supported by an impressive website and there’s a movie in the making (so get onto the books now!).


6. Mosquito Advertising series by Kate Hunter – Grade 4+. Set in Australia, the series focuses on a group of kids who run their own advertising agency.

7. Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead – Grade 4+. Clever and mysterious characters combined with important themes make for a winner.

8. The Word Spy by Ursula Dubosarsky and Tohby Riddle – Grade 5 +. The secrets of language unlocked! Keen readers will find this book fascinating. There’s also The Return of the Word Spy and The Word Spy Activity Book for more.


And for reluctant readers –

9. Mud Pies and Other Recipes by Marjorie Winslow Grade 1+. This is a very old book but full of nonsense recipes that will have kids busy in the backyard.

10. Guinness World Records 2013 – all ages. Apart from the fact that Kew Primary is in this year’s edition (p.10), the amazing photographs and bite-sized text are irresistible to kids. Plus, this year’s edition includes interactive 3D elements, so put those iPads to work.

Tim’s Bookshop in Kew either has these titles in stock or will be able to order them for you if they’ve sold out.

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