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A mini-bookworm’s TOP TEN reads from 2015

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my top ten reads of 2015 and now I’d like to share with you my nine year old’s top ten reads of this year as it draws to a close. I often bring my children into my blogs in one way or another and this time I’m going to focus on my eldest’s bookwormery and bring you some fantastic books that she has not lifted her nose from, some of them devouring in a single sitting.

For those of you who often read my blog, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of age-banding for children’s books (click here to read why), so let’s very loosely say that the below list would appeal to kids between the ages of 7 and 13 and as my daughter’s quite a tomboy, I’d say that many of these would appeal to both boys and girls.

Like my previous list, these books come in no particular order. Enjoy!


Look into my eyes (Ruby Redfort, Book 1)

By Lauren Child

It makes me smile to think that Lauren Child, so beloved of Charlie and Lola fame, is still making my daughter smile. When she was 3, she was literally obsessed with Charlie and Lola (click here for more on this) to the point of driving me to distraction. Then there was Clarice Bean, another of Child’s creations and now, fast forward six years and my daughter’s eagerly reading the Ruby Redfort series, all about a girl in her early teens and her code-cracking, gadget-laden adventures as a young detective. Exciting stuff.


Percy Jackson & The Olympians – The Lightning Thief

By Rick Riordan

I would say that this year Percy Jackson has replaced my daughter’s obsession with Harry Potter. Don’t get me wrong, she’s still a big Rowling fan but these books have literally rocked her world. When she finished reading The Lightning Thief this summer, she went back to the beginning and started again, and then did the same thing again. I have never known her to do this. Think Greek mythology, time travel, a troubled kid, demi-gods and half-bloods, all delivered in a slick, fast-paced adventure.


Little Stars (Hetty Feather)

By Jacqueline Wilson

My daughter is a big fan in general of Jacqueline Wilson books and has a great many of them. But none, perhaps, have captured her attention as much as the Hetty Feather series. This is the fifth of the series (the first is simply called Hetty Feather, and I would say these are worth reading it order). Little Stars has been her favourite of the series – they are big-hearted romps through Victorian England, travelling circuses and the bright lights of the London theatre world, all with Nick Sharatt’s characterful drawings.


Tiger Adventure

By Willard Price

These adventure books (there are many of them, with various creatures) were written some time ago, in the 1960’s, following brothers Hal and Roger as they travel the globe, investigating rare and/or dangerous animals for their father. These are the books that Anthony Horowitz, acclaimed children’s writer, got him reading and my daughter has certainly enjoyed many of them this year, Tiger Adventure in particular which takes the boys on a dangerous quest to the Himalayas on the trail of the rare white tiger. Geography, natural history & adventure all rolled into one. Brilliant.


Arthur of Albion

By John Matthews

With beautiful illustrations by Pavel Tatarnikov, this is a wonderful re-telling of the infamous King Arthur. Filled with captivating details of the knights and quests, this is a fantastic introduction to Arthurian legend for any child.


Charlie Bone Series

By Jenny Nimmo

This fantasy series has been an enormous hit for my daughter this year. Based around a boy who can hear photographs speak, it is perhaps a lighter version of Harry Potter with Charlie Bone being sent to Bloor’s Academy, a school for the magically gifted, where a great battle is coming…That being said, it is certainly not a Harry Potter spin-off and every bit as enticing and unique.


Sammy Feral’s Diaries of Weird

By Eleanor Hawken

A fun and quirky story about Sammy and his family zoo – but hanging out with all kind of weird and wonderful animals isn’t quite so much fun when his family get infected with a werewolf virus and start trying to infect their own son! My daughter has only read the first in the series but there are definitely a few of them and she’s keen to read more.


The Witch Trade

By Michael Molloy

This wonderful trilogy has very few reviews on amazon which, I must say, amazes me as my daughter absolutely loved these books, filled with captive children, lost parents, magical powers and battles with dark enemies.


The Adventure Island Series

By Helen Moss

A modern day Famous Five, these are quick, fun and easy reads. They are also very well written though and probably more appealing to children of today with their up-to-date references to events, clever plots and compelling narratives. Highly recommended for children who enjoy mystery books with some fast-paced action. We are also excited to see that Moss’s latest series take in archaeology, tombs & Ancient Egypt and look fantastic, so we’ll definitely get hold of these at some point.


The Mark of Athena 

By Rick Riordan

Yes, another Rick Riordan book that my daughter insisted I include in her top ten of 2015. This is how it’s described: ONE FATAL PROPHECY…SEVEN BRAVE DEMIGODS…A QUEST TO FIND – AND CLOSE – THE DOORS OF DEATH. Sounds pretty heavy to me for a little nine year old girl; however, she is well and truly hooked and Rick Riordan must be doing something right to be reeling all these readers in. Plus it’s got my daughter hugely interested in Greek mythology which is pretty cool.


Here’s the little bookworm herself last year outside our home in Nairobi

Let me know if you buy any of these books for your kids and what they make of them!

1 reply
  1. Pip Young
    Pip Young says:

    Thanks for that great list Maya/Becks! Books, books and more books are top of Will’s Christmas list so I’ll definitely be looking out for some of these! Will too has devoured the Percy Jackson series, then immediately read them all again in reverse order. Loon! He frequently quizzes us on Greek gods and heroes and knows much more than we do. This year, he has also raved about The Shapeshifter series by Ali Sparkes. He loved the Hobbit and also Millionnaire, Cosmic and Fragile by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Morpurgo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom: fab books. None of Will’s school friends are as avid readers as he is so it’s really great to have some recommendations from someone equally bookwormy! (Will says that he’s such a big book worm that he is in fact a ‘book snake’ ) Xx


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