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Mrs Irwin's Recommended Booklist

Mrs Irwin's Recommended Book List

Please scroll down through Year 6 to Year R!


Year 6


The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)

If you like slightly spooky stories, this one is for you! It follows the plight of a baby named Bod; the sole survivor when his whole family is murdered one night. Bod finds a new family to care for him – in the graveyard… Super vocabulary and description from a wonderful author whose quirky style has brought him many fans.


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (J K Rowling)

This is the sixth and penultimate book in this monumentally popular series. Harry is nearing the end of his time at Hogwarts and is preparing for his OWLS (like GCSEs). Like all good students, Harry uses a study guide to help him revise, but Harry’s guide seems to be more than helpful…


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J K Rowling)

The final book in what is arguably the best series to appeal equally to both adults and children. With a hugely climactic ending, this story is a really emotional ride. A lot of Seaside readers have returned to this countless times and they still get a lump in their throat – a truly incredible journey through the world of fantasy adventure.


TrooFriend (Kirsty Applebaum)

Do robots have feelings? And if so, do they have rights? This is a heart-warming story of a robot friend given to a child who really wanted a dog. Entertaining and quirky, but easy to read, TrooFriend explores the moral of what makes us human. Highly recommended new book.


Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

Truly one of the best books we have ever read – such a beautiful but tragic story full of incredible vocabulary, yet still engaging and easy to read for Year 6s.


Year 5


Stuart Little (E B White)

Not the book of the film! The original story, written in 1945 by the author of Charlotte’s Web, is a wonderful tale of adventure and is widely accepted as a children’s classic. Stuart Little is easy to read as long as you can get past the Americanisms such as ‘faucet’ for tap. Stuart goes in search of himself and his true love and gets caught up in exciting and endearing adventures along the way. Definitely one of our childhood favourites!


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J K Rowling)

The fourth book in this series really steps up in length and so is wonderful for developing stamina while reading this next gripping instalment. Beginning with a ‘World Cup’ type storyline, Harry and friends set off on increasingly more risky adventures.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J K Rowling)

This is the fifth book in the series and really marks a turning point in terms of maturity, Harry is now in his fifth year at Hogwarts and is truly fighting for his life and the future of the magical world. He has help from friends and family, but this is where the reader is now faced with more grown storylines including death. A gripping story from start to end for the more mature reader.


The London Eye Mystery (Siobhan Dowd)

An award-winning mystery story full of conspiracy theories set in London. Follow the tale of brother and sister as they solve the mystery of their disappearing cousin.


Year 4


Ballet Shoes (Noel Streatfield)

According to the Guardian, this is the ‘fundamental book of girls’ literature’. Lots of Seaside staff read this when they were younger and have never forgotten the warmth and solidarity of the Fossil family. Ballet Shoes is a fantastic example of using older style language but in a very accessible way to make it easily readable and thoroughly enjoyable.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J K Rowling)

Year 2 at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry sees Harry and friends getting more involved in magical mysteries. A great follow-up to the first story and a super example of storytelling for Year 4s.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban (J K Rowling)

The third book in this fantastic fantasy-adventure series starts to get a little more serious now as we are introduced to some darker characters. Year 4 children should love this story of Harry realising his greatest fear could become his greatest salvation.


The Blurred Man (A Diamond Brothers story by Anthony Horowitz)

This is one of the tales about the Diamond Brothers – teenage detectives who set out to solve mysteries. The stories are engaging, extremely funny and full of clues and red herrings to keep readers on their toes. Highly recommended easy reads.


Year 3


Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (J K Rowling)

A truly outstanding adventure story, full of great characters and imaginative creations. The world of Harry Potter begins with this story and an avid Year 3 reader will find this easy to read.


Fantastic Mr Fox (Roald Dahl)

A hilarious tale of cunning plots to outwit three farmers. This is a really engaging book which hooks children in from the very beginning. A quick read for Year 3s.


Esio Trot (Roald Dahl)

Another easy and quick read for children starting out with chapter-style books. Full of humour and intriguing characters, as well as rhyme and word play. Year 3s love the ‘twist’ in this story!


A Bear Called Paddington (Michael Bond)

See how Britain’s most-loved bear came to live with the Browns in London. A charming story sure to engage even the most reluctant of readers. Warning: this is the proper book – not the accompaniment to the film, so is a far more enjoyable story!


Year 2


Creature Features (Natasha Durley)

A excellent non fiction book which groups animals into brilliant categories like ‘Excellent ears’ and ‘Fantastic fur’.  On each spread there are beautiful illustrations to explore, with lots of lovely questions to talk about and things to spot on each page.


The Boy, the mole, the Fox and the Horse (Charlie Mackesy)

An excellent book for talking through different emotions with your child with the leading theme in the book being kindness. Beautiful ink illustrations also accompany each part.


The way home for wolf (Rachel Bright & Jim Field)

Every book by this pairing is a corker but the Seaside favourite is this one.  A wolfing called Wilf wants to lead the pack but gets lost (after some polar bears kicked him our of his cave) meaning he has to rely on some friends to find home.  Each of the books has some lovely comedy in them whilst also delivering a moral message.


Detective Dog (Julia Donaldson)

A lesser known Julia Donaldson book but a Seaside favourite by far!  The story follows a dog who reads in school then hunts down a book thief.  The illustrations are beautiful and we heard on the grapevine a second book is in the works about a hospital dog.


Meerkat Mail (Emily Gravett)

All of Emily’s books are brilliant but this has the added bonus of letters and postcards inside for children to open and read. There is also a subtle message about being happy with what you have.



Year 1


Stomp Chomp, big roars! Here come the dinosaurs! (Kaye Umansky & Nick Sharratt)

A series of catchy dinosaur based poems by the legend that is Nick Sharratt. Lots of silly ones in here but also a nice mix of structure to the poems.


Nibbles The Book Monster (Emma Yarlett)

A monster, who likes eating books, travels through lots of different nursery rhymes whilst the reader is on a mission to catch him.  There are mini books within the book as well as lots of nibbled holes in the pages - such a fun book!


Mrs Armitage Queen of the Road (Quentin Blake)

Although famous for illustrating Roald Dahl’s books, Quentin Blake has written many himself.  Our favourite series are the Mrs Armitage books which are short, funny and beautifully illustrated as you would expect.


Stuck (Oliver Jeffers)

We love books that kids enjoy but also have secret giggles for adults and this one is just that. A young boy gets numerous items stuck in a tree but it’s a real chortle of a book. Any books by Oliver Jeffers are brilliant but in our opinion this is the funniest.


The Day Louis Got Eaten (John Fardell)

Not a lot of people know about this book but it is brilliant! A girl’s brother gets eaten by a monster which in turn gets eaten by another monster and another and another. Exciting imagery accompany the story and your child will start using the word unfortunately all the time after reading it.


Year R


Tree (Britta Teckentrup)

A beautiful book to share together documenting a tree changing through the seasons. The story is based around an owl in the tree and the rhyming couplets help the little ones remember what is coming next.


Here Comes the Sun (Karl Newson & Migy Blanco)

Another owl based book but this one charts the journey of an owl whose job it is to blow out all the stars before the sun rises.  Beautiful illustrations occur throughout the book with lots of chances to talk about nocturnal and diurnal animals.


You Choose (Nick Sharratt & Pippa Goodhart)

Each double page spread in this gem of a book shows children an array of illustrations and they have to say which item they would choose - examples include ‘would you travel with wheels or wings’ and ‘What kind of home would you choose?’. This book is brilliant for encouraging dialogue between you and your child and prompting a child to give reasons for their choices.


The Girls (Lauren Ace & Jenny Loulie)

A beautiful story of female friendship. This book is a great way to talk about arguments with friends as well as showing young children the variety of careers that are available to them.