16 books to keep pupils reading over the summer

Charity recommends a range of titles for pupils of all ages to read on a plane, by the paddling pool or when climbing a tree

reading on bench

The summer holidays await, and with the distractions of warmer weather, trips abroad or the latest Xbox game it can be difficult to make sure pupils read for pleasure.

So ahead of the break, the National Literacy Trust has highlighted 16 recommended titles for all ages to inspire children to pick up a book wherever they are – whether in bed, climbing a tree, or even on their trampoline.


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A recent survey of over 56,000 pupils by the charity revealed that children like reading in a range of places, with 68 per cent reporting they like reading in bed, 40 per cent saying they preferred the sofa, while others enjoyed reading while travelling.

Titles have been selected based on where pupils might enjoy reading them most:

Books to read in bed

  • Ages 0-5: Emily Brown and the Thing by Cressida Cowell
  • Ages 6-8: A Dog with Nice Ears (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child
  • Ages 9-12: Kid Normal by Greg James and Chris Smith
  • Ages 13-plus: Rose, Interrupted by Patrice Lawrence

Books to read while travelling

  • Ages 0-5: Grandma Z by Daniel Gray-Barnett
  • Ages 6-8: The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell
  • Ages 9-12: The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell
  • Ages 13+: Under a Dancing Star by Laura Wood

Books to read outdoors

  • Ages 0-5: The Bug Collector by Alex G Griffiths
  • Ages 6-8: Mouse and Mole by Joyce Dunbar
  • Ages 9-12: Tom Gates: What Monster? by Liz Pichon
  • Ages 13+: Where the River Runs Gold by Sita Brahmachari

Books to read by a swimming or paddling pool

  • Ages 0-5: Clem and Crab by Fiona Lumbers
  • Ages 6-8: Splash Day by Nick Sharratt
  • Ages 9-12: Football School: Star Players by Ben Lyttleton and Alex Bellos
  • Ages 13+: Summer of No Regrets by Kate Mallinder

Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, said that reading during the summer can help pupils retain the progress they have made during the school year.

“The long summer break can cause children to lose some of the knowledge they've built up during the school year, simply because they're not developing or practising their academic skills,” he said.

“We know that when children enjoy reading, they do better at school and are happier with their lives. The summer holidays will provide families with lots of opportunities to get reading, particularly now that we know many of the places that children enjoy reading the most when they’re at home, outdoors and travelling.”

treetop

“Whether children read a book at bedtime, create a treasure hunt around the house based on a classic adventure story or read a guide book about an exciting place they’re visiting – it all adds up. By keeping young minds active over the summer, children will head back to school in September feeling rested, energised and ready to learn.”

The new Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell said: “Books can take children on incredible adventures – opening up new worlds, feeding their imaginations and giving them big ideas!

“The summer holidays are a great time for families to explore stories together and to do so in places they might not usually get the chance to. I spent most of my childhood devouring books on a remote Scottish island – and it turned me into the writer I am today.

“Children and young people have revealed that they love to read in some truly inspired places, so let’s follow their lead!”

The research found children who read when they are travelling enjoy reading more than their peers who read at home, and read more often – 34 per cent said they read every day.

Cressida Cowell has joined popular authors in revealing her favourite unusual spot to read – she likes to get lost in a book in her writing shed.

cressida

greg james

Other popular places for famous authors to read include:

  • Lauren Child, author of Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort enjoys escaping to read on her roof
  • Greg James and Chris Smith, authors of Kid Normal, take every opportunity to read together outdoors
  • Liz Pichon, author of Tom Gates, always reads on the sofa
  • Patrice Lawrence, author of Orangeboy, can be found reading in the garden
  • Katherine Rundell (Rooftoppers) reads in the park in the summer sunshine
  • Ben Lyttleton (Football School) catches up on his reading while waiting for the bus

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