Summer reading: our recommendations

Beach ball Summer reading blog

The sun is shining and the holidays are just around the corner, so what better excuse to roll out a list of recommended reads to see you through the summer. Here’s my pick of the top five reads for ten to thirteen-year-olds.

Scavengers by Darren Simpson

If you like stories where things aren’t quite what they seem, check out Scavengers, the debut novel from author Darren Simpson. In this story, the only life Landfill has ever known has been the life of a scavenger living inside the walls of Hinterland, a wasteland filled with weeds, wildflowers and wild animals. His guardian, Babagoo, protects Landfill from the horrors that he says lurk Outside, but as Landfill gets older he starts to wonder if Babagoo is really telling him the truth. And when an outsider named Dawn trespasses into the Hinterland, Landfill’s world is turned upside down.

Happy Girl Lucky by Holly Smale

This new novel by the author of the bestselling Geek Girl series introduces readers to the glamorous Valentine family. Growing up as a member of this famous acting dynasty, it’s no wonder that Hope Valentine sees her life as a series of scenes on the silver screen. With an outlook that’s as optimistic as her name, Hope feels that true love, just like you see on the movies, must be just around the corner. But when she falls for a handsome American boy, Hope finds that romance doesn’t always follow the script.

The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

If you’re looking for adventure, take a trip to 1920s New York to meet fearless Vita Marlowe, a girl on a mission. When her grandfather is cheated out of his house and possessions by a Mafia-connected businessman, Vita hatches a plan to put things right, recruiting a motley crew to carry out a daring heist. With the help of acrobatic circus boys and an elusive pickpocket, this breathless adventure will keep you turning the pages to find out if Vita’s nerveless scheme will end in triumph or disaster.

Check Mates by Stewart Foster

For readers who like their fiction to be rooted in the real world, Check Mates by Stewart Foster is a heartfelt story that will hook readers fast. With his ADHD making it hard for him to concentrate, Felix finds himself struggling at school and when his mum tells him he has to spend more time with his grumpy granddad, Felix thinks life can’t get much worse. But as Felix’s granddad teaches him chess, Felix soon finds that the lessons that he learns go beyond the chessboard in this warm and humorous story.

The Closest Thing to Flying by Gill Lewis

Fans of historical fiction and stories set in the modern-day will be happy to find The Closest Thing to Flying next to their poolside lounger. This novel connects the stories of two girls separated by one-hundred years: a Victorian girl called Henrietta and Semira, a refugee from Eritrea, who discovers Henrietta’s diary in the modern-day. Exploring themes of human trafficking, animal rights and the role of women in society, at its heart The Closest Thing to Flying is a story of friendship and how we have more in common than that which divides us.

Recommended by Christopher Edge, the author of The Longest Night of Charlie Noon, a breathtaking and suspenseful story about three children who get lost in the woods.

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