Good independent book sellers (e.g. Norfolk Children’s Book Center, Heath Educational Books, Book Nook, Steyning Book Shop – just to name a few in the LIPSSEE catchment area) specialise in providing book lists to your specification and will even supply whole collections on approval. Personally I much prefer to choose books when I can actually hold them in my hand! Its also comforting to know that these book sellers will offer you the very best of any currently available titles from a variety of publishers and so you will spend your budget in as effective a way as possible. Just let them know the topic, age range and budget and they will do the rest!
However, there are also some very useful websites out there as well
The Booktrust’s Great Books Guide is produced each year and contains reviews of books from the previous year that they think will excite and encourage even the most reluctant reader. Note! They are not necessarily ‘the best’ or ‘must-haves’ from that year! The selected books are organised into the following categories: 4/5 years; 6/7 and 8 +years. Booktrust also produce many other book lists on a range of different topics so their website is always worth a browse
Bishop Grosseteste University College in Lincoln (UK) produced a number of useful bibliographies between 2008 and 2011 which are freely available to schools. These resources include:
- Transitions Reading Resource an annotated bibliography of over two hundred children’s picture books which aim to address many of the changes that children face in their lives. Topics include death and bereavement, starting or changing school, family changes (including the birth of a new baby) etc.
- Family Diversity Reading Resource an annotated bibliography of over 100 children’s picture books which aim to address the difficult and sometimes complex issues of 21st century family life. Its aim is to allow all children the chance to see their particular family backgrounds represented fairly e.g. children from two-parent, single-parent, adoptive, carer, traveller, extended and separated families from a range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It also includes children who have three or more parents/carers.
- The Disability Reading Resource an annotated bibliography of over 50 children’s picture books across the primary phase of education which include ‘disability’ as part of everyday life.
A further list of useful bibliographies and reading resources on various topics such as bullying and refugees and asylum seekers can be found on the university’s website
Book Trust has compiled many themed book lists on a wide range of topics such as: refugees and asylum seekers, dementia, death, disability etc. Just enter the issue/ theme you require and the age of reader into the search box and the list your require will most likely appear! BookTrust also compile an annual 100 best books list – a specific resource of age-related books for children
CLPE (The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) have numerous booklists available for free download covering a range of themes from Refugees to Superheroes
Letter Box Library: specialises in multicultural and inclusive children’s books. The books are chosen for their celebration of diversity as well as their excellence in storyline/ artwork. Book lists can be found covering such themes as bullying, LGBT, death etc.
Love Reading4Kids : this website’s speciality is that its books are listed according to recommended age ranges – from babies and toddlers right up to Young Adult. Not only are the best new titles recommended but timeless classics are also included
Love Reading 4 Schools helps schools and parents with reading lists for children in Years 1 – 9. The site has selected lists of books that schools can use – it also allows them to personnalise these lists or create them from scratch. 5% of the money spent by parents on tthe website comes back to the school as book vouchers to help develop the library..
Read Around the World is a book list containing great stories that not only entertain but give children from the age of 0 to 8+ years information about what it is like to live in a different part of the world today. It is just one of many booklists you can find on the blog Delightful Children’s books. To quote the author “The books that I recommend here … are first and foremost excellent picture books. I seek out fiction books with captivating stories and gorgeous illustrations and non-fiction books that are clear, well illustrated, and engaging. As a parent, I also seek out books about subjects that I want to teach my children about… nature, the arts, and countries around the world. I search for stories that help my kids develop empathy and other social skills”
Riveting Reads from the SLA web site has lists of titles covering “a wide range of subject matter and levels of difficulty. The suggested books will encourage pupils to read widely and independently for enjoyment. They are grouped under themes and have been recommended by pupils in the relevant age group. They are indexed under title and author.”
(Last updated by Denise Reed on April 23, 2019)