One More Chapter Please!
Ultimate Page Turners
Here we have listed books that we think are great for reading with your child.
Great Books to Read with your Children
Welcome to our One More Chapter Please! page
Not only do these books have a compelling plot and great characters but many of them will inspire kids to ask questions about the world around them, leading to great conversations and debate. Some books will wrap you all up in an imagined world, others may have you laughing together; all of these books will help build a love of reading and a bond between you and your children.
by Mitch Johnson
Budi is 12 years old and passionate about football. Budi, however, is not like most children reading this book, he does not go to school and is not able to play for his local team. Instead Budi works in a factory. His family live in poverty in Jakarta, Indonesia, and his wages are needed to help make ends meet. Despite this Budi is resolute in his belief that one day he will be a professional footballer and continues to train hard.
One misaimed kick of the ball and Budi finds himself involved with the local gangster. As he struggles to find the best path to take, his friend and family become involved until the story reaches a thrilling and heart wrenching climax. Johnson does not shy away from the reality of a world like Budi’s and the hardship of children who work in sweatshops and live in poverty.
However there is a warmth and humour which carries us through the bleakest moments, as does the love that exists between the characters. Budi’s parents aren’t able to provide dinner every day but they are rich in the love they have for each other.
Budi’s Grandma is the wise anchor in Budi’s life. She has countless stories and is never short of a new one to tell whenever Budi needs the comfort of her words. Her stories come with a message and through her Budi learns to stand up for what he believes in. “You must never give up Budi. You must keep kicking. I believe in you”. There is a charming naivety to Budi, offset by his older more world-weary friend Rochy. Sometimes my heart ached at his innocence, surrounded as he is by corruption and greed. His naivety also gives us many humorous moments.
Although Budi’s background is likely to be very different from the children reading this book there are many common themes that children will relate to; friendship, dreams and the need for the fundamental things in life – a home, food, friends and family.
This story made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me thankful for the lives my children have. My 10 year old son found it a real eye opener. It is a great book to read with your children so you can discuss all the issues it brings up.
by E.L Palacio
Please excuse the battered book in the photo, even the dog knew this was a book worth absorbing!
I read this book by myself and was so excited about it that as soon as I finished it I sat my kids down and started reading it to them.
This is a book about August, a boy with a ‘rare facial birth disfigurement’, his first year at middle school and how he, and the people around him, cope with what life throws at him as a result of how he looks.
This is a funny, captivating and uplifting book. It is a book that feels important, one that all children should read so they can think about how it feels to be different, the effect our words and actions can have on others and what friendship really means.
My children became so involved with the characters, that we talked about them outside of reading time, chatting about them as we went about our daily activities. The story pulls you in and is at times gentle and at other times packs a bit of a punch! My kids begged me to read chapter after chapter. One thing I loved about this book is how many interesting discussions I had with my children as a result of reading it. A great book for a child’s bookshelf aged 8 upwards.
Wizards of Once
by Cressida Cowell
This is storytelling at it’s best. As the plot, characters and description weave their magic around the reader they will be seeking out hidden corners to sink uninterrupted into a world of mischievous sprites, velvety snowcats, gentle giants, hidden dark forces and the two main characters: the irrepressible wizard boy Xar and quirky warrior girl Wish.
Wish and Xar come from warring tribes and have been brought up as enemies. Xar comes from a world of magic where werewolves, talking crows, hairy fairies and spells are very much a reality. Wish comes from the orderly, disciplined Warrior tribe. Warriors have sworn to destroy all magic and the Wizards are in hiding. Xar and Wish’s worlds collide as the dark magic both the Wizards and Warriors believed was extinct seeps it’s cold fingers into their lives.
It is hard not to like the ever-optimistic, enthusiastic Xar with his slightly over inflated view of himself and ultimately kind heart, or the plucky, kind Wish who just wants to do the right thing but always, like Xar, seems to land in some kind of trouble. Both children want more than anything else to be accepted by their powerful parents, but neither of them fit into their tribes’ view of how a wizard/ warrior should act. Their personal journeys encourage us to think about acceptance, valuing people for their uniqueness.
There is so much to this story – dark magic versus good, good magic versus no magic at all, order versus chaos. The book explores themes of leadership, loyalty, courage, loss and finding friends in unexpected places. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, sinister, shivery moments and scenes that tug at your heartstrings. As I said, story-telling at it’s best.
Rabbit and Bear
by Julian Gough
My son likes this book as it mentions poo at least fourteen times (he counted), my daughter likes this book because she thinks Rabbit is funny and enjoys the story, and I love this book because it made me laugh so much I couldn’t carry on reading, and even now it makes me giggle when I think of it.
Besides being a very funny book, this is a warm and engaging story about finding friendship and the joy of sharing. Bear is a kind, gentle optimist and Rabbit is a grumpy pessimist who after meeting Bear starts to see a brighter side to life. “Rabbit smiled, for the first time ever. It hardly hurt at all.” The plot follows Rabbit and Bear as they meet for the first time on a snowy day, and through their adventures together, we learn about rabbit habits, gravity and the value of friendship.
The illustrations are beautifully drawn and wonderfully humurous, the colours are wintry and effective and this along with the slightly thicker paper used and the smaller size of this book, make it a delight to read and hold. A gem. We’re looking forward to reading the next book, Rabbit & Bear: The Pest in the Nest.
The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day
by Christopher Edge
This book opens a child’s mind to the wonder of science, at the same time pulling them into a thrilling and heart-warming story. It is Maisie’s tenth birthday and we follow her through two parallel days, one where her family prepare for her birthday party and the other where she finds a different reality exists on her birthday, where outside her front door there is nothing but “empty black space that goes on forever”. In this alternative reality we feel Maisie’s bewilderment and fear as she finds herself alone dangling “on the edge of infinity”, climbs a staircase that never ends and other mind-boggling experiences. As Maisie says “My house has turned into a palace of impossibility”. Maisie is an academically gifted child. Through her curious and extraordinary mind we are introduced to scientific facts and theories such as black holes, gravity, nuclear fusion and infinity. Many of the facts are mind-blowing and if you don’t understand all of the science, the plot is no less thrilling for it. What is important is that young readers are being introduced to the very existence of these ideas and the part science plays in our world.
The narratives where Maisie’s day is a very normal one, with the family altogether in the house, are in stark contrast to the alternative reality narrative. The very obvious love within the family makes the absence of anyone but Maisie in her alternative reality more frightening and lonely. It is the love for her family that pulls Maisie through the story and her bumpy relationship with her sister that is the most important of them all.
There are many layers to this story: family love, sibling rivalry, teenage angst, peer pressure and the reality of growing up as an “academically gifted” child and what it is like to be the sister of one. Alongside all of this is the burning question; what is this alternative reality and why is Maisie in it?
There are amusing moments, bewildering and gently terrifying moments, tender scenes and revelations that brought a tear to my eye. A powerful, eye-opening, thought-provoking book.