Every year, the libraries host a Summer Reading Challenge and this year to celebrate 100 years of one of the world's greatest authors (Roald Dahl), this year's theme is Roald Dahl and specifically The BFG (so the name of this year's reading challenge is the Big Friendly Read). All you have to do to complete this is read 6 books over the summer. Now, being the very quick reader I am, 6 books is NOT a challenge for me in the slightest, so I've challenged myself to read lots more, however I know for some of you, 6 books will be a bit of a challenge in just 6 weeks. To sign up, just go to your local library and they should have a stand about it. Then, you'll get a little sheet of paper, including spaces to put the card you'll collect after reading each book and lots of cool illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake and extracts from some of Roald Dahl's most famous books.
I am going to give 6 book recommendations for each age category (8-10 and 11-14) with the help of my 10 year old sister.
1. Katy by Jacqueline Wilson
This book is all about *surprise* Katy, who lives with her dad, her five younger siblings and her (not so) loving stepmother. It is a modern version of the classic What Katy Did and I and my sister absolutely loved it!
2. The Chocolate Box Girls series by Cathy Cassidy
This series is all about the Tanberry family and each book (there are 6 in total) is taken from the point of view of a different sister. My favourites were Summer's Dream and Sweet Honey but I loved absolutely all of them. I read these when I was 11, so they would also be good for the younger years in the 11-14 year old category for sure.
3. Tom Gates by Liz Pichon
A version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid for younger children, Tom Gates is guaranteed to make you laugh a lot. Told through doodles as well as just the writing, this book is particularly good for those who like a much easier read. My favourite is Everything's Amazing (sort of).
4. The Butterfly Club by Jacqueline Wilson
5. My Brother Is A Superhero by David Solomons
This book is all about how Luke's brother turns into a superhero one day and goes out to save the world from a bomb attacking the world. It is a real mix of genres; romance, sci-fi, action and comedy, so there's something for everyone. This wasn't my sister's favourite book, but only because those genres aren't really her favourite.
Scarlett Ibis is a touching and emotional book about how Scarlett and her brother Red get separated and put into care after their mum fails to look after her kids. I would get a box of tissues ready for this book, as it is very sad and guaranteed to make you cry. It was one of our favourite books ever.
1. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
This book was the winner of the Older Years category in WCBP 2016 (Waterstones Children's Book Prize) and I actually interviewed the author (which you can read here) when I went to the Awards Ceremony for WCBP 2016. This book is about the unlikely friendship of a boy who longs to be a girl, making friends with the new boy who is surly and anti-social and how it develops. Such a touching and poignant book.
2. One by Sarah Crossan
This book is the winner of the Carnegie Medal and tells the story of Tippi and Grace; conjoined twins and is such a heartwarming and sad book written in free-verse. Finding out this book was in free-verse really put me off, however within just a couple of pages I changed my mind about free-verse poetry and I think it worked really well. I did a full review on this book here.
3. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This book is not particularly new and in fact, my first ever blog post was a review on Wonder. This touching book is all about Auggie, a boy who has a facial disfigurement. Auggie has always been home-schooled and he is finally starting middle school. Wonder follows the struggles and problem Auggie has to overcome, through the point of views of many of the people around him. Amazing book, absolutely amazing.
4. Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens
This 4 book series follows Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells, two best friends and detectives who run a detective agency. Murder mysteries are my all-time favourite genre and these are such good books, gripping and unpredictable. Perfect for murder mystery lovers and also, I think this would also fit in the 8-10 year old category.
5. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My best friend EO recommended Everything, Everything to me as she was following the Zoella Book Club and whilst I wasn't sure (it is a romance book, and I'm not much of a romance lover) I read it anyway. I am so glad that I did. This book is beautifully written and I would definitely recommend it, romance lover or not.
6. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Again, this is on the Zoella Book Club list so my friend EO recommended it to me, All The Bright Places is pretty well-known in the YA books community, and I join a lot of YA books chats on Twitter, so I hear people rave about this all the time. This book was very poignant and if you liked The Art of Being Normal, I would definitely recommend this and vice versa.
So there you have it! My 6 top recommendations for 8-10 year olds and for 11-14 year olds! Have you read any of these books? Did you like them? What books would YOU recommend for those categories? Happy reading!!