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Best books to keep children and teenagers entertained this summer

Children of all ages will love these summer reads

childrens books
Chloe Best
Lifestyle Features Editor
July 14, 2017
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1 Theres a monster in your book

With the summer holidays upon us, the challenge of keeping children entertained for the next six weeks can seem like a daunting one. To help out we've rounded up some of the top summer reads for children from all ages, from pre-school all the way through to older children and young adults, which will immerse them into new worlds and gripping stories that they won't want to put down.

RELATED: The UK's favourite children's books revealed


There's a Monster in Your Book

Written by Tom Fletcher, Illustrated by Greg Abbott

McFly frontman Tom Fletcher's latest book topped the picture book charts when it was released at the end of June, and we can see why it is proving a hit with little ones and parents alike. The interactive read-aloud book encourages children to shake, wiggle and spin the mischievous monster out of their book, with fun and colourful illustrations from Greg Abbott.

Published by Penguin, RRP £10.99.

2 What the ladybird heard on holiday

What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday

Written by Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Lydia Monks

The latest in popular What the Ladybird Heard… series sees Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh once again up to their scheming ways, with a plot to steal the Queen's crown using a monkey from the zoo. Will the crime-busting ladybird be able to foil their plans? With the same eye-catching illustrations and easy-to-follow rhyming couplets as the rest of the series, this is a must-buy for fans of Julia's other books, including the modern classics The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child.

Published by Pan Macmillan, RRP £11.99

3 there is no dragon in this story

There is no Dragon in this Story

Written by Lou Carter, Illustrated by Deborah Allwright

Author Lou Carter tells the story of the dragon, who is determined to find someone who wants him in their story after Goldilocks, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood all didn't want him. Surely he won't get into any trouble along the way? This unique spin on childhood classics will be loved by little ones this summer.

Published by Bloomsbury, RRP: £11.99

4 Kid Normal

Younger Children

Kid Normal

Written by Greg James and Chris Smith, Illustrated by Erica Salcedo

The first in a funny new series from radio personalities Greg James and Chris Smith, Kid Normal follows the adventures of Murph Cooper, a boy who is accidentally enrolled into a school for superheroes even though he has no special abilities himself.

Published by Bloomsbury Childrens, RRP: £6.99

5 The Bolds on holiday

The Bolds on Holiday

Written by Julian Clary, Illustrated by David Roberts

Julian Clary's much-loved characters The Bolds are back, with the hyenas-in-disguise deciding to take a summer holiday in Cornwall. However trouble ensues when Bobby is mistaken for a puppy and snatched by a dognapper! Young readers will love following the family's latest escapades in this fun and adventure-packed story.

Published by Penguin, RRP: £10.99

6 Star Wars A New Hope

Star Wars: A New Hope

Written by Ryder Windham

Introduce them to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo and the Rebel Alliance this summer with this junior novel adaptation of the first in the original Star Wars trilogy, released to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the much-loved series.

Published by Egmont UK, RRP: £6.99.

7 Wave Me Goodbye

Older Children

Wave Me Goodbye

Written by Jacqueline Wilson, Illustrated by Nick Sharratt

Older children will be gripped by the new offering by Jacqueline Wilson, which follows ten-year-old Shirley and her bid to find somewhere she belongs as an evacuee during the Second World War. Like all of Jacqueline's books, this is a moving story that will capture the imaginations of readers this summer.

Published by Doubleday Childrens, RRP: £12.99

8 The Worlds Worst Children 2

The World's Worst Children 2

Written by David Walliams, Illustrated by Tony Ross

This book features ten short stories about a group of "hilariously horrible" children including Gruesome Griselda and Fussy Frankie, who will entertain youngsters and make them wish they never encounter anyone like them in real life! Another laugh out loud read from best-selling children's author David Walliams.

Published by Harper Collins Children's, RRP: £14.99

9 The Witchs vaccum cleaner

The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner: And Other Stories

Written by Terry Pratchett

With 14 funny tales featuring magical pigeons, bouncing rabbits and of course, a witch on a vacuum cleaner, they'll love reading this Terry Pratchett book time and time again over the summer holidays.

Published by Random's House Children's Publishers UK, RRP: £6.99.

10 One of Us is Lying

Teen and Young Adults

One of Us Is Lying

Written by Karen McManus

If your teen is distraught now Pretty Little Liars has come to an end, this high school thriller is the perfect thing to fill the void. Set at Bayview High, it follows an investigation into the death of Simon, the creator of the school's notorious gossip app, during detention where only four other students were present. Who was responsible for his death – and how far will they go to protect their secrets? This is a page-turner they won't be able to put down.

Published by Penguin, RRP: £7.99

11 Girlhood Cat Clarke


Written by Cat Clarke

Touching upon issues of love, death and friendship, Girlhood follows Harper's efforts to settle in to her new boarding school following the death of her twin sister Izzy. She starts to feel happier and more secure as she makes a new group of friends, including Kirsty, who seems to understand her like nobody else does. But is Kirsty someone she can really trust? This compulsive and highly-praised novel reveals all…

Published by Quercus Children's Books, RRP: £7.99

12 The start of me and you

The Start of Me and You

Written by Emery Lord

This heart-warming tale introduces Paige, a girl who is trying to find happiness again, one year after the death of her first boyfriend in a swimming accident. The teenager makes a plan to put herself out of her comfort zone and be happy again, starting with dating her long-standing crush Ryan Chase. With likeable characters and a moving story, this is another summer read that you could easily finish in one go.

Published by Bloomsbury, RRP: £7.99

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