The Book Bunch
The Book Bunch

This is not a definitive list, but it's a good starting point and I have checked that the titles are available on audiobook. 

The short stories can be a great place to start. Have a look at book reviews and blurbs online with your child to find one that you think might suit them. 


Then get your child to listen to the samples offered on sites like:          iBooks 


by pressing the play icon to see if they like the sound of the reader's voice.


Be warned! Be careful they don't accidentally download the 'free' trial from audible.


Some of these books are very challenging so build up to them rather than plunging straight in (perhaps by starting with ones I've suggested for lower age groups). Also these age guides are just that - a guide! If your 7-year-old can handle Sherlock Holmes then great, go for it. I'm a big believer that children can handle advanced ideas/themes/images when they are presented on the page, in a way that they can't as easily if they see things on a screen. The brain is very clever and a child's mind will instinctively soften the mental picture that words conjure up if they can't handle the extremeness of something. Once a concrete visual image (a scene from a film or something horrific online, for example) has been planted in a child's mind, it is much harder to wipe.     

Starter List for Years 1, 2 and 3


The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton 

Atticus the Storyteller by Lucy Coates

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

The Bippolo Seed by Dr Seuss

Aesop's Fables (adapted by Michael Morpurgo)


Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon

How to Train your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Anything by Roald Dahl

Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark/The Aardvark who wasn't Sure by Jill Tomlinson


Starter List for Years 3,4 and 5


Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling

Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang

Tales of King Arthur by Andrew Lang


Which Witch by Eva Ibbotson

Harry Potter (obviously) by JK Rowling

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

Just William by Richmal Crompton

Peter Pan by JM Barrie

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Margorian

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

The Sheep-Pig by Dick King Smith

Charlotte's Web by EB White

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell


Starter List for Years 6, 7 and 8


The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

Someone Like You by Roald Dahl

Splendid Adventure Stories (Various Authors)

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit

Stories of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Birds and Don't Look Now by Daphne du Maurier


Coram Boy by Jamila Gavin

Amazon Adventure/South Sea Adventure by Willard Price

The Sword in the Stone by TH White

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

The Railway Children by E Nesbit

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner

1984 by George Orwell

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

The 39 Steps by John Buchan

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

King Solomon’s Mines by Henry Rider Haggard

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

War of the Worlds by HG Wells

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

White Fang by Jack London

Uglies by Scott Westerfield

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farell

Stone Cold by Robert Swindells


Plus anything else that takes your fancy (especially if it was written more than 40 years ago - in fact the longer ago the better!)



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© Catherine Sabben-Clare