Ashwicken C of E Primary School

Ashwicken CE Primary School Caring for Each Other
and Caring for Our World

Recommended Reading for Year 5

Dear Parents/Carers,

Reading is an important part of everyday life. The more our children read, the better readers they will be and the better writers they will become.

Read a selection of books from the recommended book list attached:

Parents and family members play an important role in building successful readers. Hearing your child read is vital to your child retaining and building on the skills he or she has learned in school. But most importantly, this is a time for children to engage their imaginations, find amusement in books, and to learn to love reading. We ask that your child read for at least 15 minutes a day. Books can be of any genre or on any subject that is of interest to your child.


Here are some quick tips to encourage your child’s love for reading.

  • READ! READ! READ! Make reading important. Be a role-model for reading. Let your child see you reading throughout the day and use daily routines as reading opportunities. Cooking, reading TV listings, looking for information on-line, reading directions, or following a map all provide authentic reading experiences.
  • Give your child the power of choice. Having reading materials available, such as: books, magazines, comics, etc… is key to helping children love to read, and the reading materials they choose themselves are best. Help your child find texts that appeal to his or her interests, yet are age appropriate and ‘just right’ in difficulty.
  • Find opportunities to read aloud to your child. Read your favourite childhood book aloud, read signs while driving in the car, read at stores, and read while you’re on holiday!
  • Take frequent trips to the library.
  • Read a great story over and over again to help your child with fluency and reading with expression.
  • Talk it up. Talking about books during and after reading helps improve comprehension. Encourage your child to share their ideas and opinions by asking open-ended questions. Talk about what you read to let them know that reading is an important part of your life. Tell them why you liked a book, what you learned from it, or how it helped you— soon they might start doing the same.

We hope you and your family will read many stories and reap all of the wonderful benefits that reading has to offer!

We look forward to hearing all about the exciting books you have read.

Happy reading!


The following information is provided on the BooksForTopics website where you will also find a variety of other booklists and links for purchasing book. 

BooksForTopics’ recommended reading list

What books do 9 and 10 year olds like to read?

Getting the right book into the right child’s hands at the right time is absolutely key to sparking a love of reading. At the ages of 9 and 10, most children are able to read longer chapter books and handle stories with an increasing complexity of themes.

Popular with keener readers in this age group are thought-provoking books about relevant social issues, like The Last Bear with themes of environmental sustainability or Frankie’s World – a story about neurodiversity and parental separation.

Also popular hits with 9 and 10 year olds are books with highly illustrated elements. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a well-known favourite, and for more stories with a high image-to-text ratio, we recommend Year 5 children should try the video-game-themed Level Up, the notebook-style Diary of an Accidental Witch series or Neill Cameron’s comic-inspired Freddy series.

Children in Year 5 are often seen reaching for fantasy stories like Alex Neptune and Which Way to Anywhere. You’ll also see flying off the Y5 bookshelves laugh-out-loud funny books – the dark humour in The Beast and the Bethany is sure to hook some of your Y5 readers, or try Danny Wallace’s The Boss of Everyone for a more lighthearted style of comedy. Also popular with Year 5 are graphic novels, poetry anthologies and non-fiction books on topics of interest, like space or sport.

As well as having a wide range of styles and formats to choose from for independent reading, an essential ingredient in developing a lifelove of books at this age is when adults protect shared reading experiences and continue to read aloud at storytime well beyond the age that children can read for themselves. We recommend that teachers and parents keep shared storytime alive all through Year 5 and beyond. Some books are extremely well suited for being read aloud – try The Treasure Hunters or The House with Chicken Legs for books with a real storytelling quality about them.

Which books are recommended for Year 5?

The books on our Y5 booklist feature 50 recommended reads for pleasure in Year 5. Some of the books in the collection are picked especially for making children laugh out loud, like the hilarious The Day My Family Disappeared or Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s Runaway Robot. Other stories have been picked especially for readers who appreciate a high image-to-text ratio, like the hugely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series or the information-packed Factopia stories, which features bitesize chunks of fun and interesting facts among illustration and photographs. Graphic novels are also popular with many children in Year 5, and we recommend trying El Deafo or Roller Girl.

Many children at this age start to enjoy stories that encourage thinking and discussion around social issues. Hannah Gold’s The Last Bear is a beautiful story that highlights the plight of polar bears affected by global warming, and Ewa Jozefkowicz’ The Cooking Club Detectives is a quick but deep read that explores the topics of food poverty and community action. 

Historical fiction also becomes popular around this age, with children able to draw on their increasing knowledge of history from their curriculum learning in Key Stage 2. We recommend A.M. Howell’s post-war adventure in the fens The Secret of the Treasure Keepers, or Emma Carroll’s Secrets of a Sun King, which is set at the time of Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Another interesting addition to this year’s collection is A Different Kind of Freedom, which is a football-themed story set in a Romani community of 19th-century Sheffield.

Many children at this age enjoy fantasy stories to spark their imaginations. Fantasy adventures like Pages & Co and The Breakfast Club Adventures are popular choices, as are stories of perilous expeditions like The Boy Who Saved a Bear. Some stories in the collection explore the themes of technology and innovation, like Vashti Hardy’s wonderful skyship adventure Brightstorm or while others accentuate the benefits of sport, like the celebration of girls’ football in Jaz Santos vs the World.

If you are looking for classic stories suitable for 9-10 year olds, try The Wolves of Willoughby Chase or The Silver Sword. Popular poetry books to browse for pleasure are included in our Year 5 selection too, like Matt Goodfellow’s Bright Bursts of Colour or the emotion-based anthology My Heart is a Poem, which includes the work of some of the very best contemporary children’s poets.

Longer reads are not for everyone, and we’ve included a number of shorter texts in the selection too. For children looking for shorter chapter books, try Tom Palmers’s Arctic Star or Phil Earle’s The Dog that Saved the World (Cup), both of which are specially formatted to be accessible to dyslexic readers. For recommended picture books suitable for Year 5, we recommend Helen Ward’s Varmints or Ada’s Violin, which beautifully tells the fascinating true story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay.

What are the best non-fiction books for Year 5?

When choosing information books for Year 5, look for highly illustrated information books well structured into chunks of text, on topics that will pique the interest of young readers.

We’ve included a super selection of non-fiction to appeal to children in Year 5 on our recommended reading list,  from the intriguing exploration of the world of plants in I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast and the inspiring real-life stories in Herstory, to the incredible visual history of Music, which folds out into an impressive 8-foot-long timeline.