Book list

Real life books

This section covers a huge range of material. It covers children behaving badly, bullying etc, or quite ordinary children caught up in real events which are too big to handle.

Books for younger readers

Fly Me Home by Polly Ho-Yen

Far from home, in a strange and uncomfortable new country, Leelu finds a little bit of magic to help her settle in with her family and new friends.

The Children of Castle Rock by Natasha Farrant

Boarding school Great Orienteering Challenge offers multiple opportunities to argue, fall out and make as a team, earn a magnificent Finder’s Fee for a stolen artwork, and save the school from closure.

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

Courage, resourcefulness and teamwork...yes obviously, required to survive in the Amazon jungle. But also a sense of passing wonder at the beauty of it all.

The Recruit by Robert Muchamore

Child intelligence agents operating in an adult world of crime and terrorism. Dangerous work.

Stung by Joss Stirling

Is there a mole in the Young Detective Agency? Are Kate and Nathan on the same side? And can they find the answers?

Flash Flood by Chris Ryan

Ben finds himself in dangerous waters when London floods.

The Diamond Girls by Jacqueline Wilson

The Diamond Girls need someone with a heart of gold more than they realize...

Best Friends by Jacqueline Wilson

Can Gemma and Alice's friendship survive their separation? Another Jacqueline Wilson special.

Bullies at School by Theresa Breslin

Siobhan is being bullied, but she's also only a breath away from becoming a bully herself.

Predator's Gold by Philip Reeve

Compelling sequel to Mortal Engines. Love, jealousy, betrayal, anger, loyalty and bravery. Brilliant!

Midnight by Jacqueline Wilson

Violet learns how to stand up for herself.

Stop the Train by Geraldine McCaughrean

There's no point settling a township in the middle of the desert if the train won't stop at your station . . .

Secrets by Jacqueline Wilson

You need a friend, to tell all your secrets to. And to help you keep a big secret . . .

Goodbye Marianne by Irene N Watts

Marianne escapes from Germany to Britain as a refugee just before the outbreak of the Second World War, but has to leave her parents behind.

Fly, Cherokee, Fly by Chris d'Lacey

Darryl finds an injured racing pigeon hiding under a bush in the local park, and takes it home. As he cherishes the damaged bird, he learns a lot about life, bullies, pigeon fanciers and pigeons.

Not Just Rescuing by Helen Flint

How to make the most of life if you find yourself spending a summer holiday in an animal rescue station.

Up On Cloud Nine by Anne Fine

Stolly lives his life up on cloud nine. Most of the time, it's just funny, but when he goes too far and thoughtlessly injures himself, it is time to stop and think about who is hurting most - Stolly, or his friends and family.

Hitler's Daughter by Jackie French

If Hitler had really had a daughter, how could she have loved him? And how could she live a normal life after his death at the end of the war?

Dustbin Baby by Jacqueline Wilson

April has nothing to link herself with her real mother, not even her name. The only way she can feel she is close to her mother is to work her way back through her early memories to the point when they were separated. On her fourteenth birthday she finds herself standing in the dustbin alley, where it all began . . .

The Skin I'm In by Sharon G Flake

Maleeka's life at school is a misery. She's even taunted by the black kids for being black. Here's a story about finding the strength to rise above it, and learning how to make the right friends.

The Girl Who Knew by Sandra Glover

Injured in a hit-and-run accident, Kits learns more about her best friend than she ever knew before. She learns that her friend is in danger, and she knows that she is the only one who can help.

Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster

A trustee of the orphanage offers to send Judy Abbott to college. But he insists on anonymity. All he asks is that she write a letter to him once a month to let him know of her progress through college. She is to address him as JohnSmith, and she is to expect no reply. So, you see, it is a rather one-sided correspondence!

And The Stars Were Gold by Gaye Hicyilmaz

In 1940 a young Polish boy is dragged from his bed, given thirty minutes to pack, and transported with his mother and brother thousands of miles acrossEurope to Kazakhstan.

The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo

Every day is a struggle for survival on the tiny island of Bryher in the Scilly Isles, but storms and wrecks can bring bounty as well as hardship.

Music on the Bamboo Radio by Martin Booth

Hiding out with Chinese friends for the duration of the war after Hong Kong surrenders to the Japanese Army, Nicholas Holford becomes useful both to the Chinese Communist guerrillas and the British Army, who are working together against the Japanese.

I Am David by Anne Holm

Escaping from a concentration camp, David learns to live life as he tramps across Europe.

The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

The silver sword, a little paper-knife, is a symbol of hope to four children as they make their way across the wastes of post-war Europe from Warsaw to Switzerland in search of their parents.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr

Anna and her family try to make a new life for themselves as refugees in Europe in 1933.

Carrie's War by Nina Bawden

Life as an evacuee with the difficult Mr Evans is bad enough. But did Carrie also bring down a curse on those she loved, living at Druid's Bottom?

Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

Michael is washed up onto a lonely desert island, only to find it is already occupied . . .

Elephant Ben by Geoffrey Malone

Real-life safari adventure. Ben and his gamewarden father rescue a baby elephant from a swamp. One good deed deserves another . . .