Skip to content ↓

Must Read Books

TES and the National Association for the Teaching of English ran a survey to find teachers' top fiction books all children should read before leaving primary school.

Here are the results, just click on an age recommendation to view the list:

Age: 5+

Age: 9+

Age 11+


Age: 5+

                The Cat in the Hat - Dr Seuss

                Curious George - H.A. Ray

                The Gruffalo - Julia Donaldson

                The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

                We're going on a Bear Hunt - Michael Rosen

                Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

                Flat Stanley - Jeff Brown

                Funnybones - Allan and Janet Ahlberg

                Owl Babies - Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson

                Green Eggs and Ham - Dr Seuss

                The Tiger Who Came to Tea - Judith Kerr

                Peace at Last - Jill Murphy

                Hairy Maclary Series - Lynley Dodd

                Not Now Bernard - David Mckee

                The Paddington Bear Series - Michael Bond

                Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch

                Farmer Duck - Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury

                The Jolly Postman - Allan Ahlberg

                Zoo - Anthony Browne

                The Sheep Pig - Dick King-Smith

                The Mr Men and Little Miss Series - Roger Hargreaves

                The Velveteen Rabbit - Margery Williams

                Voices in the Park - Anthony Browne

                Pumpkin Soup - Helen Cooper

                The Day the Crayons Quit - Drew Draywalt & Oliver Jeffers

                The Tunnel - Anthony Browne

                Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type - Doreen Cronin Betsy Lewin

                I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato - Lauren Child

                The Kipper Series - Mick Inkpen

                Dogger - Shirley Hughes


Age: 9+

                James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl

                The BFG - Roald Dahl

                Famous Five Series - Enid Blyton

                The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling

                Charlotte's Web – E.B. White

                The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

                Tom's Midnight Garden - Phillipa Pearce

                Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder

                Carrie's War - Nina Bawden

                The Story of Tracy Beaker - Jacqueline Wilson

                Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

                Goodnight Mister Tom - Michelle Magorian

                Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

                Matilda - Roald Dahl

                The Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis

                Stig of the Dump - Clive King

                Black Beauty - Anna Sewell

                The Iron Man - Ted Hughes

                Winnie the Pooh – A. A. Milne

                War Horse - Michael Morpurgo

                Artemis Fowl Series - Eoin Colfer

                Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Jeff Kinney

                The Twits - Roald Dahl

                I am David - Anne Holm

                The Highwayman - Alfred Noyes

                Esio Trot - Roald Dahl

                Five Children and It – E. Nesbit

                Clockwork - Phillip Pullman

                The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

                The Magic Far Away Tree - Enid Blyton

                Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

                The Silver Sword - Ian Serraillier

                The Worst Witch Series - Jill Murphy

                Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotson

                Sad Book - Michael Rosen

                The Borrowers - Mary Norton

                Percy Jackson Series - Rick Riordan

                Pig Heart Boy - Malorie Blackman

                Cloud Busting - Malorie Blackman

                Kidnapped – R. L. Stevenson

                The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graham

                Eragon - Christopher Paolini

                Street Child - Berlie Doherty

                The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

                The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler - Gene Kemp

                The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster

                The Tale of Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter

                The Skulduggery Pleasant Series - Derek Landy

                Malory Towers Series - Enid Blyton

                Wolf Brother - Michelle Paver

                The Mrs Pepperpot Series - Alf Proysen

                The Fib and Other Stories - George Layton

                The Milly-Molly-Mandy Series - Joyce Lankester Brisley

                The Suitcase Kid - Jacqueline Wilson

                Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling


Age: 11+

                Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

                Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

                Watership Down - Richard Adams

                Lord of the Flies - William Golding

                The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ - Sue Townsend

                Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

                The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

                The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - John Boyne

                Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery

                The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham

                The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

                The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

                The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

                Coraline - Neil Gaiman

                Treasure Island – R. L. Stevenson

                The Railway Children – E. Nesbit

                Just So Stories - Rudyard Kipling

                Eagle of the Ninth - Rosemary Sutcliff

                The Happy Prince and Other Stories - Oscar Wilde

                Face - Benjamin Zephaniah

                The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - Alan Garner

Get in touch