Wednesday 7 August 2013

45+ Older children's chapter books

This is the third in my series: Five Days of Booklists:

Once children start reading chapter books, providing sufficient suitable books can be problematic. This is a list of some of our favourites. There are 45 on the list but many of these are series so in reality there are far more. I haven't necessarily read every book in a series! Feel free to add your own recommendations.

  • Milad-the voyage to Ophir Nazan Anhar
  • Eagle of the Ninth series Rosemary Sutcliffe. Set of three books set over the course of the Roman occupation of England.
  • Tiger, tiger. Lynne Reid Banks Set in Roman times.
  • Facing Lions JR Williamson and RM Freedman
  • Lord of the Forest BB
  • Mantlemass Chronicles Barbara Willard. Set in Sussex between the 15th and 17th century. I read some years ago and The Sprig of Broom more recently. There are some fairly adult themes: illegitimacy, witch hunts and class issues but, in my opinion, worth reading for older children.
  • Piet Prin's Struggle for Freedom series about the Eighty years war in the Netherlands.
  • Crown and Covenant Bond Douglas Bond 
  • Little house on the Prairie series Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Children on the Oregon trail Van Der Loeff
  • Silver Sword Ian Serrailler
  • The endless Steppe Esther Hautzig. Again, non-fiction, the story of a Jewish family taken to Siberia by the Russians in 1941 and their battle to survive.
  • Piet Prin's Shadow series about the Second World War in the Netherlands
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boon. Older children.
  • GA Henty historical books-there are loads of these for the avid reader.
  • Michael Morpurgo books: some of these are great but look at them first. There are some complex themes; for example, Private Peaceful deals with desertion in war and the treatment of deserters.
  • Double Take series by Scholastic present both sides of historical events such as the Battle of Hastings and the race to the South Pole. Great for children who prefer non-fiction.
  • My story series published by Scholastic. Some have an element of romance usually obvious if you check the last few pages!
  • Deborah Alcock's books including By far Euphrates, The Czar and The Spanish brothers. Victorian Christian historical fiction, well researched and written. Again, for older readers.
  • Trailblazers series published by Christian Focus. This is a series of biographies for children. There are one or two that I wouldn't have chosen to have written about but generally a helpful series with many titles for voracious readers.
  • Jungle Doctor series by Paul White. I was brought up on this series about a missionary doctor in Tanzania. The medicine is dated, and fascinating but more important, it deals with unchanging realities.
  • Stepping heavenward E. Prentiss for older girls.
  • Patricia St John's books. Of these, Rainbow Garden was one of my favourite childhood books and Tanglewood secrets  is a tear jerker.
  • Louise A. Vernon's book The Bible smuggler about William Tyndale and Night preacher is the fictionalised story of Menno Simons. 
  • Mr Pipes  Douglas Bond-I get a bit irritated by some failures to depict UK culture correctly but otherwise they are a worthwhile read and a relaxed introduction to some hymn writers.
  • Mystery at Witchend series Malcolm Saville
  • Thirty nine steps by John Buchan
  • Moonfleet Meade Falkner-definitely for the older contingent and not for the faint hearted!
  • Railway childrenTreasure Seekers, Five children and it. E Nesbit
  • Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
  • Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  • The Ivan books by Myra Grant are the fictional adventures of a boy in Soviet Russia. Useful introduction to this period of recent history and very rapid reads!
  • Arthur Ransome books-not my favourites but would appeal to children who are fascinated by messing about in boats.

  • Redwall books by Brian Jacques. A long series!
  • Snow Fox  John Reynolds Gardiner another tear jerker although a very quick read.
Childhood and growing up
  • Anne of Green Gables series by LM Montgomery
  • Little women series Lousia Alcott
  • Dimsie series by Dorita Fairlie Bruce are stories of a girl at boarding school between the Wars and the latter stories are set in Scotland during the Second World War.
  • Billabong series set in Australia
  • Seven little Australians by Ethel Turner. I cried through the TV adaptation of this, as a child.
  • What Katie did series Susan Coolridge
  • Miss Read stories are really adult books but are gentle tales of life as a school mistress in an English village.
  • Around the world in eighty days by Jules Verne. One of my sons tells me that Twenty thousand leagues under the sea is better but I haven't read it myself.
  • Abbey books by Elsie Oxenham. This is a long school series of 38 books so useful for children who read fast!
  • James Herriot stories about his life as a vet. 
Do visit the other blogs which are taking part in this blog hop by clicking on the picture below.

Summer Blog Hop


  1. Great post thanks Sarah. I have pinned this list to my Homeschool Helps board for future reference!

  2. awesome list. I'm bookmarking this to go through more thoroughly later. I love booklists!

  3. I am always looking for new books. Thank you for sharing. Discovered my library has the Miss Read books. My older girls will be thrilled. Any suggested order? It appear there are two different series?

    1. Sharon, yes there are two series: Fairacre and Thrush Green. There is a chronological order but I just read them as I got hold of them. The Wikipaedia article has the correct order but it isn't a disaster if they are read out of order except that someone may be married in one and not in an earlier.

      Fun relaxing reading!