Friday 21 March 2014

Books set in the UK for older children

This is a list of books for preteenagers who are avid readers and has a distinct UK flavour to it.

  • Rosemary Sutcliffe's Roman trilogy starting with The Eagle of the Ninth.
  • The Woolpack by Cynthia Harnett. There are other books by this author that I haven't read but understand to be high quality children's historical fiction.

  • Lord of the Forest by BB.
  • Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series. In my experience, this series is either loved or hated!
  • Malcolm Saville's Lone Pine adventure series.
  • Douglas Bond's Crown and Covenant  series set in the Scotland of the Covenanters.
  • Ned by Barbara Coyle which is the story of a Barnardo boy in Victorian London.

  • GA Henty books are historical fiction some of which is set in the UK. I haven't read many but one of my sons tells me that the plots become "sameish" after a while. Many are available free on line.
  • Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat.
  • Saint Patrick: author Michael McHugh
  • The Railway children, The Treasure Seekers, Five children and It by E Nesbit. These seem to be available free for Kindle.
  • James Herriot books about his life as a vet in the Yorkshire Dales.
  • Scholastic Double Take book about 1066.
  • War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
  • Goodnight Mister Tom Michelle Magorian. This story of a World War II evacuee is more suitable for the older end of this age range due to the child abuse described.
  • Again, for the older end of the range, is Moonfleet by J Meade Falkner. This is free on Kindle.
Please add your own suggestions.

I have some other book lists for anyone looking for books for avid readers:

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  1. Thank you for the list, Sarah! I haven't heard of many of these, so I'm going to check them out!

  2. Ned is one of our favorites here!! So thrilled to see it on your list. Now to check out a few I haven't heard of.....

  3. My wife said, "It's not often I come across a book list of great titles I haven't seen." Much thanks!

  4. Good-hope that these titles will be enjoyed!

  5. Great list! There are a few on here that I've never heard of, so I'm going to be getting those from our library.

    Just a caution: I would not give Sutcliffe's trilogy to preteens because it is quite tense. And as I recall Crown and Covenant is also for older ones due to some graphic scenes.

    We read aloud a lot of the Arthur Ransome books, as well as The Railway Children, Children of the New Forest (3 times!), and Saint Patrick.

    Your son is right, the Henty book plots get a bit predictable after a while, but they are excellent for 10-14 year olds who are just looking for something to read. Much better and more informative than any other series.

    And a caution about James Herriot: there is a fair bit of language to worry about.

    1. Annie Kate, yes we all have to check out books for our own children. Some of my children have read the Sutcliffe books and Crown and Covenant as older preteens (I think about 10-12) and weren't troubled but this is a judgement that individual parents have to make. Yes, I agree about the Herriot and should have noted this.