Aside from fundraising and running Read for Good’s social media, Jo Jeffery is helping her transitioning tween daughter Emily to seek comfort from a summer reading list

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
Charles William Eliot

The last term of the final year of primary school comes with triumph and trepidation, exhaustion and excitement in equal measure.

After two eye opening transition days for my daughter I sought book recommendations from the fabulous Reading for Pleasure in Schools Facebook group to help address some of the issues I am sure many of the Year 6s are experiencing; friendships lost and new, seeking independence, standing out from the crowd but wanting to fit in, overcoming difficult experiences – it is all a bit of a minefield for them!

I was blown away by the variety of books recommended – lots of them my daughter had already devoured- but many that we hadn’t come across. Such was the gusto created by my Facebook post created I wanted to share this list with parents and teachers alike. *Cautionary note – your Amazon Wish List may become unwieldy.

Goldfish Boy, Lisa Thompson

The Search for Wondla Tony DiTerlizzi

Northern Lights, Philip Pullman

A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan

Splash by Charli Howard.

‘My Y7 pinched my review copy and says she wishes she’d had it last year. It’s one I’ll definitely be picking up for new stock in September’.
Caroline Wood

Electragirl by Jo Cotterill

Ruby in the Smoke, Philip Pullman

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend

Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve

The Mixed Up Summer of Lily McLean by Lindsay Littleson

A Library Of Lemons by Jo Cotterill


‘My daughter went through the same. She started reading the classics. Particular favourites were Jane Austen, Daphne du Maurier. Emily Bronte’.
Alison Price

Roller Girl,Victoria Jamieson

Big Bones, Laura Dockrill

Bookshop Girl by Sylvia Bishop

Cogheart by Peter Bunzl


‘Read a bit of everything… And if you don’t like a book, put it down and start a new one -that’s OK too!
Peter Bunzl

Brightstorm Vashti Hardy

Wonder R.J. Palacio

Where the World Ends Geraldine McCaughrean

Faceless Alyssa Sheinmel

The Girl of Ink and Stars Kiran Millwood Hargrave


‘My daughter is the same and I’ve found the CILIP Carnegie Award winners and shortlists from the last few years great for more challenging reads before she moved onto older texts. Another good thing is that libraries often stock them which can save you a fortune as I guess your daughter may be as prolific a reader as mine.’
Melanie Southward

Wolf Wilder Katherine Rundell

Sky Song Abi Elphinstone

Eye of the North Sinead O’Hart

I have No Secrets by Penny Joelson

A Place called Perfect by Helena Duggan.

The Wind Singer William Nicholson

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge.

Fever Crumb by Phillip Reeve

And finally, possibly my favourite piece of advice from Karen McCombie;

‘As a mum of a daughter who found the transition a bit bumpy, I have to pass on the insightful advice of my book agent, who’d gone through the same with HER daughter… she said that there’s often a lot of re-reading of old favourites when kids hit Yr7… it’s a form of self-comfort when facing the brave – and sometimes a little bit overwhelming – new world! So don’t be surprised if she snuggles down with old favourites…’

Emily and I have sat down and ploughed through all of the wonderful recommendations and have started putting together our list of new books for the summer holidays which, no doubt, will be interspersed with Harry Potter and Jacqueline Wilson. You never know, I might even sneak in a few too…

Thank you to the Reading for Pleasure in Schools group who so freely gave their advice and experience – what lucky pupils you have!

Jo Jeffery

I’m reading ‘Everything I Know About Love’ by Dolly Alderton . What are you reading?