Family life at home might often centre around checking your social media, playing on the X Box and Face-timing friends but never has there been a better time to curl up on the sofa with a good book. Dust down your bookshelf or treat yourself to a new title and escape into the fantasy of a love story, an adventure into a mystical land or the discovery of a historical drama and rediscover the sheer luxury of reading … time is on our side!
Children’s top reads
The Boy At the Back of the Class – Oniali Rauf
Ahmet is new to the school and we soon learn that he is a refugee who has been tragically separated from his family. A group of his new school friends embark on an amazing adventure to bring the family back together. This is the ultimate story about friendship, bravery and kindness. A great page-turner that will really get you thinking long after you’ve put the book down.
The Beast of Buckingham Palace – David Walliams
What’s not to love about any Walliams book, and this one is a must – full of myths, legends and good vs. evil. Young Prince Alfred and his band of brave revolutionaries must save the day and we follow his adventures as he is thrust into a world of mystery, adventure and monsters.
The Star Outside my Window -Onjali Raúf
Following the disappearance of her mum, 10-year-old Aniyah suddenly finds herself living in foster care. With her life in disarray, she knows just one thing – her mum hasn’t gone for ever because people with the brightest hearts never truly leave, they become stars. So when a new star is spotted acting strangely in the sky, Aniyah is sure it’s her mum and she embarks on the adventure of a lifetime that involves breaking into the Royal Observatory of London, a mischievous scurry of squirrels and the biggest star in Hollywood…
Teens top reads
Noughts and Crosses – Marlorie Blackman
They’ve been friends since they were children and they both know that’s as far as it can ever go. Noughts and Crosses are fated to be bitter enemies – love is out of the question. Then – in spite of a world that is fiercely against them – these star-crossed lovers choose each other. But this is love story that will lead both of them into terrible danger . . . and which will have shocking repercussions for generations to come.
Holes – Louis Sacher
Stanley Yelnat has been sentenced to penal labour in Camp Green Lake juvenile detention centre. Every day he and the other inmates are told to dig a hole, five foot wide by five foot deep, reporting anything they find. The evil warden claims that it is character building, but this is a lie and Stanley must dig up the truth. Masquerading as a character building exercise, what is the real reason behind the holes?
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyle
If you read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. Sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence. We hope you never have to cross such a fence. Intensely haunting and emotionally devastating, Boyne’s delicate fable takes a child’s eye view of twentieth century history with maximum effect. An uncomfortable but morally obliged read and on many school reading lists, a must for all young adults who
Adult top reads
Everything I know about love – Dolly Alderton
A spot-on, wildly funny and sometimes heart-breaking book about growing up, growing older and navigating all kinds of love along the way. When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up, journalist and former Sunday Times columnist, Dolly Alderton, has not only seen it all and tried it all but written about it too. It’s a book about bad dates, good friends and above all else recognising that you and you alone are enough. A very insightful view of very real life – love, laugh and cry out loud.
The Silent Patient – Alex Michaeides
Late one evening, Alicia shoots her husband, Gabriel at point blank range, five times and then never speaks another word. Forensic psychotherapist, Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought. And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth? For those of you that don’t usually read thrillers, this is the one to read … a psychological minefield with a twist.
The Mirror and the Light – Hilary Mantel
Eagerly awaited and eight years in the making, The Mirror & the Light completes Cromwell’s journey from self-made man to one of the most feared and influential figures of his time. Told with immediacy and pace, Mantel’s novels immerse readers in her Tudor world; rich with the sights, smells and textures of 16th century England. The crowning glory of the trilogy is Cromwell himself, portrayed with passion, pathos and energy as politician, fixer, husband, father, subject and as a man who both defied and defined his age. A hefty trilogy but worth every second of the journey … you’ve got time on your hands after all!