10 fantastic books to read with children this Read a Book Day

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Read a Book Day on 6 September offers the perfect opportunity to curl up with a book and escape, whether with a comforting favourite or a new adventure. It’s also a great time to share a book with your child or grandchild and instil a love for literature in their early years.

Developing a love for reading can be hugely beneficial to children. It’ll help improve their vocabulary and language skills, learn more about the world around them, and develop their imagination. There are shelves filled with wonderful books for you to enjoy together, including these 10 chapter books.

1. Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl

Join a group of woodland animals led by the cunning Mr Fox as they try to stay one step ahead of three greedy farmers. Despite being published more than 50 years ago, this Roald Dahl novel has become a staple of children’s literature thanks to the creative story and writing style the author has become well-known for. Of course, once you’ve finished Fantastic Mr Fox, you’ll need to decide which of Roald Dahl’s books to pick up next, from Matilda to The BFG.

2. A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Perfect for inquisitive young minds, Bill Bryson’s adapted his popular adult book for children. Filled with vibrant illustrations, it explores the history of science, from the big bang to the dawn of modern science. Answering questions about space, dinosaurs, and everything in between, this book is a great place to start for children with an interest in science and you might learn something new too.

3. Holes by Stanley Yelnats

Holes has sold millions of copies worldwide since its release in 1998 and it’s a compelling read for children. When Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Green Juvenile Detention Centre, he’s told to dig a hole every day as part of a character-building exercise, but what is the real reason for the holes? You’ll want to find out just as much as the child you’re reading with.

4. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Charlotte’s Web has consistently been named a favourite children’s book since it was released in 1952. It tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a spider, Charlotte, as they come up with a plan to keep Wilbur away from the chopping block. The beautifully written and at times humorous story more than deserves its classic status.

5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter has become one of the most popular children’s books ever, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone takes you right to the start of the magical story filled with dragons, gnomes, quidditch, and evil wizards. Follow Harry as he starts his journey, but you may become so hooked you’ll finish all seven books in no time.

6. Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Action-packed and filled with gadgets, the Alex Rider series is James Bond for children. The first in the series sees teenage spy Alex sent to investigate Herod Sayle, who is offering state-of-the-art computers to every school in the country but this offer seems too good to be true. Once again, there’s a whole series to enjoy if your child gets caught up in the thrills and challenges of carrying out an MI6 mission.

7. Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens

For budding detectives, Murder Most Unladylike is the first in a series that follows two girls at boarding school in the 1930s as they hunt for crimes to solve. When they find a body that disappears, they need to hunt for the killer before they strike again. Could they be out of their depth? With several in the series already written, detective duo Daisy and Hazel have plenty of adventures to take your child on.

8. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

First published in 1958, Tom’s Midnight Garden has become a classic read for children and a fantastic book to share. Stuck at his aunt and uncle’s house, Tom resigns himself to a long, boring summer, until he realises the grandfather clock strikes 13. As he discovers a secret garden filled with intrigue, you’ll find a magical story that’s become one of the best-loved children’s books.

9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s wonderfully imaginative books delight children and adults alike, and The Graveyard Book is a great place to dive into his collection. It’s a gothic book perfect for kids that want to read something a little darker. It tells the story of Bod, a baby that escapes a murderer intent on killing his family. Brought up by the ghosts and ghouls of the local graveyard, will he survive as the murderer continues to hunt for him?

10. Attack of the Demon Dinner Ladies by Pamela Butchart

Perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this book is silly and laugh-out-loud, guaranteeing a lot of fun as you read it with your child or grandchild. Izzy and her friends have always hated school dinners but now there’s something different about the dinner ladies and they’re about to attack. Fans of the book will be pleased to know there are plenty of others in the series to pick up, including The Spy Who Loved School Dinners and My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat.