16 of the best books for children for summer 2017
There's no better way to while away the long summer holidays than getting lost in a book. From beautiful picture books to pore over to thrilling adventures and historical tales to savour, we pick some of the best new kids' books for summer 2017.
The childhood classic
Dogger by Shirley Hughes(Bodley Head, £12.99)
If you weren't a Dogger fan as a child, invest in a copy on the 40th anniversary of its publication and it'll be a firm family favourite after a single read. It's a simple story of a lost toy, a family day out and everyday kindness and love, and your child will love the gorgeous illustrations. The 40th anniversary editorion is available in hardback or in paperback with an accompanying audio reading on CD from actress Olivia Colman.
The fantasy adventure
Dragon's Green by Scarlett Thomas(Canongate, £12.99)
Effie Truelove, a pupil at the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange, is entrusted with the care of her grandfather's magical books. After they're stolen she must travel to the mysterious Otherworld and brave the terrifying Diberi, a secret organisation with plans that could destroy the entire universe... A fantastic, engrossing read for Harry Potter fans aged 9+.
The laugh-out-loud comic caper
My Evil Twin is a Supervillain by David Solomons(Nosy Crow, £6.99)
Who wouldn't want to have a super-powered twin? Maybe Luke, when it turns out his other-dimension self is villainous and looking for recruits to help him take over his world. Two Lukes are definitely not better than one... but will the universe survive their superhero strife? The third installment in the laugh-out-loud-funny My Brother is a Superhero series.
The inspiring graphic novel
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson(Puffin, £7.99)
A satisfyingly long comic-book novel, illustrated in full colour and telling the story of roller derby enthusiast Astrid as she navigates a long summer without her best friend at her side, finds a new passion and learns to believe in herself. Already a best-seller in the US (and deservedly so!).
The perfect picture book
The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt(HarperCollins, £12.99)
A funny, witty story about the "legend" of Rock, Paper, Scissors from the author of The Day the Crayons Quit. You'll enjoy the antics of Rock, Paper and Scissors in the Kingdom of Backgarden as much as your child and the illustrations are fantastic.
The summer holiday handbook
Bursting with ideas to help kids discover the great outdoors, this fact-packed nature journal offers sunny day and rainy day activities for the garden, the park, the beach or the farm. From making a daisy chain and setting up a snail race to rock climbing and cooking on a campfire, it's brilliant summer-holiday inspiration.
The addictive early reader
Mudpuddle Farm: Pigs Might Fly! by Michael Morpurgo(HarperCollins, £5.99)
Award-winning author Michael Morpurgo's funny farmyard stories are perfect for newly confident readers: with illustrations on every page and short chapters the stories zip along and are charming and quite unputdownable! Part of the Mudpuddle Farm series.
The action-packed thriller
Alex Rider: Never Say Die by Anthony Horowitz(Walker Books, £12.99)
The perfect tear-through-it-in-one-reading-session book, this action-packed adventure is the latest in the number one bestselling Alex Rider series. In book 11 Alex Rider is trying to get his life back on track after the traumatic events of his last mission... but his past is about to catch up with him.
Please note: this book is suitable for Y6 readers and older.
The fun-packed fact book
Get to know yourself, inside and out! This huge HuManual, based on the award-winning CCBC series, is bursting with facts and figures about everything from crazy bodily functions to bizarre real-life medical cases. There's loads to read on every page and quizzes and games to test your knowledge. Brilliant fun.
The time-travelling tale
Tilly and the Time Machine by Adrian Edmonson(Puffin, £6.99)
The moving, heart-warming and touching story of intrepid time traveller Tilly. When her dad builds a time-machine there's only one place Tilly wants to go: back to when her mum was still alive. But when her dad gets lost in the past Tilly is determined to bring him home again... though she might need to have tea with Queen Victoria first!
The time-slip fantasy
Evie's Ghost by Helen Peters(Nosy Crow, £6.99)
Evie's mum has remarried and left her to stay in a creaky old house with a godmother she's never even met. But then she wakes up in 1812, dressed as a housemaid, and realises that she's gone back in time for a reason and someone needs her help... An absorbing period story, packed with evocative detail.
The historical best-seller
Wave Me Goodbye by Jacqueline Wilson(Doubleday, £12.99)
Award-winning author Jacqueline Wilson's first 1940s-set story, exploring WWII and the experience of Britain's evacuee children. In September, 1939 ten-year-old Shirley is sent away on a train with her schoolmates after being told that she’s going on ‘a little holiday’. Living in the country in the strange, half-empty Red House with the mysterious Mrs Waverley changes her life for ever.
The supernatural shenanigans story
There's a Werewolf in my Tent! by Pamela Butchart(Nosy Crow, £6.99)
Funny, accessible writing that's perfect for readers who are enjoying chapter books independently. Weird things have started to happen on Izzy's school camping trip: night-time howling sounds, missing sausages and the full moon rising... But it's when they see their new teacher's hairy legs that they realise there's a werewolf on the school trip and they're all DOOMED!
The retro fairytale
Little Red by David Roberts and Lynn Roberts-Mahoney(Pavilion Books, £6.99)
A new spin on the classic Little Red Riding Hood story, this version is set in the eighteenth century and the illustrations are quirky and funny as well as beautiful. A bedtime story treat for parents as well as children.
The summertime story collection
Summer Holiday Stories by Enid Blyton(Hodder Children's Books, £6.99)
A compendium of original Enid Blyton stories from the 1930s will transport you to summer holidays of yore, packed with picnics in the woods, seaside visits and trips on a magic aeroplane. Perfect summer holiday reading to dip in and out of and great value for money (you get 22 stories in the book!).
The cosmic-scope novel
The Jamie Drake Equation by Christopher Edge(Nosy Crow, £6.99)
A book about the love, the universe and everything else, this mixes sound science with quality story-telling and a suspenseful story line. Jamie Drake's dad is orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station. Hanging out at his local observatory, Jamie picks up a strange signal on his phone... could it be alien life, and what will happen to his dad's mission?