About Us

About the School Reading List

The School Reading List website recommends children’s and young adult books to teachers, parents, schools and librarians in the United Kingdom. Our team of experienced teachers, highly qualified educators, and specialist librarians are experts at curating fiction and nonfiction suggested reading lists and writing reviews of the latest children’s books.

Welcome to the School Reading List website, your companion on a journey of nurturing young readers and promoting lifelong learning. We are an online platform committed to inspiring and enriching the literary experiences of children and young adults across the United Kingdom.

Our mission

At the School Reading List, our mission is to empower teachers, parents, schools, libraries, and home educators by providing a comprehensive array of children’s and young adult books, writing competitions, children’s publishers, literacy blogs, teaching resources, home learning courses, audiobooks, revision guides, graphic novels, chapter books, nonfiction, activity books, and much more. Our purpose is to instil a profound love for reading, learning, and creativity in the hearts of the next generation.

What we offer:

  1. Book Recommendations: Our carefully curated book lists encompass a wide range of genres, catering to the diverse interests and needs of young readers. From enchanting picture books to gripping young adult novels, we ensure that there’s something for everyone.
  2. Literacy Resources: Find a wealth of literacy and English teaching resources, offering valuable support for educators and parents in promoting reading and language skills.
  3. Writing Competitions: Encourage young writers to hone their skills and showcase their creativity through our recommended writing competitions.
  4. Children’s Publishers: Discover renowned children’s publishers and stay up-to-date with the latest releases in children’s literature.
  5. Literacy Blogs: Explore our pick of a treasure trove of informative and engaging literacy blogs that offer insights, advice, and recommendations on fostering a love for reading and learning.
  6. Home Learning Courses: Access our expertly curated lists of home learning courses to facilitate the educational journey from the comfort of your home.
  7. Audiobook Recommendations: Immerse young minds in the magic of storytelling with our collection of audiobooks, perfect for enhancing listening and comprehension skills.
  8. Revision Guide recommendations: Prepare students for academic success with revision guides and study materials that support their learning objectives.
  9. Graphic Novel lists: Dive into the world of graphic novels, an engaging medium that combines art and storytelling to captivate young readers.
  10. Activity Book Round-ups: Keep children entertained and learning with our selection of interactive and educational activity books.
  11. Children’s Literature Podcast: Tune in to our children’s literature podcast, where we discuss literary trends, author interviews, and insightful commentary on the world of children’s and young adult books.
  12. Monthly Book Club: Join our monthly book club for primary and secondary students, where readers can explore new books, engage in discussions, and connect with fellow book enthusiasts.
  13. Topic and Genre Guides: Navigate the literary landscape with our topic and genre guides, designed to help you discover books that align with specific interests and educational goals.
The School Reading List website masthead

How we choose our children’s reading book lists

Only children’s books that we have read to children or road-tested with classes are reviewed, suggested or recommended. We listen to our panel of experienced teachers, librarians, senior leaders and home educators when we compile and refresh our collections of year group lists, topic books, niche suggestions and books for gifts. We try to include a range of classics, new books, diverse fiction and non-fiction and poetry across the breadth of our site.

Sometimes we are approached by authors, agents or publishers asking how we select books for kids and teens and or to consider a new title for a list. Our only requirement is that a book is in print or online and widely available from bookshops or eBook outlets. We look at all suggestions and add books that have excellent feedback from young readers and teachers.

Our commitment to diversity:

We are dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity in children’s and young adult literature, ensuring that our recommendations reflect the rich tapestry of cultures, experiences, and perspectives in the UK.

Our vision

At the School Reading List, we believe that literacy is the key to knowledge, empathy, creativity, and personal growth. We are here to support and inspire the individuals responsible for nurturing young minds, and we invite you to join us on this literary journey. Together, even if only in a small way, we can help shape a brighter and more literate future for the next generations of children and young adults in the UK.

Our history

The School Reading List website was created by Tom Tolkien in 2011.

Our team

The School Reading List is curated and reviewed by a small group of librarians, English teachers and parents who meet in school holidays to discuss books that have worked well with groups of children, new releases within the last 12 months and the shortlists for children’s literature awards. Our reading book lists are reviewed and revised monthly.

We also decide on fiction, nonfiction and picture books of the month which are updated at the start of each month. These titles tend to be recently published books.

The children’s books we recommend in our reading book lists are almost always bought from bookshops – both on the high street and online. Sometimes publishers provide us with pre-release copies via national and local booksellers, authors, agents, or publishers, but the majority of titles are picked off the shelf. For us, it’s important to replicate our readers’ experiences.

Our editor

Tom Tolkien - children's literature expert

Tom Tolkien is an experienced teacher and educational consultant who taught for 20 years in primary and secondary schools, including Woodleigh School in North Yorkshire, where he was Head of English and ran a 4000 book prep school library for pupils aged 3-13. He now reviews books for children and teens. Social profiles: Twitter | Linkedin