The following list contains books suitable for children aged 9-10 in Year 5 of primary school. These titles consist of a variety of fiction and non fiction books for all ability ranges including the more and the less able. This list was last updated on .
Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans
An anarchic laugh out loud story about a boy, Elliot, who spots a shooting star one night which turns out to be a deity with a lot on her mind; and something unexpected and very nasty lurking under Stonehenge. The pair call on the Gods of Greek myths to save the world and Elliot’s mum. The outrageously funny language will appeal to reluctant readers. This must-read book is probably a cult series in the making.
Beetle Boy by MG Leonard
When Darkus’ dad vanishes he finds himself living next to the neighbours from hell. When things seemingly can’t get any worse, a super intelligent talking beetle comes to the rescue. Anarchic, funny, and at times completely mad – with a hint of Roald Dahl.
Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen
A boy who lives in a tower block sees the whole world below him. But one day the tower begins to crumble and fall. The world around him collapses amongst peculiar and menacing plants. Is all hope lost or can he find a way out?
The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
Set in deepest snowbound Russia, a mother and daughter live in fear of the encroaching Red Army. But Feodora and her mother have a unique talent – they can turn tame wolves into wild beasts fit to fend for themselves. A great story about struggling for freedom and independence.
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Heidi is an orphan left heartbroken when she has to leave her grandfather and home in the mountains to live in the city.
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Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl is the twelve-year-old son of an Irish crime lord. After significant research, Artemis believes that he has confirmed the existence of fairies, and he intends to track them down.
The Wonder Garden by Jenny Bloom and Kristjana Williams
A beautifully realised illustrated exploration of five incredible habitats – each meticulously detailed in colourful pictures and snappy labels. Journey through the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon in this visual masterpiece. Great for sparking off imaginative young minds.
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
11-year-old Parvana is forced by to become the breadwinner for her family in a war-torn Taliban ruled Afghanistan.
The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo
A young boy runs away from a boarding school and he meets an old woman who tells him the story of Bertie and the butterfly lion. In Africa, Bertie rescued a white lion cub, but was forced to leave it behind when he went to boarding school. The lion was sold to a circus but Bertie promised to find it one day. A easy read for year fives.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
When Wilbur the pig is in danger of being slaughtered and eaten by the farmer, Charlotte the spider writes messages about Wilbur to stun the farmer into letting him live.
Clockwork by Philip Pullman
A tormented apprentice clock-maker, a deadly mechanical knight in armour – and the sinister Dr Kalmenius, who some say is the devil. A great modern fairy tale.
Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
Danny and his father William live in a Gypsy caravan mending cars for a living, although Danny’s father also has a dangerous sideline in poaching pheasants.
The What on Earth? Wallbook Timeline of Big History by Christopher Lloyd
An incredible history book which spans the dawn of time to the present day, in a five metre long fold out book timeline which can be laid out on a table, floor or wall. Children can walk around the book and dip into the different time periods. Unique and very engaging. Great for reluctant readers and pupils interested in history.
Dial a Ghost by Eva Ibbotson
When new owners force the Wilkinsons to leave the home they’re haunting, they travel to London and apply to Dial-a-Ghost for a new home. The agency finds the perfect home for the Wilkinsons in a ruin, and tells them they can move in on Friday 13th.
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
A silver dragon named Firedrake, the Brownie Sorrel, and Ben, a boy, search for the mythical mountain range called the Rim of Heaven to escape persecution from humans.
Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner
On the train to Berlin, Emil meets a mysterious man who introduces himself as Max Grundeis. This man gives Emil mysterious chocolate and Emil falls asleep. When he wakes up, the money and Herr Grundeis are gone. A gripping mystery.
The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm by Norman Hunter
A series of stories featuring the mad Professor Branestawm, his crazy inventions, Mrs Flittersnoop, Colonel Dedshott, General Shatterfortz and Dr Mumpzanmeasle, the doctor.
I Know What You Did Last Wednesday by Anthony Horowitz
The Diamond Brothers receive an invitation to a school reunion on a remote Scottish island and Nick has a very bad feeling about it.
The Ghost of Thomas Kempe by Penelope Lively
James Harrison and his family move into a cottage in Ledsham and from day one they are bothered by a ghost called Thomas Kempe.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
Book two in the Harry Potter series.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
Book four in the Harry Potter series.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
The first book in the Harry Potter series, introducing Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
The third installment in the Harry Potter series.
Heard it in the Playground by Allan Ahlberg
A funny illustrated collection of poems and songs about primary school life.
The Ultimate Alphabet by Mike Wilks
A stunning and quirky book featuring amazing paintings each depicting a letter of the alphabet. Within each picture are hundreds of objects beginning with that letter. The challenge is to find them all! An answer key is included. Great for long train journeys.
The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
Cruella de Vil has 97 Dalmation puppies. She needs 101 to make a new fur coat. Can anyone stop her before it’s too late?
The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
A giant metal man rains destruction on the countryside by attacking farm equipment, before befriending a boy and defending the world from an alien monster.
Krindlekrax by Philip Ridley
With frizzy hair and thick glasses, nine-year-old Ruskin believes he is born to be a hero and sets out to prove it by rescuing Lizard Street from the evil Krindlekrax.
Scribbleboy by Philip Ridley
Bailey arrives in a new neighbourhood with his unusual family. He has no friends but receives a strange invitation to join the Scribbleboy Fan Club. A great book to encourage reluctant readers.
Stig of the Dump by Clive King
Stig is a caveman. He lives at the bottom a pit close to Barney’s grandparents’ house. People throw all their old junk in the pit and Barney decides it would be the perfect place to build a den.
Hacker by Malorie Blackman
Vicky’s father is accused of stealing over a million pounds from the bank where he works. How can she prove his innocence?
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
The powerful story of a young Jewish girl who is forced to flee her home in Germany in 1933.
Moondial by Helen Cresswell
A girl discovers a tunnel through time and tries to help two children of the past. A vividly told story.
The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Cross
Dinah Glass discovers that her new school Headmaster is very strange. It’s almost as if he’s controlling what all the pupils say and think. Something is very wrong, and Dinah is determined to find out what.
The Witches by Roald Dahl
A young boy goes to stay with his grandmother after his parents are killed in a car crash in the Norwegian mountains The next night, she begins to warn him about witches, evil witches.
Bill’s New Frock by Anne Fine
Bill is forced to go to school in a dress. A frilly pink dress. One of the worst days of his life is about to begin. A very funny story.
The Mouse and his Child by Russell Hoban
The spellbinding story of a tin father and son who dance under a Christmas tree until they break the ancient clockwork rules and are themselves broken.
The Clocktower Ghost by Gene Kemp
Addlesbury Tower is haunted by Rich King Cole, a man who fell off it long ago. But now Amanda wants the tower for herself and a battle begins.
The Sheep-pig by Dick King-Smith
When Babe is won at a fair by Farmer Hogget, he is adopted by Fly, the kind-hearted sheep-dog. Babe knows he can’t be a sheep-dog but maybe he might become a sheep-pig.
King of the Forest Clouds by Michael Morpurgo
When Japan invades China, Ashley and his Uncle are forced to flee across the Himalayas. When Ashley is captured by a group of strange creatures they revere him as their king. Why?
The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit
A group of children find out their new carpet is magical. An egg in the carpet hatches into a talking Phoenix which explains that the carpet is magical and will grant them three wishes every day.
The Scarecrow and his Servant by Philip Pullman
A scarecrow comes alive after being struck by lightning and sets out on a quest with Jack, an orphan hired as his servant.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
The quirky and funny stories of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire and their lives after their parents’ death in an mysterious house fire. The children are claimed by their distant cousin Count Olaf who just wants their inheritance…
Woof! by Allan Ahlberg
Eric is a normal boy. Until the nighttime that is, when, in fifteen seconds he can turn into a dog.
Laughter is an Egg by John Agard
A very funny series of poems, riddles, jokes and ballads.
The Factory Made Boy by Christine Nostlinger
Mrs Bartolotti receives a package by mistake. Inside is a factory-made boy called Conrad who never does anything wrong. The factory wants Conrad back, but he doesn’t want to go.
Aquila by Andrew Norriss
A highly imaginative science fiction / historical thriller about two boys who miss school to investigate a strange machine. Soon they find it can take them anywhere they imagine, and many places they can’t. A great story for any children interested in the Romans.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The spellbinding journey of Edward Tulane – a toy rabbit – who falls from a train and lives with tramps, a scarecrow and a dying child. A heartwarming, but sad, ending.
For less able readers, try our Year 4 reading suggestions.
For the more able, have a look at our Year 6 reading list.
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