August 2023’s set of recommendations for book clubs features eight titles to keep children and teens engrossed, enthralled and laughing during the summer holidays. With compelling mysteries, gripping adventures, moving character stories, laugh-out-loud humour and a fascinating look at the world of reptiles, there are plenty of choices. August 2023’s picks include titles by Britta Teckentrup, Andy Jones, N.S. Blackman, Janelle McCurdy, Judith Eagle, Jo Simmons, Kieran Larwood and Sophie McKenzie.
August 2023 book club recommendations
There are Reptiles Everywhere by Britta Teckentrup
Explaining what reptiles are, where and how they live and how they have evolved through time, ‘There are Reptiles Everywhere’ is a stunning fact-filled guide that will appeal to children interested in the natural world. Follow a turtle’s travels, find out about a Komodo dragon’s weapons and learn about reptiles in mythology., Visually spectacular, this highly illustrated large format flapped paperback is highly recommended for years 2-4.
6-9 year-olds | Author website.
Undercover Alien by N.S. Blackman
Everything seems to go wrong for Col at his new secondary school, but Alicia thinks it’s related to the strange events involving a three-legged purple-headed alien spotted in the school library. Can Col and Alicia find out why there’s an undercover alien in the Library? This quirky and funny short chapter book will appeal to less confident readers in lower KS2.
7-9 year-olds | Author Facebook.
Bob vs the Trousers of Doom by Andy Jones illustrated by Robin Boyden
Accidental time-traveller Bob’s STEM lesson mishap causes a global aroma-virus pandemic. With robot gorillas, evil AI and a grumpy school inspector can Bob save the world? An explosively plotted ripping yarn, this fart-out-loud novel is a real blast. This short chapter book is bound to be a hit with KS2 classes.
8+ year-olds | Author website.
Mia and the Traitor of Nubis by Janelle McCurdy, illustrated by Ana Latese
Mia is trying to get back to a normal life, but with lightcaster superpowers, she’s finding it difficult. Soon, she realises her nightmare might be more than bad dreams, and a hidden evil enemy is uncovered. A fabulous sequel to Mia and the LightCaster, 9-12-year-olds will love this second visit to Janelle McCurdy’s thoroughly absorbing fantasy world.
9-12 year-olds | Author website.
Carnival of the Spider by Kieran Larwood, illustrated by Sam Usher
Sheba is searching for a map hidden in the catacombs of Paris in this atmospheric adventure. Can she find it in time to save Sister Moon who has been imprisoned by the Spider? With a persistent pace and a plot that never loosens its grip on the reader, children will be captivated by the vivid period world. A highly recommended book series for KS2 readers.
9-12 year-olds | Author website.
The Stolen Songbird by Judith Eagle
Cara resents having to go and stay in London without her pet rabbit. But Cara doesn’t follow the rules. Not only does she hide her rabbit, but she stumbles upon a valuable work of art that thrusts her into a world of intrigue and danger. A richly woven and realised adventure set in 1950s London, The Stolen Songbird is an absorbing and well-paced adventure mystery option for 9-12-year-olds interested in art and history.
9-12 year-olds | Author Twitter.
Secret Sister by Sophie McKenzie
Can two sisters find their way back to each other is the question at the heart of this breathtaking thriller. Asha finds out she’s been lied to and has a secret sister. But Willow thinks her sister is dead. Thoroughly gripping, ‘Secret Sister’ is a great book to kick start your year 7 child’s reading at the start of secondary school.
12+ year-olds | Author website.
The Reluctant Vampire Queen Bites Back by Jo Simmons
A mini battenburg. That’s 15-year-old Mo Merrydrew’s cake and she will be eating it – because she’s the Vampire Queen of Great Britain. But with vampires hunted and allegiances needed, she might have bitten off more than she can cope with in this hilarious sequel. With a winning strapline – ‘Work, Rest and Slay’ – The Reluctant Vampire Queen Bites Back is bound to be popular with KS3 readers. A great summer holiday read.
12+ year-olds | Author Twitter.
Themed day / social media opportunities for August 2023
These hashtag days might provide current and relevant talking points for secondary-aged pupils aged 13+ in KS3, KS4 and KS5, especially when linked to related literature.
- #NationalBookloversday is celebrated on August 9th and is a great excuse to buy a lot of books, organise a reading challenge, share your favourite authors on social media or arrange your paperback spines into a visible colour spectrum sequence.
- #LefthandersDay on August 13th is a great opportunity to celebrate the superpower that is left-handedness. There’s a comprehensive website devoted to everything left-handed, including activities and biographies of amazing lefthanded people.
- #NationalDogDay takes place on August 26th and there are lots of details and activity ideas on the National Dog Day website.
- PoetryBearsPicnic on 20th August is celebrated in libraries across the UK – find an event near you – and #PoetsDay is held on 21st August.
- World Rutabaga Day takes place in the last week of August. Events include rutabaga curling, rutabaga hurling, and best rutabaga unfurling.
- #ToothFairy day takes place on August 22nd. The British Dental Association has a great article on the history and legend behind the tooth fairy.
- #InternationalCatDay takes place on August 8th to raise awareness for the protection of cats.
- Have a look at our writing competitions for August 2023.
Other recently released titles to have a look at:
- Our latest August 2023 books of the month.
- Our rundown of the best books coming out in summer 2023.
- Our August 2023 books of the day on Twitter.
- Our guide on how to run a school book club, which covers both primary school book clubs and secondary school book clubs.
Click the button below to buy all this month’s recommended book club titles, or class sets of any of these books, from Bookshop.org UK.Buy from UK.Bookshop.Org