January 2024’s set of recommendations for book clubs features eight titles to get children in primary and early secondary schools back into the swing of reading after the holidays. With exciting chapter book fiction, inspirational nonfiction, fun poetry to perform aloud and thought-provoking books about how we get along with each other, there’s lots to discuss for every age group. January 2024’s picks include titles by Chitra Soundar, Amelia Hepworth, Nima Patel, Gwen Millward, Nicki Thornton, Eloise Smith, Neal Zetter and Anna Rainbow.
January 2024 book club recommendations
Meet the Wildlings by Gwen Millward
Siblings Poppy and Max learn about how difficult sharing can be after a minor argument turns them into wild, hairy creatures. The vivid, quirky illustrations bring this relatable story to life and 0-5-year-olds will love the bold characters and use of onomatopoeia. Teachers in EYFS will find the book useful to help explore themes of sharing, working together and dealing with emotions.
0-5 year olds | Author’s website
The Best You by Nima Patel
Parenting coach Nima Patel asks 3-6-year-olds readers, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and this inspirational picture book highlights positive values such as kindness, determination and resilience. The uplifting text, relatable illustrations and diverse characters will help empower children to set goals and believe in themselves. The Best You is a useful text to read with a class and discuss in EYFS and KS1.
3-6 year olds | Author’s Instagram
I Love You to the Moon and Back: All Year Long by Amelia Hepworth, illustrated by Tim Warnes
In this sequel to I Love You to the Moon and Back, Amelia Hepworth and illustrator Tim Warnes invite young readers to explore the changing seasons through lyrical rhyming couplets and an all-pervading sense of family warmth and love. As Bear and Little Bear watch spring’s shoots, summer’s sunny rays, autumn’s crunchy leaves and magical winter snowflakes, their bond remains unbreakable. Capturing the joy of shared moments throughout the year this large format picture book is a joy to read to EYFS classes, or as a bedtime story.
3-6 year olds | Author’s website
Nikhil and Jay by Chitra Soundar
Join brothers Nikhil and Jay in four new short adventures, including a game of Dayan that goes slightly wrong, making a bug hotel, crafting and flying kites, and tidying up toys. Perfect for children in KS1 or lower KS2 transitioning from picture books to short-chapter books, this series blends fast-moving storylines with relatable characters and situations. It’s also ideal for booster book clubs and to improve reading confidence.
5+ year olds | Author’s website
The Shape of Rainbows by Neal Zetter
The cracking new collection includes 47 fun poems that children aged 7+ will love to read together and perform aloud. Highlights include ‘Grab a Book‘, which will definitely liven up your library sessions, ‘Friend‘, which is perfect for talking about in PSHE and circle time, and ‘The Day I Ate My School‘ – which would make a great creative writing lesson model for KS2 teachers. Packed with rhyme, rhythm, onomatopoeia, humour, thoughtfulness and life, every primary school library should have a copy of this book. Highly recommended.
7+ year olds | Author’s X
Diamond Jack: Your Magic Or Your Life by Anna Rainbow
When 11-year-old Bramble finds a mysterious mask in her grandpa’s shop, she transforms into the infamous highwayman Diamond Jack. This action-packed adventure blends magic with classic stories such as The Three Musketeers and Robin Hood. It’s a winning formula of swashbuckling bravery, spells and fast-paced plot. 9+ year olds will love the short chapters and fun characters.
9-11 year olds | Author’s website
The Floating Witch Mystery by Nicki Thornton
This pacey mystery from the author of The Last Chance Hotel weaves magical adventure and a whodunnit plot. School reporter Veena Vale, helped by the talking black cat Nightshade, unravels ancient curses with wise woman Hetty Dimple on The Floating Witch. The third in the Nightshade series, this story will captivate upper primary readers with spellbinding secrets and intrigue. It’s perfect for deep-thinking fans of Harry Potter.
9-12 year olds | Author’s website
Winner Takes Gold by Eloise Smith
This glittering gymnastics tale follows Pearl who chases a gold medal in Paris to honour her late mother. But the training is tough at the elite camp, and with friends Ryan and Jada-Rae, Pearl must overcome physical challenges, questionable practices and social rivalries. With short chapters, a fast pace and illustrations, it’s ideal for imaginative but less confident readers in UKS2 and LKS3. Perfect for book clubs, Winner Takes Gold celebrates honesty, fair play and the value of true friendship.
10-13 year olds | Author’s website
Themed day / social media opportunities for January 2024
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.
- January is ‘Veganuary’, highlighting the benefits of being vegan. The Vegan Society has created a useful guide for schools.
- January 2nd is Science Fiction Day. Have a look at our STEM and science fiction themed list for KS2 and KS3 students.
- January 4th is World Braille Day. RNIB offer a great resource pack for schools, covering all age groups.
- On January 8th, the RSPB’s Big Schools Birdwatch project begins. Have a look at the RSPB’s guide for teachers.
- January 23rd is National Handwriting Day.
- January 25th is Burns Night. Scottish Language has created a great set of free activities for learners.
- January 26th is Australia Day. Have a look at our Australian texts list for some inspo.
- January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day. The Holocaust Memorial Trust has written an extensive range of resources for schools, and author Tom Palmer is offering a range of resources to download from his website.
- National Storytelling Week begins on January 30th, and runs into February. Here’s a great guide to running a storytelling club.
- Have a look at our writing competitions for January 2024.
Other recently released titles to have a look at:
- Our latest January 2024 books of the month.
- Our rundown of the best books coming out in spring 2024.
- Our January 2024 books of the day on Twitter.
- Our guide on how to run a school book club covers both primary school book clubs and secondary school book clubs.
Click one of the buttons below to buy all this month’s recommended book club titles, or class sets of any of these books, from Bookshop.org UK or Amazon.co.uk. As an Amazon Associate schoolreadinglist.co.uk earns from qualifying purchases.