June 2023’s set of recommendations for book clubs features eight titles that explore important and powerful themes of friendship, family, sharing, resilience, and humility – through rip-roaring adventures, empathy and sensitivity, magical twists and surprises, and engaging bursts of illustrated detail. June 2023’s picks include titles by Jeanne Willis and Brian Fitzgerald, Susan Martineau, Oscar Wilde, Ritva Voutila, Stephen Mulhern and Tom Easton, Harry Heape, Cheryl Diane Parkinson, Lindsay Galvin & Joseph Coelho.
June 2023 book club recommendations
The Bear who had Nothing to Wear by Jeanne Willis and Brian Fitzgerald
This laugh-out-loud rhyming story blends funny, powerful and highly engaging themes of empowerment, roles and sharing with hilariously bold illustrations. At school, it’s a great choice to share with EYFS classes. At home, it may well be your next smash-hit bedtime read.
3+ year-olds | Author’s website.
Sharks! Sharks! Sharks! by Susan Martineau
Find out whether a shark really wants to eat you or not in this awe-inspiring nonfiction book that’s packed with detail. And it’s not just a fabulous fact book about sharks, but a deeper dive into how they live, work together and protect their young. Beautifully illustrated, this large format hardback is perfect for both KS1 and KS2 libraries.
5-10-year-olds | Publisher’s Twitter
The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde, illustrated by Ritva Voutila
After seven years of staying with a Cornish ogre, a giant returns – filled with selfishness. In this large format picturebook Oscar Wilde’s fable of forgiveness is retold through crisp prose adorned with evocative and fascinating illustrations. A spectacular book to pore over, pass down and cherish.
6-11-year-olds | Illustrator’s website
Max Magic: The Greatest Show on Earth by Stephen Mulhern & Tom Easton
Max returns and this time he has to wow a panel of superstar talent show judges including Willow Holloughby! Can Max keep his cool with the press sniffing around and Mr Mysterio up to trickery? Bursting with energy and fun, Max Magic is an ideal summer term easy read for lower KS2 children.
Indiana Bones and the Invisible City by Harry Heape, illustrated by Rebecca Bagley
Join Indiana and Aisha in this deep sea pageturner that sees our heroes pitted against a slithery serpent with dastardly plans. Accessible, gripping and fun, Indiana Bones and the Invisible City is a cracking fast-paced adventure for readers in KS2.
Last Girl In: Kerry-Ann Fights to Stay in the Game by Cheryl Diane Parkinson
Kerry-Ann has loved cricket ever since her Jamaican grandpa showed her how to hold a bat. But bullies at the local club want to exclude her and her friends. With an empowering and satisfying ending, this accessible and pacy short chapter book is perfect for summer term book clubs in KS2, class reading outside in the sunshine and Windrush-themed topic teaching.
Call of the Titanic by Lindsay Galvin
Titanic cabin boy Sid, adventure-seeking Carpathia stowaway Clara and an unforgettable dog Rigel are thrown together through unimaginable events. Call of the Titanic is a thrilling historical drama, with warmth, friendship and a sprinkling of the unknown. Highly recommended for upper KS2. Read our full review.
The Girl Who Became a Tree by Joseph Coelho
Transforming the love story of Apollo and Daphne into fresh and modern narrative poems, this sequence utilises outstanding wordplay, provocative and thought-provoking images, and lines that linger in the memory. The multilayered and varied forms are often startling, are never dull and will appeal to the widest audience. Young people who ‘don’t like poetry’ might rethink. A modern classic. Highly recommended for KS3 and KS4.
Themed day / social media opportunities for June 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.
- Pride Month – #pride
- Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month – #GRTHM
- Butterfly Education and Awareness Day – #butterflyawarenessday
- World Environment Day – #WorldEnvironmentDay & #OnlyOneEarth
- Empathy Day – #EmpathyDay
- Healthy Eating Week – #HealthyEatingWeek
- World Refugee Week – #RefugeeWeek
- National School Sport Week – #NSSW2023
- Have a look at our writing competitions for June 2023.
Other recently released titles to have a look at:
- Our latest June 2023 books of the month.
- Our rundown of the best books coming out in summer 2023.
- Our June 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.