An A-Z of Books to Keep Kids Happy, Healthy and Wise
By Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin (Canongate)
No matter the life experience, adventure or challenge a child is going through, I always find myself thinking: ‘There’s a book for that!’ And now there is a book to tell you which book they should read for a host of issues ranging from first day at school, racism, fear of swimming, illness, fear of strangers, emerging sexuality, being bullied and mourning the death of a pet. There are other more unusual topics too, like feeling stuck, having boring relatives, asking too many questions, social media addiction, being the scapegoat and being frightened of making mistakes.
There are generally two books offered for each topic as well as a fantastic list of the top ten books for the following obsessions: ballet, dinosaurs, dogs, fairies, football, greek myths, martial arts, space, vampires, werewolves, history, detective and spies, fantasy, graphic novels, horses and King Arthur and the Round Table. The authors, an artist and a novelist, run a Bibliotherapy series in London and have a fantastic website where you can enter an ‘ailment’ and they will suggest a book for it. Of course these lists are all the authors’ own opinion and you may wonder why your favourites aren’t included. We’d love to hear them!
Age Groups: you need to screen the suggested books first as they often don’t offer an age recommendation.
* Another great site is Common Sense Media – they grade books, movies, video games and other forms of media and list whether they are age appropriate.
The ten best audiobooks for long car journeys:
1. The Famous Five by Enid Blyton, read by Jan Francis (Age 4+)
2. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, read by David Tennant (Age 7+)
3. Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, read by Rupert Degas (Age 9+)
4. Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver, read by Sir Ian McKellan (Age 9+)
5. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, read by the author (Age 10+)
6. Harry Potter by JK Rowling, read by Stephen Fry (Age 7+)
7. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, read by Tim Curry (Age 10+)
8. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, read by Rob Inglis (Age 10+)
9. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, read by Stephen Fry (age 11+)
10. The Maze Runner by James Dahsner, read by Mark Deakins (Age 11+)