Pivotal Kids' Booklists







































See also  Books for Fathers to Read Aloud

Suitable for Prep:

·         The Twits, by Roald Dahl, 1980

·         Arlo the dandy lion by Morris Lurie, 1971

·         The Best Pet by Penny Matthews, 1997 (Solo series)

·         The littlest dragon goes for goal by Margaret Ryan, 1999

·         The hefty fairy by Nicholas Allan, 1989

  (Prep to Year 3):

How do you Wokka Wokka by Elizabeth Bluemle


Suitable for Year 1:

·       Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl, 1970

·       The lion, the witch and the wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, 1950

·       Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs, 1940

·       Morris the mouse hunter by Vivian French, 1995

·       Morris in the apple tree by Vivian French, 1995

·       The magic finger by Roald Dahl, 1966

·       Charlotte’s Web - E. B. White, 1952

·       The Twits by Roald Dahl, 1980

·         The 27th Annual African Hippopotamus Race by Morris Lurie, 1969

·         Tashi and the Genie by Anna Fienberg, 1997, (series)

·         Hazel the Guinea Pig by A. N. Wilson, 1989

·         I want earrings! by Dyan Blacklock, 1997 (Solo series)

·         Billy Fishbone King of the kids by Dianne Bates, 1997 (Bushranger series)

·         Dragon ride by Helen Cresswell, 1987 (Colour Young Puffin series)

·         Melinda and Nock and the magic spell by Ingrid Uebe, 1996

·         Bud Buster by Sofie Laguna, 2003 (Aussie Nibbles series)

 Chapter Books

  • Little House by Wilder
  • Betsy by Haywood
    Anything by Beverly Cleary
    Bond - Paddington Bear series
    Milne - Winnie the Pooh
    Osbourne - Magic Treehouse series
    Heidi by Johanna Spyri
    Mogo, the Third Warthog, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    The Wayside School series by Louis Sachar
    The Boxcar Children series
    Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
    Stuart Little and Trumpet of the Swans by E.B. White
    Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
    Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
    *The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup,
    and a Spool of Thread* by Kate DiCamillo
    *Because of Winn-Dixie* by Kate DiCamillo
    *Ella Enchanted* by Gail Carson Levine
    *Afternoon of the Elves* by Janet Taylor Lisle
    *Sarah, Plain and Tall* by Patricia MacLachlan*
    Summer of the Swans* by Betsy Byars
    *A Wrinkle in Time* by Madeleine L'Engle
    *Island of the Blue Dolphins* by Scott O'Dell
    *The Cricket In Times Square* by George Selden
    *Gone-Away Lake* by Elizabeth Enright
    *My Father's Dragon* by Ruth S. Gannett
    *Misty of Chincoteague* by Marguerite Henry
    The Doll People & sequels
    Gooseberry Park
    Toy Dance Party and Toys Go Out by Jenkins and Zelinsky
    First books of the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace.
    Look at the list of 100 best children's books that was recently put together by Elizabeth Bird at SLJ.com.  Here is a link to the list:
    Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker
    The Alvin Ho books by Lenore Look. All are clever, funny, and fun, and age-appropriate.
    "All-of-a-Kind Family" series by Sydney Taylor;  Wonderful stories of a warm loving family of girls, set in the early 1900's New York.
    Hank the Cowdog series
    Classics like Black Beauty, Little Women, The Swiss Family Robinson, Amelia Bedelia has chapter books, Pony Pals, Fudge by Judy Blume.
    The Magic Faraway Tree series and Wishing Chair series by Enid Blyton. Experience has shown them to be timeless.
    Disney - 101 Dalmatians, Bambi , Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Mary Poppins, -- the chapter book which Disney adapted.
    King-Smith, Dick.  A Mouse Called Wolf



Suitable for Year 2:


·       George’s marvellous medicine by Roald Dahl, 1981

·       The 27th Annual African Hippopotamus Race by Morris Lurie, 1969

·       Jacob Two-Two meets the hooded fang by Mordecai Richler, 1975

·       The amazing adventures of Chilly Billy by Peter Mayle, 1980

·       James and the giant peach by Roald Dahl, 1961

·       The BFG by Roald Dahl, 1982

·       Charlie up a gum tree by E. A. Schurmann, 1985

·       The Nimbin by Jenny Wagner, 1978

·       Bottersnikes and Gumbles by S. A. Wakefield, 1969

·       The penguin friend by Lucy Sussex, 1997 (Collins Yellow Storybook series)

·       The enemies by Robin Klein, 1985

·       * The borrowers by Mary Norton, 1958

·       Jake and Pete and the stray dogs by Terry Denton, 1997 (series)

·       Skydive by Gary Paulsen, 1996 (World of Adventure series)

·       Boxer by Ian Charlton, 1999

·       Chocolate money mystery by Alexander McCall Smith, 1997

·       Teacher’s pest by Max Dann, 2000 (Aussie bites series)

·       Shampoozel by Laurence Anholt, 1999 (Orchard Super Cruchies/Seriously Silly Stories)

·       The adventures of Stuart Little by Daphne Skinner, 2000

·       Totally weird! By Moya Simmons, 1999

·         Hairy legs by Christine Harris, 2001

·         Frankel Mouse by Odo Hirsch, 2000

·         Foggy by Allan Baillie, 2001

·         Dog tales by Emily Rodda, 2001

·         Frog thunder by Jill Morris, 2001

·         Barney’s head case by Lynne Markham, 2001 (Mammoth Read series)

·         Windbag by Christine Harris, 2001 (Hotshots series)

·         Thunder nose by Alex Dinessi, 2000 (Momentum novels)



Suitable for Year 3 (and 4):


·       McBroom’s wonderful one acre farm by Sid Fleischman, 1972

·       Here comes McBroom by Sid Fleishchman, 1976

·       Flashback: the amazing adventures of a film horse by Gillian Rubinstein, 1990

·       Jumanji: a novelization by Todd Strasser, 1995

·       Callie’s castle by Ruth Park, 1974

·       Soula the ruler, by Peter McFarlane, 1997

·       45 & 47 Stella Street by Elizabeth Honey, 1995

·       Penny Pollard’s Diary by Robin Klein, 1983

·       If wishes were horses by Ivy Baker, 1984

·       The Monday sheepdog by Ivy Baker, 1987

·       Matilda by Roald Dahl, 1989

·       The firework-maker’s daughter by Philip Pullman, 1995

·       Rocky by Janeen Brian, 1997 (Ripper series)

·       Grandma Cadbury’s Water World by Dianne Bates, 1997 (series)

·       Mario Scumbini and the Big Pig Swipe by Herbie Brennan, 1996

·       Hello possum by Margaret Clark, 1999 (Aussie Angels series)

·       The humming bird secret by Susan Gates, 1999

·       Okay Koala by Margaret Clark, 1999 (Aussie Angels series)

·       The bubble gum tree by Alexander McCall Smith, 1999

·       Harry the poisonous centipede by Lynne Reid Banks, 1996

·       Wendy’s whale by Colin Thiele, 1999

·       Hannah and the tomorrow room by Libby Gleeson, 1999

·       Jellylegs by Elizabeth Pulford, 2000-10-13 Missing men by Errol Broome, 2000

·       Frankel Mouse by Odo Hirsch, 2000

·       Rhianna and the wild magic by Dave Luckett, 2000

·       Camel face by Moya Simons, 2001

·       Dear writer by Libby Gleeson, 2001

·       Roger Bacon reporting by Stephen Measday, 2001

·       Harriet Huxtable & the purpose of rats by Louise Pike, 2001

·       Skull island by G Brassi, 2001

·       Jamil’s shadow by Christine Harris, 2001

·       Brain drain by Christine Harris, 2001, (Hotshots)

·       Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, 2000

·       Duster by Margaret Beames, 2002

·       Chickenpox …yuck! By Josie Montano, 2002

·       Circus berzerkus by Jonathan Harlen, 2002

·       Vampire slugs on Callisto (series) by Jackie French, 2003

·       Dropkick by Annette Wicks, 2003

  More for Year 3-6 below


  More for Year 4 below



Suitable for Year 4 (and 3):


·       Tales of a fourth grade nothing by Judy Blume, 1979

·       Otherwise known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume, 1979

·       Superfudge by Judy Blume, 1980

·       Fudge-a-mania by Judy Blume, 1990

·       Tom’s midnight garden by Philippa Pearce, 1975

·       Relax Max! by Brian Caswell, 1997

·       Hating Alison Ashley by Robin Klein, 1984

·       Klontarf by Colin Thiele, 1988

·       * Pinqu by Colin Thiele, 1983

·       Adventures with my worst best friend by Max Dann, 1982

·       Finders Keepers by Emily Rodda, 1990

·       The newspaper kids #5 (series) - Runaway Rennie and the Graffiti Gang Starts by Juanita Phillips, 1997

·       Chickpea by Marguerite Hann Syme, 1997

·       My Guardian Angel by June Loves, 1997

·       Danger on midnight river by Gary Paulsen, 1995 (World of Adventure series)

·       More of the Wild Wests by Joy Cowley, 1999

·       Wringer by Jerry Spinelli, 1999

·       Smash by David Caddy, 2000

·       The sea caves by Colin Thiele, 2000

·       Just annoying by Andy Griffiths, 1998

·       Three on three by Eric Walters, 1999

·       Ambused by Fleur Beale, 2001 (bullying)

·       Love poems and leg spinners by Steven Herrick (poems)

·       Roger Bacon reporting by Stephen Measday, 2001

·       Selby splits by Duncan Ball, 2001

·       The great ferret race by Paul Collins, 2001

·       Brain drain by Christine Harris, 2001 (Hotshots series)

·       Something weird about Mr Foster by Ken Cantran, 2002

·       Maddie Finn by Garry Disher, 2002

·       A slimy secret by Janette Brazel, 2002 (Banana Benders series)

  Perfect Man, a picture book, is about a boy who always wanted to be like his TV hero, Perfect Man. Perfect Man decides to retire from the business and the boy is really disappointed, but continues to believe that Perfect Man will return. The surprise is that his teacher, a very unlikely Perfect Man ends up being Perfect Man in disguise and inspires the boy to become an author.

"The miraculous journey of Edward Tulane" 
"No Talking" by Andrew Clements, in which competing boys and girls stage a no-talking contest, and the boy stands up for his right to remain silent. Actually, any of Clements' 5th-grade-related books would be excellent read-alouds with excellent character lessons quietly woven in, and with students working alongside teachers.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy, Book 1: The Hero Revealed.

"A View from Saturday" by Konisburg

Shredderman by Van Draanen

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix.  -  not really a surprise hero but the setting is a surprise.

The Hero of Third Grade by Alice DeLaCroix about a third grade new comer who sees the movie
the Scarlet Pimpernel and is motivated to help out his classmates against
the class bully but doing it secretly at least in the beginning.

UnLunDun by China Mieville is one of my favorite books.  It turns the "chosen one" theme of Golden Compass/Harry Potter/Narnia on it's head. It's very funny. SLJ gives it a recommendation for grades 5-9, there is some (fantasy) violence. For the right student, I highly recommend it but I suggest she read it first to make her own judgement.

Suitable for Year 5 (and 6):


·       Puppy fat by Morris Gleitzman, 1994

·       Blabber mouth by Morris Gleitzman, 1992

·       The Indian in the cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks, 1981

·       Boss of the pool by Robin Klein, 1986

·       Master of the grove by Victor Kelleher, 1982

·       Playing Beattie Bow by Ruth Park, 1980

·       Hill’s End by Ivan Southall, 1973

·       A taste of blackberries by Doris Smith, 1975

·       The cay by Theodore Taylor, 1970

·       Dangerous secret by Colin Thiele, 1997

·       Mischief by Robert Trickey, 199

·       Run for your life by David Line, 1966

·       Jodie’s Journey by Colin Thiele, 1988

·       * Dusting in love by Max Dann, 1990

·       Midnite by Randolph Stow, 1967

·       The Featherbys by Mary Steele, 1993

·       With my knife by Andrew Lansdown, 1992

·       Just tricking by Andy Griffiths, 1997 (SS)

·       Witch music by Gillian Rubinstein, 1996 (SS)

·       Mystery of Devil’s Roost by John Long, 1997 (subject: dinosaurs)

·       The Shearwater Bell by Margaret Beames, 1997

·       Spellbinder: Riana’s World Book 1 by M. Shirrefs & J Thomson, 1995

·       Spellbinder: Paul’s World Book 11 by M. Shirrefs & J. Thomson, 1995 (sequel)

·       The joke shop by Ian Strachan, 1997

·       Dancing with Ben Hall by Jackie French, 1997 (SS)

·       BanPong – where beetles taste great! by Michael Cox, 1999 (if doing Asian theme)

·       Cockawun and Cockatoo by Christobel Mattingley, 1999

·       Attacked by G. Brassi, 1999 (Extreme series)

·       Space stories that really happened by Andrew Donkin, 1999

·       Toad rage by Morris Gleitzman, 1999

·       Tough stuff by Kirsty Murray, 1999 (SS)

·       The keeper by Rosanne Hawke, 2000

·       Zarconi’s magic flying fish by Kirsty Murray, 1999

·       Rowan and the Zebak by Emily Rodda, 1999

·       The forests of silence by Emily Rodda, 2000 (Deltora Quest series)

·       I am Jack by Suzanne Grey, 2000 (bullying)

·       Zillah and me by Helen Dunmore, 2000

·       Rhino fire by Elizabeth Laird, 1999 (Wild Things series)

·       Mayday! By G. Brassi, 2000

·       From two islands, 2000 (SS)

·       Whisper by Fran Dobbie, 2000

·       Two hands together by Diana Kidd, 2000

·       Ned Kelly’s helmet by Paul Stafford, 1998

·       A banner bold by Nadia Wheatley, 2000 (Gold theme)

·       The café on Callisto by Jackie French, 2001 (Space theme)

·       Just tricking by Andy Griffiths, 1997 (SS)

·       Leaving no footprints by Elaine Forestal, 2001

·       Bad dreams by Anne Fine, 2000

·       Beyond the dusk by Victor Kelleher, 2001

·       Son of the whirlwind by Elyne Mitchell, 1979 (horses!)

·       Saving Abbie by Allan Baillie, 2000

·       Crash! The story of Poddy by William Taylor, 2000

·       Dolphins dance by Jutta Goetze, 2000

·       How the Finnegans saved the ship by Jackie French, 2001

·       Blacksnake: the daring of Ned Kelly by Carole Wilkinson, 2002 (Non fiction)

·       Lucky for some by Fleur Beale, 2002

·       Rain May and Captain Daniel by Catherine Bateson, 2002

·       Ratbags and rascals by Robin Klein, 1986 (SS)

·       Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, 1991 (series)

·       Grommet saves the world by James Moloney, 2003 (Aussie Chomps series)

·       Frindle by Andrew Clements, 2002

·       The secrets in the Tingle forest by Louise Schofield, 2003

No Talking By Andrew Clements.

Gary Paulsen’s Lawn Boy

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban. 



Suitable for Year 6 (and 5):


·       Water wings by Morris Gleitzman, 1996

·       Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda, 1993

·       Rowan and the keeper of the crystal by Emily Rodda, 1996

·       Space demons by Gillian Rubinstein, 1986

·       Taronga by Victor Kelleher, 1986

·       Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Paterson, 1978

·       The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin, 1971

·       I can jump puddles by Alan Marshall, 1955

·       I am David by Ann Holm, 1963 (quite hard)

·       Someone like me by Elaine Forrestal,1996 (quite hard)

·       The butterfly lion by Michael Morpurgo, 1996

·       Don’t pat the wombat by Elizabeth Honey, 1996

·       * The half men of O by Maurice Gee, 1982

·       So much to tell you by John Marsden, 1987

·       Games by Robin Klein, 1986

·       * The great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson, 1979

·       The silver sword by Ian Serraillier, 1956

·       Dragonfox by Andrew Lansdown, 1997

·       Hatty’s Hotline by Moya Simons, 1997

·       Chasing after the wind by Dale Harcombe, 1997 (advanced)

·       Granny the Pag by Nina Bawden, 1995

·       Surfing Mr Petrovic by Colin Bowles, 1997

·       Hazel Green by Odo Hirsch, 1999

·       Monkey by Veronica Bennett, 1998

·       Huntress of the sea by Alan Temperley, 1999

·       Broken rings by Damian Morgan, 1999

·       After Alice by Jane Carroll, 1999

·       Tatterhood and other feisty folk tales by Margrete Lamond, 1999 (SS)

·       Animal stories by Michael Morpurgo, 1999 (SS)

·       The spangled drongo by Steven Herrick, 1999 (Book in verse)

·       Bravo, Billy by Felice Arena, 2000

·       Outlanders by Margaret Beames, 2000

·       Billy Thunder and the night gate by Isobelle Carmody, 2000

·       The keeper by Rosanne Hawke, 2000

·         Boxer Shorts by Margaret Clark, 2000

·         A whistle from the Blunder by Diana Noonan, 2000

·         Camel face by Moya Simons, 2001

·         Ernest Pickle’s remarkable robot by Max Dann, 1984 (discussion re bullying)

·         Plagues and Federation by Vashti Farrer, 2000

·         Thunderfish by Simon Higgins, 1999

·         Bartlett and the city of flames by Odo Hirsch, 1999

·         A long way from Chicago by Richard Peck, 1998

·         A tale of tow families by jenny Pausacker, 2000 (series: My Story – diary format)

·         NIPS XI by Ruth Starke, 2000

·         The rum rebellion by Libby Gleeson, 2001 ( Series : My story, diary format )

·         Blind beauty by KM Peyton, 1999

·         Knocked for six by Alison Robertson, 2001

·         The middle of nowhere by S A Freud, 2002

·         The tiger rising by Kate DiCamillo, 2002

·         Life bytes edited by Alwyn Evans, 2002 (SS)

·         The book of unicorns by Jackie French, 1997

·         Mates and other stories by Allan Baillie, 1989 (SS)

·         Walking the boundaries by Jackie French,  1993

·         Boy overboard by Morris Gleitzman, 2002

·         Island of the blue dolphins by Scott O’Dell, 1966

·         Antonio S and the mystery of Theodore Guzman by Odo Hirsch, 1998

·         Grave of the Roti men by Geoff Havel, 2003

·         The whale’s child by Gillian Rubinstein, 2002

·         Chasing the break by Michael Panckridge, 2003 (The Legends series)

·         Cool! by Michael Morpurgo, 2003

Remember me? By Moya Simons, 2003


Year 4 Mysteries

 Lily's Ghost by Cheryl Drake Harris
Holes by Sachar
Weasel by DeFelice
Pleasing the Ghost by Sharon Creech
The Doll House Murders by Wright
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett  (mentioned five times)
Room One by Andrew Clements (mentioned three times)
Gilda Joyce series by Jennifer Allison-

Enola Holmes (Sherlock's younger sister)

mysteries by Nancy Springer;

Skullduggery Pleasant (the skeleton detective) by Derek Landy;

Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams (Echo Falls mysteries);

Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer.
Trapped in Death Cave by Bill Wallace
Is anybody there? by Eve Bunting

Herculeah Jones series by Betsy Byars.

National Park Mystery series by Gloria Skurzinsky

Sammy Keyes by Wendelin Van Draanen
Running Out of Time.
The Westing Game by Raskin
Mixed up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankenweiler
Joseph Bruchac's Skeleton Man
From Charlie's Point of View
Mr. Chickee's funny money / Christopher Paul Curtis
Bailliot's mysteries;

Winterfield-Detectives in Togas;

the Ostia mysteryseries Ancient Rome;

Golden Goblet;

House of Dies Drear
Caroline Lawrence...The Roman Mysteries
Enola Holmes Mysteries such as The Mystery of the Missing Marquess or The Mystery of the Left Handed Lady
The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick


Years 3-6

Gr. 3 Big Bad Wolves at School by Stephen Krensky

Gr. 4 Bad Dog, Marley! By John Grogan

Gr. 5 Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

Gr. 6 Knut: How One Polar Bear Captivated the World -told by Julianna, Isabella, and Craig Hatkoff

Other titles considered

Casey Back at Bat by Dan Gutman

Ghost Ship by Mary Higgins Clark

Swift by Robert Blake

Nothing But Trouble - the Story of Althea Gibson by Sue Stauffcher

Anna and Natalie by Barbara Cole

Lemonade Club by Patricia Polacco